President's medal for innovation

The sight of a bruised puppy on her way to school last year sparked an idea in Diva Sharma’s mind. On returning home, the class XII student developed a stress monitoring mechanism for animals to give them urgent medical care. Her project has recently been shortlisted for National Innovation Foundation (NIF)’s Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE 2015 award to be given by the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee, on November 30.

The project involves hardware as well as software. “There are some wearable sensors to measure health indices, which are then recorded using the computer software for further application. The software tells us what health problem the animal has and what immediate treatment should be given. I chose four parameters -pulse rate, heart beat, respiratory rate and body temperature. Depending on the results of these four factors, one can gauge the urgency of medical care required,” she elaborates.

This is one of the 31 ideas from 40 students out of 28,106 entries from schools across the country.

Being a science student, Sharma tends to stay occupied with school classes followed by three private tuition sessions. So, finding time for an extracurricular activity was not easy. But her love for animals helped her complete the project in about seven months.

“I started working on the project during my summer vacations (in 2014) when I had plenty time. Afterwards, I used to take some time out at night.This is how I could finish the project,” adds Diva, who sought an IIT Delhi faculty member’s help. “I don’t think I could have completed the project without his guidance.” PVM Rao, co-ordinator of the innovation centre at IIT Delhi, says, “I played the role of a mentor and guided her about the feasibility of the project.”