The government of the South Indian state of Kerala will be conducting the second stage of the contest for designing a remote controlled coconut harvesting machine, on the 7th and 8th of October 2010. The contest, the first part of which was conducted last year, is part of their plan to design and develop a series of need based products aiming at the global market and to nurture an entrepreneurial culture among the people of Kerala.
This contest came as a result of the shortage of skilled workers for harvesting the coconuts. This shortage has come since the majority of the people think of the climbing job as risky and unglamorous.
The State government came up with a plan to conduct an open contest among the public and announced to the people to design a machine that will help in bringing down coconuts without the need for climbing. They also suggested that the machine should be light, simple, controlled from ground and easy to operate and carry even by women.
In the first part of the contest, 462 project proposals (containing design, concept, working principles etc.) were received from across the country and abroad. An expert committee scrutinized all the proposals and short listed 109 applicants for an interactive session. From those selected applicants, eight persons were selected for receiving a prize money of Rs.1,00,000.
The second stage of the contest is for the demonstration of the fabricated machines. In addition to the eight persons selected in the first stage, opportunity will be given for those who were not able to participate in the first stage but are successful in manufacturing and demonstrating the device with their own money. The Expert Committee will evaluate the working of the machines and select the best three models for a prize money of Rs.10,00,000 each for commercial production.
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