Click is in India to discover how the country is innovating for the future and solving problems of the past using technology.
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Now on BBC News, it's time for Click.
This week, bang for bangers, smoggy sunsets and angry anglegrinders.
We go to India, as India goes to the moon.
Get ready, your Indian experience starts now. As soon as you step off
the plane, India hits you like a big, hot wall of noise. It is
everything you've ever imagined it to be. It is life turned up. The
first thing you will notice will be the traffic. It's always the
traffic. Is the tip just test about? This looks like a gap. The sound is
deafening! Everyone is honking. For 70 years this country has been
independent of British rule and the cities that have sprung up around
the old colonial brandy seemed chaotic, but they do kind of work.
-- colonial grandeur. Kind of. And India has found a niche in the wider
world. Half of its 1.2 million people are aged 35 or under. Maybe
that's why it is known for its IT know-how, its outsourcing. And the
bosses of some of the biggest tech companies in the world are Indian.
But it hasn't had as much luck in taking over the world of consumer
technology. After all, how many Indian tech brands can you name? The
truth is that although there is a of consumers here willing to buy brands
it isn't actually that big or that rich. Not that many people here can
really afford the latest, or very much at all. We are here to see how
India is preparing for its future and, let me tell you, it is reaching
for the stars. In 2013, India became the fourth spacefaring nation to
send a probe to mars and unlike those who came before them they did
it on their first attempt. But the Indian space research Organisation,
Isra, is gaining a reputation for doing tons of space stuff on a
shoestring budget. There mars mission came in at just $74 million,
that's less than it cost make the film Gravity. And in February this
year they made history again by launching a record 104 satellites on
a single rocket. It could just be that India has created the perfect
combination of big brains with big space experience, but a mentality
for doing things on the cheap. Just the sort of place you might go if
you wanted to say land a robot on the moon for the space equivalent of
small change. How confident are you that this will work? Welcome to the
earthbound HQ of Team Indus, one of the handful of start-ups battling
for the prize of $20 million for the first commercial company to land a
robot on the moon. December, 2017, last. The Team Indus goes into orbit
and then 4.5 days to the moon. 12 days of spiralling down to the
surface and if all goes well out comes the Team -- the rover that
wins the prize. What could possibly go wrong? Rahul is the co-founder of
Team Indus and has been here since the start of the project, way back
in 2010. At that point you had no idea? I googled and figured out what
Wikipedia had to say about landing on the mood. You did and internet
search on how to land on the moon? Absolutely. -- on the moon. Did it
have any useful information? Yes. It said there had been 85 attempts and
I think every second attempt failed. Six years later there are about 100
people working very hard here and it certainly looks like they know their
space stuff. Star Wars in particular. Even the toilets are
appropriately labelled. And they've built themselves all the things that
are serious -- a serious space company should have, mission control
room, a model lander that makes smoke and Luna service complete with
a robot to go on it. -- lunar surface. What do you use to simulate
space dust? We just went to a star on quarry and asked them to give us
the milling output. -- stone quarry. It is supposed to be very
electrostatic. That means it will stick to the Rover? That's correct.
That's one part that will get into every preparation, the lens of the
camera. Just like National Space Centre in this, testing every
component and simulating every stage of the mission is a huge part of
what they're doing here. We are making sure we do everything right.
We are just not making it fancy. We will make it frugal, specific to the
mission, but there's absolutely corners we are cutting and to look
at it from a more philosophical way we have one shot to win this. If one
blows up we can't go and find the other, we have to get this right.
Team Indus is one of five start-ups from around the world that have
launched contracts. They think they will launch before any other team.
So perhaps be the first team to land and win that except for the fact
that to save costs they have had this sells some of their launch
weight to a competitive Rover. A Japanese team will also be onboard.
You will both get to the moon at the same time. How is that going to
work? It is whoever touches down first! Who has the fastest Rover?
It's going to be crazy. In a manner of speaking, yes. What do you expect
to happen? It is a race, it will be a very interesting race and once we
test the Rovers we will see which one makes it first. I would put a
laser gun on yours. All of that assumes of course that the Rovers
make it to the moon in the first place. Space exploration is a risky
business and when it goes wrong it tends to go really wrong. Six years,
hundreds of thousands of hours of effort and millions spent and
there's certainly a lot riding on getting things right. You mitigate
the big pieces and then the smaller risks and at the end of the day
absolutely on, small, round piece that somehow made it -- its way
through will kill the entire mission.
There is a word here in India but I think describes Team Indus's
low-cost, make do approach. I've come to the centre of Mumbai, to
Asia's second largest slum. Here in its tiny alleyways the word is all
around, as the desperately poor population reuses as much as is
physically possible. Built by workers who flocked to the city over
hundreds of years, some of the houses here date back to the 1840s.
It is an intense experience in the middle of an intense city. You
really do get a sense of the scale of the place up here and it's a
weird scale as well, because it is actually quite small. It's only two
square kilometres, but around 1 million people live here. It's
phenomenally densely packed and it's not just people living here and
doing nothing, this place has a working infrastructure and a working
economy. This place really does work. 10,000 businesses generate 30
billion groupies for Mumbai every year. They make things and they
recycle things. Like all those plastic bottles drying on the roof,
which are shredded into reusable plastic pallets. The production line
is in itself a work of beauty. This is where they make the machines that
recycle plastic, so I guess this is a factory. Once finished these
machines will chew up the plastic, which is then washed, sorted and
dried. The work is heavy and hard. And for a wage that affords the most
meagre of existences. It is incredible to think that 55% of
Mumbai's ovulation lives in slums like this one. -- population. Up
ahead there is a kind of shredded denim which they use for fuel, they
burn it to fuel the kilns, just like they use for many other things here,
and there is smoke everywhere was not you can really tell the air
quality is very poor. You just have to take if you lung fulls and it
makes your eyes sting. The smoke is a necessary evil for the people
here. Like most of the developing world, pollution has been the price
India is paying for a booming economy. The smog gives Mumbai its
spectacular sunsets but also makes it the fifth most polluted mega city
in the world. And when the sun disappears before it hits the
horizon, you can hardly believe it. In November, 2016, the Indian
government declared the air pollution in Delhi on national
emergency, with harmful pollutants more than 16 times the national
limit. And it isn't just caused by all of the traffic. It come from? I
was surprised to find out a lot of it comes from diesel generators. The
electricity is India isn't very reliable, but plenty of businesses
need guaranteed power, they have there own individual generators to
fire up whenever the logistical is down and that needs there are loads
of exhaust pipes like this all over the city, which regularly belch out
all kinds of unpleasant stuff. When you start looking for them, they're
everywhere. Even the mobile masts have backup generators.
Hello. Here in Bangalore we've come across a small projects to capture
the sort and turn it into art. -- soot.
What we have is a device that attaches to the exhaust pipe of the
chimneys and this can be attached to pretty much any exhaust pipe,
irrespective of what is the age or type of things that it is running.
Once you capture what is substantially carbon, it is the
basis of basically everything that exists in the world. At present we
recycle it into something that is maybe used by practically everything
on the planet. The headquarters of the labs is a mix of art studio and
mad laboratory, the perfect combination if you ask me! Their
so-called Air Ink does have a few restrictions. It will only ever come
in black and at the moment it is not good enough quality to be used in
printers. The company is using it to artists who are finding their own
uses for it. Painting and screenprinting, for example, for use
on clothes and bags. If the idea catches on, users would expect to
remove the exhaust pipe device, called black ink, as often as every
15 days, depending on how all or dirty their diesel engines are.
That's about three or four minutes of Redding. -- revving. Once we have
the scale we plan to install these so-called banks in multiple
locations, to be run by the people or our own staff. Even in the
shorter term the sorties to replace these carbon banks in business
headquarters and lorry depots, where large numbers of vehicles are
centralised anyway. While the ink may only have limited uses at
present, the company insists it is still better to put the carbon to
good use rather than just collect it and stop it. There are many
technologies that have captured pollution in one way or another, but
if you don't recycle it you are actually leaving it for the future
generations. Love is in the air in India. It's
reckoned there are 10 million weddings here every year. And as in
many aspects of Indian life, religion often directs the dating
game. The country's online matchmakers have traditionally put
faith at the forefront as well. But now there's a new crop of dating...
That's agnostic. Tinder has reported rapid growth here. It matches people
based on proximity but doesn't ask about belief. It's not the only
dating service where faith is slipping down the priority list. A
single mingle in one of Delhi's most romantic spots. These love seekers
have been handpicked based on a range of factors. They're
open-minded about religion, but it's still clearly a biggie. I do not see
religion as a barrier. When I talk about any kind of connection,
friendship, professional connection, even... Marriage for that matter but
I'm not sure that swat everyone in India would agree to. We don't
necessarily mind about the religion but we don't want to hassle
ourselves and has all our parents because it's going to be a big
thing. Some dating entrepreneurs believe tech ultimately challenges
religion. We know so much about people that we're actually able to
serve you profiles of people we believe would be compatible with you
and that does not include necessarily religion or cast, but it
includes much more foundational human levels. That is the beauty of
technology. Some areas of India have reported big rises in interfaith
marriages. So how has the country's religious communities responded?
Catholics make up a tiny minority here and church leaders are worried,
particularly about young women who convert to their husband's
belligerent and abandon Catholicism. But the church has developed a
secret weapon, their own dating website. The unique selling point?
Well, honestly. No mass arching your dating profile here because you'll
have to go to church to register and get your picture taken -- massaging.
The dedication in terms of education qualifications is stricter so we put
that together and once that's in place, the website will probably go
live and you would have opportunities for young people to
find an alliance online. But what about the majority religious group?
One of Hinduism's most high-profile branches says they have no problem
with interfaith dating, it's the technology they're concerned about.
They have some blunt advice for love hungry teens, and it might not prove
popular. Try to avoid mobiles, try to avoid mobiles. Everyone has to
remember, you know, how he wants to lead his life. Are you going to talk
romantically to half a dozen people and then tried to fish out which is
better? That is not good, you know? Whatever time available for you for
your conversation and entertainment and understanding, education, you
have to make the list of priorities. Whatever the religion it is clear
technology is causing some seismic changes. And in a country obsessed
with matchmaking and tech, even the young are struggling to keep up. A
series of plays staged in Mumbai tackle the thorny subject of modern
dating, and one of the writers reckon religious influence is here
to stay and for some pretty basic reasons. Most of these guys in the
city live with their parents. If I want to get somebody home to live
with my mother and father, her tastes and ideas should match to
that of my mother and father. They have their differences. If he cooks
meat every day, my parents wouldn't like her at all because they don't
eat meat, they would just keep fighting over who is in the kitchen
the whole time and that becomes a headache for me. Religion,
technology and romance. Three forces that aren't going away any time
soon. Question is, can they all just learn to get along?
Living in the developing world means living with the paupers Belletti of
developing particular health problems. But there are many
diseases that can affect everyone, rich and poor. -- possibility. This
is your hospital? I am a hair, the head of this breast cancer screening
area and this is our outpatient department. This is the GC cardio
Groth room, this is our x-ray department. Breast cancer is now the
most fatal cancer among women worldwide and it's the same here --
ECG. The problem in India is it's often not spotted early enough with
more than 60% of the women diagnosed here at stages three or four. I've
come to the women's and Children's Hospital in Mumbai to find out why,
and also to see something new. A low-cost device that could aid early
breast cancer detection. Most of the women, they don't go to have a
mammogram... Mammogram devices are of course
expensive, and taking one, plus a skilled operator to remind areas, is
impractical. This Doctor's hospital is one of those using a breast exam
that works in a very different way. Instead of using x-rays like
mammograms do, it has 16 sensors that vibrate and collect pressure
data as it's moved around the breast. Any tumours, which are
stiffer than normal tissue, will register on the accompanying app and
any areas of concern can then be referred for further examination.
It's this portability that grab the attention of the Minister for
medical education, who's helped to fund the breast exam programme.
TRANSLATION: On the government level we have installed these machines in
all the medical colleges for women to come and get checked for breast
cancer from various parts of the state. We also plan to send this
machine to other places like civil hospitals and medical colleges. With
this machine we have been carrying out screenings in villages,
townships and cities and plan to cover the whole of the state of
Maharashtra. The ones who are affected are to be brought to Mumbai
and Pune, thus saving many lives. This is the device. What surprised
me is how gentle it feels. So these are tiny vibrations it's giving out.
That gentle vibration is all that's needed to detect lesions as small as
three millimetres, that's far better than the three centimetre lesions
present in late stage breast cancer. And achieving that level of accuracy
has been the real innovation here. It's a tiny sensor that when given a
little bit of power can create these things on the breast and inherently
that's why it's different to mammograms, which uses x-rays. But
is this better than mammography? I think we have a long way to prove
that it is better than mammography. We're not there yet. It is already
creating access where mammography is not able to reach, so in that sense
there is no competition between the two modalities. The breast exam does
prescreening and identifies those at risk and mammography can provide a
diagnostic affirmative answer as to whether the woman needs to be moved
upwards. Our goal is to provide this as a standard of care solution to
all the developing countries struggling in the same way. That's
it for Click in India for the moment at least. We've had an absolutely
fascinating time here and you can see plenty more photos we've taken
around and about the place on Twitter at:
Thanks for watching and we'll see you soon.
India has a reputation for exploring space on a shoestring budget, but can one startup be the first to put a robot on the moon for the space equivalent of spare change? Click is in India to discover how the country is innovating for the future and solving problems of the past using technology. From the entrepreneurs tackling the country's pollution problems, to the apps changing the face of dating for a new generation of Indians, to new medical technology that could save lives; Click travels across India to find out what is driving the country's explosive growth.