New Delhi, 01 June 2021: Towards its efforts for empowering the MSMEs for an Oxygen Sufficient India, a webinar was organised on ‘Oxygen Enrichment Unit – Opportunities & Scope for Indian MSMEs’ by the MSME Development Institute, Indore in association with Laghu Udhyog Bharti, MP; Indian Medical Association, MP and Inclusive Growth foundation. Prof. (Dr.) Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur was invited as the Key Speaker. Shri B. C. Sahu, Jt. Director, MSME, DI, Indore; Shri Gaurav Goel, Asstt. Director, MSME DI Indore, Shri Mahesh Gupta, President, Laghu Udhyog Bharti, MP; Dr. Anoop Nigam, President, IMA MP; Dr. Arvind Jain, IMA, MP together with around 100 stakeholders including those from the medical fraternity participated in the above programme.

Prof (Dr) Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI stressed that the need for oxygen is being fulfilled by and large at the moment but a collaborative response from engineering as well as the medical fraternities and MSME is essential for a long and sustainable solution. Working together would make India ‘Atmanirbhar’ in real spirit and we would be self-sufficient in oxygen. There would be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders of society when science is linked to the society with a collaborative approach. He discussed on the modalities of long-term sustainable solutions. In this regard, he stressed upon the need for availability of resources at smaller health care centres in the rural areas. He also talked on the scarcity of trained healthcare personnel and para medical staff who are more vulnerable to the infection.

Prof. Hirani expressed the need of control on FiO2 and flow rate, as both the parameters are essentially required by doctors for appropriate oxygen therapy. The institute is working on the Hybrid System Configuration Model which involves existing infrastructure of hospitals. This can be very helpful for smaller hospitals and mohalla clinics. Considering its advantages, such units are likely to be more and more in the country in comparison to oxygen Cylinders as the cost of the latter comes to a higher side while the OEU is available at 50% lesser price.

Shri B. C. Sahu, Jt. Director, MSME, DI, Indore said that they have a vision that every district of MP have an Oxygen Plant for an Atmanirbhar Madhya Pradesh. The MP Govt. is providing 50% subsidy for such Oxygen Concentrators / OEU which is a laudable step. He said that MSME would do its best for providing solutions to the problem through various schemes of the Government and by providing avenues to the MSMEs entrepreneurs, start-ups to collaborate with CSIR-CMERI for Societal benefits. He also encouraged the entrepreneurs for setting up of plants at public and private hospitals in PPP mode for availing a number of schemes of the Government.

Shri Mahesh Gupta, President, Laghu Udhyog Bharti, MP congratulated MSME for arranging the webinar in association with them and especially CSIR-CMERI for coming up with such a technology. He termed the technology as a ‘panacea’ at the time of crisis and urged for its greater adoption in rural areas. He also said that the need of the product would continue to remain in future. Hence, Laghu Udhyog Bharti is making efforts to maximise the manufacturing of such product utilizing Government assistance under different schemes for making the country self-sufficient in oxygen.

Dr. Anoop Nigam, President, IMA MP appreciated the ‘novel’ approach of CSIR-CMERI in developing the technology. He said that there are a number of concentrators and cylinders in the market but considering the wastage, cost and misuse of oxygen aspects the Institute initiative for developing such a novel product is praise worthy. He also said that judiciousness in use of oxygen is important. Dr. Nigam particularly appreciated the development of the unit for 10-15 bedded hospitals by the Institute. He assured all possible support from IMA in the collaborative efforts of the Institute for development of such products for the MSMEs.

Dr. Arvind Jain, IMA, MP terming the product as a ‘life saving device’ and congratulated Prof. Hirani for development of such a product in the country as a number of entrepreneurs have already taken the technology from CSIR-CMERI. He said it is a remarkable step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. Talking about different levels of the health sector he stressed for its use at primary level.

Shri Amit Sethi, AGM, SIDBI appreciated the healthy discussion on the OEU and presented in detail the financial assistance being provided by SIDBI particularly for setting up of the health and pharma sector products for containing the pandemic.