What do you mean by appropriate technology? What is their criteria for selection?

Mumbai University > First year Engineering > Sem 1 > Environmental Studies

Marks: 5 M

Year: Dec 2012


Appropriate technology is an ideological movement (and its manifestations) originally articulated as intermediate technology by the economist Dr. Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher in his influential work, Small is Beautiful. Though the nuances of appropriate technology vary between fields and applications, it is generally recognized as encompassing technological choice and application that is small-scale, decentralized, labor-intensive, energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and locally controlled.[1] Both Schumacher and many modern-day proponents of appropriate technology also emphasize the technology as people-centered.

Appropriate technology has been used to address issues in a wide range of fields. Well-known examples of appropriate technology applications include: bike- and hand-powered water pumps (and other self-powered equipment), the universal nut Sheller, self-contained solar lamps and streetlights, and passive solar building designs. Today appropriate technology is often developed using open source principles, which have led to open-source appropriate technology (OSAT) and thus many of the plans of the technology can be freely found on the Internet. OSAT has been proposed as a new model of enabling innovation for sustainable development

Criteria for selection is-

  1. Person should have a skill to overcome social and institutional barriers to without major social upheaval implementation.
  2. We should also use our knowledge of barriers to design implementation strategies.
  3. Does not tax the viability of natural systems from the taking of renewable resources (destructive logging practices used in harvesting timber, dams to supply domestic/agricultural water, etc.). Reduces flow rates of use of natural substances.
  4. Promotes use of recycled products (glass, metal, paper) and building materials an supplies (wood window panes, pipe, water heaters, etc.). Demand could create an expanded scavenger/oriented demolition "industry".
  5. We intend these criteria to be used in a skillful rather than dogmatic manner.
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