Bhu Parikshak- fastest & cheapest soil health analyzer

Kshitija Athlekar

For many decades, the Indian economy has served primarily as an agriculture-driven economy. When as much as 70% of rural households depend on agriculture for their livelihood, it’s astonishing to know that 82% of these farmers still operate at a small and marginal level. There are several problems faced by farmers in India like dependency on rain, insufficient water supply during dry days, poor storage facilities, lack of transportation facilities, unawareness about modern techniques and the list can go on and on.

One such problem that cannot be ignored is the expensive and time-consuming process of soil testing! Well, the problem doesn’t end here, for soil testing, farmers situated in remote areas need to travel long distances to reach the agriculture department situated mostly in urban areas. The complex testing techniques and the requirement of experts to carry out the process often delay the test results.

 When the government officials are being lethargic and farmers showing “Yaha aise hi chalta hai” (system works this way) attitude about this problem, A professor from IIT Kanpur’s chemical department, Prof. Jayant Singh has taken it up seriously. Prof. Singh belongs to a family who has worked in agriculture sector for almost two decades. His grandfather and father retired from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). Prof. Singh recollects about how almost all discussions at home were about agriculture and the betterment of Indian farmers? It is very obvious for Prof. Singh to feel passionate about the Agri sector.

 When the central government started laying emphasis on improving soil quality, Prof. Singh felt motivated to develop a convenient and easy-to-operate tool for soil checking. Prof. Singh was aware of the underlying problems that farmers face for soil testing. His main intention was to make the tool that will save effort, time and still provide accurate results.  Though farmers are unaware of modern farming machines and techniques, smartphones have reached every single household in India. Prof. Singh used this reality and developed a tool that could be operated using a smartphone.

Prof. Singh named this portable device “Bhu Parikshak” (Soil Tester). The device is easy to use, does not require any elaborate training to the user, is eco-friendly, and also economically affordable. Just a handful of dry soil is poured into the handheld unit and the result is delivered within 90 seconds. It can’t get simpler than this. The device was tested for a year across the country with a success rate of almost 85-90%. The device determines crucial soil parameters, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, organic carbon, clay contents. Not just the soil testing but the device also suggests the required dose of fertilizer for the field. The device is operated using a mobile application that can be downloaded from the google play store, a method which every Indian knows of, moreover, the application supports all regional languages making it convenient for a farmer. Each device can check up to 1 lakh samples which creates a possibility of collective usage within the periphery.

IIT Kanpur has collaborated with Agronxt, the Agri product manufacturing company, to make the device available in the market. Bhu Parikshak is definitely a step towards the betterment of the Indian Agri sector!

Please see the following news Source(s) and original reference(s) therein:

(, Dec 25, 2021)

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Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar

Dr. Mashelkar is only the third Indian engineer to have been elected (1998) as Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), London in the twentieth century. He was elected Foreign Associate of US National Academy of Science (2005) and also National Academy of Engineering (2003), Associate Foreign Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2011), Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K. (1996), Foreign Fellow of Australian Technological Science and Engineering Academy (2008), Corresponding Member of Australian Academy of Sciences (2017), Fellow of World Academy of Arts & Science, USA (2000), Fellow of US National Academy of Inventors (2017), the first ever Indian from India to be elected and TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize (2018), which is the highest science award of The World Academy of Science.

In 2006, he received the ‘Star of Asia’ Award at the hands of former President of USA, George Bush (Sr). The President of India honoured Dr. Mashelkar with three of the highest civilian awards, namely Padmashri (1991), Padmabhushan (2000) and Padma Vibhushan (2014).

Prof. Satishchandra Ogale

Prof. Satishchandra B. Ogale has had a long 40 years of experience in higher education and research.  He has over 500 publications in international journals, three co-edited books with Springer, Wiley and Elsevier, and 10 granted US patents based on research done in India. 
He is a Reviewer as well as Advisory Board member of many high impact International Journals and is also a popular science writer in regional language marathi.
He has won many Awards, Prizes, and National and International recognitions. He has given numerous invited, plenary and keynote talks in National and International conferences and has supervised over 65 Ph.D. students. 
Prof. Ogale has been a Visiting Professor/ Scientist in many institutions in the USA and Europe on several occasions.

Anupama Engineer

She has previously worked as a Scientist at Agharkar research Institute and at higher management level at Thomas Baker Bioscience Private Limited. She has also taught graduate and post graduate students in Biotechnology & Microbiology during her tenure as a lecturer in Royal College, Mumbai and as a Counselor for IGNOU Biotechnology course. Anupama, is a multitasker with few roles like, entrepreneur, Scientist, manager, a doting mother and many more. Teaching and educating is her passion and she takes every effort to encourage fundamental learning. Anupama holds a vast experience in Start-up processes.

Dr Smita Chaturvedi
Smita is an experimental condensed matter physicist. The quest for multifunctional materials motivates her. Smita finished her PhD from RDVV Jabalpur and BARC Mumbai in the year 2002 and worked as a research associate in IIT Mumbai and Oakland University, Michigan. Smita was awarded as a Fulbright Nehru Academic and Professional excellence fellow in 2018-19. Smita holds more than a decade of research and teaching experience. She possesses good knowledge about education system and research opportunities in India as well as abroad. Music and gardening are her mindful meditations.
Dr. Priyadarshini Karve
Dr Priyadarshini Karve has worked in the areas of household energy, decentralised waste-to-fuel technologies, climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable and climate-ready urbanisation, etc. She runs her own social green enterprise Samuchit Enviro Tech in Pune, focused on enabling access to sustainable products and services. She is also a co-founder of OrjaBox, a startup promoting solar thermal technologies. Dr Karve is a Founder Member of Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN - a multi-state society of decentralised renewable energy practitioners and entrepreneurs) and Cleaner Cooking Coalition (CCC - an international organisation focused on promoting user-centric cooking energy technologies that are good for health as well as climate). She is also the National Convener of Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC - focused on climate justice issues and working to bring people's voices in policy choices). Her work has been recognised by several national and international awards and honours.
Sanjay Khare
Sanjay Khare ,after his graduation in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1986 has been associated with major Japanese & European Automotive OEMs in Indian Subcontinent for 35 years . Widely travelled across Europe & Asia , he has held positions across diverse functions of Automotive Corporations.
In his current role as Board Member and Vice President at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India , he is Chief Sustainability Catalyst to guide actions at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India along with the sister brands Audi, Porsche & Lamborghini.
He leads an active Climate Resilience program where the automotive major in India has already achieved Zero Waste to Landfill, Water Positive & Zero liquid Discharge Certification, Zero Accidents , targeting an 18.5 MW of installed Roof Top Solar plant at a single Automotive site in India in 2021 and fully Carbon Neutral Production by 2025.
Sanjay has done his Executive MBA from Management development Institute ,Gurgaon specialising in Strategy & Marketing . He has active interests in driving Cultural Change, Competency building , Human Motivation topics while adopting/ innovating the technological advancements and total quality revolution.He is also a Qualified Independent Director registered with Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India. An active speaker on Automotive & Sustainability topics on National & International forums.
In personal life, he is an Endurance Cyclist having participated in many adventure ride expeditions . He also spends his time in developing mastery on Indian Classical Music instrument Sitar.