Aditya Pratap Singh Chauhan
Founder of MICROPA
We as Victorytales, In our latest interview, spoke to yet another passionate student cum entrepreneur Mr. Aditya Pratap Singh Chauhan who has developed his project MICROPA which is a novel device for the detection, quantification, and filtration of microplastics in drinking water.
Mr. Aditya was selected for the first-ever batch of the most wonderful program by ISRO Young Scientist Programme YuViKa 2019 as one of the only three students from the state. He has Attended a 15-day residential event at U R Rao Satelite Centre (URSC) Bangalore along with a visit to Sriharikota launch base and special interaction with Dr. K Sivan. The program was primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science, and Space Applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of Space
activities. Mr. Aditya is the finalist of the Regeneron ISEF 2020 organized by Society for Science and the Public to represent India in the world's largest science innovation fair in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Mr. Aditya is also a winner of the Grand Award at IRIS - the largest science fair of India for high school students. He is selected as one of the 20 teams to form team India and Represent the nation at Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, held annually in the United States.
Mr. Aditya is a recipient of a two-time cash award under CSIR Innovation Award for School Children. He received Rs. 5000/- in the year 2018 from the Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan, and Rs 10000/- in the year 2019 from the Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan in the presence of Honourable President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind.
Our exclusive interview with him:
What is basically your innovative idea that you turned into something that would affect a large number of people?
So, along with my partner, I worked on a project developing MICROPA, a novel device for the detection, quantification, and filtration of microplastics in drinking water. It is a unique device that could identify, count, and remove microplastics that are present in the drinking water in about 83% regions of the world.
Where did the idea to start something like this come from? Please also talk us through your background and your journey as an entrepreneur;
There was an incident in my locality when a person was found to be infected by the water-borne disease. On the test of his drinking water supply, a surprising presence of microplastics was found. That was when we first came across this term. Later, we found newspaper articles on microplastics. We then decided to research deeper on it and found out that microplastics pose a really huge threat by marking their presence in drinking water around the world. These ultra-tiny plastic particles are not easily identified or removed. Hence we made up our minds to come up with a simple but efficient solution to the problem.
What gets you out of bed in the morning i.e. what’s your source of motivation?
I wake up every day with a strong mindset to face all the challenges that I would come across throughout the day with my full efforts. I have just one motive, “Just learn more and more, always be ready to gain knowledge from all directions, and never fail to spread your knowledge and implement your skills for the betterment of others and only for the good.”
What challenges/obstacles did you face in your journey so far?
There have been many setbacks in the journey so far. There were many situations that left us clueless on how to proceed further. There have been times when we lacked the resources to continue our work. But it was all our perseverance and dedication to succeed, no matter how hard we have to work. I basically tried to think deeply about the problems and tried to come up with a solution, which I eventually would every time. So, I can say that peace of mind and perseverance is really necessary for this venture.
Tell us about the uniqueness of your work, please;
Ok, so my project is MICROPA, it is a device for the simple but very much accurate detection, quantification, and filtration of microplastics in drinking water. Currently, there are not many ways other than complex lab processes to actually identify or remove microplastics from water samples. So, our device actually marks a milestone by providing such a facility directly to the hands of people.
How do you handle the pressure and manage stress?
There were literally many instances when I had to handle a lot of pressure and stress. Keeping my mind calm and peaceful was the best way to overcome these situations. Regular yoga and meditation help me clear my path through these problems by giving me proper peace in my mind to enable myself to think more.
What is one strategy that you believe has helped you grow as a person/startup?
For me, I would say it is my never-ending spirit to learn and the patience that helped me grow up to what I am now. I would never leave a chance to learn a new skill and practice it to further refine it. My patience is what empowered me to get through tough times with a peaceful mind and proper implementation of ideas. I also always put my complete efforts on anything that I do, which definitely brings out the best result.
In your opinion what are the keys to success?
In my opinion, the true key to success is one’s passion for something and his dedication to making everything possible. One must be willing to give time to nurture his idea to make it successful, only then he receives good results. One must have a lot of patience and endurance to survive and overcome all problems that he faces. I would just say, “Find something beneficial not for yourself, but for the society, and just never stop on that path, you would definitely get success along with respect.”
What have been your key achievements in the course of your journey?
In all these times when I worked upon the project, there were real ups and downs that we faced. But the best parts were when the work was recognized and certified in international and national platforms. The project qualified to represent team India at the International Science and Engineering Fair(ISEF 2020)[The largest high school STEM Innovation Fair in the world] after it was awarded the grand award at IRIS National Fair (India’s Largest STEM Innovation Fair). The work is also qualified to be represented at the International Genius Olympiad, along with its national certification like the CSIR Innovation Award that was handed over by respected Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, in the presence of honorable President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind. Apart from these, with a strong profile, I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the three students to represent my state in ISRO’s first-ever Young Scientist Program YuViKa.
Could you tell us about what did you achieve from this journey of yours till now, apart from the awards?
This awesome journey from planting the seeds of this idea to actually bring it to the existence has been way more explorative, informative, and educative than just fun. There are countless skills and abilities that I gained through all this time. Leadership, communication, presentation are some soft skills that I seem to have improved on a lot. Most importantly, I learned how to never get stuck in a situation and always make your way out of it. Also, I would like to suggest a person that one must always follow his passion and interest, no matter how hard the path is.