Thursday, February 12, 2015

NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum Awards

Finalists: NSIF 2015
ICT Led Social Innovation by a Non Profit

Knowledge management of Small and Marginal Farmers through ODL Systems)

India is making various efforts to sustain the agricultural sector. In spite of impressive achievements, the contribution of agricultural sector in enhancing human development is declining.

In order to empower the small and marginal farmers with information and credit, VIDIYAL, an NGO in Theni, Tamilnadu, initiated a project - Knowledge management of Small and Marginal Farmers through Open Distance Learning(ODL) Systems. Using multimedia materials in local languages, VIDIYAL trained 300 women to conduct value chain analysis and to develop business proposals for their cow/goat rearing enterprises. Each member of the SHG is given credit to buy farm animals and a mobile phone. Using voicemails delivered to these mobile phones, the women are trained in cattle rearing and aspects of farming such as breed selection, feed, health management, and animal care.

The ODL packages are developed and delivered on the needs and the demands to larger Farming community at low cost. This approach improves the capacity of farmers and women to search for and access information, enhances their access to livelihood options, and promotes sustainable development. After training over 16000 farmers in Tamil Nadu, Vidiyal now aims to replicate this project throughout India.

CORE PDS (Centralised Online Real-time Electronic PDS)
Sabrang Trust

In order to avoid violence perpetrated through rumor mongering, there is an urgent need for a people driven, inclusive mechanism that works with technology to actively register signs of the build-up to violence and effectively sets of a chain of interventions to prevent its escalation.

Peace Mapping (to Prevent Violence), is a unique concept being developed by  Sabrang Trust, Mumbai. The aim is to map, promptly and accurately, the build up to outbreaks of violence with an aim to ensure a calibrated and mature response, preferably prevention, at the very least reduction/alleviation.

The proposed Peace Mapping Project will be driven by SMS to register alerts on any conflict build-up. This will in turn be linked to an experienced and manned. The HELPLINE will have three or four distinct characteristics that will form the basis of intervention, pre¬ and post outbreaks of violence.

The Peace Mapping Project that was first conceived in 2008 has already been used conceptually to intervene before and after violence broke out in Gujarat, Mumbai and Trilokpuri. Over 10,000 persons positively impacted during informal operation of this project.

Gram Panchayat Work Flow Automation and Community Portal
Sampoorna Swaraj Foundation

In India, Gram Panchayats are the local governments with whom villagers interact and transact for most of the Government services. Today, these interactions and transactions are manual, slow, non-transparent and mostly inefficient.  And most importantly, there is negligible participation of village citizens in the local governance due to lack of awareness and lack of facility.

Sampoorna Panchayat is a Gram Panchayat Work Flow Automation and Community Portal technology developed and implemented by Sampoorna Swaraj Foundation. This Cloud Hosted Portal solution allows all the Gram Panchayat processes to take place on the internet and facilitates interaction among all the stakeholders in a Gram Panchayat, namely Citizens, Bureaucrats, Elected officials, NGOs and Businesses and thus bringing accountability, efficiency and transparency.

The solution incorporates standard processes, forms and registers according to the 73rd Amendment, in order for Gram Panchayats to easily transit into an automated environment. The software architecture is based open source standards and is multi-lingual, and can be easily modified and is inter-operable. The solution is scalable to integrate both internal and external processes of any GP and offers an audit trail of all activities in a GP which allows monitoring on real time basis. Started in 2009, the project is already working in 25 Gram Panchayats consisting of about 75 villages of Karnataka. SSF believes that the multilingual version of this project is scalable to 240,000 Gram Panchayats across the country with the capability to provide more than 700,000 jobs to educated village youth.

ICT Led Social Innovation by a Social Enterprise

Rural Healthcare Project
Asvas Healthcare Pvt Ltd.

Started in 2012, Asvas Clinics provides affordable, accessible, and single point Primary Health Care to the emerging middle class in rural and semi urban India. The Asvas Health Clinics provides Basic Registration and EHR using bio­metrics, decision support systems and algorithms for paramedics and referral, and state of art supply chain system to deliver lab and clinical consumables on time.

Asvas Clinics, using ICT, has developed a unique, scalable 7­-step model of screening, referring, mobilizing, diagnosing, treating, 2nd referral and managing. The low cost single doctor clinics offer integrated healthcare in clean and modern environment where patients are screened and electronic records are created to help in early detection and referral of cases to PHC.

With 6 Primary Health Clinics spread across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka catering to a catchment of about 3000 patients per clinic per month, the social start up is eyeing to increase the number to 1000 in the next five years, catering to the needs of 36 million per annum.

e­Governance Platform
Spatial Ideas Web Solutions Pvt Ltd.

 This Mumbai based startup provides e-governance tools to enable transparency, accountability, efficiency and cost savings in the delivery of important citizen services including healthcare, food security, infrastructure and sanitation. Developed in consultation with government employees and senior bureaucrats, each Spatial Ideas product is built with a fundamental understanding and mapping of workflows, employee’s abilities and incentives, system loopholes and reporting guidelines. Under its Viking platform, the company offers a host of solutions in Health Management and Tracking, Public Distribution System, Municipal Solid Waste Management Solution, and Infrastructure Management tools.

Currently, with operations in four districts of Maharashtra (Aurangabad, Sangli, Jalna and Nanded) and catering to over  10 million people, Spatial ideas is planning to scale up to 15 states in the next 2 years.

Kriyate Design Solutions Pvt.Ltd.

Kriyate was founded by Sumit Dagar who developed the first successful prototype of a brail smartphone. Building on this interest of making technology accessible to persons with disability Kriyate has pioneered SmartEye – a custom designed smart phone application with an easy to use interface for the visually impaired. The interface enables users to easily access all features of a smart phone by removing the clutter and allowing them to use only one element at a time. A voice then narrates which element is present on the screen which the user can then interact with using simple gestures such as swiping left, right or tapping the screen anywhere on the screen making it as user friendly as possible.

The mobile application is available in all app stores across India and has been downloaded by 300 users till date. With over 285 million people worldwide suffering from some form of visual impairment there is a huge potential for impact.

ICT Led Social Innovation by Students, Individuals or Group

Braille watch – SamaySancharak
Hitarth Patel

INDIA has the largest population of visually challenged people. Out of 38 million of total blind population 15 million are in INDIA.

Braille watch, one of its kind braille language based watch for the visually challenged people with an alarm and GPS facility helps them to communicate with each other using cell phones. The visually impaired can also locate the braille watch using a wireless buzzer and can get to know about the battery status which is not possible in a normal watch.
Co-founder of Braille Watch, Hitarth Patel, a 21 years old Engineering student from Mumbai believes that this unique watch can impact life of 15 million blinds in the coming years.

Libin Joseph and Team

Delay in timely attention can be fatal in medical emergencies. When a medical emergency occurs, early intervention always improves the chances of full recovery. Therefore, increasing response speed is critical in saving lives in an emergency. AIDE is a medical alert service designed to provide immediate medical attention to people in unexpected medical emergencies. The AIDE alarm can be installed in your smart phones, or one can use our independent medical pendants. The panic button in AIDE when triggered sends a signal to our server with the location details of the patient. The server then identifies the closest three hospitals and requests for medical care for the patient. One can also predefine the list of hospitals, and their nominees they wish to alert in case of an emergency. AIDE helps us to live fearlessly. It is designed for ease of use, and it works alike in urban cities and in the remotest villages in India.

SOS Device for Personal Safety
Piyush Aggarwal

Every day several women, young girls, kids and elderly people from all walks of life are being assaulted, and violated. The streets, public transport, public spaces in particular have become the territory of the molesters. They find themselves totally helpless, unprotected and no longer safe in their own country.

The standalone gadget developed by Piyush Aggarwal in the Computer Science department of IIT Delhi send notifications as SMS messages to pre-fed numbers of family and friends. Also, using this gadget, Family members or friends can remotely track the location of the user by just sending a SMS. Piyush and his team is carrying out further research to miniaturize the design and make the product power friendly before launching it in the market.

ICT Led Social Innovation by a Corporate (CSR)

Online Tutorials at S’Prayas Computer Learning and Resource Centres (CLRCs)
Syntel Ltd |

India is a country with more than one billion people, and just one-third of them can read. Education can go a long way in securing the lives of lesser privileged individuals.

Syntel’s CSR initiative, S’Prayas has been working towards imparting computer literacy through Computer Learning and Resource Centers.  It is empowering children by offering certification courses, online learning, soft skills and other life skills with regular feedback and mentoring by the volunteers/ trainers. Instead of developing education modules, S’Prayas tapped into available resources like free world-class online education resource – the Khan Academy. The online tutorial program caters to under-resourced Hindi, English, and semi-English medium school students. The tutorial offers 24x7 access to the classroom lectures on Math and other subjects. This not only improves their computer and internet proficiency but also enhances their English language skills. The mission is carried out through a variety of educational programs and workshops teaching computer literacy and real-life skills like yoga sessions, and educational trips that will aid in securing a better future.

Launched in 2008 with 8 Computer learning centres in association with NIIT, MS-CIT, and Khan Academy, this initiative has benefitted more than 3,000 children and has provided 300+ job offers with improved English speaking skills. Going ahead, Syntel is planning to involve more employees as volunteer-mentors of these young students and also partner with organizations like Teach for India. The online courses will also be increased and the model will be replicated in Chennai and Pune while supporting the government schools.

WCF Computer Literacy Program
WNS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

The poor quality of education, reflected in low learning levels, in India and other South Asian countries traps many young people in poverty and prevents faster economic growth and shared prosperity.

Being a knowledge driven company, WNS has taken up the cause of empowering economically disadvantaged sections of society through meaningful education.  Launched in 2011, WNS Global’s CSR program, Computer Aided Literacy (CAL) in partnership with Pratham InfoTech Foundation (PIF) takes forward the mission of WNS Cares Foundation (WCF) to Educate, Empower, Enrich lesser privileged communities with the intent of making a difference around the world. The program ensures that children from economically weak families are able to access the most up-to-date information technologies, quality instructional resources and technology training services. The program is devised such that appropriate inputs are provided at critical phases of a child’s development as they grow up, inputs like computer literacy, etiquette workshops, remedial education, and career counseling help groom the children.

This program has been implemented in schools across three states of India, namely Maharashtra, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. It reaches out to 80,041 children in 15 cities internationally, across Costa Rica, India, North America, the Philippines, Romania, Sri Lanka and the UK. WNS has also created 29 school libraries in India and Sri Lanka and has donated over 50,000 books.

Mobile Early Detection and Prevention of Oral Cancer (mEDPOC)
Biocon Foundation­health­cervical.asp

Launched in 2006, Biocon Foundation brings effective primary healthcare services to the doorstep of less privileged rural and urban sectors of India. By establishing primary healthcare centers, actively creating awareness about disease prevention, public health and sanitation, building civic infrastructure and initiating education programs, the foundation aims to empower under-served communities. The mobile phone based management platform for cancer screening and surveillance with technologies like Poi mapper for data capturing and open MRS for data storage enables the creation of electronic health records and facilitates targeted screening.

The program in collaboration with tertiary cancer centers includes both urban and rural Karnataka with a footfall of 2867 this year.

ICT Led Social Innovation by a Corporate - Responsible Business

Solar Prahari – ANDON System
Frontier Markets Consulting Pvt. Ltd.

Frontier Markets works in the area of developing and providing solar technologies, partnering with the Government of Rajasthan on many different solar programs.  The organization has developed solar parahari which is a System Status Monitoring and Theft Protection device. It is based on Toyota Manufacturing Technique’s Total Quality Management ANDON Process. The main applications of Solar Prahari include monitoring of all your Solar Installation Solar Street Lights Solar Inverters Solar Power Generation Units It Discourages & Warns on any theft attempt in such installations. Features include: Option to Access and know the status of all your Installation through any Web enabled device such as LAPTOP/ PC/ Mobile/ Tablet Real Time Status Updates Alarm option in case of theft or system failure Daily/ Weekly/Monthly Reporting feature All Online Services based on highly scalable Cloud Computing platform.

Such an innovation is unique especially in parts of rural India where the incidents of energy theft are high. It also brings an entirely new dimension by merging Information Communication Technology and Renewable Technology.

Balaee Kosh
Shailani Software Solutions |

In a country as linguistically diverse as ours there is a huge challenge faced by our population in accessing necessary information in a language that is suitable for them . After Food, Shelter, and Clothing, Knowledge is the foremost need of human. ‘balaee कोश’ (earlier ‘Dnyanganga’), a lexis of general knowledge in Marathi, is a genuine attempt to preserve information digitally in Marathi.

Shailani Software has chosen to address this fundamental problem through their innovation balaeeKosh. This innovation is a vast repository of general knowledge information across areas of politics, economics, and social issues and so on in Marathi which is available through CD’s/ DVD’s on a desktop and mobile, the availability of information through such media makes it easily accessible to the masses. It provides information across all continents, countries, states/territories in India, Maharashtra districts, 1000+ tourist places, famous personalities which is useful to students and their parents, teachers, professionals, senior citizens.  The unique economic guide for all competitive examinations - MPSC, UPSC, Banking, Railway, MTS/NTS, School Scholarship, entrance tests, etc. comprises of over 25000 pages of information in Marathi and English supported by 7000+ images, maps, videos, made available offline at a single tap on mobile and other digital formats.

V 101 Housekeeping and F&B
The Lemon Tree Hotel Company

Lemon Tree has set itself apart in a very unique way from other popular hotel chains in the country. The organization has a policy of employing a high percentage of its work force from the disabled community, thus making the social cause of inclusivity intrinsic to its business model. Yet over 90% of the 13% disabled employees they have currently employed are speech and hearing impaired. To overcome any challenges that may accompany this organization has created its own dictionary, which consists of visual aids carrying pictures and parallel demonstrations by a sign language expert, a picture and video in the same frame. This not only builds an environment for an inclusive work force but raises the skills of the staff.

ICT Led Social Innovation by Government and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships

EasyGas: e-solution for LPG monitoring
District Administration Kanpur Nagar

The rampant third party procurement, hoarding, black marketing, predominantly in rural areas, and diversion of domestic LPG into commercial use are the current issues with LPG distribution in India. LPG refills are booked manually by standing in a queue and negotiating with touts. The consumer is not provided acknowledgement of booking and they have to face the problem of shortage of cylinders and distribution delay.

The EASYGAS software solution for LPG monitoring launched by the District Administration of Kanpur Nagar enables allocation of cylinders to the waiting list in an automatic and free manner. Currently, such an allotment is done manually by the gas agencies and is heavily prone to discretion. Automation by an ICT tool is thus able to remove this discretion that too, without any investment of any stakeholders. Apart from marketing the essential commodity accessible to the average rural consumer, it also makes the gas agency ­ consumer interface transparent and provides the district administration a direct role in accessing and reviewing pendency at all levels. Software behaves as an accounting tool for the district administration, allowing them for necessary intervention whenever required.

By means of this initiative there was a notable increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of delivery of gas cylinders. Vanishing queues, steep drop in over the counter booking, Targeting of genuine domestic customers made possible, thus automatically increasing the availability of gas cylinders for domestic consumers. EASYGAS aids the oil marketing companies in better auditing and monitoring of stock made available to their dealers in various districts. It has generated employment for more than 260 technical persons and incentivized CSC into a commercially viable enterprise. The project is running successfully in Gonda and Kanpur Nagar districts of Uttar Pradesh and the government is considering launching the project throughout the state.

AVIEW, Amrita E-learning Research Labs
Ministry Of Human Resource Development and IIT Bombay

Amrita Virtual Interactive E-Learning World (A-VIEW) is a proven large-scale online collaborative video-conferencing platform used for classrooms, meetings and workshops. A-VIEW addresses the most critical issue of India's Education: students wanting to learn, but not having access to well-qualified teachers. A-VIEW possesses large-scale user management with interaction, content collaboration, adaptive bandwidth, and automatic attendance counting.

A-VIEW has won numerous awards, CISCO has recognized Aadhar and A-VIEW as the only pioneering internet innovations from India. Implemented in 6,000 colleges, universities, schools and skill development centers; the estimated usage is over 70 lakh training hours. IIT-Bombay uses A-VIEW to train 10,000 teachers simultaneously. A-VIEW on National Knowledge Network will issue 1-crore user-ids to teachers and students.

e-Scholarship Management System
Department of School Education and Sports Maharashtra

The e-Scholarship Management System (EMS) initiated by the Department of School Education and Sports, Maharashtra  which provides help to the students studying under the schools of Maharashtra facilitates online application, automated approval, transparent verification and rapid delivery of scholarships.

The e-scholarship website provides all the required details for application including information about scholarship schemes, documents required, application procedure and status of application. Students or Schools submits the form online application which gets verified online by district education officers and further merit list is approved at Directorate office. On selection of student and on disbursement of scholarship, students get an SMS alert. The EMS eradicates duplicate and false cases and helps in tracking and monitoring of the overall process.

The application is made online so that it can reach the maximum beneficiaries. The E-scholarship project initiated by the Department of School Education and Sports, Maharashtra has led to increased reach, reduced number of gatekeepers, increased the transparency of the process, and made follow-ups easier.

ICT Led Social Innovation getting Catalytic Grants

Kriyate Design Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Kriyate was founded by Sumit Dagar who developed the first successful prototype of a brail smartphone. Building on this interest of making technology accessible to persons with disability Kriyate has pioneered SmartEye. This is a custom designed smart phone application with an easy to use interface for the visually impaired. The interface enables users to easily access all features of a smart phone by removing the clutter and allowing them to use only one element at a time. A rvoice then narrates which element is present on the screen which the user can then interact with using simple gestures such as swiping left, right or tapping the screen anywhere on the screen making it as user friendly as possible.

The mobile application is available in all app stores across India and has been downloaded by 300 users till date. With over 285 million people worldwide suffering from some form of visual impairment there is a huge potential for impact.

Genauth Integrated Solutions Pvt. Ltd

It is common knowledge that the method of learning and education system as it stands today purely hinges on the rote based memorization skills of the student  and does little for his/her understanding , learning and information retention.

The organization has focused its efforts changing the way our education system teacher pupils. They have used technology in particular a web based portal that contains interactive learning material built on cognitive psychology techniques to help critical thinking, brain functioning, analytical abilities and build an all- round logical base for students. Furthermore, by analyzing the activity of students on the portal the system builds a brain profile of each child and uses it to suggest individualized learning plans and brain training exercises. The innovation has the potential to increase the learning out comes of children across the country and bring about critical reforms in the educational system.

Enability Technologies

Common devices are inaccessible for people with low motor skills – children with cerebral palsy, people with visual impairment etc.

Working closely with IIT Chennai Assistive Technologies Lab Enability Technologies has developed iGest. iGest is a kinematic sensor based system that is designed to learn a child’s existing motor capacity through a gesture recognition algorithm. Movement is captured with a kinematic sensor (accelerometers, gyroscopes) installed in a wearable device. Through sensors, gross movement – arm movements, head movement and gestures are recognized and recorded. The system then learns gesture models that are natural to the child. These are then associated with a dictionary of sentences or actions and this data can be transmitted to a phone. This data can be used to assist the child in using a certain device or even to reinforce motor skills by encouraging arm movement to play video games. The unique contribution of this system is that it harnesses existing motor capacity and movement in children to enable communication

SkillTrain Training and Consultancy India Pvt. Ltd.

Skills train is a social enterprise offering vocational training in over 8 courses to learners across the globe through an online platform. All courses are available on their website and on the peer sharing website Youtube completely free of cost.

With over 15 million school children out of school every year in India, Skills train has taken initiative to extend its expertise to address this critical problem with the help of technology. The organisation has leveraged the pervasive nature of mobile phones by using them to deliver high quality vocational training to rural school dropouts. Skilltrain has developed video content that is playable on cheap mobile phones making education fun, affordable and interactive in an affordable manner. Till date the project has been implemented in Madhya Pradesh with an impact on over 5,000 beneficiaries.

5. Kinect based applications for special needs individuals

A study by the Centre of Disease Control has estimated that 1 in 88 individuals worldwide suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Most of these individuals display a lack of social communication and cognitive functioning. Over the last 30 years Tamana has worked closely with individuals suffering from ASD.

Together with IBM Tamana developed an application that uses Kinect. Kinect is a Microsoft accessory built for the Xbox 360 that allows users to play video games without controllers but rather allows them to control the game function through sensing body actions using motion detectors. Though the Kinect was not built specifically for people suffering from ASD , all three organisations Tamana, IBM and Microsoft have recognized it’s potential for helping individuals in particular children with autism. The two applications are aimed at enhancing motor coordination, joint attention and cognitive skills of children with autism. Though the these applications are relatively new and in its pilot stage they have shown at 88% improvement in joint attention and social communication skills.

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