New Delhi : In a bid to recognise the efforts made by individuals, groups,
organisations and corporates in the sphere of social innovation, NASSCOM Foundation announced the
winners of one of India’s largest platform devoted to encouraging ‘Technology for good’ – NASSCOM
Social Innovation Forum.
In its seventh edition, supported by leading IT companies Mphasis and Genpact this year, this unique
platform has grown from recognizing impactful projects to now actively supporting early stage, high
impact projects through industry mentorship and catalytic grants.
The grand jury that selected the winners comprised of many renowned industry stalwarts like Rohini
Nilekani – Chairperson of the Grand Jury, NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum 2015, FounderChairperson,
Arghyam ; Mr. Ganesh Ayyar – CEO, Mphasis ; Ganesh Natarajan – CEO, Zensar and
Chairman of NASSCOM Foundation ; Kalpana Morparia -CEO, J.P.Morgan, India ; Mohit Thukral -Genpact Officer and Senior Vice President ; Rama Bijapurkar – A respected expert on India’s Consumer
Economy and on business-market strategy ; Rita Soni -Technology for Good expert.
Genpact has always been at the forefront of process innovation and thereby is an ideal supporter of
NSIF. Commenting on the initiative, Mohit Thukral, Genpact Officer and Senior Vice President said,
“There is a very strong connection between technology and social good. Through NSIF, Genpact is
trying to encourage innovative solutions to help them scale in terms of both, reach as well as impact.”
As a firm believer of technology being a viable solution to the majority of India’s basic social needs like
access to education, healthcare, employment opportunities, financial independence and energy,
Mphasis has come out in full support of NSIF this year. Commenting on the occasion, Ganesh Ayyar –
CEO, Mphasis said, “Our focus on true corporate social responsibility coupled with our brand promise
of ‘Unleash the Next’, NSIF forms a perfect fit to our core values and provides for a great platform to
identify and support innovations that can really create the India of the future.”
Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation said, “Our country today needs to catalyse
its growth by creating an eco-system which not only produces entrepreneurs but also drives inclusion.
The thought behind NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum is that technology has the ability to bring forth
social change by creating this ecosystem and nurturing entrepreneurs. The Forum not only recognizes
ideas and projects but also provides them with a platform to collaborate, scale and sustain
development. I congratulate all the winners and hope that they will continue to bring about a positive
change in India using their innovations.”
Earlier known as the NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours, the program instituted by NASSCOM
Foundation in 2008 has attracted a huge number of innovative projects from NGOs, corporates, social
enterprises, Government departments, students and individuals, year on year. Over the years
NASSCOM Foundation has established itself as a harbinger of change, driving technology for good
through this program.
Going forward too, NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum will keep providing social innovators with not
just a platform to showcase their innovations, but also with an opportunity to bring about a social
change in our society through effective use of technology for good.
Video with further quotes from Rohini Nilekani (Chairperson NSIF Jury, Founder and chairperson,
Arghyam), and the NSIF participants.
List of Awardees
Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by a ‘Not for Profit’ organization
Vidiyal – Led by Mr K. Kamaraj, VIDIYAL and COL conducted a participatory rural appraisal that
indicated a need for improved goatrearing and cowrearing practices. Through this L3F initiative, COL
helped VIDIYAL establish a cooperative network amongst various agricultural and veterinary
universities in India to provide women with the knowledge and business skills necessary for goatrearing and cowrearing microenterprises. Using multimedia materials in local languages, VIDIYAL
trained 300 women to conduct valuechain analysis and trained to develop business proposals for their
goatrearing and cowrearing enterprises.
Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by a Social Enterprise
Kriyate – Led by Mr Sumit Dagar, SimplEye is a custom designed smartphone application with an
easytouse Interface for the visually impaired. A voice narrates which element is put on screen. The
user can interact with this element using simple gestures. For example, swiping up/down scrolls
through the elements in order. Swiping left takes the user one step back. A single tap takes the user
forward while a long press is for accessing options. A user can apply these gestures anywhere on the
screen, freeing one from the need of seeing the display!
Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation Concept by Students
SOS Device – Led by Mr Piyush Agarwal, the IIT team at Delhi developed a Smart Gadget by which
anyone especially kids, women, elderly in trouble/distress situations can reach out to their friends,
family, concerned authorities with their GPS location by just tapping on it. This gadget has been
developed to send notifications as SMS Messages to prefed numbers of family and friends by just
tapping. The alarming messages can also be sent to the concerned authorities to take proper and
necessary action. SMSes will continue to be sent at short intervals once triggered so that the user in
trouble could be easily tracked and located. Users can also assign places as safe zones so that
notifications can be sent if the user leaves the designated areas described as safe zones. Family
members, friends whose numbers are stored can also remotely track the location of the user by just
sending a SMS.
Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by a Corporate (Responsible
Lemon Tree hotels – Led by Mr R Hari and Ms Aradhana Lal This initiative solved to a large part the
problems that employees at the hotel had who were speech and hearing impaired (90% of the 13%
disabled employees). Information & Communication Technology played a vital role in designing and
implementing. The hotel created visual aids that covers technical aspects of Housekeeping and F&B
Service. They have also created their own dictionary, visual aids that carries picture and parallel
demonstration by an sign language expert a picture and a video in the same frame.
Award Category : Catalytic Grants for Early Stage Enterprises
Enability Technologies – Led by Mr Pradeep Thangappan. One way to reinforce motor skills and
improve gesture consistency is through practice in a game. Better compliance could be achieved if the
game were made even more portable. In their unique system, data captured by the sensor are
transmitted to a phone, thus allowing easy portability to the convenience of the child. The unique
contribution of this system is that it harnesses existing motor capacity and movement in children to
SkillTrain – Led by Mr B Ganesh. There are nearly 15 million school kids who drop out of school
education every year in India. SkillTrain uses mobile phone as an enabler in delivery vocational training to rural school dropouts. SkillTrain has developed video content that is playable on cheap mobile
phones in rural areas. This has helped them deliver free video content to the school dropouts thereby
enabling access to vocational training direct to their pockets without them spending a lot of money
and effort in accessing them. Once vocational content was made available, the interest levels rose and
dropouts came forward to learn skills and thereby become employable.
Tamana – led by Mr Blessin Varkey, the team at Tamana took the work done by Microsoft on Kinect
for autism. Tamana with IBM designed two applications to enhance the motor coordination, joint
attention and cognition skills of children with autism and intellectual impairment. For the first set of
trials 28 students participated, producing 88% acceptance and improved joint attention results. From
comprehending the task to encouraging joint attention, the trial proved not only to be successful in
terms of achieving goals but also showcased prolonged attention and improved socialization skills.
Award Category : Certificates of Appreciation
Biocon Foundation – Led by Dr Suchitra Bajaj and Mr Praveen Birur, the Biocon Foundation has
developed and implemented a mobile phone based management platform for cancer screening and
surveillance that enables the creation of electronic health records and facilitates targeted screening
for Oral Cancer. The unique feature of the project is Electronic Data Capture (EDC).
Easy Gas, Dist administration Kanpur – Led by Dr Roshan Jacob, this innovation helps consumers of
Easy Gas. The old system available was incapable of generating any kind of report where District
Administration, Citizen etc can check the demand/supply/available stock of LPG. So Easy gas adopted
a strategy to get the customer to pay a nominal amount and get an entitlement to getting that service.
In EASYGAS, the software is able to allocate cylinders to the waiting list in a automatic, and therefore
free and fair manner.
Sabrang Trust – Led by Ms Teesta Setalvad and Mr Chaitanya Muppala. There was felt to be an
urgent need for a people driven, inclusive mechanism that works with technology to actively register
signs of the buildup to violence and promptly and effective sets of a chain of interventions to prevent
its escalation, a Peace Mapping Project. Social Media with its positive potential also has a negative
side: it can accelerate rumour mongering, incite violence etc. It is proposed to link local communities
through technology and innovative use of social media. The aim will be to actually log in warning
signals that work as preventives. Once logged, these, then set off a whole initiative (HELPLINE) to help
prevent the spiral of rumour mongering and its break out into violence. Response Systems that are in
place will set to work when and if violence breaks out.
Frontier Markets – Led by Ms Ajaita Shah, their system was designed to detect faults in operation of
Solar Products like Lights, and inverters to reduce chances of theft, especially in the rural areas. This
is monitored online through a remote server so service can be provided as a response. The SOLAR
PRAHARI is a System Status Monitoring and Theft Protection device. They are able to track operations
and outcomes real time, syncing each vertical’s operations effectively.