On the occasion of Kannada Rajyotsava, Universe Trust organized a competition called “Ideas for India”. A total of 200 ideas were received from different parts of India and sent for blinded review. Blinded review relies on the principle of hiding the student and college names and only presenting the anonymous idea to the panel reviewers. When reviewer analysis was received, as Universe Trust we were surprised to see that three ideas from one college were in the top five. This had happened for the first time in the competition’s history. As per the trust rules, only one award is allowed per college. When the jury was called in for the final award discussion, we changed our rules ever so slightly and decided to allow any number of awards for a single college. As a charitable organization, we can only hope that students will push the boundaries of the world. If this meant that we needed to start by changing our rules first, then we believed that this is something we should take pride in doing.
Motivation is the force that propels students to push the boundaries of the world. We are proud to acknowledge that these incredible students belong to CMRIT, Bangalore.
Distinguishing Fact: The three participating teams consisted of girl students. The prizes for “Ideas for India” included both cash awards and an offer to bear the costs of implementation in the field.
This competition is to encourage students to come up with solutions that can impact lives of rural Indians. The first prize was given to “Crowd Funding for Farmers”, a no risk, and zero interest loans for Indian farmers via pooled public contributions. The most striking aspect of the idea was that it can satisfy all the stakeholders of the idea: the public contributors are compensated by decent amount of produce; bankers are de-risked by farming insurance; and importantly farmers are eligible for new interest-free loans even if the there is an issue with farming activity. This is what Mahatma Gandhi Imagined India to be! A happy face for India’s most hard-working entrepreneur
The third prize was given to “Women Empowerment”. Nowadays, most mobile applications focus on safety of urban women. About 20 ideas we received belong to this category. The presented idea was unique and focused on building a mobile application to help rural women interpret the vast number of government programs available for them via a simple question – answer mechanism. With an inbuilt of 2n mechanism, an n=10 (10 questions with Yes/ no answer can cover 1024 aspects). This list could include almost all the programs available for women in India, backgrounds like caste, religion, region, income level, widow, elderly, minors, school children, infants etc,. A relevant query would result in the women being able to obtain the application form (a pdf document) for the eligible scheme. Rural women deal with tremendous stress from family adversities such as a lack of farming income, huge interest loans, lack of infrastructure, absence of primary healthcare, education for children, the burden of feeding children, the elderly etc. This application targets these rural women and helps them by making them aware of hundreds of government programs.
We also awarded a consolation prize for another idea that targets Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are at the receiving end of rapid industrialization and could use help with both technical empowerment and machinery support. This idea uses a mobile application to connect SME owners with an untapped resource of India, the engineering graduates. If successful, this application could provide valuable technical support for SMEs and provide real-time practical experience to technical graduates, an essential component for future entrepreneurs.
We congratulate Management and the Principal of CMRIT for encouraging students to imagine solutions like this and we look forward to implementing the same. Good luck. We hope to see more innovative ideas from CMRIT students in our future competitions.
HG Nagaraj, Secretary
Universe Health, Education and Environment Trust