Think India, Transform India
For leveraging the youthful demography that India is, to conjure a quantum leap rather than being complacent in the incremental growth, it becomes crucial that we draw optimally on the brilliance, talent and ideas coming from the youth. A similar initiative unfolded when Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Bengaluru invited participation for its “Idea Contest 2015-16” on the theme of Think India, Transform India.
The contest drew participation from over 100 colleges spread across Karnataka, Seemandhra, Telangana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The ideas were on the sub themes relating to Smart city, Swachh Bharat, Digital India, Make in India, Skill India, Start up India Stand up India and Incredible India. The contest commemorated late Dr. APJ Kalam’s vision of India 2020. Starting in September 2015, the contest progressed through two phases. The first phase witnessed the Welingkar faculty visiting over the colleges across the five states, conducting the first rounds of the contest, shortlisting two students from each. Two students got in by wild card entry held for Bengaluru colleges.
Finally out of 200, nine could reach the semifinals and then the denouement. The first prize of two lakhs went to Satyanarayanan- a student of PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. The concept was of a walking stick enabled with internet of things for visually challenged (typhlotics) with voice assistance; an electronic travelling aid for visually challenged people. Over 15 million people in India are blind. So it is of utmost importance to develop a product for visually challenged at a low cost and of optimum performance. And it was under Make in India theme.
The second prize of one lakh went to Francis S. Mondal from VIT Vellore for his idea of Solar Cell with a Brain at the contest. The idea shared a concept of solar cells which are self -cleaning and self –cooling and have features of solar tracking and selective absorption; these are four times more efficient yet come at three fourth of the current cost.
The idea bonanza witnessed ideas of different hues. Interestingly innovative and a few fairly convincing, aimed at a huge spectrum of issues. Like the one by Sandeep Gopinath, from SCT College of Engineering in Kerala offering smart electricity meters. Besides other surprising features, the meter could be remote-read and controlled by the power providers. And can warn of over consumption.
Sharuk Ahmed Mazumdar from Coimbatore Institute of Technology had come up with an application that would help locate missing people in the aftermath of natural calamities like earthquake. If a user doesn’t marked himself safe his location will be pinged.
Priyanka Vijay from BMS College of Engineering, Hubli talked of drone designed and equipped to help police force in identifying the suspects in a particular location. It has face recognition feature enabled with the attached camera which can do real time processing. There were ideas that talked of waste management, traffic management, green energy in rural settings, connecting the talent to and ventures appropriately. Another interesting fervor that found expression in the forum was young participants evangelizing for indigenous goods and their promotion in markets.
Dr. Anil Rao, Dean & Director, Weschool Bengaluru said “The Idea Contest 2015-16 was envisioned to spread awareness on the challenges and issues existing in the country. At WeSchool, we strive to develop design thinking, entrepreneurial skills and creative mindset among our students. We hope the young participants who attended the Grand Finale have been able to assimilate the thought process”. Also the much talked about demographic dividend can be dividend in the real sense only when leveraged pragmatically. We need to create traction for brilliance and creativity. Such idea fest serves the twin purpose of resourcing brilliance and creativity and very same purpose along with aligning education to the goals of nation building and demands of civic issues.” Innovation ascendancy is possible only encourage ideators.
The Chief Guest on the occasion, Mr. Dattatreya Gaur, Senior Vice-President, Head, and Bosch- India in his inaugural address said “Today’s bright young mind have more opportunity to explore career options. The government of India is enabling the youth to come forward and participate to solve the prevailing issues in a collective manner. The initiatives in Make in India, Start up India are creating an environment for budding entrepreneurs in the country”. He appreciated the initiative taken by WeSchool, to encourage youth to work for a national issue.
Originality and feasibility were the two crucial criteria while rating the competing ideas. Also there were posters depicting the idea and a question answer session. Some of the members of the esteemed jury included Mr. Ajay Nanavati-Ex MD 3M Ltd, Mr. Sudeesh Venkatesh -CHRO, Azim Premji Foundation, Mr.Surendra Shahi- Founder, Street Appy, Mr. Sanjay Anandram-Venture Capitalist, Mrs .Revathy Ashok CEO, BPAC.
Mr. Ajay Nanavati, in his address said “He felt honoured to witness this event and said it is important to filter ideas. The idea should not be just a cool stuff but it should be scaled up, be relevant for commercialization and transform into reality. He further advised the young students that it is important to re-invent yourself and not to be emotional about their ideas rather be critical about them”.
The winners will be given all sort of support to help them take their ideas further ahead.