The 3rd EMPI-Indian Express Indian Innovation Awards on Friday felicitated outstanding initiatives by government organisations,NGOs and corporate houses across the country. Six gold and three silver awardees out of around 1,000 applicants were honoured for their innovative initiatives in different sectors.
The award ceremony was instituted in 2005 by the EMPI Group of Institutions as part of a larger movement,Mission Innovative India,started by former President A P J Abdul Kalam Azad and was taken forward in 2006 when The Indian Express Group and the Boston Consulting Group joined as partners.
Among the gold awardees,the National Council for Science and Technology Communication Networks received the award for its Annual National Childrens Science Congress; Kudumbashree for empowering 3.6 million women in small towns and villages through setting up micro-enterprises such as data entry units and providers of outsourced waste collection services in municipal areas and organisers of monthly markets.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and CMC Ltd won a combined award for adopting and managing e-ticketing technology and providing a user-friendly and transparent ticketing service. The gold award also went to Magarpatta Township Development and Construction Company Limiteds innovative approach of pooling small land holdings of farmers at a cost determined by them and making farmers shareholders of the company. The Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology was awarded for its innovative approach of coalescing technology,engineering and medical sciences under a single organisational framework and develop bio-medical devices such as heart valves,blood bags and the like.
Among the silver awardees were ADAPT (Able Disabled All People Together),formerly the Spastic Society of India,for pioneering service delivery to marginalised children,youth and families with disability and promoting inclusive education; Hindustan Unilever Limited for its Shakti programme where business strategy is blended with provision of sustainable livelihood to underprivileged rural women; and PVR Ltd for redefining cinema viewing experience.
P K Tripathy,principal secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,too,was felicitated with a special award for the governments Bhagidari initiative.
A panel discussion with the awardees and members of the jury followed the felicitation ceremony where the Chief Minister handed over the trophies and citations.
This is a stupendous idea,and the initiatives that have bagged the awards this year are truly innovative. The combination of an illustrious jury and The Indian Express makes the awards even more credible, said Dikshit. I am also happy to see my Government awarded for the Bhagidari scheme which entailed collective participation and combined efforts of government officials and the public.
Gurnam Saran,president,EMPI Business School,said: Innovations have always had a narrow concept of technological innovations. But the very aim of these awards was to widen this approach and give recognition to innovations made in the social and governance sectors as well.
While the media usually focuses on negative aspects,good initiatives are often left unnoticed. Such awards come as great encouragement. For us,it took 11 years to be acknowledged, said Sarada Muraleedharan,executive director of Kudumbashree,state poverty eradication mission,Government of Kerala.