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Innovating for a better India

A joint initiative of the Railways and the CMC,the e-ticketing system did away with long queues at reservation centers and made the process convenient and easily accessible even in the interiors.....

Published: March 16, 2009 2:50:25 am

Gold Awardees

•The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and CMC Ltd: A joint initiative of the Railways and the CMC,the e-ticketing system did away with long queues at reservation centers and made the process convenient and easily accessible even in the interiors. Dr Nalin Singhal,Director Tourism Marketing,IRCTC and J K Gupta,Chief Financial Officer of CMC,received the award for developing the system. IRCTC adopted and managed e-ticketing technology that was creatively designed and developed by CMC to meet the diverse requirements of users of the Indian Railway system. The user-friendly and transparent ticketing service operated by IRCTC was awarded for being an outstanding example of constant innovations in technology adaptation,delivery and management to facilitate cross-country travel,an essential requirement for millions in India.

•Kudumbashree: The State Poverty Eradication Mission of the Government of Kerala designed and implemented an innovative strategy enabling women to enter micro-finance. Executive director Sarada Muraleedharan,an IAS officer,took the lead ten years ago to initiate the project and,through opportunities created by vibrant networking with local government institutions,set up a variety of micro-enterprises such as data entry units,providers of outsourced waste collection services in municipal areas and organizers of monthly markets. By making women effective contributors to development,the programme empowered over 3.6 million women in small towns and villages.

Magarpatta Township

•Development and Construction Company Limited: It pioneered a new township development in the country. The award was received by Umesh Magar,Technical Director. The Magarpatta City Pattern stands apart in its innovative approach of pooling small land holdings of farmers at a cost determined by them. By making farmers the share holders in the company,each farmer gets the benefit of appreciation and share in profits from development. The concept received critical acclaim from the jury members for its innovative township of Magarpatta,which started with 120 farmers pooling their 300-year-old land,has now developed into a well-planned city,complete with elaborate neighbourhoods.

•National Council for Science and Technology Communication-Networks: Dr DK Pandey,Scientist and National Program Coordinator received the award. Its campaign of Annual National Children’s Science Congresses encouraged thousands of young minds to come forward and appreciate science in everyday life. The campaign,participated by leading scientists and science communicators and organized by a network of focal points in different states,continues to make an outstanding contribution to science popularisation across the country. Dr Pandey maintained that the idea was to take up a thematic problem in rural or backward areas and engage school-going children or even dropouts in developing scientific methods to approach the problems.

The Sree Chitra Tirunal

•Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology,Thiruvananthapuram: The institute came up with an innovative approach of coalescing technology,engineering and medical sciences under a single organizational framework and this enabled the premier medical teaching and research institution to indigenously develop bio-medical devices such as heart valves,blood bags and the like. The institute joined hands with manufacturers to make these otherwise unaffordable critical health care items widely accessible. Dr. V Kalyana Krishnan,Scientist,Dental Products Laboratory of the Biomedical Technology Wing,who accepted the award said,“We tried to initiate the process of research in such a way as to enable the indigenous growth of biomedical technology besides catering to high standards of patient care.”

Silver awardees

•ADAPT (Able Disabled All People Together): Formerly the Spastic Society of India,a brainchild of Dr. Mithu Alur,founder and chairperson of the organisation,was an outstanding innovation in the social services sector. The idea came up when Alur was trying to get her differently-abled daughter into mainstream education in India but had to face difficulties and thereby had to move abroad. The organisation pioneered service delivery to marginalized children,youth and families with disability,through the ADAPT model of including Able Disabled All People Together. This unique model of an NGO promotes inclusive education,thus leading to increased acceptance of inclusive practices in mainstream schools. The continuous research and developmental works in this field have shown results in many ways including a budgetary allocation by the Planning Commission for Inclusive Education in the country.

•Hindustan Unilever Limited: Awarded for its ‘Shakti’ program of innovatively blending business strategy with provision of sustainable livelihood to underprivileged rural women. Spread over 1,35,000 villages across 15 states,it combines training of rural women in direct-to-home distribution of products. M G Prakash,Regional Sales Manager,Rural,said,“The concept came with a branded social communication program based on and related to personal and community health and hygiene. This thereby redefined the idea of ‘mass marketing’ of products to media-hidden regions.”

•PVR Ltd: It has over the years introduced multiplexes and redefined the cinema-viewing experience in India,and was considered for the award because of its social initiative. It simultaneously provided a distribution channel to creative directors to showcase their talent otherwise constrained by revenue requirements of large cinema halls. Combined with other firsts including computerized and online ticketing,mobile-based information and ticketing service,PVR brought cinema patrons back into the movie halls. “We had to come up with a product that had to last at least 20 years but at the same time cater to the ever changing demands of customers across a wide age group from 8 to 81 years,” said Amitabh Vardhan,CEO,PVR.

Special Award

P K Tripathy,principal secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit – Received a special award for the government’s ‘Bhagidari’ scheme. The scheme came as an effort at inclusive governance and engaged the common man in government decision making. “We realized there was a need for a common platform where the common man and government functionaries would be able to jointly decide priority requirements,” said Sheila Dikshit. “At times when from the government’s point of view,the construction of a bridge might be essential,for the people better water or electricity supply might be the first priority. It is here that Bhagidari acts as the crucial link between the two and also in fixing the priority,” she added.

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