NASSCOM Foundation gives Rs. 70 Lakhs in grants to Social Enterprises and NGOs

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | February 10, 2016 15:00 IST

IT giants Mphasis and Genpact have been long time supporters of the Social Innovation Forum and continue to support social innovations through the initiative. Projects with the potential to bring transformative change in the fields of Education and Skills respectively will be supported by the two organizations, as a part of their CSR activities.

The eighth year of the NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum, arguably India’s largest Social Innovation honours with 1000+ applications year on year culminated in the award ceremony, honouring the 10 winners of this year at the industry’s premier event – the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum. In the context of the Government’s Digital India and Make in India programs, technology led social development initiatives are all set to take centre stage. Ten of these projects across the thematic areas of Education, Skills, Accessibility, Health, Women’s empowerment and other social issues, will receive INR 70 lakhs as catalytic grant and industry led mentoring through the NASSCOM Foundation.
 
IT giants Mphasis and Genpact have been long time supporters of the Social Innovation Forum and continue to support social innovations through the initiative. Projects with the potential to bring transformative change in the fields of Education and Skills respectively will be supported by the two organizations, as a part of their CSR activities.
 
After a rigorous two level selection process, 11projects were chosen from among 1200+ entries this year. The winners include:
​​Category Winner
Primary and Secondary Education vChalk Education
CFBT Education Services
Humana People to People India (HPPI)
Educate Girls
Skills and Employability Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled
Rankskills Knowledge International Pvt Ltd
Accessibility Innovision
Health Sohum Innovation labs India Pvt. Ltd
Women’s Empowerment Sukhibhava Healthcare Solutions Private Limited
Other Social Issues OnionDev Technologies Pvt.Ltd.(FormerlyGramvaani
Youth Innovators Haqdarshak
 
The grand jury that selected the winners comprised of many renowned industry stalwarts likeAmit Aggarwal, SVP - Learning & Development, Genpact; Arun Seth, Non-Executive Chairman, Alcatel-Lucent, India;  BVR Mohan Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman, Cyient and Chairman, NASSCOM; Ganesh Ayyar, CEO and Executive Director, Mphasis; Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman & CEO, Zensar technologies and Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation; Neeraj Aggarwal, Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group, India; R Sukumar, Editor, Mint; Sandhya Vasudevan, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer, Deutsche Bank Group India.
 
Genpact is a frontrunner in employability driven skilling of the underserved youth of the country through its CSR intervention – the ‘Reach Higher’ initiative. Commenting on the partnership with NASSCOM Foundation in the search for scalable skilling solutions, Mohit Thukral, Senior Vice President and Business Leader, Genpact said, “With the Government of India’s aspiration to train 150 million people by 2022, this is a pivotal moment in the history of vocational skilling in India. With so much to achieve in so little time, Genpact in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation’s NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum is looking towards various different social innovations to help create a talent pipeline from the underserved youth of India, truly generating long-term sustainable impact
 
As a firm believer of technology being a viable solution to improve and India’s Primary and Secondary Education landscape, Mphasis continued its support of NSIF this year. Commenting on the occasion, Ganesh Ayyar - CEO, Mphasis said, “Technology enabled social innovation holds tremendous promise. We believe that Digital Technology can revolutionize the field of learning especially at Primary and Secondary Level. We are thrilled to partner with NSIF to contribute to the government’s progressive agenda of transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Through NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum, we have tried to find the best technology solutions to bridge the literacy gap across India.
 
Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation said, “In a complex world, with increasingly complex problems, technology seems to be the only hope to bring the social solutions to fruition by providing them the reach and amplifying their impact. NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum is trying to find and nurture the right fit techno social solutions to create a meaningful impact which results is faster growth of our country. I would like to congratulate the winners and believe that these solutions can fuel a positive change towards solving the problems in Skills, Education, Accessibility for all, Health and Women empowerment among other social issues.”
 
As India’s leading “Tech for Good” platform, the Forum receives interest from numerous innovators each year from far corners of the country. Through focussed support, the Forum has helped scale some of the most impactful initiatives fostering inclusive development.
 
Appendix:
                                                                                                                
List of Awardees

 Mphasis Education Honours- Primary and Secondary Education: 
 
vChalk Education Pvt Ltd
 
The organisation has developed a comprehensive learning progress tracking tool that makes learning progress for each child visible. The cross platform tool creates an individual profile for each child and allows teachers to record attendance, track skill development in real time and generate reports when necessary. The organisation also encourages parents of under privileged students to get engaged with their child’s learning through IVRS calls where parents will be guided in their local language to ask children specific questions to understand and assess skill development.
 
The tool works within a larger set up to provide a remedial program for many of the private schools. Targeted at students from 3rd-5th standard the organisation takes the burden of the school by training instructors to use their remedial curriculum , equipping instructors with course material and tracking students growth after the remedial program is implemented using the vChalk technology.  
 Currently the organisation has implemented this project in Karnataka but hopes to scale nationally and impact over 1 million learners.  
 
CfBT Education Services
 
CfBT has designed a mobile based pictorial School Score Card (SSC) that depicts school quality indicators for the illiterate mothers of the school children. By using the SSC on their mobile devices, mothers can easily understand and score the school on basic quality parameters such as- student enrollment, basic infrastructure, teacher attendance etc. As part of the School Management Committees the mothers are now engaged with the schools monitoring and evaluation process. They also send SMS’s of all the data they have collected to a centralized server that can be used by State level education officials to improve the quality of government schools.  

The project is currently operational in 425 schools in one district in Andhra Pradesh and has impacted over 20,000 students and parents.  
 
Humana People to People India (HPPI)
 
The organisation has developed digiTEACH. digiTEACH is an innovative courseware framework designed for training of primary school teachers. Course ware covers subjects, child centric teaching methodologies, societal awareness and leadership skills. It focuses on enhancing teaching skills by comprehensive mapping of the curriculum and training programmes and breaking them into micro modules on a custom designed software platform. The platform also includes a progress tracking and feedback system where teachers can map their progress through tasks, activities and indicators.   The most salient feature of the platform itself is its exhaustive repository of open source reference material that teachers can use during the training. The platform also has a DMM – a comprehensive set of tasks, courses and experiences with a progress matrix mapped across the entire training programme.  
 
The organisation is currently operation in 2 locations in Haryana and has impacted over 4,400 teachers and 25,000 students till date. They plan to scale to 27 new districts across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
 
Educate Girls
 
The organisation, operational since 2007, has developed a mobile application. The application has two main components. The first is a feature allows the organization to monitor the activities and location of their field staff as staff are required to log their time and activities performed on ground at site. The second component allows managers visibility into school level improvement. As the field staff are also required to enter real time data on school level performance indicators. The application uses GPS to document location and all data collected is backed up on a cloud server, which can then be retrieved and mapped on excel. The solution provides visibility and accountability into the work of field staff for the organization. Also data such as this can be used to impact district level decision making.  
 The organization is operational in 7 districts in Rajasthan and has impacted over 580 field staff and 1 lakh children. 
 
Genpact Reach Higher Honours- Skills and Employability
 
Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled
 
Samarthanam provides vocational training to disabled youth across the sectors of IT/BPO/Banking/Hospitality and many others. Training is provided through 7 livelihood resource centers that are equipped with computers, IT equipment and accessible software programs such as JAWS, NVDA and tactile diagram based computer courses. They also record and store a wealth of sign code material in video format for the hearing impaired youth. No prior educational qualifications are necessary for youth to join these courses with the exception of IT/BPO training (12th Std pass is required) with training being provided to students mostly in the age group of 18-35yrs.  
Till date Samarthanam has provided training and has successfully placed over 7000 disabled candidates and has 6 training centers across Karnataka and 1 in Jahrkhand.  
 
Rankskills Knowledge International Pvt Ltd 
 
The organization aims at bridging this gap between these fresher’s and Start-Ups/SME’s by bringing them together on one platform. Rankskills is the first online platform that connects youth from Tier 2- Tier 3 educational institutes to Start-Ups /SME’s. The portal not only provides visibility of jobs to candidates and profiles of students to SME’s but has also built in features to connect job seekers to mentors and skilling providers to help them improve other necessary professional skills. The organization is also in the process of building a telephony service aimed at helping students and youth to improve their communication skills thereby enhancing their employability.
 
Till date the organization has targeted colleges in Pune and Lucknow and has impacted over 20,000 graduates but has the potential to be scaled nationally.   
 
Accessibility
 
Innovision
 
Innovision has developed the first low cost electronic refreshable Braille reader. The device will help users read and write digitally through electronic Braille. The reader itself will connect to a parent device- computer, mobile etc and allow users to access information through Braille cell output and a Braille keypad on the device itself. The reader will be available at a price 5 times lower than is currently available in the market and will allow the visually impaired to access the internet, MS Office, Social Media, E-Books and much more.   The device will have a pivotal role in shaping the sectors of both education and employment for the visually impaired.
 
Health
 
Sohum Innovation Labs India Pvt Ltd
 
Sohum has developed a low cost hardware cum software solution that uses brainstem auditory evoked response to screen and diagnose infants with hearing impairments at an early stage. The device has 3 parts to it; the first is a base precision hardware to capture brain signals, second is algorithm software to analyse the signals which can run on various platforms and third reusable electrodes that fit any head size that are used for capturing brain signals. The software gives clear indications of the right placement of electrodes. The final result is completely automated and indicates a ‘pass’ or ‘refer’. The data is also fed into a back end centralizer server that rechecks and keeps track of infants that have been referred. The device is made to work in noisy settings and does not require the infant to be sedated.  
 
 The organization is targeting infants in resource poor settings with the aim of screening 1 mill infants by 2018 and diagnosing over 45,500 infants with hearing impairment and getting them the critical care they need.  
 
 
Women’s Empowerment
 
Sukhibava Healthcare Solutions Pvt Ltd
 
The organization trains local micro- entrepreneurs living in slums to use their cloud based mobile technology to educate underserved women on menstrual hygiene. The mobile application is designed to deliver awareness through a series of different modules which contain multi- media videos, pictures and videos on issues regarding menstruation. The micro –entrepreneurs not only act as on ground local field workers conducting workshops but also sell low cost sanitary napkins to the slum women. The solution also allows the entrepreneurs to collect on ground real time data on purchase of sanitary products and how many beneficiaries they have reached every month.  
 
The organization has currently implemented to solution in Bangalore and is expected to impact over 2,800 by the end of 2016.
 
Other Social Issues:
 
Onion Dev Technologies Pvt Ltd
  • Mobile Vaani is a voice based social media platform for underserved communities. Individuals can call a toll free number to leave messages on socially relevant topics such as agriculture, weather, crop prices etc. and listen to other messages left by other community members. This raises their awareness and opens up channels for community as never seen before.  
  •  Currently the platform is operational in Jahrkhand, Orrisa and Madhya Pradesh and has the potential to reach over 2 million.  
Youth Innovators
 
P.R Ganapathy, Aniket Doeger and Mayank Garg
 
The group has developed ‘Haqdarshak’. Haqdarshak, is a solution is a mobile/tablet based application which consists of a complete database of relevant Government schemes available to citizens. The app goes one step further to screen candidates using 15-20 questions and provides them with a complete list of schemes that they are eligible for. It also guides them and helps them in understanding and collating the necessary documentation they would need to avail benefits of those schemes.
  
Till date the innovation has mapped schemes across Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It has the potential to reach over 276 million Indians.
 

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