NGC works for 'Shaping the Future'

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | August 18, 2009
The channel has asked young Indians to bring out innovative ideas to work up a better future for the country

The second edition of the Global Innovation Index in 2008 ranked India 41 in the Top 130 list of the world's 'Most Innovative Countries'. This was enough backing for the National Geographic Channel (NGC) to bring out the country's best innovations to light.

Titled Yamaha - Shaping the Future, NGC has roped in a few leading institutes of India to participate in the hunt by inviting teams of students to submit their innovative ideas focussing on environment, technology, human issues and re-engineering.

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Rajesh Sheshadri, senior vice-president, content and communication, National Geographic Channel India, says, "We believe that the innovation potential of India is immense and that much of it remains untapped and hidden. The real endeavour of the programme is to unearth this and to also provide a relevant platform that showcases India as an innovation powerhouse.

"We believe this will further help to create an enabling environment that further stimulates innovative thinking, focused on important social and technological issues, to help make a difference to society and environment."

To tap these teams, NGC has partnered with educational institutions such as the FITT, IIT Delhi (Foundation for Information and Technology Transfer of Indian Institute of Technology), SINE, IIT Bombay (Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Indian Institute of Technology), NSRCEL IIM, Bangalore (Nadathur S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at the Indian Institute of Management) and TePP, DSIR (Technopreneur Promotion Programme at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.)

The online invitation for entries has already been issued and participants are required to register themselves at, which is the single entry point for the hunt. The campaign, as revealed by Sheshadri, is divided into six phases. Beginning with registration, it will be followed by regional finals and city finals to be conducted at IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and IIM Bangalore.

The property is expected to go on till January, culminating with the national finals, where an exhibition of the shortlisted entries will be held at IIT Delhi and the best entry awarded.

A jury comprising academicians, technicians and industrialists will choose four teams from all categories and then TePP, the innovation wing of DSIR, will award a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh for the winning team, Rs 1 lakh for the first runner up and Rs 50,000 each for the second and third runners-up.

Moreover, NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore will offer reserved seats to the final 30 teams at workshops at IIM Bangalore. NSRCEL will also allow four chosen projects for the final screening of their incubation process.

"All the categories, Environment Edge, Technology Edge, Human Edge and Re-engineering Edge, will be awarded for a breakthrough project linked to the environment, a breakthrough project on a new invention, a breakthrough project that can improve the quality of life for people and a breakthrough project that re-invents and improves any existing invention or innovation.

"These four categories will be judged on parameters such as social impact, economic feasibility, usage of locally available material, ergonomics of design, ease of use and scope for scaling," shares Sheshadri.

Talking about the initiative, Anil Wali, managing director, FITT, IIT Delhi, says in an official communiqué, "Innovation reflects improvement and progress. The philosophy underlying innovation as a way of life is creativity and inventive output to generate new solutions or value. In fact, necessity and inspiration drive innovation - technological or otherwise. Simply put, innovation makes our lives better and enables sustainable development."

The property will be extensively promoted across all media on-air, on-ground, radio and on-line. Besides information on the initiative, the MSN microsite is also offering other features such as an interactive forum to encourage exchange of ideas, trivia on innovation, videos and contests, and later on, a profile of the finalists and their winning ideas.