Bangalore, India (PressExposure) December 13, 2013 -- The National Student Challenge (NSC), India's foremost challenge around the transformation of urban settlements, announced the three winning solutions in the grand finale, held at the Bangalore City campus of The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) on December 12, 2013. The wining team was team Transpose from CEPT University followed by joint runner ups InfiLight and amrutDhara from IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras respectively. The other finalists included Padawans from VIMS (Blr), UCL & Amity; Unlearn from SJCE, Mysore and Kaizen from VIT Vellore/IIM-A. The three winning teams are entitled to receive a grant of Rs. 3, 00,000 each, to support the implementation of their prize winning proposal and continued mentorship support from IIHS.
The jury consisted of Rohini Nilekani Chairperson, ARGHYAM, Dr. Jessica Seddon, Founder and Managing Director of Okapi Research and Advisory and Sanjay Prakash, Managing Director Shift. The teams were scored on 6 key parameters including presentation skills, creativity, viability, scalability, implementability, self-sustaining ability and social impact.
According to a jury member Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, ARGHYAM "It was wonderful to see the energy, resourcefulness and commitment displayed by the student teams. These innovative ideas will now need support which I hope they will get. Platforms like NSC offer a good eco system to help catapult these ideas into successful ventures. It is good to see young entrepreneurs driven by a desire to address social problems through market mechanisms or hybrid models, samaj, bazaar sarhaar, working together will build the tomorrow we all look forward to."
NSC 2013 received an overwhelming response with more than 1,100 applicant teams from 27 cities in 19 states. Out of this, 25 teams were shortlisted to the final rounds, on the basis of their submission of a detailed problem and solution statement. These teams subsequently underwent a rigorous 5 -week mentorship programme. During this time, the teams, with the help of their mentors, created a full - fledged business plan along with a "cultural expression" component which enabled participants showcase their creative representation and also add a visual trigger to the urban theme selected by the students. This year the challenge outlined 10 themes including Safety & Violence, Mobility, Basic Services, Livelihoods, Human Development, Housing, Urban Culture, Urban Poor, Governance and Disaster Risk reduction.
According to Nina Nair, Chief People Officer, IIHS said, 'The ideas this year are extremely focused and have the ability to cut across various segments of the urban milieu for larger social impact'. "She further added that 'It's becoming increasingly evident that the youth are the agents of change. Given their new level of connectivity and culture, every partner of change, be it government, institution etc. will have to be equally prepared to "respond" to evolving paradigms of thought.'
Speaking on the side-lines of the National Student Challenge grand finale, Chiranjay Shah from the winning team Transpose had this to say - "NSC 2013 has been a great learning experience for us. We have been trained under some of the best names in the country who guided and assisted us in fine tuning and strengthening our business proposal. We are overwhelmed by this win and it has acted as a motivation for us to implement our ideas. This is our first step in giving back to the society." The team presented an idea of acquire, analyze and optimize the traffic movement which help in reducing traffic congestion in urban India.
"Being students, we just had a concept but didn't know how to go about implementing it and National Student Challenge has shown us the way. The mentoring process has been intense and it has given us the much required support and impetus to implement our ideas. NSC has given us a great exposure and helped us in understanding the nuances of setting up and managing our own business," said Saif Khan, team InfiLight member. The team suggested a basic lighting solution for the students of Bihar where they don't have access to electricity.
Speaking on the win, Sandeep Jaiswal, Member amrutDhara said, "While we exist to make an impact, such recognitions keep us motivated and our belief that we are going in the right direction alive. NSC has been very encouraging experience for us and we are sure the support will go a long way in helping us achieve our vision".
About Transform Urban India
Transform Urban India (TUI) is an interdisciplinary intervention and team learning platform for a wide range of stakeholders including students, academia, industry, government, civil society, and research institutions. TUI aims to engage, learn, reflect, act, sustain and facilitate champions of positive change in India's urban transformation through a set of events and initiatives including the National Student Challenge, photography contest, webinars, hackathons, Urban cafes, essay competitions and online discussion groups. TUI acts to enable inclusive ownership of one of the biggest challenges facing the India today - inclusive and sustainable urbanisation.
The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) is a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements. IIHS is India's first prospective independently funded and managed inter-disciplinary National University for Research and Innovation that focuses on its ongoing urban and development transformation. It is a first-of-its-kind, practice and innovation-oriented knowledge institution that seeks to bridge the conventional excellence, scale and inclusion divide. See http://www.iihs.co.in for more details.
About Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation supports work that expands opportunity and strengthens resilience to social, economic, health and environmental challenges. The Foundation operates around the world and its efforts are overseen by an independent Board of Trustees.