The 8th National Conference on Social Innovation was organized online by the Pune International Centre (PIC) in association with the National Innovation Foundation & Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), on the 4th & 5th December 2020.
In addition to Maharashtra, we received 100 applications of Social Innovators from 18+ states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Nagaland, etc. It is also heartening to know that we continue to see healthy participation from female applicants. The two-day conference recognized 18 social innovators from urban, rural, and tribal categories out of 100 entries from various sectors including education, health, and environment. Six innovators from the tribal category gave a presentation on Day 1 (4th Dec) over their innovations in different streams.
Mr. Shrikant Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation, was speaking as a Chief Guest at the conference in presence of Dr. R A Mashelkar, President, PIC, Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Vice President, PIC, Prashant Girbhane, Hon. Director, PIC and Abhay Vaidya, Asso. Director, PIC. Speakers including Mr. Shrikant Vaidya, Dr. Kiran Kulkarni, Director, Urban Development were present at the conference on Day 1.
Despite having finances to invest in industries, technical support, and availability of credit post-independence, entrepreneurial growth is yet to take off in India. To generate and accelerate the economy and create more jobs, we have to embrace innovation and empower entrepreneurship among locals particularly in the rural areas,” said Mr. Vaidya.
“To transform the country into a USD 5 million by 2020 is a big challenge as literacy levels of 80 percent of the labour workforce is below average. We need educational and economic regulations to provide opportunities and better jobs,” he added.
Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar said, “Due to the COVID19 pandemic lots of lives were lost and livelihoods were affected so now it is time to recover and for that, social innovation is the key. We need disruptive innovation, which is sustainable. Young India is progressing now and we have access to talent and technology, which is going to change the course of the future.”
Dr. Kiran Kulkarni said, “Tribal are considered as underprivileged in India but the fact is that they are culturally more advanced. In Maharashtra, 9 percent of the state budget goes toward tribal welfare therefore focus on the development of the tribal is very significant.”
“We must stop material-intensive activities like mining, quarrying, and forest logging and should only promote Green growth. We should also combine matter and energy with information and go digital and stop depending on government for resources for setting up enterprises and rely on own capital, and bank loans,” said Vijay Mahajan, CEO and Director, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary studies while speaking as a valedictory keynote on the second day of the 8th National Conference on Social Innovation (NCSI) organized online by the Pune International Centre (PIC).
Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Vice-President, PIC, Vijay Mahajan, CEO and Director, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, and Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, Abhay Vaidya, Asso. Director, PIC, Prakash Apte, Chairman, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Dr. Vipin Kumar, Director, National Innovation Foundation were present at the conference on Day 2.
Twelve innovators from the Urban and Rural category gave a presentation on the second day about their innovations in different streams.
“We have to stop thinking in terms of jobs and opt for entrepreneurial self-employment. We need to have 10 lakh new micro-enterprises per year with an average of 10 workers, which can create employment to the extent of 1 crore every year,” Vijay Mahajan added.
Prakash Apte said, “Article 1 of the constitution says that India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States. Rural areas can be referred to as Bharat as it comprises 70 percent of the population, while the rest 30 percent of the population lives in urban areas. To be able to progress, we’ll have to enable Bharat to connect with India by providing all basic facilities including education and employment opportunities to everyone in rural and urban areas. We have to make our social responsibility.”
The innovators will be given a chance to join the PIC’s mentorship program, which will help them scale up their enterprises through networking, understand challenges, and assist them with financial support to help them sustain.
Pune International Centre (PIC) announced winners under 3 categories including Urban, Rural, and Tribal at its 8th National Conference on Social Innovation (NCSI). Each category had 6 innovators, out of which 1 from each category was chosen as a winner.
The Winners at the 8th National Conference on Social Innovation, under 3 categories included Nitesh Bhardwaj, Founder of Ulgulan Foundation in the Tribal category, Ayush Nigam, Founder of Distinct Horizon in the Rural category, and Shashank Nimkar, Founder of Earth Tatva in the Urban category.
Ulgulan Foundation in Tribal category is working to create social awareness and raising local issues by using mobile films in tribal areas of Maharashtra, while
Distinct Horizon in Rural category is innovating agricultural machinery that can double the profits of farmers and reduce GHG Emissions in 5 times lesser cost than solar panels and half the time.
Earth Tatva in Urban category works to reduce mining for natural resources by making products from recycled ceramics under closed-loops zero-waste manufacturing process.
The winners won a cash prize of Rs 50,000/-.