The 11th National Conference on Social Innovation (NCSI)

Pune International Centre (PIC) Social Innovation Lab (SI Lab) is pleased to announce the winners of the national competition for social innovators/entrepreneurs, held as part of its 11th National Conference on Social Innovation (NCSI) on November 17, 2023, at YASHADA Auditorium, Baner Road, Pune.More than 200 social innovators from across India applied to participate in this year’s NCSI; 18 finalists selected in three categories – Urban, Rural, and Tribal – presented their innovations before a panel of judges.

The winners of NCSI 2023 are:
Urban Category Winner:
Mr. Prasad Phadke of EcoBioTraps for their eco-friendly mosquito-killing device
Rural Category Winner:
Ms. Diptimayee Mishra of Cowbit Technologies Pvt Ltd for their cattle health monitoring system
Tribal Category Winner:
Dr. Rashmi Tiwary of Aahan Foundation for Social Change for their innovative approach to empower girls through education, sports, arts, girls network and creating safe spaces in tribal areas.

The winners received a cash prize of Rs 50,000 each and will get mentorship from PIC’s Social Innovation Lab mentors. The awards were presented by Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Vice President, PIC, in the presence of Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, President, PIC, and Abhay Vaidya, Director, PIC.The event started with the award of the 13th Anjani Mashelkar Prize to innovator Gayatri Choda of Aarca Research for their health screening solution, IHRA.

In his opening address, eminent scientist and PIC President RA Mashelkar said mentorship is aimed at giving “speed and direction” to social innovators. He said social innovators create not for profit but to bring smiles to millions of faces.
In his keynote address, chief guest and Chairman of Force Motors, Abhay Firodia, said there were disruptions in all sectors and it is the disruption that will create leadership in the new world and also lead to solutions. However, he noted that for innovations to succeed, they will need to find a market and create scale for the innovations. He urged focus on primary education as all scientists and innovators come from society.

After the impressive presentations by innovators, the jury and audience asked probing questions during the immensely lively Q&A session.

In his valedictory address, Prof. Anil Gupta, Founder, Honey Bee Network, spoke about social innovation initiatives from the pre-Independence years and its future.

Prashant Girbane, General Secretary, PIC, and Abhay Vaidya, Director, PIC, gave an overview of the journey of NCSI over the past decade.

NCSI is the annual flagship event organized by the Social Innovation Lab (SI Lab), which is the research vertical of the Pune International Centre (PIC). PIC is an independent think tank deliberating on issues of national importance and headed by Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, eminent scientist and PIC President, and Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission and PIC Vice President. This conference was in collaboration with the National Innovation Foundation and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

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