Economy and Business

3 Indian social entrepreneurs among global competition winners

Three Indian inventors have been named the regional grand prize winners of the 2018 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW), a global competition that offers monetary and technical support to help bring design prototypes of social entrepreneurs to populations in need.

Apr 14, 2018
Three Indian inventors have been named the regional grand prize winners of the 2018 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW), a global competition that offers monetary and technical support to help bring design prototypes of social entrepreneurs to populations in need.
 
The three inventors were judged and selected out of the eight finalists who travelled to Bengaluru to vie for a share of the $500,000 in awards and technical support, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) said in a statement on Friday.
 
The three winners are Sanskriti Dawle of Thinkerbell Labs in Bengaluru, Balaji Teegala of Brun Health in New Delhi, and Vinayak Nandalike of Yostra Labs in Bengaluru.
 
ThinkerBell Labs has won the award for Annie, an affordable audio-tactile device that makes self-learning and classroom teaching of Braille possible. 
 
The device can help improve literacy rates among the visually impaired who cannot afford a Braille display that can cost up to $4,000.
 
Annie runs on a Raspberry Pi and consists of hardware components such as a refreshable braille display, a digital braille slate, and a braille keyboard -- all in one device. 
 
This combination thus helps students learn how to read, write and type, with all modules complementing one another. 
 
Brun Health has been recognised for its labour detection tool, Brun CG, which has the potential to reduce neonatal mortality rates in India. The tool helps in monitoring vital signs and communicating foetal data with clinicians for timely interventions in distant, hard-to-access locations. 
 
Yostra Labs created Sparsh, a portable, hand-held medical device to help clinicians screen diabetic patients for symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, the permanent damage to nerves in the feet, owing to diabetes. 
 
India has approximately 69 million diabetic patients, of which 30 per cent develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy. 
 
The poor are significantly at risk because of inadequate management of their condition, while conventional diabetic peripheral neuropathy screening devices are bulky, not portable, expensive and need trained healthcare workers to operate the device.
 
Sparsh addresses these issues and can help the poor get adequate treatment for the condition.
 
 
 
 
IN THE NEWS
 
Trade, investment, technology high on India-Britain summit agenda
 (19:22) 
 Trade, investment, technology and flow of people and ideas will be high on the agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Britain next week, British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said Friday. Modi and his British counterpart, Theresa May, are scheduled to hold a bilateral summit on April 18.
 
Briefing the media here ahead of the visit, Asquith said it comes at a time when the bilateral relationship is in "very, very good healthy".
 
This is the third exchange of prime ministerial visits after Modi's visit to Britain November 2015 and May's visit to India in November 2016, her first outside the European Union after assuming office.
 
"It (Modi's visit) comes at a time also when I think our priorities are very well aligned," Asquith said.
 
Stating that trade between the two countries increased by 15 per cent in the last one year, he said that it is "remarkably balanced" in terms of trade in goods and services.
 
In terms of finance, he said the London Stock Exchange is playing an increasingly important role as a place to raise money to meet India's huge infrastructure requirements. 
 
"Over the last two years, 5.3 billion pounds has been raised by Indian issuers on the London Stock Exchange," the High Commissioner said.
 
In terms of investments, he said that while Britain is the largest investor in India among the G20 countries, India is the fourth largest investor in Britain.
 
"Then what will be very much a focal point is the technology partnership between the two countries," Asquith said. "The complementaries, strengths that each of us has and they are truly complementary."
 
Modi's visit to Britain this time has been themed "Living bridge and tech partnership". 
 
Asquith said that both sides will look into putting more resources in this sector in areas like digital aspect of technology, collaboration, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and data protection and the fintech that goes with that among others.
 
He said that matching of regional expertise in Britain with that of the states of India is another aspect of the bilateral relationship.
 
Stating that defence is another area of cooperation, he said that Britain was one of our four countries whose defence minister attended the ongoing DefExpo, India's premier defence trade exhibition, near Chennai.
 
Regarding the "living bridge" part of the theme, Asquith said that it is about exchange of people, ideas and ingenuity both ways.
 
Stating that it goes much beyond the fact that there are 1.5 million people of Indian origin in Britain, he said it is about relationships between institutions, universities, and research bodies.
 
The High Commissioner also said that there was a 30 per cent rise in the number of student visas issued by his country to Indians last year.
 
Stating that 14,000 Indian students go to Britain for masters degree programme every year, he said that "we want to build on that".
 
At the same time, he expressed the hope that one particular issue that should be looked into is the fact that Indian universities do not recognise the one-year masters degree offered by British universities for doing Ph.D.
 
Asquith also said that Britain issues more work visas to Indians than all other nationalities combined.
 
Regarding this year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which Modi will attend in London on April 19-20, the High Commissioner said that around 50 heads of state and government will be present.
 
The agenda, he said, will include climate change, vulnerability of small island nations, peacekeeping and helping poorer countries.
 
As for trade between the 53 Commonwealth countries, he said that the idea is to increase from the current $700 billion to $1 trillion.
 
Asked what will be the Commonwealth's position on terrorism, Asquith said: "I imagine that one of the focus areas will be to discuss and I hope come up with an agreement on how to ensure that terrorists do not make use of the internet."
 

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