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MIT’s Technology Review India edition invites Innovative Technology Solutions

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

MIT’s Technology Review India editio n invites Innovative Technology Solutions for The Grand Challenges for Technologists in India.

Massachusetts-Institute-TechnologyTechnology Review India edition has created a core list of technological challenges that India is grappling with in the July 2010 issue so that technologists have enough reason, passion, and single-minded focus in solving the problems. The objective is to generate useful new ideas that could have a widespread impact on India’s technological temper in general.
 

 

Paper Submission requirements:

Abstract submissions are to be sent to us before September 15, 2010. The
abstracts are to be submitted to the TRI Grand Challenge editor, Srinivas
Chandan (srinivasch@cybermedia.co.in).

For reading The Grand Challenges section and for further details on the criteria and paper evaluation process, please Download the PDF.

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The Rickshaw gets a makeover & so does the Rickshaw puller – A classic case study of Social Entrepreneurship in Assam

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

For many of us rickshaws are a thing of the past, while for many others they continue to be an indispensable part of daily existence. We do not have them in Hyderabad and this piece of news at Outlook Business about Dr Pradip Kumar Sarmah, Founder, Deep Bahan, left me both proud and nostalgic. Proud because the success story of this innovation dispels many myths about the fate of Social Entrepreneurship in the so-called “difficult terrains” of Assam and the NE.  And nostalgic remembering few rickshaw pullers of our tiniali I once knew by their names and wondering if they also have been benefitted by this…

By a rule, I will quickly summarize the article, but I insist you remember to read it at leisure, if not now. Those who have read it and know about it already might want to share it with others…

Dr Pradip Kumar Sarmah, has come up with this new model of light weight rickshaws called Deep Bahan. It is a comprehensive package that includes:

  • Rickshaws with a specially-designed canopy that protects even the puller from sun and rain.
  • The vehicle weighs about 18 kg less than the conventional rickshaw, which weighs about 100 kg.
  • The space on the back of each vehicle serves as an advertising billboard.
  • Each puller gets two uniforms and a pair of slippers when he joins the Deep Bahan brigade. A comprehensive insurance cover—covering the rickshaw, the puller and the passenger—is also part of the package.

His mission is to make every rickshaw driver an owner, customise the vehicle for other  vendors, such as vegetable and fish sellers. Due to his efforts, today more than 1,500 rickshaw pullers in Guwahati own their vehicles. His project has been appreciated well by internationally technology community and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) D-LAB Cycles Venture is out to give the Deep Bahan rickshaw a design makeover. Spending around $46,000 over a two-year period, MIT’s instructors and students are looking at ways to make the rickshaws cheaper, easier to pedal and more attractive to customers.

READ the whole article from Outlook Business here.

Times of India also presented it pretty well: http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Layout/Includes/CREST/ArtWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=CREST&BaseHref=TCRM%2F2010%2F02%2F20&ViewMode=HTML&GZ=T&PageLabel=4&EntityId=Ar00400&AppName=1

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