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Technology enables the differently abled to vote in Kerala

This Election is supposedly the world’s largest in terms of participation and sheer outreach. There can’t be much doubt when 900 million voters are expected to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of the nation for the next 5 years. On an average, the voter turnout in India is about 66%. While aspersions are cast on the balance ~34% who do not vote, not all are indifferent though. Ever wondered the challenges faced by the differently-abled to reach the venue? There’s a high possibility that many of them would end up not voting because of this difficulty alone. The Ernakulam constituency has about 9000 voters who are differently abled – PwD. Till this election, the district authorities did not have a clear idea (read analysis) on how many are able to successfully cast their votes des...

NASSCOM Foundation Reports a Rise in the Industry CSR spending

NASSCOM Foundation at its flagship event, The CSR Leadership Conference (CLC), announced that the Industry had widely accepted the 2% CSR rule with a trend of more companies coming out openly to declare 100%+ utilization of their CSR money for 2016-17. This year the CLC went beyond discussing basic intervention areas, to talk about new developments, innovative tools and disruptive ways of making the ecosystem better, more impactful and efficient. In this process, the CLC will deep dive into Re-Calibrating Employability through CSR, Social Impact Investing, Leveraging Big Data for Impact, Unlocking the Value of Corporate Sustainability in the form of panel discussions, fireside chats and impact talks. NASSCOM Foundation in partnership with Goodera released the report: ‘Catalyzing Change’. S...

Shell Foundation & capital investment in early-stage social enterprises

Shell Foundation director Sam Parker says the firm will be heavily focused on India and has a total portfolio of 50 social enterprises, of which 20 are operating in India. He also details out the sort of funds they are exploring and how it benefits social enterprises. Their focus areas in India are: In India, we have ended up with a portfolio that is very much focused on energy access that is not just entry level solar lighting but also productive use. So we support companies that are providing energy for businesses, energy for agriculture and then even larger scale mini grids and rural utility type models. Mobility is another big area of interest for us, which is really focusing on helping cities plan for population growth, plan systems which enable people and goods to move around in a wa...

Funding opportunity for social innovations

Instituted in 2008, The NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum (NSIF) is a ‘Tech 4 Good’ platform that aims to address critical gaps in development, through technology-led social innovations and solutions. Mphasis has partnered with NASSCOM Foundation to provide seed funding and mentoring to the top 4 ICT based solutions in the space of Primary and Secondary Education, and Accessibility, allowing them to scale sustainable models for social enterprises.  The 10th edition of the forum was announced on 20th September, 2017. The strongest tech innovations will receive catalytic grants of Rs 10 lakh each. The areas of focus are financial inclusion, healthcare, environment, education and accessibility. The winners will also receive 12 month Support to Scale Mentoring by experts in the industry. Apply f...

EasyGov: Transparent governance with technology

Most of us would understand eGovernance to be a government led initiative and very few of us would know about the progress being made. In fact, the story of tech startups in the domain is even lesser known. We chat with , Founder of EasyGov, to understand what they do and also about the sector.  There are some really good eGovernance initiatives like Indian Railways, Income Tax, Passport that is benefitting millions of people. I think Government is doing well wherever they need to collect money from public. eGovernance failed to deliver benefit to the bottom of pyramid in 15 years of eGovernance implementation in India. However things are improving now. DBT is great initiative for improving delivery of benefits to the bottom of the pyramid.1. What is the general state of eGovernance in Ind...

The Pitch: DonkeyWorks Survey Platform, Assessing Development Interventions

Most of us won’t expect anything new and exciting to be happening in surveys! Apart from UX and cosmetic changes, there was not much that technology has contributed to the field. Or, so we thought until we got chatting with the founders of DonekyWorks. If you have any queries or partnership requests, we have Co-founders  and  with us.   Read on:  How did the idea of DonkeyWorks come about? Divye, who conceptualized DonkeyWorks Survey Platform, is a country planner by education and profession. As part of his educational & professional journey he conducted many field based interview surveys. Invariably these surveys involved writing data on reams of paper and then feeding the same data into spreadsheets for analysis. Coupled with that, if there were multiple enumerators involved in...

SEEING AI – Microsoft’s iPhone app helps blind people ‘see’

Only recently, we wrote about Microsoft using AI to fight mosquitoes. Today, we find out they have launched the SEEING AI from Microsoft is a free app free app that narrates the world around you. The evil corp from the nineties have definitely taken a turn for the good. For the millennials, here is what I meant  – toward the end of last century, Microsoft was the big brother-ish organisation that controlled the tech world’s knowledge, it was the typical villainous evil corp and we were talking of it taking over the world the way some people talk about Google doing today. The fear of technology and when it combines with a large, global corporation remains as stereotypical as ever. Anyway, here we talk about all the social betterment that technology is bringing about and it has f...

SEEING AI – Microsoft’s iPhone app helps blind people ‘see’

Only recently, we wrote about Microsoft using AI to fight mosquitoes. Today, we find out they have launched the SEEING AI from Microsoft is a free app free app that narrates the world around you. The evil corp from the nineties have definitely taken a turn for the good. For the millennials, here is what I meant  – toward the end of last century, Microsoft was the big brother-ish organisation that controlled the tech world’s knowledge, it was the typical villainous evil corp and we were talking of it taking over the world the way some people talk about Google doing today. The fear of technology and when it combines with a large, global corporation remains as stereotypical as ever. Anyway, here we talk about all the social betterment that technology is bringing about and it has f...

SEEING AI – Microsoft’s iPhone app helps blind people ‘see’

Only recently, we wrote about Microsoft using AI to fight mosquitoes. Today, we find out they have launched the SEEING AI from Microsoft is a free app free app that narrates the world around you. The evil corp from the nineties have definitely taken a turn for the good. For the millennials, here is what I meant  – toward the end of last century, Microsoft was the big brother-ish organisation that controlled the tech world’s knowledge, it was the typical villainous evil corp and we were talking of it taking over the world the way some people talk about Google doing today. The fear of technology and when it combines with a large, global corporation remains as stereotypical as ever. Anyway, here we talk about all the social betterment that technology is bringing about and it has f...

Using advanced technology to fight mosquitoes

There is this impressive Indian startup that we will bring to you next week. They are using IOT to track and fight mosquitoes. While that is awaited, Reuters came out with an article that mentioned the efforts of top IT companies as well as a few startups aimed at fighting mosquitoes. Let’s look at what they are doing in brief. See the full article for the detailed report.  Microsoft:  In Texas, Microsoft is testing a smart trap to isolate and capture Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, known Zika carriers, for study by entomologists to give them a jump on predicting outbreaks. The Microsoft machines differentiate insects by measuring a feature unique to each species: the shadows cast by their beating wings. When a trap detects an Aedes aegypti in one of its 64 chambers, the door slams shut.  ...

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