Two innovations from Mumbai on Tuesday made it to the list of social transformers in the country through the use of information technology.
At the third Genpact Nasscom Social Innovation Honours 2010 on Tuesday, project Kabadiwala, emerged as winners under the student category. Launched by students of SP Jain Institute of Management at Andheri, the project includes a web portal and SMS service that connects homes, scrap collectors and recyclers. This was the first year that the student category was introduced.
The second innovation, a patient management software for learning disability (LD) that maintains records of LD certified students developed by Tata Interactive Systems, Andheri, received a certificate of appreciation for innovation under the corporate social responsibility category.
Referring to technology as an “enabler”, union telecom minister Kapil Sibal, chief guest at the function, said it is time the IT industry is looked at differently. The minister said he was hopeful that the industry would grow to the size of $225 billion by the turn of 2020 from the present $67 billion.
“But the industry must not be looked as a milking cow but as one that is essential for empowerment,” said Sibal. “We’ve been looking at the industry only in terms of how much tax and revenue we can get. It must be looked as a power for the 1.2 billion people to move forward.”
Sibal added that technology must play a role in the education and health sectors. The government plans to connect every taluka with broadband and increase the amount of broadband capacity with optic fibre soon.
“The success of technology depends on how many people it touches. Information is at the heart of the freedom of speech. You can’t have the power to say no, unless you know,” he said.
Drawing parallels with oxygen and pathogens that flow freely, Sibal said, “There are no territorial boundaries for information. It flows like spectrum.”