National Conference on Social Innovation to Begin on Nov 17


Social innovations in the Tribal, Rural, and Urban categories to be showcased

PUNE: The 9th National Conference on Social Innovation (NCSI), a flagship event of the Pune International Centre (PIC) will be held over two days on Nov. 17 and 18. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, NCSI will be a virtual online event.

From nearly 140 entries from across the nation, 18 finalists will be vying for three cash awards of Rs. 50,000 each for their social innovations in the Tribal, Rural, and Urban categories.

Mr. Mukundan Ramakrishnan, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Chemicals, will be the Chief Guest. Eminent social worker, Ms. Chetana Gala Sinha, Founder Chair, Manndeshi Bank and Foundation, will be the Valedictory Keynote speaker.

NCSI 2021 has been organized by PIC along with the National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad, and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS, Mumbai) and provides innovators a platform to showcase their innovations and offer them several benefits.

This online event is open to the public on the link:

Day 01: 17th November 2021, Wednesday, Time:- 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Day 02: 18th November 2021, Thursday, Time:- 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Entries have been received from 24 States including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Nagaland. The 18 finalists this year cover sectors such as ecology, education, disaster management, health, agriculture, empowerment of disabled persons, construction, advocacy, and renewable energy. There are six finalists in each category.

Some of the award-winning social innovations in the past have been: 

  • Black frog technologies (Mayur Shetty) for innovating a critical solution in the health sector for transportation of vaccines with a handy cooling device called Sanjeevani.
  • Trestle Labs (Akshita Sachdeva) for the Kibo mobile app which increases the availability of books in multiple Indian languages for visually challenged persons.
  • Distinct Horizon (Ayush Nigam) for innovating agricultural machinery that can double the profits of farmers and reduce the GHG emissions by five times at a lesser cost than solar panels.

The Social Innovation Lab of PIC runs a mentorship program to provide guidance to finalists. It also facilitates collaboration between social innovators, impact investors, and the CSR departments of leading corporate houses.

In addition, PIC offers access to the Shared Service Centre for Social Enterprises (SSC-SE) that provides quality service in areas such as digital marketing, product design, accounting and audit, legal compliance, intellectual property rights, website development, etc.

This year, the 18 shortlisted social innovators who will compete for the top prize are as follows:


Upcycle Ladakh (Leh)recycles demolished mud bricks and blocks to build insulated homes that are warm in winter and cool in summer reducing the need to use fuel to keep warm or cool.

Kshamtalaya Foundation (Udaipur)supports schools and communities to drive the concepts of collective leadership and collaborative learning.

NavKaushal (Berhampur) introduces innovation labs and hands-on training in schools providing opportunities for experiential learning.

The Resilient Foundation(Palghar) reaches out to stakeholders to provide awareness and training for disaster preparedness and management.

IRDO Pvt. Ltd.(Pune)promotes the use of their solar lanterns and strives to train locals to assemble and repair such lamps.

Qonect (Churachandpur)has developed a free digital health card that offers instant loans and discounts for medical expenses.


BB & GG(Srinagar) provides waste-to-wealth solutions for society and farmers by converting organic and inorganic wastes into biofertilizers and animal feed products.

Urdhvam(Pune ) Environmental Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Offers patented rainwater harvesting technology that recharges and revives dry and low-yielding bore wells at affordable cost.

VAANI Deaf (Bangaluru)Children’s Foundation supports the social and emotional needs of deaf children and their families along with advocacy for their rights.

Dakshas Foundation(Hyderabad) has set up sustainable, scalable, and collaborative health care ecosystems for communities through medical protocols and platforms.

NirNal Water Filter (Belgaum) offers re-usable water bottles with built-in disposable filters to provide potable water from unfiltered water sources.

Auto Studio(Aurangabad) aims to help farmers and businesses through their smart, solar-operated hydroponics fodder system that provides green fodder all through the year.


Mitti Social Initiatives Foundation (Bangaluru) runs a chain of Mitti Cafes with sustainable livelihood opportunities for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Green Freedom Pvt. Ltd(Mumbai)has developed the Impact App which is India’s second-largest rewards for fitness app, aiming to spread health and wellness.

Hexpressions(Jaipur)uses a new-age construction material called ‘Composite Paper Honeycomb Panel’ to provide fast, affordable, modular, and sustainable homes.

Angirus India Pvt. (Udaipur)Ltd. is an innovative circular economy start-up that makes the environment sustainable and damp-proof bricks out of waste, cutting construction costs by up to 20%.

SAARAS Foundation(Delhi) aims to provide comprehensive support to economically weaker sections of society by assisting them in availing welfare schemes.

Klimrus Sustainable Solution Pvt.(Thane) Ltd. makes solar-powered composters that convert food waste into fertilizer for individual and collective use.


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