Google today announced the winners of its Global Impact Awards. Projects floated by Janaagraha, Digital Green, Agastya and SANA (popular vote) won the top prize of Rs 3 crore each. Google served up an early festive delight, by surprising the rest of the six finalists, granting them Rs 1.5 crore each to further their projects. The Rs 1.5 grant was not part of the original announcement.
The 10 finalists pitched live in Delhi today to the judges; who included Ram Shriram, Jacquelline Fuller, Anu Aga and Jayant Sinha. The three awardees were selected based on potential impact, scalability and ingenuity, while the fourth was chosen based on popular vote. In addition to the cash, the four winners received 10 Nexus tablets and support from Google to make their project a reality,
The four winners will use their rich windfall in different ways. Janaagraha will create online and mobile apps that connect citizens to their government representatives in urban India. SANA will combine solar-powered micro-ionizing water purification and biodigesting technology to improve water and sanitation infrastructure for rural villages. Digital Green will help farmers gain the agricultural skills they need to lower their costs and increase their productivity leveraging the use of peer-created videos. Agastya will address the lack of science equipment and digital resources for rural children by launching a network of motorbike science labs that are staffed by trained teachers and equipped with cutting-edge technology.
The six other finalists were: Shelter Associates, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, Pratham Books, Going to School Fund, Breakthrough and Prayas Energy Group.
Read more about them here.