If your innovation is solving the problem for the excluded in India, apply for the Anjani Mashelkar Inclusive Innovation Award


A poor, widowed, uneducated mother moved to Mumbai with her only child - a six-year-old boy, in search of a better livelihood and education. She was determined to do the best she could for him. The years and hardships that followed never brought her down. They lived in a chawl and struggled to make ends meet, which they did it with courage and dignity. Despite their own circumstances, she always expressed concern about the underprivileged and wanted her son to do something about it. She taught him to see opportunity in every adversity.

The little boy grew up to become Dr. Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, one of India’s most eminent scientists. He is known for his leadership of India’s National Chemical Laboratory and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, and multiple ‘Mashelkar Committees.’ His mantras of ‘Inclusive Innovation’, ‘More from Less for More’, and ‘Gandhian Engineering’ have been a constant source of inspiration for corporates and youth alike.

Awarding 'affordable excellence'

In honour of Anjani Mashelkar, his late mother, who has been the driving force in his life and success, Dr Mashelkar instituted the Anjani Mashelkar Inclusive Innovation Award in 2011. This annual award that comes with a cash grant of ₹100,000 is given to an individual or an organisation for a prototyped innovation or a commercialised product or service.

This award presents an opportunity to spur and fuel innovation for the benefit of the most disadvantaged sections of society in order to ‘include’ them into the mainstream.

Dr Mashelkar says, “The award is bestowed on those who believe in not just 'best practices', but 'next practices'. And most importantly, it will value solutions that represent 'affordable excellence', breaking the myth that 'affordability' and 'excellence' cannot go together.”

Anjani Mashelkar Inclusive Innovation Award 2020

This year marks the 10th year of the award. A highlight this year is that the Anjani Mashelkar Inclusive Innovation Award will be presented to innovations in two categories:

  1. Innovations addressing Covid-19 pandemic [diagnosis, testing, treatment, vaccination, monitoring, ease of life, drudgery, awareness, etc.]
  2. Innovations in all other areas [energy, education, agriculture, finance, healthcare (not Covid-19 related), water & sanitation, etc.]

The award has four key eligibility criteria:

Only Indian organisations or persons (of any age) of Indian origin are eligible to apply.

Prototypes or proofs of concept, which have the potential to be successful innovations, are eligible. Raw ideas will not be considered.

The prototypes, products, services or business models should be original and novel.

They should provide the highest-quality affordable products and experiences to resource-deficient people.

In addition, while not mandatory, applications compliant to parameters of the ASSURED framework will be preferred.

The applications will be shortlisted based on the above-mentioned criteria, post which an eminent panel of jury will select the winner from a shortlist. The jury includes some of the accomplished leaders across sectors. The jury includes Anil Gupta, Founder, Honeybee Network & National Innovation Foundation; Arjun Nigevekar, Former Chairman, University Grants Commission; Elaben Bhat, Founder, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA); Shiladitya Sengupta, Asst Professor, Harvard Medical School, Vinod Goel, Sr Consultant, World Bank, among others.

Championing innovators for nearly a decade

Since its inception in 2011, the Award has grown in stature and has today gained national recognition. In addition to recognising innovators and their effort, the award has also sensitised innovators on the problems faced by such sections of society.

“As the award continues to gain significance, it will be our endeavour to leverage support of other private and public sector organisations, and together rally for the innovators doing commendable work on the ground,” shares Dr. Mashelkar.

Over the years, the Award has been presented to innovators like:

  • Mihir Shah for iBreastExam, a US FDA approved, first of its kind device that enables health workers to identify non-palpable breast lumps in just a few minutes, without pain or radiation. It is a breakthrough technology that has the potential to dramatically improve the accessibility and affordability of breast cancer screening.
  • Dr. Navin Khanna for developing 3-in-1 ‘Dengue Day 1 test’ that can detect dengue fever within minutes affordably in resource-poor settings, among others.
  • Last year, in 2019, the award was presented to ‘Genrobotics Innovations’ for its robot called ‘Bandicoot’ that cleans manholes remotely using robotic arms and computer vision and thereby addresses the problem of manual scavenging.
Sharing how the recognition from AMIIA has helped Genrobotics Innovations, Rashid, Co-Founder & Director at Genrobotic Innovations, says, "Genrobotics is truly honoured to receive the Anjani Mashelkar Inclusive Innovation Award. The support from Dr. R.A. Mashelkar and AMIIA team towards ‘Mission Robohole’ and ending manual scavenging is exceptional. They have helped us connect with industrial partners for large scale manufacturing and implementation of Bandicoot Robots.”

Vimal G, Co-Founder and CEO at Genrobotics, says “For us, the Anjani Mashelkar award is not just validation or recognition of our work, it is a great support that lifts our innovation to serve a greater purpose."

If you have an original and implementable solution that addresses problems faced by the disadvantaged resource-poor people in India, apply for the Anjani Mashelkar Inclusive Innovation Award.

The last date for application submission is 24th August, 2020


Updates from around the world