Manthan-AIF Award 2006 Grand Jury Process
Date: 1-2 July, 2006
Venue: Digital Empowerment Foundation, Sarvapriya Vihar, New Delhi-16

The Manthan Award 2006 jury is over. Around 250 nominations were screened, winners chosen and results are kept in secret wrap until August 5, 2006 when the Award giving ceremony shall take place in New Delhi.

Jury members from different parts of the country were invited to screen and pick up the winners. Experts in different walks of life, these members assembled together at the Head Office of Digital Empowerment Foundation, New Delhi in Sarvapriya Vihar, near IIT, New Delhi. The jury process started at 11 A.M. on 1st July.

Mr. Osama Manzar, Chairman, Manthan Award, briefed the jury members about the jury process before the actual jury sat down for the tedious work.

TheThe Manthan-AIF Award Nomination 2006
The response for call of nominations for the Manthan-AIF Award this year has been overwhelming and over 250 nominations were received from all over India for the fourteen categories defined by the Manthan-AIF Award 2006.

The fourteen categories are:

E-Inclusion & Livelihood

Manthan-AIF Grand Jury
The Manthan-AIF Award 2006 Grand Jury took place in DEF office at Sarvapriya Vihar, New Delhi on July 1st & 2nd. It brought together 16 experts from all kind of relevant field, such as academia, media, industry, associations, civil society, and technology. The jury had been independent, non-political and only followed the rules and guidelines set out by the Manthan-AIF Award. All selection and award decisions were made by the jury were taken as final and was not necessitated to be challenged legally or in any other way.

All nominated products were evaluated in a two-round judging process, and subsequently, India’s Best e-Contents and Applications (3 products/nominations in each of the 14 categories) were selected. Around 5 further products (Best Products) were awarded with a special mention. The decision for the jury process has been made by the Manthan-AIF Award Board of Directors, which is inline with World
Summit Award jury processes.

Jury and Selection Process
The Manthan-AIF Award jury was composed of most eminent content Industry personalities, proposed from government, industry database of evaluators, such as academia, media, industry, associations, civil society, and technology. The final jurors have been selected by the Board of Directors of the Manthan-AIF Award.

In all total 15 jury members assembled together for the Manthan Award screening and selection process. The members list consisted of the following:

Prof. Ashok Jhunjunwala: He is a professor from IIT, Chennai and is well known for his pioneering lead in various tasks carried out by n-Logue Communications Ltd in India providing alternative ICT options for grassroots development. He was the Chairman for the 1st day of Manthan-AIF Grand Jury Process.

Prof Anil Gupta: He is a professor at IIM, Ahmedabad and is associated with Sristi, an NGO as well as with National Innovation Foundation as a Vice-Chairman. He was the Chairman for the 2nd day of Manthan-AIF Grand Jury Process.

Mr. Tanmoy Chakrabarty: He is the Vice President & Head- Global Government Industry Group, Tata Consultancy Services, New Delhi.

Ms. Mridula Chandra: She is the Secretary, Health Research & Development Centre, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Mr. Frederick Noronho: He is a well known free lancer journalist based in Goa. He is the pioneer in running so many group email services including bytesforall.

Mr. Jerry Almeida: He is leading a confederation of NGOs call iCONGO (Indian Confederation of NGOs).

Ms. Rufina Fernandes: She is associated with Nasscom Foundation and is stationed at Mumbai.

Mr. Ravi Gulati: He is running an organasition call Manzil, working for street and slum children in Delhi.

Dr. Subho Ray: He is the President of Internet & Mobile Association of India.

Mr. Ravi Gupta: He is the Director of Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

Mr. V. K. Dharmadhikari: He is scientist with Department of IT, Government of India.

Mr. Reuben Samuels: He is associated with WHO, India and is based in New Delhi

Mr. Subhendu Parth: He is the senior Assistant Editor of Dataquest, Gurgaon.

Mr. Mr. Rajan Varada: He is associated with Unicef, Hyderabad and heads an organisation call TFTP.

Mr. Hareesh S Belawadi: He is the Joint Director, ASCENT, Bangalore.

Representing the e-Governance Division, Department of Information Technology, Government of India was Mr. Ashish Sanyal, Director, e-Governance. Mr. Sanyal was the observer along with Mr. J. Sundarakrishnan, Regional Head, Digital Equalizer, AIF, New Delhi.

It was Prof. Jhunjunwala who chaired the first day jury meet and Prof. Anil Gupta chaired the second day meet. The chairs helped in making the process start and complete in time without any hassle.

The jury acted independently from the organizers and convenors and all vested interests, and followed only the guidelines for participation published in advance for the Award. All selection and award decisions made by the jury were final. The selections of the winners were made by the jury. The jury was given full freedom to choose not to give an award in any given category.

Jury Location and Evaluators Briefing
The jury meetings and all evaluation took place in New Delhi on July 1st and 2nd 2006, at the office of Digital Empowerment Foundation, where suitable technical infrastructure and high speed online access for each of the evaluators were made available.

A comprehensive official instruction of the jury regarding the call for entries, the entire evaluation process, the Award rules and the rules governing the jury evaluation based on the documents approved by the Manthan-AIF Award Board and this Jury Evaluation Guide was made available.

Evaluation Criteria
Elaboration of the categories of the Award and the criteria were given and explained during the briefing of evaluators by the moderator Mr. Osama Manzar, Chairman, Manthan Award. The criteria were tied to the concept of value added for users and e-contents for a purpose.

1. CONTENT: Quality and comprehensiveness of content
2. INTERFACE: Ease of use: functionality, navigation and orientation;
3. Value added through MM; Attractiveness of design
4. STRENGTH OF IDEA & EXECUTION: Value of the idea and how effectively it has been executed
5. IMPACT: Impact on the targeted audience
6. TECHNICAL REALIZATION: Quality of craftsmanship & Creativity
7. Strategic importance for the global development of the Information Society
8. Accessibility according to the W3C (

Switching the category of the product
The jury was given the right to switch a product from one category to another if the category chosen by the producer is recognized as unsuitable. Even during the evaluation process product category were switched in the e-learning and education ones. That category switch was the result of a discussion followed by a vote amongst the panel members.

The Mathan-AIF Jury Process

Round 1
The Jury was divided into panels, each panel with 2/3 jurors;
The products were divided into groups, according to the product categories.

Outcome: A Shortlist of maximum of 6 products per category (based mainly on the rank list of technical score)

Round 2
Panel Presentations of the Top 6 per category, made by the panels to the entire Jury. Discussion and voting on the winner per category by the plenary were taken up.

Outcome: A Winners List of 3 nominations per category.

Special Mentions
Panel Presentations and discussion on the best products from each category based mainly on the rank list from the second round) and also those who would have gone to third round but did not made it to the final list were picked up as special mentions.

Outcome: A list of special mentions – best products from each of the 5 national regions, one/two/3 per category depending upon the consensus from the jurors were made.

The Actual Jury Process:
On the first day jury members went through the nominations for screening. Members were divided into groups to go through the 14 categories of Manthan-AIF Award. Seven groups were made to go through the 14 categories. Members had a tough task to curtail down nominations to a minimum few in each category for voting purposes. On July 2nd the actual process of presentation of views of members on the nominations chosen for voting took place.

Each group were asked to present their cases for selecting their respective nominations for the voting purposes. Once this was over, the actual voting took place. It took good 7-8 hours for the voting process to be over. Power point presentations were made to present the cases for notable nominations in each category.

And finally the winners were clear by evening. Except in few categories, every category was chosen with three respective winners. Interestingly, a good decision has been taken to felicitate community radio activities in India from this year onwards.

Differences cropped in on number of key issues like whether some special mention could be made for some exemplary nominations. Finally the voting option helped to sort out the issues.


Views of the Jurors


Dr Reuben Samuel
“It was very interesting experience for me. I found that it was good to recognize those who have started something innovative.”

Rajan Varada
“It was a whole diverse set of content in all these categories, just the fact that I’m here with such fantastic group of intellectuals, strong people in the field has been a very good experience for me.”

Mridula Chandra
“I feel that there is a lot of scope of grassroot level people to come forward. It is a very good opportunity for the people who have never been acknowledged can become visible. Last year I was the privileged one to win the award in the e-Health Category.”

Sajan Venniyoor
“The process has been very democratic, lot of arguments, heated discussions but ultimately I think when the results come out, it should represent pretty much the cream.”

Rufina Frernandes
“I truly believe that content is the crucial part and element to the success of any grassroot information dissemination. I intend to take some of these award winning content to be deployed by the NASSCOM Foundation. We have made a beginning with last year’s award winning entry called Sisu Samarakshak by UNICEF & converted into Marathi and now deploying it in our centers in Maharashtra, we will do the same in other languages.”

Prof. Anil Gupta
“There was lot of stress on the impact that most people were making use of the technology and in a few cases the creativity or the originality of the thought was very much appreciated.”

Subho Ray
“The process of the jury for the last 2 days was extremely robust, there was a lot of discussion & debate, some times it got very heated but the chairpersons were very powerful & were able to maintain peace.”

Ravi Gulathi
“People from all walks of life, experiences, are together to make a statement. I found it very interesting to get view points from many different people.”

Ravi Gupta
“I was exposed to fantastic work being done in this school of e-Content base in the country.”

Frederick Noronha
“I found this an interesting exercise, I was involved with the e-Education & e-Localisation track. We came across a lot of interesting projects.”

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