The Manthan Award South Asia & Asia Pacific 2014 Grand Jury successfully held on 17th & 18th October, 2014 at Udaipur City Palace, Rajasthan, India.

The Jury marked the final stage of selection of best practices for the 11th edition of the renowned Manthan Award South Asia and Asia Pacific. This year we received 400 nominations across 13 categories. Out of which,372 were valid nominations. The virtual Jury members managed to filter 372 valid entries to 165 for the final evaluation by the grand jury. A panel of 16 jury members looked into the filtered nominations.

The discussions of the selected nominations and the voting on each category began and on first day with 6 categories completed. Day 2 discussed the remaining 7 categories. The collective wisdom of all the jurors let to an intense discussion on each and every nomination. After discussion and joint voting system, the Grand Jury selected Winners, Special Mentions &  Jurors Encouragement of Manthan Award 2014. The Grand Jury concluding marked the moments of felicitation of the Jury members with Jury Citation & token gifts as a token of appreciation to all Jury members for their invaluable volunteering efforts in adding value to the Award process.
Meet the Jurors

Osama Manzar
Founder & Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation

Osama Manzar is a convert social entrepreneur spearheading the mission to overcome the information barrier between India’s rural sector, and the so-called developed society, through Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) – the not-for-profit organization founded to accomplish the mission. He is a Member, Working Group, Internet Governance Forum of Ministry of Communication & IT and was a Member, Task Force on Growth of IT, ITES & Electronics HW Manufacturing Industry, Ministry of Comm & IT, India.

Amir Ullah Khan Senior Policy Advisor Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Amir Ullah Khan is a development economist and a senior policy advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from Osmania University. He studied at the Institute of Rural Management Anand and has a PhD in Economics and Business Studies from the Jamia Millia University. He has worked as Researcher for the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the UNDP at Project LARGE (Legal Adjustments and Reforms for Globalising the Economy). He then was Academic Head at the Indian School of Finance and Management, after which he worked with Encyclopædia Britannica as executive director and editor.

Rajen Varada CEO, Open Knowledge Community

Rajen Varada is an ICT practitioner since 1995 and continues to be actively engaged in designing and implementing proof of concept solutions for rural development using technology and in particular ICT. He has developed solutions for health & early childhood care: (Sisu Samrakshak UNICEF), disaster: (SMS4help – Solution Exchange), district e-governance: (Parishkaram & Samadhan – Govt of AP& West Bengal) and most recently ‘Labnet” a migrant labour tracking and services portal. He is actively involved for the past nine years in study, evaluation and mentoring ICT innovations which impact the social sector. Rajen has been one of the thinkers behind movements like public sector software in India and actively support community ownership of technology – from community radio, community TV to open source applications.

C Babu Joseph Executive Trustee & CEO, Axis Bank Foundation

Mr. C. Babu Joseph is the Executive Trustee and CEO of Axis Bank Foundation. He is a post graduate in Agriculture with specialisation in Horticulture. He is also a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers.

He started his career as an Assistant Professor in the Kerala Agricultural University and in 1979 joined State Bank of Travancore, as a Probationary Officer. In June 1995, he moved to UTI Bank (subsequently renamed as Axis Bank) and worked at their Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Basaweshwaranagar and Hyderabad branches. On his promotion as Senior Vice President, he was in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises and Agri Business at the corporate office. He was later made President of the Advances Department that handled Small and Medium Enterprises and Agri Business, Microfinance and the Rural Initiative of the Bank. He moved to Axis Bank Foundation in June 2010.

Meeta W Sengupta Founder, Centre for Education Strategy

Meeta Sengupta works at the cusp of policy and practice across the education and skills spectrum and enjoys sharing her gleanings via her writing for a wider audience. She has been an investment banker, a researcher, an editor, a teacher and school leader across continents.

Currently, Meeta is founder of the Centre for Education Strategy, a Delhi based think tank that builds bridges between policy and practice for educators, educationists and Institutions. She has been the Senior Advisor, Centre for Civil Society. She is a member of the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) Skills Development Forum. She is the member Education Expert on the National Council of NISA (National Independent Schools Alliance) that represents over 6000 budget schools. Meeta is the founder of #EduIn, an online discussion that brings hundreds of participants together every month, in an organised discussion on key education issues. Meeta is on the India Advisory Board of STIR Education that gathers micro-innovations in low cost classrooms. She regularly speaks at events – both as a keynote speaker and moderator.

Soumya Sarkar National Editor, Mint

ASoumya Sarkar is National Editor in Mint, a sister publication of the Hindustan Times published in partnership with the Wall Street Journal. He has been working in Media and Communications for over two decades and was previously with The Times of India, The Indian Express Group, the Telegraph and the Down to Earth magazine. He has also worked as development and communications consultant with organizations that include the World Bank and the Aga Khan Development Network.

Moe Chiba Programme Specialist for Culture-UNESCO

Moe Chiba, Chief and Programme Specialist for Culture at UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has been appointed since August 2006 to coordinate the Culture Sector of UNESCO New Delhi Office for Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka. She looks after programmes on World Heritage Sites, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Cultural Industries and Heritage Tourism among others. In 2011, while on sabbatical leave from UNESCO, Chiba worked and travelled to several parts of India and South Asia to gain understanding on the grass-root reality of, and to explore the possibility of introducing culture-based development.

Suresh Reddy Director, SRF Foundation

Suresh Reddy took his Ph. D. in Public Administration from SV University, Tirupati (India) in 1995. Having nearly 18 years of programming experience in school education, teaching and research, he has worked for Byrraju Foundation, Hyderabad; Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Hyderabad; CARE India, New Delhi; State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), New Delhi. His areas of interest include School Education, ICT in Education, Child Labor and Rural Development.

Amina Charania Program Officer, Sir Dorabji Tata and Allied Trusts

Dr. Amina Charania ( is currently working with Sir Dorabji Tata Trusts in India as Senior Program Officer in the education portfolio. Her role is to design, recommend and manage education projects in the area of improving quality of education at elementary and out of school adolescents.

She initiated a program called Integrated approach to Technology in Education (ITE) in rural and urban slum. This program echoes the TPACK model and aims to improve learning process, interest and inculcate authentic, analytical, digital citizenship and other 21st century skills in adolescents. Link to this program concept and pilot can be found at This program is spread across 12 projects in India and involves about 10,000 children and adolescents. Prior to associating with the Trust in India, she worked in Iowa State University Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching as on the evaluation team of the federal grant on Teacher Education Goes into Virtual Schooling (TEGIVS). Currently she is part of the core team at the Trust- Tata-MIT potential tech enabled project for high school students in India, and recently joined as a team member for the paper in process at UNESCO Institute for Statistics on ICT in school indicators.

Mr.Ankit Vengurlekar, Gadgetwala- TechGuru

Ankit Vengurlekar is the Anchor of award winning Technology Shows – Tech Guru and Tech Toyz (now SWITCH) on Network18. He is also a Photographer, Trained Chef, Yoga teacher and River Rafting enthusiast. He won NT award 2012, 2011 and 2010 for Best technology show in Hindi for Tech Guru. Tech Toyz, on CNBC TV18 won the NT award for Best Technology show in English. Tech Guru Marathi, on IBN Lokmat won the best youth show award from Maharashtra Times in 2010.

Chat Garcia Ramilo Project Leader, APC Women’s Programme Manager, Manila

Chat Garcia Ramilo is a Filipino national residing in the Philippines. She has been specializing in gender, information and communication technology and women’s electronic networking for the last eight years. Ms Ramilo is involved in local, regional and global initiatives and work as the Global Manager of the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Networking Support Programme’s (APC WNSP) Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) project. Ms Ramilo is also the Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific WNSP Network. She worked as a gender and ICT consultant for United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).Ms Ramilo is also a Board Member of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), a global network of people and organizations dedicated to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women’s rights around the world that reaches 80 countries worldwide.

FRANCISCO J. PROENZA Agricultural Economist & Visiting professor Information communication technology UPF, Barcelona

Francisco J. Proenza is an authority on rural access to information and communication technologies and ICT applications for poverty reduction. After a 35-year career working in over 40 countries as Economist for international development agencies (Food and Agriculture Organization of UN, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, African Development Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNDP), he joined academia to Direct the Amy Mahan Research Fellowship Program to Assess the Impact of Public Access to ICT ( Dr. Proenza is presently visiting professor of information and communication technology at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (UPF).

He was responsible for managing all program activities including the selection of grantees and ensuring that grantees received timely mentoring support. (Details available in interim technical report covering the selection of grantees and final report on research activities

Mr. Francisco is also Visiting Professor, and teaches courses in Information and Communication Technology for Development at the undergraduate level for the Department of Political and Social Sciences, UPF, and at the Masters level for the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI).

Ms. Archana Sahay, Community Relations Manager (India & APJC), Cisco Technology

Archana has 12+ years of work experience in working with local NGOs, international voluntary organizations and funding agencies. Prior to Cisco she worked with Wipro, Vodafone and SAP as their CSR Head for India. Her core expertise includes CSR strategy and planning, project execution, corporate giving and fundraising, sustainability reports, NGO partnership and employee engagements.

Asif Saleh Senior Director

Strategy, Communication and Empowerment, BRAC and BRAC International

Mr Saleh is the senior director of strategy, communication and empowerment for BRAC and BRAC International. He oversees strategy, communications, advocacy, ICT and social innovation lab, and in charge of empowerment cluster, which includes gender justice and diversity, migration and human rights and legal aid services. Prior to joining BRAC, he was an executive director at Goldman Sachs and also worked for Glaxo Wellcome, NorTel and IBM. Upon his return to Bangladesh in 2008, he worked as a policy specialist for the UNDP-funded project access to information (a2i) programme at the prime minister’s office.Mr Saleh is the founder of Drishtipat, a global organisation with chapters across the world focusing on human and economic rights of Bangladeshi people. He contributes regularly to local and international dailies.

Mr Saleh was recognised for his work by Asia Society’s Asia 21 programme in 2008, the Bangladeshi American Foundation in 2007, and was selected as an Asia 21 Fellow in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA in management from NYU Stern School of Business. He is currently a mentor of the Unreasonable Institute, a member of the advisory board of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and a board member of Institute of Informatics and Development (IID). He was also named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders in 2013.

Francesca Feruglio Director of Programs & Operations & co-founder, Nazdeek

Francesca Feruglio is Director of Programs and Operations and co-founder of Nazdeek. She is a human rights activist and researcher with experience in promoting human rights and ensuring social inclusion of discriminated communities and individuals. She spent several years working with international and grassroots organizations, both in Europe and in India, working on issues of discrimination of migrant workers, LGBTI people and ethnic minorities. At the Human Rights Law Network she contributed to the success of numerous landmark cases addressing violations of reproductive rights, food security and housing rights for women, Dalits and indigenous people, including Premlata w/o Ram Sagar & Ors. v. Govt. NCT Delhi W.P. Civ. 7687/2010 (2010), Dunabai w/o Vest Adivasi v. Govt. Madhya Pradesh & Ors W.P. (C) 2033/2011 and Haq Foundation v NCT Delhi & Ors W.P. (C) 2033/2011 . Francesca holds a BA in History and Anthropology from University of Padua, Italy and a LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the National University of Galway, Ireland. Her academic interests reflect her multidisciplinary background and range from issues of right to food and health to intellectual property rights, multiculturalism and globalization.

Ninad Vengurlekar Vice President, IL&FS Education –,

Ninad Vengurlekar is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of EdMobile Labs, a start-up focusing on transforming education delivery through Mobiles and Internet of Things. The firm is currently focusing on building a global English Fluency marketplace on smartphones.Ninad has worked in the areas of high technology, internet and education for over 18 years. He started with visual effects and media in 1995 and thereafter was one of the core team members in a internet content start-up in 2000-01. Between 2001-14, Ninad worked in the edtech sector with IL&FS Education. He was a part of the founding team at IL&FS that conceptualised the CSC Scheme with Ministry of IT. He was involved in building innovative education products and content using technologies like web, mobiles and interactive TV for schools and vocational education.
Ninad is a Masters in Technology in Education from Harvard University and an MBA in Communications from NMIMS.

Anish Kumar Program Director. PRADAN

Anish joined PRADAN in 1994 and is currently a Programme Director at the organization. He integrates the finance function involving raising resources, statutory compliance, and building and managing linkages with stakeholders. Anish is also a part of the senior management team, looking at overall organization strategy and institution-building.His areas of expertise include creating business organizations run by poor communities and facilitating participation of smallholder

farmers in modern value chains. Anish developed and piloted the small-holder poultry prototype, was the CEO of the first poultry co-operative, and then scaled up the model across new geographies. The enterprise, run completely by poor people, is today the largest commercial poultry production house in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand, with a turnover of US $ 26 million. Anish continues to be associated with the program as a Board member of the National Smallholder Poultry Development Trust, an advisory and policy advocacy body to nurture and scale up the poultry enterprise.He has been a member of the Planning Commission Working Group on disadvantaged farmers, and has been involved in designing of policies on producer collectives.

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