Media Coverage
Digital innovations for the larger good

New Delhi: Winners of the Manthan Award, South Asia, which seeks to encourage start-ups using information and communication technology (ICT) for social development, were announced on Friday. This year, the competition received 510 nominations from India and neighbours such as Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Of these, 110 projects were selected to compete in categories such as governance, health, education and learning, inclusion, infrastructure, travel and tourism, environment, community broadcasting, entertainment, agriculture and livelihood, localization, news and media, science and business and enterprise.

Some of the prominent winners were:

Product: Rang De

Promoter: Ram N.K., RangeDe.Org, Bangalore.

Category: e-inclusion

Rang De is a web-based microcredit platform that helps rural entrepreneurs from low income households gain access to funds. Investors are typically individuals or companies that put up a minimum of Rs. 100 to start with. Read more >>

Product: Pashto TV

Promoter: Liwal Ltd, Kabul, Afghanistan

Category: e-news & media

Pashto TV of war-torn Afghanistan broadcasts study material based on the formal curriculum of Kabul schools. The free-to-air channel is available on satellite television and local cable networks. Students who can’t access video broadcasts can just Read more >>

Product: Hela Pirulu

Promoter: Sri Nimal Padmakumara, Jayasri Radio, Sri Lanka

Category: e-culture & heritage

Proverbs are an important part of any dialect, reflecting the cultural mores of a society. But Sri Ninal Padmakumara, who has 30 years of experience in journalism and television and radio anchoring, says many proverbs are Read more >>


Promoter:, Gurgaon

Category: e-business & enterprises

Connecting, colleges and companies are the 3 Cs of CoCubes—an online student engagement and campus recruitment platform. is an online platform that attempts to bridge the gap between the companies looking to hire and students at engineering colleges Read more >>

Product: AppRain Content management Framework

Promoter: Reazaul Karim, Bangladesh

Category: Infrastructure

AppRain is a Web developer’s delight, being one of the first few officially released open source content management frameworks. It is an unique engineering concept where the content management system (CMS) and rapid development framework work on the same platform. appRain Read more >>

Product: IFFCO Kisan Sanchar

Promoter: IFFCO and Airtel, IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd. (IKSL)

Category: e-agriculture and livelihood

IFFCO Kisan Sanchar, a joint venture between Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO) and Bharti Airtel Ltd, provides SIM cards with pre-loaded content to farmers through cooperative societies. Read more >>

Product: Bell Bajao

Promoter: Breakthrough, New Delhi

Category: e-news & media

The Bell Bajao, or Ring the Bell campaign, seeks to end domestic violence against women and urge men to intervene on their behalf. The NGO Breakthrough uses its multimedia campaign Bell Bajao to urge men and boys to act against domestic violence Started Read more >>


RMC bags Manthan Award for m-governance

RAJKOT: The Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has won the Manthan Award (South Asia-Digital inclusion for Development) for its mobile-governance project in the e-governance category. The civic body was awarded second prize in the e-governance category at the function held on Friday in New Delhi. Read more >>

Award for Puduvai Vani

The award was presented at the Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi, at a Manthan Award 2011 Gala function organised by the Digital Empowerment Foundation and Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of New Delhi.Read more >>

Hiru fm – sister channel of Gold FM receives the award as the best radio station in South Asia at the International Manthan awards

Hiru FM won the award as the Best Radio Station in South Asia at the Manthan Awards ceremony which was held for the 8th time in New Delhi, India defeating competitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and many other South Asian countries. Read more >>

Breakthrough’s Bell Bajao! wins the Manthan Award South Asia

The Manthan Award is a first of its kind initiative in India to recognize best practices in e-Content and creativity. It was launched on the 10th of October, 2004 by Digital Empowerment Foundation in partnership with World Summit Award, Department of Information Technology, Government of India, and various other stakeholders like civil society members, media Read more >>

BoK gets Bank of the Year‚ Kumari bank gets Manthan award 

KATHMANDU: Bank of Kathmandu (BoK) has been awarded Bank of the Year 2011-Nepal and Kumari Bank has received The Manthan Award South Asia 2011. The Banker Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times Group awards the banks around the globe with its prestigious The Banker Award.Read more >> felicitated by Manathan Award South Asia at New Delhi

Report by M Niyaz; New Delhi: Odisha’s no 1 web portal was felicitated by Manthan Award South Asia in e-news media category in New Delhi’s Indian Habitat Centre. The award was handed over to Rashmi Ranjan Parida, Editor of by president of Nigerian-American chamber of commerce, Mr. Musa Bawa Garaba on December 2, 2011, at Indian Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi. Read more >>

Delight wins two prestigious national awards

C.S.I – NIHILANT Award 2011 given by the Computer Society of India and Manthan Grand Jury Special Reference Award by Digital Empowerment Foundation, which operates in association with IT Department, Government of India, are the two honours that Delight has won, that too on the same day. Read more >>

Radio Namaskar gets Manthan South Asia Award 2011

Radio Namaskar the first community radio of Odisha received Mantha South Asia Award 2011. Radio Namaskar has been judged as a Winner in the “Community Broadcasting” category at the recently held Manthan South Asia 2011 Awards in New Delhi’s Indian Habitat Centre.The award was handed over to the community representatives of Radio Namaskar by Mr. Syed Zameer Pasha, Principal Secretary to Government of Karnataka, Minority Welfare Department on December 2, 2011, at India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi . Radio Namaskar is established Read more >>


Each week MINT Newspaper (, strategic partner for the Manthan Award for 3 years now, publishes Nominee Profiles. These Profile are selected and editorially managed by Mint only, Manthan Award South Asia Secretariat has no role in this process. The following are the Manthan Award Nominees’ Profile been appearing this year.

Engaging technology in providing civic services

Soumya Sarkar 09:02 PM | November 27,2011

Bangalore: E-governance, or reaching people through technology, has been coming of age in India for several years. Providing sustainable urban services in the country’s burgeoning cities in an efficient,

reliable, transparent and integrated manner is no easy task; and it’s only now that some of these initiatives are becoming popular. Many cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Rajkot have started delivering citizen services electronically that vary in size and scope, most of them begun in the past couple of years. Rajkot municipality offers information and tracking services via text messages on taxes, water bills, birth and death registrations, property-related issues and so on. Hyderabad city authorities keep track of various civic activities from a remote location through cameras and GPS-equipped mobile phones.  Read more >>

Radio service gives villagers a voice to usher in change

Cordelia Jenkins 01:15 AM | November 14,2011

New Delhi: For the people of Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh, access to development schemes often has been hindered by a lack of awareness about what is available, a common problem in rural India. Though

Bundelkhand is among the culturally rich areas of the state, it is also one of the more economically distressed, with a 55% illiteracy rate, sporadic knowledge of Hindi and English and a recurrent drought problem. One of the hurdles, according to Anujaa Shukla of the Society for Development Alternatives, a non-governmental organization that has worked in the region for 28 years, is that there has been “virtually no communication platform from which rural people can conduct a dialogue and get information or voice their issues and look for solutions.”  Read more >>

A crusader fights for Bangladesh river

Soumya Sarkar 01:15 AM | November 07,2011

New Delhi: Growing up in a village near Halda in Bangladesh—a tidal river that’s a natural spawning grounds for carps (rui, katla, mrigel, etc.)—the riverscape and its unique community that

makes a living from fish eggs always captivated Manzoorul Kibria. “Halda is an inimitable natural heritage of Bangladesh by being the only tidal river of the world that serves as a natural breeding ground for major Indian carps,” said Kibria, an assistant professor of zoology at Chittagong University. Halda flows from Bangladesh’s southeastern uplands of Batnatali in Khagrachari district (formerly Chittagong Hill Tracts​) and discharges into the Karnaphuli river. The 98km-long river has a turbulent tributary in Dhurung, which joins  Read more >>

Villages get tourism boost with Travel Another India

S. Bridget Leena 10:43 PM | October 30,2011

Chennai: Travel Another India (TAI) is helping city dwellers get a taste of life in rural India and simultaneously bringing economic benefits to villages. Not all tourists want to visit places

known for ancient architecture, busy bazaars or sunny beaches. There are those who wish to experience life as it is among the simple villagers of India, says Gouthami, founder and chief executive of TAI, who uses only one name. “Many urban Indians want their children to experience rural India, who do not get the opportunity to visit grandparents in villages as they (grandparents) live in cities too,” she says. That is where TAI comes in. Gouthami and her team have set up two destinations in rural settings—Pranpur in Madhya Pradesh and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir—with the help of local communities. In Ladakh, TAI also offers tours for people  Read more >>

Keeping track of wage payments for rural jobs scheme

Viswanath Pilla 10:21 PM | October 23,2011

Hyderabad: It was conceived as a vehicle to promote financial inclusion by taking banking services to the unbanked poor, harnessing information and communications technology to ensure the benefits of

public welfare programmes reach those they are intended for by plugging leakages. The Andhra Pradesh Smart Card Project, launched in 2007, is now helping nearly 12.7 million poor people across the southern state to get timely payment of wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which promises 100 days of work a year to at least one member of every rural household, and social security pensions at their doorstep. The project has five stakeholders—the state government, banks, technology service providers, business correspondents and beneficiaries. The government releases the funds meant for payment of wages and pensions to the banks, and provides details of the beneficiaries. In turn, banks open no frills accounts and issue smart cards.  Read more >>

Radio service tunes in to serve local community needs

Geetika Rustagi 11:53 PM | October 16,2011

New Delhi: A radio jockey picks up the microphone and cheerfully wishes the listeners of her channel: “Salaam namaste.” No, she is not actress Preity Zinta​, and this is not a scene from her 2005 film, Salaam Namaste, either. It is instead RJ Sakshi Kansal, who hosts Salaam Morning, the first show in the day for Salaam Namaste, a budding community radio channel that plays in the tea stalls, housing complexes, offices and colleges of Noida and Ghaziabad, the satellite towns of New Delhi. “We are the voice of the voiceless. We help the community to speak up, especially those listeners who have never felt the privilege of a microphone,” says Barsha Chabaria, station head at Salaam Namaste. Salaam and namaste are commonly used greetings in India. “The founders had a vision to welcome every one in the community—hence the name Salaam Namaste,” says Chabaria. “Also, they liked the name of the movie, which served their purpose and was also catchy.” Salaam Namaste was launched in January 2009 from Noida-based management institute IMS College, operating on the 90.4 FM frequency.  Read more >>

Using technology to pick out the poorest of the poor

Vishwanath Pilla 01:15 AM | October 10,2011

Hyderabad: The central and state governments spend thousands of crores of rupees on social security programmes every year, but much of it fails to reach the intended beneficiaries—the poorest of the poor. To address this challenge, the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (Serp), an agency backed by the Andhra Pradesh government that oversees one million women self-help groups (SHGs), is executing a programme it calls the Poorest of the Poor (PoP) strategy. The PoP strategy aims to improve the economic status of the extremely poor among scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) and enable them to generate an additional annual income of at least Rs60,000 over three years. To achieve this goal, the PoP strategy, launched in March 2010, is using the help of the extensive SHG network in the southern state and information and communication technologies (ICTs).  Read more >>

Tapping the creative wisdom of the crowds

Sridhar K. Chari 01:24 AM | October 03,2011

Bangalore: If you don’t have enough money to approach the top names in marketing and are unsure which smaller agency is your right choice, post your requirements in cyberspace and allow a crowd of creative professionals service you. At a small price, of course, say Sitashwa Srivastava and Manik Kinra, founders of, a meeting ground for small entrepreneurs who want logos, brochures or even animated films to promote their businesses and individuals looking to do such work. “A single creative person can at most think in two or three dimensions. Imagine what 10 people can do,” says Kinra, chief marketing officer, Jade Magnet Online Pvt. Ltd. While large or medium-sized corporations have a marketing budget with which to approach an agency or a production house, this is an expensive proposition for smaller businesses.  Read more >>

Taking boredom out of the classroom

Amritha Venketakrishnan 01:15 AM | September 26,2011

Chennai: Chitra Ravi thought of harnessing the potential of the Internet in 2001 to launch an e-learning venture, an almost unheard of space at the time, abandoning a lucrative family business in furniture. Her venture, EZ Vidya, conducts workshops for teachers and brings advanced learning to the classroom by creating software to help children understand subjects such as science and mathematics. The business has evolved from six schools as clients in 2007 to its current tally of 350, and is eyeing 500 schools by 2013. A two-month stint in 2005 at Harvard University studying multiple-intelligence theories that questioned the common notions of intelligence fuelled Ravi to take e-learning to more schools. “It looked at ‘what intelligent are you’ instead of ‘how intelligent’. So a child can be linguistically intelligent or visually intelligent. This changed the way I looked at educating children,” says Ravi, founder and chief executive of Chennai-based EZ Vidya, one of the nominees for the Manthan awards in e-learning.  Read more >>
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