New Delhi, India, October 16, 2014: Uninor, India’s fastest growing telecom operator, announced the winners of its ‘Internet for All Challenge’ at the grand finale of the competition, held in New Delhi today. The ideas Battle Out, Facial Recognition and Safe City have been shortlisted after a couple of rounds by the jury consisting of Rita Soni, CEO – Nasscom Foundation, Javed Sayed, Editor -Delhi, The Economic Times, Sigvald T. Hauge, Deputy Chief of Mission, Norway Embassy, Sigve Brekke, EVP and Head of the Telenor Asia and Morten K Sorby, CEO of Uninor.
The top two winners Swati Sachdeva (Battle Out) and Nipun Matreja (Facial Recognition) will get an opportunity to represent the country at the Telenor Youth Summit 2014, to be held in Oslo, Norway, in association with the Nobel Peace Center. They will also be getting a cash prize is Rs 1 Lac and Rs 50,000 respectively as a fund to develop their idea further. The IFA Challenge 2014 was launched in India in early August to engage with youth and provide them with a platform to innovate and present ideas of using internet technology to address a social need. This was also a platform used by Uninor to identify two deserving candidates who could represent India to Telenor Group’s Youth Summit – an annual gathering of young people, offering them a chance to explore how digital communications can contribute to social change and create opportunities not just for the few but for many.
The competition witnessed participation from over 600 youth across the country. After couple of rounds of shortlisting, seven finalists from six operating circles and Delhi were chosen for the grand finale held in Delhi.
The top three winners are – Swati Sachdeva from Ahmedabad, Nipun Matreja from Pune and Jyotsana Kalra from New Delhi. The winning idea ‘Battle Out’ is about helping women in danger, by being able to trace their locations via a mobile app while they are in distress. The first runner-up’s idea Facial Recognition is about using facial recognition software to identify a criminal, a loved one or a dead body. This app can help locate loved ones who one might have lost, or a potentially dangerous person about to do harm. The third idea Safecity Stay Safe Mobile Application can address the issue of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces.
The winners were chosen basis the potential of the idea, ease of commercial viability to ensure self-sustainability and the prominence of participants’ oratory and presentation skill in creatively articulating their ideas.
On this occasion, Sigve Brekke, EVP and Head of the Telenor Asia said, “We believe in the power of youth to bring progressive change in the society. This along with affordable and easy access to Internet can bring transformation in India, providing relevant and useful local content that benefit the masses. Through this platform we offer the winners a chance to engage with youth from other countries and break cultural barriers.”
Also speaking during the event, Morten K Sorby, CEO of Uninor, said, “With 65% of Indians below 35 years of age, youth is a strong force in the country. Uninor is engaging with the youth to offer them a platform to realise the full potential of affordable internet and build suitable services that can provide opportunity to empower society. We saw very good ideas in every phase of the IFA Challenge. We congratulate the winners and wish them all the best for The Telenor Youth Summit in Oslo, Norway. This will certainly be an experience that they will remember for a lifetime.”
The Telenor Youth Summit hosted by Telenor Group’s President and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas, is an opportunity for tomorrow’s social entrepreneurs to engage with experts, thought leaders and fellow youth. It’s a place to share ideas and discuss with peers how connectivity can improve lives, fuel growth and foster dialogue. The Telenor Youth Summit coincides with the Noble Peace Prize ceremony, the participants get a chance to attend the Noble Peace Concert held in Oslo.