The san-kranti student urban challenge is a component of the India Urban Conference 2011, the largest urban conference of 2011. The people working behind the scenes to make this happen are The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy and Yale University in collaboration with the Ministry of Urban Development, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation of the Government of India.
It is an ongoing platform to engage young people with urbanization. It challenges students to take a hard look at some of our most pressing urban problems and explore their multi-dimensional impact on our economy, society, environment and politics. The challenge is open to teams of 3 to 5 participants from multiple disciplines who will suggest viable solutions to problems in their city or town.
The three leading teams of san-kranti are announced by The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) which organized the event, ‘the national Student Urban Challenge’. The top ranked teams, namely ChaloBEST, Taramani Thunders and Deep Blue will receive IIHS technical support along with implementation grants of INR 3 Lakh each for their proposals to ‘transform urban India’. They were also awarded cash prizes of INR 1 lakh, INR 30,000, and INR 20,000 respectively.
The final stage of the student urban challenge brought six teams from 5 different cities and leading education institutions including Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, TERI University, TIFR, CEPT University, University of Mumbai and MVJ College of Engineering. They presented to an audience of over 600 of the country’s policymakers, practitioners, academics, community advocates and activists at the Infosys training campus in Mysore.
The six finalists were drawn from over 170 teams with over 625 student participants from across the country who had registered for this unique innovation-and-implementation challenge launched by IIHS in July 2011. 21 semi-finalist teams travelled to Mysore to present proposals to an eminent jury. They had earlier been mentored by some of the country’s leading practitioners and entrepreneurs to hone their proposals to change the city, town or neighbourhood where they are living or studying in. This provided great scope for collaboration, peer-learning and multidisciplinary problem solving.
In this manner, the mentorship process brought together enthusiastic san-kranti teams and inspiring urbanists from India on a common platform, thereby enabling youth participants to take up the task of refining urban living in India.
The eminent and diverse five person jury included Dr. Subir Hari Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka; Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, the political reformer, AP MLA and head of Loksatta; Dr. Sumila Gulyani, from the World Bank’s Urban Knowledge Platform in Washington DC; Somnath Sen a leading institutional and urban development practitioner and Dr. Jessica Seddon, head of IIHS’ research programme.
san-kranti has been funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, and the implementation grants by Marico Innovation Foundation and Pirojsha Godrej Foundation.
“san-kranti: the national urban challenge has captured the imagination of students from many parts of India. The country is just starting to experience the energy and commitment of young people to improve the quality of their lives and enable a more prosperous, humane, democratic and sustainable India.
IIHS created this as platform to bring together young people with diverse professional and educational backgrounds and talents to work together to solve real problems and enable change in their cities. With a small implementation grant and IIHS technical support, we expect many of them to create enterprises, institutions and movements to make this possible.
The Mysore event has proved that change is needed, timely and can be initiated. We hope to make the san-kranti: national urban student challenge an annual process that brings together innovation, commitment and high quality interdisciplinary technical capacity to transform our cities, towns and settlements over the next two decades” said Aromar Revi, Director of IIHS.
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