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Four Young Indian Social Innovators Shortlisted For Telenor Youth Forum 2016

  • Top 4 finalists selected from over 325 strong applications across the country
  • This is the 4th edition of TYF in India with global theme of ‘Digitalization for peace’
  • TYF offers a global platform for young opinion leaders to connect and share ideas for a better digital future

Four young and dynamic social innovators from India have been short listed for the Telenor Youth Forum 2016. Sharad Vivek Sagar, TelenorOmang Agarwal, Paridhi Rustogi and Nandini Maheshwari were selected by a distinguished jury to compete for the final two who will represent the country at #TYF2016 in Oslo, Norway. The four finalists exhibited extreme dedication and passion in chasing their dreams and bringing a positive change in the society by using digital solutions.

The jury comprised of His Excellency Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Ambassador of Norway to India; Mr. Rishi Raj, Executive Editor, The Financial Express; Anshu Gupta, Founder, Goonj; Mr. Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor India and Mr. Quazi Mohammad Shahed, CHRO, Telenor India.

On this occasion, Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor India said, “Telenor Youth Forum is a platform that seeks young leaders to help transform the world we live in by tackling social challenges through digital solutions. The Forum offers a global stage and opportunities for delegates to present their perspectives on inclusive growth and change, and participate in insightful dialogue. This year we got more than 325 applications from all over the country and they all had unique ideas to achieve the common goal for peace through digitization.

“We will continue to engage with the youth to discuss and explore how Telenor and mobile technology can empower the digital lives of common people. I congratulate the India finalists of Telenor Youth Forum and wish them best of luck for future endeavors,” Sharad added.

The finalists have been shortlisted for their innovative and path breaking ideas on topics such as “Quality Education”, Clean Water & Sanitation, Peace, Justice and Social Institution which are a part of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s theme for #TYF2016 is “Digitalization for Peace” basis which entries were invited from all over India in August 2016 and the 4 finalists were selected after intense competition and challenging rounds.

The selection was done basis applications submitted along with video bytes sent explaining their projects and final presentations done in front of eminent jury members. These shortlisted participants will go through another round of assessment by a global jury. They will select the final two who will represent India at the Telenor Youth Forum Finals scheduled in December at Oslo, Norway. The event runs in partnership with the Nobel Peace Centre, and brings together young leaders from Telenor’s 13 business units to collaborate as teams around the social challenges.

The selected TYF delegates will commit to the program for one year, over the course of which they will work as a team to create dialogue and engagement around a social challenge. They will work in collaboration across boundaries – real or imagined, physical or mental – with the overall aim to foster understanding, prosperity and ultimately, peace.

They will meet again in May 2017, in Bangkok, to continue their journey. The culmination of their commitment to the program will be the unveiling of a digital exhibition in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Centre in Autumn 2017. The aim will be to deliver on a solution that they believe best addresses the social challenge, as well as to work alongside the Nobel Peace Centre to create an exhibition documenting the work of the teams, the social challenges faced and the progress made.

Finalists and their ideas:
Sharad Vivek Sagar, Founder and CEO of Dexterity Global is a graduate in International Relations from Tufts University, Medford. Sharad was selected for his initiative to drive “Quality Education”. His innovative social enterprise- Dexterity Global, is empowering the next generation of leaders through educational opportunities. It connect students to world class opportunities with the help of digital media.

Omang Agarwal, a 20-year old Political Science graduate from Delhi University was selected for his ideas around “peace, justice and building strong institutions”. He presented his app “Gufatgu” which would help in building peace between India and Pakistan by connecting youth and others and sharing stories to tackle existing thaw in relations through digital forum.

Paridhi Rustogi, a 21- year old environment engineer from Delhi Technological University was selected for her passion to create awareness on “Clean Water and Sanitation”. She presented her ideas on citizen science project to monitor water quality and infrastructure using mobile phones, at the same time she discussed the idea of gamification and augmented reality to identify and conserving water bodies in cities and target urban dwellers to earn “social karma” or water points.

Nandini Maheshwari, an Applied Psychology graduate from Gargi College, Delhi University was selected for her ideas around providing quality education through her app “AVSAR”. The app includes NCERT lecture/ test/ gamification/google classrooms to help both students and teachers to assess and develop grow knowledge.

Last year, Kaarika Das and Abhishek Kaushal represented the country at TYF in Oslo. Kaarika was selected for her app ‘Teleshiksha’ that provides a social platform to enable collaborative sharing of educational video courses. Abhishek was selected for his presentation on how Internet facilitates behavioural medicine through digital therapeutics.

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