Government of India

Reinvent the Toilet Challenge India – Funding Opportunity

reinvent the toilet challenge

Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, seeks to support the development of innovative, new sanitation technologies, products, and services. The program’s goal is to develop sustainable sanitation solutions that can address the many challenges facing poor and vulnerable urban and rural populations in India and the developing world. These challenges include suppressing the flow of pathogens into the environment, improving users’ acceptance and experience, and developing solutions that are easy to maintain and operate in resource poor settings and that complement existing sanitation infrastructure.

This Request for Proposals is specific to India and open to anyone who is interested in applying. Grants will be to innovators who are Indian individuals or Indian entities, but we encourage partnerships with researchers in other countries, especially where the opportunity exists to build on established collaborations.

The goal of the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge – India” is to fund a portfolio of  Indian-led pilot projects that seek to contribute innovations that can be incorporated into a next generation toilet that will reduce the burden of excreta-related disease and improve the lives of the poor. The aim is to expand the use of toilet and sanitation technologies that do not connect to a sewer, as this is by far the most common approach used by the poor.

About Grand Challenges India

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of India and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with India’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) have launched Grand Challenges India, a partnership framework for joint programs.

This partnership aims to support initiatives that could dramatically change the health and development landscape in India and leverage Indian innovations to support other countries facing similar challenges.

The partnership identifies the following priorities for cooperation:

1) reduction of maternal and child mortality and morbidity;

2) scientific and technical solutions for infectious diseases;

3) strengthening India’s scientific translation capacity;

4) scientific and technical advances related to agriculture, and

5) scientific advancement in food and nutrition.

The submissions deadline is November 15, 2013. Click here to apply.

New President of India gets his Official Website redesigned

president website home

 

The President of India is the highest office in India. As the head of the state the President is the first citizen. As an observer of the online trends once can see that the new website of His Excellency has some adopted some modern design trends. The new President Dr. Pranab Mukherjee assumed office on July 25th 2012 and it seems the first thing he did was to order a series of online initiatives. Apart from the redesigned website a new Youtube channel and a fresh facebook page (2361 likes within ten days, accessed on 05 Aug 2012) have been created on July 26.

Though there was a previous facebook page for President of India with 11993 likes (accessed on 05th August 2012) our new President seems to have preffered to start on a fresh slate.The entire excercise may have just been incidental too. Some interesting UI factors in the new webdesign are stylish image sliders showcasing latest photos, some new fonts like Alex, Myriad Pro which looks better than the plain official looking verdana like stock fonts. The new website even uses jQuery which is highly unlikely for a National Informatics Center (NIC) developed site.

The site also has a crisp layout with Events,Press releases and Speeches section on the home page. There is also a social networking box with icons for youtube and facebook page. Twitter is conspicuous by its absence. One can hope that it will soon be included in the Presidents social media gameplan.

However i was left wondering where all the old website contents have gone. There is no link for any archives or old site links. It is not possible to access speeches and other documents of earlier presidents.For nostalgia’s sake i ended up searching for the old looks at Internet Archives and here is what i got.

First capture available during Dr.K.R.Narayanan’s period (circa 2002).

Presi1-2002

Then the same design was retained during Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s tenure till early 2004.

presi2

By mid of 2004 the previous design was introduced and was in use upto mid 2007.

presi3-dec2003

By mid of 2007 when Dr.Pratibha Patils tenure began a newer design was adopted and in use till the latest change.

presi4-aug2007

One can see that whenever a new President assumes office there is a change in the webdesign and approach to suit the preferences of the incumbent. The latest change incorporates some newer and citizen friendly elements which is a welcome change.