1. Agriculture World

Clean Water Challenge Launched by Nudge Foundation, Ashirvad Pipes & GoI

The Challenge will help the government's Jal Jeevan Mission, which aims to supply clean and sufficient drinking water to all rural Indian homes through individual household tap connections by 2024. The/Nudge Foundation and Ashirvad Pipes believe in Indians' ability to innovate at a grassroots level and their entrepreneurial mindset.

Abha Toppo
Clean Water
Clean Water

In collaboration with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Nudge Foundation and Ashirvad Pipes announced an award for startups and inventors working on ways to deliver safe drinking water to the impoverished and rural households.

The programme intends to encourage ideas that solve water concerns at a population level. The programme will run for 18 months and will support entrepreneurs in developing, testing, and scaling solutions through a network of investors, mentors, technology and knowledge partners, and policy circle advisors, with a total Prize Purse of INR 2.5 crores (INR 1.75 crore grand prize for the winning solution and runner up + milestone grants for finalists).

The Challenge will help the government's Jal Jeevan Mission, which aims to supply clean and sufficient drinking water to all rural Indian homes through individual household tap connections by 2024.

The/Nudge Foundation and Ashirvad Pipes believe in Indians' ability to innovate at a grassroots level and their entrepreneurial mindset. As a result, the Prize is expected to not only support the Jal Jeevan Mission with innovative and scalable ideas but also to raise public awareness about the issue.

The Prize seeks solutions for source water purification, smart distribution and storage provisions to ensure long-term clean drinking water availability and accessibility, as well as recycling solutions such as water source recharge, desalination, and wastewater treatment to increase drinking water availability in water-scarce regions.

Professor Asit K Biswas (Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow), Vedika Bhandarkar (COO, Water.org), VK Madhavan (CEO, WaterAid India), and Yugal Kishore Joshi will be among the Prize's advisers, partners, and specialists (Director, Jal Jeevan Mission). Social impact venture funders such as Social Alpha, Bharat Innovation Fund, Aavishkaar, Caspian, Light rock, and Upaya Social Ventures are among the investors.

OECD Mission Action Lab, IHE Delft, WaterAid, Water.org, and India Water Portal is among the Knowledge Partners. Imagine H2O Asia, Indus Water Institute, Pilani Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Society, and IIT Kanpur's Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre are among the incubator and accelerator partners.

"The Government of India believes that multi-stakeholder partnerships are vital to bringing about transformative reforms to address challenges of national priority," stated Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, whose office co-facilitated the Prize. We are seeing the collaborative and catalytic role that government, academia, industry, and innovators can play in finding scalable solutions for water security, as well as ensuring sustained drinking water availability, reducing barriers to access (social and geographic), and devising recycling solutions, thereby improving health and hygiene in communities, through The/Nudge Prize | Ashirvad Water Challenge."

Scalability with sustainable unit economics of the business model, a considerable increase in access to clean drinking water, and social and environmental effect are among the evaluation criteria for the solutions.

Ashirvad Pipes' Managing Director, Deepak Mehrotra "Access to safe drinking water should be considered a basic human right. Improved access to safe drinking water can be empowering, with many good consequences such as improved quality of life, fewer health issues, and higher income for individuals who now lack it. While the government is making an honest attempt to resolve the problem, a country as huge and complex as India requires the participation of all parties. I also believe in the resilience and problem-solving abilities of the common Indian. We are unrivaled when it comes to grassroots and low-cost innovation. Water management is in Ashirvad's DNA, and we're excited to be a part of this endeavor."

"Water is a major driver of public health and livelihoods," Sudha Srinivasan, CEO of The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation, said in response to the announcement. "Access to safe drinking water has a direct impact on our country's health, economy, and social well-being. The/mission Nudge's is to attract talent, capital, and public attention to underserved issues such as Water Sustainability. We're pleased to work with Ashirvad on developing a programme to attract social entrepreneurs who can provide daring solutions to this pressing problem. We want to scale revolutionary technologies that help everyone have access to clean water."

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