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Monday, Nov 06, 2006

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Innovation award for Gujarat

M. Ramesh

Intel gets accolade for `rugged community PC'

Singapore , Nov. 5

The Government of Gujarat has won the Asian Innovation Award given by the Singapore Economic Development Board and The Wall Street Journal. The award was given for the `Chiranjeevi Yojana' scheme.

Literature produced by the award sponsors notes that the Government of Gujarat had "drastically reduced maternal and infant deaths through a partnership with private gynaecologists."

The Chiranjeevi Yojana scheme was started last December in five of the State's poorest districts. Already 73 per cent of private gynaecologists are participating and receive a set payment for each delivery. "Now, greater numbers of women are receiving qualified institutional care, reducing the instances of maternal and infant deaths at home or in ill-equipped facilities," the literature says.

The State Government is one of the 12 awardees, of which five (including the government) are Indian. Intel Corp is one of the `Indian' awardees for its `rugged community PC' built to withstand dust, heat, humidity and power outages.

The community PCs are placed at kiosks in villages, allowing people to take advantage of Internet services such as online bill payments, delivery of birth and marriage certificates and access to agricultural prices and information.

Mr Prem Singh Saini of Haryana was another awardee for his invention of a switch that uses mobile phone signals to turn electricity off and on.

Webaroo Technologies was another Indian company to have been given the award. Webaroo's technologies enables browses on laptops and handhelds. "Acer has announced plans to bundle Webaroo software on its laptop PC worldwide," the award literature says.

The award was given away at the Global Entrepolis @ Singapore conference by Dr Tony Tan, Chairman, National Research Foundation Board, Singapore. Global Entrepolis is a business networking conference organised by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

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