Ashoka Pillar Awards for Winning Solutions to Tackle Air Pollution

New Delhi: Ashoka University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship will be hosting the inaugural edition of the Ashoka Pillar Award, to select and award young talent for their innovative solutions to tackle the worsening air quality in India on September 18, 2018 at the campus in Sonepat. The winning teams will receive 10,000, 3000 and 2000 USD respectively.

Sonam Wangchuk, Magsaysay Awardee, an engineer, innovator, education reformist and the founding director of the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) will address the gathering at the Ashoka Pillar Award ceremony.
The six finalists will make presentations on ideas that include ways to reduce the concentration of particular matter and other pollutants, provide affordable, eco-friendly alternative to expensive traditional harvesters, prevent stubble burning, and more. Out of them, three ideas will be awarded and provided mentorship with industry experts.

The Ashoka Pillar Award creates a platform for young minds by crowdsourcing ideas, which then leads to crowdsourcing funds for the winning idea, all of which uses the global network to solve problems for those living on the margin. This year entrepreneurs were asked to propose innovative and cost-effective solutions for air pollution.

Urban air pollution is growing at alarming rates. A majority of cities are caught in the toxic web as air quality fails to meet regulatory health standards. Almost all cities are reeling under severe particulate pollution while newer pollutants like oxides of nitrogen and air toxics have begun to add to the public health challenge.

The jury members who will evaluate the final six pitches include notable names like Anita Manwani, CEO, Carobar Business Solutions, Founder and Trustee, Ashoka University, Bikram Phookun, Prof. of Physics, Ashoka University and Meghna Agarwala, Asst Prof. of Environmental Studies, Ashoka University.

Anita Manwani was recognized as one of the top 100 Women of Influence in the Silicon Valley, 2011 and is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow. She is deeply committed to education, job creation, and empowering women.
Priyank Narayan, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, Ashoka University says, “The Ashoka Pillar Award is an attempt to bring some of the best minds at Ashoka to address real world challenges that we face every day. The Centre for Entrepreneurship is committed to working with these entrepreneurs to bring their innovations to reality.”