News

Farming a better tomorrow
Tribal women in Jharkhand's Deoghar have benefitted from the CInI iniatiative

The Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI), a Tata Trusts initiative, has partnered CropIn, an agricultural technology firm, in a project that seeks to improve the livelihoods of tribal households across central India. The partnership is part of CInI's Lakhpati Kisan – Smart Villages programme, which is working to raise more than 100,000 households out of poverty by employing better agricultural practices. Started in 2018, the project banks on the SmartFarm solution developed by CropIn — an early adopter of artificial intelligence and data in this field — to enhance the livelihoods of some 4,300 farmers in Jharkhand's Gorabanda and Dhalbhumgarh regions.

SmartFarm depends on real-time satellite-based plot monitoring to intervene at every stage of the crop lifecycle and it also employs other technology tools.

Joining hands for handloom's sake
UAL team interacts with weavers in Yoruba village in Nagaland

Antaran, a joint initiative involving the Tata Trusts and the University of the Arts London (UAL), will collaborate to help rejuvenate the handloom sector in the eastern and northeastern regions of India. As part of the effort, students from UAL will visit handloom clusters, engage directly with artisans and participate in on-field projects.

Commenting on the venture, Sharda Gautam, head of crafts at the Trusts, said, "This partnership is going to create an opportunity for the crafts sector and the artisans involved." UAL's director of international relations, Juliette Sargeant, added: "[It] will offer UAL students the chance to work alongside, learn from and collaborate with local weaving communities."

Antaran, which runs projects in Odisha, Assam and Nagaland, is aimed at giving a boost to the ailing small-scale handloom industry by nurturing artisans and encouraging them to spread their wings into designing and entrepreneurship.

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Startups get a shot in the arm

G oogle Developers Launchpad (GDL) and Social Alpha have initiated a partnership to support social impact startups in India’s growing entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The partnership — tagged as ‘Social Alpha Powered by Google Developers Launchpad’ — will help startups gain access to resources, including expert mentors, tools and methodologies. The intent is to build businesses that can ride on technology to create social impact.

Social Alpha, which is backed by the Tata Trusts, will be the first enterprise from India to collaborate with the GDL programme, and will join a growing network of independent accelerators across Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

Said Manoj Kumar, the chief executive of Social Alpha: “… our portfolio companies need access to world-class technologies, especially in the areas of data science and machine learning. Our partnership with the Google Developers Launchpad programme will address this gap.”

The tie-up will focus on supporting startups that have started incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in their work.

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Prabhat and Kuriyan win big

P rabhat and Priya Kuriyan were awarded the Big Little Book Award 2019 for the best children's author (Hindi) and best children's illustrator respectively at the Tata Literature Live! festival held in November.

The jury for the awards, instituted by Parag, a Tata Trusts initiative, consisted of renowned poets, authors, writers, graphic designers and painters. The Big Little Book Award has since its inception in 2016 selected one Indian language for the prize every year. The award recognises literary work produced for children.

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Jaga Mission wins honour

T he Jaga Mission (also called the Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission), an initiative supported by the Odisha government and the Tata Trusts, won honours recently at the India Geospatial Excellence Awards.

The Jaga Mission aims to transform slums into liveable habitats, with civic infrastructure and services that are at par with developed areas. The aim is to improve the quality of civic infrastructure and services, while providing better access to livelihood opportunities.

The pilot implementation of the Mission happened in nine urban local bodies. The intent has been to promote sustainable habitat development through equitable supply of land, shelter and services.

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Women are the focus in entrepreneurship push
A woman manages a ration shop in Gollapudi in Andhra Pradesh

T he Tata Trusts have come together with Cisco to implement ‘Program Saksham’, which is gearing up to build a band of 3,500 rural women entrepreneurs in 16 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The objective of the project is to increase access to opportunity through the teaching of basic entrepreneurial skills to these women and by helping them become self-sufficient through the setting up of small enterprises.

“There is still a huge gap that needs to be bridged in order to boost women entrepreneurship in the country and that’s the reason for our collaboration with Cisco,” said Raman Kalyanakrishnan, head of strategy at the Trusts.

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