Phase 2

Agriculture - Millet

Challenge 1
Primary Processing

Processing converts the inedible grain into edible form and thereby enhancing its quality. Processing of millets plays significant role during its utilization as food. Longer shelf life, aesthetics of food and flavour and ease of cooking is what necessitates processing.

However some millets require multiple processing for optimization of grain recovery and optimization of polishing to retain their nutrition value

Develop solutions to improve the efficiency of millet processing (dehulling, separation, polishing etc.) while retaining the nutritional value

Innovations in indigenous Electric Vehicles & EV component technology that are much more efficient and cost-effective than current EV products.

Challenge 2
Decentralized Processing

Processing of millets face several hurdles owing to variation in size of various millet types and low shelf life of the processed millets. The grains vary in terms of shape, nature of grain surface, hardness, husk-grain bonding etc. Furthermore, there are variations within the same small millet crop due to variation in varieties, cultivation practices, and microclimate across production regions

Develop machinery and / or infrastructure for small scale decentralized processing that is affordable and easy to use for farmers, FPOs and consumers

Challenge 3
Shelf Life Augmentation

Millets are extremely nutritious and are proven to have health benefits. However, millets have poor shelf life once processed due to its intrinsic enzyme activity (lipase activity, lipid oxidation etc.) that causes rapid development of rancidity and bitterness. Millet products are also prone to moisture and water activity. Quality assurance thus greatly depends on different pre-treatments and / or storage conditions.

Develop solutions to improve the shelf life of millets – grains, processed grains, flours etc. to make it comparable to competing crops

Challenge 4
Marketing and Market Linkages

Millet supply chain suffers from inconsistent supply and demand that prevents its commercial viability. While the lack of access to HYV seeds has led to low crop productivity, the lack of public awareness about nutritional benefits of millets has led to limited adoption of millets as a ready to cook cereal. In addition, limited distribution and lack of market knowledge have resulted in sub-optimal reach, lower price realization and wastage.

Develop market linkage solutions to strengthen the supply of inputs (HYV seeds etc.) and outputs (distribution, market access etc.)

Post and Telegraph

Challenge 1
Digital Address System

Present addressing system in the country is descriptive in nature. Department of Posts is in the process of assigning a numeric/alpha-numeric Digital identity (mapped with gee-coordinates of the location as well physical address) to addresses in the country. The mapping of digital identity with physical address will also be verified. Digital identity will allow online authentication of addresses for banking, insurance, telecom , etc. as well as elimination of fake addresses . It will also allow navigation services for delivery of goods, emergency response/disaster management , etc.

Develop use cases applications (APls) which may interact with digital address central infra in future for various use cases of digital address.

Open Innovation Challenge

Sector agnostic innovations/solutions that solves the sectoral challenges in areas of national importance and social relevance. Open innovation helps in the purposive flows of knowledge and ideas from ‘outside-in and inside-out’ effectively closing the innovation capacity gap in the country and enriching the design and delivery of products and services.

Open Innovation Challenge includes innovations in sectors but not limited to Fin-Tech , Autonomous Cars , Cryptocurrency & Blockchain , Sports Tech , Food Tech , Deep Tech , Deep Science, Mobility Tech & Micro Mobility , Textiles , Artificial Intelligence,Machine learning , Big Data , Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) etc.

Drinking Water and Sanitation

Challenge 1
Water Quality Testing - Solutions for rapid testing of water quality and detection of source contamination

In many parts of India, water is not safe enough to drink. There are basic qualitative observations that quickly determine if water is safe to consume or not. However, there are also many “invisible” substances that must be tested for professionally to identify the contaminants and to figure out how the specific polluted water can be purified. Testing can be done in the field with portable test kits or mobile laboratories. Water samples can also be collected and sent to a professional laboratory.

Develop solutions that facilitate rapid testing of water quality identifying the nature and concentration of physical / biological / chemical contaminants in a given water sample

Challenge 2
Non-Revenue Water - Innovations to minimize Non-Revenue Water (NRW)

Non-Revenue Water (NRW) is water that has been produced and is "lost" before it reaches the customer. Losses can be real losses (through leaks) or apparent losses (through theft or metering inaccuracies). The need to manage NRW better and protect precious water resources has become increasingly important. NRW management allows utilities to expand and improve service, enhance financial performance, make cities more efficient, improve irrigation efficiency, increase climate resilience and reduce energy consumption

Innovations to minimize Non-Revenue Water (NRW) including but not limited to development of smart water management technologies (leakage detection, maintenance etc) with intelligent sensing and ICT for the integrated water systems

Challenge 3
Grey Water Management - Solutions for grey water management and re-use for urban and rural households

Greywater can be defined as any domestic wastewater produced, excluding sewage. People across the globe are now appreciating the benefits of greywater re-use. Grey water re-use reduce the need for fresh water - saving on fresh water reserves, significantly reducing household water bills and reducing demands on public water supply. It also reduces the amount of wastewater entering sewers or on-site treatment systems.

Develop solutions for a simple, efficient and cost-effective technique to manage and reuse the increasing levels of grey water in urban and rural households and in commercial settings like railway and bus stations, airports, shopping malls etc.

Challenge 4
Waste Water Treatment - Innovations to develop decentralized waste water treatment plants for industries

Industrial wastewater treatment covers the mechanisms and processes used to treat waters that have been contaminated in some way by anthropogenic industrial or commercial activities prior to its release into the environment. Industries ranging from food, agriculture to iron and steel and mining - all produce contaminated water. Centralized water treatment plants need substantial investment. Additionally, the waste water must be sent from the source to the plant. Affordable waste water treatment solutions that are decentralized expand the footprint of waste water treatment.

Develop solutions to deploy decentralized waste water treatment plants to be used by industries or factories to treat for contaminants before letting into water

Challenge 5
Desalination - Innovations to develop cost effective, low energy consuming and environment friendly mini desalination plants

Desalination is the process of removing salts and / or other minerals and contaminants from seawater, brackish water, and waste water and it is an increasingly common solution to obtain fresh water for human consumption and for domestic / industrial usage. The scarcity of freshwater resources and the need for additional water supplies is already critical in many arid regions of the world and will be increasingly important in the future. Efficient desalination of ocean water may address the issue of fresh water availability

Develop technologies that are cost-effective and environment friendly to set-up mini desalination plants for coastal areas

Renewable Energy and Clean-Tech

Challenge 1
Environment - Innovations to develop self-sustaining and cost-efficient smog towers

As per research, if we consider Delhi NCR region alone which has an of area of 55,083 km², approximately 275 smog tower units will be required to cover the entire city. The cost of installation is approximated to be INR 19.25 Cr. (INR 7 lakhs per unit) and INR 13.20 Cr. ( INR 30 k - 40 k per month per unit) a year to maintain them. According to WHO, a safe limit for PM 2.5 is under 40 micrograms per meter cube. The average PM 2.5 in Delhi is around 220 micrograms per meter cube. This translates to 5.5 times the number of units, i.e., we need close to 1600 smog towers in Delhi NCR alone and the cost will be in gigantic proportions. The story is similar for other Indian cities with similar proportionate requirements.

Develop cost-effective and self-sustaining solutions to control smog (e.g., smog towers) for schools, colleges, health institutes etc.

Challenge 2
Solar Energy - Innovation to Increase efficiency of solar panels to 25%+

Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy. Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. The high efficiency solar panels generate more energy in the same amount of space as conventional solar panels, which can reduce the number of panels needed to meet consumers’ energy needs. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) tested and verified that SunPower X-Series solar panels have current maximum efficiency which stands out to be 22.8%.

Innovations to increase the efficiency of solar panels to at least 25% at a similar cost

Challenge 3
Hybrid Energy - Sustainable innovations to augment power generation and improve efficiency for wind-solar hybrid system

India has set an ambitious target of reaching 450 GW of installed capacity from renewable energy sources by the year 2030. As of July 2021, the total renewable power installed capacity in the country is approximately 96.96 GW. Recent trends underlying the main renewables integration challenges include the increasing variability of hourly demand, short-term frequency variations and local voltage issues. Further, due to the capricious nature of wind & amount of sunlight at a given time in a day, power generation from renewables is highly variable and seasonal, making it difficult to predict power generation at a given point of time. Thererfore, solutions should focus on augmenting power generation and improving efficiency for Wind-Solar Hybrid Systems in a cost-effective manner.

Innovations to harness wind-solar hybrid system in an efficient and cost-effective manner to augment power generation. Innovations to increase the efficiency of solar panels to at least 25% at a similar cost.

Challenge 4
Energy Data Management - Solutions to develop a entralized database for Renewable Energy Access through API

Ministry of Power has launched ‘Saubhagya’ Web-Portal – a Platform for Monitoring Universal Household Electrification. Through this online platform every State would feed in the current status of progress of electrification works, hence enabling the creation of a system of accountability for the State utility / DISCOM and help in increasing their viability. However, the same kind of web portals / centralized database for monitoring potential renewable energy like solar power, wind power etc are yet to be developed.

Solutions to create centralized database for efficient monitoring of solar power, wind power and other potential renewable energy to bring data availability at fingertips.


Challenge 1
Access to Education - School Drop-Outs
Solution to model, predict and prevent dropouts to ensure 100% GER at school level and 50% GER in higher education

The National Education Policy 2020 aims to achieve a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 50% in higher education by 2035 and 100% in school education by 2030. However, there is a high drop-out at secondary level and the GER drops from 78% at secondary level to 51% at higher secondary level. The Government of India has introduced many schemes to support the students financially to continue their school education and higher education. However, there is a long way to go to ensure 100% GER across school levels.

Develop solutions to model, predict and prevent drop-outs at school and higher education levels

Challenge 2
Access to Education - Ed-Tech
Innovations to ensure access to education for all and impactful learning in children

The prevalence of multi-level and multigrade classrooms poses a daunting challenge for the teachers to cater to students at different learning levels within the same classroom. Text-books alone aren’t enough to aid the teacher in teaching at the individual student learning level. Personalized adaptive learning technology shows immense potential in tailoring instruction to the right level of the student. However, the cost incurred in capex and opex pose a serious scaling challenge.

Develop an innovative solution which caters to personalized adaptive learning technologies for all

Online teaching methods such as web-based, mobile-based, TV and Radio based instructions were carried out to ensure teaching and learning of millions of students in the country. In few areas where digital penetration was low, Mohalla classes were conducted as well. Almost all of the ed-tech products were either web-based or app-based leaving millions of children out of the reach of benefits of education technology.

Develop a solution to ensure learning of ALL children in the remotest part with no access to handheld devices or TV

Challenge 3
Equity in Education - interactive school infrastructure
Solutions to make the school infrastructure conducive to learning and resilient to extreme weather conditions

Buildings, classrooms, laboratories, and equipment - education infrastructure - are crucial elements of learning environment in schools and universities. There is a strong evidence that high-quality infrastructure facilitates better instruction, improves student outcomes, and reduces dropout rates. For example, a recent study from the U.K. found that environmental and design elements of school infrastructure together explained 16% of variation in primary students’ academic progress. This research shows that the design of education infrastructure affects learning through three interrelated factors: naturalness (e.g. light, air quality), stimulation (e.g. complexity, colour), and individualization (e.g. flexibility of the learning space). Despite this need, the classrooms and education infrastructure often is not modern and interactive, especially in areas prone to floods, extreme rainfall and other natural vagaries.

Develop solution for a cost-effective modern interactive school infrastructure that aids learning and is resilient to extreme weather conditions

Challenge 4
Access to Education - education delivery for specially-abled students
Innovations in improving the delivery of education to students with special needs to improve the learning outcome

The specially abled children need more care and their education also needs to be highly specialized. This is because they have special needs which have to be catered to by their educators. There are very limited institutions in India that offer the facilities needed for specially abled children

Develop solutions to improve the delivery of education to students with special needs - positively impacting their learning outcomes

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