For the first time in the state of Maharashtra, selected students with innovative ideas will present those solutions to the chief minister of the state, Devendra Fadnavis. And if they are able to impress him and the authorities believe that these solutions are practical and viable, they could even be implemented as policies by the state!
This is a result of a state-wide competition soliciting ideas and plans from students to tackle salient issues and problems faced by the society. Launched in December of last year, students could submit their proposals for any number of themes laid out in the competition (addressing drought, addressing traffic problems, tackling poverty etc.). With the help of a team of experts, the top 3 teams with the best proposals for each of those themes have been announced and now the winners of each category will get a chance to ideate alongside policy makers and state officials.
Nidhi Kamdar, Officer on Special Duty in the CM’s office, has been quoted by the Indian Express as saying, “All the solutions have been sent to the relevant departments within the government and based on the outcome of the feasibility check, policy-level decision shall be taken.”
Here are some of winning ideas that can likely become state government policy soon:
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Technology to address drought
A team from IIT Bombay, called Drona, want to use drones in order to protect farmers from drought. With the use of satellite imagery and data collected by drones, they believe that the state government will be able to address problems areas much earlier than before and employ salient watershed management programmes accordingly. They have also proposed food parks with private – local body partnership and the establishment of public-private enterprise that will guarantee loans to farmers.
Effective solid waste management
The team from Tata Institute of Social Sciences was able to impress the judges with its proposal for establishing a multi-layered approach in order to improve efficiency in segregation and collection of waste. They have noted that in order to encourage proper waste management, the state should provide incentives to waste generators for segregating waste and also give similar incentives to manufacturers for using more recyclable waste. They also want the state to set up localised waste segregation, waste buying and waster to energy conversion centres.
Students from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) want to foster and encourage new start-ups in the state by establishing start-up centres in districts across Maharashtra. These centres will provide guidance and even the capital investment to those with viable ideas for start-ups.
Tackling the traffic
Five students from Services Preparatory Institute (SPI) along with a student of MP Law College have the winning idea for improving mobility within the state. In their comprehensive plan, they have noted that the state should instate a sustainable integrated transport system that places an emphasis on eco-friendly commuting options like cycling and car-pooling.
The ideas will be presented on Maharashtra Day which is celebrated on May 1.