New Delhi: Winners of mBillionth Award South Asia 2013, which seeks to promote innovations in mobile technologies for better governance, rural development and inclusive growth, were announced on Thursday. The award honours innovations in mobile applications and service delivery. As many as 33 winners were announced in various categories which include business and commerce and banking, education and learning, entertainment, health and governance. Here’s a look at a few of the winners.

Product: Mobile Seva

Category: m-Governance

Provider: Government of India

As a part of this initiative, C-DAC has created a centralized platform, named mobile Service Delivery Gateway (mSDG), to provide a one-stop solution to central and state government departments for their entire mobile-based public service delivery needs. The SMS facility has been operational since July 2011 and so far 480 central and state government departments are using it for providing SMS-based services. Over 99 million SMS notifications have been sent to citizens under the project for various services. The figures stand testimony to Mobile Seva’s easy integration with any government department or agency for delivery of public services.

Product: Aponjon

Category: m-Women and children

Provider: Dnet, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action

Aponjon provides free messaging service to the underprivileged, especially those living in urban slums and remote areas. Launched in December 2012, the mobile application works on a simple idea—it delivers regular and often crucial health information and messages once a user registers for the service. It also allows people to sponsor underprivileged women and their families which would help them avail this service and receive 89 weeks of free health messages—from pregnancy till the baby’s first year.

Category: m-Education and learning

Product: Result-via sms

Company: Janaki Technology Pvt. Ltd

The application mainly targets students that have recently appeared for exams from different boards and do not have Internet access. The biggest challenge for the company was to convince the education boards and telecom companies to partner with them. According to Agrawal, the company receives four million queries every year and targets to reach 15 million people through this service.

Product: CATapp

Category: m-Education and learning

Company: InformationWorks

Users can also generate a detailed progress report to keep track of their performance while travelling. In tune with the steep increase witnessed in educational applications, CATapp has registered a current user base of 7,000, according to the company data.

Product: ZengaTV

Category: m-Entertainment

Company: Zenga Media Pvt. Ltd

For users, these associations translate into access to a repository of thousands of national and international channels, movies and other shows. The interface is extremely simple and all that the user has to do is to log on to the website and choose the content that she wants to view.

Category: m-News and journalism

Product: Jharkhand Mobile News

Company: Gram Vaani Community Media Pvt. Ltd.

“All of us have access to Facebook, Twitter and other such technologies where we can communicate ideas and thoughts with other people. People in these remote areas have no such facilities," says Aaditeshwar Seth. “In Jharkhand, people are using this forum in a very interesting way. They often share poetry and folk songs on the forum," he added.

The service is even utilized by farmers to ask questions on agriculture, health and government schemes which are answered by Gram Vaani’s resource partners. It has also become a medium for users to share grievances regarding government schemes like NREGA. “Think of it like a Facebook for rural areas, which means we have a very captive user base. In Jharkhand, we get over 2,000 calls a day," says Seth.

Gram Vaani is currently working on a model to make the venture financially sustainable by attracting advertisers and sponsors for network.

Category: m-Women and children

Product name: HelPls

Company: Varshyl Tech

The application also gives details about the distressed person’s location to online friends on Facebook and Twitter, through Geo maps. Another feature of this application is that it records voices for up to 60 seconds, which is automatically sent to an email address entered on the application. Social Circle, a user friendly feature, allows a HelPls app user to help out another HelPls app user by sending out an ‘alerts notification’ accompanied by the person’s name and phone number, to other HelPls user in proximity (within 5km radius) for help.

“The biggest challenge was to try and get this to work without the Internet. Often when we get into trouble, we don’t have Internet access," says Harish Sharma, managing partner, Varshyl Tech. Apart from India, the application has received registrations from the UK, the US and China, according to Sharma.

Product: coMix on-the-go

Category: m-Entertainment

Company: Zero-Sum Wireless Solutions India Pvt. Ltd

For the readers, it promises greater accessibility as all comics are priced lower than their paperback editions. Moreover, using ‘Framer’ technology, this mobile-based application captures the true essence of comic reading to provide a new immersive reading experience to readers. Each comic can be read in multiple modes such as page and frame view and comes with special effects like page and device vibrations.

Mint has a strategic partnership with Digital Empowerment foundation, which hosts the mBillionth Awards.

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