MIT Technological Review’s Top 18 Indian Innovators Under 35

Eighteen of the hottest technology innovators from India are honored by MIT’s Technology Review India. The best part is, they are all under the age of 35!

AsianScientist (Mar. 20, 2011) – Eighteen of the hottest technology innovators from India will soon be honored by MIT’s Technology Review India. The best part is, they are all under the age of 35!

These inventors will showcase their innovations and share a podium with eminent scientists and academics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the MIT Technology Review’s emerging technologies conference, EmTech India, at Bangalore next week.

Three of the Top 18 innovators received special honors.

Technology Review India’s Innovator of the Year, Ajit Narayanan, 29, toiled at Invention Labs Engineering, a startup of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. He developed an alternate communication system for disabled peple who are incommunicado with society. Avaz, or voice in Hindi, is the tool which uses a variety of software and hardware to provide a voice to these muted millions using just their muscle movements.

Medical student Alefia Merchant, 32, was named Humanitarian of the Year. During her stint with a Bangalore-based eye hospital, Alefia developed an easy method to spot eye disorders in young children, using images from digital cameras. Millions of Indian children from poor families do not have access to cost-effective diagnostic tools to detect their vision threatening conditions before the age of five. This method is simple and may provide a tool for health workers in remote parts of India.

Gautam Kumar, 26, was named Social Innovator of the year. Most urban homes in India use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supplied in cylinders for cooking. Leakages from the cylinder are common and thousands of people die every year due to cylinder blasts caused by leakages in kitchens. Kumar developed a simple gas detection system using a sensor and communication module to issue warnings to the user’s registered mobile phone. Called Suraksha (safety in Hindi), this innovation is poised to improve safety levels in millions of Indian homes in the coming years.

The complete list of Top Innovators recognizes the game-changing achievements of young inventors from biotechnology and medicine, nanotechnology and materials, computer & electronics hardware, energy, Internet and web and software. Winners include:

Biotechnology & Medicine

  • Alefia Merchant, University of Montreal, Montreal named as Humanitarian of the Year for developing a novel way of screening children as part of community pediatric ophthalmology project at Narayana Nethralaya
  • Sameer Jain, MGV Dental College, Nashik for creating an innovative root canal machine

Computer & Electronics Hardware

  • Ajit Narayanan, Invention Labs Engineering, Chennai named Innovator of the Year for creating Voice device for people with speech disabilities
  • Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan, Microsoft Research, Bangalore for creating a hybrid paper, pen, and digital slate solution for a low-cost digital record management system
  • Fahad Azad, Robosoft Systems, Mumbai for bridling a duct cleaning robot to improve quality of the air we breathe
  • Gautam Kumar, RoboticWares, Bhubaneswar named Social Innovator of the year for developing system to detect gas leakages
  • Pulkit Gaur, Gridbots, Ahmedabad for inventing underwater robot to clean tanks and reduce water wastage
  • Srinivasan Jayaraman, Tata Consultancy Services, Bangalore for devising a secure system using human ECG to authenticate, identify and diagnose


  • Harit Soni, Ecolibrium Energy, Ahmedabad for creating smart grid technology to optimize the use of electricity in India
  • Sanjoy Ghosh, Logica India, Bangalore for building a device that wirelessly monitors and reports vehicular emission in real-time

Internet & Web

  • Manav Bhatia, Alcatel-Lucent, Bangalore for securing the Internet service provider’s routing network
  • Sushant Sinha, Indian Kanoon, Bangalore for developing a search engine for Indian laws and court judgments

Nanotechnology & Materials

  • Krishna Gopal Singh, EnNatura Technology Ventures, Delhi for creating ecofriendly printing ink that reduces harmful emissions by almost 99 percent
  • Mayur M. Sadawana, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai for inventing point-of-care multi-analyte sensor


  • Akash Lal, Microsoft Research, Bangalore for improving software quality using automated verification
  • Akshay Shah, iWeb Technology Solutions, Mumbai for creating a business process management generator which can create applications on the fly


  • Deepak Ravindran, Innoz Technologies, Gurgaon for creating a mobile based search engine to deliver information on any topic
  • Sagar Bedmutha, Optinno Mobitech, Pune for developing an intelligent anti-spamming software for mobile phones

According to Technology Review India Editor Ch. Srinivas Rao, each of the shortlisted 60 entries from nearly 200 entries was evaluated by at least three jury members. The Review adopted the same process as its Cambridge, USA based parent in the selection of its US winners.

Since 1999, when the historical 112-year old magazine began the custom of honoring Top 20 innovators, the TR 35 list has become a coveted honor for young innovators.


Source: Cyber Media India Ltd.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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