Morpho challenge: democratizing digital in India

For the grand finale of the Capgemini Super Techies Show 2014, three teams of students and engineers battled it out over a technology challenge* set by Morpho (Safran). Sanjeev Shriya, Managing Director of Smart Chip, a Morpho subsidiary in India, and member of the jury, talks about this technological challenge.

Why did Safran and Morpho agree to take part in this event? 

This competition gave us a great opportunity to bring some "spotlight" on our company, both locally and internationally. But going beyond the aspect of gaining "eye-balls", we felt that this contest offered a real opportunity to design innovative solutions, particularly in the area of biometric security for transactions or the automatic collection and transmission of information, that will be of great practical use to the rural population of India, and by extension, to all developing countries. 

Actu Morpho SuperTechies Award

Which needs could be met by such solutions? 

While the major conurbations (urban outreaches) of India already enjoy well-established communications networks and leading-edge technologies, there are still some 830 million people in the country's 600,000 villages who need networks and digital solutions that are geared to their everyday lives, particularly for the economic activity relevant to them, as well as to companies who wish to serve this rural population. This situation is what led us to suggesting the topic for the grand finale. 

 

So you built the challenge for the grand finale on this issue? 
Indeed, we wanted to encourage the contest finalists to think about the best way of using the solutions developed in the framework of the Aadhaar biometric identification program. Our aim was to sow the seeds for new generations of e-entrepreneurs in rural areas. We were delighted to see this topic selected by Capgemini for the grand finale of the Super Techies Show 2014. Our desire to show "that technology must be extended to benefit the whole community" was fully taken on board by the contestants.

* How can biometric solutions be used to accelerate the electronic interchange of information and transactions in rural areas, securely and efficiently, thus causing effective inclusion of the rural economy, in India and developing countries?

Winner's wording…

Bhosale Deepak, équipe O-T-B Thinkers, vainqueur du CapGemini SuperTechies Show 2014 
"The fact that Safran was the driving force behind the Indian Aadhaar program, that allowed many social developments in our country, made this challenge a very special experience for us. The Morpho challenge was not only intellectually stimulating but also quite relevant in the present-day context of these budding rural economies."

Vikas Dosala, O-T-B Thinkers team, winners of the CapGemini Super Techies Show 2014 
"As each challenge was different, we were able to get our minds and our imagination working in many different ways. This also forced us to apply our knowledge to finding the most appropriate technologies. The topic for the grand finale, which raised the challenge to its highest level, was a particular rewarding exercise."