UltraTech Cement's 'Mera Gaon Mera Base' competition successfully culminated into a Grand Finale on July 18, 2013 at Trident, BKC, Mumbai. As part of UltraTech's 'Innovate for India' initiative, the competition was designed to urge young builders to build bigger, better, faster and cheaper. The nationwide contest reached over 2,000 students and 800 colleges across India. Recognising the need for real innovations and responsible design initiatives for India's villages, the contest had participating students base themselves for seven days in villages they chose, identify an engineering and building problem and generated innovative solutions to address them.
An eminent jury panel shortlisted the top 20 entries and in the final stages of the competition, these entries were exhibited in Delhi and Bangalore, applauded and appreciated by hundreds of professionals and students. The Grand Finale event commenced with words of encouragement and inspiration by A K Jain, Technical Advisor at UltraTech Cement.
As an evening that celebrated participation of young Indian engineering and architecture students in the India growth story, the keynote speakers included the distinguished likes of Chhavi Rajawat, the celebrated Sarpanch of Soda Village, eminent architect Revathi Kamath, Founder Principal of Kamath Design Studio and Architect & Urban Planner Rahul Mehrotra, Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD and Principal, RMA Associates and prominent evangelist Zarina Mehta of Swades Foundation.
The awards were given away by V Suresh, (Director of HIRCO), S N Jajoo, (Chief Marketing Officer of UltraTech), prominent architects Sameep Padora, (Founder and Principal, Sameep Padora & Associates), Nuru Karim, (Founder and Principal, NU.DE Architects), and Pinkish Shah, (Founder and Principal, Shilpa + Pinkish Shah Architects).
In the architecture category, the first position was won by Hrishikesh More from Sir J J College of Architecture, Mumbai. The second position went to Bhanu Kharbanda, Shweta Jain and Ekta Kapoor from MBS School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi and the third position was won by Vishal Sonigra, Mayur Chavan and Ashish Barshikar from Padmabhushan Dr. Vasantdada Patil College of Architecture, Pune. Vishal Thakur, Jignesh Sanghvi, Ektaa Chhadva of Viva College of Architecture, Mumbai received an honourable mention.
In the engineering category, the first position was won by Ved Prakash Singh of Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal. The second position went to M Pradeep Kumar, Nanda Kumar, Raj Kishor Sah from P.S.N.A. College of Engineering & Technology, Dindigul and the third position was won by Devkinandan Prajapati, Ankit Dubey, Ankit Kabra from Mahakal Institute of Technology, Ujjain.
The evening ended on a high note as a fitting conclusion to UltraTech's enriching and rewarding endeavour that will continue to ignite young minds for years to come.