Ekgaon technologies project "Enabling financial inclusion and increasing efficiency of Self Help Groups Microcredit Federations" has won the first Stockholm Challenge - GKP Award 2007 in the "economic development" category. The Stockholm Challenge - GKP Award recognises initiatives that leverage information communication technology (ICT) to improve living conditions and increase economic growth in all parts of the world. It focuses on social inclusion world-wide and champions ICT projects that show clear benefits to people and their communities, wide impact and sustainable business models. Out of 119 entries in the award from across the globe, nine finalists were chosen by the jury; three in the Education category and two in each of Culture, Economic Development and Public Administration.
The four winners for the Stockholm Challenge - GKP Awards 2007 were announced and celebrated during the GKP Event on the Future at the Third Global Knowledge Conference, GK3 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 12th December 2007. The award is a new Information Communication Technologies (ICT) prize promoted by Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), Malaysia and the Stockholm Challenge, Sweden.
The award was received by ekgaon's CEO, Mr. Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya from Dr. M S Swaminathan, the eminent Indian Scientist and father of India's Green revolution. The jury commented that the project demonstrated use of "Accessible tools that facilitate the self management of communities, an excellent application of technology." The ceremony included Mr. Lim Keng Yaik, Minister for Energy, Water and Communications, Malaysia, Ms. Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Executive Director, Global Knowledge Partnership, Malaysia Walter Fust, Chair of the GKP Executive Committee & Director-General for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland besides over 1000 delegates from different countries of the world.
Earlier in the year ekgaon's co-founder and Director, Dr. Tapan S Parikh was awarded 2007 Humanitarian of the Year Award by Technology Review 2007 Young Innovator Award (under 35), USA. The prestigious award shared by leading technology innovator all cross the world recognised Mr. Parikh's work in new technology development for enabling access to services using mobiles phones.
Commenting on the recognition received ekgaon's CEO Mr. Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya said "ekgaon intends to bridge the rural-urban divide through innovative use of technology for providing services. We are glad that CAM technology has created platform for banking inclusion for rural population of the world. We are encouraged by wide acceptance of our mobile phone based financial inclusion platform for enabling microfinance access". Mr. Aditya outlined ekgaon's vision to work towards development of communities in emerging economies such as South Asia, building communication and information systems for increasing efficiency of business enterprises and value chain process, he added that ekgaon is dedicated to provide appropriate and affordable solutions.