The show will give university students the opportunity to present their best ideas and innovations that will help India achieve progress against the goal of 'Shunya' or 'Zero' - a country of zero hunger, zero malnutrition, zero accidents, zero lives lost, zero carbon footprint.
The 10-part series will be hosted by popular television anchor Gaurav Kapur and will premiere on Saturday (Oct 12) at 6:30 pm only on ET Now.
'The Power of Shunya: Challenge for Zero' is an invitation to the best minds from science, technology and business schools to come together to showcase ground-breaking innovations and their go-to-market strategies across key sectors like food, agriculture, nutrition, health, energy, mobility, infrastructure, safety and sustainability.
The jury panel will comprise of Vani Kola - MD Kalaari; Harish Hande - MD Selco India; Rajeev Karwal - Founder and CEO Milagrow and Homi Bhedwar -Technology Director South Asia and ASEAN, DuPont.
The special judge for the grand finale will be Kiran Karnik -Member, National Innovation Council.
According to officials, after a nationwide call for entry from science and technology institutes, 24 of the most impactful innovations have been shortlisted from 250 entries to make it to the series.
These 24 innovators have now been each paired with a student of an eminent business school to help develop robust business plans and marketing strategies that will enable these innovations to reach the market and help achieve their 'Shunya' impact.
The series will launch with a special curtain raiser episode, followed by eight episodes of preliminary competition rounds and then the Grand Finale in the tenth episode.
In each of the eight preliminary competition rounds, three teams of two students - one engineering student and one business student - will compete per episode.
In each episode, the team adjudged first will be placed on a leader board while the other two teams will be eliminated.
After all the 24 teams have presented and been evaluated by the panel, the jury will then select from the leader board the three finalists that they determine as the top three to compete in the Grand Finale round.
The contestants' innovations will be judged upon the product's tangibility, functionality, ability to harness the power of science, potential impact and ability to achieve the Power of Zero.
The winning team will get an amount of Rs. 10,00,000 and paid experience to the global DuPont Headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, USA.
The 1st runner up will receive Rs. 5,00,000 and a paid experience to DuPont India, while the 2nd runner up will win Rs. 2,50,000 and a paid experience to DuPont India.
Commenting on the initiative Rajeev A Vaidya, President - South Asia and ASEAN, DuPont, said, "The Power of Shunya initiative reflects our belief in the power of science-based innovations for problem solving."
Vaidya said, "Every day at DuPont, we are bringing our market-driven science to address some of the big challenges that face us. At the same time, we recognize that science alone is not the answer."
He added, "Collaboration can unlock the power of science, because these challenges are so big that no one can solve these alone."
He noted, "I hope our Challenge for Zero invitation to the science, technology and business students of the country helps inspire the young minds to pursue science-based problem-solving and to find new and innovative solutions that will help India become one of the world's leading and sustainable economies."
Avinash Kaul, Chief Executive Officer, ET Now, Times Now and Zoom said, "We are proud to be associated with such a unique competition that not only motivates the youth but also gives them a platform to showcase their astuteness. There is no doubt that the series will ignite a nationwide passion and pursuit for similar innovations."
Hemant Arora, Business Head-Branded Content said, "The Challenge for Zero is the most logical extension of 'The Quest for Zero' - the 16 part program series that is currently airing on Times Now under the umbrella Power of Shunya project championed by DuPont and Times Television Network."
Arora added, "In the earlier series the focus was a nationwide search of science based innovations that currently exist and have a positive and catalytic impact on sustainable India."
He said, "The Challenge for Zero fittingly carries the mandate of Power of Shunya by encouraging the movement through India's youth dividend - the University students."
--IBNS (Posted on 11-10-2013)