Application window opens for the 8th Annual ‘Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards’

Saina Nehwal, Olympic medalist and former World No.1 badminton player

appointed as Programme Ambassador

The 2018 ‘Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards’ (SOCA) programme organized by DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance (DPLI) in India now invites individual and group applications from students in Classes VI-XII, who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through consistent volunteer community service. The application forms for SOCA can be filled online or downloaded The last date for submission of completed and certified applications is December 31, 2017.

Announcing the launch of the 2018 ‘Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards’ programme, Mr. Anoop Pabby, Managing Director & CEO, DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance Ltd.said “We are delighted to have Saina Nehwal on board as the Programme Ambassador for the 2018 ‘Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards’. This programme recognizes students who have demonstrated commitment and spirit to make a difference and Saina strongly personifies these qualities. Her grit and determination to rise up to challenges and her passion to make India proud makes her an excellent role model for the younger generation.”

“Saina was the SOCA Programme Ambassador last year as well and we are confident that her involvement will once again inspire more students to become change agents for a better tomorrow“, Mr. Pabby added.

Saina’s appointment will be supplemented with a digital and radio campaign to encourage school children to start volunteering to make a positive change in their communities. In addition, she will also help drive participation from students who are already involved in community service.

Talking about her role as the 2018 SOCA Programme AmbassadorMs. Saina Nehwal said, “It’s a great honour to be associated with the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards once again. Last year, I had the privilege of meeting many young student volunteers from varied backgrounds who despite their busy school schedule, had dedicated their time and energy to make a difference in their communities. I strongly believe that community service should be an integral part of education and every child should make an effort to help the less fortunate and stand up for causes that impact society at large. I hope that through my association with SOCA, I can help play a role in making this possible.”

The top two individual category winners will receive medallions, cash prizes and a return trip to Washington, D.C. in May 2018. Members of the Best Group entry will receive medallions and a cash prize to be shared amongst them. Over the last seven years, more than 27,000 students across 1500+ schools have participated in SOCA by sending in their applications and above 600 students have been recognized for their community service efforts.

In 2017, Mihir Manoj Menda, a class XII student of Mallya Aditi International School, Bengaluru and Gursimran Singh, a class XI student of Amity International School, Sector 46, Gurugram were recognized as the winners in the Individual Category. Both students were presented with Gold

Medallions, Certificates of Excellence, a cash reward of Rs. 50,000 each, and a return trip to Washington, D.C. in May 2017.

About the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards (SOCA)

Introduced in 2010 in India, ‘The Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards’ is an annual nationwide search to identify and recognize school students who have made a positive difference in their communities through voluntary community service.

The prestigious awards programme organized by DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (DPLI) is the India chapter of the Spirit of Community Awards, the largest youth recognition programme in the United States based exclusively on volunteer service. Introduced in 1995 by Prudential Financial, Inc. (PFI), DPLI’s international Joint Venture partner, the U.S. programme has officially recognized more than 115,000 school students for their meaningful contribution towards their communities. India is the 7th country outside the United States to conduct the Awards programme. Other participating countries include PFI subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, Brazil and China.

The national recognition events for Spirit of Community Awards winners held in Washington, D.C. every year include gala award ceremonies at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tours of the capital’s historic monuments and landmarks, a festive dinner cruise on the Potomac River, and plenty of opportunity for the students to share their experiences and ideas with one another. The winners also hear from notable public figures, which in the past have included Jimmy Carter, Barbara Bush, Whoopi Goldberg, Colin Powell, Sarah Ferguson (the Duchess of York), Laura Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Susan Sarandon, Kevin Spacey, Forest Whitaker, Robin Roberts and Hilary Swank.

About DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance (DPLI)

DPLI is a joint venture between DHFL Investments Limited (DIL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. (DHFL), one of India’s largest housing finance companies (the second largest in the private sector) and Prudential International Insurance Holdings, Ltd. (PIIH), a fully owned subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc. (PFI), a financial services leader headquartered in the U.S. DPLI represents the coming together of two renowned financial services organizations with a legacy of business excellence spread over decades.

DPLI has a pan India presence through multiple distribution channels which have been customized to address the specific insurance needs of diverse customer segments. The Company is committed to providing protection and quality financial advice to its customers. For further information on the Company, please visit

About DHFL

DHFL was founded in 1984 by Late Shri Rajesh Kumar Wadhawan with a vision to provide financial access for Indians to own a home of their own. Today, led by Mr. Kapil Wadhawan, CMD, DHFL, the company is CARE Triple A rated and reckoned as one of India’s leading financial institutions with a large presence across the country, in addition to representative offices in Dubai and London.

Throughout its years of growth, DHFL has stayed true to its core vision of financial inclusion, especially to the low and middle income customers across India. The company’s wide network, coupled with insights into local customer needs, has enabled the company to provide meaningful financial access to customers even in India’s smallest towns. With a strong business foundation, an extensive distribution network, proven industry expertise and a deep understanding of the Indian customer, DHFL is a respected and trusted financial services company in India with a concerted focus towards enabling home ownership to the low and middle income customer. For further information, please visit

About PFI

PFI*, a financial services leader with $1.334 trillion of assets under management as of June 30, 2017, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. Prudential International Insurance Holdings & Prudential Financial Inc. of the United States are not affiliated with Prudential Plc, a Company incorporated in the United Kingdom. In the U.S., PFI’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

*Pramerica and the Rock Logo are proprietary service marks and may not be used without the permission of the owner  


Microsoft India Releases 2017 India Citizenship Report

Microsoft India released their 2017 India Citizenship Report this week. The report captures an overview of the company’s citizenship programs and impact in the one-year period between April 2016 and March 2017. In 2016-17, Microsoft extended support to over 4000 Indian start-ups, supported skill trainings for 30,000 youth, helped train 26,000 teachers, working closelywith many government departments, industry bodies and not-for-profit organizations in the country.

To read the full report click here

“We are committed to digitally empowering Indian youth and communities. Our various not-for-profit programs help young people attain new skills, find jobs and start new businesses. We are committed to making our technology and our resources work for India’s inclusive growth,” said Madhu Khatri, Associate General Counsel, Microsoft India

Assuring continued support in the future, she added, “We support many projects that empower youth and the communities in India and are particularly proud of the work our employees do. During the last year, our employees have supported over 100 not-for-profit organizations in the country and donated in excess ofINR 29million for community development projects.”

The report presents the following highlights:

Empowering Entrepreneurs

During the year, Microsoft supported over 4000 entrepreneursto build their business, scale up, and grow.

The three major programs under this initiative are:

  • BizSpark, a Microsoft flagship initiative, is a one-year program aimed at supporting early stage start-ups. BizSpark Plus program allows these start-ups with a working prototype to accelerate innovation and get their products and services to customers as quickly as possible.
  • Microsoft Accelerator is a global program built to empower start-ups in their journey to build great companies. The program entails working with market-ready start-ups to providetools, resources, connections, knowledge, and expertise.
  • Microsoft’s Partner Acceleratorhelped GenNext Hub (has successfully graduated 4 cohorts with more than 52 start-ups), AIM Smart City and Brigade Group (has successfully enabled 5 start-ups).
  • Cloud training programssuch as Azure Vidyapeeth and GuruVarta provide assistance to upskill partners and enable them to help over 10,000 SMBs across 250 cities across India to move to the cloud.

Transforming Education

Microsoft’s various education and skill development programs helped train 30,000 youth and 26,000 teachers during the year.

  • In 2016-17, under Project Shiksha over 8124 teachers were trained, especially in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, positively impacting 361,000 students.
  • Project Sakshamhas equipped institutes of higher education to digitize, build technology-enabled content repositories and schedule online sessions. Over the years, Microsoft has conducted trainings for over 3,307 educators across 123 universities. In 2016-17, 661 teachers across 21 universities were trained.
  • As part of the Microsoft Educator Community program, in June 2016, the Government of Maharashtra adopted the QR Coded textbook idea catalyzed by a Microsoft India Educator – Mr. RajintsinhDisale, which allows teachers to receive additional resources and information related to a textbook by simply scanning a QR code.
  • Other initiatives such as the Microsoft Academia Accelerator and the Microsoft India Research Indian Summer School (175 students have received internships in 2017 through RX Labs) have received positive response from students and faculty alike, in the past year.

Innovation for Societal Welfare

Microsoft India is bringing the machine learning and artificial intelligence to solve healthcare, agriculture and education challenges.

  • In December 2016 in partnership with five global eyecare partners, Microsoft India announced the Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare (MINE) – a mission-driven global consortium of like-minded commercial, research, and academic institutions that collectively work on diverse datasets, including the rate of change of myopia in children, conditions that impact children’s eyesight, predictive outcomes of refractive surgery, optimal surgery parameters, as well as ways to personalize a surgery.
  • The‘Digital Village’ project in Harisal – a partnership with the government of Maharashtra and other industry partners created a technology-enabled village with a provision for Internet and digital literacy.

Helping Communities

Microsoft is investing to create a more equitable future and is committed to bringing the benefits of technology to people who need them the most, as well as to non-profit organizations that are working to address humanity’s pressing issues.

Microsoft Philanthropies has invested over 10 million USD in cash and technology to transform the way non-profits deliver impact in India, offering educational opportunities to the next generation, and extending support during humanitarian crises.

Microsoft’s YouthSpark program helped train 30,000 youth and helped 18,000 of these people find jobs.

  • Microsoft has partnered with the Digital Empowerment Foundation and launched DigiKalawhich has so far touched more than 22,000 weavers and 9,000 handloom stations in Odisha.


Hyperloop One and Virgin Group Develop Strategic Partnership to form Virgin Hyperloop One

Richard Branson and Virgin Group Invest in Hyperloop One

Richard Branson has Joined the Board of Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One, the only company in the world that has built a full-scale Hyperloop system, today announced that the Virgin Group has invested in the company to form a global strategic partnership. With this partnership, Richard Branson joined the board of directors and Hyperloop One will rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the coming months.

“For more than 20 years, Richard and Virgin have been at the forefront of transportation innovation, and a partnership with them feels like a natural fit,” said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Hyperloop One. “Virgin is an iconic brand and having Richard as an ally will help strengthen our mission to spread Hyperloop One throughout the world. Josh and I could not think of a better person or brand to be our true partner in our continued quest to make our moonshot idea a reality. Onwards.”


“After visiting Hyperloop One’s test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “Virgin has been known for investing in and creating innovative companies over the years, and I look forward to making history together as we bring Hyperloop to the world as Virgin Hyperloop One.”

This global strategic partnership will focus on passenger and mixed-use cargo service in addition to the creation of a new passenger division. Depending on the market, other brands could be used globally as well. Following the successful test at its Nevada test track “DevLoop” this past summer, Hyperloop One continues to see a growing demand from governments and the private sector around the world with projects underway in the UAE, U.S., Canada, Finland, the Netherlands and India.

With Hyperloop One, passengers and cargo are loaded into a pod, and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. Hyperloop One’s radically efficient and clean, all-electric technology is aligned with the Virgin Group’s purpose-driven mission to deliver more sustainable modes of transportation.

“We’ve focused on developing the technology required to make Hyperloop a reality and demonstrated that it works,” said Josh Giegel, co-founder and President of Engineering of Hyperloop One. “The combination of our proven technology and Virgin’s expertise in transportation, operations, safety and passenger experience will accelerate the commercialization phase of our company’s development. Together with Virgin, we will not only transform how we live, we will rethink how it feels to travel by creating a passenger experience that people will enjoy and look forward to riding. Our goal is to make travel fun again.”

To view the b-roll with more information, click here.

About Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One is the only company in the world that has built a fully operational Hyperloop system. Our team has the world’s leading experts in engineering, technology and transport project delivery, working in tandem with global partners and investors to make Hyperloop a reality, now. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company was co-founded by Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar and President of Engineering Josh Giegel, and is led by CEO Rob Lloyd. For more information, visit

About Virgin Group

Virgin is a leading international investment group and one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands. Conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group has gone on to grow successful businesses in sectors including mobile telephony, travel & transportation, financial services, leisure & entertainment and health & wellness.

Thank you.

Transforming Lives – 15 Years of Disrupting Poverty and Catalyzing Social and Economic Change in India

Photo Exhibition by India’s leading photographer, Prashant Panjiar showcasing AIF’s achievements 

The American India Foundation today celebrated 15 Years of building bridges between the United States and India through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development.  Hosted by Ajay Banga Co-Chair of American India Foundation and CEO, Mastercard, the event highlight was a photo-exhibition showcasing the best of AIF’s work over the last 15 years through field photographs documented by Prashant Panjiar, India’s leading photographer. Also present on the occasion were Alex Counts, AIF President and CEO and AIF Country Director Nishant Pandey.

Pic - 1

Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Banga said “AIF’s verticals of education, livelihoods, leadership & health, have developed very quickly to become models that proof of concept can be taken to scale with the involvement of state governments, local corporates and partner NGOs. These programs have impacted over 3.7 million lives of India’s poor and we hope they will serve to inspire others to take up the cause of disrupting poverty in India.”

By engaging with a staggering range of stakeholders from young Americans and leading philanthropists to grassroots NGOs and government agencies, AIF has evolved to be more than a philanthropic organization over the last 15 years – it has become a social ecosystem designed upon principles of trust, transparency, and partnership, bringing people from all walks of life together in a movement to better whole communities and transform India into a more open, equitable, and vibrant democracy. In order to meet India’s long-term development challenges, AIF realized the need to be responsive, open, and adaptable to rapidly changing needs on the ground and listen closely to the voices that often go unheard. AIF’s programs in Education, Livelihoods, Public Health, and Leadership Development are designed to have an emphasis on inclusive models that focus on the unique needs of girls and women to achieve gender equity as a basis for sustainable change.

Pic - 4

About AIF: The American India Foundation is committed to disrupting poverty, catalyzing social and economic change in India, and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development, with a particular emphasis on empowering girls and women to achieve gender equity. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with NGOs to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill Clinton following a suggestion from Prime Minister Vajpayee, AIF has impacted the lives of 3.7 million of India’s poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018-2019. Learn more at


AIF’s education programs ensure that some of the most marginalized groups have access to high-quality educational opportunities and gain critical life skills alongside 21st century knowledge to prepare them for success in today’s globalized world. 

–          Learning and Migration Program (LAMP) provides access to quality education opportunities to children in areas of high migration, while also advocating to communities and governments the universal right to education.

–          Digital Equalizer utilizes technology to bridge the digital divide in India and transform underresourced schools into dynamic places to teach and learn through collaborative, project-based learning.


AIF works closely with the public and private sector to create inclusive and sustainable livelihoods for individuals, families, and communities across India with a long-term goal of equalizing the informal and formal sectors to provide equitable opportunities for all citizens. 

–          Market Aligned Skills Training (MAST) provides underprivileged youth with skills training and access to formal employment opportunities, including persons with disability. 

–          Ability Based Livelihood Empowerment (ABLE) trains persons with disabilities and facilitates their entry into the job market through advocacy, promoting inclusive growth in India.

–          Rickshaw Sangh enables rickshaw drivers to own their vehicles by accessing formal credit through collectives, creating a life-changing asset and formalizing the profession through access to key social benefits.


AIF promotes maternal and child health by combining increased access to healthcare, improved service delivery, innovative care-based approaches, and capacity-building for healthcare professionals in highly remote areas.

–          Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI) is a public-private partnership seeking to reduce maternal and child mortality by providing care, resources, and support to empower local communities to care for their mothers and children – and improve local health systems


Cutting across AIF’s issue areas of education, livelihoods, and public health, the Clinton Fellowship for Service in India is an immersive, 10-month volunteer service program matching young professionals with development organizations. Fellows work on scalable and sustainable development projects across these fields forming dynamic partnerships to advance and social and economic development in India.

–          William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India builds the next generation of leaders committed to lasting change for underprivileged communities across India, while strengthening the civil sector landscape to be more efficient and effective.

Aerate join hands for the solution to pollution -International Summit on 20th September 2017

Considering the biggest matter of concern of indoor air quality across India, Aerate Air purifiers and Paints join hands by sponsoring the Air-o2-Thon international summit. The emphasis of the summit was to highlight and discuss the issue of depleting air quality that people breathe in air at home that is of poor quality.

Air-O2-Thon, an international summit on air pollution, was graced by honorable Minister Shri Harshwardhan Ji and Chairman Central Polllution Control Borad, Smt. Preeti Aggarwal Hon’ble Mayor North Delhi Municipal Corporation, AERATE Air Purifiers. Mr.Vishal jain also expressed his concern along with other eminent speakers like Dr. Prashant GargavaDirector & HeadAQM Division Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Dr. Deepankar Saha Scientist Central Pollution Control Board, Dr. Radha Goyal Deputy Director Indian Pollution Control Association.

The main agenda to organize the summit AIR-O-THON is to create healthy environment and to understand the current problem of Indoor Air quality and analyzing the market of IAQ solution providers, a need has been felt to bring all the stakeholders (including industries, research and academic organizations, Government representatives, regulatory bodies, representatives from embassies, media etc.) of the air quality at a common platform to discuss the issues evolved recently, to understand the latest in indoor air science, to create a network for exchanging their ideas and to foster the multi-disciplinary collaboration to ultimately search for the comprehensive and sustainable solutions to improve the IAQ in urban buildings.


Mr.Vishal Jain CEO & Founder of Aerate Airpurifiers and Paints said: We believe that healthy air should be available to everyone. Big Cities are choking and have become hazardous to breathe. We want to restore the balance between us and nature. We do this by creating products that mimic nature and by providing solutions that add value to “Society and People”, improving their health, livelihood and create better future for our generations

Aerate offers wide range of multistage air purification which helps in removing all kind of Air borne pollutants. With 6 stage to 8 stage filtration, particulate matter of size .02 microns to 10 micron can be filters with True HEPA. High Grade Activated Carbon helps in removing all odor, smells and VOCs. Molecular Sieve helps in reducing CO2 and improves O2 level; Antibacterial layer with UV treatment kills all kind germs, bacteria and Viruses. A long lasting +vely charged aluminum prefilter captures all dust, hair and other big particles while working along -ve Ion generator. AirPlus helps in removing all PM1.0, 2.5, harmful gases SOx, NOx, CO and VOCs along with killing seasonal bacteria, Viruses and Gums


About AerateAerate is the brand name in Healthcare industry to protect your family from allergies, dusts, asthma, abdominal disorders. Aerate has started delivering its air purifier products in major cities like: Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, and Hyderabad. But now brand is delivering air purifiers in all over the country.Aerate offers wide range of multistage air filters with Home Air Purifier, Office air purifiers, and Commercial air purifiers.


Aerate Aeranano Technology mimic nature and helps producing indoor-air healthy with advanced filtration system that filters out bacteria, allergens and harmful agents with size >0.02 micron*. With large range of Air Purifiers, Aerate covers almost all indoor application areas a human being spend time.



Entries Open for SmartUP – Espark-Viridian’s B-Plan Competition

Event focuses on startup ecosystem and promotes entrepreneurship in India

  • Offers an opportunity to transform  startup ideas into success stories
  • Expert advice on business nuances
  • Opportunity to win cash prizes & entry to Espark-Viridian accelerator centres across India and potential to raise seed investment

 Espark Viridian Accelerator, a startup accelerator for early and growth seeking startups in-association with Headstart Network Foundation, brings a unique opportunity for all the aspiring entrepreneurs- SmartUp 2017. SmartUp is a Pan India Business Plan Competition that could help win a cash prize worth Rs 1.75 lakh, entry to Espark-Viridian’s accelerator program, live one-to-one mentoring, potential to raise seed investment, network with all the who’s who of the business world.


Espark-Viridian in association with Headstart Network are committed to promote entrepreneurship in India. Early stage startups having original idea and clear business model with significant market research are eligible to apply. Top 25 startups will be shortlisted by selected jury members. The event would culminate with two full days dedicated to one to one mentoring from national level mentors followed by a pitching session to top rated investors wherein one could get a chance to raise a seed investment. The deadline application submission is 25th September 2017.


“We, at Espark-Viridan Accelerator believe that India has tremendous potential and startups are the future of business ecosystem. This is a one-of a–kind business plan competition for budding entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality. Besides a potential to raising seed investment, the startups will get the opportunity for one-to one mentorship,” said Vibhuti Channa, Director, Espark Viridian Accelerator.


“SmartUp 2017 is Espark-Viridian and Headstart’s endeavor to identify and nurture India’s young entrepreneurs who have the aspiration and ability to solve big problems through their ventures. With Espark-Viridian’s enablement led program and Headstart’s country wide network -we seek to make mentoring and funding accessible to the early stage startups.” said Amit Singh, Co-founder & MD, Headstart Network.


Individuals with an idea and passion for entrepreneurship need to register at   for participation.

NASSCOM hosts Third Edition of MarTech Confluence; explores the potential of newer technologies for intelligent marketing


As part of its constant endeavors to inspire businesses to use technology for Intelligent marketing, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) Center of Excellence organized the third edition of the MarTech Confluence 2017 at ITC Grand Central in Mumbai on 31st of August. With the theme, Re-imagining CX with Intelligent Marketing Technology, this year’s confluence focused on capitalizing newer tools, technologies, and competencies that bring new levels of intelligence to marketing.

Four key themes shaped the agenda of MarTech Confluence 2017:

  • Drawing the technology landscape for intelligent marketing- Machine learning, bots, automated content generation, neural machine translation, and others
  • Separating artificial intelligence hype from reality- Figuring who’s really using the technologies with practical results
  • Filling the intelligent marketer’s tool box- exploring competencies and capabilities for leveraging intelligent marketing technologies
  • Working with partners to create competitive advantage- Advancing intelligent marketing by partnering with the right agencies and integrators to outpace the competition

The conference brought together industry marketing technologists, Digital service provider companies, Niche marketing technology providers, digital companies, Ad agencies and individuals from the field of marketing technology. The day-long event was attended by eminent speakers including Mr. Ashank Desai, Former Chairman and Co-Founder, NASSCOM, Mr. Scott Liewehr, Founder CEO, Digital Clarity Group, Mr. Rohit Prabhakar, Digital Marketing and Technology, McKesson, Mr. Raghuvesh Sarup, CMO, Microsoft, Mr. Siddharth Banerjee, Senior VP- Marketing, Vodafone and other dignitaries and professionals from the marketing community.