The/Nudge Forum launches 2-crore CISCO Agri Challenge aiming to spark farmer-centric innovation - The Daily Guardian
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The/Nudge Forum launches 2-crore CISCO Agri Challenge aiming to spark farmer-centric innovation

The/Nudge Forum launched a 2-crore grand CISCO Agri Challenge on 18 December. The Cisco Agri Challenge aims to spark farmer-centric innovation that improves the economic, social, and environmental outcomes in Indian Agriculture.



The/Nudge Forum launched a 2-crore grand CISCO Agri Challenge on 18 December and kick-started mindful conversations on innovations for Indian farmers with discussions on how we can provide our farmers with their fair share through innovative technologies and collaborative solution-centric approach. The launch had prominent speakers namely Prof K. VijayRaghavan- Principal Scientific Advisor, Dr. Kalpana Shastry, G R Chintala-Chairman, NABARD, Alka Upadhyaya- Additional Secretary, MoRD, K. P. Krishnan- Chair Professor, NCAER, Charanjit Singh- Joint Secretary, NRLM, Ritu Verma- Co-founder, Ankur Capital Fund, Nipun Mehrotra- Founder, The Agri Collaboratory, Anil Kumar SG- Founder and CEO, Samunnati.

In an attempt to build a better future for our farmers, Cisco Agri-Challenge by The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation in partnership with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India aimed for a nation-wide, highly inspiring contest for AGRI-TECH start-ups. Sameer Garde, President of Cisco India addressed the launch and said “ The time to act on this vision has never been better and I believe startups, with technology serving as an ally and as an enabler, are best positioned to affect change where it is needed the most. And one such area is agriculture and India grapples with the twin challenges of low productivity and rapidly falling profitability. We’ve had probably one of the lowest farmer incomes in the world at around $1700 per farmer. And the stress on the farmers is rising due to declining favorable inputs. So the challenges in agriculture are, in my opinion, far too complex and picked from one person or one organization to solve. There is a lack of understanding. There are smallholdings, multiple stakeholders, infrastructure, connectivity, communication, diversity, type of land, the markets, etc where much can be done in this space and needs help.”

Stressing on the need to accelerate digital transformation in the agriculture sector, Garde continued “This actually needs the ecosystem approach whether it is startups, government technology companies, research institutes, industry bodies, individuals and cooperative society. There is a need to work together to harness the full potential of digitalization and AI and all of the new technology. We at Cisco focused on bringing the ecosystem together to make an impact where it matters the most. Given that talent is probably India’s biggest strength, we are committed to working with leaders and entrepreneurs to bring the benefits of digitization to all. We have various initiatives and platforms to do this.” 

Atul Satija, Founder & CEO of The/Nudge Foundation gave an overview of the Agri-challenge and started off by giving a background of the organization which started in 2015 as a non-profit poverty alleviation organization. During its inception five years ago, The/Nudge started working with underprivileged groups in skill development who migrated to cities from rural areas and the organization gave them skills and employability and put them in jobs. “While we are doing our own grassroots work in rural communities, the challenge is that Mahatma Gandhi’s quote ‘India lived in villages’ is true even today. The reality is that 86% of India’s farmers hold land less than 2 hectares. It is very difficult to make farming viable where their input cost is very high. The agriculture sector has grown but the income of the small farmers has not moved at par,” said Satija.

Prof K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt of India delivered the keynote address and launched the 2Cr Agri-Challenge. Prof VijayRaghavan spoke extensively on how farming looks in India in terms of both crops and livestock and how Agri-Challenge plans to work along the lines of this challenge and issues of seed, water, soil, market, and livelihood. “We are caught up in a 20th century model in many aspects and need to go to a 21st-century model and how this challenge helps. First of all, we came here from the relentless use of humans in general. And while that has been extraordinary in terms of the growth of humanity and industry and farming we need to be differently innovative at this time. The reason we came here is that agriculture, the domestication of plants, the domestication of livestock allowed the growth of human societies but it became limiting because you could not cultivate more on the land because soil depleted.”

“The invention of the Haber-Bosch process allows the extraction of nitrogen from the atmosphere converting it to ammonia and this completely changed agricultural fertilizers, the relentless growth of agriculture, and also other technology. Technology completely transformed agriculture, in the early 20th century. The use of unlimited water allowed the growth of agriculture, into a major global industry. And this has absolutely transformed the world, but the minus side of this is that small farming, the diversity of food we eat, all of that started going down, globally.  Farming of small landholding hasn’t gone down in India, but there are substantial land holdings in India. While we constantly find out correctly that our holdings are small, increasing the size of our holdings along with the old 20th-century model. Whether holdings grow bigger or smaller, that’s economic aspects but we must be prepared for sustainable agriculture in terms of the land and environment. We have no alternative but to look at sustainable development through technology,” said the Professor.

Prof Raghavan stressed the kind of technologies and how this challenge can revolutionize the agriculture sector. “There are shades of technologies which measure the quality of their seed, soil and look at the context of the livelihood. The market is a big determinant which we can see the ongoing dilemmas which are happening in the news today, but the market is the major factor. If the farmer is able to access markets, with all these decision-making and aggregation technologies available, then the farmer can make a profit. We’ve seen over the last few years, the dramatic growth of the startup industry. On the positive side size, they have grown on the periphery of our technology institutions and their scale to national and global acclaim. But we have not sufficiently opened the routes to the other areas which are socially and economically important. In other words, e-commerce is an area for their relatively easier growth, drones and AI are becoming more available in the urban sector for areas of growth. We should therefore change our structures and our relationships with academia, industry, and startup, to allow us to farm sectors become a big sector. This is what the challenge is doing.”

This Agri-challenge is envisioned as a prestigious inducement platform where the time for catalytic innovation is now which puts the needs of the farmer at the centre and grows momentum in the Agri-tech arena. “There are more than 25,000 farmer suicides happening in India every year even today. We cannot have a thriving agriculture sector with poor farmers and farmer suicides. The good news, however, is that we are at a stage in our country’s journey that this is very much possible. We have a large number of technologists, engineers, innovators and in the last 10 years, we have seen an insanely large amount of activity in our ecosystem. India’s Agri tech sector is already the second-largest in the world. There are opportunities and investments happening where there is a huge opportunity to record farm inputs whether it is on weather, soil, crop and there are organizations working in that area,” added Satija. 

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As we spent yet another year at home in our pyjamas, the ongoing festive season has given us the perfect excuse to dress up! It is that time of the year when festivity in India is in its full swing. India boasts of an array of significant festivals, of which Karva Chauth, marks one important celebration for married couples.

Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands.

Undoubtedly, like every year, ladies would be stressed about choosing the perfect outfit for the special day. But do you think your search will be limited to finding a good dress? Of course not!

With your sartorial choices taking the front seat, do not forget to have your hands on the must-have jewellery pieces that not only compliment your clothes but also your personality.

Bhavesh Navlakha, founder of online fashion jewellery brand Sukkhi helped ANI list the trending jewellery pieces that would be a one-time investment for you to perfectly style your outfit not only for Karva Chauth but also for the entire festive season:

1. Pearl choker: Chokers are never out of style and are a beautiful addition to accentuate Indian outfits. The choker lends an edginess to your chosen ethnic outfit. An elegant pearl choker can elevate any outfit and give a rather classy look without being too heavy.

2. Long-chain jhumkis: Long-chain jhumkis, also referred to as Bahubali-inspired earrings, is a style statement that acts as the perfect addition to any ethnic outfit. It is a contemporary take on traditional earrings which adds a touch of glamour to your outfit without the need for any more jewellery.

3. Pearl bangles: Bangles are one of the most traditional accessories used in India. Bangles are a versatile jewellery piece that compliments our ethnic outfits. Adding jewellery pieces to your wrist acts as the perfect accessory to just about every Indian outfit.

4. Jhumkis: Jhumkis are immensely popular as one of the most worn jewellery pieces and is loved by everyone for their intricate design. Jhumkis can be paired with Indian ethnic outfits and also western outfits to create an eye-pleasing ensemble.

5. Kundan neckpiece: Kundan neckpieces look elegant and sophisticated and can glam up your outfit in no time. Not just for Karva Chauth, but Kundan sets can be worn by pairing them with your favourite outfit and layering the necklaces.

With jewellery trends constantly evolving and changing every year, we find it hard to keep ourselves updated on them. So, now that we have got you all covered, style your outfit with the above-mentioned jewellery pieces, making your ensemble not only look great but also speaking volumes for you!

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Needledust launches its first-ever store in Mumbai



India’s first-ever designer jutti label, Needledust is thrilled to announce the launch of their first-ever store in Mumbai at Reliance’s first premium mall in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex, Jio World Drive.

Housing more than 90+ premium and luxury brands, JIO World Driver is an exciting hub for luxury, fashion, shopping and entertainment. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and spanning across an area of 17.5 acres at Maker Maxity, Jio World Drive is Mumbai’s newest, vibrant urban hangout. The precinct is home to 72 prominent International and Indian brands, 27 culinary outlets with cuisines from across the globe, Mumbai’s first rooftop Jio Drive-In Theatre, an open-air weekend community market, pet-friendly services, a dedicated pop-up experience and other bespoke services. With an international consumer base, Needledust launched in 2014 with an original first of its kind product in the designer jutti space.

Following the immense success of their existing stores in Delhi & Chandigarh and a spectacular online presence on, this is a significant milestone for the brand as they open their doors to the tinsel town. 

Needledust brings to you a line of bespoke fine leather juttis that speak the charm of a true old school artisan with a desire to recreate this age-old craft for those who wear, admire, preserve its elegance and culture.

The celebrated label is all about unbridled passion for the revival of the jutti and unmatched craftsmanship, amalgamating the finesse of old royal moulds with innovative design and embroidery patterns that impeccably reflect 21st-century aesthetics.

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This wedding season, Manubhai Jewellers, a leading jewellery brand for over 30 years has made the process of finding the perfect jewellery for all the brides-to-be more special and remarkable. The brand has launched a new campaign called “Wedding by Manubhai” that features jewellery for every function – Sangeet, Mehendi and Wedding -along with a special traditional experience for all the new brides-to-be to wish them good luck and prosperity.

Speaking about the new campaign, Samir Sagar, Director, Manubhai Jewellers, said, “We at Manubhai Jewellers have been creating intricate and beautiful pieces of jewellery that balance between tradition and contemporary design to suit every occasion. For the wedding season, we want to take the opportunity to highlight the traditional values associated with our brand and offer a new bridal experience.” Manubhai Jewellers are popularly known for their specially crafted and curated collections in Mumbai. With a retail presence in Borivali, they cater to every customer’s needs ranging from beautiful modern diamond pieces to fanciful and chic gold wear, to traditional Kundan and Jadau jewellery. The brand is one of the few jewellers in Mumbai creating bespoke designs in Polki, Temple and Antique.

Additionally, Manubhai Jewellers are also committed to specialising in bridal jewellery called Madhuban. The Madhuban collection features beautifully handcrafted inspirational jewellery displayed in the store with a royal theme. Manubhai’s traditional concepts stand are brilliantly reflected through the indigenous craftsmanship of the Madhuban collection and has made the brand popular among the best jewellery shops in Mumbai. Further, all jewellers at Manubhai are hallmarked and certified.

Further, to make the moment special for new brides, Manubhai Jewellers have also introduced “Madhuban Delight” wherein the bride is first welcomed in a traditional way with the ‘Aarti thali’ and then gifted with a ‘Potli’ – a traditional drawstring bag that contains silver coins, vermilion, rice and Swastik that symbolise good luck, prosperity and imply the underlying cultural significance of ceremonial rituals.

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Karva Chauth 2021: Stand out with these easy makeup looks



Karva Chauth, an important festival for married couples has always been about dressing up to the nines and sporting elaborate makeup looks for women. Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands. This year Karva Chauth will be celebrated on 24 October, that is, Sunday.

Ladies, you may even have spent days planning out your Karva Chauth outfit and makeup look. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic easing down, there is much of a point in getting decked up like earlier.

So, it is time to come up with a makeup look that is not only appropriate for your special day but also worthy of posting on Instagram!

Check out the simple tips listed below by Professional MUA Sahibjeet Kaur shared with ANI to create a makeup look that is unapologetically you:

1. Basic red, with popping eyeliner or kajal: Women love to wear traditional red shades for their Karwa Chauth, but another trend that has really taken up and we cannot get enough of is the coloured eyeliner or kajal look. Gone are the days when your eyes could carry only basic black or simple brown colours. Now, you can use coloured eyeliner or kajal to add a unique point to your Karva Chauth look. Add trendy colours like lime green, electric blue, and bubblegum pink to your eyeliner or Kajal. You can play around with a sleek cat-eye look or experiment with a graphic liner look by doing a cut-crease with a coloured liner. Apply bold blood-red lipstick with small size red bindi. To compliment your look, style your dress with gajra, mang tikka, and a choker neckpiece.

2. Have fun with the eyeshadow palette: Bid adieu to your basic pink and red eyeshadow look. Explore the peppy colours in the palette and blend the shades that go with your outfit. To add more glam to your eye makeup, apply artificial lashes on your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Go light with your lip-shade to let your eyes do the talking!

3. Smokey eyes with a glitter twist: A trend that can never become stale is the basic smokey eye makeup look. But, why should you settle for basic? Pick up your makeup brush tool and add some glittery twist to the whole look. Choose a colour matching to your outfit for the smokey eyeshadow. Blend it until you achieve the perfect smoke. Apply artificial lashes to your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Ditching the basic black, add a glittery twist to the whole look by applying a silver shiny eyeliner. Apply nude or glossy lipstick and a stroke of highlighter on your cheekbones. If you can wear big jhumkis, it can enhance your look like anything.

4. Add some glow to your look: Steer clear of your ultra-bright golden highlighter and go for a subtler look instead. Opt for a subtle highlighter in the shade of rose gold, champagne, or dull gold. Apply it at the high points of your cheekbones, on your brow bones, and down your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look. This will make your makeup look understated while still making you look effervescent.

5. Get peachy with blush: Red, pink or green- choose any colour for your outfit and peachy makeup will add volumes to your look! Go for a peachy blush with a slight shimmer to add warmth to your face and elevate that dewy look. You can apply the blush straight across your cheekbones and nose to create a pretty fresh look and to your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look.

Pro-tip: Do not neglect your eyebrows. You can use an eyebrow pencil to shape up your eyebrows or can use eyeshadow to give a natural uplift to your brows.

Now that we have got you all covered, try out these makeup tips to glam up this Karva Chauth!

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With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes.




Clamping down on consumption for some has indirectly affected their aesthetic (most for the better). It has initiated a shift in consumer choices. The year 2020 and a majority of 2021 have seen a shift in design trends. Instagram accounts with zen influencers have made impressions in the aesthetic inclinations of many. Enter Marie Kondo, the purveyor of minimalism with tidying up as her motto. Known to preach cleanliness, she believes ’Tidying up’ fosters joy and serenity. Indulgence and maximal living is a personal choice and we are not arguing about it. Respect, Kardashians and Jenners.

However, understated interiors are an aesthetically pleasing choice of decor. This style that is #trending can be incorporated into homes of all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s Japanese, modern or Scandinavian, there are many ways to achieve this coveted look. An added advantage is it is not labour intensive to execute so you can save energy for your upcoming HIIT session. Most of these sleek looks can be achieved by incorporating simple streamlined furniture with chalky hues for upholstery.

Clean modern lines, a pastel palette of colours and simple silhouettes. With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes. Colours are imperative.

A decluttered coffee table with a statement pot planter can do the trick. Facets that add to the zen features range from contemporary ceramic bowls to a some-free soy wax candle. These contemporary bowls can be procured from Ellementry, a home accessory studio from Jaipur. Nestasia (an online Indian home store) boasts of geometric ceramic pots that are unique and trendy. They are available in chalky hues in harmony with a minimalist’s handbook. For everything else there is Ikea.

Rattan mirrors are topping the charts for sprucing up your blank spaces. Choose from a range of hand made rattan numbers to bevelled circular pieces. One mirror on a single wall should do the trick. A multitude of small rattan mirrors can add that subtle adornment. These handmade rattan numbers could be found at You could also explore for some sleek round mirrors by the brand Flairglass.

Tables with sharp lines or curves comply with the minimalist’s montage. Sofas and couches with forms conforming to the Marie Kondo design sensibility.

If you’re looking to fix the mess, commit to tidying up. Investing in simple yet effective pieces with minimum maintenance. Airy spaces with sunlight pouring in are therapeutic. Choose earthy and pastel colours in tandem with the zen philosophy. To destress, declutter.

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ICDMA is a provider of IT services such as Cyber Forensics, IT Audit, IT Risk Evaluation, and Digital Security. In recent years, it has become a tried-and-true standard for businesses looking to defend their brands, enterprises, and reputations from crippling cyber attacks. They develop and deploy information security platforms and services, both standard and personalised, to protect, evaluate, and respond to cyber threats such as security breaches that occur in your systems and networks. The services they provide include Application and Web Development, Graphic Design, Security Audits, Cyber Security Services, Vulnerability Assessments, Fraud Risk Management, and IT Consultancy.

In addition, the firm achieved awards for being the best Cyber Forensics firm preventing businesses from external threats. A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business, or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible and practical solutions to protect you.

Being a cyber security expert and analyst, Dheeraj Kumar has years of experience and stays up-to-date with the current crimes and security trends. He believes that like many other professions, this is a never-ending learning field. They monitor your networks and then analyse them to find common threat patterns or trends. Further, they design software that suits the needs of the problem at hand and ensures that these measures are maintained properly. If, in any case, they encounter a new problem, they utilise their years of experience and knowledge to produce a unique solution.

Witnessing the increased cyber threats, Cybersecurity analyst Dheeraj advises people to use the Internet wisely and productively. Dheeraj is currently working on an Al-driven platform for identifying and mitigating digital risks and counteracting brand impersonation attacks with the company’s patented technologies at its core. Dheeraj’s experience in threat hunting and cyber intelligence has been fused into an ecosystem of highly sophisticated software and hardware solutions designed to monitor, identify, and prevent cyberattacks.

A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible solutions.

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