National Jal Jeevan Mission in partnership with Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) had launched an ICT Grand Challenge on 15th September, 2020 to create innovative, modular, and cost-effective solution to developing a ‘Smart Water Supply Measurement and Monitoring System’ to be deployed at the village level. Results of the First Stage of ICT Grand Challenge were announced on 20th November, 2020. Based on the Jury recommendations, ten applicants have been selected for the prototype stage (Stage 2), and each one is given funding support of Rs. 7.50 Lakhs, for the development of prototypes.
These prototypes are being evaluated by the Jury. A water testbed has been set up for these demonstrations and evaluations at C-DAC located in Electronics City Campus, Bangalore. The top four techno-economically viable prototypes will be selected by the Jury in this Stage and will send for product development. Each team will receive Rs. 25 Lakh funding to build their solution as per the need.
This would be followed by field trial, testing & deployment and demonstration at approximately 25 locations per prototype across the country. Based on the evaluation, one winner and two runner-ups will be selected and awarded Rs 50 Lakh (winner) and 20 Lakh each (runner-ups).
The successful developers will join the MeitY supported incubator/ Centre of Excellences to nurture their solution further. The technologies that developed & demonstrated successfully may be listed in the GeM portal. This will boost the idea and thrust of initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat, Digital India and Make in India.
The ICT Grand Challenge will harness the vibrant IoT eco-systems of India for creating smart rural water supply eco-system to measure and monitor the service delivery of the water supply in rural areas. This challenge will provide an opportunity to work for the cause of Jal Jeevan Mission and to assure potable water supply through tap water connection to every rural household.
In the challenge, enthusiastic participation was observed from all over India. Over 200 applications were received, from various sectors like LLP Companies, Indian Tech start-ups, Individuals etc. A jury has been set up with experts from NJJM, MEITY, academia, industry, C-DAC, STPI, COEs, etc.
This kind of smart measurement and monitoring of drinking water supply in villages is expected to bring transformations in the sector and will address various challenges faced on ground. With this futuristic planning, Jal Jeevan Mission is being implemented in States/ UTs to provide tap water connection to every rural household, thereby improving the quality of living and enhancing ‘ease of living’ of people living in rural areas.
Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is under implementation in partnership with States, with aim at providing Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024. The programme focuses on service delivery at the household level, i.e. potable water supply regularly in adequate quantity and prescribed quality. This requires the use of modern technology in systematic monitoring of the programme and to capture service delivery data automatically for ensuring the quality of services. Digitisation of water supply infrastructure will help anticipate and address future challenges.