Young Achievers

Mrigank Pawagi

Noida-based Mrigank Pawagi (14) is the latest teen to join the platoon of precocious gaming app developers of the country. One of five national champions of Google India’s version 3.0 online Web Rangers Contest 2017, the results of which were declared on Internet Safety Day (February 6), Mrigank was feted and awarded a Samsung tablet for innovating a new Android gaming app WebMe (projects category).

The annual Web Rangers competition which is open to 10-17 year-olds under the campaign, poster and project categories, is organised by Google India Pvt. Ltd — the Indian subsidiary of the American multinational tech behemoth Google LLC — to raise Internet safety awareness. The Web Rangers Contest 2017 launched on Children’s Day (November 14) last year, attracted over 5,000 entries.

“My free-of-charge gaming app educates users about the fundamentals of cyber security through an online game which can also be played offline. Each level of the game is challenging, and successful winners earn a certificate for bragging rights,” says Mrigank. 

The elder of two children of business couple Milind and Sonia Pawagi, Mrigank, a class IX student of the CBSE-affiliated Vishwa Bharati School, Noida, learned the basics of computer programming in class IV. “MSWLOGO was the first programming language I learned in school, which sparked my interest. When the Web Rangers contest was announced, I instantly began working on my idea. Using open Internet resources like (MIT’s) App Investor and platforms and community, I completed my award-winning entry in five weeks,” he recalls. 

Looking ahead, Mrigank has set his sights on studying engineering after Plus Two. But right now he is working on improving and upgrading his digital safety app. “Given the urgent need to spread Internet safety awareness worldwide, I am focusing on designing a cyber-security website and plan to integrate it with educational games like WebMe,” he enthuses. 

Way to go, Bro!

Autar Nehru (Delhi)

Young Achievers

Archit Agarwal

An electrical engineering graduate of Uttarakhand’s reputed University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, Meerut (UP)-based Archit Agarwal (24) is among 55 awardees of this year’s prestigious Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award for inventing an On-Board Diagnostic Data Analysis System (OBDAS). 

OBDAS is to a car what a black box is to an airplane. It connects all the electronic control units (ECUs) of a car such as engine, sensors, lights etc and stores information transmitted by ECUs which is useful in checking their operational condition for diagnostic purposes. OBDAS differs from other control systems in the market as it also automatically transfers vital information such as location of the vehicle to emergency services and contacts. 

The GYTI Award is an initiative of the non-profit Ahmedabad-based SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) to encourage the spirit of student innovation in engineering, science, technology and design through ideation of affordable solutions. 2,915 entries submitted online were assessed by 175 jury members drawn from academia and industry. Of them 55 were awarded GYTI certification on the opening day of the five-day annual Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE), hosted by the office of the President of India, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

“India is set to become the third largest market for automobiles in 2020 after China and USA. But it already holds the world record of 400 motor vehicular accidents per day. Therefore, it is imperative for the automobile ancillaries industry to promote road safety through its products. This urgent need inspired me to ideate and develop OBDAS,” says Archit, the older child of homemaker Shalu and businessman Rajesh Agarwal.

Thus far, Archit has invented four automotive electronic ancillary products including OBDAS, and has won several national and international competitions. After the UPES convocation ceremony scheduled for end June, Archit is all set to work with Denso India International Ltd, Gurgaon, the India arm of the automotive ancillaries giant Kariya (Japan)-based Denso Corporation. “My focus now will be on learning about best industry practices while working in a corporate environment and sharpening my entrepreneurial skills for the future,” says Archit. 

Wind in your sails!

Swati Roy (Delhi)