Silicon Valley based Indian American entrepreneur, Karl Mehta has launched a unique initiative called Code For India, designed to get techies and software engineers who could develop softwares and applications to address the issues in education, entrepreneurship, food and water and health and sanitation in India and other developing countries.
Code for India will connect thinkers and engineers with local governments and citizens to provide them with the power to help themselves. Its main mission is to inspire techies to volunteer their time and talent to give back to their communities.
“As a firm believer in the power of crowd sourced and open sourced technology, we have created Code For India to provide tools to fight day-to-day public service issues…Code For India’s use of technology will promote transparency, participation and efficiency in the way local people can voice their concern and find solutions,” said, Karl Mehta.
Moving further, it had already got a number of Indian origin tech professionals from Microsoft, Google,eBay, Visa, and Facebook who are building a number of “social awareness apps” as part of the first phase of the program.
Few of its Current projects include:
1) Spotter.in: A web app which makes it easier to report problems with civic infrastructure and mobilize action
2) Adopt a School: It is a platform for citizens to be able to adopt local schools and surface performance metrics about them
3) Report and Track Corruption: A platform for citizens to be able to submit corruption incidents and track cases by city/state
4) Yelp for Doctors/Dentist: The app allows users to rate Doctors, Dentists
5) HealthBook: Social platform for healthcare sector
It is also working on a mobile app that brings people together to avert and alleviate crises.
Though for now there are around 100 programmers who are part of this initiative, but in an interview with AllThingsD, Karl has said that his goal is to get a million programmers across the globe to donate their time. “The million [programmer] goal is very achievable,” he added.
It’s team will be volunteering eight hours of software development per month and will develop softwares worth USD 8-10 billions per annum.
Professor Vijay Pande of Stanford University, Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education and Vish Mishra, Venture Director at Clearstone and mentor to ‘The Hive’ and ‘The Fabric’ are also part of the Advisory Board of Code for India.
CFI has its offices in Mountain View, Calif, and Bangalore, India.
Karl Mehta has previously also founded PlaySpan, which was acquired by Visa for USD 190 million in 2011. He has also served as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow for the Obama Administration and currently a partner at venture capital firm Menlo Ventures. He has been actively involved in a number of civic initiatives that apply technology to effect social change.
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