This awards ceremony was the country’s first competition that recognises ideas by professionals and students from the construction fraternity for smart ideas and solutions that bridge the country’s urban and rural problems.
UltraTech Cement, an Aditya Birla Group company, has awarded stalwarts of the construction industry at the ‘India Next’ awards evening that was held recently in Mumbai. This programme is India’s first competition that recognises ideas by professionals and students from the construction fraternity for smart ideas and solutions that bridge the country’s urban and rural problems, by focusing on an improved ‘collective’ future.
India Next is a platform under UltraTech’s ‘Build Beautiful’ philosophy that engages future builders of India to make more intelligent use of technology with available people and resources for improved management of urban and rural landscapes. As a step towards a new India, the ceremony felicitated engineers and architects for their inspiring ideas and solutions towards building a better future. After six months of rigorous screening through 400 detailed concept entries by 16 eminent jury members, India Next awarded 17 participants with trophies and citations for coming up with the best ideas, that if implemented, could bring about a transformation of societies.
Prominent architect David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture along with KK Maheshwari, Managing Director, UltraTech Cement felicitated the most inspiring ideas that inspire to create ‘Smart Cities and Villages’.
Speaking on the occasion, KK Maheshwari, Managing Director, and UltraTech Cement, said, “India is moving towards claiming its rightful place in the world through a series of determined steps. Taking advantage of the vast potential of this country, the government is leading initiatives to create infrastructure at par with the world’s best.”
Maheshwari opined that this was a story of “transformation of the country and its society”, through multiple initiatives like better governance, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, irrigation, water and waste-management programmes, to name a few — all culminating to a clean and healthier livelihood for all. He added, “The plan to create Smart Cities will make life a real pleasure, and ultimately improve productivity. All of this will lead to an India where the next generation will experience life in a manner dramatically different from what it is today and be the envy of the world.”
“UltraTech has always partnered in India’s growth story. All the iconic buildings in the country, be it the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Terminal T2 of Mumbai, Metros, etc., have been built with cement and concrete especially formulated by UltraTech to lend elegance and beauty to these marvelous structures. UltraTech believes in a seamless partnership with all its stakeholders. In line with government’s vision of a grand, beautiful and powerful India, UltraTech now seeks to unleash the power of ideas of architects, engineers and students. ‘India Next’ was designed to give them a platform to showcase their vision of a Smart Society, a Beautiful Society,” said Maheshwari.
The competition revolved around solutions that traversed the diverse socioeconomic landscape and was welcomed with open minds by the entire fraternity.
Pant spoke about the approach required for sustainability in construction. According to him, building maintenance is a wide subject covering not only maintenance of building services, but also the maintenance of all other aspects, including the structure itself. Effective operations and maintenance is one of the most cost-effective methods for ensuring reliability, safety and efficiency of a building.
Inadequate maintenance of energy-using systems is one of the major causes of energy wastage. Also, inadequate maintenance of systems that consume water, including plumbing and HVAC systems (as applicable), can result in excessive usage of water. Good maintenance practices result in substantial savings in consumption of energy and water, and should be considered as a resource.
The seminar concluded with a panel discussion, featuring experts like Dr AK Mullick, Professor B Bhattacharjee, Sanjay Pant, Ramesh Chandra and Professor Manu Santhanam. The discussion was moderated by VV Arora, Joint Director and Head-Centre for Construction Development and Research, NCB.