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X Prize to Enhance Innovation In India – An Open Letter to Mr. N Murthy and alikes

Dear Sir (/Madam),

I am writing you with a request to organize a “Ansari Challenge for private
spacecraft” type competition for Indian brains with the theme
“extraordinary rewards for extraordinary efforts”. If this is realized, it
will be very beneficial to Infosys (or any other company) as well as our whole country.

The motivation to write this mail comes from my two observations.

1. Indian brains are still being used as low cost labor for solving the
problems of developed nations and earning foreign exchange. These brains
must be challenged to solve Indian problems and work in line with vision of
Indian nation.

2. With advancements in processor speeds and spread of Internet, the whole
new world of opportunities opens up. Knowledge and quality can be built
into software instead of hardware.
CNC error simulation project at IIT Bombay is an excellent example of this
second aspect. Researchers at IIT Bombay gathered a lot of data about CNC
lathe machine and were able to simulate the error. When the electrical
signals of that lathe machine were suitably error compensated, the error
was substantially reduced and the simple machine was working as good as a
hi-tech precision machine. Only select firms in the world can make such
precision machines but they use high quality metals and electronics /
electrical components. So those companies built quality and knowledge in
hardware, but IIT Bombay was able to build quality it in software.

Based on these observations, here is my proposal.

If a competition (like Ansari competition for private space ship) is
organized with some really challenging task, and a huge reward like 1
crore, that would energize the bright Indian brains in academia and
research establishments in right direction by introducing an extraordinary
compensation for extraordinary performance, and thus motivating people.

One best candidate challenge for such a competition is Sun tracking GPS.
USA has come up with GPS that employs 30 tracking satellites and
triangulation method. But for years people are using Sun and sextant to
determine position on earth. The said competition will be “To build a
device to take two snapshots of Sun using IR camera, one snap after the
another, and analyze those images using image processing algorithm to
determine Sun’s trajectory and thus guess the position on earth’s surface
within a given accuracy.”

With attempts like this, we will be moving the knowledge from hardware to
software. This will open up new areas for software applications and open
new markets for pioneering companies like Infosys.

Also Infosys does need to bear the full brunt of costs involved. A
collaboration of software companies can be formed which will distribute the

I am aware of the value of your time and the fact that this correspondence
is unsolicited. However I strongly believe that this has significant
potential benefits for overall Indian hi-tech industry of which Infosys is
a part. Thus I am venturing to write to you.

I have thought a lot about the above mentioned idea and would be very happy
to correspond with you or your representative if required. I thank your for
your consideration again and hope to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,



I already sent this email to nmurthy at infy dot com. But never got any response. I am sure Mr. Murthy must be getting thousands of mails. Probably my mail got lost somewhere.

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