Awards, Recognition & Conferences

AMMACHI Labs has an impressive history of discovery and innovation and is adding new chapters each year. A series of firsts:

  • India’s first haptic device for vocational training
  • India’s first women plumbers
  • India’s first vocational education portal that integrates education, employment and community

AMMACHI Labs is already well known on the global development frontier for its strides in skill development and women empowerment and has been represented at several key international conferences.


Taiwan, Nov 7-11, 2016

YWCA International Leadership Institute Experts Group Meeting

AMMACHI Labs Researcher&Technical Manager Prof. Gayathri Manikkutti is attending the YWCA International Leadership Institute Experts Group Meeting in Taiwan. Prof. Gayathri also presented about AMMACHI Labs in the Panel Presentations: Best Practices. Today she will be visiting the Vice President of Taiwan with the delegation.

The World Young Women’s Christian Association (World YWCA) is a global movement working for women’s empowerment, leadership and rights in more than 120 countries and 20’000 local communities. YWCA of Taiwan is hosting the first Expert Group Meeting for the YWCA International Leadership Institute. The meeting will be held in Taiwan from 7 to 11 November

reachingReaching the Unreached: Skills Development Policies and the Promise of ICT – A Scoping Study from India and South Africa

Researchers Srividya Sheshadri and Chris Coley have been spending time in Europe collaborating with the Managing Director of NORRAG, Mr. Joost Monks, about an 18-month study with the REAL Center at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, AMMACHI Labs of Amrita University and NORRAG at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland. They plan to identify and assess knowledge gaps regarding technical vocational education for unreached populations within India and South Africa

Michigan, October 20-22, 2016

Meaningful Play 2016 Conference

Sreeram Kongeseri, a research associate at AMMACHI Labs presented his multi-site case study paper at the Meaningful Play 2016 Conference held at Michigan State University from October 20-22, 2016. His presentation at MSU was on the use of games for teaching life skills in rural India. This strategy game has been designed in a participatory process with forty rural participants in five village sites across five states in India

vatican-youth-symposiumVatican, Italy
Vatican Youth Symposium to trade knowledge, co-generate ideas and operationalize solutions to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Young leaders from a variety of disciplines including tech, advocacy, research and policy assembled at the Vatican Youth Symposium to trade knowledge, co-generate ideas and operationalize solutions to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Sreeram Kongeseri from AmritaUniversity was among 50 youth leaders from more than 30 countries selected to present and deliberate solutions for the realization of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

Sreeram represented India and proposed a solution for achieving SDG 4: Education. His idea was to use game technology to nudge people to become lifelong learners in both formal or non-formal education systems and to learn and apply complex problem solving skills. Watch
UN campus at Bonn, Germany

unevocUNEVOC International Center for TVET (Technical Vocational Education Training)

Prof. Bhavani and team members visited the UNEVOC International Center for TVET (Technical Vocational Education Training) at the UN campus at Bonn, Germany and were hosted by the the Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC: Mr Shyamal Majumdar.

Mr. Majumdar was fascinated by on behalf of  Amrita University’s work in the areas of vocational and life skills training in villages and is interested in collaborating to further UNEVOC’s international knowledge sharing network


La Jolla, California

Global Empowerment Summit

Prof. Rao R. Bhavani, Director of AMMACHI Labs, was a panelist and speaker at the Global Empowerment Summit in La Jolla, California. She gave a talk during the session: “Power of Compassion and Global Impact”. Br. Dayamrita Chaitanya, Executive Director of MA Centers of North America, lead a guided meditation during a session “Power of Wellness: Group Meditation”. Prof. Karen Moawad of Amrita Center for International Programs – ACIP also participated at the event. The conference explored the power of collaboration, social impact, global connection, human triumph, recognition, and the power of collective minds: human trafficking think tank both locally, nationally, and internationally.


Asia Haptics 2016 Conference in Japan

Our PhD scholar Jose James had his paper titled “Bimanual Haptic Simulator for Training Hand palpation and Lumbar puncture” accepted at the Asia Haptics 2016 Conference in Japan. What’s interesting about this conference is that they are very selective about submitted papers that must be supported by live or video demos and is known to be one of the biggest haptics conferences in the world and THE biggest in Asia. Jose is Senior Research Associate at AMMACHI Labs with over 8 years of experience in haptics R&D.

More info

Sptember 26, Jaipur, India

5th International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics (ICACCI’16)

Aswathi P, Research Associate and Amritha N, Embedded Systems Engineer, AMMACHI Labs attended and presented two papers at the 5th International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics (ICACCI’16), Jaipur, India.

The presented papers are: “Bridging the Skill Gap Using Vocational Training Simulators: Validating Skill Assessment Metrics” and “Design and Development of Balance Training Platform and Games for People with Balance Impairments”  More info

August 31, Kollam, India

Skills in Schools: Computerized Vocational & Life Skills Training For India’s Future Innovators

Another first for AMMACHI Labs! “Skills in Schools: Computerized Vocational & Life Skills Training For India’s Future Innovators” an E-Learning Initiative of Amrita University and Amrita Vidyalayam Schools was launched today. 190 students over 4 Kerala schools were given training in vocations such as Two Wheeler Maintenance and Fabric painting. Now plans are in place to scale to bring vocational and life skills training to 27 schools across India.

More Info: 

amrita-universitysaarc18-19 August, Amrita University, Coimbatore, India

Amrita University, SAARC Members, CIRDAP joined for Expert Consultation Meeting

Amrita University continues to accelerate the adoption of sustainable development, by collaborating with SAARC Countries and Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP), and conducted an expert consultation meeting on “Assessment of role of agro-processing as a key component of rural mass employment and rural development models” at Amrita University, Coimbatore on 18-19 August 2016. The seminar focused on establishing a shared framework for rural development through small-scale agro-business.

Members* from the Ministries of 10 countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – attended the seminar. Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore hosted the event.  More info


August 17-19, 2016, Amritapuri-Kochi

International Workshop on Sensors and Small Satellite Technology for Disaster Management – SSTDM 2016

Prof. Bhavani was an invited speaker at the International Workshop on Sensors and Small Satellite Technology for Disaster Management – SSTDM 2016 at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS). During the morning session: Disaster Management  Needs and Challenges Prof. Bhavani presented: “M.A.Math’s DRR activities: An Overview.”

Organized by the Amrita Center for Wireless Networks, The SSTDM 2016 workshop showcases a concerted effort for identification and further development of mutually agreed small-satellites, sensors, and wireless communication technologies.#WNA #SSTDM2016 #DisasterManagement

These envisaged collaborative projects will have innate focus on serving the socio-economic causes and technology-development needs of both the countries with compliance to the existing frameworks. Read more


12-13 August, Amritapuri

National Seminar on Curriculum Design & Development for Sustainable & Societal Development: A Road Map

Prof Bhavani Rao, Director, AMMACHI Labs, Amrita University, said, “There is much debate on what skills are required for the 21st century where education and development are defined and directed by sustainability. Studies conducted by the World Economic Forum show that skill gaps are especially pronounced in low-income countries and recommend the use of technology to overcome these.”
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youthskillsdayevent_puriJuly 15, UN Headquarters in New York.
Promoting Innovation, Skills and Young Women’s Entrepreneurship

Prof. Rao.R. Bhavani on a panel discussion at the UN Headquarters in NYC on World Youth Skills Day. The theme is “Young Women’s Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Skills Building.”

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June 21-24 Manchester, UK

ACM International Interaction Design and Children Conference 2016

Dr. Alexander Muir presented  a paper titled “Of Elephants and Nested Loops : How to Introduce Computing to Youth in Rural India” at ACM IDC 2016, Manchester, United Kingdom


June 22nd Geneva

NORRAG (Network for International Policies and Cooperation in Education and Training)

On behalf of AMMACHI Labs, Prof. Bhavani attended another International Conference in Geneva on June 22nd. “The Governance of Education and Training: Agenda 2030 and Beyond” was hosted by NORRAG (Network for International Policies and Cooperation in Education and Training) in collaboration with the Education Network of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Geneva. NORRAG aims at informing, challenging and influencing policy making and dialogue regarding international perspectives on technical and vocational skills development policies and practice.

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2-4 May 2016 | EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

2016 UNESCO Chair Conference on Technologies for Development: From Innovation to Social Impact

The focus of Tech4Dev 2016 was “From Innovation to Social Impact”. Prof. Bhavani and Ajay Balakrishnan shared AMMACHI Labs’ innovative technologies that support social, environmental and economic development in India. One of the outcomes of this conference will be to build partnerships with other organizations, such as NORRAG, the Network for International policies and cooperation in education and training.

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March 8 – 11, Parisunesco-mobile-learning-week

UNESCO Mobile Learning Week

Prof. Rao R. Bhavani was invited by Dr. Borhene Chakroun, Chief of Section at UNESCO, to share AMMACHI Labs’ experience during an inter-agency workshop on Technical Vocational Education and Training and Gender Equality that was organized on Women’s International Day (March 8th 2016) in UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

This workshop gathering major institutions such as the ILO, the WHO and the European Commission, among others, aimed at building on the international momentum on these issues and formulate recommendations for the future. Prof. Bhavani was  in Paris for duration of the Mobile Learning Week Conference for speaking engagements and knowledge sharing events as well.

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February 26-27,Mumbai

Singularity Summitsingularity

Professor Bhavani, Director, AMMACHI Labs participated at Asia’s first SingularitytU Summit in Mumbai. This two-day conference helps local leaders understand how exponential technologies can be used to create positive change and economic growth in their region.

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2016 February 19, Coimbatore

Lumiere Conclave @ Anokha

Dr Alexander Muir presented  AMMACHI Labs’ Women Empowerment: Sanitation Project at the Lumiere Conclave as part of ‪Amrita University‬’s ANOKHA Conference. The mission of the Coimbatore campus’ Lumiere is to inspire and enrich the minds of college students at Amrita University, bringing them into conversation with India’s top thinkers from a spectrum of professions. The presentation on our ‪Sanitation‬ project will help inspire Amrita students to use their technological research and inventions for social good, bringing Sustainable Developmentt‬ to India and the world.

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Jan 27 – 29 UNISDR, Geneva

1UNISDR Science and Technology Conference on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Prof. Rao R. Bhavani, Director, AMMACHI Labs presented  a poster titled “Innovation in Skill Development for The Continuity of Livelihood in Disaster Rehabilitation.” The focus of her presentation was on the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the response by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (Embracing the World) in the area of skill development and vocational training.

Prof. Rao R. Bhavani was one amongst the 800 eminent scientists, policymakers, practitioners and members of the private sector and civil society from all over the world were in Geneva, Switzerland, to launch the UNISDR Science & Technology Partnership and the Science and Technology Road Map for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. UNISDR was established in 1999 as a dedicated secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)

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seek_logoDecember 17th, 2015, Trivandrum, Kerala
Skill Enterprise Engagement  for Empowering Kerala – SEEK 2015 Conference
“Innovative Options – Scale and Reach with Speed and Standards”

Professor Bhavani has been invited as a panelist and speaker to present the work of AMMACHI Labs and how our skilling solutions could scale training in Kerala.

bishop_bcNovember 13-15, 2015, The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican
“Children and Sustainable Development: Challenge for Education” A Conference
Professor Bhavani presented ‪AMMACHI Labs’ vast research and implementation in areas of technologies for education and skill training for women. Conference website.


November 12-14, Trivandrum
International Conference on Gender Equality 2015
PR Associate Radhika Mohan represented AMMACHI Labs at the International Conference on Gender Equality 2015. The was organized by Kerala Governments Department of social justice in association with UN Women, a United Nation’s organization dedicated to gender equality and empowerment of women. The Gender Park website

October 28th, 2015, IIT Delhi

Townhall Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg
Senior Software Architect Ranga Venkataraman was an invited guest at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi on behalf of AMMACHI Labs who won Facebook’s ‎Innovation Challenge. MySangham was selected as a winner in the category of women. Video link to Townhall Q&A


October 17, 2015, San Diego,

CaliforniaGlobal Empowerment Summit

Prof. Bhavani presented AMMACHI Labs’ skill development and WE Sanitation work at Alliance4Empowerment and UCSD’s Global Empowerment summit session on “Disruptive Innovations for Economic and Social Inclusion.” Global Empowerment Summit website


October 8th, 2015,
Intel India Academic Forum 2015 (IAF 2015)
Prof. Gayathri Manikutty, Ajay Balakrishnan and Unnikrishnan R. represented AMMACHI Labs at the Intel India Academic Forum 2015 (IAF 2015) in Delhi. Ajay Balakrishnan presented AMMACHI Labs’ innovations in skill development for the “Computing for Skilling” panel and discussion. AMMACHI Labs demonstrated its haptic simulators, multimedia content, the MySangham portal, LEAP motion technologies and other innovations at Intel’s Innovation Showcase where emerging technologies are interacted with by senior industry leaders and prestigious academics. Ajay Balakrishnan was also nominated as a resource expert. Intel Academic Forum website


October 5th, Bangalore
UX India @UsabilityMatters

Professor Dr. Alexander Muir, addressed the “Women In Design” track on the importance of focusing UX work on rural village women in India. The UX India conference is in its 10th year, and represents one of the most significant movements to establish User Experience and Interaction Design in India. UX India website

Panel at the Event

Panel at the Event

September 23 & 24th 2015, Columbia University, New York
International Conference on Sustainable Development
Prof. Rao R. Bhavani and co-authors Srividya Sheshadri, Kripasagar (Chris) Coley (presently PhD researchers), won the “best paper award,” and was recognized as one of the six best papers presented at the conference. Former intern, Vidya Nair,  presented the paper titled: Training India’s first female toilet builders: An argument for improving sanitation through women empowerment and social inclusion during one of the parallel sessions at the conference. The conference proceedings will be available at


Prof. Bhavani with Tulsi Byrne from the UN Global Compact

Prof. Bhavani with Tulsi Byrne from the UN Global Compact

September 8th, 2015, Delhi
“Women’s Empowerment Principles in Practice” Conference

Prof. Bhavani presented the research and work  of AMMACHI Labs as a panelist and speaker. Her panel was titled:  ‘Investing in the Community to Strengthen Development’. Leveraging inclusive community engagement to build locally-driven solutions have been proven to help strengthen the enabling environment for women and girls to flourish. WEPs website

July 8th, 2015, New York, United Nations

Conference on Technology for Sustainable Development at the United Nations

Conference on Technology for Sustainable Development at the United Nations

UNAI-START Conference on Technology for Sustainable Development
“Technologies for Skill Development” was Prof. Bhavani’s presentation which touched upon the critical need to re-engage technologies such as robotics toward skill development. The one day conference was co-hosted by Amrita University and featured presentations from some of the world’s leading researchers on groundbreaking developments in nanotechnology, biotechnology, wireless technologies, and human-computer interaction. Prof. Ken Salisbury from Stanford and Dr. Sylvia Hostettler from EPFL Switzerland also presented their research and collaborations on skill development along with Professor Bhavani. More about the conference can be found on the UN Academic Impact website.



Prof. Bhavani on the nightly news representing the proposed relief efforts.

Prof. Bhavani on the nightly news representing the proposed relief efforts.

Other International Visits/Outreach
In January 2015, Prof. Bhavani visited the Tacloban and Masbate regions of the Philippines. Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)– one of the strongest storms recorded on the planet — smashed into the Philippines in November of 2013 followed by other devastating typhoons and floods. Prof. Bhavani met with key leaders and policy makers and conducted valuable needs assessments to speed up efforts to rebuild the affected areas. AMMACHI Labs explored bringing computerized vocational education and life skills training to communities in the region. There are plans to build a vocational center and a women’s cooperative for sustainable livelihood in Balud. Professor Bhavani on the local nightly news in the Phillippines.

Photo Gallery

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