18-year old Nashikar’s solution to prevent India’s most life threatening event!
on Saturday March 31st, 2018, By Kairav shah

What can I say about this 18 year old chai and misal loving Nashikar! I came across Nilay via a mutual friend and from then on I have been following his work.

A 25 under 25 honoree, TED speaker, TEDx speaker, BBC honoree, Chief Technology Officer – Asioto Analytics, a prodigy android programmer and a passionate young lad.

I recently got in touch with him for interview and he was more than happy to interact amidst his 12th board exams!

Without any further delay, meet Nilay Kulkarni – A Nashik based teenager who came up with a device that can prevent life threatening events like stampedes in Kumbh Mela! Read on to know more about his work.

 

 


  • You gave your first interview when you were in your 9th grade. In that you said you started with Android programming when you were 3 years old.Share some light on that! How did you entered the programming world at this age?

I got my first computer when I was around 3 I guess. But I started programming around the age of 13. I’m a self-taught programmer and have always relied on online courses. I was impressed by how easy it was to get started. It’s really amazing that you can simply search ‘learn Android programming’ and start learning in a few minutes.

  • What do you suggest in the Indian education system to incorporate early stage programming among school kids?

I feel it should be introduced just like art is introduced. Like a form of expression. If the children look at coding as a way to bring ideas to life, we’ll have a generation of programmers that have a very evolved way of looking at code. Scratch is a good language to start with and it’s already being taught in Europe and USA. I feel it’s high time we stop teaching 10th graders how to use Excel and PowerPoint.

  • You recently gave your first TED talk. How was your experience? What was it about?

I was fortunate to speak at TEDNYC. It taught me a lot about communicating my ideas very well, so that they don’t sound too nerdy and the audience is able to connect with my words.

  • With young Indian population aiming towards making quick bucks via emerging technology, what’s your suggestion on diverting their necessary attention towards Social Entrepreneurship?

I feel that chasing the quick bucks isn’t an efficient and sustainable approach. I don’t necessarily push for social entrepreneurship but I think it creates a very inclusive and sustainable ecosystem. We should consider the potential impact on humans when we are creating products and see if that looks like a good picture. Obviously you can’t predict everything in the future but if we carry the right intentions, our actions will be guided in a proper manner by our own principles.

  • When did you first came across the stampede issue at Kumbh Mela. What drove you to dig deeper into it?

The first time I heard about Kumbh Mela was when my grandfather told me about it when I was 9. He told me that it’s a religious event and people die during stampedes in these festivals most of the times. It was such a discomforting fact that it always stayed in the back of my head. But I could tangibly work on it only when I turned 14 and I got a chance to work with MIT Media Lab on the problem. I felt that I had a realistic shot at preventing stampedes.

(Have a look at his idea that he was able to present at Ted)

  • What are your future plans – as an individual and as the co-founder at Ashioto Analytics?

I recently finished my 12th grade ISC board exams. I decided to take a gap year before I apply for universities in the US to pursue my education in Computer Science. I want to take a step back and bring out the learner that drove my work. I’m shelving Ashioto as an effort for exploring other problems and get experiences I’ve never had before. I’m taking a few courses on machine learning and aim to expand my skill-set. I always want to start initiatives and found companies that care about problems we all face which are driven by compassion and a sense of community.


You can connect with Nilay via :
So if you ever thought you will wait for the right time to learn and implement something, you may take inspiration from this young man and start working on your dream project! Because when you attempt to do something out of your comfort zone, you either achieve it or you don’t. But you surely grow!
Signing off!
Kairav Shah

Kairav shah

Co-founder at TEN LLP

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