Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WTF of the Day: DST Seeks Your Ideas for Better Skin Whitener!


In partnership with Procter and Gamble, the Department of Science and Technology launched a brand new crowdsourcing initiative: DST - P&G Challenge of the Month -- a contest in which people suggest solutions to a specific technical challenge, with cash awards going to the "most suited solution."

This initiative was launched just this month. Here's the first "Challenge of the Month":

Innovative Whitening Technologies superior to Hydroquinone

Current best topical chemical active technology for skin whitening is hydroquinone. However, it induces skin irritation and sometimes hypo-pigmentation, thus not practical for cosmetics/quasi-drug usage. It is also banned (or may be banned) to use for cosmetics in several countries.

Challenge yourself to look for Innovative whitening technology or approach that could reduce facial hyperpigmented spot and lighten skin tone equivalent or better than hydroquinone.

The symbolism and the irony are just killing me ...

8 Comments:

  1. Skeptic said...

    This is unbelievable!!! Somebody please bring this to the notice of the minister who is also in charge of human resources who is also in charge of telecom who is also in charge of...

  2. WebMiner said...

    This is dual use technology, folks. For those in/around the government, the predominant use will be to turn black money into white.

  3. L said...

    The point is - partnering with corporates. If you ARE partnering with procter and gamble, do you expect anything else? Do you think P&G will put in money for World Peace?

  4. Rainbow Scientist said...

    what's the problem? It is a big industry and young women/men in India do buy such creams to become more fairer/white, so why not provide them with something better for their skin? In my opinion, it is a very valid research problem.

  5. Dr.Katte said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  6. bhuji said...

    It's hard to wipe out the obsession to get fairer thanks to colonization. it's amazing how ads these days can make people so discontented with their self

  7. inthearmchair said...

    Everybody seems to assume that the fairness obsession is because of colonization or because of a caste-skin correlation. If you talk to Chinese, many of them openly believe that the White race is the superior race, and fairer skinned people are superior -- not just in looks, but in ability. But people in India never seem to bring up colonization, caste, race or superiority -- it appears to be based purely on the perception that fair skin looks looks better. Every ad seems geared towards physical beauty and nothing more sinister. Is there anything to suggest that colonization/caste/race/superiority is responsible for the preference?

    Like many people, I feel vaguely uncomfortable with the obsession with fair skin -- but I can't pinpoint why. We don't condemn those who prefer thin to fat, or tall to short, or straight teeth to crooked, or symmetric to asymmetric features. So why are we uncomfortable with lightness of skin being used as an indicator of beauty?

  8. sharmistha said...

    Glad to hear about the uproar:

    Indian government competition for better skin whiteners draws fire
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2011/02/indian_government_launches_com.html?WT.ec_id=NEWS-20110208