Over 10,000 Indian students will be devising digital solutions at the Smart India Hackathon 2017 to help India tackle some of the most crucial issues and let the youth take part in nation-building.
Conceived as the world’s biggest open innovation model that other countries can replicate and take inspiration from, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) aims to engage the youth of the country to get directly involved in the nation building. Speaking on the occasion, the Ministry detailed out the uniqueness of this initiative and stated, “The scale and reach of Smart India Hackathon 2017 are unprecedented; for the first time, so many different ministries/departments came together and posted their 598 problems for students seeking innovative solutions.”
New world issues to be addressed
India has often struggled to endure the diversity of problems that a developing nation compulsively comes across. From real-time monitoring to the increasing threat of cyber attacks, from smart traffic management to geo-fencing of airports, the Smart Hackathon intends to involve the most astute brains in the country to produce novel digital solutions in the form of mobile and computer applications.
The 10,000 students come from engineering and management institutes and will be addressing as many as 598 serious problems that people face in their regular lives. Prakash Javadekar, Minister of HRD, in a recent media briefing, in New Delhi, divulged that the Smart India Hackathon 2017 will be a 36-hour, non-stop digital product development competition, during which teams from various technology institutes will build innovative digital solutions. The issues were posted by 29 different central government departments such as the Ministry of Railways, External Affairs, Ministry of Defense, ISRO, Ministry of Tourism, Department of Atomic Energy etc. The ‘Grand Finale’ of Smart India Hackathon 2017 will be organised, simultaneously, across 26 different cities and the winners will get support for converting their ideas into start-ups apart from cash prizes.
The Smart India Hackathon 2017 is still a very virgin concept as far as the propagation of ideas is concerned. However, the minister said that there will be awareness workshops across the country to help students connect with this digital innovation programme.
Javadekar was explaining to the media how the 598 problems posted by 29 government departments received ideas from 7,531 teams (each of six students and two mentors) from more than 2,100 colleges across India. “We have even received entries from Andaman,” he added. Out of 7,531 teams, 1,266 teams are shortlisted for the ‘Grand Finale’ to be held on April 1-2, 2017, during which these teams will work nonstop for 36 hours to build products based on their ideas across 26 locations in India.
To ensure the success of the event, the ministry is carrying out multiple online training sessions for students. Creating a record in itself, the online training sessions are promising an induction of more than 30,000 students. The minister revealed his hopes and expectations that the Smart India Hackathon 2017 will go into the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ and ‘Limca Book of Records’ for being the biggest and the most innovative Hackathon till date.