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World’s Largest nation-Building Digital Initiative Smart India Hackathon launched

New Delhi: Union    HRD Minister  Shri Prakash Javadekar  today inaugurated the world’s largest digital national building initiative “Smart India Hackathon 2017” by handing over a torch to technology students.Through Smart India Hackathon 2017, HRD ministry is keen on reaching out to all technology institutions in India and challenge students to offer innovative solutions to some of the daunting problems faced by our nation.  Shri Javadekar unveiled the first set of 250 problem statements received from various ministries that the students will be required to solve during the Hackathon that will take place in early 2017. The Hackathon will have nearly 500 problem statements in all which will be published on innovate.mygov.in.

The Minister  said, “India’s technology talent has made its mark on the world map and has produced innovative solutions for solving complex problems. For the first time, we are now harnessing this amazing human resource potential at such a massive scale to add velocity to India’s development. Not only are we inviting India’s top IITs and NITs but also the technology institutes in the remotest parts of the country to participate in the Smart India Hackathon. I congratulate the 25 different ministries and government departments who have come together on this common platform and are actively supporting this initiative.Besides its potential to be the inflection point for impacting campaigns such as Digital India, Skill India, Make in India, Startup India and Standup India, the Smart India Hackathon can also set an example for the world on how youth power can help find digital solutions to legacy problems within a matter of hours!”  He expressed confidence that students will certainly come out with solutions to the problem statements.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), University Grants Commission (UGC), i4c, MyGov, NASSCOM, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhiniand Persistent Systems have joined hands to organize this ambitious ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development.  ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ will harness creativity & technical expertise of over 30 lakh students from technology institutes in remotest parts of India, to spark several institute-level hackathons countrywide and help build a funnel for ‘Startup India, Standup India’ campaign

AICTE and i4c in collaboration with other partners will reach out to 6500+ technology institutions and challenge students to think out-of-the-box.  Students will stand to win cash prizes from each participating ministry, and also a chance to be part of the NASSCOM’s 10,000 Startups Program.

Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, said that  AICTE is committed to take this novel approach to each and every tech institute in urban and rural parts of the country so we can tap into our demographic dividend to produce faster results for making India stronger.
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar launching the Smart India Hackathon ’17, in New Delhi on November 09, 2016.
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar launching the Smart India Hackathon ’17, in New Delhi on November 09, 2016.

The 'Smart India Hackathon 2017' is a pan-India 36-hour nonstop digital programming competition which will take place in more than 20 centres simultaneously. Each participating college can nominate up to three teams, each having six team members, which can belong to different courses or semesters within the same college. Each team will need to have at least one female team member, to encourage women coders. Each team will also have the option of choosing up to two mentors, who can be faculty, alumni or any other expert in their circles. Each of the participating 25 ministries and government departments will give away prizes to top three teams, so 75 teams will stand a chance to win cash rewards as well as a chance to work with those ministries and departments for up to six months to execute their winning solution. For every ministry and department, the first prize will be of Rs.100,000, second prize of Rs.75,000 and third prize of Rs.50,000. Some of the ministries and departments participating in the Hackathon include Railways, External Affairs, Defence, Civil Aviation, Indian Space Research Organization, Department of Atomic Energy, etc. NASSCOM President Shri. R. Chandrashekhar  and Persistent Systems , COO, Mr. Mrityunjay Singh also spoke on this occasion.

The Smart India Hackathon 2017 will aim to find digital solutions to problems in the areas of power, education, health, water, finance, agriculture, energy, urban & rural development, aviation & shipping, transport, sanitation, sports, law & justice, skill development & entrepreneurship, defence, textiles, tourism, etc.The initiative will help institutionalize a model for harnessing the creativity and skills of youth for nation-building. Some of the problem statements made public today include developing a dynamic HealthMap that can tap into online data sources to ensure rapid response to disease outbreaks such as H1N1, dengue and chikungunya through faster information flow between public health systems.   The full list of problem statements is available online on Smart Hackathon 2017 website.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He is serving as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University, the university which controlling 440 colleges of Engineering, Management, Pharmacy & Architecture colleges in Gujarat.

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