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Hackers flock to Aadhar hackathon

Mamta Bhardwaj, June 6, 2015, Bengaluru, DHNS 23:41 IST
NASSCOM Product Council Chairman Ravi Gururaj (left) and AngelPrime Managing Partner Sanjay Swamy during the hackathon in Bengaluru on Saturday. DH PHOTO
The first and biggest ever online Aadhar hackathon organised by AngelPrime and HackerEarth in association with UIDAI, Khosla Labs, Microsoft Ventures and Nasscom saw more than 5,000 participants connecting from across India on Saturday, the first day of the two-day event.

The hackathon being carried out over two days will see over 1,47,200 hours of non-stop coding. It aims at developing user-friendly and need-based apps that can be linked with the Aadhar card.

Several private as well as government agencies participated in the event. While most of the participation was online, three offline venues have been set up at PayTM in Delhi, and Nasscom startup warehouse and Microsoft Ventures in Bengaluru where participants could make use of the biometric tools by Morpho.

Bio-sensors were also made available at subsidised prices for developers working online. All the APIs (application program interface), authentication and e-KYC (electronic know your customer) credentials, were opened for the developers to build applications.

Apps in focus

The event serves as a platform to form a community of developers who are familiar with the UIDAI platform, said Sanjay Swamy, managing partner, AngelPrime.

The purpose of the hackathon was to focus on the various applications of the Aadhar card. At present the Aadhar card is linked with bank accounts and domestic gas subscriptions. With this event, the organisers hope to promote various applications for the Aadhar card in sectors such as government services, financial services, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) and offline-to-online services.

Participants were found working on applications relevant to the medical sector, insurance, and government schemes, among others. HackerEarth provided for real-time screening of codes. Live ‘AMA’ (ask me anything) sessions are being held throughout to help participants to connect with each other as well as organisers to discuss and exchange ideas.

This level of participation was unexpected and is very encouraging, said Ravi Gururaj, chairman of Nasscom product council. “To move the needle, you have to do in scale and the hackathon accomplishes this by providing a critical platform,” he added.

Sachin Gupta, CEO and co-founder of HackerEarth, said that by organising such an event, the user’s perspective is identified which could further help determine likely areas where the Aadhar card can be functional.

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