10k engg students to compete in Smart India hackathon

10k engg students to compete in Smart India hackathon
As many as 10,000 engineering students will sit locked in for 36 hours to thrash out  digital solutions for problems listed by the Union ministries, in the final round of the digital product development competition — Smart India Hackathon 2017 — starting on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the students participating in the mega contest at 29 locations in the country. The hackathon will start at 8 am on Saturday and end at 8 pm on Sunday.

“The prime minister will address the students participating in Smart India Hackathon 2017 at 10 pm (Sat) through video conferencing,” the human resource development ministry said in a statement on Friday. With so many programmers (students) participating, this would be the “largest hackathon held anywhere in the world,” the ministry added. Tea/snack breaks, a zumba dance session between 1-1.30 am and a yoga session from 6-6.15 am on Sunday forms part of the non-stop codefest.

The software creations will be evaluated by judges drawn from different ministries and the industry in three rounds spread over Saturday evening, during overnight coding and at the end of contest. The best three solutions will fetch the winning teams an award of Rs one lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. “The awarded software would be used by the Ministry/Departments for improving their governance systems, if necessary, with suitable upgradation,” the Ministry said.

All the winners of the contest would also be connected to form a ‘Community of Innovative Minds,’ the Ministry added. The contest was rolled out about two months ago with the Union ministries and departments putting forth a total of 598 problems requiring digital solutions in sectors ranging from defence and civil aviation to  railways.

“A total of 7,531 teams of 42,000 students responded to the problems identified by the various Ministries and departments of the Government of India,” a Ministry official said. Of them, a total of 1,266 teams comprising 10,000 students from 28 States were shortlisted for the grand finale.

“A software solution which could track the condition of  railway lines and allied infrastructure, and generate auto warning messages about the need for urgent maintenance, can help in preventing untoward incidents. This is one of the problems identified by the Railway Ministry and entered in the contest,” the official added. While the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is the anchor, Information Technology industry is extending the needed support. “Especially M/s i4C and Persistent Systems, and the NASSCOM have led the effort,” the Ministry said.

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