COVID-19: Kerala students win $10k in online hackathon

Two Kerala students win $10,000 in online hackathon against COVID-19 

Representative image. (Credit: Pixabay Photo)

Abhinand C and Shilpa Rajeev, two students from the Government College of Engineering in Kannur, Kerala, have bagged the first prize of $10,000 at the recently-concluded CODE19 online hackathon against coronavirus in India.

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Their winning entry, called iClassroom, involved a modern virtual classroom for the millennial generation. It connects students with teachers through a social media-type interface for uninterrupted learning in the time of the pandemic.

The 72-hour event was hosted by the Silicon Valley-based Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation. 

It saw thousands of innovators and developers compete online from the comfort of their homes to create open-source solutions against the coronavirus crisis faced by the nation.

The second prize of US $5,000 was claimed by six students of Manipal Institute of Technology for enabling remote diagnosis of COVID-19 patients to reduce the risk of infection for healthcare workers. Their solution, TeleVital, captures a patient’s vital statistics remotely through a Webcam and browser.

The third position was divided into three categories, with each of the three winning teams awarded $3,000 as prize money. The winners included SoloCoin which gamifies social distancing by allowing people to earn “solo coins” by staying at home and redeeming them for rewards from various merchants; the COVID-19 Fact Checker, a fake news checker that leverages authentic government, scientific, and public health information to bust misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic; and Grape Community, an open platform that connects people with their neighbourhood shopkeepers and suppliers.

In addition, 10 best innovative solutions were awarded $1,000 each at the hackathon.

A well-known entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and change agent Asha Jadeja Motwani, the Founder of Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the quality of entries at CODE19 online hackathon and the deep enthusiasm shown by all the participants. A community of hackers and mentors, especially young students from all parts of the country and around the world, came together to enable India’s fight against coronavirus. I believe that the qualitative, open-source projects created at this hackathon would help mitigate the impending Corona-inflicted challenges in India."

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