HRD Minister launches digital initiative- Smart India Hackathon

Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister for HRD, Government of India 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. HRD Minister 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

HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar 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!”

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), University Grants Commission (UGC), i4c, MyGov, NASSCOM, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini and Persistent Systems have joined hands to organize this ambitious ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of Indiato address national-level problems as vibrant as panchayat level to the level of the Centre.

Says Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, “It is amazing to see the unbelievable results that i4C was able to produce in its Digital Pune Hackathon in which more than 20,000 students from nearly 70 colleges participated. Together with the civil authorities, these students have translated their ideas and coding skills into smart workable solutions that address real, pressing problems, and have improved the quality of life of communities as a whole. 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. For the first time 25+ govt. dept. are posing their problems to students and seeking innovative yet sustainable solutions.”

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.

In addition, these winning teams will also stand a chance to be part of the Nasscom’s 10,000 Startups Program. Says NASSCOM President Shri. R. Chandrashekhar, “India has a massive latent talent potential and we endeavour to provide them the right exposure & platform to innovate. The Smart India Hackathon, reflects our commitment to ‘Make India Smart’. NASSCOM will continue to leverage international and domestic expertise to catalyse innovation and transformation in the Indian IT sector and attempt to bridge the tech gaps in the country through domain based expertise.”

Mr. Mrityunjay Singh, COO, Persistent Systems adds, “Persistent Systems and i4C and had earlier organized a Digital Pune Hackathon in partnership with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pune MahanagarParivahanMahamandal Ltd. (PMPL), Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), PimpriChinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), Police Dept. and National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) in which nearly 70 colleges participated. A Smart Water Distribution and Leakage Detection System developed by students Swastik Srivastava and Diwakar Shukla from Army Institute of Technology was adjudged as the winner to potentially solve Pune’s water and sanitation challenges.”

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; a digitized platform to monitor the migration of children from one village, cluster, block, district or state to another to introduce interventions to minimize school dropouts in the middle of an academic year; a digital diagnostic tool to measure the learning abilities of students in various classes and subjects; a cost effective solution of quick disbursal of railway tickets to save time for passengers as well as plug revenue leakages in unreserved ticketing; developing efficient security algorithms, analytics tools and integrated video solutions to enhance video surveillance through voice enabled activation, switching views, alarm verification, onsite monitoring and risk management to reduce crime rates; an imaging technology to identify medicinal plants based on morphology and trace their geographical location to help practitioners of AYUSH system; and, a web-based application to pool data on all drug manufacturing units to validate their authentic GMP, ISO and other certifications, quality of drugs manufactured, inventory and rate of preparation of classical and patent-proprietary medicines. The full list of problem statements is available online on Smart Hackathon 2017 website.

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