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10,000 participants competed for 36 hours in 4th edition of Smart India Hackathon

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, AUG 05, 2020: THE Grand Finale of fourth edition (Software) of Smart India Hackathon - 2020 concluded on August 4, 2020. The Hackathon was held simultaneously at 40 virtual nodal centers across the country, from 1st to 4th August, 2020. The Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi addressed the Grand Finale of the largest ever hackathon in the world, through videoconference on 1st August 2020. He lauded the youth for their efforts to innovate new applications along with ways to create an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. The Prime Minister also interacted with three teams working on real-time tracking and alert systems using AI for crime detection and virtual police station with the IPS Training Academy, Hyderabad. The Prime Minister said that one should connect with the people on the field which will help in making the product user friendly and give a better reach to the product among masses.

The Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon (SIH) -2020 (Software Edition) was inaugurated by Union Minister for Education, Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank' on 1st August, 2020. Minister of State for Education , Mr Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre and Secretary HE, M/o Education, Mr Amit Khare were also present on the occasion. During the Inauguration, Mr. Pokhriyal said, “SIH provides confidence to the students to stand up like a warrior and decide on the path they want to take.” He also said that ideas coming up during the SIH will be implemented on the ground level.

Considering the Covid pandemic, the Grand Finale was organized virtually for the first time in the history of SIH, which connected all the participants throughout the nation together over a specially-built advanced SIH platform. Nearly 10,000 members including the delegates, jurors, students, nodal center committee and organizers were associated with SIH 2020 including 1080 teams and 705 mentors (6 participants per team, about 6480 participants) who competed for 36 hours across 40 different centers in India.

70 organizations participated in the Hackathon this year as Problem Statement creators. Central ministries/ Departments such as Indian Space Research organisation, Bureau of Police Research & Development, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Women and Child Development etc., along with State Ministries/Departments, such as Government of Sikkim, Government of Goa, Government of Bihar etc., and other private industries, such as the Amazon Web services, Yamaha motor Services etc. were partners in the SIH 2020.

Total of 243 problem statements, based on 11 themes were worked upon during this edition of SIH. Some of the problem statements seen this time included Tracking & Tracing of Fake News, UAVs for Disaster Identification and alerting System,Network connectivity in remote areas, Designing innovative methods to prevent blackmailing and frauds against women specific cases and many others. Several Problem statements were also associated with “ Atma-Nirbhar Bharat”, including “E –Marketplace wherein tribals can promote, market and sell tribal produce such as handicrafts, arts, paintings, minor forest products etc. on line with provision of delivery and e-payment and promotional discounts” given by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

ISRO being the largest contributor in SIH 2020 Problem statements was so amazed by the work done by student teams that Associate Director, Space Application Centre – ISRO announced an additional surprise prize of Rs 25000 to the three teams. ISRO Nodal Officer, Mr Nilesh Desai expressed his happiness at the efforts, perseverance and quality of the work carried out by the participating teams covering a vide variety of themes likes remote sensing data processing using AI/ML technique, geomatics, smart communication and navigation.

1126 domain experts and evaluators from Ministries, Institutes and Industries mentored and evaluated all the 1080 teams participating in the Grand Finale. The 36-hour hackathon had prize money for each problem statement worth Rs. 1,00,000/-. 220 winning teams were announced during the Valedictory session organized at 40 nodal centers on 4th August, 2020 simultaneously. Out of these, 12 teams developed projects associated with “Student Innovation”; these included themes such as Sustainable Environment, Sports and Fitness, Smart Vehicles, Smart Textiles, Travel and Tourism, Agriculture and Rural Development, Smart Communication, Smart Cities, Finance, Energy/Renewable Energy, Smart Education, Security & Surveillance, Healthcare & Biomedical Devices and Miscellaneous.

Students had the opportunity to work on challenges faced within the Government ministries, private sector organizations and create world-class solutions for some of the top companies in the world, thus helping these sectors hire the best minds from across the nation.