‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ aims at turning ideas into startups

The hackathon would be creating world's biggest open innovation model that other countries can replicate, says HRD Minister, Mr Prakash Javedekar

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New Delhi:  The ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ has already been launched in collaboration with i4c, MyGov, Persistent Systems, NASSCOM and Rambhau Mhalgi Pabodini. While interacting with the media recently, the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Prakash Javadekar detailed out the uniqueness of this initiative and said  “the scale and reach of Smart India Hackathon 2017 is unprecedented, for the first time so many different ministries/departments came together, and posted their 598 problems for students seeking innovative solutions”

He said ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’  has been launched to build Digital India of our dreams and to engage our youth directly with nation building. About 30 different Govt departments/ministries are involved as partners eg. Ministry of Railways, External affairs, Steel, Postal Services, ISRO, NCPCR, etc. For the first time, govt. departments were directly engaging with students and challenging them to build digital solutions to improve their efficiency, plug revenue leakages and corruption.

Mr Javadekar said that Smart India Hackathon 2017 will be 36 hrs non-stop digital product development competition during which teams of thousands of technology students will build innovative digital solutions for the problems posted by 29 different central govt. ministries/ departments e.g. Ministry of Railways, External Affairs, Ministry of Defense, ISRO, Ministry of Tourism, Dept. of Atomic Energy, etc.  The ‘Grand Finale’ of Smart India Hackathon 2017 will be organized, simultaneously across 26 different cities and the winners will get support for converting their ideas into startups apart from cash prizes.

The minister said through Smart India Hackathon we hope to create ‘world’s biggest open innovation model’ that other countries can replicate. 

Mr Javadekar further said that the concept of Hackathon is still new in India, so AICTE has arranged 26 awareness workshops across India to sensitize students about Smart India Hackathon 2017. These workshops helped connect students with problems of our nation.

The minister said for 598 problems posted by 29 govt. department, we received ideas from 7531 teams (each team has 6 students and 2 mentors, Total 42,000+ participants) from 2100+ colleges across India. We have even received entries from Andaman.

Also, out of 7531 teams, 1266 teams (per team 8 members, 10,000 participants) are shortlisted for the ‘Grand Finale’ on 1st and 2nd April 2017, during which these teams will work nonstop for 36 hours to build products based on their ideas across 26 locations in India.  For the first time, 10,000 youngsters will work non-stop for 36 to develop products for our nation.

We have multiple prizes worth Rs 50 lakhs for students but more importantly, we hope the participating ministries will adopt many of the products developed during the Grand Finale. Moreover, we also expect NASSCOM and other funding agencies like AICTE, DST, DBT and ICMR to select best ideas and support them to convert into startups, Mr Javadekar added.

He said to ensure the success of Smart India Hackathon 2017, we are also doing multiple online training sessions for students and for the first time, we hope to train more than 30,000 students through these online training sessions. For the first time, we hope to train more than 30,000 students through these online training sessions.

The minister hoped that Smart India Hackathon 2017 will be certainly world’s biggest Hackathon till date. We hope that our initiative also enters into ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ and Limca Book of Records.

More importantly, ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ will establish the model of using our demographic dividend (student community) for national development, Mr Javadekar further added.

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