MHRD’s ‘Smart India Hackathon’ is a step towards promoting innovation

The BJP led central government came to power on the strength of range of issues ranging from corruption to employment. But one of the major highlights of its campaign had been its Make in India campaign which was the star of the republic day parade in 2015. In a bid to vindicate its promise on promoting the campaign, the Human Resource Department (HRD) ministry led by Prakash Javadekar has announced to hold a unique ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ in January-February.

This contest on programming in tandem with Modi government’s special attention towards digital and software technology. The theme of the competition is to develop out-of- box solutions for various problems faced by various union ministries.

The Hackathon would be a pan India 36-hour non-stop programming contest open for students from all technology institutes across the country including the IITs, NITs and other institutions of repute. The participating teams would take part from 33 locations spread across the nation.

The HRD ministry has gone so far as to rope in All India Institute of Technical Education(AICTE) and I4C, another organization for the event. The prize money, which would be awarded for digital and sustainable solutions to solve real time challenges faced by the nation would be 1-lakh for top spot with lucrative emoluments for second and third position as well.

In fact, according to official sources: “It would be the world’s largest event. Recently, Higher Education Secretary in the HRD ministry V S Oberoi, had written to his counterpart in other ministries asking them to assign officers to identify around 30 problem statements which are of relevance to them so that they can be put to the contestants.”

A senior official from the ministry further added that, “The aim of this initiative is to harness the creativity and technical expertise of young minds studying in technology institutes to think out of the box and come up with innovative and disruptive tech solutions for some of the daunting problems faced by our nation.”

There are also reports by official sources that nearly 26 ministries have expressed their willingness to participate in the event. The problems expected to fare in the programming competition would range from those faced at Panchayat level to that of those at the uppermost echelons of policy making and implementation.

The major goal of the Hackathon is to increase participation of students in technical stream into mainstream of public policy and management to enhance the overall atmosphere of technical education in the country.

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