PM Narendra Modi to address Grand Finale of world’s largest ever online hackathon on August 1

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Grand Finale of the largest ever online hackathon in the world on August 1, 2020, through video-conference. Announcing this, the Union Minister for HRD Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Monday said  that the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2020 (Software) will be held from August, 1 to 3. This hackathon is being organized by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India; All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Persistent Systems and i4c.

Pokhriyal yesterday chaired a high-level meeting on Smart India Hackathon and discussed achievements of the already conducted hackathons. The meeting was attended by Secretary, Higher Education, Amit Khare, Chairman AICTE Anil Sahasrabudhe, Additional Secretary, MHRD Rakesh Ranjan and Chief Innovation Officer, MHRD Abhay Jere.

The Union Minister said that Smart India Hackathon is a unique initiative to identify new and disruptive digital technology innovations for solving the challenges faced by our country. It is a non-stop digital product development competition, where problems are posed to technology students to suggest innovative solutions. Students would have the opportunity to work on challenges faced by Government departments and private sector organizations for which they can offer out-of-the-box and world-class solutions.

Pokhriyal said that considering the Covid-19 pandemic, the Grand Finale for SIH 2020 shall be organized online by connecting all the participants throughout the nation together over a specially built advanced platform. “This year, we will have more than 10,000 students competing to solve 243 problem statements from 37 central government departments, 17 state governments and 20 industries. Each Problem Statement carries a prize money of Rs. 1,00, 000 except the student innovation theme which will have three winners, 1st, 2nd and 3rd with prize money of Rs. 1,00,000, Rs. 75,000 and 50,000 respectively,” he said.

Considering the growth of SIH, the minister said that we have conducted three editions of SIH successfully. The first edition of SIH-2017 saw participation of 42 thousand students which substantially increased to 1 lakh in SIH 2018 and later to 2.0 lakh in SIH-2019. SIH 2020 is even more massive as compared to SIH 2019 and the first round saw participation of more than 4.5 lakh students. We are very keen on encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship culture in our education institutions. Our flagship initiative, Smart India Hackathon has now evolved into world’s biggest open Innovation model. Moreover, SIH is also one of the best examples of public private partnership.

As outcome of Smart India Hackathons till date, around 331 prototypes have been developed, 71 startups are under formation, 19 startups are successfully registered. Further, 39 solutions have already been deployed at various departments and around 64 potential solutions have been funded for further development.