Engineering students from across the country will participate in a 36-hour non-stop digital product development competition conducted by the HRD ministry.

“On April 1-2, thousands of engineering students from across the country will participate in the 36-hour non-stop digital product development competition – – which has emerged as the biggest hackathon in the world with 42,000 participants and will create the world’s biggest open innovation model,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

“Selected prototypes will be funded by different ministries for their further research and development,” he added.

In order to engage the youth in coming up with digital solutions to common problems, the All India Council for Technical Education under the aegis of HRD ministry launched this hackathon.

Twenty-nine departments under various ministries presented 598 problem statements for which they don’t have digital solutions and due to which there has been inefficiency, revenue loss and corruption.

“Of the 42,000 students who participated and worked on the problems for last two months, 10,000 of them have been shortlisted for the grand finale.

“These 1,266 teams will be hosted by various ministries and departments across 26 locations where in the first 12 hours of the competition they will code (digitally programme) a solution which will be evaluated. Those selected in the next 24 hours will create a final product,” said Javadekar.

Maximum interest was shown in solving road and transport problems with 84 teams out of the 674 in this sector making it to the finals.

There will be participants who will also be working in areas such as real time mapping of teachers’ attendance across the country, GPS monitoring of educational opportunities.

Other problem areas where students will work include online toll payment system to high-end atomic energy-related issues.

“Right from civil aviation to atomic energy, defence production to development of the North East region of India, from external affairs to food processing, disabilities, road transport, railways – students are expected to code innovative solutions through digital programming. The students are divided into 1,193 different teams and are given problem-solving kits,” said a senior HRD official.

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