Green Innovation by IITKGP Students Stands Second at NEC Hackathon

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Students from IIT Kharagpur have secured 1st Runners-up position at the NEC Hackathon: Environment for developing environment-friendly and revenue-maximizing business applications for the farming community to manage crop residue. Vaishnav Katiyar, Pranav Agarwal, Paras Chaudhary and Shivam Tiwari, final year students from the Dept. of Architecture & Regional Planning have achieved this feat at the PAN India competition organized by NEC Japan and HackerEarth. The event witnessed participation from 1149 teams from all over the country of which 18 teams reached the finale.

The hackathon enabled participants to identify the challenges, a factor of problems, analyze them and develop a solution using technologies such as FIWARE and other open-source platforms. The participants were encouraged to think of a solution on the platform that can solve the current environmental challenges in India. This year’s themes were air pollution and water pollution.

The IIT Kharagpur team which participated under the name ‘BioNet’ proposed a revolutionary platform for the benefit of farmers and to increase the overall production of Biopellets with better supply chain management. They developed an application which will provide a single platform to the farmers and biofuel plant operators to sell agricultural waste (biomass) and to buy biopellets. The user interface was designed in local languages for ease of use. The proposal also took into consideration in-app bidding process for biopellets buyers to ensure maximum revenue generation and profit maximisation for the farmers. The platform could also be used for selling local agricultural products directly to the customers in the near future.

Explaining the concept team member Shivam Tiwari said, “Air pollution in India is caused by fuelwood and biomass burning, burning of crop residue in agriculture fields on a large scale, emission from vehicles and traffic congestion etc. We have built an android application which provides a single platform to the farmers to sell their crop residue directly to bio-pellet plant operators (Govt./ Pvt.) and further the bio-pellets are sold in the open market using in-app bidding process. This will solve the issue of crop residue burning, thus tackling air pollution and building a healthier living environment in India.”

The final round was held online on March 28-29 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The shortlisted participants were invited to submit their prototype on the hackathon website and present their prototypes to NEC through a video conference. The toppers were announced too online video announcements.

NEC is a Japanese multinational information technology and electronics company, headquartered in Minato, Tokyo. NEC has conducted various hackathons aiming at resolving social challenges in India through technology and in continuation to that they conducted this hackathon focussed on ‘Environment’. The event partner was HackerEarth which has been professionally managing hackathons and programming challenges and coding competitions for developers and companies.

By Shreyoshi Ghosh

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