Learning through Hackathon
The week-long Hardware Edition of Smart India Hackathon 2019 started at IIT Kharagpur on July 8, 2019. 14 teams from 7 states, Assam, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal are participating in this PAN India competition.
In Smart India Hackathon-2019 Hardware edition, problems are broadly based on Agriculture & Rural Development, Food Technology, Waste Management, Clean Water, Renewable Energy, Healthcare & Biomedical devices, Smart Vehicles, Robotics and Drones, Security & Surveillance, Smart Communication, Sports and Fitness, Sustainable Environment, Smart Textile, Smart Cities areas.
“With India’s fastest moving economy, we need to solve the problems that exist in society. For this, we thought of an open innovation competition and students came up with the idea of Smart India Hackathon. This is not only the world’s largest innovation competition, but it is also currently in its third successful year of implementation. Student participation is increasing with each passing year indicating that the students are no longer limited to class. I am sure this competition will not only give winners but also society solutions for many problems like agrarian crisis, water scarcity and many more,” said Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Minister of Human Resource Development, who inaugurated the event across 18 nodal centres in 9 states, 1 UT and NCR through video conferencing.
“There are many areas where the country is looking for viable solutions and I am really happy to see a large number of young talents are coming forward to take up those challenges, to think differently as to how solutions to these problems can be given; and that’s what is very important,” said Prof. S K Bhattacharyya, Director (Officiating), IIT Kharagpur.
At IIT Kharagpur 93 students will work towards solving challenges for Smart Vehicle, Smart Communication, Security and Surveillance and Miscellaneous. The students are expected to bring out technology-based, easy, workable solutions through “out-of-the-box-thinking”, which will lead to commercial products to develop start-ups.
Explaining the concept of Hackathon, Prof. P P Chakrabarti of IIT Kharagpur who has been mentoring this event addressed it as a new education methodology. “The paradigm of engineering education is transforming in such a way that there are newer methods of learning and gradually becoming part of the core curriculum. Hackathon enables multiple aspects – first is the doing aspect of core engineering, second is bringing focus on economics, humanities and social sciences along with technical aspect and creative idea generation, this forming a convergence,” he pointed out.
More than 1.2 lakh students from 2235 colleges sent their entries for 198 problem statements, submitted by more than 40 industries and 9 Central Govt. Ministries and various Govt. Departments for SIH 2019 Hardware Edition. In the Grand Finale, around 2000 participants from 250 teams of 178 different colleges are participating to provide innovative hardware solutions for 124 problems.
Depending upon the nature of the problem, cash prizes for selected ideas and solutions will be given to participating teams. For simple problems Rs. 50000, for complicated problems Rs. 75000 and for complex problems Rs. 1 lakh will be awarded.
SIH 2019 has given particular attention towards promoting the participation of female candidates and the national figure seems is enthusiastic this year with a ratio of male and female being 1.6:1. Out of close to 93 students participating at IIT Kharagpur, 29 are girl students.
The event is coordinated by Prof. Shailendra K. Varshney, Associate Professor at IIT Kharagpur’s Dept. of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering.