The Smart India Hackathon will focus on finding solutions to existing day-to-day life problems.
New Delhi: Stressing on the importance of public participation in governance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told nearly 10,000 students aspiring to be young innovators that democracy was all about participation of people in governance, not just about voting for a government every five years as if they had contracted out the job to someone. PM Modi was addressing the Smart India Hackathon, the first-of-its-kind initiative by the HRD Ministry, through video conferencing. Nearly 10,000 programmers will compete in the 36-hour event which is being held at 26 locations in the country.
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India is leading the world in IT. From inventing the Zero to reaching for Mars, from Upanishad to Upagraha (satellites), we have a proud journey, PM Modi said beginning his address.
Technology can give us solutions that could not have been imagined a few years earlier. Who would have thought that there could be driver-less cars, or 3 D technology. This is an era of 'Internet of Things', he said.
The PM asked the youngsters to remember that when they get down to innovating, the path may be riddled with failures but asked them to never compromise on quality. It is the key, he told them.
People say today's youngsters ask so many questions. I see that as a very good thing, said the PM who called the opportunity to speak with the aspiring innovators "a great occasion for learning and discovering".
Inaugurating the Smart India Hackathon 2017 final round, Education Minister Prakash Javadekar said the figures indicate the capacity of people to absorb technology has increased and this is the 'New India'.
The Hackathon is an effort in that direction and students can be encouraged to apply knowledge to real-life situations, and find innovative solutions for day-to-day problems, Mr Javadekar said.
1,266 teams of 10,000 participants from 28 states have been shortlisted for the finale. For 36 hours, the selected groups will sit locked in and find digital solutions for the problem statements by creating software or mobile apps.
The program focuses on solving problems of social importance. 29 ministries and government departments have identified 598 problems, the initial response for which came from over 7,500 teams of approximately 42,000 students.
The end products will then be evaluated by judges from the respective ministry and industry experts, and the top three teams with the best solutions will be awarded Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 50,000. The awarded software will then be used by the relevant ministry or department to improve their governance systems.
According to World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) statistics, India registers 40 patents per million population and hence considering the intellectual capability of Indians, there is a lot more that can be done in the field of innovation