Coronavirus: Indian startups bag top honours at global hackathon meet

Hack the Crisis – India initiative received more than 15,000 applications and 2,500 team submissions, of which 300 were selected for the global meet.

The Global Hack, a worldwide hackathon initiative for building innovative solutions to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, has three Indian startups winning the top spots in the four categories – crisis response, mental health, health and wellness, and governance.

The various top innovative solutions by the Indian teams were: autonomous UV disinfectant robot, portable and affordable ventilator with assist control mode, initiative to connect people with psychologists digitally and cater to rising mental health concerns, AI-powered digital hospital and coronavirus laboratory, an application that helps the government sustainably reallocate resources, and crowdsourcing data from the users to form a lifestyle quality index for a specific area.

The initiative was started in India by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) along with FICCI FLO Pune, Robotex international. Called Hack the Crisis – India. Online Hackathon, the hackathon was held during the first week of April.

Hack the Crisis - India received more than 15,000 applications and 2,500 team submissions, of which 300 were selected and given mentoring support from professionals across Europe and India. The top 30 finalist teams got a direct entry to represent India at the Global Hackathon.

Abhishek Singh, one of the jury members, as well as the CEO of MyGov and National eGovernance Division, Government of India, said, “It was very difficult to decide the winning teams as we received innovative solutions from young entrepreneurs across the world. I'm very happy with the success of this initiative in India and how quickly it took shape.”

Ajay Kumar Garg, a Senior Director of MeitY, said, “MeitY, together with MyGov, will definitely try to take the solutions on the ground. This has been a great learning experience, and I am sure all of us will come stronger out of this.”

According to the World Economic Forum, women comprise the majority of health and social care workers and are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. It was an all-women-led team that organised the Hack the Crisis - India.

Edited by Suman Singh


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