MeitY launches ‘innovation challenge’ for video conferencing solution: here’s all you need to know

According to the official statement, the winning solution will be deployed for use by the Indian government, as well as state governments, for a year.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Monday launched an innovation challenge for Indian startups to find solutions to video conferencing. Following the coronavirus-led lockdown more and more people are working from home and relying on various video conferencing applications to complete their meetings.

According to the official statement, startups need to develop a video conferencing solution that will be scalable, have a market reach, and make domestic value addition for the innovation challenge. The innovation challenge falls under the Digital India Programme of MeitY. The government will provide a support of up to Rs 2.3 crore for development of the video conferencing solution.

What is there for the participants?

All the startups who wish to participate in the challenge, need to apply through MeitY’s official portal. The challenge will be conducted in three stages: ideation, prototype, and solution building.

“Participation from across academia and industry. Participating teams are not mandatorily required to be registered Indian companies or startups to apply for the challenge,” the statement added.

Participants have to come up with a solution which should include features such as supporting all video resolutions and audio quality, working in low and high network scenarios, low on the usage of power/processor, not have any external hardware dependency, and work on any device. The solution should have encrypted network communication and also allow audio or video recording facility.

According to the official statement, teams will need to first propose their ideas and solutions. After being evaluated by a committee constituted by MeitY, only the top 10 teams would be selected, who will receive a funding of Rs 5 lakh to build a prototype.

The shortlisted innovators will have to present their prototypes to a distinguished jury, where only three teams will be selected and will be awarded Rs 20 lakh in funding to build the solution.

Once the solutions are built, only one team will be selected as the winner who will get Rs 1 crore in funding along with a certificate from the Minister of Electronics and IT, stating that the solution will be deployed for use by the Indian government, as well as state governments, for a period of one year.

Apart from this, Rs 10 lakh per year for three years will be given to the winning team for operations and maintenance of the solution. 

All the teams will be allowed to market their product to any entity outside union or state government organisations of India by hosting it in an environment other than that for the government, reported PTI.

According to the ministry, a separate constituted committee will evaluate the innovations through three stages. The ideas will be evaluated based on the approach towards problem-solving, business use case, product features and solution technical feasibility, product roadmap, team culture and ability, and addressable market.

Since coronavirus has been declared a pandemic, working from home has become a buzzword around the world, especially in India, which has been under a 21-day lockdown.

In order to ensure smooth ways to complete work, companies have to rely on the digital medium to stay connected and complete day to day work. At a time when companies are already ramping up their innovation to deal with the lockdown and coronavirus crisis, MeitY’s challenge might prove to be a great impetus to the innovators.

Edited by Suman Singh