Govt starts contest for strengthening digital network platform for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The top 5 applicants will be provided CoWIN APIs (Application Programming Interface) to prove the efficacy of their solutions for possible integration with the platform.
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The government on Wednesday launched a technology contest to invite solutions from IT companies and startups to strengthen digital platform CoWIN, which will be used for rolling out and scaling up COVID vaccine distribution across the country.

The government is enhancing use of the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) system, which provides real-time information on vaccine stocks and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country to address the needs for distribution and tracking of COVID-19 vaccine.

The contest will be jointly run by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Electronics and IT, a statement said.

The challenge will be launched on the MSH (MeitY Startup Hub) portal, a collaborative platform developed under the aegis of MeitY towards building meaningful synergies in the Indian tech startup space.

The Health Ministry is looking for technical solutions that can address issues of portability, transportation, queue management, reporting and monitoring mechanism for any adverse event following immunization.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that mobile technology will be used for mass inoculation against the pandemic.

"India's innovators have played a crucial role in our fight against COVID-19. I invite innovators and start-ups for a grand challenge to strengthen CoWIN platform for roll out of COVID-19 vaccination program across India," IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in the statement.

Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Law and Justice and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad

The top fie applicants will be provided CoWIN APIs (Application Programming Interface) to prove the efficacy of their solutions for possible integration with the platform.

Each shortlisted applicant at this stage stands a chance to win Rs 2 lakh covering their logistical requirements.

The top two contestants from the challenge will be rewarded with Rs 40 lakh and Rs 20 lakh, respectively, post successful migrations of the developed solutions on the cloud on which CoWIN is hosted, apart from their integration with CoWIN, according to the statement.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)