Hackalthon provides opportunity to youths to innovate: Mayor


Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal The youngsters of the city and the state have innovative ideas. Smart City Company will work as a means to help the youths put these ideas in application. Mayor Alok Sharma said this while unauguraring 36 hour hackalthon organized by Bhopal Smart City Corporation Limited at Hotel Noor-Us-sabah on Saturday. A total of 226 participants, 97 teams and 400Mbps internet connection in a jam-packed hall of a heritage hotel, marked the start of Bhopal smart city hackathon. The 36-hour non-stop event will choose best innovative ideas and provide a perfect platform for the participants to become industry ready. The day began with each of the teams demonstrating their ideas into action with the high walls of the heritage hall serving as an inspiration to break the glass ceiling. On this occasion Hackathon mentor and jury Nilesh Mathrani said, “Those who have been selected are extremelyinnovative and think out of the box. Ideas are for social benefit too. But, many lack a viable financial model. It is only implementable if one has money to do it.” Mostly 20-something participants were selected from a total of 10,970 applications. Their immediate aim is to win the first prize of Rs 1.75 lakh. The total prize money for the event stands at Rs 4 lakh. Chandramauli Shukla, the CEO of Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited (BSCDCL) said the mentors would assist the participants to further develop their innovation and make an impactful presentation. By the end of the hackathon, the select few would get an opportunity to develop their ideas in the smart city incubation hub,” said. For the state capital, the gathering of techies with ideas to innovate in IT, financial tech, agri tech and others was a pleasant surprise. Not exactly Italian, but the pizza and French fries kept the participants motivated. Day one of the event ended with some exciting promises. An ECG machine for Rs 1,000 - was developed by an IIT graduate. Jabalpur-based developer has proposed a mobile application that would measure the pulse from fingertips and also provide an ECG report. For the initiated, app maker has made a detailed description on ‘how to read an ECG’. Farmer buddy - as the name suggests - is an integrated concept of an agri tech project that would provide real-time information about temperatures, moisture and soil condition, coupled with the need for water and its quantity. A smart farming concept indeed that can be implemented by anybody. Other innovations included a plastic shredder. A popular concept in the West, the grinded plastic can be utilised and reused. Swapnil Kangankar, a participating engineer developed an application that provides collated data for municipal corporations and can help in disaster preparedness. India is one of the top five countries in disaster-related deaths. Investment in preparedness to prevent a disaster is far less than response to a disaster. Some glitches did not amuse the techies though, who had a back-up plan for each move. 404-error or saving the ‘source-code’ (to protect from patent infringement) and other glitches and protocols kept the jury and mentors on their heels.