BML Munjal University, a Hero group initiative, recently participated as Nodal Center in the largest ever online hackathon, the Smart India Hackathon (SIH) 2020 (Software edition), from August 1-3, 2020. As one of the nodal centres, the university hosted 21 teams, which worked on problem statements provided by the Education Department, Gujarat, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and Yamaha Motor Solution India Pvt Ltd. The problems ranged from ‘food shortage and waste reduction’, ‘GIS based flood risk assessment’, ‘road maintenance’, and ‘Alzheimer’s disease detection’. Over the three days, the competing teams had to provide solutions to the chosen problem. As the Nodal Center, the university provided the support of mentors consisting of BMU faculty, industry experts and senior executives from problem statement owners. The progress of the students was evaluated on regular intervals.
The online event, owing to Covid-19, was managed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Innovation Cell and All India Council for Technical Education. Mr. SK Munjal, Chairman – Hero Enterprises and Chancellor, BML Munjal University was invited as the chief guest at BMU Nodal Center to motivate the teams Center. The participants were also addressed virtually by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for HRD Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal. 1000+ teams were shortlisted for the grand finale of SIH 2020, with 243 problem statements, based on the submissions of 32 Central Departments, 13 State Ministries and 27 Industries. Each problem statement has a winning prize money of INR 1 Lakh.
Speaking about the event, Prof. Davinder Singh, Assistant Dean-School of Management, BML Munjal University, said “It is an honor to host the student teams at our Nodal Center as part of the largest online hackathons in the world. At BML Munjal University, we are pushing boundaries and focusing on creating an ecosystem of innovation and experiential education, wherein the students can apply their knowledge and creativity to solve real life problems. Propel, the incubator at BML Munjal University provides opportunity to students who are keen to pursue innovative startups as entrepreneurs. Smart India Hackathon is a vibrant forum and a great initiative by the Government and various industry leaders, for students to address innovation for building an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’
The Smart India Hackathon was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017, as a part of Digital India initiative and provides students a platform to solve some of the pressing issues faced by the citizens of this country, thus inculcating a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem-solving. It is a non-stop digital product development competition, where problems are posed to technology students for innovative solutions and is a joint venture of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Persistent Systems and i4c.
The first edition of Smart India Hackathon in 2017 saw participation of 42,000 students, which increased to 1 lakh in 2018 and to 2 lakh in 2019. The first round of Smart India Hackathon 2020 saw participation of more than 4.5 lakh students.