Dr Jitendra Singh launches “Geospatial Hackathon” to promote Innovation and Start-Ups

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Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said, StartUps in new emerging technologies are key to India’s future economy.

After launching the “Geospatial Hackathon” this morning here, DrJitendra Singh said, the Hackathon will promote Innovation and StartUps in India’s Geospatial ecosystem. He invited the nation’s youth to participate and contribute towards the building of the nation’s geospatial economy.

The Minister said, half of our population is under 40 years of age and are very aspirational and that is evident that the Indian Start-Up economy crossed a major milestone as it added the 100th Indian Start-Up to the Unicorn club in 2022.

DrJitendra Singh said, in line with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India is on the cusp of Geospatial Revolution and a healthy synergy among Government, Industry and Scientific Community will tremendously boost up economic output and would help India becoming a 10 Trillion Dollar Economy by 2030.

DrJitendra Singh appreciated Ministry of Science and Technology, Survey of India, IIIT Hyderabad and Microsoft India for planning, participating and designing the Geospatial Hackathon, which he said will serve as a formal Launchpad to India’s geospatial strategy and policy which envisions making India a global leader in the geospatial sector in times to come and become truly Atmanirbhar. He also appreciated all the partnering agencies, academia, research institutions, industries, and think tanks who have joined the noble mission on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, celebrated across India with different names and rituals.

DrJitendra Singh said, the aim of this hackathon is to promote partnerships not only among the public and private geospatial sectors but also to strengthen our country’s geospatial Start-Up ecosystem. He added that for achievingthe Sustainable development goals 2030, there is an urgency for our country to have reliable geospatial information for effective policy development, programming, and project operation.

DrJitendra Singh said, after the unlocking of the Space Sector in 2020 for private participation, the Modi Government has taken various initiativestoliberalize and democratize the geospatial sector. The Minister emphasized that with the launch of the National geospatial policy, India is walking the path of promoting ease of doing business in the entire geospatial sector and it will catalyze the mission to build India’s vibrant and globally competitive Geospatial ecosystem.

As emphasized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inaugural message at the United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress 2022, “Geospatial technology is driving inclusivity across the nation leaving no one behind”.

Survey of India is proposing a Geospatial Data Processing, Solution development, and Servicing Challenge inviting solutions for select problem statement from these used cases and to foster the adoption of modern geospatial technologies such as cloud, open APIs, Drone based mapping, Sharing and integration of a wide range of data.

“Geospatial Hackathon” will end on 10th March, 2023 and there will be Two Sets of Challenges- Research Challenge and Startp-Up Challenge to find out 4 winners for the Best Solutions to the Geospatial Select Problem Statements.

Dr S Chandrasekhar, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology said that during the challenge, various geospatial datasets related to the problem statements will be made available to all the participants to analyse this data and create insightful data processing, solution, and servicing tools. He said, building on the concept of ‘open innovation’ and ‘open data sharing’, the challenge is likely to benefit stakeholders across the Geospatial community in India.

Shri Sunil Kumar, Surveyor General of India in his address said that assimilation of innovative ideas and solutions from a wide array of geospatial experts covering academia, Start-ups, and emerging technologist would help in solving some of the most common problems faced by Survey of India and other Geospatial data-generating, Solutions and Services providing agencies and replicating the successful ideas in product developments for finding solutions to key challenges facing the country.

Prof. P.J. Narayanan, Director, IIIT Hyderabad, Prof. Ramesh Loganathan from IIIT Hyderabad, Shri Navtez Bal, Executive Director-Public Sector, Microsoft India and Dr Anita Gupta, Advisor and Head, NSTEDB, DST also took part in today’s event.