The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi interacted with the participants of the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2023 and addressed them today via video conferencing.
The Prime Minister interacted with Mr Soikat Das and Mr Protik Saha from National Institute of Engineering, Mysuru, Karnataka who worked on the theme of Transportation and Logistics by the Ministry of Coal. They are building an IoT-based system for railway cargo. The Prime Minister told them that the Hackathon is a learning opportunity for him too and he is always eager to interact with the participants. Looking at the beaming faces of the participants, the Prime Minister said that their enthusiasm, willpower and desire for nation-building has become the identity of India’s youth power. The team which included students from Bangladesh too informed the Prime Minister that they are trying to address the problem of under and overloading of railway coal wagons which leads to losses or fines. They are using IoT and AI-based technologies for that. The team comprises 6 members 3 each from Bangladesh and India. The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that their effort will benefit Indian railways, which is undergoing a transformative phase. He informed that logistics is the focus area and hoped that many more students from Bangladesh come to India in future and mentioned that the ‘Study in India ‘ programme will help such students.
Ms Tiwari Harshita S and Mr Jethwa Jay P from Gujarat Technological University, Ahmedabad
worked on the project of improving the medium-resolution images received by the ISRO’s Moonlander by converting them to super-resolution images using image processing and AI to create a hazard map of the moon. The output of the project will help determine a safe landing spot and navigation path for future missions. The Prime Minister suggested getting supervision and guidance from the team at ISRO along with various space startups in the country. The Prime Minister said that India’s space program has become a ray of hope for the world after Chandrayan 3’s success and has changed the outlook of foreign nations towards India. He underlined that the present era is a perfect time period for the youth who wish to contribute towards India’s space sector as he mentioned the space sector being opened up to the private sector for the youth to flourish. He also mentioned ISRO opening up its facilities for new-age startups and suggested they visit IN-SPACe headquarters located in Ahmedabad.
Ankit Kumar and Syed Siddiqui Hussain from Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology, Sambalpur, Odisha worked on Open Innovation in the context of mental health of children and created a rating that will help parents and medical professionals by forewarning them. On the urging of the Prime Minister, a woman member of the team also briefed the Prime Minister about the project. Congratulating the team for picking up an important area, the Prime Minister elaborated on the problem of mental health among the young population and emphasized the importance of the Education Department working on such issues and exploring ways to scale up and deploy the discovered solution in educational institutions. “Mental health of the youth is important for making India Viksit”, he said. He also told them about the MY-India portal.
Ms Reshma Masthutha R from Assam Royal Global University, Guwahati, Assam interacted with the Prime Minister using the AI tool Bhashini. Bhashini tool for real-time translation was used for the first time at such an event. The Prime Minister emphasized that Ms Reshma and her team who hail from the South of India are true ambassadors of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. Her team worked on creating input-based AI generative designs of components of hydropower plants using a web application, thereby helping India become a self-reliant nation in energy and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. The Prime Minister stressed finding ways to connect the power sector with artificial intelligence as both are extremely important for Viksit Bharat and critical to shaping India’s future. He also stressed the need to achieve efficiency using AI-based solutions in power production, and power transmission along with monitoring consumption. Highlighting the government’s achievement of transmitting electricity to every village and family in the past years, PM Modi emphasized the government’s focus on small-scale solar plants in agricultural fields and rooftop solar plants in towns and suggested finding AI solutions to the same. He also requested them to visit the Northeast.
Mr Rishabh S Vishwamithra from Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh worked on Blockchain and Cyber Security by NTRO to provide solutions for detecting phishing domains using artificial intelligence. The Prime Minister, talking about the ever-evolving challenges of cyber fraud, emphasized the need for high alertness in the context of new technologies. He mentioned deep fake videos by generative AI and stressed the need to be vigilant before believing any photo or video. He mentioned India’s campaign to create a global framework for AI.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed happiness about the dedication of the young generation to provide solutions for the problems of the country. He reiterated the success of previous hackathons. Startups and solutions that came out of the previous hackathons are helping both the government and society.
Recalling the mantra of 21st century India i.e. Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan, PM Modi said that every Indian is forsaking the inertia of status quo. Mentioning India’s rise as the third largest economy the Prime Minister talked about India’s UPI success, vaccine success during the pandemic.
Addressing the young innovators and domain experts, PM Modi reiterated the importance of the current time period that will decide the direction of the next one thousand years. The Prime Minister asked them to understand the uniqueness of the current time as many factors have come together, such as India being one of the youngest countries in the world, its talent pool, stable and strong government, booming economy and unprecedented emphasis on science and technology.
“Technology has become a big part of our lives today”, the Prime Minister stressed. Emphasizing the role of young innovators, he pointed out that an upgraded version of technology comes up just when one starts getting used to it.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the next 25 years of India’s Amrit Kaal will be a defining period for the young innovators. He underlined the common goal of a self-reliant India and stated the objective of not importing any new and being dependent on other nations. Giving the example of defence sector which is working towards self-reliance, he pointed out that India is forced to import some defence technologies. He also stressed the need for self-reliance in semiconductor and chip technology. PM Modi also highlighted India’s high aspirations in the quantum technology and hydrogen energy sectors. He said that the government is giving special emphasis to all such sectors by creating a modern ecosystem of the 21st century, but its success depends on the success of the youth.
PM Modi told the young innovators that “the world is confident that in India it will find low-cost, quality, sustainable and scalable solutions to global challenges. Our Chandrayaan mission has increased the expectations of the world manifold” and asked them to innovate accordingly. Explaining the goal of Hackathong the Prime Minister stated “The aim of Smart India Hackathon is to solve the country’s problems and create employment through solutions. Through Smart India Hackathon, the youth power of the country is extracting the Amrit of solutions for developed India.” Expressing trust in the youth power of the nation, the Prime Minister asked them to keep the resolution of Viksit Bharat in mind while finding a solution to any problem. “Whatever you do, may it be the best. You have to do such work that the world follows you” PM Modi concluded.
Union Minister for Education, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan made his presence virtually.
In line with the Prime Minister’s vision of youth-led development, Smart India Hackathon (SIH) is a nationwide initiative to provide students a platform to solve the pressing problems of Ministries and Departments of the Government, industries and other organizations. Launched in 2017, Smart India Hackathon has gained massive popularity among young innovators. In the last five editions, innovative solutions have emerged in different domains and stand out as established startups.
This year, the Grand Finale of SIH is being held from 19th to 23rd December. In SIH 2023, more than 50,000 ideas were received from 44,000 teams, which is almost a sevenfold increase compared to the first edition of SIH. Over 12,000 participants and more than 2500 mentors will participate in the grand finale scheduled at 48 nodal centers across the country. A total of 1282 teams have been shortlisted this year for the grand finale to provide solutions on various themes including Space Technology, Smart Education, Disaster Management, Robotics and Drones, Heritage and Culture etc.
The participating teams will tackle and provide solutions for 231 problem statements (176 software and 55 hardware) posted by 51 departments of 25 Union Ministers and State governments. The total prize for Smart India Hackathon 2023 is more than Rs 2 crore, where each winning team will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh per problem statement.