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VSSUT InnoBuzz

No society seeks more dearly a person than the one willing & able to face the burn of the problem yet stand steadfast with an unflinching desire.  

Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Burla, under the umbrella of “E-Summit” in its annual techno-management fest “SAMAVESH” conducted its first-ever hackathon, INNOBUZZ from 15th Feb to 17th Feb. InnoBuzz under the theme of “ideate, iterate, culminate”, as a flagship event of E-Summit, also India’s biggest in-house hackathon managed to bring together developers, designers and disruptors across the nation & harness their expertise to embark on a journey of building products in real time and provide efficient solutions. The program was an initiative to take forward the culture of Smart India Hackathon set by our honourable Prime Minister to promote technology, student innovations, start-ups, business incubation and above all crowdsource solutions of problems in public domain across multiple sectors to set a milestone in the road towards making India a technology-intensive powerhouse.

The event featured four sectors, namely – Agriculture, Healthcare, Social & Business with a total of 9 problem statements. The problem statements were adopted from Industry Partners & supporting partners that echoed the real-life hurdles and the practical difficulties associated with it, congruent with the goal of the hackathon. The effort of bringing sustainable development to the problems in the vicinity was powered by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), She Says India (SSI), and Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI). The efficacy in involving problems provided by partners included allowing space for grass-root technological innovation to move from abstract to serve as a real-world solution, sensitize the participants with the problems and at the end making them aware of the problem from a broader gamut serving as a shaping mechanism, effective in much more than just the technical domain. The event was also supported by partners such as TEQIP-3, GitHub, JET BRAINS, The Souled Store, Union Bank of India, Vision Care, Twisha Educational Pvt. Ltd. & Nissin Top Ramen. The workshops were conducted by Emisha, a non-profit tech community.

The hackathon was aimed at bringing sustainable development to the problems in the vicinity, otherwise ignored by stop-gap solutions & coping mechanisms. The problem statements harmonized with the vision ensuring a true reflection of the current state of society.

Problem Sectors

Agriculture:

One, solutions to post-harvest loss that accounted for 92,000 crore rupees and millions of farmer suicides and two, ingenious methods to collect data and use it for fishery management challenges such as degeneration of marine life, threat to the livelihood of the fishermen etc..

Healthcare:

One, the increasing amount of infant death rate and problems associated with the miscarriage of babies, largely prevalent in rural India, constituting the major portion of the country. Two, a Swift Point of Care solutions for mass screening to avoid death of children under 5, end epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, ensuring a global approach to reproductive health care assistance, safe drinking water and sanitation protecting people from chronic diseases, a very major concern in developing nations of Africa, Asia & South America. Third, to minimize the adverse impacts of pollution by 2030, grappling the entire world in its strangling hold.

Social:

One, to develop a cost-effective & efficient system to recover energy lost in braking and storing it in an additional cell. Two, ensuring women safety in Tier I/II cities, by tackling the issue of delay or inability in informing relevant persons in real time situation that is likely to result in an act of sexual abuse/violence. The third statement was targeted on solving human-elephant conflicts, also extending to animal-human conflicts. It was based on coming up with a scalable approach that deals with all the entities associated with sensitivity due to speeding trains.

Business:

Implementing seamless marketing of agri-commodities among mandis beyond the current geographic array, to add a process of scientific sort/ grading facilities or quality testing machines and taking the initiative of eNAM forward.

Over 200 teams participated in the event with more than 600 participants, with each team consisting up to a maximum of 4 members. 40 teams were shortlisted for the offline main event and were flagged the green signal to start working with their ideas. The event was led by 7 mentors, with expertise across various domains. The septuple of mentors included Omprakash Das, Vishnu Shriram, Anil Pradhan, Gopal Jee, Aklesh Malla, Prageeyaa Khanna & Bodhisattwa Sanghapriya. The teams were provided with the freedom to exploit libraries, frameworks, or open-source codes but with proper references noted down. The event also included fun events like brainteasers, brainstorming sessions and group discussions to motivate the participants and help maintain the momentum. There were various technical checkpoints ranging over the choice of programming language, IDE, cleanliness of code, framework etc. which accounted for brownie points for the teams.

The final day was the presentation day where the teams presented a demo of what they had built and pitched it to the mentors. The projects were judged on the basis of 4 criteria – technology, design, completion and learning by the judges and not on the basis of cleanliness of code, quality of pitch & perfection of the project. The winner and the runner-up were awarded 60,000 INR and 40,000 INR respectively coupled with attractive goodies, felicitated by the Vice Chancellor of the University in the final day of “SAMAVESH”. Also, the best ideas from each sector were recognized and awarded INR 10,000 each. The event’s central attraction lied in the incubation of the top 10 ideas through the associated organizations where the potential of the idea was to be met with a guided path to help it see to its end and emerge as an economically feasible real-world solution.

With VSSUT reaching another milestone, it’s first ever hackathon was sworn with a drive beyond just the competition, focused more on the process of evolution of learning and appreciating the world around us and its intricacies. InnoBuzz concluded with grand success, with its purpose realized of spotting the young mass who can stand up to the alarming critical issues of the society and combat the urges with both technical acumen and certain degree of sensitivity.

About the author

Atul Saswat

I call myself the MONK. To evolve is human !

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