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India launches Hackathon and Mobile App to combat COVID 19

Minister of State Electronics & Information Technology, Communications and Human Resource Development Shri Sanjay Dhotre launched Hack the Crisis – India, an Online Hackathon to find working solutions for overcoming COVID 19 pandemic.

This hackathon is part of a global initiative and is being organised by ‘Hack A Cause – India’ and ‘FICCI Ladies Organization Pune’ and supported by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India (MEITY).

The objective of the hackathon is to garner support, resources and ideas from all quarters in the fight against COVID19.

The winning ideas from a few top participating teams, as implementable solutions on the corona crisis, are expected to help India and global citizens.

There are over 2,000 teams with more than 15,000 participants who will fine-tune their working prototypes in the 48-hour hackathon.

These teams will have expert mentoring from India, Estonia and Finland. The top teams from India will participate in ‘Hack the Crisis – World’ global hackathon in the coming weeks.

At the launch, the minister said that COVID -19 has thrown unprecedented challenges for the world and industries alike.

While each government continues to fight these challenges as a country to manage human suffering, business disruptions and remote working scenarios, it is important for all segments and sectors in countries  – governments, industry and individuals – to jointly participate wholeheartedly together to overpower the pandemic and emerge stronger as humanity.

The Minister of State Electronics & Information Technology was of the firm belief that India could and would overcome this challenge and would come out stronger as a country.

Organisations have launched a number of initiatives to identify and support solutions and ideas that can reduce the present pain and also contribute in fast recovery.

The Government of India has also launched a mobile app developed in public-private partnership to bring the people of India together in a resolute fight against COVID-19.

‘AarogyaSetu’ is the latest entrant of Digital India for the health and well-being of every Indian.

The app will enable citizens to assess themselves the risk for their catching the Corona Virus infection. It will calculate this based on their interaction with others, using cutting edge Bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence.

The app can detect other devices with AarogyaSetu installed that come in the proximity of each other. It then calculates the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts is tested positive.

The App has been designed to help the Government assess the risk of the spread of COVID-19 infection and to implement appropriate and timely steps where and when required.

The App’s design ensures privacy-first. Personal data collected by the App is encrypted using state-of-the-art technology and stays secure on the phone until it is needed for facilitating medical intervention.

Available in 11 languages, the App is ready for pan-India use from day-1 and has highly scalable architecture.

This app is a unique example of the nation’s young talent coming together and pooling resources and efforts to respond to a global crisis.

It is a bridge between public and private sectors, digital technology and health services delivery and the potential of young India with a disease-free and healthy future of the nation.

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