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India Launches Hackathon For IoT-Based Solutions

The Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IIT-Madras) Pravartak Technologies Foundation (IITM-PTF) is collaborating with a private player to conduct a national hackathon called SAMVEDAN 2021 – Sensing Solutions for Bharat. The aim is to “inspire citizens to solve India-specific problems of societal interest using the Internet of Things (IoT) sensor boards,” according to recent reports.

Registration, which opened at the beginning of the month, is available for all Indian nationals residing in the country. A team with a maximum of three members can register for the grand challenge. The challenge will be held in three: stages quarterfinals, semi-finals, and finals. A total of 75 ideas will be selected for the quarterfinals, and among them, the 25 best ideas will be selected for the semi-finals. There will be seven finalists with prizes for every finalist. Prizes worth IN300,000 (US$) will be awarded to the best teams.

The Secretary of Department of the Science and Technology (DST) explained that the future will rely on a convergence of physical systems with communication, computing, information, and data gathering, machine sensing, and autonomous decisions and actions and control. Thus, sensors of all sorts will play a vital role in cyber-physical systems. IITM-PTF stated it was committed to identifying innovative solutions and talents across the country in the area of sensor-based solutions. It would also work to provide a platform for successful start-ups that could solve problems of national importance. SAMVEDAN is one of the platforms to enable this.

Winners will be eligible for prize money as well as an entrepreneurial support scheme by the IIT-Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation. An official explained that the organisation plans to offer an entrepreneur-in-residence scholarship for the top team for a year, which will enable them to nurture it into a start-up.

IITM-PTF is a Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) for the sensor, networking, actuators, and control systems (SNACS) area supported by the DST under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS).

Last month, IIT-Madras collaborated with another private player on quantum computing education and research. The institute’s faculty, researchers, and students will get access to private technology, quantum systems, and tools to accelerate joint research in quantum computing and develop curricula. As OpenGov Asia had reported, the Quantum Computing Lab at IIT-Madras will host courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Anil Prabhakar, Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT-Madras, noted, “Quantum computing offers us the opportunity to solve computationally intractable problems. We have played a leadership role in the indigenous development of quantum key distribution (QKD). Such QKD protocols form the building blocks for quantum networks that will secure our communications, and also enable new paradigms such as photonic quantum computing and distributed and blind quantum computing.”

The Quantum Computing Lab courses, which will be taught by IIT-Madras faculty and private industry researchers, include hands-on lab sessions on their quantum systems. The partnership will augment existing courses on quantum information and computing. The company will provide the learning resources, tools, and systems access needed by faculty and students. The director of the company’s research arm in India said that Quantum computing is fast emerging as one of the disruptive technologies of current times. This collaboration with IIT-Madras is part of the company’s Quantum Educators programme that will help teachers in the quantum field connect with one another and provide learning resources, tools, and systems access they need to provide quality educational experiences.

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