IIT Roorkee To Co-organize Virtual Hackathon In Collaboration With Indo-Japanese Universities To Augment Bilateral Ties

The objective of the hackathon is to find unique solutions to tackle unforeseen exigencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

IIT Roorkee along with three other Indian institutes and RIKA (a social entrepreneur) in India and Keio University and India-Japan Laboratory, Japan joined hands to organize Social Innovation Online Hackathon (SIOH). Other three Indian Institutes are IIT Hyderabad, VNIT, Nagpur and NIT Durgapur.  The event will be held on 25th August 2020 at 16:00 – 18:00 JST and 12:30 – 14:30 IST. 

The objective of the hackathon is to find unique solutions to tackle unforeseen exigencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic and establish a resilient world in line with Sustainable Development Goals of zero hunger, good health and well-being, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities and climate action. 

The initiative provides an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to come up with low-cost, innovative and implementable solutions with a focus on SDGs and tackling COVID-19. The solutions would address common problems such as facilitating methodical healthcare management, enabling consumers to connect with street hawkers, managing plastic waste and addressing lack of access to education, healthcare and finance facilities for women, addressing problems of food security and water conservation. 

The participants are drawn from five identified universities and had multi-disciplinary experience ranging from architecture, planning, disaster management, computer science and application, urban studies and policy studies. The winning team will undergo an internship in Indo-Japan Laboratory, IIT Roorkee, IIT Hyderabad, VNIT Nagpur and NIT Durgapur.

Kishore Kamal, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (India) stresses the need to develop scalable, appropriate and sustainable (SAS) products. Prof. Rajib Shaw, Director, Indo-Japan Laboratory, Keio University highlights the role of science and innovation in addressing community problems. He also emphasises on the importance of this hackathon in strengthening the India-Japan bilateral relationship through academic partnerships.

Professor Jun Murai from Keio University highlights the role of internet connectivity during the COVID-19 lockdown and says that innovation through internet-based connectivity and software solutions can be a key to solving socio-economic problems. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative of JICA India Office lauds the efforts of the universities in providing this platform and encourages students to undertake social innovation.

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