Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the grand finale of the world’s largest online hackathon on August 1 from 7 pm onwards through a video conference, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal announced on Monday. During the grand finale, over 10,000 students will compete to solve 243 problem statements from government departments and industries. This hackathon is being organized jointly by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Persistent Systems, and i4c.

For Smart India Hackathon 2020, the first level screening of students’ ideas has already taken place in January through a college-level hackathon and only the winning teams at the college level were made eligible for the national round of Smart India Hackathon. Again at the national level, ideas were screened by experts and evaluators and only the shortlisted teams will compete during the Grand Finale.

Pokhriyal said that considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the grand finale for Smart India Hackathon 2020 shall be organized online by connecting all the participants throughout the nation together over a specially-built advanced platform. This year, we will have more than 10,000 students competing to solve 243 problem statements from 37 central government departments, 17 state governments, and 20 industries. Each problem statement carries prize money of Rs 1,00, 000 except the student innovation theme which will have three winners, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with prize money of Rs 1,00,000, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively.

Pointing out that the Smart India Hackathon has grown in the past few years, the minister said, “The first edition of SIH-2017 saw the participation of 42 thousand students, which substantially increased to 1 lakh in SIH 2018 and later to 2.0 lakh in SIH-2019. SIH 2020 is even more massive as compared to SIH 2019 and the first round saw the participation of more than 4.5 lakh students.”

“In order to develop an Atma Nirbhar Bharat, we need to ensure that the teams are carefully mentored from the ideation stage to the prototype stage. Once the idea has come from the student, it should be the responsibility of the mentor to ensure that the idea gets implemented either through the start-up or the department,” he said.