Abhinand C and Shilpa Rajeev, two students from the Government College of Engineering in Kannur, Kerala, have bagged the first prize of $10,000 at the recently concluded CODE19 online hackathon against coronavirus in India. Their winning entry, called iClassroom, involved a modern virtual classroom for the millennial generation. It connects students with teachers through a social media-type interface for uninterrupted learning in the time of the pandemic.
The 72-hour online hackathon was hosted by the US-based Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation. It saw thousands of innovators and developers from India and abroad compete online from the comfort of their homes to create open-source solutions against the Coronavirus crisis facing the nation.
Said 19-year-old Abhinand C: “Our winning entry was a virtual classroom that makes learning easier and more intuitive by providing an engaging peer-to-peer social media-type platform. It enables students and teachers to interact with each other, clear their doubts, mentor others and conduct online classes. We developed iClassromm as a dedicated platform for students to continue with their studies uninterrupted in the prevailing pandemic conditions. It serves as a tool for enhanced learning within and outside physical classrooms.”
Said 20-year-old Shilpa Rajeev: “We built this platform as a practical solution for all learning communities to interact with each other, share resources and keep track of progress in chosen courses, rather than use multiple communication tools for this purpose. We now intend to enhance iClassroom’s functionality by integrating several useful apps.”
Said well-known entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and change agent Ms Asha Jadeja Motwani, the Founder of Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation which hosted CODE19 online hackathon: “We were overwhelmed by the high quality of entries received and the deep enthusiasm shown by all the participants. A community of hackers and mentors, especially young students from all parts of the country, came together to enable India’s fight against Coronavirus. I believe the qualitative, open-source projects created at this hackathon would help mitigate the impending Corona-inflicted challenges in India. I am hopeful that the total prize money of $34,000 awarded to winning teams will enable them to realize their solutions and bring them to market.”
The second prize of $5,000 was claimed by six students of Manipal Institute of Technology for enabling remote diagnosis of Covid19 patients to reduce the risk of infection for healthcare workers. Their solution, TeleVital, captures a patient’s vital statistics remotely through a Web cam and browser.
The third position was divided into three categories, with each of the three winning teams awarded $3,000 as prize money. The winners included SoloCoin which gamifies social distancing by allowing people to earn “solo coins” by staying at home and redeeming them for rewards from various merchants; the Covid19 Fact Checker, a fake news checker that leverages authentic government, scientific, and public health information to bust misinformation about the Covid19 pandemic; and Grape Community, an open platform that connects people with their neighborhood shopkeepers and suppliers. In addition, 10 best innovative solutions were awarded $1,000 each at the hackathon.
CODE19 was organized by the Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation in collaboration with partners such as TIE Mumbai, IAMAI Startup Foundation, Mumbai Angels Network, Association of Designers of India, Stumagz and GirlScript. The event had three leading academic institutions as partners – National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), IIT Kharagpur and Centre for Entrepreneurship – Ashoka University.