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 event was hosted by the Silicon Valley-based Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation. It saw thousands of innovators and developers compete online from the comfort of their homes to create open-source solutions against the Coronavirus crisis facing the nation.
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.
Said well-known entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and change agent Ms Asha Jadeja Motwani, the Founder of Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation: “We have been overwhelmed by the quality of entries at CODE19 online hackathon and the deep enthusiasm shown by all the participants. A community of hackers and mentors, especially young students from all parts of the country and around the world, came together to enable India’s fight against Coronavirus. I believe that the qualitative, open-source projects created at this hackathon would help mitigate the impending Corona-inflicted challenges in India. I am also hopeful that the total prize money of $34,000 that was awarded to winning teams will enable them to realize their solutions and bring them to market.”
FIRST PRIZE: iClassroom has been created by 19-year-old Abhinand C and 20-year-old Shilpa Rajeev, both students at Government College of Engineering in Kannur, Kerala. Said Abhinand C: “Our winning entry is a virtual classroom that makes learning easier and more intuitive by providing an engaging peer-to-peer social media type platform. Students and teachers can 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 and serve as a tool for enhanced learning within and outside physical classrooms.”
Said 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 selected courses, rather than use multiple communication tools for this purpose. We now intend to enhance iClassroom’s functionality by integrating several useful apps.”
SECOND PRIZE: TeleVital, a solution for contactless health assessment of a patient, was created by a team of six students of Manipal Institute of Technology, including Jithin Sunny, Joel Jogy George, Rohan Rout, Rakshit Naidu, Megha Baid and Shivangi Shukla.
Said Jithin Sunny: “We wanted to reduce overcrowding at hospitals and the attendant risk of infection for healthcare professionals by devising a way to analyze the health of patients right at their homes. After consulting a few doctors treating COVID19 patients, we realized that vital statistics play a major role in deciding if a patient needs hospitalization or not. We decided to create a solution to record a patient’s heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, etc. without any contact-based measurement tool. We also built a system to check if any individual was at the risk of getting infected or being a carrier of the virus through our AI-based chatbot to check travel history and map other symptoms.”
Said Megha Baid: “Since mobiles and laptops are readily available at many people’s homes today, we decided to capture vitals and other health parameters of a person through a Web browser and Web camera, and establish online communication between the patient and the doctor. We have implemented an algorithm that we believe is superior to the existing ones out there. We now intend to improve the accuracy and efficiency of TeleVital and add more features to enhance the overall user experience.”
THIRD PRIZE IN THREE CATEGORIES:
SoloCoin: Created by a team of eight students from various colleges across India, led by Project Lead Arbob Mehmood of UPES University, Dehradun. SoloCoin gamifies social distancing. It is an app that rewards users in virtual coins for engaging in social distancing. Virtual coins can be redeemed for coupons with select merchants.
Covid19 Fact Checker: Created by a team of four students from AISSMS College of Engineering, Pune, including Rohan Sarnjit Dhiman, Shreyas Abhay Ghorpade, Ankita Shashikant Shinde and Swapnil Jawale. Said Rohan Sarnjit Dhiman: “Misinformation and fake news are a serious problem in troubled times. Smart phones and social media platforms can spread these very quickly among masses. We have built a tool called Covid19 Fact Checker that can conduct verification of any news regarding Coronavirus on its own and conclude whether it is fake or real. Users can thus avoid getting misled by misinformation that circulates online.”
Grape Community: Created by Ranjoy Sen, a 35-year-old software professional working in Bengaluru, Grape Community is an open platform to connect communities with shopkeepers and suppliers in any area. Said Ranjoy Sen: “Small traders and shopkeepers are suffering the most from the Covid19 lockdown. Hardly any of them has a web presence and they usually depend on customers to reach out to them on their own. Grape Community will enable people to order their daily essentials from the neighborhood shops and suppliers and keep track of orders and deliveries. It will benefit both traders and customers by facilitating commerce in this period of lockdown and social distancing.”
The panel of judges to decide the winners included names such as Gaurav Aggarwal, Co-Founder, 1mg.com; Manish Amin, Co-Founder, Yatra.com; Praveen Nahar, Director, National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad); Vishal Gondal, Founder, GOQii; Vaibhav Aggarwal, Founder, Fabhotels.com; Amit Ranjan, Co-Founder, SlideShare; and Jitender Minhas, CEO, IAMAI Startup Foundation.
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.