Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the grand finale of the Smart India Hackathon on Saturday via video conferencing and also interacted with students on the occasion.
The hackathon is a nationwide initiative to provide students with a platform to solve some of the pressing problems people face in daily lives, and thus inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem-solving, it said.
"The Smart India Hackathon has emerged as a vibrant forum to ideate and innovate. Naturally, this time our youth would be focussing on the post-COVID world in their innovations, along with ways to create an Aatmanirbhar Bharat," the prime minister wrote on Twitter.
The first edition of Smart India Hackathon in 2017 saw participation of 42,000 students, which increased to 1 lakh in 2018 and to 2 lakh in 2019. The first round of Smart India Hackathon 2020 saw participation of more than 4.5 lakh students.
"The grand finale of the software edition this year is being organised online by connecting all the participants throughout the nation over a especially-built advanced platform. More than 10,000 students will be competing to solve 243 problem statements from 37 central government departments, 17 state governments and 20 industries," the statement said.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said "We are focussing on the quality of education in India. Our attempts have been to make our education system the most advance and modern for students of our country."
Adding that 21st century is the era of knowledge, PM Modi said that this is the time for increased focus on learning, research, innovation. "This is exactly what India’s National Education Policy, 2020 does," Modi said.
"National Education Policy 2020 announced recently has been framed keeping in mind the aspirations of the youth of 21st century of our country," the PM added.
PM Modi also said that India’s National Education Policy is about the spirit which reflects that we are shifting from the burden of the school bag, which does not last beyond school, to the boon of learning which helps for life, from simply memorising to critical thinking.
He added, "Languages of India will progress and develop further due to the changes brought in the education policy. This will not only increase India's knowledge but will also increase its unity."