Students of engineering colleges across the country have been roped in by All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) through hackathon in preparation of a comprehensive response app to facilitate coordination at the times of coronavirus outbreak.
AICTE has announced an online hackathon — ‘COVID-19 national Bio-informatics Online Hackathon’ asking candidates to register themselves till April 26.
The hackathon will be conducted from April 27 to May 6.
AICTE stated that one of the first timely solutions the Central Government has come up with is the “Arogya Setu” a COVID -19 social distancing app helping people to avoid movement close to known infected persons, a step in right direction.
“However, there is a big gap and need for a fast track IT solution to develop a comprehensive app that can help in coordination. The best information tool to handle this pandemic is Disaster Risk Management (DRM) apps and tools which facilitate coordination for preparedness, rescue, relief and rehabilitation which can be further repurposed, upgraded to support coordination among many if not all,” the AICTE said.
In order to do this rapidly, the apex technical education regulator stated, one of the known approaches is running a hackathon on developing this tool based on freely available software in DRM, Health and others which can be replicated across the states in the country taking advantage of the vast pool of IT students and faculty by tapping into the Engineering institutes through AICTE and Special projects like spoken tutorials.
“The aim is to start the process to build a comprehensive pandemic response app or web tools with various essential modules to support coordination. The only restriction is that the direct outputs or slightly modified versions shall not be used only for pure commercial purpose or profiteering of individuals or entities. This can be used for making it into an open source or partly paid through government projects or funds for social causes similar to apps developed using open source software,” said AICTE.
As the hackathon outputs are being done on social cause basis not on pure commercial benefit of any one or any one entity, the full stack developers will only submit their installable programs and not their source code, and they will be duly acknowledged for their contribution. This app and websites can be a foundation for winners and other institutes to use as a base for developing improved and advanced versions.
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