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Innovation Garage

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September 2016

 MAKETHON 6.0- MY FIRST HACKATHON

There are very few instances in one’s life when one feels that he/she have transcended their barriers to ascend to a new level or a perspective. Such instances are the milestones that one remembers personally though the people around might not acknowledge.one such instance in my life that I shall treasure forever is Hackathon 6.0.

I am writing this as a person who has never been to Makeathon or a technical competition before and hence zero technical knowledge. For the past two years I never registered for any Hackathon selling my enthusiasm to my lethargy, inexperience and trepidation. This time, I have been lucky to be a part of an amazing team because of whom I was able to register and qualify for Makeathon since they had prior experience in the domain we worked on. All I knew were little basic chunks of HTML, CSS and android studio (which I managed from YouTube tutorials).

Little did I know that to accomplish things that interest and enthusiasm win over matter and mind. Once I reached there, our team discussed about the problem and divided the work. I had to work on android studio. Trust me, all I did was analyze the problem, Google your ideas, pick the best of all, make adaptive changes (for which you need some technical knowledge) and collaborate all of them on software. And, I have a working model of the app(I who had the bare minimum knowledge of apps).the only factor that differentiates is how well can one analyze a problem, keep his grit going and come up with a solution.

One spectacular and peculiar aspect of Makeathon was people were constantly energetic even after working for 20 hours amid the Redbull, music, food and fun. One who experienced only can describe the excitement and the new confidence that one cherishes when you get the final solution (i am sure my teammates remember my excitement when I got the solution at 5:00 am after my first night-out).So, for those who missed Makeathon this time, Donot miss the next Makeathon.

-Uma Prasanna Athikala

NITW wins NIT conclave 2016

Five students from our very own NITW participated in 6th NIT conclave which was hosted by NIT Rourkela this year. NIT conclave is a “platform for fruitful interaction amongst the NITs [where the delegates,] instead of theorizing on a designated problem, brainstorm on and address the existing real issues that are hindering the nation’s progress.” This year’s theme was “Research” with a special focus on undergraduate research. Rajat Garg (2/4), Somesh Kumar (2/4), Siranjeevi Gurumani (3/4), Aditya S. Kantha (4/4) and Sachin Govind (4/4) represented NITW and bagged first prize home. Here is an interview with Rajat Garg.

In the recent NIT conclave, could you elaborate on what you and the other NITW delegates did?

As the theme was focused on Undergraduate Research, we realized that the students are facing issues with the same in their undergraduate level. We narrowed it down and attributed it to two main problems and suggested two countermeasures. Our first delegate from NITW, Sachin Govind, shed light on how students do not get a proper and encouraging research environment. As he was a part of IG, he exemplified IG as a solution. Our second delegate, Aditya, chemical eng. 4/4, presented about student mentorship program. As our solutions were relevant and pragmatic approaches to the problems, jury liked it and here we are, bagging the first prize for our institution. But I also believe that the solutions and their implementations defined by delegates from the other institutions were equally impressive.

As you mentioned, your solutions involved the idea of IG. How did IG help you?

Before attacking the question directly, I would like to give some background. After analysis of the topic, we observed that undergraduate students, not only in NITW, but in the whole country experience a bump when it comes to research. And the reasons are quite obvious. They don’t get a research environment in their bachelors. Thus, due to lack of familiarity, they start believing that there is no scope for research at all. But research in fact has set foundation for most of the startups and every entrepreneur has some form of research ascribed to him/her. Hence, research is important. But the big question was, “What to do?”  So far we had realized the problem but the solution was still elusive. That is where IG kicked in in my mind. IG is a wonderful platform to promote undergraduate research which also helps the students raise funds for their foreign internships. IG, only a single building in terms of infrastructure, has changed the vision of thousands of students. We had enough traits of IG as ideas to add in our presentation. When I contacted Subhi didi and Piyus bhaiyya(both are active members of IG team) to get info about IG’s workflow, they were really co-operative to share everything with me. That too helped us in our presentation.

There must have been a wide range of audience present in this conclave. How did they perceive the idea of IG?

Yes. There were delegates hailing from more than a dozen NIT’s…16 to be exact, participating in this conclave. Everyone liked the proposal of IG and jury members said that this really can give a new hope in the field of research. They also mentioned, with such an enthusiastic environment that NITW already has, NITW can serve as a role model and help other colleges by showing them this wonderful incubation center. Such innovations would help develop the institutions soon.

Finally, is there anything you would like to say to all the readers?

I will say we have many ideas but here at NITW, we have implemented them. I would like to reach to the widest audience and tell them to come up with the ideas, work on them, make innovations and then, I surely hope, one fine day, the situation will change.

By

Gaurab Manandhar

Makeathon- Where technology serves humanity

Did you ever get excited to come to College for the mess food? I am sure the question must have already raised many eyebrows. For most of us, it is a definite no. But in government schools, students attend the school to get the midday meal served. It is neither for the taste, nor the flavor but to satisfy their hunger and survive. This is the midday meal scheme.

To implement this scheme and thereby increase the literacy rate, Akshaya Patra was formed in 2000 with their motto being “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”. The organization grew from feeding 1,500 children in the year 2000 to 1.6 million children in 2016 in 25 locations across 10 states of India. They had recently celebrated serving 2 million meals. This has helped in increasing enrolment and decreasing dropout rate.

To escalate their mission, they wanted to use the help of technology to analyze the statistics and minimize the amount of food wasted and keep a check on quality. So guys, those who chose Akshaya Patra’s problem statement,You aren’t just learning and implementing something new and innovative but also helping thousands of children get their midday meal served with better efficiency. You will surely make a difference. All the best to you!!!.

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