Thursday, 20 February 2020

5 Ways to Prepare Today's Students for Tomorrow's World


5 Ways to Prepare Today's Students for Tomorrow's World

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X

Given the way rapid digitalization and technological advancement is changing our world, today’s students who will be tomorrow’s professionals, need to be better equipped with a wide range of life skills to cater to the ever-evolving needs of the future. Only limiting the learning to books will be rendered redundant and thriving in their jobs, vocations and businesses will call for stronger skill sets that will not only help shape their personality but also enable them to achieve & maintain a successful career. Hence, it is critical that student activities teach skills like technological literacy, critical thinking, cognitive flexibility, teamwork, networking and socializing, innovation, leadership skills, etc. right from their school days to ensure that they are holistically groomed to face tomorrow’s world.

Here are 5 Ways to prepare today's students for tomorrow's world and help them realize their complete potential:

#1 Innovation & Continuous Learning

·         STEM: While focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), encourage students to question not just ‘why’, but also ‘why not’.
·         Technological Literacy: Include basic/advanced information about new age technologies like coding and programing, cyber security, data protection, data analytics, etc. at school level to enhance their technical awareness.
·         Healthy Competition: Make them participate regularly in competitions like hackathons, pitch fests, etc. to provide a platform to students to display their innovations.
·         Appreciation: Reward the innovative ideas and try to implement them, so that students get to experience their ‘real world’ application.  
·         Collaborative Learning: Teachers should ask open-ended questions in class that will lead to teamwork, leadership skill development, out-of-box thinking, etc.
·         Critical Thinking: Focus on student activities that not only encourage ‘problem solving’ but also focus on ‘problem finding’.
·         Unstructured Playing/Activities: Give them time and conducive conditions for unstructured playing/activities, this will help cultivate innovative thinking.

#2 Entrepreneurship & Leadership

·         Pitch Ideas & Concepts: Introduce ‘Shark Tank’ like concept where students can pitch their innovative ideas on various issues.
·         Personal Brand: Educate them about creating a positive personal brand online and offline.
·         Set Goals & Chase: Help them set goals for themselves, guide them wherever necessary to help them achieve these targets.
·         Rewards & Appreciation:  Reward them when these goals are achieved to boost their morale.
·         Role Models: Children learn more by observing than by following instructions, so make sure as a teacher/parent you are a good role model for them.
·         Mentors: Find accomplished mentors for the students who can provide technical, financial and strategic guidance. 
·         Decision Making: Strengthen their decision-making abilities by involving them in smallest discussions of family/class.
·         Listen: Let them articulate their beliefs & decisions and patiently hear their viewpoints before adding your opinions.
·         Foresight: Encourage children to foresee and grab opportunities around them.
·         Interaction with Experts: Student activities in schools and colleges should include interactions of  Entrepreneurs and Innovators with students, through a one-on-one interaction or other technology channels to inspire them.  

#3 Adaptability

·         Changing Dynamics:  Explain to the students that change is inevitable and adjusting your sails according to the wind is crucial.
·         Comfort Zones: Student activities in schools and colleges should challenge them by moving them out of their comfort zones as this is an important life skill.
·         Resilience: Teach them resilience through various activities to encourage their adaptability.
·         Risk Taking: Help them to eliminate the fear of failure and allow them to take calculative risks.
·         Independent Thinking: Support them but let them face and come out of difficult situations on their own.
·         Work: Make the students do different tasks on a rotation basis, this will help them understand and learn all kinds of work.
·         Corrective Actions: When things go wrong, don’t hesitate to teach them to accept their decisions and take appropriate corrective actions.
·         Cultural Differences: Allow them to participate in student exchange programs to sensitize them to different cultures and understand inclusivity.
·         New Ideas: Encourage them to be more open to new ideas, concepts & thought leaders.

#4 Networking

·         Group Activities: Initiate group activities and project-based learning so that students will interact with each other.
·         Knowledge Enhancement: Keep them abreast about current affairs and enhance their general knowledge.
·         Socialize: Help them join curricular and academic groups where there are children with common interests.
·         Observe & Learn: Allow them to observe someone closely whom they admire for strong networking skills.
·         Lunch Time: Make them sit with different groups for lunch to get to know the other kids better.
·         Expand Exposure: Encourage them to establish strong connections and lasting bonds by expanding their exposure.

#5 Communication Skills

·         Interaction: Student activities in schools and colleges can be designed to foster interaction with other students, teachers, peers, alumni, industry experts, etc. to strengthen their communication skills.
·         Audio/Visual Content:  Motivate them to watch documentaries, TEDx talks, ‘how to?’ videos, etc. to enhance their communication skills.
·         Public Speaking: Make them take interest in student activities like recitals, drama, elocution competitions, debates, etc. to help them master the art of public speaking.
·         Read: Encourage the habit to read on a wide variety of topics, this is one life skill that will help them in the long run.
·      Body Language: Help them learn about the right body language, gestures and voice modulation to complement their verbal communication, in order to emote better.


Whether at home or at school, these are small initiatives which can help equip the students with the right life skills to get ready for the future. And while you work on inculcating these life skills, don’t forget to teach them important human values like friendship, kindness, compassion, charity and empathy that will also enable them to be better human beings and not just successful ones!



Monday, 27 January 2020




Coding for Kids 

5 Reasons Why Kids Should Learn to Code





As the world moves towards digitalization, coding or programming will be one of the most important and in demand job skills in the near future. Coding today is not restricted to just the technology domain. Whether it is finance, manufacturing, aviation, healthcare, retail, telecom, pharma, real estate, entertainment, media and social media, there are job openings for programming in all these domains. To prepare your children for this highly valued and lucrative career option and for their holistic development, it is highly recommended that we plan t  Here are 5 reasons why kids should learn to code:
o teach programming for children, right from the school level.

1.       Strengthen their trouble-shooting skills

One of the most important life skills that coding teaches is problem-solving. Sometimes the programming works and at other times it requires corrections to serve the intended purpose. This helps them imbibe the important skill of first understanding and then trouble-shooting issues without getting deterred by challenges. Finding a viable solution to a problem adds a ‘feel good factor’ and helps strengthen their confidence and computational thinking skills.

Tip for Parents: Appreciate and encourage your child’s coding effort and help her/him explore online reference resources about coding for kids (Coding literature/blogs by experts/podcasts/articles/videos) to educate them further.
  
2.       Enhance creativity
When children write programs, it enhances their ability to think out-of-box and gives a much-needed boost to their creativity. They must think about the end result to be achieved through their coding and reverse engineer the steps accordingly. It helps them to imagine how the entire process will unfold and offer creative solutions to address the problem at hand.

Tip for Parents: Explain the problem to them and guide them in a step-wise manner about solving it through coding.
  
3.       Encourage logical & algorithmic thinking

Coding encourages your kid’s structural and algorithmic thinking in terms of important concepts like repetition, sequencing and conditional logic. This helps to improve their performance in maths by getting them hooked to the subject, by engaging them in an interesting manner and developing their algorithmic thinking.  This kind of heuristic and structured approach will evolve their perspective of looking at things in a logical way.

Tip for Parents: Use online websites like Code Combat, Tynker, Khan Academy, Code Monster, Thimble, for valuable resources about programming for children, to help your child learn and practice coding in an easy manner.

4.       Inculcate grit and resilience

While coding, your children experiment with the coding. They try, they fail, and continue to try again till they are successful. They learn the valuable life skill of being persistent and resilient at what they do. De-bugging the developed code is one such challenging and exciting task, which often tests their resilience and trains them to continue their efforts even after repeated failed attempts.  

Tip for Parents: Try to encourage and guide the kids to continue their coding efforts even if they face road blocks.  Help them or ask them to take help of their teachers, mentors and friends – anyone with some experience of coding for kids. This will teach them about ‘FINISHING’ the things that they start without ‘GIVING UP’.
  
5.       Continuous improvement

Coding helps children to learn a valuable life lesson of continuous improvement, which will add value to both their personal and professional lives. For example, if the children are making an app for recycling of paper in their class.  Before they start the coding, a lot of research and background work related to data collation, existing solutions and why they are redundant, the problems that the teacher is facing with the current processes is to be undertaken.  This will help them improve the current processes or design new ones through real-world application of coding, math and logic to provide viable solutions.

Tip for Parents: A key aspect of encouraging programming for kids is to answer all their queries – however insignificant or otherwise - about the subject. Such type of structural thinking will help them to boost their ability to challenge the current ‘solutions’ and come up with better ‘thought provoking’ ideas.

Today’s kids will be facing highly competitive working environments tomorrow. They have to be well prepared and equipped with essential life and job skills to not just survive but thrive amongst tough competition. Coding helps to shape up your kid’s critical personal and professional skills like effective communication, accurate decision making, problem solving, team work, initiative taking, etc. Apart from this, we strongly recommend that taking your children to witness live hackathons and watching others solve coding problems can help in expanding their knowledge about programming.







Thursday, 5 December 2019

Inspiring Innovation Mindset in Generation Next!



Persistent Systems and i4C together with MHRD and AICTE have been pioneer organizers of the popular nationwide Smart India Hackathon initiative for the last 3 years. Through this initiative, they have been tapping the creative potential and honing technical skillsets of engineering students across India to solve the Nation’s problems.  In keeping our commitment to encouraging ingenious ideas, we are extremely proud to announce that Persistent Systems, i4C and Persistent Foundation are launching the first ever Smart School Hackathon (SSH), a special innovation competition aimed at tapping creativity of school students.

Smart School Hackathon 2020 provides the students a launch pad to explore and develop their technical competency and surge ahead in their future careers. SSH 2020 aims to help students get a platform to showcase their creative expression, enhance their cognitive skills, inculcate out-of-the box thinking and boost their confidence.  Students of Class 7, 8 and 9 from 23 schools in Pune, PCMC area and Nashik will participate in SSH 2020 (Maharashtra Edition).  Each school can enroll any number of teams each comprising 3 to 4 participants in SSH 2020.
Currently we have received over 100+ ideas for 5 problem statements touching upon critical topics like water conservation, waste management, cleanliness, noise pollution control, etc.  At the grand event, students will walk away with attractive prizes for Best Innovative Idea, Best Team and many more.

#SSH2020 #Challenges #Pune #Nashik #PersistentSystems #PersistentFoundation #i4C #Hackathon #Competition #School #Inspiration #India #AtalInnovationLab #ATL #Impact

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Tentative Schedule for the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2018 Software Edition (30th & 31st March)

29th March 2018
Registration process to be completed (Mandatory and needs to be completed by evening/night 29th March)

30th March: Day 1
7.00 AM- 7.40 AM
Breakfast
7:40 AM
Assemble at venue

Inauguration
7:40 AM -7:45 AM
Inauguration of ‘Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2018’
7:45 AM- 7:50 AM
Lamp Lighting at the Venue
7:50 AM – 7:55 AM
Welcome Address by Chairman/ President of the institute
7:55 AM - 8:05 AM
Speech by Chief Guest at Venue
8:05 AM - 8:10 AM
Video Speech by Co-Chair, AICTE, Smart India Hackathon – Dr. Anand Deshpande
8:10 AM - 8:15 AM
Video Speech by Chairman, AICTE, Smart India Hackathon – Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe
8:15 AM - 8:25 AM
Video Speech by honorable Minister of HRD Shri Prakash Javadekar to announce the start of the Hackathon 2018
8:25 AM
Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon goes Live

Inauguration Ends
8:30 AM
Hacking/Coding Begins
10:00 AM
Tea And Snacks on Table
11:30 PM - 01:00 PM
First Round of Training Session. (7-10 minutes per team, Individual Ministry Trainer to train the teams)
01:00 PM
Lunch
4:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Tea and snacks
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
First Round of Evaluation (Three judges per panel, 7 minutes per team, 4 minutes presenting, 3 mins Q and A)
8:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Dinner
9:00 PM
Coding Resumes
11:00 PM
Redbull Hour, (One Can of Redbull provided to each individual member of the  team)


31st March: Overnight Phase
00:00 AM - 00:30 AM
Second Round of Training (5 to 7 mins per team, Different Ministry Trainers different teams)
01:00 AM - 01:30 AM
Activity
01:30 AM
Coding Continues
03:00 AM-
Snacks and biscuits Served on Table

31st March: Day 2
6:00 AM - 6:15 AM
Yoga Session
6:30 AM - 7:30 AM
Breakfast served
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Second Round of Evaluation (3 Judges Per Panel, evaluating implementation of ideas)
10:00 AM
Tea and Snacks Served at Table
12:00 PM - 12: 45 PM 
Power Mentoring (Last and final Round of mentoring by Ministry professionals)
12:45 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch
01:30 PM
Coding Continues
6:00 PM
Coding Stops
6:05 PM - 7:30 PM
Power Judging ( The final Pitch, 6 minutes per team, 3 minutes explanation, 3 minutes Q and A)
7:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Result Finalization by Judges in a special hall at the venue
8:00 PM
Valedictory Session Starts
8:20 PM
Results Announced for all 4 winning teams
8:30 PM
National Anthem
8:45 PM
Students Will Leave Premises

Some minor changes can happen based on locations.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Smart India Hackathon 2017 – World’s Biggest Hackathon!


29 Indian ministries participated giving 598 problem statements to work on, 40,000 students from 2200 participating colleges submitted their 7531 ideas, 1266 selected ideas for the finale, 402 evaluators across the globe shortlisted these ideas, 10,000 students participated in the final hackathon, 26 nodal centers/cities in India where the hackathon happened simultaneously for 36 hours, 50+ IT organizations provided their mentors across India, 1700 mentors from academics/IT organizations worked with these students to solve the problem statements given by ministries, 300+ ministry judges/mentors were present at these 26 locations, thousands of staff/student volunteers worked day/night to make this mammoth task a reality…WOOF…what a great team-work and the world’s biggest digital movement it was! We named it Smart India Hackathon 2017.


The Smart India Hackathon 2017 was envisioned for promoting innovation, out-of-the-box thinking in young minds, especially engineering students of India. It was focused on the problems of social importance as identified by 29 Ministries/Departments of Government of India. The ideation and execution was mainly driven by i4c (http://www.i4c.co.in/) and Persistent System Ltd. (https://www.persistent.com/). Orientation and awareness programmes were conducted by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education - http://www.aicte-india.org/) and i4C in 26 different cities to motivate students to participate in this event. Ministry of HRD led the initiative through AICTE as the main anchor. The Minister for HRD Shri Prakash Javadekar was the Chief Patron of the campaign.

What an experience it was for whoever participated – be it students/staff, be it mentors/judges, be it evaluators or be it organizers. Everyone got immensely benefitted through such a massive and enriching experience. I still remember the day when I got involved with this worldly initiative. It was scary to achieve something like this being part of the organization committee. Initially, the response from the students/colleges was not so encouraging but soon we could get the traction as we started conducting the LIVE sessions for them. Initially we planned a few sessions only but end up conducting close to 20 live sessions. I myself have conducted four out of them. The response that we got from students through these Facebook LIVE sessions was so much heartening. We heard the beats of the young minds of India…

We were in no doubts that the technology students from India are ready to make that big leap. Just in few weeks we received 7531 ideas to solve the 598 problems given by the ministries. Apart from this, students were so much more active on the social media, be it Facebook, Twitter or blog posts and so on. We just had to be on our toes to respond to this overwhelming student response.  Evaluating these 7531 ideas was a mammoth task as well. We involved many IT experts across the globe including the ministry domain experts to evaluate these ideas. It was difficult to get everybody on the same page as far as the evaluation process is concerned, them being distributed across multiple locations / time zones in the world. Hats off to these 402 evaluators including my own team at Persistent LABS that we could get at least 9 opinions about each idea that was submitted. Thanks to all the hard work and efforts put in by these evaluators that we could give justice to every single idea and could select 1266 ideas in the stipulated short time.

After idea shortlisting, it was a challenge to decide different locations for the final hackathon, organization of the event at all these locations, set the process and educate different centers to achieve the same experience throughout. Multiple chat sessions were required to put everyone into the same context. It was a big challenge, right from identifying the center coordinators to actual seamless execution till the end. It was god’s grace that we could find the mindful people who helped us make this happen. There were multiple rounds that took us to decide the programme schedule, final evaluation process, identifying and finalizing judges etc. So much detailing went into planning from what should happen at what time including the food for students, yoga/Zumba sessions to mentoring at the venue. Dr. Abhay Jere, Persistent LABS head, is the pivotal person for everything related to this initiative. He made everyone sail through this whole movement.


The grand finale begun at 7 am on 1st April 2017 and closure happened on 2nd April around 9 pm. Though it was too exhaustive for the participants as well as organizers to hold for these non-stop 36 hours, the energy in the air was so enthralling. No one really could sleep for a minute during these 36 hours. Each one was so involved being part of this nation building initiative. The energy got amplified by n-folds when our honorable Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi motivated the aspiring innovators through video conference at 10 pm on the 1st day. His LIVE interaction with students for about 44 minutes at night gave a Midas touch to the whole effort. His tweets about the event made us really proud and we could work effortlessly till the end sailing over the newly gained dosage of fresh energy.

The best solutions that got developed during the final hackathon were awarded @ INR 1 lakh, INR 75,000 and INR 50,000 for the top three teams respectively. Two more prizes have been given by Persistent Systems Ltd. and Deloitte India. There are about 135 prizes comprising of about INR 70 lakhs were handed over to the winning student teams.

This is not the end. Ministries are ready to further fund the selective projects and convert them into finished products. The effort will soon begin in the month of June this year and the handover of these products and their actual use by the ministries is expected to start by the year end. Smart India Hackathon 2017, not only tried harnessing the creativity and expertise of the students, but also built the funnel for 'Startup India, Standup India'. These crowd sourced solutions will help improving governance and quality of life, and provide young citizens of our country an opportunity to co-create and present innovative solutions to India's daunting problems for sure…


Author:
Vivek Kulkarni
Chief Architect, Persistent System Ltd.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Moving Forward With Smart India Hackathon 2017 :: Converting Prototypes Into Real Robust Products

Greetings! Writing after long time. First, Congratulations to all for making 'Smart India Hackathon 2017' a great success. Soon each and every participant (all members of 7531 teams who had submitted ideas/entries in first round) will get 'Certificate of Participation' from i4c. 

Undoubtedly, together, we have established world's biggest open innovation model. Without your support we couldn't have been successful. So THANKS A TON for all. 

As SIH2017 was first of its kind initiative for all of us, we have also learned a lot from our mistakes and your suggestions and will try to improve in next editions. We have already started working on SIH2018 edition and you will see the announcement in coming August.  

We also hope that all winners of SIH2017 will get their prizes by 7th May 2017. If you fail to receive it by 7th May THEN ONLY get in touch with us. Thanks for your patience. 

As always, we are getting large number of queries from participants primarily asking three following questions;
1) When is the Gala event?
2) When prizes for Social Media Campaign of SIH2017 will be announced?
3) Which and How projects from SIH2017 will be taken forward by the ministries?

Though this blog, I will try and answer all the three questions and hope that all the doubts will be cleared.

1) When is the Gala event?
The possibility of proposed 'Gala Event' is very low or almost zero as large number of students are currently in their exams. Also, we are not successful in finding suitable date when all stake holders (eg: Ministry officials, Students, AICTE officials, Industry professionals) are available in Delhi. Moreover, considering severe hot summer in Delhi, we believe that it would not be a good idea to make students travel to Delhi from different parts of the country.  

2) When prizes for Social Media Campaign will be announced?
We are in the process of creating a small system for all the teams to submit their Stats/numbers/impact of their Social Media Campaign which can help us selecting the winning teams. 

I agree, we are quite slow on this process. Currently, our main priority is to engage with ministries for creating the framework for taking selected projects forward. 

Initially, we will ask team to only submit data regarding success of their Social Media Campaign (eg. No. of Posts on Facebook, No of Tweets, Likes, Shares, Total Reach, Re-tweets, Total Impressions created, etc.). Based on the stats provided by the teams, we will shortlist top 20 teams and ask them to email actual 'Screen Shots' of the analytics (as proof) to support their claims. After validating the claims, we will release the prize money from i4c. If teams fail to submit their proof for analytics, then they will NOT be considered for award.

3) Which & How projects will be taken forward with the ministries?
We had multiple meetings with the ministry officials to discuss the methodology for engaging with the teams and taking the interesting projects forward. Currently, we are in the process of creating a 'Framework of Engagement' which all teams need to follow. This Framework will be published in 1st week of May.

More importantly, majority of the ministries (few may not) will engage with only 3-5 teams for taking their projects forward. Ministries need NOT necessarily engage with the winning teams. In some cases, ministries might engage with teams not even selected for power-judging round. 

Please remember: Ministries will select projects based on their immediate requirements and priorities considering their internal functioning. AICTE/i4c has NO say in that decision and it will be solely done by ministries based on their requirements. Please do not unnecessary follow-up with us. 

We have already shared the 'Project Proposal Format' with all the teams selected for power judging rounds and are waiting for information from different ministries regarding teams which they might wish to engage even though those teams were not selected for power judging round. 

If any of the teams selected for power judging round didn't receive our email then teams can proactively start working on creating the proposal. View the proposal template here: http://bit.ly/2punCSn 

All the shortlisted teams (teams selected for power judging round + teams recommended by ministries) need to prepare project proposal in the specified format. Once teams are ready with proposal they will be asked to submit the same on MyGov (link will be shared soon).

All teams are allowed to change/replace disinterested members or members passing out from college (and taking jobs) with other interested and competent students. If any team member(s) is/are  replaced then a formal consent from the replaced member(s) is required along with an endorsement from college authorities. 

On receiving the project proposals from the teams, they will be shared with ministry officials for final shortlisting and selection. The selected proposals/teams need to sign an MOU and commit deliverable along with timelines. 

Each ministry will try nominate one domain/IT expert from their side, who can mentor the selected teams and help them re-iterate continuously to match the exact requirements of the ministry and also monitor their development from the ministry’s side. This will ensure that the developed product fits coherently with the existing setup within the ministry.

One industry/technical expert will also be nominated by AICTE in consultation with its Knowledge Partners in order to ensure that the solution developed is at par with the latest technology available.

Majority of the time, the students will work based from their own college campuses.Weekly monitoring of the progress of each team will be done through skype/webex/hangout calls. Also, each team will have to submit a monthly milestone based report regarding the progress made. 

A quad-party MOU will be signed between the Ministry, AICTE, Knowledge Partners and the respective Teams. The college will be asked by AICTE to submit an undertaking that they will provide full support to the teams and its students for the duration of the entire project. 

Intellectual Property (IP) arising out of the solutions developed will reside with the students but the respective ministries will have a lifetime access to the solutions for free. All the students in the respective teams will have to be from the same college in-order to avoid any conflicts related to IP.  

The expected date for commencement of projects is 1st June and final implementation should happen before 30th Nov. The handing over ceremony will be organized in 1st week of December.

We hope that majority of the teams will get opportunity to work with ministries and convert your concept into concrete product. 

Best Luck 

Note: These are tentative General Guidelines and subjected to change based on expectations from each ministry.  



Monday, 27 March 2017

Guidelines for Teams Participating in the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2017

Dear Students,

We are quite sure that you all will be very excited about the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2017 on 1st and 2nd April. It is also very heartening to see that large of student teams are active on social media and promoting our initiative. We are also getting huge number of queries related to travel, accommodation and other logistic support. Hence, we have created following guidelines for students, which they need to follow for smoothly conducting the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2017. 

1) As you are aware, 1250+ teams with 10,000+ participants are going to compete on 1st and 2nd April across 26 different cities by working non-stop for 36 hrs. As the scale of this initiative is unprecedented and our budgets are limited, we are keen on requesting all the participants to cooperate with host institutions in every possible manner in case of some inconveniences. We want you to enjoy the process of Hackathon rather than complaining about lodging, boarding and logistics.

2) As informed earlier, the accommodation for students and mentors will be very basic (likely in Hostel or dormitory). At some locations, Classrooms will be converted to dormitories. Students will certainly get a bed (no cot assured) and in a room, we might accommodate many students. Boys and Girls will be provide separate accommodation. For more details regarding accommodation, Food and transport request you to directly contact the respective Students Coordinators appointed by college. Request you to kindly adjust and cooperate. This problem might be more acute at Nagpur centers has 80+ teams competing

3) Accommodation will be ONLY provided to Team Members (6 students + 2 Mentors) based on letter from team's college. Any other college coordinator or family member/relative accompanying the team need to make his/her own arrangements. Please DO NOT request host institution to make arrangements for them. Let us avoid unpleasant discussions.

4) Bring your own towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, hair oil, comb, shaving kit, bathroom slippers and other required toiletries. You may also get a shawl to cover yourself at night while sleeping. We request you to check the weather/temperature of your nodal city and bring clothes accordingly. 

5) The host institutions will make arrangements for your Food and Snacks from 31st March Evening (Dinner) to 3rd March afternoon (lunch/brunch). If you are planning to arrive before or depart later than the prescribed period, then you will have to pay for your food and snacks. 

6) If teams are arriving on 30th March, then college can provide accommodation but for food,  students need to take care of themselves.  

7) If you are on any special medication or suffering with any medical condition, then we request you to inform your host institutions in advance, so that they can make appropriate arrangements. Also you can get along with you basic First Aids kit and some basic drugs like Dettol, Antacids, Combiflam, Vicks,etc. 

8) As you might be travelling to another part to India, changes in drinking water or food may affect your digestive system/cycle. Hence, it is recommended that you carry few tablets of anti-diarrhea and anti-dysentery drugs. 

9) Please dump waste in designated dustbins and not anywhere in the campus. We are all committed to Swatch Bharat. 

10) Regarding IT/Hardware, please ensure that you bring all the required hardware along with you. To know more about IT/hardware requirement please check this link

11) As stated earlier, we are trying to make arrangements for internet with high speed but then also there is very high possibility that the speed might become a problem, if large number of Laptops/PCs simultaneously connect to the network. Request you to ensure that you dependencies on internet are minimal.

12) During the 36 hrs Hackathon, all students are expected to code. The students will not be allowed to leave the campus. Rest area will be arranged near to actual Hackathon venue. Separate rest areas are for boys and girls. 

13) Students/Teams not coding and roaming will be immediately disqualified and asked to leave the competition. They will NOT even get the certificate of participation. We are here to code and work.  

14) If you any of the teams require PCs during the Finale, then please contact the respective the students' coordinator.

15) All students are expected to strictly follow the norms/rules of the host colleges and ensure that  no damage is done to their property during your stay. We believe that all the selected students are good and talented youngsters and your behavior should give moral boost to the host institutions, so that they continue to support this initiative even in future. 

16) Some colleges are planning to arrange for pickup and drop for student teams from train station/airport/bus stand. For others, the colleges will inform you about the route and mode of transport you need to take to reach the venue/hostel. AICTE will NOT reimburse for any local transport.

17) AICTE will only reimburse tickets for the direct/shortest route for 2nd Class (Sleeper Class, NON AC) railway fair. If tickets are booked in Tatkal, then AICTE will reimburse the Tatkal charges. Our FAQs section has all the relevant information in this regard. Soon we will share with you New Format of TA form.

18) We hope that your standees and backdrops are ready. Also hope to see some really colorful T-shirts. Guidelines for T-shirts and Standees are already published. If they are ready then start sharing with us the pics. 

19) We will soon share with you a comprehensive 'Students Guide' highlighting Do's and Dont's

Prizes

Now, we will have 4 Prizes for each center. For centers working for ministries, the top 3 prizes are from Ministries/Department while for 'Students' Voice' Category the top 3 prizes are Sponsored by 'Deloitte Innovation'. Apart from three prizes, now we one additional 'Inspiration' Prize Sponsored by Persistent Systems Limited.
1st Prize          :          Rs. 1.0 lakh
2nd  Prize        :          Rs. 75,000
3rd Prize         :          Rs. 50,000
Inspiration      :          Rs. 10,000

The prize money will NOT be paid in cash at the venue. It will be paid later directly by RTGS Bank Transfer (after completing the formal process in the ministry and tax deduction) to the account of team members. This process may take about 1 month to complete. The prize money will be distributed equally (divided by 8) among team members and mentors .  

Gala Event in Delhi

The winners from all centers will be invited to Delhi for another Gala event in 2nd Week of April (On Sunday). AICTE will take care of all the expenses. We have still not started working on the details of this function. So please do not ask any more questions at this juncture.  

Hope you will understand and appreciate
When an initiative of this magnitude is planned, it requires humongous efforts and some mistakes are bound to happen from all the parties involved in this process. We sincerely request you to accommodate our shortcomings and join this movement in true spirit of nationalism. The success of our efforts are not based on how well are the logistics or arrangements but it will depend more upon how we can stimulate young students to think out-of-the-box and build innovative digital solutions. 

!!We all are lucky to be part of Inaugural Edition of Smart India Hackathon!!
!! Best Luck for the Grand Finale !!