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Imagination to Innovation—MIT’s Internal Hackathon for SIH

The Smart India Hackathon (SIH) is a national endeavour to foster innovation and out-of-the-box thinking in the youth, especially engineering students across India. It provides students with a platform to solve some of the prominent issues people face in their daily lives by implementing problem-solving using technology. Students participating in SIH had to form a team of 6 and choose one of the 500+ problem statements provided by various industries based on themes ranging from smart automation and smart vehicles to blockchain and cyber security. Participating colleges shortlist the best teams from their institutes for the national round by conducting a preliminary Internal Campus Hackathon.

Manipal Institute of Technology’s Internal Hackathon for the Smart India Hackathon was conducted in the MIT Library from 8 AM to 8 PM on 12th March 2022. The event was inaugurated by the Director of MIT, Dr Anil Rana, with Chief Guest Mr Pradeep Udupi, Dr Somashekar Bhat, Dr Smitha N. Pai, and Dr Sucheta Kolekar, SPOC SIH 2022, with Ms Ipsita Upasana as the host. After the dignitaries addressed the participants, the event kicked off, with the teams initiating their 12-hour hustle in high spirits. The Internal Hackathon saw 26 teams, out of which 16 selected software problem statements and 10 chose hardware problem statements. There were 15 external judges, which included professionals from various industries and academics, and 12 internal judges from different departments of MIT.

A team explaining their solution to the judges. [Image credits: PCB Manipal]

The hackathon was divided into three rounds, with an extra surprise round. In the first round, the participants had to present the solution they had come up with to a panel of two judges. The judges provided valuable insight to help the student better their innovations. In the second round, which began after the lunch break, the students built upon the solutions they had devised and created a functional prototype. Following this was the Surprise Power Judging round, where the top teams from previous rounds could present in front of another panel of judges for ten minutes. The ultimate third round followed, where the judges viewed the final software or hardware developed, as the participants justified their product and its potential use in the commercial world. 

After the final round, the judges and organizers compiled the results based on the scores of all the rounds as the teams waited with bated breaths. At last, the valedictory ceremony was held, graced by Dr Anil Rana, Chief Guest Dr D Srikanth Rao, former Director of MIT, Dr Somashekar Bhat, and Dr Sucheta Kolekar. “This was a great learning experience, especially the insights provided by the judges. Since it was also my first hackathon I thoroughly enjoyed the brainstorming,” remarked Nishad Khade, one of the participants. “Everyone has the capability to reach the sky,” said Dr Rana in his address to the students before the much-awaited results were declared.

Lastly, the ten best teams selected for software projects and five teams for hardware projects for the next rounds of SIH 2022 were announced. The top 5 overall winners were teams iPanda, Allmity, Rugved Systems, Phoenix, and Dronaid OS. The next ten qualifying teams were Hackerare, Robo Manipal Hex, Git Init Repo, Rakshak, High League, Abhyatama, Aqua Coders, Robotics & Circuits,  Dronaid, and Canvas. The event concluded with a vote of thanks given by Dr Sucheta Kolekar.

Faculty organizers, judges, and guests. [Image credits: PCB Manipal]

With the invaluable assistance of the student council and the team of faculty members, the entire event was executed smoothly and efficiently. The presence of the eminent judges also played a pivotal role in making the event a grand success. MIT’s Internal Hackathon for the Smart India Hackathon was undoubtedly a notable portrayal of collective effort and an enriching experience for everyone involved.

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