FICCI Ladies Organisation initiates online hackathon to find COVID-19 solutions

The online contest is open to all Indian nationals within the country and abroad.


The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) women’s wing, the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), Pune chapter, is organising a hackathon to find a non-medical cure for the COVID-19 virus. Calling it ‘Create while you isolate’, the goal is to search for answers amidst the fight against the pandemic.

The online competition is open to all Indian nationals staying in the country or abroad. Participants have the option of going solo or forming a team. Started on March 23, the idea submission link is active for 72 hours, that is, till 23:59 hours on March 25, 2020.

The hackathon itself is a 48-hour long competition from March 27 to 29, where participants will be mentored by a panel consisting of experts from the country and the European Union (EU). The top 15 finalists will get a chance to represent India at the global ‘Hack the Crisis – World’ and the top three participants with the bet ideas will receive a cash award of Rs1 lakh each.

Ritu Chhabaria, chairperson, FLO, Pune Chapter, is the brain behind this initiative. “Citizens should contribute to this online mission by taking part in this competition. A timely challenge, where creative minds can surely help take a step forward as a community in the fight against this global epidemic.  I’m grateful to Payal Rajpal, South Asia head, Robotex, Pune FLO member, for leading this and glad to have the support of Harjinder Kaur, president, FICCI FLO. A sincere reach-out to all responsible citizens, let us awake our ideating spirit, promote and be innovative and use our time effectively. Let’s create history together to help solve the crisis the world is facing today and be the change makers of tomorrow.”

The move has garnered support from the Ministry of Electronics and IT, MEITY Startup HUB (MSH), Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSIS) and Ministry of Skill and Entrepreneurship. Other entities, such as Accelerate Estonia, which is a project initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Estonia, Science and Technology Park, Pune, which is a Government of India initiative and the APJ Abdul Kalam Centre have also come forward in support.

The Science and Technology Park, India and Accelerate Estonia will take the process forward by incubating winning models and turning them into working prototypes to be implemented globally.

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