Smart India Hackathon 2020 Highlights: PM Modi Addresses SIH Great Grand Finale


On Saturday at Smart India Hackathon‘s grand finale, Prime Minister Narendra Modi communicated with participants through video conferencing.

The hackathon is a major national project to provide learners with a platform to address some of the challenging issues that people encounter in everyday life, and thus cultivate a product innovation culture and a problem-solving mentality, it said.

The first release of Smart India Hackathon in 2017 observed the participation of 42,000 students, which grew to 1 lakh in 2018 and to 2 lakh in 2019. The initial round of Smart India Hackathon 2020 marked the participation of more than 4.5 lakh students.

Highlights Of Smart India Hackathon 2020

Smart-India-Hackathon-LogoTalking at Smart India Hackathon’s Grand Finale, PM said the participants are working on a number of solutions to the nation’s struggles. This also reinforces India ‘s aspirations concerning Data, Digitization and Hi-tech Future, in addition to offering answers to various problems. Recognizing that India needs to quickly transform itself in the rapidly moving 21st century to continue to play a significant role, the Prime Minister said the country is developing the necessary ecosystem for creativity, science, design, growth and entrepreneurship. He claimed that the goal was to make the education of India more modern and to create talent opportunities.

New Education Policy

Talking of the New Education Policy at the Smart India Hackathon, the Prime Minister said it was formulated in light of 21st-century youth ‘s views, desires, expectations and ambitions. He continued that this is not only a policy report but also a representation of the ambitions of over 130 crore Indians. He said “Even today many children feel that they are judged on the basis of a subject in which they have no interest. Due to the pressure from parents, relatives, friends etc children are forced to pursue the subjects chosen by others. This has resulted in a large population. which is well-educated, but most of what they have read is not useful for them.”

He emphasized that the New Education Policy aims to shift this strategy by bringing about a systemic transformation in India’s educational system and intends to transform both Intent and Content of education.  He said It is focused on Learning, Research and Innovation to keep school, college, and university experience: fruitful, broad-based, and one that drives the natural passions of a person.

Addressing the students, the Prime Minister said: “Smart India Hackathon is not the first problem you have tried to solve, nor is this the last.” He hoped that the youth would strive to do three things: learning, questioning, and solving. He said when one learns, one gets the wisdom to question and India’s National Education Policy reflects this spirit.  He added that the emphasis moves from the pressure of the school backpack, which doesn’t last after school, to the benefit of learning that improves life, from memorizing merely to critical thinking.

Access to Education

Referencing Baba Saheb Ambedkar that education should be available to all, PM said that his concept of widely available education is also devoted to this education policy. National education policy is great when it comes to access to education, starting with primary education. He said the policy is aimed at increasing the net enrollment Ratio in Higher Education by 2035 to 50 per cent. He added that the emphasis of this education policy is on job creators rather than job seekers. This is, an opportunity to bring change into our mentality and practice in every manner.

Emphasis on Global Integration

PM said similar importance is placed on global integration as well while the Policy focused on Local integration. Top Global Institutions are now encouraged to open campuses in India. This will help the youth of India get world-class attention and advantages, and also help them brace for international competition. This will also help to create world-class institutions in India, making India a centre of global education.

The PM also addressed many other issues like female hygiene and rural healthcare. He said we are late in getting aware of female hygiene. Now we’ve been working on it for 6 years. Applauding another student who was working towards reusable and biodegradable sanitary napkins, Modi said that the government is providing a sanitary pad at Re 1 and the reusable sanitary napkin will be a great help for the girls. In healthcare, data-driven resolutions are causing tremendous change. We can provide world-class and affordable health service to villages and remote areas with the help of technology.

PM also discussed topics like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and encouraged uprising startups in India.

The Smart India Hackathon will continue from August 1st through August 3rd.

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