Indo-US hackathon to provide solutions for 2 Modi initiatives

  • Kalyan Subramani, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2015 01:25 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will return from his US visit this month with more than his meetings with global leaders, Silicon Valley billionaires and investors under his belt.

Indian IT industry lobby body Nasscom, along with a clutch of start-ups in India and the US, will hold a 15-hour hackathon (marathon software coding session) that is expected to produce IT-based solutions for two of the Prime Minister’s favourite missions – Digital India and Skill India.

The output from this hackathon will be handed to the PM during his visit to the Google headquarters.

The hackathon will be hosted by Google in Silicon Valley on September 26, while a simultaneous session in India will be hosted by mid-tier IT company Tech Mahindra at its Noida facility on September 27.

A group of handpicked start-ups from both the US and India will participate in the hackathon that will provide multiple software-based solutions to meet the challenges ahead of the Digital India and Skill India missions.

Rajat Tandon, vice president, Nasscom, who is heading this project under the banner, said the arena has been deliberately kept wide open for software programmers to participate and offer their solutions faced by the two missions.

“The start-ups and people participating are being carefully selected by Nasscom in India and Spinta in the US. The theme of the hackathon is ‘Digital and Skill India’, but the exact challenges for the participants in this hackathon will be announced at the venues at the start of the event,” Tandon told Hindustan Times. Spinta is a Fremont, California-based mentoring institution for start-ups in the US.

The PM is expected to meet Google’s founder and former CEO, Eric Schmidt, founder board member Ram Shriam and recently appointed India born CEO Sundar Pichai.

Emails sent by HT to Google India for comments were not answered. Modi will be in the US from September 23 to 28 where he is scheduled to attend meetings at the United Nations in New York and visit the San Fancisco Bay Area for a two-day visit on September 26.

The Prime Minister is also expected to address a 20,000 Indian diaspora in San Jose, California. Modi, the first PM to visit the West Coast in 33 years, will also deliver a lecture at Stanford University and close this visit with a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama in New York on September 28.

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