Fifteen-year-old Kanishk Chugh, a class 10 student from DLF Public School, Sahibabad, is among the top five winners of Google India’s Web Rangers initiative, a competition meant to create awareness about internet safety.
Students of schools from across the country had submitted entries in the form of sketches, videos and apps that were judged on their creativity, reach and impact.
For the competition, Kanish developed an anti-phishing game that teaches players how to spot fake logos.
He and other winning students from Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad, will receive Chromebooks and tablets as prizes.
“Phishing sites trick you into giving away your personal information like emails, account numbers, mobile numbers and other details. The idea behind developing the game is to spread the message to be smart and not be tricked by such websites. During the game, one has to identify and click on genuine logos among the bogus ones,” he said.
The teenager, who is interested in computers and wants to be a software engineer, developed the game all by himself. He found out about the Google initiative through his computer teacher and had sent an entry last year.
“I got engrossed in my studies and had almost forgotten that I had sent my entry for the initiative. It was a wonderful feeling to be selected,” he added.
Kanish’s parents were elated at the recognition their son achieved through his computer skills.
“He is obsessed with computers and works on his personal computer the whole day when he has a holiday. When he prepared the game, he asked me to give it a try even though I am not into computer games. He is also busy developing other computer programmes, including a voice recognition software that is 90% complete,” said Vikas Chugh, Kanish’s father who owns a garment retail business in Ghaziabad.
The Web Rangers initiative had come to India in 2014 and has today covered almost 5,000 schools in 12 states and 75 cities. It aims to reach 10,000 campuses by the end of 2016.
Applauding the contestants’ efforts, Sunita Mohanty, director, Trust and Safety, Google India, said, “The internet is truly a great place for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. As India approaches half a billion internet users, Google’s Web Rangers programme aspires to empower young Indian netizens to make responsible choices online and provides them with the right tools and knowledge to make these choices.”