My Smart India Hackathon 2020 participation Experience

We have been encouraged to attend internal hackathons conducted in our college by our faculty. I attended my first college hackathon in my 2nd year. At first, I was overwhelmed by all the things I did not know and as time passed, I learnt that there was nothing to be afraid of as there were many people who were willing to help me along the way. I learnt a lot of interesting things in these hackathons and gradually developed a spirit to never back down from a challenge. This led me to enrol in Smart India Hackathon 2020.

                 – So what is this Smart India Hackathon?

To register for SIH, we need to form a team of 5-6 members. To encourage women problem solvers, they mandated that at least 1 female member should be present in the team. Now that the registration is done, we need to pick a problem statement from the website. There are many wonderful and innovative problem statements in various categories submitted by companies all over the country. So after careful consideration, our team picked a problem statement and started pouring different ideas on how to solve this problem.

Smart India Hackathon is a nationwide initiative to provide students with a platform to solve some of the pressing problems we face in our daily lives, and thus inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem-solving.

We named ourselves the “Classifiers” and each of us brought a different thing to the table. It would never be the same without even a single person!  We had two wonderful mentors to lead us and help us get out of some tough problems. Our mentors were Mrs. B. Sridevi mam and Dr. Abinav Dayal sir. They always helped us in every step of the way and made us think in various ways the problem could be solved. 

Ok, so we are all set with the problem statements and some ideas on how to solve it along with amazing mentors. So what next? We had to cross another step before participating in the finals. That step was ‘Internal SIH’. We had to compete with our fellow college members to get selected as one of the final teams that get to submit their solution. After this, we submitted our solution on the website and waited for the results.

The team’s hard work and dedication paid off and we were in the finals! But a new problem arose. It is COVID!!! We did not know what was going to happen. Will the finals be conducted after the lockdown or will it be postponed to next year or will the hackathon be conducted virtually?

Our questions were answered when the government decided to conduct SIH2020 virtually. The virtual hackathon was very unique and we had meetings frequently to clarify doubts among ourselves and to finalize decisions and streamline the process between ourselves. It was a different experience than all the hackathons I have attended till now. We worked our asses off for 3 days and on the final day, we presented our model in front of the jury. 

Unfortunately, we did not get selected but we had a fun and innovative learning experience. I want to thank our management for always encouraging and helping us to participate in different competitions and providing knowledge to do so.