Published: 09th November 2018
Make in Odisha just upped the excitement factor for students with the Smart Odisha Hackathon
The event also features a state-of-the-art expo which will showcase investment opportunities across focus sectors and manufacturing ability of the state
The Make in Odisha conclave is one of the most exciting things happening in Odisha currently. Describing its purpose, Sanjay Singh, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Skill Development and Technical Education Department, Government of Odisha, rightly says that it, “focuses on identifying growing practices which can contribute to the development of the state. It opens, invites and nurtures purpose-driven entrepreneurs harnessing the power of technology to solve some of Odisha’s toughest problems, using a business model specific to the state, which can be replicated in similar scenarios anywhere in the country.” The conclave has something for everyone, even students. The Smart Odisha Hackathon, to be conducted on November 13 and 14, will see youngsters apply their minds to solve problems. Singh tells us what else to expect from the hackathon. Excerpts:
Around 30% (a total of 73 girls) of the shortlisted candidates are girls. This is in line with their overall vision of having one-third of their skill graduates as girls by the year 2020
As this is the first ever hackathon at the Make in Odisha conclave, what were the objectives behind organising it?
The student community is an integral part of venturing into development projects, owing to their innovative and enthusiastic approach towards a problem. To harness their talents, Smart Odisha Hackathon is being organised at College of Engineering and Technology (CET), Techno Campus, Kalinga Nagar, Ghatikia, Bhubaneswar. The idea behind the 36-hour hackathon is to attract talented brains to identify innovative IT solutions for public service delivery and good governance. We have received over 4,000 registrations and over 25% participants are girls. The government has decided to make it an annual event to be organised by some engineering college or the other. This year it will be organised at CET under the banner of BPUT as a part of Make in Odisha Conclave.
What were the criteria to select themes for the hackathon?
The idea of organising the hackathon was conceived in July and thereafter, the Skill Development and Technical Education Department initiated the process of identifying the core themes in close liaison with user departments. The main criteria for selecting themes were the areas where innovative solutions are required for public service delivery and good governance. Once themes were finalised, the departments were requested to share problem statements, which were identified based on real need, compelling developers to take action and inspire a creative solution that could not otherwise be developed.
Judges will evaluate the submissions based on idea, complexity and creativity, keeping in mind the context of the theme. In simple words, there should be an innovative idea to bring change in public service delivery and good governance
Sanjay Singh, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Skill Development and Technical Education Department, Government of Odisha
A few tips for students...
A hackathon is all about conceptualising your idea into a prototype creative and innovative solution. So, my simple advice to all participants is to keep it simple, use this opportunity to learn and further develop your skills. Winning and losing doesn’t matter. Enjoy the juggernaut!
We are also excited about the skill development session...
The theme of the session is ‘Skilled in Odisha: Skilled for Future’, which has two objectives. First, we want high-quality employees to know we are creating the best skilled professionals here. Second, we want great skill-training organisations to engage with us to try new ideas using us as a sandbox of innovation. The session will have two sets of panel discussions, focusing on Manufacturing and Service sectors. Leaders from industry and academia will be deliberating the state’s vision and readiness to meet future challenges.
They also have sessions like Tech Talk, Startup Talk, Skill Development and special thematic sessions on women entrepreneurship, Electronics and IT, CSR etc
People have been associating ‘skill’ with employment. Do you think that this is changing?
To us, skill is not just about employment, but also transforming lives. In fulfilling that goal, we are set to build a brand called Skilled-in-Odisha. In a short span of time, the brand has carved a niche for itself. In the recently-concluded India Skills 2018, the national-level skill competition, Odisha was second in terms of the number of medals won. Our skilled youth is going to represent India at the World Skills Competition, Kazan, Russia in 2019. So, we are witnessing a new energy in the skill ecosystem. Skill, now, has become more aspirational to our youth. This is for the transformation of society. In a nutshell, we look at skill as something which defines the identity of the person. So we shall all move towards the concept of lifelong learning.
Back to the roots: International designer Bibhu Mohapatra will be there at the conclave
We also got to catch up with ace designer Bibhu Mohapatra, who has dressed everyone from Michelle Obama to Jennifer Lopez. The Rourkela-born designer will be sharing his life-story at the conclave and will talk about boosting Odisha’s creative economy.
What motivated you to be a part of the Make in Odisha conclave?
When I learnt about the Make in Odisha Conclave that took place in 2016, I was proud and thrilled about the amazing exposure my home state received. It highlighted the potential and promise of the land and its amazing people. When I got a call from Subroto Bagchi (Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority) a few months back, who told me about this 2018 conclave, I was excited and honoured to take part in it. It was like coming a full circle. I am humbled by this opportunity to be able to share the story of my journey of the last 20 years with my people. My takeaway is all the love and inspiration from loved ones.
Having worked with the Odisha government and the weavers here, how was your experience?
While my experience has been very good, there is a lot more to be done to benefit and nourish the weavers’ community here. There is much work left to inspire and empower them. They are the ones who are responsible for keeping this amazing tradition of Odisha handlooms. We, as the citizens of the state, have a lot to do to give them their long due credit. Just appreciating the craft is not enough, we must tell the stories of those communities in the most authentic and transparent ways. I am proud to be able to play at least a tiny role in it.
For more on the conclave, click on mio.investodisha.gov.in