Published: 13th April 2020
How IIT Guwahati challenged its students to solve problems related to COVID-19
The aim of this challenge was to motivate the students' community also to actively participate and come up with ideas in providing solutions
As the Coronavirus pandemic spreads across India, IIT Guwahati has initiated an all-out effort to provide research and technological solutions of immediate impact to fight against this disease as well as prevent its spread in the society. The students will be involved in developing technology and products related to COVID-19 — from the detection of infected people to disease prediction to solving migration problems — under the mentorship of the faculty. Till date, 50 proposals have come in which are being analysed and reviewed by a board of experts.
In a situation of such massive proportions, time is at a premium, and unless immediate technological solutions are provided with this would spiral into a humanitarian catastrophe. "The aim of this challenge was to motivate the students' community also to actively participate and come up with ideas in providing solutions for the fight against COVID-19, design projects and products that would have immediate application potential to contain this disease and to make the best use of the talent that these young minds possess," said Dr T G Sitharam, Director of the institute.
Unlike other parts of the world, the demographics in India consists of a very large pool of young population whose ideas to innovate and create products at this time of crisis are very crucial, said the Director. "With the lockdown imposed across the entire country and likely to be extended, the academic programmes are being conducted online. Thus it was important to engage this large young pool of talent for identifying and solving the pandemic COVID-19 problem. This will not only help in generating new and innovative ideas but also enhance the possibility of sharing crucial knowledge sharing and enhance the possibility of solving problems through an interdisciplinary and integrated approach," said the professor.
The process of project evaluation will be initiated by IIT Guwahati and whichever projects are found to be of immediate impact nationally or internationally, will be encouraged and implemented on priority. "All possible support to implement such projects will be provided by the institute and wherever necessary, mentorship will also be provided to the students," said Dr Sitharam.