An e-commerce model for toto services, a hackathon and Python coding classes in schools — these were among the ideas discussed at the Emerging Tech Conclave in Kolkata, organised by The Indian Express Group, on Friday.
Speaking at the event, HIDCO Chairman and Additional Chief Secretary of the state IT and Electronics department Debasish Sen said, “We are having a hackathon which we call Bengalathon. One of the problems that we have given to the participants to solve… is totos on call. Can we not have an e-marketplace for totos? One can say it is very easy but it is not so simple. Most of these totowallahs don’t have smartphones like you and I, and no app runs on a non-smartphone. So how do we solve it? That is the challenge that we have posed in our hackathon or Bengalathon.” The conclave, attended by Executive Director of The Indian Express Group Anant Goenka and other dignitaries, will end Saturday.
The three-wheeled totos have become hugely popular battery-driven vehicles over the last few years, acting as a reliable source of transport on busy stretches in areas such as Rajarhat and New Town.
“We support it because it is environment-friendly as it runs on battery. We support it because it is cheap and the unorganised sector is gravitating from cycle rickshaws to these totos. The participants to give us a solution to this problem will be given a prize on the dais of the Bengal Global Business Summit, which will be held in February in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” said Sen. He said the state government is contemplating introducing the Python programming language for school students.