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In a first,Hackathon to demystify Plan document


Written by Mihir Mishra | New Delhi | Published: April 6, 2013 2:51:14 am

For the first time ever the government is encouraging citizens to make online changes to an official document. Over 1,900 young men and women will collect at 10 universities across India online,for the first-ever ‘Hackathon’ on the 12th Five-Year Plan.

The two-day event is being organised by the Planning Commission and National Innovation Council on April 6 and 7. They will get a shot at using the document that is the backbone of the government’s economic policy to develop into innovative projects from information graphics and posters to mobile or web applications. A hackathon (also known as a hack day,hackfest or codefest) is an event in which people collaborate intensively on a subject.

“The opening address for the Hackathon will be conducted via webcast by deputy chairman of the Planning Commission,Montek Singh Ahluwalia,adviser to the Prime Minister,Sam Pitroda,and Sindhushree Khullar,secretary,Planning Commission. The webcast can also be viewed live at hackathon,” said a government release.

The idea is to bring a closer involvement of people with the government objectives. The event will take place at the University of Jammu,IIT Delhi,Aligarh Muslim University,IIT Kanpur,IIT Kharagpur,TISS Mumbai,IIIT Hyderabad,IISc Bangalore,IIT Madras and IIM Shillong.

The sectors shortlisted for the Hackathon are: macroeconomic framework,health,urban development,education and skill development,energy,agriculture and rural development,and environment.

Participants from across the country will also compete for prizes in three categories — mobile/web applications,infographics and short films.

Each team participating at a physical location will do a three-minute pitch to present their solution on the second day of the event. Five winning entries will be selected by a panel of judges.

“The Hackathon also features the unique ‘UnCover the Event’ competition,where amateur event journalists will live-tweet,blog,and document the Hackathon. The winners of the best UnCover submissions will receive an audience with filmmaker,Shekhar Kapur,” the release stated.

Atul R Deshpande,a Delhi-based blogger said,“This will be a fantastic experience for the people participating in it… Together they should be able to use it for maximum benefit and underline the key things required for the country during the Plan period.”

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