Act East: India promotes digital connectivity with ASEAN through mega hackathon


NEW DELHI: With an intention to advertise youth cooperation and digital connectivity between India and ASEAN, the Ministry of Education in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) organised an ASEAN-India Hackathon from February 1-4.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) applied this initiative with the assist of nodal businesses from all ten ASEAN nations, which included their Education Ministries and distinguished universities.

The Hackathon was inaugurated by Minister of Education Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ alongside with different dignitaries from ASEAN and India on 1st February. From MEA, Secretary (East) Ms. Riva Ganguly Das addressed the contributors on the event.

Speaking on the Inaugural Ceremony, Dr. Pokhriyal mentioned that India-ASEAN relations have their basis in shared beliefs. Highlighting the robust educational and analysis ties, Dr. Pokhriyal mentioned that the Government of India has launched 1000 ASEAN PhD Fellowships solely for ASEAN residents. He additionally talked about that India has been extending assist to ASEAN nations by offering Covidvaccines.

Addressing the contributors on the event, the Secretary (East) mentioned, “With a combined young population of about 700 million in the age bracket of 15 to 35 years, ASEAN and India enjoy huge demographic dividends. However, channelizing the youthful energies of this large and diverse group and harnessing their potential in a constructive manner is a challenging task. It is important to ensure healthy engagement of our youth through constructive programmes and activities. The hackathon provides an ideal platform to bring youngsters from ASEAN and India together to collaborate and offer novel solutions to some of the daunting problems faced by our societies.”

For 36 hours, 330 college students and 90 mentors from the ten ASEAN nations i.e. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; and India labored collectively on-line and competed as 54 groups to come back up with progressive options to 11 drawback statements.

The Problem Statements lined two main themes – Blue Economy and Education. The multinational character of every workforce was meant to forge a collaborative spirit, exposing the contributors to get acquainted with various cultures, values and work ethics.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Minister of Education Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal’Nishank’ attended the Prize Distribution Ceremony on 4th February and recommended the laborious work, workforce spirit, and creativity of the contributors.

Jaishankar mentioned, “A hackathon offers a unique platform to our youth to put their minds together and leverage technology for providing novel solutions to complex problems facing us. It is an excellent means to inculcate cooperative spirit among the participants, and also expose them to diverse viewpoints, cultures and work ethics cutting across national boundaries.”

Underlining the significance of youth cooperation, he talked about that ASEAN-India Youth Cooperation is a key element of ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and the Hackathon enhances India’s different youth-centric initiatives for ASEAN like Special Courses for Young ASEAN Diplomats, Exchange Programmes for Young Farmers’, Media Exchange Programmes, Programmes for Young Parliamentarians, and Grant of 1000 PhD Fellowships to ASEAN college students at our prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) with an enormous finances outlay of US$ 45 million.

Jaishankar recommended the selection of ‘Blue Economy’ and ‘Education’ as the 2 themes of the Hackathon and talked about, “Weaving together of two priority areas of cooperation into problem statements provides added relevance to this Hackathon. India has identified cooperation in the maritime domain as a priority under the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership. Development of coastal infrastructure, protection of marine ecosystem, sustainable harnessing of marine resources and providing sustained and gainful livelihoods to coastal communities are of topical interest to both ASEAN and India. Education is also a central element of our Strategic Partnership with ASEAN recognising the role it plays in effectively and constructively channelizing the energy of our youth.”

Reflecting the shared want to advertise ASEAN-India youth cooperation, the Prize Distribution Ceremony from ASEAN aspect was attended by Senior Ministers from Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.

The taking part college students from ASEAN and India utilized their minds and energies to come back up with novel options to complicated issues. Coming collectively for a standard trigger and overcoming the variations in cultures and workstyles, was an awesome studying expertise for the contributors.

SyahshiyahRohidah, a scholar participant from Indonesia mentioned, “It was really an adventurous ride since past few days, I am getting to know new people and collaborating with them. Really an adventure of a lifetime. His team proposed a solution on “Quantification of Marine Litter using Image Processing.”

SEUN Siuphing a scholar from Cambodia mentioned, “This hackathon has been a first of its kind experience for her.” Ðinh Thanh Hin, a scholar participant from Vietnam mentioned, “I enjoyed this hackathon process and looking forward to more chances to participate in such international events”. Clarisse Johanna Solis, a scholar participant from the Philippines, talked about, “The process was rigorous time consuming but interesting, It was truly a great and worthwhile experience”.

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