Govt to sponsor and support made-in-India video conferencing tool

For all the innovative thinkers and creators o the nation and government of India has come up with challenge or you. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has announced a challenge for innovators and software product startups. Called the “Innovation Challenge for Development of a Video Conferencing Solution”, it has been announced under the Digital India Programme and seeks to invite applications from software product developers to develop video conferencing solutions.

With the country under a lockdown, both government and corporates have been relying on organisations video conferencing tools mostly by foreign companies to run their business. Most of the people are using zoom and numbers have increased dramatically over the past few days. Zoom has emerged as a one-stop solution for video meetings among users during the covid-19-induced lockdown globally.

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued an advisory on the use of the video conferencing app. It has said the use of the platform is “not safe.”

The looming concern on Zoom is related to the security loopholes that have been unearthed in multitudes, also emphasised by the regulators in countries such as the US and Taiwan.

The idea is to build a made-in-India tool which is as good as foreign apps and has the highest standards of data security and privacy built in.

With an idea to develop a Video Conferencing Solution in India which is at par with the global products which are curently very popular, the government has announced an Innovation Challenge under the Digital India Initiative. Initiated by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, the Innovation Challenge is open for participation from industry, start-ups and individual experts.

The government has said that the end product which will be an Indian Software Product should be at par with international products in terms of audio and video quality., a ..

The challenge will be organised in three stages.

Stage-1 will be an Ideation stage followed by Prototype and Solution Building as Stage-2 and Stage-3, respectively.

As the name suggests, teams will have to propose their innovative ideas under the Stage-1.

The shortlisted entries from Stage-1 will get a chance to present their prototypes to a distinguished Jury under Stage-2.

Stage-3 – The jury will select the top three from the prototypes. Each team will be awarded Rs 20 Lakh. The winning team from these top 3 teams will receive Rs 1 Crore prize along with a certificate from the Minister of Electronics & IT towards deploying the solution for use by the Government of India and State Governments for a year.

After the first year of deployment, the team will get further support of Rs 10 Lakh per year towards Operations & Maintenance, for a period of 3 years.

The app development challenge began registration on April 13 and the last date for registering is April 30. The video conferencing app should be able to work on any kind of device, in poor network areas, should have encrypted communication, and should use less power. The results of the government challenge will be announced on 29 July. The winning team will be given Rs. 1 crore to extend the app for use by central and state Governments across India and a certificate by Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.

Interested app developer or team can apply for Innovation Challenge till April 30, 23:45 pm IST (here).

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