BIS #6106 DBIT Kurla 'E-Tendering System' Wins Smart India Hackathon 2020

by Father Mario Vaz for BISMumbai

India, geographically vast and ethnically diverse, requires every opportunity to connect its citizens seamlessly and enable them to receive the services they desire. The best way to make this possible is to build Digital India. This would bridge the digital divide, promote digital literacy, make development a comprehensive mass movement and put governance within everyone’s reach. To make this vision a reality the MHRD, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Inter Institutional Inclusive Innovation Center (i4C) and Persistent Systems organized Smart India Hackathon 2020.

Smart India Hackathon is a non-stop digital product development competition, where problems are posed to students of technology for innovative solutions. It harnesses the creativity and expertise of students, sparks institute-level Hackathons, builds a funnel for the ‘Start Up India’ campaign, crowdsources solutions for improving governance and quality of life and provides an opportunity to citizens for innovative solutions to India’s daunting problems.

The first three editions of Smart India Hackathon, SIH2017, SIH2018 and SIH2019 proved to be extremely successful in promoting innovative out-of-the-box thinking in young minds, especially engineering students from across India.

In SIH 2020, the students were provided the opportunity to work on challenges faced by various Government Ministries, Departments, Industries, PSUs and NGOs and to create world class solutions for some of the top organizations including industries from around the world. This enables the Private sector to hire the best minds from across the nation. Four hundred problem statements were posed to students participating in this grand initiative. Over 5 lakh students in 7000 teams registered across India. With 11924 ideas received from technical institutions in India, this surely was a fantastic response! Approximately 1081 ideas with 10000+ students were selected for the Grand Finale. This was to be conducted at 40 Nodal Centers across different cities of India. Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla was proud to be a part of such a great competition and make it to the final round of SIH for the 4th consecutive year.

At the 2017SIH two teams from Don Bosco Institute of Technology (DBIT) reached the Grand Finale and one of them brought home the Runner Up Prize. In 2018 three Teams were in the Grand Finale and came away with the “Persistent Inspirational Award” and an Honourable Award. In 2019 two DBIT’s Teams reached the Grand Finale and one of them claimed the “ Persistent Inspirational Award.”

The dash to win SIH 2020 began with careful planning at DBIT in February. Thirty two teams of one hundred and ninety two DBIT students participated in a 3-Day Idea Presentation Hackathon. Three teams qualified for the National Grand Finale round that was held on August 1 – 3, 2020. Each team received a Problem Statement. From Tripura Institute of Technology it was “Develop an E-Tendering System”. From The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) it was “Develop an App for recording and playing Geo Tagged Videos” and from ISRO again it was “ Drone Route Planning”.

The icing on the cake was when of the 03 DBIT Teams that reached the finals of SIH 2020, one of them was declared the proud “Winner of Smart India Hackathon 2020”. Winning this National Event was no fluke. The team of six young stars Viraj Tandel, Saurabh Yadav, Winston Sequeira, Sanket Deshmukh, Afif Shaikh and Priya Singh along with Prof. Nilesh Ghavate & Prof. Shainila Mulla as mentors worked hard to make The E-Tendering System as designed by this DBIT team sweep the jury off their feet.

The E-Tendering System is the procurement process that an organization conducts online. Using the system developed, the administrative personnel can publish a list of products or they can Request for a Proposal to complete a project. The vendor can bid to supply a Product or take up the Project using the system.

How did the team manage to secure the Top Spot?

“We started forming a team with the required skills such as UI designer, backend developer, Database developer, API integrator and a good communicator before the Hackathon began. Assigning roles sharing solutions improved our leadership skills. We realised that what was taught to us in the past 3 years could actually be implemented as a commercial portal. Finding a possible security breach on our own websites, brainstorming those problems in the team helped immensely. We had to improve our presentation skills in order to offer our client exactly the kind of product he is looking for. It was thrilling to implement complex topics such as data security techniques, encryption, Digital signatures, TLS, and others taught in the classroom and bring that into a real time project at this Hackathon. We got our batch mates to test our system rigorously for any process and/or security flaws. The faculty identified bugs and provided solutions. This system we built takes care of data management, its security, and ensures transparency in the procurement process. Smart India Hackathon was an exuberant experience that tested not only our competency as engineers but helped bring out the best in us as human beings. We feel proud to be part of Don Bosco Institute of Technology.”