HackerEarth has announced the commencement of their Rural Development Hackathon. Supported by six NGOs; Teach for India, Sattva Group, I DO, Digital Green, U&I and Nirmaan Organization, this unique hackathon has been curated by HackerEarth to find technical solutions for challenges faced by rural India in agriculture, education and healthcare.
The registrations for the hackathon began on December 8th, 2017 and over 1000 participants have already registered. The winning team will be granted INR 50,000 as prize money and the most viable solution will be given a chance to work with the respective NGO for implementation.
More than 70% Indians (around 800 million of the 1 billion Indians) live in rural areas but are not far behind their urban counterparts when it comes to mobile penetration. According to a report by TRAI, there are 499 million mobile subscribers in rural India of which, 109 million use smartphones. Keeping this in mind, the rural development hackathon will favour solutions which have an SMS component along with a partner app for smartphone users. This is to ensure that the solutions support all types of mobile handsets which are used by users, in rural India.
The partner NGOs have identified the problems and challenges faced by rural India and have shortlisted the following themes for the participants to work on –
Due to the lack of quality infrastructure, teachers, materials and limited access, the students in villages face immense problem throughout their schooling. Despite spending over $100 billion on India’s education, the country faces crisis aplenty with no access to basic education, unqualified and uninterested teaching staff, and outdated teaching methods and curriculum. Solutions are required to help these youngsters access the full calibre of the Indian education system.
There is a considerable disparity between the 1:1000 doctor-population ratio recommended by WHO compared to the current 1:1674 ratio in India. Additional problems such as fewer number of clinics, lack of equipment, superstitious beliefs and unavailability of funds adds to the woes of the underprivileged. In India, quality healthcare during pregnancy, childbirth, and the early days of the newborn continues to be a faraway dream for the low-income groups. Solutions in the healthcare sector will enable rural India to avail the medical services that are currently unavailable to them.
There is a clear disconnect between farmers and consumers in India. Solutions are required to solve a range of problems in agriculture including lack of resources, dependence on imports and steep reduction of farmers’ income. For sustainable outcomes, only the smart application of tech and scientific advances can boost rural growth and agricultural productivity.
Solutions are also sought for issues apart from education, healthcare and agriculture. Participants can identify other problem statements and develop solutions that will support the rural citizens. The solutions developed under this category will support the Nirmaan “Give Back Campaign.” The basic concept/idea is to give back to your motherland.