MeitY launches Digital India Atmanirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission – Niti Aayog launches Digital India Atmanirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge to identify the best Indian Apps that are already being used by citizens and have the potential to scale and become world class Apps in their respective categories. This Innovation Challenge with various cash awards and incentives of featuring Apps on Leader Boards seeks to create an ecosystem where Indian entrepreneurs and start-ups are incentivised to ideate, incubate, build, nurture, and sustain Tech solutions that can serve not only citizens within India but also the world. The Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge has been launched in eight broad categories, along with several sub categories and problem tests. These problem tests include some of the challenges thronged by the COVID-19 pandemic also.
Last date of Submission: 18th July 2020
MeitY develops an online registration framework portal, a digital India initiative
Online Registration System (ORS) is a framework to link various hospitals across the country for Aadhaar-based online registration and appointment system, where counter-based OPD registration and appointment system through Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) has been digitalized. The application has been hosted on the cloud services of National Informatics Centre (NIC). Portal facilitates online appointments with various departments of different Hospitals using eKYC data of Aadhaar number, if the patient’s mobile number is 20 registered with UIDAI. And in case mobile number is not registered with UIDAI it uses the patient’s name. New Patient will get appointment as well as Unique Health Identification (UHID) number. If the Aadhaar number is already linked with the UHID number, then the appointment number will be given and UHID will remain same. One of the features that ORS provides is that of booking a medical appointment online, get an OPD appointment, lab reports and blood availability in any government hospital of any state registered in ORS.
NIC develops two Mobile Apps: Rapid Antibody Test of India (RATI) and RT-PCR Test of India
National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed RT-PCR and RATI Mobile Apps on Android and iOS platforms and a web portal to ensure quality and accurate data of patients at location for surveillance and immediate transfer of sample details to ICMR for use by authorized laboratories. RT-PCR Test of India App: The App is used by collection centre technicians to enter details of the samples being collected for COVID-19 RT-PCR test. It helps in preparing SRF form which is sent along with the sample to the laboratory. RATI (Rapid Antibody Test of India) App: RATI App captures test results data of Rapid Antibody Tests. The App is used by collection centres conducting the Rapid Antibody Test for COVID-19, on behalf of ICMR. Web Portal: The web portal at https://covid19cc.nic.in ensures authorizations of sample collectors and testers across country with viewing rights to Government officials at State and District level.
Centre of Excellence in IPR launches scheme to provide IPR support to COVID-19-related applications
Centre of excellence (CoE) in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has launched a scheme to support the IPR claims of the requests received related to innovative technologies in information and communication technology domain concerning to the combating of COVID-19 challenge. These Centres have been established towards developing a conducive infrastructure for creation of IPR eco-system at Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), New Delhi; and CDAC-Pune is providing a gamut of value-added IPR-related services to academic institutions, scientific societies of DeitY, SMEs, start-ups and independent inventors.
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Joint statement from founding members of GPAI on leveraging AI towards COVID-19 mitigation
India, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union have come together to create the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay). GPAI aims to support the responsible and human-centric development and use of AI in a manner consistent with human rights, fundamental freedoms, and their shared democratic values, as elaborated in the OECD Recommendation on AI. To this end, GPAI also look forward to working with other interested countries and partners. GPAI is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth. In order to achieve this goal, the initiative will look to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities. In collaboration with partners and international organizations, GPAI will bring together leading experts from industry, civil society, governments, and academia to collaborate across four Working Group themes: 1) Responsible AI; 2) Data Governance; 3) The Future of Work; and 4) Innovation & Commercialization. Critically, in the short-term, GPAI’s experts will also investigate how AI can be leveraged to better respond to and recover from COVID-19. GPAI will be supported by a Secretariat, to be hosted by the OECD in Paris, as well as by two Centres of Expertise – one each in Montréal and Paris. The relationship with the OECD will bring strong synergies between GPAI’s scientific and technical work and the international AI policy leadership provided by the OECD, strengthening the evidence base for policy aimed at responsible AI. The Centres will provide administrative and research support for the practical projects undertaken or assessed by Working Group experts from various sectors and disciplines. The Centres will also plan the annual GPAI Multi-stakeholder Experts Group Plenary, the first of which will be hosted by Canada in December 2020.
Call for Proposal to conduct ICT Grand Challenge to build suitable Work from Home (WFH) products or solutions
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) announces to develop innovative software product by organizing 1st ICT Grand Challenge through implementing agency in the specified areas.The objective of ICTGC is to generate innovative technology/ solutions in the form of software products using emerging technology so as to address the COVID/social economic challenges and have potential for mass market leading to greater access of the products in a cost-effective manner. More scheme details of ICT Grand Challenge under National Policy on Software Products (NPSP) are available in the detailed document.
Broad area of call for proposal
The implementation agency is expected to prepare the detailed plan as per ICTGC scheme document for selecting the right Start-ups/MSMEs that have the potential to build the suitableWork from Home (WFH) products/solutions enabling employees to work and execute tasks remotely for seamless operations/business continuity of organizations in fully secure and reliable environment.
The software product must include but not limited to the following components:
1.Project Planning & Management tool
2. Business operations tool (Productivity and Work/Project management, Task Management & Reporting, Virtual Design & Development, Virtual Work Drives Software product/platform enabling the technical individual(s) & team(s) to support/assist customers remotely through on-demand remote support sessions with end-to-end security, set-up unattended remote access, manage remote PCs, laptops, mobile devices and servers effortlessly etc.)
3. Digital communication and real-time collaboration tool (Teams to meet, discuss in channels or with team members, collaborate, share, chat, deliver presentations, screen share with remote control, integrated task management etc.)
4. Remote monitoring & operations of industrial setups, machinery & equipment, as applicable
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last date of Application: 15th June 2020
Result of stage-1 of Innovation Challenge for Development of Video Conferencing Solution
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology announces an Innovation Challenge for Development of a Video Conferencing Solution under Digital India Initiative. The intent of Ideation stage (stage-1) was to invite bright minds to collaborate and participate to propose innovate and cutting edge ideas for their solution. The ideas were evaluated and top Ten (10) teams were selected by a Selection Committee comprising of experts from academia, industry and government. Each selected team will receive a funding of Rs. 5 Lakh to build their prototype. Twelve teams have been selected for 2nd stage (Prototype stage), in which the teams would present their prototypes to a distinguished Jury to select top three (3) entries. Each selected team will receive Rs. 20 Lakh to build their solution following the design principles and best practices. If needed, there will be mentors assigned to the top 3 to help develop the best solution as per the need of the Government. Queries of the top 3 answered by respective mentors will be available to all, for fairness.
Digital thermometer for screening and patient temperature monitoring for COVID-19
Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (CMET), Thrissur, scientific society of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has developed an indigenous technology for making chip thermistors (thermal sensor). Most of the commercial digital thermometers are based on thermistors becuse they have better accuracy, fast response, rugged and safe. Based on this thermal sensor, CMET has developed an indigenous technology for low cost fast response digital thermometers suitable for point-of-care temperature measurements for COVID-19 patients. Further research is on-going to modify the technology for screening of COVID-19 infection with disposable tips.
Hack the Crisis – INDIA Online Hackathon
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in association with FICCI FLO Pune, Robotex International announced in April 2020 ‘Hack the Crisis – India Online hackathon’ with special focus on containment of coronavirus (COVID-19) with the intent to develop solutions to deal with its aftermath. Here are the details how Indians united to tackle the covid-19 crisis and challenges of a postpandemic world. The following technologies have been recognised to be awarded.
Autonomous UV Disinfection Robot: ANSCER Robotics
The UV Disinfection Robot can be used to disinfect spaces in less time using Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) disinfection method. This method uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill microorganisms. The robot may navigate areas/rooms that require disinfection. It also has an autonomous as well as a manual control mode with a necessary camera for feedback. This invention can be extremely useful in hospitals as cleaning a room that has housed a patient suffering from a contagious infection takes time and this robot cuts the cleaning time from days to hours.
Portable and Affordable Ventilator with Assist Control Mode for Novel Coronavirus Victims (PAVAN)
A low-cost and portable ventilator for mass casualty cases has been designed that can be used even in rural areas across the world to provide healthcare services. The cost of the ventilator can be reduced by utilizing the turbine, a small set of electro-mechanical subsystems accompanied by a battery (12V) for portability. The system consists of a ubiquitous AtMega 328 microcontroller optimized for an application which regulates the airflow mechanism, collects the data from pressure sensor and uploads it to the cloud. The estimated cost of the Ventilator will be Rs. 3000-4000, in comparison to the commercial ones, which are currently priced at Rs. 1.5 lakh.
ASHA, an App, connecting people with psychologists digitally and categorising mental health concerns due to the pandemic
ASHA is a mobile application that aims to impact 450 million people around the world who are suffering from mental health issues. As countless people under the lockdown cannot meet their psychiatrists face to face, ASHA can help them seek mental support online. The algorithm predicts the emotion of the user on the basis of the words that were used during the chat and it also curates notes for the session which can be used by the psychologist for recap before the follow up consultation.
AI-powered digital hospital & coronavirus laboratory: COVID Care
This Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered digital hospital and coronavirus laboratory will help in performing millions of COVID-19 tests each minute and provide AI-monitored, real-time doctor consultations to the patients. The application uses natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision to video-screen candidates and determine their probability of being affected by the virus. Depending on the result, the patient will be connected to a qualified healthcare professional. If any further action is required the nearest hospitals will be alerted. It is the need of the hour to assist hospitals and laboratories by reducing their burden and COVID Care sounds like a brilliant solution.
Look Out App to help the government sustainably reallocate resources
Look Out is an Application which will help the Government identify the quality of essentials services being received in certain areas and redirect the assignment and allocation of their resources. The Application crowd sources data from the users about their residential area. Users rate their area based on 4 parameters daily to form a Lifestyle Quality Index for their respective area. This raw data is then provided to the Government in order to reallocate resources, if required, thereby improving equitable distribution of services and essentials.
Remotely operable and scalable mechanical ventilator: Big Bang Boom Solutions
It is a purpose-built mechanical ventilator system that can help the patients with COVID-19 by providing breathing assistance in positive end-expiratory pressure PEEP and Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure BiPAP mode. This is a completely modular, remotely operable and highly scalable ventilator system that runs on the latest industry 4.0 with an advanced processor that can sense even the slightest of change in inspiratory or expiratory pressure. Any abnormality in the breathing will be sensed and the operator will be notified through the connected remote device such as mobile phone or computer. Leveraging the consumer durables and the auto sector, scaling up this product without imports is highly possible.
Humans AI, a Data Labelling App, as a means of steady income
This App allows anyone, regardless of their literacy level, to ‘play’ and are compensated with real money for their services. It shows the data needed to be labelled in the form of images for classification, annotation and bounding-boxes in an intuitive mobile-based UI/UX and the label is paid for every correct label. It maintains accuracy of over 98% (based on STL- 32 10 dataset) by leveraging statistical averaging. Using the low-cost gig-economy labourers, this app can keep costs to less than 50% of current market rates while simultaneously providing a secure higher per hour income than the labellers would make working for Cab aggregator or as a rickshaw driver. The app can securely and cost-effectively label data for start-ups, fortune 500 companies and AI researchers and provide a meaningful income to the worst-hit classes of India without requiring them to leave their homes or purchase a laptop.
Virus Tracking and Surveillance System through an App, FALCON
This is an App that tracks movement of your phone and saves it on your device (no uploads required). It downloads anonymous position data of COVID-19 patients and compares them with your movements. If there has been contact for more than 5 minutes in the past few days, the App recommends voluntary quarantine.
Innovation challenge for Development of a Video Conferencing Solution
COVID-19 has thrown unprecedented challenges for the world and industries alike. While we continue to fight these challenges as a nation, amidst business disruptions and remote working scenarios, it is important for all including governments, industry and individuals to contribute with all its might to overcome the present and emerge stronger as humanity. The Government is working towards ensuring that we overcome this challenge and come out stronger as a country and thereby also support the humanity at large to prevail.
Government of India is taking all necessary steps to ensure that we are prepared well to face the challenge and overcome threats posed by this pandemic. In the light of these developments, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology announces an Innovation Challenge for Development of a Video Conferencing Solution under the Digital India Initiative. The Innovation Challenge is open for participation from industry, start-ups and individual experts. The end product will be an Indian software product at par with international quality and should work in low and high network scenarios. The initiative is an attempt to promote Indian software products as envisaged under the National Policy on Software Products.
In an attempt to provide initial market the winning team with the best-judged solution will get a contract to deploy their solution for use by Government of India and State Government entities for a period of 4 years and will also be given Rs 1 crore in the first year and an additional Rs 10 lakhs per year for 3 years after the first year towards operations and maintenance of the solution for the Government. In addition, all teams including the winning team shall be free to market the product to any entity outside Union/State/UT Government Organizations of India by hosting it on an environment other than that for the Government. Details are available on MeitY Website as well as on MyGov Portal. Innovators may apply through www. meitystartuphub.in.
Last date for registration: 30 April 2020.
Portable molecular diagnostics test instruments for COVID-19
A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) System, developed by IISc under NNetRA initiative is being readied for testing COVID-19 by ShanMukha, a startup. It uses PCR-Thermal Cyclers in conjunction with adapter chain and fluorescence reader unit, equivalent to gold standard technology RT-PCR. The proposed unit would reduce the current turnaround time of 3 days for a batch of 96 samples with RT-PCR machines to 3 hours for 12 samples, which enable processing of 100 samples/day/unit and testing 800 samples/day/unit. This would make it extremely useful to be deployed at or near the COVID-19 hotspots.The initiative is supported by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Contact info: email@example.com
Oxygen gas sensor scale up and product delivery for ventilator application
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru has developed sensor technology for O2 and pressure under NNetRA initiative. Under the aegis of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), IISc is delivering O2 gas sensor chip using the 3D printed package to use in ventilator prototypes under Technology Business Incubator (TBI) startup scheme. N2 and O2 gases are mixed in different proportions in the ventilator to measure the precise concentration of O2 in the gas pushed by the ventilator into the patient’s lungs. The said sensor can also be used as ‘Oxygen concentrator’ that could generate 100% oxygen from ambient air by filtering Nitrogen gas out in a membrane.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Strip-based hand-held electrochemical point-of-care testing for COVID-19
Globally, the strip-based test is not available for COVID-19 diagnostics. Electrochemical biosensors technology has been developed and transferred by Indian Institute of Technology (IISc), Bengaluru to its startup, PathShodhan and now field deployed to measure multiple biomarkers.This technology is now proposed to be redesigned and validated to test COVID-19. PathShodh’s existing platform technology, “anuPath(TM)”, a multi-analyte lab on palm will be used along with low cost disposable test strips utilizing a novel receptor chemistry, to perform highly accurate and sensitive COVID-19 antibody (IgG and IgM) test.The test can be done with a tiny finger prick blood sample within 5 minutes, in a substantially lower cost than that with ELISA kit.Tentative cost at full-scale production will be about Rs 600 per test.The initiative is supported by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Contact info: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Product development, field trials and TOT of indigenous RT- PCR device
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) has developed a prototype of a portable, bench- top device under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)’s initiative to carry out reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and array-based analyses of multiple genes/proteins simultaneously using Au-nanoclusters as probes. Integration of the prototype with PCR-based methods can be a cost effective COVID-19 diagnostics point-of- care test.The device is being enabled to carry out RT-PCR and array-based analyses of multiple genes/proteins to pursue diagnostics of COVID-19.
Contact info: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Drug repurposing studies on COVID 19 proteins
The basic challenge in any viral infection is that they have a handful of genes and they rely mostly on the host proteins for their survival. Therapeutic strategies targeting host proteins hold the risk of killing uninfected cells further worsening the medical condition.This demands the need for a unique and specific strategy to target viral proteins. One such strategy is drug repurposing or repositioning. It is one of the fastest and the best drug discovery strategies to identify the best drug suitable for the target of interest from existing drugs. In order to achieve the same, the Bioinformatics Group at C-DAC has performed drug repurposing studies on crucial targets of SARS-nCoV2. The drugs from the FDA-approved databases were docked against the COVID-19 protein targets using National Supercomputing Machines.The initiative is supported by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAMHAR-COVID19 – Supercomputing using AI, ML, Healthcare Analytics-based research for combating COVID-19
C-DAC has launched SAMHAR-COVID19 in partnership with National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) Consortia Members, Startups and Industries, to build a Rapid Supercomputing System and Research Community for India to fight COVID-19. It is proposed to create a Consortium of researchers as virtual ‘Rapid Researchers Task Force (RRTF), SAMHAR-COVID19.’ The initiative is partnered and co-supported by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
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Computational Drug Repurposing Studies on SARS-nCoV2 proteins
C-DAC has performed Drug Repurposing Studies on Crucial Targets of SARS-nCoV2. Three crucial COVID-19 targets, namely RNA polymerase (RdRp), Main protease (3CLpro) and Spike protein were studied for drug repurposing. C-DAC is presently making efforts to study the Covid-19 virus using the Supercomputing resources set up under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM). The research group at C-DAC is presently modelling the interactions of the virus proteins with the human proteins. Six proteins of the virus have been identified to study the interactions with the host receptors. Three thousand five hundred molecules from the FDA-approved drug database have been screened for binding to inhibit the virus interaction with the host.The initiative is supported by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
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NAADI Platform – National Analytical Platform for Dealing with Intelligent Tracing, Tracking and Containment of COVID-19 Pandemic along with 2 Mobile apps
C-DAC has developed a platform called NAADI: National Analytical Platform for Dealing with Intelligent Tracing, Tracking and Containment of COVID-19 for infected persons and quarantined people. This platform has been developed along with the mobile applications forhealth experts, law enforcement agencies and the general public. This offers Comprehensive Multi-Level, Multi-modal and Multi-lingual Tracing, Tracking and Containment of COVID-19 Quarantined/Under Observation/Infected Individuals.The platform includes nCov-Satark App for health agencies for violation detection based on location-based tracking (GPS) as well as Call Data Records (CDR) and Internet Protocol Data Records (IPDR). It also includes 112++ India App for citizens for triggering medical emergency and response assistance. The initiative is supported by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
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Development and technology transfer of polymer swab for testing of COVID-19
Considering the acute shortage of testing kits in the country, Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (CMET), Pune, under the aegis of scientific society of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has developed polymer swabs. These swabs are made up of polymer rod/stick and polymer fibres with locally-sourced materials. The polymer rod is developed with thermoplastic polypropylene materials through injection moulding. Polymer fibers are then crimp pressed on the polymer rod. Sri Research for Tissue Engineering Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru has been chosen to carry out clinical and ethical trials, in which satisfactory results have been observed. Additive Manufacturing Society of India, Bengaluru is now considering the production of these indigenous kits in the country.
Synthesis of nanoparticles and its coatings on cotton/ polyester fibres for having antiviral and antibacterial properties
Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (CMET), Pune, under the aegis of scientific society of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has developed antiviral and antibacterial masks with metal/metal-semiconductor nanoparticles as a cost-effective alternative of N95 masks for the Indian market. Yshawantrao Chavan Institute of Science, 20 (YCIS), Satara, Maharashtra, has been chosen to carry out testing of the masks for antibacterial properties and pathogen tests, which has shown encouraging results.
Cost-effective portable plasmonic sensor for random testing of novel coronavirus at the community level
Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (CMET), Thrissur, Kerala, under the aegis of scientific society of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), has developed a point-ofcare plasmonic portable sensor with disposable semiconductor-based chips to detect antibody with the presence of COVID-19 virus in the blood. The sensor was tested for food-borne pathogens by Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), Thiruvananthapuram. Functionalization of the sensor and the docking efficiency analysis are being carried out on the designed bio-receptors with different pathogenic strains. First version of the biosensor is under validation at RGCB. This technology is now being modified for antibody testing in blood for COVID-19 patients. Such portable devices would be beneficial for the random testing of patients at an affordable cost.