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With Hackathons and Artificial Intelligence, Rajasthan Goes Digital to Bridge Rural-Urban Divide Ahead of Polls

At the 36-hour marathon coding event organised by the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan, 6,500 students from across the state has put together ideas to develop mobile application that could give Rajasthan's digital aim a bigger push.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:March 21, 2018, 7:40 PM IST
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With Hackathons and Artificial Intelligence, Rajasthan Goes Digital to Bridge Rural-Urban Divide Ahead of Polls
The event in progress in Rajasthan on Wednesday. (Image: Debayan Roy/News18)
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Jaipur: What if one morning you wake up to realise that voting no more requires you to stand in long queues but only using an app sitting at home? And what if manholes automatically intimated the authorities about overflowing water?

At the 36-hour marathon coding event organised by the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan, 6,500 students from across the state has put together ideas to develop mobile application that could give Rajasthan's digital aim a bigger push.

The event organised ahead of the state Assembly elections could boost the Raje government’s aim to make the people of Rajasthan realise the importance of technology and "bridge the rural and urban divide".

Akhil Arora, Principal Secretary in the Department of IT and Communications, while addressing the question on the state gaining a recent tag of being the lynching capital of India said that the state government was worried about the "vulnerable section of the society" and that this event has seen a footfall from "all sections of society, especially the vulnerable".

Three 21-year-olds from Jaipur Engineering College, who were participating in the marathon, has developed "anti-depressant chat bots" for various Rajasthan government department and ministries that would assist employees with depression issues they face.

“These anti-depressant chat bots does not require a separate web browser and can be activated via any browser. It can run with Facebook messenger and answer all your questions and send you motivational quotes once you tell them that you are depressed,” said one of the coders who have developed the chat bots.

Another set of coders were busy devising an app that has the potential to make voting at poll booths a thing of the past.

Three students from Lovely Professional University developed an app for voters in which a user is required to enter their Aadhaar number, a one-time password to authenticate themselves and enter their votes on the app.

"Each candidate is mentioned by their election names and the voter can easily vote from home," said a 21-year-old, who is one of the developers.

The event also saw different programs being developed to tackle civic problems like flooding.

The prototype drain alert designed by the students would send out an email, message and a tweet to the ministry as soon as a manhole is about to overflow with water.

"This prototype has completely waterproof electrical wiring, which is attached just below a manhole cover. When it rains or water starts accumulating, it sends a tweet message and an email with the location to the concerned department, alerting about the rising level of water. It costs Rs 500," said a 19-year-old student who has been working on the project for the last couple of months.

The event that was organised as part of the Rajasthan Digifest, commemorating the state IT day on March 21, brought together a host of things, including a show on artificial intelligence and an IT job fair, among other things.

The job fair which saw around 23,000 registrations and managed to offer 2,000 jobs till Wednesday.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is slated to make an address on Thursday on the concluding day of the event. She declared Saddam Hussein from Sikar, Rajasthan the winner of the hackathon on Wednesday.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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