Make in India: Engineering Students Come up with Drought Solution for Farmers at IIT Hackathon

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The recently concluded ‘Make in India’ Hackathon, held at IIT, Bombay, brought a lot of interesting innovations to the fore. The event was held as part of the Make In India Week.

The teams worked together to solve problems across the categories of energy, water, and transportation.
Their ideas were evaluated by venture capitalists and government representatives, said a release.

A team of two computer science students from Mumbai-based Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Technology won the first prize in the water solutions category. The team proposed a low-cost irrigation set for farmers affected by drought in the country.

Harsh Gupta and Nirbhay Pherwani made a subsurface irrigation model which has a sensor-based crop prediction system. The sensors detect salinity, water content, etc., and provide data on these parameters to help predict crop growth, survival chances, yield, etc. The information collected by this system is periodically sent to the farmers through text messages. This will enable the farmers to change their methods accordingly.

After winning the award, Harsh and Nirbhay got two proposals to collaborate with agriculturalists. They now plan to establish a start-up.

“With such encouragement at the national platform, we surely will come out with real-time solutions soon,” Harsh told DNA.

A team from IIT Kanpur won the top spot in the energy category. Meanwhile, students from Krishna Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ghaziabad, came first in the transportation category.

“India cannot be a great manufacturing nation till we don’t invent and innovate and design in India. Our belief is that we had lost our close relationship between academia and industry. Our IITs and engineering institutes will play an important role to take it forward,” said Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy.

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