Hackathon throws up innovative ideas

Responding to the challenges faced by migrant labourers, young innovators came up with brilliant solutions at Blockathon for Change, the first-of-its-kind hackathon hosted by Maker Village here on Fri

Published: 23rd December 2017 01:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2017 08:13 AM   |  A+A-

Winners of Blockathon for Change with IG P Vijayan, Maker Village CEO Prasad Balakrishnan Nair and Centre for Public Policy Research chairman D Dhanuraj at the valedictory function held at Kinfra Hi-tech Park in Kalamassery on Friday | Express

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Responding to the challenges faced by migrant labourers, young innovators came up with brilliant solutions at Blockathon for Change, the first-of-its-kind hackathon hosted by Maker Village here on Friday.Proving that creativity reigns, two MPhil students from Cusat - Ananthan R and Nikhil V Chandra of team Veraz - took home the top honours with a cash prize of `1 lakh and an opportunity to incubate under Kerala Startup Mission.

They presented Skill Chain, an app that connects migrant labourers and job providers. The profile of the workers will be provided online utilising blockchain technology and the job provider can access it using the app. Each task completed by the worker will be added to his profile with ratings and it will be easy for the job provider to assess his experience in each job, said Ananthan. Aadhaar details and personal records can be added to the profile, which will help workers in getting benefits of welfare schemes.

Four young entrepreneurs - Kishan K Saneesh, Thomas Joshy, Akhil Raja and Edwin Varghese - who launched Infillcube, a startup three years ago, won the second prize carrying an award of `50,000. They presented Pravasi, a platform that uses blockchain technology to track the movement of migrant labourers. The data cannot be manipulated and can be accessed and validated online. It will be beneficial for both the government and the worker. The state can ensure prompt delivery of welfare benefits and track the antecedents of the labourer, said Kishan.

Manoj P R and Pranav Ullas of team Iridecent won the third prize for their Smart Contract system, where the identity and payment system for migrant labourers can be digitalised."Blockchain is an evolving futuristic technology used for handling, storage and retrieval of massive data. It can be customised and the possibilities are immense," said Maker Village CEO Prasad Balakrishnan Nair. "The hackathon provided innovators an opportunity to view social issues with a business perspective and utilise technology as a tool to address them. When we hear about social issues, we think of welfare measures. For example, there are 25 lakh migrant labourers in Kerala. We see only the social issue and ignore the huge market this community offers. This hackathon will offer a launch-pad for technology innovators to see issues from a different perspective."

Alexis Wolff, information officer of the US Consulate General Chennai, which mooted the idea of organising a hackathon to address issues faced by migrant labourers, said the hackathon was inspiring and young innovators were excited as they got a platform to present their ideas."India and the US have emerged as leaders in IT component development. As many as 15 per cent of the startups in the US have been founded by Indian students. We should use technology to tackle challenges faced by people all over the world," she said.IG P Vijayan, who distributed the prizes, said the challenges faced by migrant labourers are huge and there is a need to ensure their safety and welfare.


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