While India’s cultural heritage stretches back over millennia, the age-old sites require cutting-edge technology to restore their once exquisite, but now crumbling, facades. And that’s exactly what the Tech4Heritage initiative hopes to usher in.
Rishihood University, a private college in the National Capital Region, is all set to host Tech4Heritage Hackathon, slated from September 27 onwards, for 15 days.
The objective is to develop viable solutions to help preserve and revitalise key historical sites that are testament to India’s rich cultural heritage. This is being done in collaboration with Sapio Analytics and Internity Foundation.
It will initially be run as a pilot project, and help restore the Ajanta Caves, which date back to over two millennia. A successful implementation of the same then has the potential to be further scaled up to include more heritage sites of national and cultural significance, across the country. India has the sixth largest number of heritage sites in the world, with more than 30 UNESCO recognised cultural heritage sites, many of which are in need of restoration work, with some having already started.
“Organised human settlements in India can be dated as far back to 4,500 BC. There has been a continuous evolution of India’s heritage over many millennia, which today includes some of the richest diversity of cultures, not found anywhere else on earth. It is our duty to preserve such a rich cultural heritage to inculcate a strong sense of pride and national identity amongst all communities residing in India,” said Sahil Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO, Rishihood University, adding, “We believe this initiative is a step in that direction and technology is playing a key role in not only preserving our past but also promote heritage tourism, benefitting our economy and driving us towards self-sufficiency.
” The initiative primarily targets engineering college students and young working professionals with expertise in Deep Learning, AI, ML and Image Processing, and who can build a viable preliminary solution and optimise the same for deployment. In that sense, it’s off to a good start with students from leading engineering colleges such as IIT Delhi, NIT Karnataka, Symbiosis Institute of Technology, Delhi Technological University, and IIT Pune having already initiated applications.
Suresh Prabhu, Founding Chancellor, Rishihood University, said, “This is a great initiative by Rishihood University, Internity Foundation and Sapio Analytics for the much needed preservation of our rich heritage. I firmly believe our talented youth will come up with the most innovative ideas to preserve our rich cultural legacy for future generations.” Aggarwal added, “We are extremely proud to be a part of the Tech4Heritage Hackathon. This association will help build the stepping stones to rejuvenate key sites of historical significance, which are invaluable in inculcating a sense of pride and in showcasing India’s role as a seat of global learning and cultural homogeneity.
It’s in many ways a culmination of using cutting edge tech to preserve our rich cultural legacy of the past to cement our role in the future.” The hackathon will be divided into two phases. Phase I comprises 15 hours on September 27 to build a preliminary solution and Phase II, which takes place over 15 days, to enhance and optimise shortlisted entries. First place winners will go home with a cash prize of Rs 50,000. To participate: register for free before September 20 on https://rishihood.edu.in/ tech4heritage/
The Tech4Heritage Hackathon in a gist
The hackathon will be divided into two phases. Phase I comprises 15 hours on September 27 to build a preliminary solution and Phase II, which takes place over 15 days, to enhance and optimise shortlisted entries. First place winners will go home with a cash prize of Rs 50,000.