Meity throws innovation challenge, companies race to come up with videoconferencing solution

By: |
May 16, 2020 8:28 AM

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Meity) came out with the challenge last month to select a local videoconferencing solution.

Meity, videoconferencing solution,  Wipro, TCS, Zoho, Covid-19 pandemic, work from home, IT industry, local videoconferencing solutionAccording to sources, Meity has received entries ranging from fully developed prototypes to some ideas from individuals. (Representational image; Reuters)

The innovation challenge launched by the government to develop a local videoconferencing solution has drawn immense response, with around 1,980 entries from leading corporates and start-ups, vying to grab the trophy.

According to sources, besides individuals and start-ups, some big companies are also believed to have applied. While Zoho has submitted its fully developed prototype for the challenge, IT firms like Wipro and TCS have also joined the race with their ideas.

While Zoho confirmed to Financial Express about its participation, queries sent to TCS and Wipro remained unanswered.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Meity) came out with the challenge last month to select a local videoconferencing solution. The idea was to develop a local product that can be used by the government and the private sector in times of social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Announcing the challenge, Meity said the government was taking all necessary steps to ensure that the country was prepared to face the threat posed by the growing pandemic of coronavirus. “The outbreak has led to the unprecedented enforcement of lockdown throughout the country. The concept of work from home (WFH), which was till now mostly synonymous with IT industry, has become a household term. With organisations having asked employees to WFH, videoconferencing has become an integral part of daily life,” Meity said.

According to sources, Meity has received entries ranging from fully developed prototypes to some ideas from individuals. “The Covid-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to Indian start-ups to develop products that can be used by people across the world,” said a source.

The challenge has three stages. First stage is ideation wherein teams have to propose innovative and cutting-edge design of their solution. Top 10 teams would be selected and each team would be given Rs 5 lakh to build a prototype. In the second stage, prototypes of the selected teams will be judged by a jury to select three teams. The three selected teams will be given Rs 20 lakh each to develop a solution. In the third stage, a winner will be selected who will get Rs 1 crore along with a certificate from electronics and IT minister towards deploying the solution for use by the central government and state governments for a year and a further support of Rs 10 lakh per year for operation and maintenance.

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