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Kerala engineering students win CODE19 hackathon for creating virtual classroom


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Abhinand C and Shilpa Rajeev, two students from the Government College of Engineering, Kannur in Kerala have bagged the first prize of $10,000 at the recently concluded CODE19 online hackathon against coronavirus in India. Their winning entry, called iClassroom, involved a modern virtual classroom for the millennial generation. It connects students with teachers through a social media-type interface for uninterrupted learning in the time of the pandemic.
The 72-hour event was hosted by the Silicon Valley-based Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation. Thousands of innovators and developers competed online to create open-source solutions for India to meet the crisis during the lock down.
The second prize of $5,000 was claimed by six students of Manipal Institute of Technology for enabling remote diagnosis of Covid19 patients to reduce the risk of infection for healthcare workers. Their solution, TeleVital, captures a patient’s vital statistics remotely through a Web cam and browser.
The third position was divided into three categories, with each of the three winning teams awarded $3,000 as prize money. The winners included SoloCoin which gamifies social distancing by allowing people to earn “solo coins” by staying at home and redeeming them for rewards from various merchants; the Covid19 Fact Checker, a fake news checker that leverages authentic government, scientific, and public health information to bust misinformation about the Covid19 pandemic; and Grape Community, an open platform that connects people with their neighbourhood shopkeepers and suppliers.
In addition, 10 best innovative solutions were awarded $1,000 each at the hackathon. According to Asha Jadeja Motwani, the Founder of Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation, the online Hackathon Covid 19 showcased brilliant minds at work with high quality of entries.

“A community of hackers and mentors, especially young students from all parts of the country and around the world, came together to enable India’s fight against Coronavirus. I believe that the qualitative, open-source projects created at this hackathon would help mitigate the impending Corona-inflicted challenges in India. I am also hopeful that the prize money awarded to winning teams will enable them to realize their solutions and bring them to market.” Asha said.
iClassroom has been created by 19-year-old Abhinand C and 20-year-old Shilpa Rajeev, both students at Government College of Engineering in Kannur. “Our winning entry is a virtual classroom that makes learning easier and more intuitive by providing an engaging peer-to-peer social media type platform. Students and teachers can interact with each other, clear their doubts, mentor others and conduct online classes. We developed iClassromm as a dedicated platform for students to continue with their studies uninterrupted in the prevailing pandemic conditions and serve as a tool for enhanced learning within and outside physical classrooms,” said Abhinand.
According to Shilpa Rajeev the platform is a practical solution for all learning communities to interact with each other, share resources and keep track of progress in selected courses, rather than use multiple communication tools for this purpose. “We are happy to get the recognition and now intend to enhance iClassroom’s functionality by integrating several useful apps.” She said.


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