Google to set up Wi-Fi in 400 Indian railway stations

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Code for India projects: PM Modi, Sundar Pichai, CP Gurnani encourage new ideas.

The Code for India Hackathon 2015 was organised overnight at Google HQ, Mountain View, and a parallel event took place in India at Tech Mahindra, Noida today. Among the prominent announcements from Modi’s Silicon Valley visit are: According to a recent report released by the United Nations Broadband Commission titled, ‘The State of Broadband’ report prior to the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development said that India slipped in global rankings on broadband penetration. But what’s really astounding is the fact that there are still nearly one billion people in India who aren’t online,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said. “This will rank it as the largest public WiFi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users.

While many may argue that it is the Government’s responsibility to provide an effective and affordable access to broadband internet, the fact remains that India is now behind countries such as Syria and Sudan in terms of internet penetration. The the event, Google chief Sundar Pichai also spoke about the company teaming up with the Indian Railways and emphasised on how Chrome topped the charts in India, before it became the most widely used browser across the world. The overnight Hackathon at the Google HQ was in honour of PM’s visit to Silicon Valley and aims at his flagship initiatives – Digital India and Skilled India.

Pichai stressed that these connections would enable streaming of high definition video content, stressing that they would not just enable connectivity but enables consumption of high bandwidth video. Solutions by applicants were judged based on technical accomplishment, creativity, design, and of course, how effectively it solved the challenge problem. During the townhall at the Facebook HQ with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, PM Modi responded to a query on how effective the Make in India campaign would be and the ease of changing the course of things. The web solution was built by 13-year old Jeet Mitra and Pratikaditya Das who are in Class 9th at The Shriram Millennium School, 17-year old Aman Agarwal from Amity International School and 19-year old Dev Bhatnagar from Amity University. A solution to combat a similar challenge came from Chavi Gupta and team from Delhi Technological University also worked on food prediction for Akshaya Patra organisation’s kitchens.

The Android app dubbed Bhog is a prediction app that tells you how much food would be required to serve during mid-day meals to avoid wastage and also the erros that come with manual calculation. One such was air quality monitoring project by Rishabh Banga, Intel Software Innovator. “I have created an Air Quality Box, that is a compact portable solution for monitoring Air quality as well as various other parameters like Temperature, Humidity, Dust Concentration, and Pressure,” Banga explained. “I even went ahead and integrated the functionality of Fire Detection as well as detecting levels of different gases present in the air, thereby making it completely sufficient for the purpose of monitoring air quality. This with integrated cloud connectivity so that the data collected is available for analysis of multiple stations and data levels to determine pollution source,” he further added.

Krishi Samadhan Android app by a trio – Naman Sancheti, Ashutosh Goel and Ashutosh Singh – uses GPS to find the farmer’s location and presents data for his state such as soil quality, irrigation required, fertilizer advice and so on. “It also lets the user calculate the N-P-K value i.e the Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium ratio based on the data input by the farmer,” Sancheti tells us. According to Qualcomm’s executive chairman Dr Paul Jacobs, the main objective of this fund is to “Fuel innovation and foster promising Indian start ups who are contributing to the mobile and ‘internet of everything’ ecosystem and provide start ups with financial, marketing, technology and business support to help propel them forward in the competitive Indian market.” In June this year, there were reports of Chinese manufacturer Foxconn planning to set up an iPhone manufacturing plant in India. Zuckerberg said, “Early on in our history when things weren’t really going well – we had hit a tough patch and a lot of people wanted to buy Facebook – I went and I met with Steve Jobs and he said that to reconnect with what I believed was the mission of the company, I should go visit this temple in India that he had gone to early in the evolution of Apple, when he was thinking about what he wanted his vision of the future to be.” Zuckerberg did heed the advice. He added that seeing the way people connected in India made him believe that the world would be a better place if everyone had a stronger ability to connect.

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