Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Union Ministry of Education’s All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) today launched the third edition of the Singapore-India Hackathon (SI Hackathon) 2023, marking its return since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the AICTE NTU press release.
Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan and Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong launched this year’s Hackathon competition at The Imperial hotel in New Delhi today. The finals of the hackathon competition will be held in Gujarat’s Gandhi Nagar on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Minister’s meeting from August 3-4 in partnership with Singapore’s High Commission in New Delhi, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Enterprise Singapore, SGInnovate and NTUitive.
Notably, the first SI Hackathon was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018 during his official visit to Singapore to harness and showcase the inventiveness of Indian and Singaporean students, AICTE and NTU said in the press release.
At the launch of the India-Singapore Hackathon, Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Education is one of the priority areas of the G20. Initiatives like the SI Hackathon would bring out the innovation and entrepreneurship of our students in front of the world.”
He stressed that India and Singapore working together will further create opportunities for students and enhance employability and help create next-generation entrepreneurs, according to the press release.
Dharmendra Pradhan said, “India and Singapore working together further will create unprecedented opportunities for our students, enhance employability and help create next-gen entrepreneurs. AICTE and NTU Singapore will handhold the substantive outcomes of SI Hackathon 2023 and help in monetising out-of-the-box innovations converting them into start-ups creating value and jobs for society.”
At today’s launch, Gan Kim Yong said, “I am especially glad that each group in the Singapore-India Hackathon will be formed from three students from India and three from Singapore. Do seize this opportunity to learn from one another new ways of seeing and doing that stem from our diverse cultures, traditions and social experiences.”
Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU Vice President (Industry) and Co-Chair for SI Hackathon 2023, said, “The SI Hackathon 2023 will enable students and start-ups to develop cross-country bonds, learn from each other’s strengths, and develop more innovative solutions for global challenges collectively.”
Lam Khin Yong further said that the event offers a unique opportunity for both nations to further “deepen their strong bilateral partnership in education, innovation, entrepreneurship, science & technology, according to the NTU AICTE press release.
AICTE Vice Chairman Dr Abhay Jere praised PM Modi for promoting the culture of hackathons in India. Jere stated that hackathons have become one of the biggest problems for solving the problems of the country. He said that the Ministry of Education and AICTE now runs the Smart India Hackathon, which is the world’s biggest open platform for innovators or entrepreneurs.
“All the credit goes to Prime Minister Modi for aggressively promoting the culture of hackathons in India. In the last five to six years, hackathons have become one of the biggest platforms for solving the problems of the country,” Dr Abhay Jere said as per the press release.
More than 150 leaders in corporations, start-ups, investors, policymakers, academics and students attended the launch event of SI Hackathon 2023 and participated in thought leadership discussions on solutions around global fintech innovations, environmental, social and governance (ESG), and sustainability.
Senior officials from the private and public sectors, including Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Professor Ajay Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the government of India, Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), AICTE Vice Chairman Dr Abhay Jere and Chief Innovation Officer of the Ministry of Education, Neil Parekh, Chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), and Amita Chaudhury, Group Head of Sustainability at AIA attended the event, according to the press release.
A total of 120 students participated in the first Singapore India Hackathon in 2018. Following its positive reception, another SI Hackathon was organised at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2019. Both events were attended by PM Narendra Modi and senior Singapore ministers, AICTE, NTU said in the press release.
Singapore India Hackathon 2023 aims to foster collaboration between students and start-ups from both countries in the areas of fintech, sustainability and ESG. Over 200 participants from both nations will collaborate and work together in teams to develop impactful solutions for addressing climate change, financial connectivity and inclusion.
24 start-ups and 12 student teams from both countries will compete in the final event where prizes will be awarded to the top four winners in each category. The winning teams will demonstrate their solutions to select global dignitaries in the grand finale of the hackathon in Gandhinagar.
The winner of the start-up category will gain an automatic entry into the Singapore Fintech Festival, one of the largest of its kind in the world with awards totalling S$1.5 million, as per the press release.
“The SI Hackathon 2023 will deploy the NTU Singapore triple helix model of bringing together universities, public agencies and industry partners for mentoring students and start-ups to ensure their success,” Professor Lam Khin Yong said.
Lam Khin Yong further said, “As one of the world’s top 20 global universities, NTU has a long tradition of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. We are proud to support this hackathon as it aligns with our mission to create global solutions through cutting-edge research and education.”
Professor Louis Phee, NTU Vice President (Innovation & Entrepreneurship) and Dean, College of Engineering, and Co-Chair for SI Hackathon 2023 said, “I believe that the SI Hackathon 2023 will be an excellent opportunity for our students and start-ups to learn from each other and test how ideas are scaled up to have a wider impact and be adapted to different contexts and cultures to solve global challenges.”
Participants of the Hackathon will have access to cutting-edge technology and resources, including cloud computing platforms, data analytics tools and artificial intelligence frameworks. Mentors and experts who are highly regarded leaders in their fields from both nations will provide guidance and support throughout to students and start-ups of the Singapore India Hackathon 2023.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said, “Fintech and ESG are co-embedding to define the future of finance. I am glad these are the challenge focus at the SI Hackathon 2023.”
Mohanty stated that Singapore’s “vibrant financial centre” and India’s “advanced market ecosystem” provide an opportunity for top talents from both nations to develop creative solutions which are commercially deployable.
MAS Chief Fintech Officer stressed that addressing substantial unmet social needs and reversing the climate crisis are the twin global challenges that need urgent attention from bright talents.