How to participate in “Innovative” challenge to build India’s Zoom rival

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: April 21, 2020 3:16:51 pm

The government wants you to make a video conferencing app. (Image: Twitter/MyGov)

The union government led by PM Narendra Modi has launched a video conferencing app development challenge for Indian startups. The winner of the “Innovative Challenge for Development of Video Conferencing Solution” will be awarded a fixed amount of Rs 1 crore.

The announcement comes at a time when security issues have been highlighted in the popular video conferencing app Zoom. Last week, the government issued an advisory cautioning against using Zoom while establishing that the app will not be used by the government official owing to security concerns.

How to participate in the challenge?

The Indian government said that the coronavirus pandemic has led to the unprecedented enforcement of lockdown throughout the country leading to the wide adoption of Work From Home (WFH) and video conferencing becoming an integral part of daily life.

“In the light of these developments, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology announces an Innovation Challenge for Development of a Video Conferencing Solution under the Make in India Initiative,” it said.

The Innovation Challenge is open for registration and the last date for registering is April 30. The government mentioned that the application should support all video resolutions and audio quality, work in low and high network scenarios, below on the usage of power, work on any device, and can be browser and/or app-based interface.

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It also mentioned that the application should have encrypted network communication, chat options during conference, sign-in and non-sign-in options to join a conference, audio/ video recording feature, and screen/file sharing among other things. The full list of must-have features is accessible here.

Innovative Challenge stages and rewards

The video conferencing solution development challenge will be in three stages that include Ideation, Prototype, and Solution Building. In Stage 1, the teams will have to propose their innovation and ideas out of which top 10 will be selected and receive a funding of Rs 5 lakh to build the prototype.

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In the next stage, the shortlisted entries will get a chance to present their prototypes to a “distinguished Jury”. Three teams will be shortlisted for the Final Stage and each will receive a funding of Rs 20 lakh to build the final product.

The winner will get prize money of Rs 1 crore along with a certificate from the Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad deploying the solution for use by the Government of India and State Governments for a year. The winning team will also receive further support of Rs 10 lakhs per year towards Operations & Maintenance of the video-conferencing solution they built.

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