IIT (ISM)'s hackathon: Where ideas spring up


The event spanned from 20th January 2017, 10:00 PM IST to 22nd January 2017, 11:00 AM IST. The participants competed for prizes worth over INR 3,00,000 along with hiring opportunities.

Young minds, when partnered with creation and innovation, can throw into the world table turning modules and solutions; a lot of them never even fathomed before. Indeed, they are the flag bearers of the technologies to come. To encourage such a symbiosis between undergraduate students and the industry, a hackathon was organised at IIT(ISM) Dhanbad fondly named HackfestISM. Being one of the prime fests of the institute, it attracted a large flock of inspired students from across the country to participate in a 36 hour long ceaseless, peace-less, cruel battle organised from 20th to 22nd Jan, 2017. Hosted by the Computer Science and Engineering Society, the fest brought to the table a number of projects, many of them having interesting industrial angles.

HackfestISM was the second hackathon organised in the college and was conducted in the good old Penman Auditorium. Rigged with a swarm of wires running endlessly, the closed space could have given a claustrophobic attack to any non-tech guy. The auditorium was easily overwhelmed with brain power of the chosen ones. Banners of tech companies adorned the walls of the auditorium, students wore cool t-shirts and the stage was lit with projectors casting almost geeky lights. Eminent people from the tech industry joined the students, discussed ideas, talked about ambitions and deliberated on how they wanted to make the earth a better place to live. The elegance of the event was immersive; its grandeur breath-taking.

Qualifying for participation in the hackfest was a challenge in itself. Out of the 200 teams that applied, only 48 could survive the intense scrutiny of their ideas and proposals. Each team had a maximum of 5 members. The prizes were set as Rs. 10,000, Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 4,000 for the first, second and third positions respectively, with added incentives like internship opportunities and more. Excited rumours gave way to reality when the fest came with perks such as free food, intriguing seminars and an ambience encouraging utmost productivity. With a sea of laptops, electronic modules, a complex network of wires, bobbing heads, the sight was a slight peek into a future expected to be driven by technology. Speaking about the projects, they ranged from fiction-to-reality android apps to machine learning applications, from electronic modules to web development and so on. The students were praised for their efforts and ideas.

People who judged the event shared the flare of pushing technology to new heights. Dr. Chiranjeev Kumar, HoD, CSE; Dr. Mukul Kumar Das, Associate Professor from the Department of Electronics Engineering; Mr. Vaishak Shanbag and Ms. Alakananda Bhattacharjee, both from Atkins were the judges. The event also included a Q&A session with the founder of MCaffiene, Mr. Tarun Sharma, an alumnus of the 2011 batch of B. Tech Electrical Engineering, at 2:30pm on 22 January. After an intense period of 36 hours, in which teams stood true to their fancy names, team Knighthood emerged as the winner of HackfestISM, seizing a sum of Rs. 10,000. They came up with a Windows application called Krishikit which aimed to support farmers at every step - from buying the seeds to selling the harvest. It provides the updated price of the crop as fixed by the government; forecasts the weather, and suggests the most profitable crop to grow.

The second position was bagged by team Sangyan which aimed to reduce hunger and malnutrition in India. Their aim was to bridge the gap between potential donors and potential beneficiaries of food, fresh water, and oil, by building a working prototype where they can interact with each other in real time. Donors range from single households to big organizations like supermarkets, malls, banquet halls, hotels, restaurants etc., while potential beneficiaries include the registered NGO’s that are already working to eliminate hunger, but are struggling in the procurement of needed items, depending on various parameters like season, place, previously grown crop, soil health, and crop rotation cycles. RANN_U, the team that positioned third in the hackathon, aimed to build an Intrusion Detection and Avoidance System to guard the frontiers of the country and other critical areas. They worked to build a dual camera system that could accurately determine the position of an object in 3-dimensional space, with standard attack protocols being followed. They built a laser emitter to demonstrate the firing on an intruder who does not follow the protocols. They aimed to enable the image processing even at night time, by sensing the decrease in vibrations of the surroundings, which would automatically trigger an array of floodlights. They also described their idea for vehicle detection, based on the colour and number plate of a vehicle.

The event ended with a vote of thanks to all the organisers who worked tirelessly to make the event a reality and stood true to the hopes of the participants. The faculty members and the CSES were also thanked for their support and encouragement. At the end, the judges gave the students some guidelines on how to move on and also appreciated their hard work and persistence. The event brought to the fore a series of interesting projects undertaken by groups of undergraduates with little or no help that left everybody impressed. The stature that HackfestISM manifested was never seen before and raised the bar to a whole new level.

The winners were:

  1. 1st Prize
    • Kaustubh Tandon
    • Ansh Mahajan
    • Pranav Chitrio
    • Ashish Verma
    • Aadil Ahmed

  2. 2nd Prize
    • Krishnaditya Deepak
    • Raju Kumar
    • Rishav Raj
    • Kuldeep Sharma
    • Vishwajeet

  3. 3rd Prize
    • Asutosh Rout
    • Neelesh Kumar Yadav
    • Nishad Mandlik
    • Rahul Sridhar