Published on April 11, 2020

Ahmedabad: A temperature gun was an alien concept for the majority of the population a few months ago, and so were the protective masks for the masses. But both faced sudden rise in demand and caused concern for quality. What about glasses with in-built thermal scanners or masks that can change colour in presence of virus?

These are some of the ideas which are submitted to the Student Startup and Innovation Policy (SSIP)-initiated Student Open COVID-19 Innovation Challenge in past fortnight. The organizers said that 300-plus proposals from various innovators across universities in Gujarat have been received.

Anju Sharma, principal secretary (higher & technical education), said that the initiative has two-pronged approach. “The first is of course harnessing the potential of student innovations which are practical, scalable and affordable. The second motive is to keep the students engaged during the lockdown. It’s also an opportunity for them to put what they have learnt into practice for the larger good,” she said.

The challenge so far has yielded a wide array of innovations ranging from masks, disinfectants on one end of the spectrum and medical equipment including ventilators on the other. In between are the surveillance drones, AI-based CCTV camera networks and apps for e-commerce for the corner kirana shops.

Hiranmay Mahanta, advisor to SSIP and director of GTU Innovation Council, said that it was the first such open challenge across India with focus on COVID-19.

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