Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of AatmaNirbhar Bharat, Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on December 3 felicitated the winners of the ‘Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge – Innovate Solutions for #AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ during Azadi Ka Digital Mahotsav celebrations here today.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics & IT and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary, MeitY, and Abhishek Singh President and CEO, NeGD, and MyGov also graced the occasion and officially launched the National Strategy on Blockchain, Rudra Server, and BioInferno.
On August 18, 2020, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) had launched the “Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge – Innovate Solutions for #Aatmanirbhar Bharat” to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country by taking up complex designs and innovate frugal solutions around home-grown processor ecosystem (viz SHAKTI and VEGA Microprocessor).
As one of the concrete steps towards realizing the ambition of self-reliance and a momentous stride towards “AatmaNirbhar Bharat”, this initiative aimed at not only meeting India’s future requirements of strategic and industrial sectors but also has the potential to mitigate the issues of security, licensing, technology obsolescence and cutting dependency on imports.
A total of 6,170 teams participated in the quarterfinals of the challenge. These teams were provided with mentorship, financial assistance and Swadeshi Processors (viz. SHAKI and VEGA) ported on Xilinx FPGA Boards to develop innovative Hardware Prototype solutions.
For the semifinals, only 100 teams got shortlisted and all of them received Rs 1 Lakh each and access to SHAKTI and VEGA Processor ecosystem. For the finals, 30 teams were shortlisted and each team was awarded Rs 4 lakh.
Out of the 30 teams, 10 most innovative teams won the challenge with their strategic solutions to various problems.
Vega FCS FT (AI Drone) came at the first position for their drone application and was awarded with Rs 35 Lakh cheque by Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. At the second position, HWDL won Rs 30 Lakh for FM Tracking. Meanwhile, Cytox, at the third position won Rs 25 Lakh for their ‘cell count’ project.
The rest of the teams came at the fourth position and received Rs 20 Lakh cheque each. The teams are: Specctroprocessor, Maternal Health Monitor, Avrio Energy, Anshashodhak (C Pulser), GE Resources, Jay Hawks, Astrek Innovations.
Congratulating the winners, Rajeev Chandrasekhar,Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics & IT and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship said, “I went around many of the stalls and I say this without fear of sounding like I am exaggerating that this is very high-quality work. As somebody who has spent over 3.5 decades in technology, I can surely recognize good technology work. Out of all the sessions which have happened before, this is the one that looks forward to the future”.
He also appreciated the work conducted by C-DAC and IIT Chennai and said that people of the nation can sleep easy knowing that they are headed in the right direction. “It is MeitY’s responsibility to help each of the entrepreneurs today who have showcased their products. We will do more than just help you incubate these projects. We will work as partners to make these seriously viable products in our country,” he said.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar also set up a 24-month target for SHAKTI and VEGA to take every chip board and convert that into silicon so the entrepreneurs could use it into their products.
Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, said: “Those that designed the microprocessor actually don’t know the power of what they are designing. It’s what you can do with the processor which is even more important than the processor itself. As part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, it is wonderful to celebrate having microprocessors of our own and being able to see where all those can be used”.
Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary, MeitY also congratulated the participants and the winners of the challenge. He said: “After seeing the enthusiasm and efforts at the exhibition, I think we can say with full confidence that we are well on our way to developing full spectrum of digital capabilities”.
Arvind Kumar, Group Coordinator (R&D in Electronics & Cyber Security), MeitY highlighted that with the readiness level that Swadeshi Processors has achieved owing to the journey of Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge and CDAC’S achievements for Rudra Server & BioInferno, India is poised to position itself as a leader in Swadeshi Compute Designs and pave the way for gaining the market share in ESDM space. While highlighting the visionary leadership of Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY, he reminiscence the evolution of these programs and the effort gone towards while conceiving them”.