On 2nd and 3rd December 2017, the second edition of Rajasthan Digifest was organized in Udaipur by the Government of Rajasthan at Mohanlal Sukhadia University. The event was graced by Honorable Chief Minister Smt Vasundhara Raje on 3rd December, who addressed the participants and dignitaries from different parts of India.
Rajasthan Digifest, Udaipur edition was mainly divided in 3 different sections – Hackathon, Exhibition and Sessions by Dignitaries.
On 2nd December morning registration desks at Mohanlal Sikhadia University, Udaipur were piled up with approximately 1,800 Hackathon participants from different parts of India for a rigorous 24 hours Hackathon. To handle this entire Hackathon event, it was outsourced to a Bangalore based startup Hasura which managed the entire Hackathon event.
Since the prize money was huge, so was the participation where 30% Youth of India had travelled from distant South India for this event. With no registration fees, the travel expenses and lodging were borne by the Rajasthan Government – essentially, the government had done everything to make it easy for participants to attend.
While the arrangements were very good at the venue, Wi-Fi connectivity remained a big issue. Few aspiring youngsters were so dedicated that they went off the streets to code their project as the entire area lacked a good internet connectivity. According to officials, “there was a dedicated internet line but as the access points were placed at small distance so range was getting clashed.”
Whatsoever may be the reason, it must have affected a lot many aspirants. The first prize was bagged by guys from Bihar who made a tourism project called “BhaiTech”. They received the government project worth Rs. 15 lakhs.
There was a huge space dedicated to the Exhibition where majority of the Rajasthan Government projects were displayed be it E-Mitra, Bhamasha, e-BAZAAR, Rajasthan Recruitment Portal etc. Here majority of the government schemes were displayed and exciting part was it was getting displayed live through VCs to various parts of Rajasthan. There were few stalls which were dedicated to Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Modeling etc. which showcased how Rajasthan is gearing up for the race to become number one in tech.
Chief Minister Smt Vasundhara Raje was highly impressed by the Robotics show. There was a Robot which gave a Rose to CM and then showcased various Yoga Asanas in front of everyone. It was one of the major eye catcher during the event.
Sessions by Dignitaries
The second edition of Rajasthan Digifest witnessed participation of various renowned dignitaries from across the globe with Mr. Mohandas Pai, Chairman Manipal Group, Mr. Pradeep Nair, MD Autodesk, Mr. Ritesh Agarwal, Founder OYO Rooms, Mr. Colin Tooze, Director (Public Affairs) Uber.
Rajasthan already being an educational hub due to Kota, Udaipur Digifest saw a huge participation of youth and it proved to be a golden opportunity for them to attend to such sessions. When GTU Team asked dignitaries about how they see Second Edition of Rajasthan Digifest, all sounded the same and appreciated government’s initiative in building a Digital Rajasthan.
On being asked about Data Piracy, Mr. Mohandas Pai said, “today data is not secured in India. Indian Mind is being controlled by the foreign powers and in terms of data they have everything. He urged the Government to come up with some law which can actually restrict the data flow out of India.”
On the other hand on being asked on Surge Pricing in Uber, Mr. Colin said diplomatically, ”it’s for the direct benefits of the Driver partners as if the demand is more, pricing tends to go up.”
24 year old Mr. Ritesh Agarwal, Founder of OYO received the standing ovation and youth went crazy as he is truly a huge inspiration to everyone. He shared his story of Kota Diaries where he went to Bansal Classes as an IIT aspirant who later turned out to become a success story in India Hospitality sector. On being asked about his message to the youth he said, “follow your heart and dreams as it will drive you to the right destination.”
Gifts by CM Smt Vasundhara Raje
On 3rd December, CM Vasundhara Raje was there to meet aspiring future entrepreneurs. In her speech her message was clear of “People First” initiative. Rajasthan Government is willing to help any startup of India based on the feasibility, just that it has to be registered in Rajasthan. A separate Rs. 500 crore budget has been allocated to make Rajasthan a Startup State. E-Mitra+ was also inaugurated on 3rd December along with declaration of various schemes like ABHAY Udaipur, QRate, Lokarpan, Shilanyas etc.
The CM also agreed to a demand made by Mr. Mohandas Pai of sending 100 students to Silicon Valley, United States out of which 25 will be girls, but stressed that the bar for eligibility are going to be really high to ensure quality.
When the GTU Team asked CM on how she sees Rajasthan becoming India’s 1st Startup State, she said, “IT and Rajasthan are synonymous,and it’s just a natural progression.”.
Giving reference to the television sets distributed on 3rd December in association with Anushe, an Iranian Astronaut, she further added,
“It should not even be thought twice. Various hackathons, events, workshops are being organized rigorously since last 3 years. All these things not only showcased Rajasthan but also youngsters who will be participating in the growth of the state.”
It was the third event this year aimed at Digital India and Skill India, by Rajasthan Government, with the first one being held at Jaipur, second at Kota and the third at Udaipur.
With Rajasthan already dominating in tourism, education hub, wind and solar power, it is now gearing up to become India’s first Startup state. 3 tech events one after the other in an year is highly appreciated but one can’t ignore this as it’s less than an year left for Rajasthan elections and such tech shows are best way to connect with the major force of India i.e. the Indian youth. Nevertheless, it’s definitely going to benefit the Young India by giving them proper infrastructure and Exposure.