Dr Jitendra convenes joint meeting of Science Ministries, discusses Space Hackathon

Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh today convened the monthly joint meeting of different Science Ministries and Departments at the Science Centre here, wherein among other agenda items, he reviewed the Space Hackathon held last month for the students to sharpen their skills and innovation.
The 30-hour hackathon on Space related challenges like technical issues related to the Geospatial BHUVAN portal was organised as part of the India International Science Festival – 2023 (IISF-2023) held at the DBT THSTI – RCB Campus in Faridabad, Haryana from 17th to 20th January 2024.
Expressing satisfaction at the huge response for the first of its kind Space hackathon, the S&T Minister appreciated the fact that over 4,000 teams were registered in the span of one month. 57 teams were shortlisted for the grand finale at Faridabad.
The high-level joint meeting of different Science Ministries and Departments included representatives from Science & Technology, Biotechnology, CSIR, Earth Sciences, Dept. of Space and Atomic Energy.
The S&T Minister was informed that after the conclusion of a gruelling 30-hour hackathon at the IISF venue, the initial jury shortlisted the top 24 teams. Main jury selected 16 teams for the pitch presentation, and finally four teams were declared winners and their ideas were supported by ISRO. Besides, 11 runners up were also declared.
Dr Jitendra Singh also commended all the scientific departments for the grand success of the IISF-2023 that saw close to 35,000 participants including more than 11,000 delegates. Seven State S&T Ministers, 27 State officials and Secretaries and 75 delegates also participated in the four-day Science Fest.
Dr Jitendra Singh was informed that a demonstration was held for the One portal being designed for all fellowships of various Science Departments. A Security Audit of the portal is now being conducted by NIC before it is launched for the scholars.
Dr Jitendra Singh called for mobilization of the recently set up Science Media Communication Center (SMCC) to raise awareness about new achievements and discoveries/inventions. He directed a Workshop held of all Nodal Officers of Laboratories and Departments for easier flow of newsworthy achievements.
The S&T Minister was informed that Brazil, being the G20 Presidency host this year, has called for drafts to formulate the G20 Bioeconomy Initiative and the first Experts Meeting will be held on 13-14 March in Brazil.
The meeting was held as part of the monthly review meetings of Science Secretaries, initiated by Dr Jitendra Singh in order to break the silos and evolve a synergistic integrated approach among different scientific streams.
Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Dr Ajay K Sood; Secretary, DSIR & DG, CSIR, Dr N Kalaiselvi; Secretary, DST, Prof. Abhay Karandikar; Secretary, DBT, Dr Rajesh S Gokhale; & Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences Dr M Ravichandran attended the deliberations.

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