Smart India Hackathon | Everything You Need to Know About

Smart India Hackathon | Everything You Need to Know About
 Arya College

What is hackathon?

A hackathon (also known as a hack day, datathon, hack fest, or codefest; a portmanteau of the hacking marathon) is a design sprint-style event in which computer programmers and other software developers, such as interface designers, graphic designers, product managers, product managers, domain experts, and others, work intensively on software projects.

What is Smart India Hackathon?

Meaning of Smart India Hackathon:

The Smart India Hackathon is a nationwide program that aims to give students a platform to solve some of the most important issues we encounter in our everyday lives, instilling a culture of product innovation and a problem-solving mindset. SIH2017, SIH2018, SIH2019, and SIH2020 were tremendously effective in encouraging young minds, particularly engineering students from around India, to think beyond the box and innovate.

The (SIH) Hackathon India or Smart India Hackathon is a wide platform where students from throughout India work together to develop solutions to problems posed by various Indian departments. A variety of industries present various problem statements. The importance of such problem statements to the industry or department is usually high. They also have a significant social impact.

It is the world's largest HackathonHackathon, with over 10 lakh students from 7218 Indian institutes participating. This HackathonHackathon has two editions: software and hardware; we will explore the software edition here.

The Hackathon'sHackathon's major goal in India is to inspire students, raise the value of technology, and create a digital India.

Why should you join the Smart India Hackathon? And Who can join Smart India Hackathon?

Here are a few reasons why you should participate in the Smart India Hackathon 2020:

  • It is one of India's largest open innovation platforms!
  • Recognition on a national level
  • Excellent experience
  • Excellent chance for mentoring and networking!
  • The winner may receive follow-up calls from industry/ministry to collaborate on your idea and turn your prototype into an active phase!
  • Excellent cuisine, energizing beverages, entertainment, and a variety of other entertaining activities

Remember that once the Smart India Hackathon is done, you can always brag about your participation in your network. There are numerous other reasons to participate in the Smart India Hackathon. We think it's a terrific learning atmosphere and an enjoyable activity if you ask us.

Your company will receive a cost-effective and inventive solution to its difficulties. Consider it an opportunity to be a part of nation-building while promoting your business.

More About Problem Statements

Problem statements might range from socially significant projects to industry-specific technological requirements. These statements refer to real-world issues that individuals face daily and for which a digital answer is required.

As a student and participant, you have complete freedom to submit any solution that best fits the problem statement. The topics and problem statements for the Smart India Hackathon 2019 and Smart India Hackathon 20 can be found on their official website.

More about the Smart India Hackathon

Where's it going to be held?

In India, a hackathon is a national event that attracts thousands of students from all around the country. Finding a single location in India where a hackathon may be held with ease is slim. As a result, nodal centres exist. These centers can accommodate a total of 30 teams. Participants may be required to travel from afar to attend the event.

The organizers of the Smart India Hackathon take care of lodging and other necessities. And if you're a woman concerned about your safety, don't be; it's perfectly safe for you! They provide very clean and comfortable lodging for three nights.

Everything you need to know about the software edition

It comprises three primary components from a top-down perspective:

  1. Organisers and the panel committee: Innovation Cell at MHRD
  2. Problem Statements: Ministries, Departments, Industries, Public Sector Undertakings, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) at the federal and state levels
  3. Innovators: The brilliant minds around the country who find the solution to the problem stated are known as innovators.

Process Flow

  • Departments, Central and state ministries, public utilities, industries, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have submitted Process Flow Problem Statements.
  • PSs are finalized and are now available on the website.
  • College SPOCs must register on the SIH portal.
  • The Single Point of Contact (SPOC) is the individual who will represent the institute and oversee the registration process (usually a faculty member). 
  • The SPOC must provide a list of issue statements that the institute's teams want to work on for the internal Hackathon and the main event. SPOC registration began a few months ago.
  • Internal Hackathon conducted in a College: Each institute held an internal hackathon to select the top 5 ideas presented at the national level.
  • The SPOC was responsible for registering the team leaders of the shortlisted teams in the SIH portal. They were required to submit an idea solution document for the problem statement. In addition, the institute has extended the deadline.
  • Teams for the SIH Grand Finale would have been announced.
  • The SIH website published a list of the top 4-7 teams selected for each problem statement to compete in the SIH 2022 Grand Finale among all colleges.
  • Did you know that the SIH 2020 Software Edition Virtual Grand Finale was held virtually at a college hackathon?
  • It was converted into a virtual model, in which all participants collaborated with their teammates from the comfort of their own homes or other convenient locations.

This year, organizers are planning on coming back to the original routine of conducting and hosting the Hackathon offline, as the COVID cases in the country have seen a sharp downfall. 

How can I participate in Smart India Hackathon?

How to Register:

The first step is to have a college faculty member register as a SPOC on the SIH portal.

Only their college SPOC can register students selected in the Internal Hackathon on the SIH portal. Students cannot register on their own.

 Formation of the Team:

  • A six-person team with a single team leader.
  • One female member must be a part of the team.
  • The students should all be from the same university. Teams from other colleges are not permitted.
  • Students from various colleges' branches are encouraged to form a team.
  • The name of the team should be unique and should not include the name of their institute in any way.

Working on the Problem Statement: 

Once the Problem Statements have been posted on the website, teams can begin working on them and come up with their own solutions to the problem statement they have chosen. For the teams who submitted their ideas, the college SPOC held an internal hackathon.

The Student Innovation Category is a popular open category in which teams must address a current issue in India while proposing an out-of-the-box product or digital development solution that falls under the technology bucket mentioned. The problem statement should not be the same as the ones on the portal. Each college is allowed to register only one team from each of the categories like hardware or software.

Version 2020 of the Internal Hackathon

To get the best teams from each college were chosen for the 2020 edition, an internal hackathon was held on the college campus in the first week of 2020 February.

A total of five best teams were chosen from the internal Hackathon conducted by the SPOC and another Jury member.

The SIH 2020 Hackathon – The Software Edition featured the top five teams from each college.

For the selected teams, four problem statements from the portal and one from the Student Innovation category can be chosen.

This internal Hackathon needs to be documented, and information about the judges, as well as a few photos and videos from the event, had to be submitted along with the ideas.

Submissions of Project

The SPOC then registers the teams from the Internal Hackathon on the SIH portal, including the following information:

  • Name, gender, email address, team leader's phone number, and other team members.
  • With a title, description, and presentation PDF, choose a problem statement and propose a solution.
  • Letter of permission from the college.

Criteria for Selection

Experts assess proposed solutions based on factors such as the novelty of the concept, the scale of impact, feasibility, practicability, complexity, clarity, detailed document, sustainability, user experience, and future work progression potential.

The teams whose names appeared on this list were automatically qualified for the Grand Finale.

Centers of Nodality:

  • The Grand Finale is usually held at various Nodal Centers (colleges and universities) across India. Hence, the teams must travel to the Nodal Center assigned to them.
  • Each nodal Center works with a few ministries/organizations, and each nodal Center manages its proposed problem statements.
  • They are in charge of logistics, lodging, and boarding. They communicate with the team leaders regularly, providing all necessary details.
  • The shortlisted teams are also eligible for reimbursement for the cost of a 2S (2nd Class sleeper) train ticket to and from the competition.

But as mentioned earlier, the 2020 situation was quite different. Here is what happened:

However, due to the pandemic of 2020, all teams were asked to participate from their home countries. The nodal centers were tasked with running the event entirely online, bringing all stakeholders together on a single platform (for example, Slack), and holding the required meetings via web conferencing.


  • The teams that have been shortlisted can choose up to two mentors from the industry or academia.
  • To qualify as a mentor, you must have at least four years of industry/academic experience.
  • They are responsible for guiding the team members through the process of turning the concept into a working prototype before the grand finale.
  • During the grand finale, they can work as a team with the other members to build a working prototype.

Mentoring Sessions and Evaluation:

The teams work on turning their ideas into a working prototype during the 36-hour Hackathon. In addition, three mentoring and evaluation sessions are scheduled over three days.

During the mentoring session, team members interact with judges and representatives from organizations, receiving valuable feedback on how their work progresses and how it can be improved.

The teams present their application and answer the jury's questions during the evening evaluation session.

Each team incorporates a scheduled time slot of about 10-20 minutes for each session.

  • The teams are supposed to provide a complete walkthrough to their application developed during the Hackathon during the final evaluation session and submit a final document of the presentation.
  • The vigilant officers needed access to the GitHub repositories that the teams developed during the Hackathon. 
  • They were also asked to commit their code in some hours to ensure that everyone on the team was working on SIH activities and progressing steadily.

How many winners are there in Smart India Hackathon?


There is a winning team for each problem statement posted on the portal.

  •  For each problem statement posted on the portal, there will be one winning team.
  • Only if the organisation likes the winner's idea will they be chosen and awarded the prize money. If they don't like a suggestion, they have the option of not announcing a winner.
  • The winning team will receive Rs.1 Lakh per problem statement in prize money.
  • In the event of a tie, the problem statement creator will make the final decision on prize money distribution.
  • Once a decision has been made, the organisation, committee, and board members cannot change it.
  • Three to four nodal centres and three teams from each Centre have been chosen for the Student Innovation category:

Rs. 100000 /- : 1st prize: 

Rs. 75000 /- : 2nd prize: 

Rs. 50000/-. : 3rd prize

What Comes Next? 

Intellectual property, the IP for the winning idea will be splitted equally between the winning team as well as the industry that provided the problem statement, or it will be decided by mutual agreement.

Their development will help selected ideas gain traction in industries and government institutions.

To help the government achieve its goal of creating higher number of job creators than job seekers, the majority of the winning ideas are being turned into startups.

More international hackathons are planned by the government. Teams that win the SIH Grand Finale will be given first priority for entry.

A hackathon is an event that is well-known. It also has a cultural and social impact on the field of engineering.

Because the event is so large and significant, good universities persuade and assist their students to participate, as they are always looking to improve their students' intellect and teamwork skills.

Some of these colleges include:

  • Indian Institute of Technology
  • National Institute of Technology
  • Vellore Institute of Technology
  • Arya College Main Campus
  • BMS Institute of Technology
  • RV College of Engineering
  • Manipal Institute of Technology

Now that you know everything about the Smart India Hackathon, make sure to participate.