Microsoft on March 10 announced the India winners of the 2021 edition of Imagine Cup, its flagship innovation challenge for students and technology enthusiasts. The India winners, Team Detectd from G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur and Team Intelli-Sense from the Vellore Institute of Technology will proceed directly to the world finals of Imagine Cup.
Congratulating the winners, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said, “As India makes rapid strides in tech led transformation, the impact and scale of this transformation will depend on how we empower our most valuable asset, our youth. Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is a commitment to create a culture of innovation in students, enabling them to use technology for solving some of the world’s most critical social and sustainability problems. It was truly inspiring to see the passion, collaboration and innovation of students across the country and I wish our winning teams luck as they prepare for the global stage.”
Dr. Manish Kumar, CEO and MD, National Skill Development Corporation congratulated the winning teams and said, “Imagine Cup provides opportunities to the youth in our country to compete with, and learn from, their peers across the globe. We are proud to witness the passion, efforts and dedication of these young competitors and congratulate them on their journey so far and wish them the very best for all their future endeavors. I believe they will be an inspiration to others who aspire to excel in careers in new-age skills.”
The 2021 edition was the first virtual edition of Imagine Cup. The four finalists from India, who were the winners in each category received a Surface Go 2 device each: Earth (Team DENSITY), Education (Team CodeCapture), Health (Team Intelli-Sense) and Lifestyle (Team Detectd). At the world finals, the top four teams will be awarded USD 10,000 each for the best solution in each category. The world champion will take home the Imagine Cup and win an additional USD 75,000 along with a mentorship opportunity with Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella.
Imagine Cup is a global competition designed to empower students to apply artificial intelligence and other technologies to solve some of the world’s most critical social and sustainability problems. The 2021 India edition saw 353 team entries and over 10K individual entries from students across the country, competing to solve global challenges across four categories: Earth, Education, Health, and Lifestyle. The two winning innovations were focused on cybersecurity to counter deepfakes (Team Detectd) and assistive technology for people with low vision (Team Intelli-Sense).
Microsoft joined hands with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for the India edition of Imagine Cup. As knowledge partner, NSDC enabled nation-wide reach of the challenge across states, districts, and skill development centers. The finals of Imagine Cup India were judged by an eminent panel, including Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, Pulkit Jain, Co-founder and Product Head of Vedantu and Dr. Manish Kumar, CEO and MD, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
For more information about Imagine Cup, please visit https://www.imaginecup.com/.
THE WINNING PROJECTS:
Detectd, G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur
Members: Atharva Peshkar, Rishita Mishra, Atharva Khedkar, Yash Moharir
Solution: Keeping in mind the growing disinformation and fake news that’s rampant all around, Team Detectd focused on building a quick and easy solution to counter that. Their innovation focuses on a product (website) that detects AI forgery and determines if the media uploaded is a deepfake or not. The team used AI and computational neural networks to detect deepfakes with 96% accuracy.
Commenting on their win, Team Detectd from G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur, shared, “Imagine Cup is the world’s largest innovation championship, and we are thrilled to be a part of it! We, as entrepreneurs, as innovators, find the championship to be our kick-start to building a company which holds the power to reach the entire world and help everyone with our services. Imagine Cup will, rather has, already put us on the map. Our ideas have been recognized, our belief that our idea has the power to make a difference in the world, has been believed in. This journey till now has definitely made us dream it, given us the ability to build it, and the aspirations to live it.
Intelli-Sense, Vellore Institute of Technology
Members: Venkat Ragavan, Tarun Hariharan, Yogeeshwar S, Vishwath Kumar B S
Solution: This project seeks to solve the difficulties faced by people who have low vision in perceiving and understanding their surroundings, by harnessing the power of AI and cloud technology. The solution proposes to build a multi-lingual mobile application through which a visually impaired person can click a picture of what they need to perceive, be it the environment around them or a piece of text which they need to read without having a tactile writing system like Braille around. The native mobile application takes advantage of the Azure Cloud API and App Services to harness the power of cloud and AI technology to solve for the purpose.