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CSIR and AICTE to launch a COVID-19 drug discovery hackathon

The ideas submitted will be worked upon by CSIR labs, startups and other private organisations

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A hackathon for potential drug discovery to beat the COVID-19 virus outbreak will be launched jointly by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman – AICTE announced at a Bennett University webinar recently.

The ideas submitted will be worked upon by CSIR labs, startups and other private organisations.

Sahasrabudhe said professionals and academicians from diverse fields such as computer science and molecular biology could take part in it to assist in finding solutions. “It is truly an interdisciplinary effort. We invite people from all streams to participate in it,” he said.

On measures taken to facilitate digital learning ahead of and during the pandemic, he said AICTE had enabled students to transfer 20 per cent of course credits from the government’s online learning platform, Swayam, to their academic records.

He said AICTE was thinking of ways to increase the contribution from the digital learning platform to 30 per cent or 40 per cent. “Wherever there is experiential learning it should be in face-to-face mode but others can be by choice of the candidate; the possibility of ‘any time learning’ has emerged,” he said.

Ahead of the nationwide lockdown, AICTE had engaged 15 companies to provide online learning products for its National Education Alliance for Technology (NEAT) platform initiative.

Although students across India were initially paying for personalised learning courses, following the nationwide lockdown, many of the learning programs have now been made free.

“Today, students are enjoying learning from home. Several products in AI, IoT, Machine and Deep Learning, Quantum Computing etc are available. These are available for another month or so, free of cost,” he said.

The theme of the global webinar, organised by the Department of Computer Science Engineering of Bennett University on Monday, was ‘AI Solutions for COVID’.

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