With over 120 ongoing cases of coronavirus and two deaths because of the deadly coronavirus, the government has realised the need to open up the search for solutions to the startup ecosystem with the ‘Covid-19 Solution Challenge’. Announcing the launch of the challenge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and urged startups and entrepreneurs to come up with their technology-backed solution to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
“Harnessing innovation for a healthier planet. A lot of people have been sharing technology-driven solutions for Covid-19. I would urge them to share them on the government-citizen engagement platform MyGov.in,” he said.
According to the MyGov platform, startups and individuals can send their ideas to help the government in fighting the coronavirus outbreak. Suggestions sent in will be evaluated by the government and some of the ideas will be adopted. The last date of submission of ideas for the Covid-19 Solution Challenge is on March 31. Only those startups that comply with the definition of a startup as notified by the department of promotion of industry and internal trade’s (DPIIT) order from February 19, 2019 can participate in the challenge.
Participants can either send a document or a YouTube video of the idea. The solutions that are deployed by the government will also receive rewards. INR 1 Lakh, INR 50K, and INR 25K have been promised to the top three ideas respectively.
The government said that it has already started to get inputs from individuals and startups that have developed technologies and innovative solutions in areas such as bioinformatics, datasets, applications for diagnostics and more. These technologies are expected to soon become part of the government’s efforts in the fight against the coronavirus.
Startups Working With Government To Battle Covid-19
Startups are also standing up to the challenge of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, hospitality unicorn OYO reached out to health departments in all state governments to leverage its network of hotels as makeshift quarantine facilities for travellers, as mandated by any state or central government authorities. The company said the service would be offered at an affordable rate.
Further, OYO is setting up a central helpline number for service requests for the quarantine facility from the public as well as all state governments and relevant authorities, as the case may be. The company has reached out to the health ministry and World Health Organisation to discuss initiatives that OYO can quickly implement for the benefit of travellers and those looking for self-quarantine or isolation facilities.