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In India lockdown began on March 25, 2020, Companies / Universities / Startups were forced to do Work from home, Due to this major decision by Indian Government.

Many Corporates, Schools and Agencies started using a tool called Zoom, to Interact with their employees, students and more. Due to this Zoom became one of the most popular apps amongst all Industries, Currently Zoom Cloud Meeting app has around 100 Million Downloads in total.

as the saying goes,

with authority comes responsibility

However, as days passed by, news started to emerge that Zoom lacked proper privacy policy and was also vulnerable to hacking. Cyber criminals hacked into Zoom video conferences with age-inappropriate content during online classes and meetings

Due to this, Indian Government passed a circular that warned citizens on Zoom’s Privacy policy and how vulnerable it is for everyone.

Now,  the central government, as part of Make in India initiative, has come up with the Innovation Challenge, inviting budding application developers to create Video conferencing solutions and stand a chance to win Rs 2.4 crore prize money.

“Government of India is taking all necessary steps to ensure that we are prepared well to face the challenge and threat posed by the growing pandemic of Corona Virus. The outbreak has led to the unprecedented enforcement of lockdown throughout the country. The concept of Work From Home (WFH), which was till now mostly synonymous with the IT industry has become a household term. Organizations having asked employees to WFH, video conferencing has become an integral part of daily life. In the light of these developments, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology announces an Innovation Challenge for Development of a Video Conferencing Solution under the Make in India Initiative.” Official MyGov website reads.

The video conferencing application must have all the features below:

–Should support all video resolutions and audio quality, should work in low and high network scenarios
–Should be low on the usage of power/ processor
–Should not have any external hardware dependency
–Should work on any device
–Should have chat option during the conference, even the multi people conference
–Should have sign-in and non-sign-in options to join a conference
–Can be browser and/or app-based interface
–Should have encrypted network communication
–Should have audio/ video recording feature
–Should have screen/file-sharing capabilities
–Should allow audio to close captioning during the chat (multilingual)
–Should have capabilities to host multiple concurrent conferences having multiple participants in each conference

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Interested app developer or team can apply for Innovation Challenge till April 30, 23:45 pm IST (here).

Applicants have to go through three stages to win the Indian government’s Innovation Challenge:

Stage 1: Firstly, the team has to come up with a detailed report about their app concept including features. Among the contestants, top ten teams will be selected and awarded Rs  5 lakh as seed money to go ahead with the app development.

Stage 2: Then, the top 10 teams have to present their prototype app to the jury selected by the Indian government. Among them, three app developer teams will be selected and also get Rs 20 lakh funding to complete the video conferencing app.

Stage 3: Finally, the Indian government will decide the winning team’s app and reward them Rs 1 crore prize money. Additionally, they will get official certification signed by the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY).

It can be noted that the winning video conference app will be used by both the Central and State Governments for a year and also, the developer team will get a contract of Rs 10 lakhs per year for Operations and Maintenance