A group picture of Hackathon 2018 with students and teams coding and trying to understand accessibility

About Inclusive Stem Hackathon 2018

The first Inclusive Stem Hackathon was organised at IIIT bangalore on 20th and 21st January 2018, and was attended by 25 blind and visually impaired students, industry professionals from 11 tech companies and students from IIIT Banglore. The visually impaired participants are either currently studying at premier tech schools such as IITs, NITs, IIITs, NSIT etc., or are working at leading tech companies such as Microsoft and other startups. They were also provided training in web development, android programming and basics of machine learning (NLP, computer vision and deep learning) by I-Stem, Kepler Lab and SapientRazorship. Some of them were also previously trained by our partners Vision Aid in Python programming. Students also received soft skills mentoring and resume help, thanks to Vision Aid and its mentors. Professionals from various Tech Companies like Deutsche Bank, Honeywell, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Mindtree, Oracle, Salesforce, Sasken, TCS, Uber and Wipro participated and brought a variety of skills such as data science, Android or IOS programming etc.

Prof. S. Sadagopan ( Director, IIIT Bangalore ), Mr. Ajay Seth, IAS ( Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Dept., Govt. of Karnataka ), Dr. Y.S. Rajan ( Honorary Distinguished Professor, Indian Space Research Organization ) and Dr. Chieko Asakawa (IBM Fellow) shared their perspective at the inaugural event. In addition to the Hackathon, over the two days the event hosted a panel discussion on Disability and Tech. Seven distinguished panelists including representatives from Dell, Google, Microsoft, Wipro, Adobe, Mphasis and V-Shesh shared their opinions on product accessibility and recruitment and retention of employees with disabilities in the tech industry. Several company representatives, including HR managers and hiring managers, attended the event and interacted with the participants, both to understand their perspective and to consider them for technical positions. Several participants received interview requests during or soon after the event which resulted in internship offers.


xrcvc logo
Vision-Aid logo
EHRC, IIIT Bangalore logo
Vision Empower Trust logo
Inclusive stem logo

Hackathon Projects

The hackathon showcased enourmous talent where emerging minds created plenty of remarkable projects. Here are brief descriptions of projects that the participants worked on.

Regular Track

  • Team 1 developed an online platform to find suitable volunteers to record audio books. This can be extended to find volunteers for other services as well.

  • Team 2 worked on a Twitter trend finder using Twitter APIs and NLP techniques.

  • Team 3 addressed outdoor navigation with the ability to record routes and mark specific points of interests.

  • Team 4 worked on currency identification for the blind which is especially useful after Demonetization, since the identifying features to distinguish currency by the blind are no longer available.

  • Team 5 implemented an app that provides detailed information about places around the user in an accessible interface.

  • Team 6 developed an app to help Model UN delegates by not only scraping credible websites and providing a schedule of popular MUN conferences, but also leveraging state-of-the-art text summarisation research.

  • Team 7 implemented a novel land registration system using blockchain technology.

  • Team 8 worked on realtime object detection system using computer vision techniques.

  • Team 9 To encourage math and science in young children, they worked on a math quiz game for elementary school students with extensive customisation for both students and their teachers.

  • Team 10 combined their knowledge in computer vision and NLP to identify objects in an image, determine relationship between them and return a description of this relationship.

  • Team 11 implemented a novel game of snakes and ladders with Harry Potter.

  • Team 12 developed an app to rate and review accessibility features in public places.


Congratulations to our winners!

  • First prize : team 10-Rishabh Jain (IIT Roorkee), Rutwik Ravi Teja Vempati (IIT Madras), Aman Datta (Honeywell), Ramakrishna Kulkarni (Wipro), Mayank Senani (IIIT Bangalore)

  • Second prize : team 11-Manjot Singh (DPS Gurgaon), Harsha HD (Bangalore University), Abhijit Dasgupta (Honeywell), Sai Krishna (Juniper Networks), Mohammad Khalid (IIIT Bangalore)

  • Third prize : team 4-Kartik Sawhney (Stanford University), Abhishek Agarwal (Securities and Exchange Board of India), Sidharth Raja (Uber), Shashidhar Gurumurthy (Salesforce), Tarun pandey (IIIT Bangalore)

In The Media

The hackathon was covered by Deccan Herald.

Two participants wrote blogs describing their experience. Read them here and here.