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UN awards pandemic management software co-developed by Indian students

Digital Public Good is the highest recognition accorded by the UN to open-source software that can help achieve SDGs, especially in low- and middle-income countries. (Photo: Reuters)Premium
Digital Public Good is the highest recognition accorded by the UN to open-source software that can help achieve SDGs, especially in low- and middle-income countries. (Photo: Reuters)

  • Fourteen students, who finished the intensive training led by industry professionals, entered six-month-long internships where they constantly upgraded the open-source software that now runs the war-room at Kerala’s Ernakulam district and in select districts in Maharashtra and Haryana.

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NEW DELHI: In an international acclaim, ‘CoronaSafe Network’, an open-source pandemic management software solution co-developed by software industry volunteers and a clutch of engineering students from India, has been recognised by the United Nations as a Global Digital Public Good.

Digital Public Good is the highest recognition accorded by the UN to open-source software that can help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Created initially as a voluntary response by over 300 software professionals in India and adopted first by the Kerala government for COVID management, the software network, which is now also used by the National Health Mission (NHM), enables digital transformation of pandemic management of an entire district or state.

Soon after the first wave of the pandemic, the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and its educational technology partner Pupilfirst.org jointly issued a call for a fellowship programme to select and train the brightest engineering students in modern software engineering skills and continue software development for tackling future pandemic waves.

“A total of 50,482 students from 2,734 institutions across 35 states and Union Territories applied for the fellowship programme out of which 24 students were selected for a 10-week industry-guided training programme under full scholarships supported by Micheal and Susan Dell Foundation, Wadhwani Foundation and ACT grants," AICTE said on Thursday.

Fourteen students, who finished the intensive training led by industry professionals, entered six-month-long internships where they constantly upgraded the open-source software that now runs the war-room at Kerala’s Ernakulam district and in select districts in Maharashtra and Haryana.

“The fact that an open-source software that is actively maintained by Indian engineering students has met all global technical standards such as open data, open AI models, open standards and adhere to privacy and other applicable best practices in the eyes of United Nations is a matter of pride for AICTE" said Anil D Sahasrabudhe, chairman of AICTE.

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