Microsoft has joined hands with Government of Maharashtra in an initiative to develop applications for healthcare, education and social issues. The 12 hour Windows AppFest conducted in Pune on March 25th saw over 2000 entries which coded throughout the night. Participating developers are expected to create apps for social causes like women security, drought management, transportation social security and others.
The top three apps will be selected for a presentation at a conference hosted by Asian Development Bank.
Maharashtra is the first state in country with whom Microsoft has tied up for a social cause. Speaking about the same Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary IT, Government of Maharashtra said, “App marketplaces are now proving to be viable platforms to host e-governance and socially relevant apps. Such apps can provide citizen-centric services in a secure manner, while ensuring increased transparency, reliability and efficiency in services. Cloud computing also enables e-governance solutions to be much more scalable and accessible. Microsoft, with its various initiatives including the Windows AppFest for social good in Pune, provides a good platform for app builders to ideate and create solutions to address social and civic issues”. The State government is also in discussions with Blackberry, Android and IOS for development of similar apps for their respective platforms, Agarwal added.
This is a part of the government’s initiatives to use technology for social good and tackle challenges. Apps created at the event are expected to help civil authorities seek alternative methods of interacting with citizens. This is not the first time Microsoft had conducted such an event. Last year in September the company had organized 18 hour AppFest in Bangalore. Although the apps created were not for a social cause and neither it had a government backing.
Sanket Akerkar, Managing Director, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. said, “The Windows AppFest represents how a new generation is tackling the challenges of government by using technology and collective action. The collective capability of the developer population in India is going to play a key role in fueling this movement across the world. With this Windows AppFest,Microsoft is focusing on encouraging app developers to build apps for social good on the Windows platform.”
Recently, Planing Commission and National Innovation Council announced ‘Hackathon‘ in April which will see developers, graphic designers, coders, film-makers making short-films, infographics, posters, animation films, mobile and web apps that put forth all the ideas and concepts of the 5-Year Plan.
I think it is a great initiative by the Microsoft and the government of Maharashtra. Its about time a government uses technology for the right cause at a right time. Such events should be organized more often as it gives budding developers a platform to showcase their talents. Let’s hope these apps get launched soon. What do you think about the initiative? Share with us.
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