All-Keralite Infosys' team third in IBM's 'Call for Code' challenge

 All-Keralite Infosys' team third in IBM's 'Call for Code' challenge
Meera Manilal, Reshma Rajan Kanakakumari, Ashiq Dilip, Anoop Balachandran Nair and Ramasubramanyam Venkiteshwaran.

New Delhi: An all-Keralite team from IT major Infosys has won the Rs 18 lakh third prize in the 'Call for Code Global Challenge' held by American tech giant IBM. The team won the laurels for developing an application for e-waste disposal named 'Project Scavenger'.

The first prize of Rs 1.4 crore was also won by an Indian team which presented 'Saaf Water', an artificial intelligence system to check the quality of the water.

The third-prize winning team comprised the employees of Infosys' centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The team members are: senior project manager Anoop Balachandran Nair of Vanchiyoor, senior operations executive Ashiq Dilip of Kavumbhagam in Thiruvalla, test analyst Meera Manilal of Kumarapuram in Thiruvananthapuram, technical test lead Ramasubramanyam Venkiteshwaran of Neeramankara in Thiruvananthapuram, senior operations executive Reshma Rajan Kanakakumari of Veliyamcode in Thiruvananthapuram.

It is for the first time that teams from India are winning prizes in this competition. The winners were chosen by an elite judging panel that included former US President Bill Clinton.

IBM and Linux Foundation will help the winners to develop and launch their idea. They will get support to incubate, test, and deploy their solution from the IBM Service Corps and expert partners in the 'Call for Code' ecosystem. They will also receive assistance from The Linux Foundation to open source their application so developers around the world can improve, scale, and use the technology. A total of $30 million has been set aside for the project for five years.

What is Call for Code

Call for Code is a platform on which "developers and problem solvers around the world" are invited "to build and contribute to sustainable, open source technology projects that address social and humanitarian issues." It is among the largest efforts to bring together the world's software developers to take on pressing societal issues by using the latest advanced technologies to problem solve and create cutting-edge solutions.

Saaf Water - an accessible water quality sensor and analytics platform

Saaf Water is an accessible water quality sensor and analytics platform created, in particular, for people living in rural localities.

Saaf Water built a solution using IBM Cloud and IBM Watson services to address the need for making water quality information accessible and easy to understand.

The hardware-software platform, once installed, is designed to monitor groundwater and provide a water quality summary along with suggested purification methods.

Other winners

Green Farm, an app to make agriculture more sustainable by, among other things, connecting local producers and consumers to each other, was awarded second place ($25,000). Honestly, an online browser extension aimed at passing supply chain transparency to consumers, was awarded fourth place ($10,000), while Plenti - a mobile application designed to make inventory tracking and waste measurement processes user-friendly and easy to do at home - was awarded fifth place ($10,000).

In total, 42 regional finalists and the local winners among them from Asia Pacific, Europe, Greater China, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and North America were celebrated at the event.

To date, more than 20,000 Call for Code applications have been built using open source-powered software such as Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, and IBM Blockchain, as well as data from IBM's The Weather Company and developer resources and APIs from partners like Esriand Twilio. 14 Call for Code projects have been adopted into open governance by the Linux Foundation.

It's incredibly inspiring to see the Call for Code global movement continue to grow, now with more than 500,000 developers and problem solvers participating across 180 nations, Bob Lord, senior vice president, worldwide ecosystems at IBM, said.

What makes Call for Code unique is the impact it is making on the ground through our deployments in communities around the world. The potential of these technologies, like Saaf Water, are vast and have the potential help save lives, he added.

Chelsea Clinton, vice chair, The Clinton Foundation, announced the winner of the Call for Code University Edition, a collaboration between IBM and the Clinton Global Initiative University.

Trashtag, technology using AI, blockchain, and cloud to verify, track, and reward waste removal in outdoor areas, took the top prize and will receive $10,000 as well as an invitation for team members to interview for potential roles at IBM, a statement said.

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