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New Delhi : Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) along with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on December 23, 2020, announced the launching of “CoWIN”, a Grand Challenge for strengthening the COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) system, a digitalised platform to be used to effectively rollout and scale up the mechanism for COVID Vaccine Distribution System nationally.

Union Electronics and Information Technology & Cummunication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “India‘s innovators have played a crucial role in our fight against COVID19. I invite innovators and startups for grand challenge to strengthen CoWIN platform for rollout of COVID-19 vaccination programme across India.”

To be launched on the MSH (MeitY Startup Hub) portal, a collaborative platform developed under the aegis of MeitY towards building meaningful synergies in the Indian tech startup space, the challenge invites participation from talented and innovative startups and emerging technology specialists to augment and scale the CoWIN platform. MoHFW has identified seven focus areas of technology development to holistically address the likely limitations associated with complete and effective vaccine distribution system (VDS) and its seamless administration across India, according to a PIB release.

These challenges try to broadly address the priority areas relating to infrastructure, monitoring and management, dynamic learning and information systems, constraints of human resources-including technical capacities, vaccine logistics management, and tracking enlisted beneficiaries for any adverse event following immunisation on real time basis.

The Challenge began with registration process on https://meitystartuphub.in on December 23, 2020, and is open for participants to apply till January 15, 2021. The top 5 applicants will be provided the CoWIN APIs (Application Programming Interface) to prove the efficacy of their solutions for possible integration with the platform.

Each shortlisted applicant at this stage stands a chance to win Rs 2 Lakh covering their logistical requirements. The solutions once integrated with the platform through open APIs will be assessed for robustness and scalability. Top 2 contestants from the challenge will be rewarded with Rs  40 Lakh and 20 Lakh respectively post successful migrations of the developed solutions on the cloud on which the CoWIN is hosted, apart from their integration with CoWIN.