Valedictory Function- Toycathon 2021 Nodal Centre NEHU, Shillong

Date: 23/06/2021

North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong hosted Toycathon grand finale from 22nd to 23rd June 2021, with the participation of 11 teams from different Tracks. Nodal Centre NEHU also hosted the Power Judging for Track 3 round for another 7 teams on 24th June 2021.

The Valedictory Program- Toycathon 2021 by Nodal Centre NEHU, Shillong was organised on 26th June 2021 from 3.30 pm using the virtual mode

North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong has been selected by MIC/AICTE for hosting Toycathon 2021 Grand Finale, an event conducted by Govt. of India to promote indigenous toy industry under the vision of AatmNirbhar Bharat. Around 11 teams from different parts of India confirmed their participation. Stressing upon PM Modi’s ‘Vocal for Local’ in Toy Industry, Ministry of Education mooted the idea of multi-track nation-wide inter-ministerial toycathon, a mega event of its kind for the first time under the Hackathon mission. The Prime Minister personally interacted online with a few teams of Toycathon 2021 on 22nd June and motivated them with his additional ideas and other inputs.

The Toycathon 2021 was organised jointly by Ministry of Education (MoE) in coordination with five other Ministries viz: Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, and Ministry of Textiles. Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell at All India Council for Technical Education acted as nodal agency for organizing Toycathon 2021. The Toy Hackathon had 3 tracks:

Track 1 for Junior Level Participants i.e., primarily SCHOOL STUDENTS. They mainly focused on designing toys for kids of age group 0-3 years and 4-10 years.

Track 2 for Senior Level Participants i.e., students and faculty from Higher education institutions. This group focused on developing concepts for 0-3 years, 4-10 and 11 years and above. This segment primarily focused on Electronics, Sensors, Mechatronics, and toys based on AI and ML approaches, AR-VR-XR and Robotics.

Track 3 for Start-up Professionals and people from Academics level that includes overall innovation and development of prototypes. These prototypes are expected to enable toy industry in boosting up the production along with improving the quality of toys in Indian market and stand tall in the toyconomy sector at par with other global players.

The inter-ministerial Toycathon focused on conceptualizing new and innovative toys using local materials which are economical, affordable, safe, environment friendly, with exceptional high quality for both Indian and global markets, and also promoting Indian Culture, History and Ethos through toy and gaming tools, in digital as well as physical modes. Around 14130 teams submitted 17770 different ideas on innovative toys based on themes like Education, Indian History, Culture and Moral values, Social and Human values, Psychological Development, Agricultural Implements and Tools, and Knowledge about India. The digital Toycathon received a phenomenal response from enthusiastic innovators and 1567 selected teams participated virtually through 85 Nodal Centres across the country, with NEHU Shillong as one of them. During the grand finale the selected teams virtually presented their toys in front of Jury panel comprising of Experts from premier institutes. The teams received mentoring from experts during the Toycathon interaction session and the teams improved their toys/games as per expert suggestions.

Out of the total teams that participated, 117 teams were declared winners of Toycathon 2021 (Digital Edition), with 3 Teams emerging winners from the Nodal Centre NEHU too.

The Valedictory function organised by the NEHU Nodal Centre was graced by Mr. Ajay Singh Rajawat, [P] Software Developer, Hackathons & IPR, MoE, Govt of India, as the Chief Guest. Mr. Rajawat shared the concept of Toycathon 2021, its planning and implementation across the country as a mammoth exercise but a great experience for the whole team of MIC and the AICTE. Mr. Rajawat applauded the participating teams from all across India with high spirit along with their back support from their schools and really showcasing their innovative and creative ideas in the form of toys for learning, human values, portraying history and ethos of India, knowledge about environment balancing, etc. He also appreciated the great efforts of the NEHU NC to make the event very smooth and of high standard in auto-play mode. Various teams assembled in the valedictory function shared their experiences and gave appositive feedback about the MoE’s innovative idea of holding Toycathon event in India. One team leader even considered this mega event as a festival of India celebrated through toy making and taking it to the level of manufacturing and marketing. The mentors cum evaluators of the event associated with the NEHU NC also praised the enthusiasm and creative thinking of the participating teams.

The Coordinator of the NEHU NC and also the CEO of Incubation Centre, NEHU, Prof. Devesh Walia admired the whole event and termed this to be a learning experience while working with the innovators from the other parts of the country. Dr. Aseem Sinha, the Dy. CEO of Incubation Centre, NEHU delivered the vote of thanks.