IIT Delhi bags top prize at the GITEX competition

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Indian students shine at the GITEX Technology Week Student Lab competition with their innovative women protection device.

IIT Delhi students win Gitex prize

A team of five from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi bagged the top award at the GITEX Technology Week Student Lab competition for ProtectMe, a product which enhances women’s safety by combining a wearable device, control room and mobile app to alert authorities and potentially volunteers when the wearer is attacked, all while recording live audio-visual feeds.

Edging out more than  50 rival applications from universities across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, the Indian students — Paras Batra, Ayush Banka, Avinash Bansa, Chiraag Kapil, and Manik Mehta– won AED 30,000 under their newly founded “Leaf Lab team”.

“Violence against girls and women has become a global pandemic and, as the next generation of world citizens, we felt compelled to come up with a solution,” said Manik Mehta, Co-Founder, Leaf Lab. “The best part of being at GITEX was to get our concept validated from over 1,300 people within four days. A majority of them firmly told us we had created a very generic solution to a lot of problems – including child abduction – and that we should expand it beyond women’s security.”

Sponsored by the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MoPA), in association with Google for Work, the GITEX Technology Week Student Lab awards recognise and promote bright and innovative ICT students.

Abdallah Ourad and Omar Abduljaleel from the UAE’s Khalifa University took second place and AED 20,000 for Tabibi/MedCare, an all-in-one digital nurse, while Abid Al Balushi from Al Musanna College of Technology in Oman received third place and AED 10,000 for ‘A Real Time Interior Design Experience Through Online’, an e-commerce website for interior design.

One of the GITEX Student Lab competition judges, Abdel Wahed Bendaoua, Head of Google for Work in Middle East and Africa, said: “We are happy to support the competition and encourage students at a young age to love learning and to become active creators of tomorrow’s technology.”

In addition to Bendaoua, judges included Ahmed Al Hassani, Head of Networks and Systems Unit, MoPA, and Majed Farouck Hanna, General Manager, Society of Engineers, UAE. Voting was decided 90 per cent by the judges and 10 per cent from GITEX visitors.

“We congratulate all the shortlisted Student Lab teams and especially the winners, whose innovative projects demonstrate how the strong ICT programmes in universities across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia are fostering the next generation of technology leaders, who are leveraging mobile apps and connectivity to make the world a better place,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.

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