The grand finale of Toycathon-2021, which went virtual from 22nd June to 24th June. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, is slated for an interesting finish. The winners in three tracks will be announced on June 26.
Some select teams from finalists were also given an opportunity to interact with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing. PM took keen interest in ideas of these teams.
Toycathon 2021 was jointly launched by the Ministry of Education, WCD Ministry, MSME Ministry, DPIIT, Textile Ministry, I&B Ministry and AICTE on 5th January 2021 to crowd-source innovative toys and games ideas. Around 1.2 lakh participants from across India registered and submitted more than 17000 ideas for the Toycathon 2021, out of which 1567 ideas were shortlisted for the three days online Toycathon Grand Finale. The hackathon was initially conceptualized in physical as well as digital mode, but has been curtailed to digital only.
The Toy Hackathon have 3 tracks:
Track 1for Junior Level Participants i.e., primarily SCHOOL STUDENTS. They mainly focus 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 focus 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 Startup-Professional Level that incudes 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.
Union Minister Women and Child Development and Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani and Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre virtually inaugurated Toycathon 2021 grand finale on June 22. During three-days Toycathon 2021 grand finale, participating teams of all tracks were mentored through specialized mentoring sessions and evaluated. For this purpose, Ministry of Education Innovation Cell has engaged 645 mentors and evaluators for 1567participating teams. 85 Nodal centers have been selected to support Ministry of Educations Innovation Cell and All India Council for Technical Education, which are the organizing agencies for this Inter-ministerial Toycathon.
This inter-ministerial Toycathon focuses 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.
According to Sanjay Dhotre, MoS MoE,Indian toy market stands at around $1.5 billion USD and currently India is importing a major chunk from outside, “This toycathon will provide opportunity to our young innovative minds to lead the path to manufacture toys in India for the world.” He suggested that the use of toys could ease the burden of rote learning science and other subjects.
The commercial as well as pedagogical importance of toys in inculcating the values, ethos and awareness about our history and culture is there. A very large number of clusters and very good artisans, but one thing which is required is to innovate. The ideas generated in this toycathon will be very useful for this purpose.
Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE said that early child education should not be stressful and it should be fun based learning through toys, stories and games. He added, Edutainment, which is entertainment and education at the same time, is required.