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Madurai students win “battle of minds”

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WINNERSPEAK: Students of KLN College of Engineering explaining the project which bagged them the first place in Madurai on Monday.
WINNERSPEAK: Students of KLN College of Engineering explaining the project which bagged them the first place in Madurai on Monday.

D. Karthikeyan

MADURAI: In what was a battle of great minds, final year Electronics and Communication Engineering students of KLN College of Engineering here romped home winning the ‘The Great Mind Challenge 2009.’

IBM conducts this national level contest across 24 states since 2004. The contest is held under the company’s Academic Initiative programmes aimed to provide student programmers a unique opportunity to develop innovative solutions using open standards-based IT tools under gruelling real time situations.

The awesome foursome of L.R. Sriprasanth, L.G. Kannan, S.V. Balaji and S. S. Senthil took the battle and competed with 50,000 students in 14,000 teams where each team came out with a project scenario. The team calling themselves ‘Ambidexterous’ worked on the project titled “ E-Cops: City Without Crime.” The project involved developing an online comprehensive crime reporting system to engage public, police, government agencies and non- governmental organisations to be more quick, proactive and responsive to fight against crime and criminals.

The theme for the 2008 challenge was ‘Search for XML Superstar.’ The theme enables participants to get hands-on experience on IBM software products, and Eclipse on Open Source on a Linux platform. Project guide Satish Kannan worked closely with the students throughout the programme.

Discussing the project here on Monday, the students said that the aim of the project was to improve the communication between the police and citizens with better levels of anonymity and to establish a virtual police station and overcome the difficulties in tracking the progress of the cases filed online. Incidence of crimes could be tracked through navigation process based on the pin codes as soon as it gets reported online.

Himanshu Goyal, Academic Initiative, Developer Works & Globalization, IBM Software, New Delhi told The Hindu that this initiative was to identify raw talent and give an opportunity to develop competitive skills with latest technological developments to meet the corporate world and real life situations. When asked about the regional context of the challenge, he said, “southern States do have an advantage because of the better concentration of engineering colleges but other States are also catching up. Moreover the South does have a good relationship with IT industry.”

The winners and the first runners-up from JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida, and second runners-up Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, were felicitated at an awards ceremony in Bangalore recently.

The same team won last year’s challenge — ‘District Collectorate Office Information Integration’ — that aimed to help maintain information about citizens and provide some basic level services to citizens. Citizens can request for birth, community, income certificates and ration card online as well. It will help expedite retrieval and processing of information.

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