Call for Code to combat Covid-19

IBM has been a pioneer on various segments be it Cloud, IOT or AI. What it has done through these sectors to the mankind is invaluable. When it comes to addressing the need of the pubic or combating some issues, their “Call for Code” has always played a vital role. The campaign has seen over 8000+ applications being created over the past 2 years. What is even more staggering is, these have come from 165+ nations with a staggering 210,000 developers, data scientists and problem solvers taking part in it.

This edition calls for some urgent submissions as the campaign also focuses on combating #COVID19. The main ideology is how we could help contain the spread of this deadly virus which the world has not witnessed it in little over two decades. The fatality is huge with European countries leading the list followed closely by the US. This pandemic has brought the world to a still. Most of the countries across the globe have announced a complete shutdown which has taken a major toll in the economy. Unless something is done on priority, coming out of this would be a cumbersome task.

This outbreak has shown how we were caught unaware when it comes to handling a situation like this which needs mass co-operation which we were lacking, despite the presence of latest technology and science which we believed till date, has shrunk the world.

Where did we go wrong?

We failed miserably in communication. Yes. You read it right. When I say communication, it is not only about spreading the information but an authentic one. Though the outbreak is believed to have started in January, most of the nation were not aware until the end of Feb or beginning of March an by the time they realized the situation, it was already late.

So, we failed there in the first instance.

What we were lacking apart from the one mentioned above?

It is quite evident that the supply chain was badly affected. This could have been set right if there was a proper communication system. For instance, in India, if the information comes from the Central Government, it has to effectively reach until the far end. I am not saying that the information is not reaching. It does reach but not as it is. It gets misinterpreted at times and by the time it reaches the far end, some of the information received wasn’t the right one. This has to be addressed and has to be done in priority. If there was a proper communication system in place, the supply chain would not have taken a hit. It means that public would not have to venture out to procure their essential items like fruits, groceries and vegetables. All they need to do is to login to an application. Place the order and wait for them to arrive at their door stop.

I do not deny that there are some systems in place but how effective are these? Moreover do we see the same setup across all the State in India? No. If this could be addressed, where there is just 1 application across India, how convenient would that be? When there is just 1 system, there is no chaos or confusion. Execution of work would be much easier.

My dream is to see all in one place – especially when it comes to communication.

1.       Official Announcements – this would combat fake news/forwards.

2.       Connectivity to local Kirana stores and other shops.

3.       Notification of #COVID19 affected areas – Coloring scheme can be followed so that these areas could be avoided.

4.       PDS through app – split according to ward/area. This would avoid social gathering all at once and ensure social distancing since those who re with valid ration cards would be given a specific date/time to collect their provisions and Government aid/giveaways.

5.       eSelling – produce by farmers to be sold direct to public or to the Government or both.

6.       eConsulting – to be used by Physicians to check for possible infection of #COVID19. This could avoid venturing out and spending for test unnecessarily.

7.       ePrayer – to be offered by the respective Spiritual Heads belonging to various religion.

The above mentioned are some which could be incorporated in the application which would become handy and one stop shop for all the needs especially when it comes to combating pandemic situation like this. More features could be added as and when it is required.

How to take part in the campaign by IBM?

There are four steps that are involved in this process:

1.       Accept the Challenge
2.       Find Your Squad
3.       Build with Open Tech
4.       Submit Your Idea.

How easy is that?

If you wanted to more about this exciting campaign where you also get a chance to win a whopping USD200,000 apart from Open Source support from The Linux Foundation, Meetings with mentors & potential investors, Solution implementation support through Code and Response™


The campaign has opened and is accepting submissions. The initial submission deadline is 27th of April. With lock down in place, there is no better time to get your team come together to take part in this amazing campaign( most of you would be Working From Home but I am sure that you could still take some time out, get on to Video Call and get this up and running). You need not have to submit the entire project by 27th April but the prototype and you can improvise it post the timeline. The final submission deadline is 31st July, 2020. Winners will be announced by October, 2020.

Important links:

1.     Developers interested in participating as a competitor, can find all necessary information here
2.     Organisations interested in supporting as a sponsor, can find all necessary information here.
3.     Find reference materials and technical resources on the COVID-19 pandemic here.
4.     Starter kits starter kits and resources.


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