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Jamia Millia Islamia bags first prize for Agriculture Software at Smart India Hackathon 2020

The software built by Jamia goes to show how technology can help improve the agriculture and make it a strong contributor to our economy and it could be used to revive the sector quickly from the effects of the pandemic.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi

A team from Jamia Millia Islamia has won the Smart India hackathon 2020 software edition. The team “Monks” prepared software for the Government of Bihar that estimates crop patterns for the upcoming year thus helping the government in formulating the policies. The hackathon is organised by the innovation cell of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and was started in 2017. The problem statement was ‘Develop a real-time land usage monitoring tool using satellite data and artificial intelligence’.

Gaurav Chaudhary, team member of the Monks said” We have created two systems which we combine to solve the problem, the first system is called the Land Usage System in which lands are divided into six categories namely Barren Land, Lakes, Rivers, Forests, Croplands, and Human Settlement and we use satellite images to determine the category of land. The software can also determine the size of any particular land like forests and then compares it to the data of the previous years and determines the increase or decrease in any category of the land”.

The second system is called the Crop Prediction Model and as a start, the team took only wheat and rice into consideration since they are the staple crops grown in the state.

Gaurav said that the team used four categories to determine the crop prediction model of rice and wheat which are:

1. Moisture of the land: This was determined by using the data of the rainfall that a particular land received.

2. Humidity: This was determined by the rainfall and sunlight that an area received.

3. NDVI: The normalised difference vegetation index is a graphic indicator that is used to analyse the vegetation of a particular area. Gaurav says” The values in this measurement are between minus 1 and 1, the land absorbs sunlight and reflects it and the satellite observes the colour if the area is filled with vegetation the colour reflected will be green and the value will be closer to plus 1 and if there is an absence of vegetation the value will be closer to zero and in case of water body the value will be close to minus one”.

4. Minerals: This was determined by analysing the surface temperature of the soils.

Gaurav says that the Crop Prediction Model can help analysing crop patterns for the upcoming year and thus helping the government in framing policies in advance and tackle t=any problems at the earliest.

Advantages of the Model

Gaurav adds” The technological model has an added advantage of providing quick real-time data access as compared to the manual model when we analysed the records of the Bihar government the latest records were from 2013 which were not helpful after so many years and the chances of error and miscalculation are also large as compared to our model. The use of technology also helps in determining whether a policy regarding agriculture has succeeded or not, for example, if we analyse the area that is covered with forest land and compare it with the previous year we can easily determine whether the forest area has increased or decreased thus helping the government in realising the success and loopholes quickly”.

The team was under the guidance of Professor Tanvir Ahmed and the team members were Gaurav Chaudhary, Pranav Gautam, Neetesh Kaushik, Lakshya Chaudhary, Ashish Singh who are all students of the Third year, Computer Engineering while Nasrah Naseem is a second year student from the Electronics and Communication Engineering. The team won the award for problem statement NS 275 submitted by the Bihar Government. The team was declared the winner and awarded a prize of ₹ 1 lakh.

The Smart India Hackathon is an annual event in which problem statements are submitted by Central Departments and State Ministries to which the teams have to find a solution. The hackathon aims to cultivate a culture of innovation among the students of the nation.

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