Indian Language Learning App Innovation Challenge

Submission deadline
27th May 2021

About the challenge

The idea of a sustained and structured cultural connect between citizens of different regions of the country was mooted by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the Rashtriya Ekta Divas held on 31st October 2015, to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Hon’ble Prime Minister propounded that cultural diversity is a joy that ought to be celebrated through mutual interaction & reciprocity between people of different States and UTs in the true spirit of Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat. This inter-connectedness can be improved by reducing the language barrier that exists in our country.

Learning another language not only helps one to settle in another state but also allows one to explore the vast and rich culture of his own country.

This Innovation challenge designed to build an App to learn basic sentences in various languages is a step in reducing the language barrier which exists due to the huge diversity in our country.

Problem statement and the expected outcome

Problem Statement: Creation of a mobile application, which could serve as a Language Learning App for Indian Languages for Indian Citizens.

This application is required to be equipped with different modules of language learning and user management to enable language learning in Indian languages. The application should have features to enable different ways of learning using textual, audio, and visual data with ease. The application should also offer an automated way to evaluate and rank learners in different languages. Top learners in a language may be awarded badges that will be based on achieving certain milestones.

It should have a user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) to attract and engage the language learner. The application should also have additional features or sections which should enable gamification of learning.

The participants are given full freedom to propose and design the features to reflect the understanding of the problem.

Sample Modules

There are possibilities of the creation of multiple interfaces for engagement of the learners which may be proposed by the prospective app developers in their proposals. However, for guidance, some sample modules are given below. It is to be noted that these are indicative and applicants need not limit their ideas and be as creative and innovative as possible.

Module 1

An audio clip would be played and the learner or user has to listen to the same. Based on the clip the user is asked to select the correct transcript from multiple options provided. If the answer is correct, a score is to be added, else the user would be assigned a negative mark or a 'zero' and the correct option would be highlighted on the screen. This can become a way to test and teach the correct script of the language.

Module 2

A text/Sentence would be displayed on the screen. The user has to read and record himself using the microphone button. The recorded audio could be processed through the (Automatic Speech Recognition) ASR/DTW (Dynamic Time Warping) to validate. If the playback is found to be correct, a score is to be added, else the user would be assigned a negative mark or a 'zero'. The participants are free to use any ASR/DTW system for validation. They can also use ASR systems in Indian Languages provided by IIT Madras, EkStep, or others available through a third party.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. The participants should be Indian Citizens or companies/Start-up's with a majority stake of Indian Citizens.
  2. The contest is open to the following entities: –
    1. Start-ups,
    2. Indian Legal Entities
      1. Registration proof shall be submitted at the time of application
      2. It should have a minimum of 51% shareholding of Indian citizens and should not be barred or blacklisted anywhere for government work. Blacklisted means that participants shall not have been blacklisted or debarred from tendering for corrupt or fraudulent practices or non-delivery, non-performance by Govt. of India and/or any State Government and/or any Central/State PSU at the time of bid submission date.
    3. Individual / Team
  3. If Applicant (Individuals) is not yet registered as Start-up, they are still allowed to submit ideas, but are required to be registered as a private limited company (as defined in the Companies Act, 2013) or registered as a partnership firm (registered under section 59 of the Partnership Act, 1932) or a limited liability partnership (under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008) in India (as per definition available in the latest notification of DIPP at http://startupindia.gov.in) on or before 30 days from the date of declaration of stage 1 result otherwise applicant will be disqualified.
  4. An entity shall be considered a ‘start-up' as per definition of startup notified by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) vide G.S.R. order no. 127(E) dated 19th February 2019:
    1. Up to a period of ten years from the date of incorporation/ registration, if it is incorporated as a private limited company (as defined in the Companies Act, 2013) or registered as a partnership firm (registered under section 59 of the Partnership Act, 1932) or a limited liability partnership (under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008) in India.
    2. Turnover of the entity for any of the financial years since incorporation/ registration has not exceeded one hundred crore rupees.
    3. The entity is working towards innovation, development, or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation.
      1. Provided that an entity formed by splitting up or reconstruction of an existing business shall not be considered a 'Startup'.
      2. Innovative Security Products being developed should not have violated/ breached/ copied any product already launched and/or copyrighted or patented.
  5. For the product to be developed as part of the Challenge, if any IPR/Patent is being used, the contesting entity must possess the legitimate rights to use the IPR/Patents.
  6. The product to be developed for the Challenge should be designed and developed in India.

Stages

The Innovation Challenge is open for participation in teams having experts from all domains of building Learning applications for Indian languages has the following stages:

Stage 1: Prototype Stage

The participants should develop a prototype of the solution within a 30 days’ time frame and provide a link/apk file to their working prototype for evaluation.  The top 10 teams would be selected for the presentation in front of an esteemed Jury, constituted by MyGov to select the maximum of the top three teams.

The Top winning team will receive INR 20 Lakh and the second team will receive INR 10 lakh and the third team will receive INR 5 Lakh as funding to further develop and add content to the selected application.

The solutions would be evaluated based on broad parameters such as Innovation, Scalability, Usability, Interoperability, Ease of deployment/roll-out, Campaign.

Final Stage: Mentorship and Production Stage

In return for this funding, the winning team(s) will make a production-ready product in the next 30 days. They will allow the government to use this application for promoting language learning across schools, colleges, and in general.

The following important activities need to be taken at different stages.

Evaluation Parameters

The ideas/ prototype/ final product will be judged on the following parameters with variable weightage:

Sl. No

Parameter

Description

1

Approach Towards Problem Solving

Product Idea, Degree of Innovation, Simplicity of Final Solution, Uniqueness & scalability of Idea, Novelty of Approach, understanding of data collection and features.

2

Business Use Case

Business Case, USP, Monetization plan and Vision

3

Solution Technical Feasibility

Product features, Multilingual, Interoperability, Scalability, Usability, Milestone configuration, enhancement & expansion, Underlying technology components & stack, and futuristic orientation

4

Gamification or Organic quotient

The gamification of learning modules and strategy of segregation of different levels of learning.

Important Dates

In the table given below, T will be the same as the launch date and D is the date of the "Stage 1: Ideation Stage" result declaration. It will be announced on the MyGov platform (https://www.mygov.in/). Details will also be available on NPLT (https://www.nplt.in), MSH (https://meitystartuphub.in/), and MeitY (meity.gov.in). Submission will close at 11:59 PM IST on the last day of submission.

Sl. No

Activities

Date

1

Launch of Innovation Challenge

28th April 2021

2

Last Date for Prototype Submission

27th May 2021

3

Presentation by Top 10 Teams

28th May 2021

4

Declaration of results of Prototype Stage

4th June 2021

5

Production-ready product delivery

9th July 2021

Terms & Conditions

  1. During the Challenge, the Team leader shall be considered as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for all engagements & communication by the Challenge organizing committee. Furthermore, the Team leader cannot be changed during the course of the Challenge.
  2. Indian Citizens who are students, start-ups, and others are eligible to apply for the challenge. Indian students can form teams comprising other students from any college in India.
  3. Participants, who have been funded by Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL), MeitY for the development of products in the same or related domain in the past or present, are not eligible to participate directly or indirectly for the challenge round.
  4. For any update regarding the Challenge, participants will have to refer to the web portal for Challenge.
  5. All communications between the Challenge organizing committee and the Team leader will be done through the registered e-mail only. This will be the only form of communication and any other forms of communication will not be entertained.
  6. During various stages of the Challenge, all prizes or funding will be awarded and paid, as per the prevailing Government guidelines, in INR in the account of the Start-up to be registered by the qualifying Teams (if not already registered) as provided by the Team Leader. The Team Leader is obliged to make payment in the applicable amount to procure off-the-shelf components for the development of Minimum Viable Product (MVP)/ Proof-of-Concept (POC)/ Prototype/ Product to each member of the Team and for related purposes. The Organizers will not in any way be responsible for expenditure or division of the prizes among the members of the Team.
  7. Funding will be awarded by MyGov. Taxes on the funding will be applicable as per the rules on the day of disbursement. A separate agreement shall be entered into with the start-up before the disbursement of the amount clearly indicating the milestones and timelines.
  8. Funds and Prizes Taxes are the sole responsibility of the Teams receiving funds. Prizes may be subject to tax reporting and other purposes. Team-members agree to supply Organizers with any necessary information to affect the same and to fully cooperate in fulfilling all applicable legal requirements.
  9. The funds for the POC/MVP/Prototype/Product shall be disbursed only through the start-up company registered for the development of the product idea proposed for the challenge or through their existing start-up company, which is authenticated by their Board of Directors (BoD) for the receipt of the fund and the utilization of the same for the agreed purpose. The start-up company which receives the funds shall be responsible for the proper utilization of the disbursed funds, as per the terms and conditions.
  10. Teams shall maintain detailed documentation of their idea and solution at all stages of the Challenge for reference and record purpose. The Challenge organizing committee reserves the right to review these documents at any time during the program.
  11. Any changes in Approach or addition of features from the initial vision document and deliveries of the shortlisted team for prototyping will undergo deliberation by the Innovation Challenge Organizing Team if it’s novel or it’s not already committed in other teams’ prototype.
  12. The Juryhas the right to call any of the shortlisted participating Team at any stage, to make a presentation of the submitted details. The details in this regard shall be communicated by the Challenge organizing committee accordingly. Any travel or miscellaneous expenses incurred by the participating Team as part of the Challenge will not be compensated by the Challenge organizing committee.
  13. Removal/ voluntary withdrawal of members from any Team is not encouraged and only be allowed subject to the approval of the Challenge Organising Committee. No other form of Team modification will be entertained.
  14. By making a submission in the Challenge, all Teams warrant and represent that to the best of their knowledge, their submission is original and does not violate or misappropriate any 3rd party trade secret, “know-how,” copyright, patent, or other intellectual property rights. Entrants also warrant and represent that there are no obligations of any nature, legal or otherwise, which would prohibit, restrict, or interfere with their participation in the Challenge or submission of their proposals/ prototype at any stage of the Challenge, and agree to obtain any necessary clearances, authorizations and/or approvals prior to participation. The entrant shall indemnify the challenge organizing committee from any dispute arising out of alleged IP infringement, misappropriation of trade secret, know how, copyright etc with any 3rd party.
  15. Each Team and each Entrant hereby grant Organizers a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, and royalty-free right and license to publish their project reports, designs and other information submitted, or any portion or modification thereof, technical or marketing publications, advertisements, or promotional activities, including without limitation Organizers or 3rd party technical articles, datasheets, application notes, reference designs or internet publications. The Organizers reserve the right to publish the designs without attribution. Except for these limited rights to publish, the Organizers do not obtain any other ownership, rights or licenses in any of the Team’s intellectual property or confidential information. IPR of the product to be developed as part of Challenge will be owned by the Entrant.
  16. DATA PROTECTION, CONSENT TO THE USE OF PERSONAL DATA: Personal data (as hereinafter defined) provided by the Entrants during the Challenge will be used by Organizers as well as by service providers (for e.g. website hosting services) engaged by Organizers as data processors, for the purpose of the Challenge. The Entrants and all other participating parties, agree that any personal data, which shall mean any data identifying, without limitation, its owner, by name, correspondence address, email address and contact number (“Personal Data”) which is disclosed by any individual or obtained by the Organizers or its Contractual Partners, inclusive of their designated vendors (“Workers and Vendors”) prior to or during the course of performance of this Challenge, shall be processed, maintained, disclosed or destroyed in accordance with the relevant terms of consent set out in the Challenge Terms and Conditions. For the avoidance of doubt, every Entrant and individual who submits his or her data for the purpose of participating in this Challenge shall be deemed to have given express consent for the processing, use, retention or disclosure of such Personal Data for the purposes set out above.
  17. By entering the Challenge, each Entrant agrees to release Organizers and its affiliates from and against any losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind arising from (i) an exclusion or disqualification of such Entrant pursuant to these Rules; (ii) late, lost, misdirected, or unsuccessful efforts to notify winners of any prize; (iii) forfeiture of a prize and the selection of an alternate winner; (iv) late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible or unintelligible entries; (v) telephone, electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, or computer malfunctions, failures or difficulties of any kind; (vi) failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions; (vii) any condition caused by events beyond Organizer’s control that may cause the Challenge to be disrupted or corrupted; and (viii) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind relating to participation in this Challenge.
  18. The Organizers reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or (temporarily) suspend this Challenge where required by law or if there is an impediment to the performance of this contract due to a breach by any of the Organizer’s contractual partners, or a delay in funding, or a force majeure event, or it becomes technically corrupted or if for any reason the Internet portion of the Challenge is not capable of running as planned, including infections by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond Organizer’s control, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Challenge. The organizers further reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify anyone found to have manipulated the Challenge or its operation. In addition, the organizers at its sole discretion may disqualify any Entrant at any stage of the Challenge without being required to specify any reasons in that regard.
  19. If there is any conflict in the provisions of the conditions and clauses of the challenge stipulated in any of the platforms pertaining to the challenge, published by any of the partnering agencies, the provisions of the TOC as mentioned here or the addendum and/or corrigendum of the TOC shall govern and shall be final and binding to all.
  20. Any decision by the organising committee, on any aspect of the challenge at any point of time during the course of the challenge is final and binding to all the participants, without any reservations and shall not be challenged in any court of law.
  21. The solution/Product so developed would be deployed in the chosen Cloud Environment and used for the Union/State/UT government entities.
  22. In an exceptional scenario, none of the team suggesting the solution which looks promising than NLTM reserves the right not to declare or select any of the prototypes for final deployment, and the team will not get any partnership with NLTM.
  23. The undertaking of identity, original work, and authenticity of documents will be taken from winners.