When Google announced last year that they were looking for applications from Indians on developing the Prime Minister’s citizen engagement platform, MyGov, they received a whopping 10,000 entries and close to 45,000 ideas to work on. Eventually, when “Team Sanskrit” were announced as winners of the contest, both PM Modi and the tech giant were pleasantly surprised that the winners were part of a young, all-student team. They were felicitated by the Prime Minister himself for their success, during his Town Hall gathering last Saturday.
Raghav Sarin, of Delhi’s Sri Venkateswara College led the team which won the contest. Being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at a young age, he said, ““I began designing in class 9 and by class 10, I started freelancing and working for several startups and companies while also working on a few of my own. Working with different people on several project helped me form an interest in design and entrepreneurship.” Along with Gyan Lakhwani, Prajwal Seth, Preet S Khalsa, Naman Dwivedi and Pranav Sethi, students from Delhi, Pilani, Goa and New York, Raghav led the team to unprecedented success.
19 year old Naman, who studies at Delhi Technological University, mentioned,
“It was a big challenge for us to build an app where performance, security and scalability are critical and which is going to be used by millions of people. This is the first crowd-sourced application developed for the government and we are very happy.”
Having won the competition now, the team will be heading to Mountain View, headquarters of Google to work in-depth with the company’s engineering and Android team.
The app allows users to take appointments with PMO officials, lets users directly submit suggestions for the PM’s Mann Ki Baat programme, have a peek at his pre-fixed calendar and an option to share posts on all social media and online platforms with one touch. A listing of selected questions people have posed to the PM on Twitter and his replies, and audio files of his messages are some of the other features that have been incorporated by them. This app also provides citizens access to critical information about flagship programmes, overview of PM’s major initiatives, and enables people to make a donation to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund – all available in ten different Indian languages.
MyGov was initially launched by Modi in July 2014 to provide opportunity to the people to participate in multiple theme-based discussions and share their thoughts. It has 3.52 million registered members, 1,82,000 submissions in 491 tasks and 3.40 million comments in 590 discussion themes.