Participation is free for all Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: Union minister of human resources development (HRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and health and family welfare minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday jointly announced the launch of ‘Drug Discovery Hackathon’ via video conferencing.

The hackathon is an initiative by the health ministry to identify potential drugs against the novel coronavirus. Pokhriyal invited professionals, researchers, students to participate in the hackathon to work towards developing anti-coronavirus drugs.

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Conceptualised under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Hackathon is a joint initiative of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Participants have been asked to submit their ideas online in the hackathon. These ideas will then be executed by CSIR laboratories and start-ups and private labs.

The HRD minister stated in the live that he is confident the hackathon is sure to make India proud as he is sure that many young minds of the country will take India forward in developing drugs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He added, “Our nation has the best talent and resources to fight any challenge.”

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Union health minister Harsh Vardhan added, “A large number of participants including students, researchers, and professionals from various sectors/ fields of computer science, pharmacy, biotech, chemistry, medical science, basic science are invited to come together and compete in form of teams. It will also be open for internal participants making it an international initiative.”

Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 is inviting participants from various fields who will focus on giving new ideas and even identifying the molecules for anti-COVID-19 drugs. The execution of those ideas and testing of molecules will be done in CSIR labs. Additionally, the hackathon is free of cost.

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