Bhubaneswar, Aug. 27: The Odisha government is taking steps to create an environment conducive to the financial growth of the state in primary, manufacturing and service sectors, the state’s minister for Industry, Energy and MSME, Mr. Pratap Keshari Deb said on Saturday.

            “It is for students pursuing professional courses to take advantage of the government policies and set up start-ups so that a new class of entrepreneurs can emerge who can provide jobs instead of being job seekers themselves,” Mr. Deb said while speaking at the inaugural function of Code 4 Odisha, billed as the state’s biggest Coding Hackathon, which began at the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER) here, SOA’s faculty of engineering and technology.

            Describing hackathons as the norm at present, the minister said it provided students the opportunity to be innovative and practical to find solutions to different problems.

“Every thought has to be business driven and entrepreneur driven,” he said adding “my job is to provide a financially stable environment for such endeavours to succeed.”

Start-ups encompassing sectors like electronics, food processing, pharmacy and light engineering could turn out to be job providers, Mr. Deb said.

The themes and problem statement of the 36-hour hackathon, in which more than 200 participants have joined from different institutions across the state included disaster management, education, healthcare and tourism. Students are encouraged to come up with innovative ideas and solutions to problems faced in these sectors.

            In this occasion Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman of Start-Up Odisha also said that Start-Up Odisha was launched in 2016 as a government initiative and 24 world class start-ups were presently active in the state. “We are witnessing heightened activity,” he said while urging the participants to convert their ideas into investment thoughts which could be supported by Start-Up Odisha financially.

Prof. Damodar Acharya, Chairman of SOA’s Advisory Board and Mr. Devjyoti Mohanty, CEO, Atal Incubation Centre-Nalanda, Odisha also addressed the inaugural program. Prof. Manas Kumar Mallick, Director of ITER, was present.

Prof. Renu Sharma, Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, who proposed the vote of thanks, said hackathons provided an opportunity for individual contributors to strengthen soft skills like leadership, mentoring and communication. The participants would find a safe working environment, an engaging learning atmosphere and get several other benefits during the next three days.

SOA, she said, was preparing to host a large number of events like the hackathon in the near future which would actively contribute towards addressing the technical problems the state was presently encountering and come up with long term workable solutions.

Stating that Odisha Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik had inaugurated the 60 day Start-Up Yatra 2.0 yesterday, she said Code 4 Odisha hackathon had been organised by SOA in line with the government event.

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