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Google, Indian govt partner to launch app contest for official PMO app


Google and the Indian government have partnered to launch a contest on MyGov to create an app for the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), reports thenextweb. The contest is open for participation by Indian citizens, with the last date of submission for the first phase being the 12th of March.

The contest comprises of three phases, the idea submission phase, the wireframe development phase and the app development phase. A committee/jury created by MyGov for this contest will shortlist ideas from the first phase, and a certificate of appreciation from MyGov and an Android One device will be given to creators of the shortlisted ideas.

To submit ideas, users first need to register and login to MyGov.in. On logging in users are prompted to vote on a idea, and then submit one if not already done so. Users also need to create one of the three hashtags to indicate the idea category. The three categories are Information (eg. minister profiles), Interaction (eg. messages to PM) and Broadcast (eg. YouTube through the app).

Teams that get through the first phase will also get to participate in the Wireframe Development phase. A similar committee will shortlist 5 of these teams, the creators of which will get a Certificate of Appreciation from MyGov and an opportunity to be mentored by Google to build the mobile app. The final phase of the competition, the App development phase will see a single winning team, which will get a sponsored trip to the US and meet a team of Google Developers. The winning app will also be used by PMO as its official App.

With a week left for the deadline for first phase submissions, the contest currently has over 575 submissions, up from 33 when we check last evening. Interestingly, no guidelines are provided to developers as to what to develop. It looks like the first phase of the contest will actually screen ideas that seem good, before developers start building the app. We wonder how much time will be given to developers to complete the app, as the deadlines for the 2nd and 3rd phases of the competition are not yet mentioned.

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MyGov initiative:

Note that the Indian Government had launched MyGov.in in July last year, to encourage citizen participation in governance. This website allows citizens to volunteer for specific projects and also invite suggestions regarding various policy decisions. It currently also holds various contests in the ‘Creative Corner’ which includes other contests like, designing a logo for DigiLocker, designing an emblem and tagline for National Archives of India and design an insignia for the Indian National Defence University.

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