Today, internet-based education has undergone a big boom, thereby boosting the economy to a greater extent.
In a country like India, EdTech Startups have contributed not only to the job market, but also to the upliftment of the quality of education for the Indian students. However, there is a major loophole in the process of certification, in most cases, the companies; even the big players in the market, like, Coursera and Udemy only provide a certificate in PDF format.
Now this certificate can be easily forged or manipulated, the name of the student can be easily changed. Hence, there is a need for a proper authentication mechanism to check the validity of the certificate generated in a PDF format.
Finding a solution to this problem, a duo from Heritage Institute of Technology (HITK), Agnish Ghosh B.Tech- CSE 2nd Year and Rajarshi Paul B.Tech- ECE 2nd Year invented a web-based application DeCert which is based on the core-principles of blockchain, encryption and network security. Using the ideas of non-fungibility and tokenization, the students have managed to create an interface which tokenizes the PDF certificate data.
The idea of tokenization works in encrypting the PDF certificate’s data and distributing it over a decentralized blockchain network, in such a way that every time a user/organization wants to access the certificate data, there is a need to render the information from the network. In this process, the data undergoes an immense level of security, preventing copyright infringements, forgery and fraud.
The application had won at HackSVIT, a national level Hackathon organized by Sardar Vallabhai Patel Institute of Technology (SVIT),Vasad, Gujarat on 29th April 2022.
The Hackathon was sponsored and partnered by Major League Hacking which is a Talent-Acquisition division by Facebook (Meta Platforms). This was the only offline Hackathon, organized by Major League Hacking (Meta Platforms), in the Indian Subcontinent, for the year 2022.
There were 980+ selected registrations for the offline event, over 600 submissions of projects in their online platforms, and finally 115 teams competing in the final event with about 500 programmers from all across the country.
The Hackathon had duration of 36 hours at a stretch. Here the participants had to program and assemble their ideas into websites, applications and software prototypes. The organizers provided all the infrastructural support to the participants.
There were 3 rounds of mentoring, where computer scientists, startup-founders, and other company tech leads mentored the participants about the product and tech stack they used. In between those 3 rounds, there were 2 rounds of judging where the participants had to pitch and demonstrate their products in front of the judges.
In these rounds, the judges and mentors were quite impressed by the level of technology and product knowledge Agnish & Rajarshi possessed for which they were declared as the winner in the National event.
In the final round, there was entire jury of tech start-up founders and investors who asked various questions to the participants where the duo also proved their best with their unique idea of data security overtaking others.
“Usually, every other team had a strength of 3-6, but we had just two, myself and Rajarshi, but somehow we managed to work our souls out and get the product ready 3 hours before the final code push.
After our final pitch, I literally held the judges for another 12-15 minutes and drew and explained the entire web/app architecture, since they may not be interested in looking through the code anymore. I gave a final demonstration of the product after which they were amazed. Some spoke about investing in this product and there was one who literally gave a blank cheque offer and said he had links to Y-Combinator. We exchanged numbers, but I knew deep down that being placed was still hard, the other winning teams made products over Augmented Reality and Internet of Things,” said Agnish.
The winner of HackSVIT Agnish & Rajarshi won a prize money of Rs. 50000/- which they have decided to donate for a social cause.
“On this National Technology Day, on behalf of the entire Heritage Family, we recognize the valuable invention Agnish and Rajarshi had made which not only won the First Prize in a National level Hackathon but also will contribute in solving a major problem faced by the entire Nation,” said Mr. P.K.Agarwal, CEO, Heritage Group of Institutions, Kolkata.