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GRAND ICT CHALLENGE 2020 & Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC)

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 06, Nov 2020
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Why in News?

The ICT grand challenge invites proposal for developing a ‘Smart water supply measurement and monitoring system’.

ICT Grand Challenge which bring innovative, modular, and cost effective solution.

The system would collect and facilitate centralised monitoring of data.


  • Jal Jeevan Mission
  • Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology
  • CDAC


  • National Jal Jeevan Mission in partnership with Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) had launched an ICT Grand Challenge.
  • A total of 213 proposal from various Indian Tech start-ups, MSMEs, Indian Companies, Indian LLPs have been received.
  • These proposals will now be scrutinized by a jury committee appointed by MEITY and select the proposals.


  • This grand challenge will harness the vibrant IoT eco-systems of India.
  • It will be for creating smart rural water supply eco-system to measure and monitor the service delivery of the water supply in rural areas.
  • This challenge will provide opportunity to work for cause of Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • It will also assure potable water supply through functional household tap connection to every rural household of the country.
  • Digitisation of water supply infrastructure has the potential to solve some of the biggest societal problems facing the nation.
  • More importantly, it will help anticipate and address future challenges.
  • The successful developers will be given an opportunity to join the MeitY supported incubator for further nurturing of the solution.


  • The Indian Tech start-ups, MSMEs, Companies, LLPs registered in India under Companies Act can apply.
  • The entity must have 51% or more shareholding with Indian citizen or person of Indian origin.
  • The applicant’s entity should not be a subsidiary company of any foreign corporation.


  • STAGE–1 (IDEATION TO PROTOTYPE STAGE) : 10 proposals will be shortlisted and provided financial support to the tune of Rs. 7.5 Lakh each to develop a working prototype of the proposed solution within two months duration (max).
  • STAGE–2 (PROTOTYPE TO PRODUCT STAGE) : Best four techno-economically viable prototype shall be selected for product development and each team will receive Rs 25 Lakh to build their solution.
  • These four teams shall be provided with financial support by the Jal Jeevan Mission, MeitY and the implementing agency (CDAC) for testing, deployment and demonstration at the live site.

STAGE – 3 (PRODUCT DEPLOYMENT STAGE): Based on evaluation, one winner and two runner-ups will be selected and supported by 50 Lakh (winner) and 20 Lakh each (runner-ups)

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Why in News?

  • India urged the Gulf countries to facilitate the return of Indian workers and professionals who are now eager to resume their work following the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions.
  • The issue figured at a virtual meeting Indian External Affairs Minister held with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a leading regional organisation comprising almost all Arab countries.

Gulf Cooperation Council:

  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was established by an agreement concluded in 1981 among Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE in view of their special relations, geographic proximity, similar political systems based on Islamic beliefs, joint destiny and common objectives.
  • The structure of the GCC consists of the Supreme Council (the highest authority), the Ministerial Council and the Secretariat General. The Secretariat is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • It is a political, economic, social, and regional organisation according to its charter.

Indian Relations with the GCC

  • The governments of the GCC members are India-friendly and Indian-friendly.
  • The Prime MInister of India has received the ‘Order of Zayed’, the highest civilian order of the UAE and the ‘King Hamad Order of the Renaissance’, the third-highest civilian order of Bahrain.
  • In the recent past, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have not adopted hostile posture to India’s domestic developments such as removing the special status for Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370.
  • The GCC states are among India’s key suppliers of energy, and annual remittances from Indians in these countries are worth an estimated USD 4.8 billion.
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are India’s third and fourth-largest trading partners respectively and the total bilateral trade of the GCC countries with India for the year 2018-19 stood at USD 121.34 billion.
  • UAE also features in the top 10 sources of FDI inflows into India.
  • Both India and the GCC are members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
  • Apart from the participation of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and others in India’s mega multilateral Milan Exercise, India also has bilateral exercises with most of them.
  • India and Oman hold annual bilateral exercises across all three wings of the armed forces (Army Exercise ‘Al Najah’, Air Force Exercise ‘Eastern Bridge’, Naval Exercise ‘Naseem al Bahr’). Further, Oman has provided the Indian Navy access to the Port of Duqm SEZ which is one of Indian Ocean’s largest deep-sea ports.
  • India has a bilateral naval (In-UAE BILAT) as well as an air force exercise (Desert Eagle-II) with the UAE.

❖ Luhri hydropower project:

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved funding to the tune of Rs1,810.56 crore for the 210 megawatt (MW) Luhri hydropower project on the Satluj river in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The project is located in Shimla and Kullu districts.