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Union HRD Minister and Union Health Minister Launched Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020)

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Union HRD Minister and Union Health Minister jointly launches Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the Union Minister of HRD (Human Resource Development) and Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and minister of Science and Technology launched the Drug Discovery Hackathon (DDH2020)  through an online platform in the presence of Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State(HRD). It is a first of its kind national initiative supporting the Drug Discovery Process.

Objective:To identify drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 by in-silico drug discovery through the hackathon and follow up by chemical synthesis and biological testing utilizing computational methods such as machine learning, AI and big data.

Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020:

  • The DDH2020 is a joint initiative of the Ministry of HRD, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and is supported by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), My Gov, Schrodinger and ChemAxon.
  • The hackathon will be open to attract international talents from professionals, researchers and students of various fields across the globe.
  • MHRD’s Innovation cell and AICTE will focus on identifying potential drug molecules while CSIR will take identified molecules forward for synthesis and laboratory testing for efficacy, toxicity, sensitivity and specificity.
  • It helps India in establishing a new model to accelerate the drug discovery process.
  • Hackathon will focus on the deep aspects of drug discovery with three tracks:

i) Track-1- Computational modelling for drug design or identifying ‘lead’ compounds from existing databases that may have the potential to inhibit SARS-CoV-2.

ii) Track-2- It encourages participants to develop new tools and algorithms using data analytics and AI/ML approach for predicting drug-like compounds with minimal toxicity and maximal specificity and selectivity.

iii) Track-3- is a Moon-shot approach which deals only with novel and out-of-the-box ideas in this field.

  • The exercise will be completed by April-May 2021, having three phases and each for three months.
  • At the end of phase 3, the ‘lead’ compounds identified will be experimented at CSIR and other interested organisations.

Background of Hackathon:-

  • It consists of challenges posted as problem statements, which is open for all participants to solve. A total of 29 Problem Statements have been identified.
  • Any student in India can participate through MyGov portal.
  • Professionals and researchers across the globe can participate.

About Ministry of HRD:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Union Minister: Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’