G H Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur has been selected by MIC/AICTE for hosting Toycathon 2021 Grand Finale, an event conducted by Govt of India to promote indigenous toy industry. Around 13 teams from different parts of India have confirmed their participation.

Stressing upon PM Modi’s ‘Vocal for Local’ in Toy Industry , Ministry of Education mooted the idea of multi-track nation-wide inter-ministerial toycathon.

Shri Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Education said "As a way to connect young students with aspirational institutes like ISRO, DRDO, DAE, IITs, IISc, IISERs, NITs, IIITs and ancient & modern scientists, the indigenous toys shall be rooted in India’s heritage and cultural context, so that the sense of pride is instilled among young children creating interest in learning,".

"The National Education Policy NEP-2020 which has rightly placed emphasis on learning and outcomes right from early child care stage and foundational years in the form of learning by doing, learning through games and plays, in an integrated holistic manner developing skills,

critical thinking, innovative and scientific bent of mind. All this is easily feasible by design of the right toys for the right age group, creating IQ, EQ, and SQ. This grand opportunity needs to be seized. This is the moment," says Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE.

The Toycathon 2021 is being organised jointly by Ministry of Education in coordination with five other Ministries viz: Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, and Ministry of Textiles. Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell at All India Council for Technical Education is acting as nodal agency for organizing toycathon 2021.

  • Track 1 for Junior Level Participants i.e., primarily SCHOOL STUDENTS. They mainly focused on designing toys for kids of age group 0-3 years and 4-10 years.
  • Track 2 for Senior Level Participants i.e., students and faculty from Higher education institutions. This group focused on developing concepts for 0-3 years, 4-10 and 11 years and above. This segment primarily focused on Electronics, Sensors, Mechatronics, and toys based on AI and ML approaches, AR-VR-XR and Robotics.
  • Track 3 for Startup-Professional Level that incudes overall innovation and development of prototypes. These prototypes are expected toenable toy industry in boosting up the production along with improving the quality of toys in Indian market.

The inter-ministerial Toycathon focuses on conceptualizing new and innovative toys using local materials which are economical, affordable, safe, environment friendly, with exceptional high quality for both Indian and global markets.

The Toycathon 2021 began with inviting problem statements and finalising top problem statements, identifying Nodal Centres, identifying evaluators, experts and dignitaries, months before the grand finale. Then the participation was invited from students and professionals. Around 14130 teams have submitted 17770 different ideas on innovative toys based on themes like Education, Indian History, Culture and Moral values, Social and Human values, Psychological Development, Agricultural Implements and Tools, and Knowledge about India.

The hackathon was initially conceptualised in two formats i.e. Physical Toycathon for Physical Toys and Digital Toycathon for Digital Toys. Owing to the safety of students and participants the Physical Toycathon has been postponed and now only Digital Hackathon is being conducted from 22nd June 2021 to 24th June 2021 due to prevailing covid 19 pandemic.

The digital Toycathon has received a phenomenal response from enthusiastic innovators and now 1567 selected teams will be participating virtually through 85 Nodal Centres.

During the grand finale the selected teams will virtually present their toys in front of Jury panel comprises of Experts from premier institutes. The teams will receive mentoring from experts during the hackathon and teams will have to improve their toys/games as per expert suggestions.

Dr. Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer, Ministry of Education Innovation Cell informed that, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi will address the participants of toycathon 2021 during the grand finale.

Toycathon will be helpful in creating a competitive mindset amongst the participants and will be very successful like Smart India Hackathon says Dr Mohit Gambhir, Innovation Director.

Toycathon will not only connect young minds to national institutions, this premier Hackathon for innovation in toy industry will also instil the spirit of inquiry, critical thinking, and life skill learning .