Moneycontrol PRO
Open App
you are here: HomeNewsTechnology

Kerala tech firm's Zoom-alternative Vconsol wins government's innovation challenge

Kerala-based Techgentsia Software Technologies will be provided financial support of Rs 1 crore with an additional Rs 10 lakhs towards O&M (operation and maintenance) for the next three years.

August 21, 2020 / 09:50 PM IST

Vconsol, a product of Kerala-based Techgentsia Software Technologies, won the Centre's "Innovation Challenge for Development of Video Conferencing Solution" on August 20. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced the winner, who was awarded the prize money of Rs 1 crore with an additional Rs 10 lakhs towards O&M (operation and maintenance) for the next three years.

Launched in April, the challenge was aimed at encouraging Indian companies to bring out secure alternatives of video conferencing apps, including Zoom, without compromising on user security and privacy.

The Kerala-based company was founded in 2009 and specialises in internet communication and collaboration. Its business includes hardware- and software-based videoconferencing, having conducted research and development in the space for more than a decade.

Techgentsia Software’s clients include small and medium firms and multinationals from the US and Europe. The company’s videoconferencing solution for the contest is called Vconsol.

In addition to Vconsol, the jury also selected products developed by three applicants -- Sarv Webs, PeopleLink Unified Communications, InstriveSoftlabs -- as potential products.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more

Also read: One of these five companies could be India's Zoom alternative

"All three will be offered a developmental contract to be supported by Rs 25 lakh each for further maturing their product in three months," the release added.

National Informatics Centre (NIC) cloud will host all four products. "NIC will also facilitate for the adoption of these products for government use through GeM," the release said, adding that all teams are free to market their product globally.

Announcing the winners of 'grand challenge', Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India should also strive to become a hub for software products. He encouraged the IT industry to leverage existing policies and the enabling ecosystem to position the country as a global powerhouse for software products by building innovative Made-in-India offerings.

Track this blog for all the latest updates on coronavirus pandemic

Citing the "extraordinary response" to grand challenges including developing of indigenous video conference solutions and apps, Prasad said that even amid economic challenges and hardships in the backdrop of COVID-19, significant investments have flowed into IT and communications sector, as the "the world trusted India".

"COVID was projected as an area of economic stress but even in these times of economic challenge and hard life, the world trusted the brightest investments in IT and communications we got during this period," the IT minister said.

"The world is looking at India in a big way. I would like innovators to think about that...We have already come out with a software product policy and an encouraging ecosystem is in place...I would urge the software community to leverage India's position of innovation and startups and make it a big hub of software products," Prasad said.

(With PTI inputs)

Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak
Moneycontrol News
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark