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Directi, the leading internet products company, has announced the launch of ‘Go for Gold’, an initiative for Indian software developers. ‘Go for Gold’ is a non-profit initiative conceptualized and driven by Directi to enable an Indian team to excel at the world finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC), the most competitive programming challenge in the world.
This international competition, currently in its 34th edition, has been run by Baylor University, USA, and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), a society of more than 96,000 computing educators, researchers, professionals, and students worldwide, since the mid-1970’s as the premiere programming competition. Last year 103 teams throughout the world participated in the world finals.
To meet the phenomenal task of etching India’s programming prowess on the global scene, Directi is working with IIT Kanpur and Amrita University, the two institutes that have been hosting the ACM ICPC regionals in India every year. Each year 400 teams from India participate at the regional level (including 20-30 teams from other Asian countries) and usually 3-4 Indian teams make it to the world finals. However, in the 34-year history of the competition, the highest rank an Indian team has secured is #29.
‘Go for Gold’ is an extensive plan designed to make Indian programmers the best in the world. To this end, Directi has pledged a yearly support of 70,000US$ to nurture Indian talent. (Refer Table I).
The funds will be utilized towards supporting the regional rounds of the ACM ICPC competitions at the Kanpur and Amritapuri sites, travel sponsorships of the teams that qualify for the ACM ICPC world finals, and training support. In a bid to broad base the initiative, ‘Go for Gold’ will also proactively expand its catchment area to include programming contests conducted by other premier colleges in the country. The ‘Go for Gold’ cup will be awarded to the Indian team that finishes at a higher rank than any other Indian team has reached in the history of ACM-ICPC World Finals. The winning team will also take home a significant cash prize, which starts at Rs. 5 lakhs. 33% of the ‘Go for Gold’ prize money shall be dedicated to their college to spend towards anything related to enhancing the IT infrastructure. Most importantly, for every unclaimed prize, the sum will cumulatively increase each year.
Sharing his views, Mr. Bhavin Turakhia, Founder & CEO, Directi said, “Directi’s ‘Go for Gold’ has been designed with the single-minded objective of providing upcoming Indian software developers the much needed training and support to hone their problem solving skills. Through this initiative, we will spur and accelerate the programming talent development in our country and see India at the winning post”.
Commenting on the initiative, Prof. Vallath Nandakumar, Amrita University said, “‘Go for Gold’ is a welcome initiative for aspiring software developers in the country. We are happy to partner with Directi as the assistance offered is of immense value and will also help us to conduct tests and competitions at a grass root level. Above all, Directi is well-known among top programmers in India, and lending its name and resources to the competitions will definitely attract more students. Indian software developers need to hone their problem solving skills and initiatives such as ‘Go for Gold’, help and incentivize students to develop analytical skills, thus making them competitive for the final leg of the race”.
Prof. Phalguni Gupta, IIT Kanpur remarked, “It is indeed encouraging when the industry works with academic institutions to offer multi-disciplinary knowledge and various forms of support. ‘Go for Gold’ is a novel initiative that will go a long way and help to further the cause of programming in India. We are confident and hopeful that the initiative will achieve its intended aim and witness increased participation at the IIT Kanpur site for the regional leg of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.”
The ACM ICPC is a prestigious, annual programming competition, which draws participation from the crème-de-la-crème of the programming community across the globe. IBM is a global sponsor for the ACM ICPC contest.