Imagine that you could check the availability of respective doctor in the desired hospital in your mobile phone and validate the taxi fare with your mobile utility when you ride a public cab so that you are no more cheated. It will not be so far away to realise your dreams come true. Between 14-16 March 2014, Kathmandu will host CityApp Appathon, as a part of the preparation to show case best Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications in the World City Summit to be held in Singapore on 1 June 2014 that would promote better living in the urban.
The CityApp, Innovative Solutions for Cities sponsored by Microsoft and CityNet strives to harnesses the creative power of thousands of independent software vendors (ISV), SMEs, and application developers across Asia. Kathmandu has been nominated as the first city to launch the Solutions for Cities program.
Nepali Youth at GUTHI (NYG), a platform to empower Nepalese young people, conducted an orientation seminar jointly with Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) Nepal on 4 February at Khichapokhari, Kathmandu. Anil Sthapit, Director at GUTHI informed that the goal of the program is to create sustainable software applications for the economic, commercial and social benefit of city governments, citizens, and enterprises in the region. To this end, Microsoft is organising software developer events (“Appathon”) to drive innovation and the participation of ISVs. The cities participating will provide consultation and offer guidance on the economic and social needs of the city as well as and insight into the key priorities of the specific agencies and offices.
“Sounds awkward but the reality is we gossip a lot on the problems and fascinated by the blame game over the tea, but we hardly think of the solutions to overcome these,” highlighted Junu Thapa, manager at MIC Nepal. She informed that the Appathon is envisioned to develop applications based on the solutions to the problems that the city dwellers come across. Be it energy and water, be it government bureaucracy or issues with society and security, there are many problems for which solution evolves in the creative mind. “We invite ideas in developing the applications that solve people’s problem,” she added. “The best idea submitted would win Nokia Lumia 820,” she encouraged.
“We are very much keen on developing apps that can be used to solve the real life problems and at the same time the project becomes sustainable,” said Allen Bailochan Tuladhar, Chief at MIC Nepal. He added, “we are quite aware that this initiative should not become yet another project work of IT students, so this challenge invites the problem-solution blue print submission”. Allen emphasised that the submitted ideas will be accepted based on the applicability and sustainability where as if it could be an enterprise be a wonder. MIC Nepal is organizing workshops in 30 different business colleges and beyond, to generate ideas for the CityApp development before 10th March.
Padma Sunder Joshi, program manager at UN Habitat said that use of ICT has become vital to solve ever-increasing problems of the city. “We should be more sensibly working towards developing the people centric apps,” he urged.
Nabin Bhandari, a member of NYG, commented that CityApp challenge would motivate the young graduates to work towards coming up with sustainable solutions to ease city issues. Another participant, Bishal Dulal, a visually impaired youth, expressed that he is excited to find solutions to combat his own urban challenges via apps.
Dr. Nabees Man Singh Pradhan, senior orthopaedic surgeon at Patan hospital suggested that it would be helpful to the patients if a mobile apps can tell them the doctors availability in the hospital and further more could verify with their mobile phones the composition of the drugs which they get from the pharmacy as prescribed by the doctors.
The 25 participants from the various walks of life presented in the seminar expressed their interest to get into brainstorming the ideas that could be processed for the most useful apps for the city dwellers.