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What is hackathon?

What is hackathon?
Highlights

The Election Commission will hold the much-awaited hackathon from June 3 where technocrats and representatives of political parties will be invited to...

The Election Commission will hold the much-awaited hackathon from June 3 where technocrats and representatives of political parties will be invited to try and hack into its Electronic Voting Machines. The open challenge is the poll panel's attempt to counter the Aam Aadmi Party which claims that EVMs were rigged to favour the BJP in recent assembly elections in five states and MCD polls in Delhi.

A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects. Occasionally, there is a hardware component as well. Hackathons typically last between a day and a week.

Some hackathons are intended simply for educational or social purposes, although in many cases the goal is to create usable software. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus, which can include the programming language used, the operating system, an application, an API, or the subject and the demographic group of the programmers. In other cases, there is no restriction on the type of software being created.

Some hackathons focus on a particular platform such as mobile apps, a desktop operating system, web development or video game development. Mobile app hackathons like Over the Air, held at Bletchley Park, England, sees a large amount of corporate sponsorship and interest.

Music Hack Day, a hackathon for music-related software and hardware applications, is a popular event, having been held over 30 times around the world since 2009. Also Music Tech Fest, a three-day terdisciplinary festival for music ideas bringing together musicians with hackers, researchers and industry, features a hackathon. Similarly, Science Hack Day, a hackathon for making things with science, has been held over 45 times in over 15 countries around the world since 2010, according to Wikipedia.

In the present context, EC decision to hold hackathon on EVMs comes after several major opposition parties had claimed that the faith of people in the machines has eroded. The BSP and AAP had alleged that the machines used in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab were tampered with and favoured the BJP. Later, several other parties had joined the chorus and wanted the EC to revert to paper ballots.

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