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24 May 2022

APU ISUC Champions the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021

Asia Pacific University (APU) has gotten another prize in the bag after students from the Integrated Sustainability & Urban Creativity Centre (ISUC) Student Chapter at APU attained first place at the TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) Sustainathon Malaysia 2021 over a creative prototype of an integrated digital learning application, EduRealm.

The 5-member winning team consist of team leader Yudhishthra S Sugumaran and coursemates, Ethan Thong Ken Zen, Tan Wai Kaey, Chua E Heng, all of whom are from Diploma in ICT Software Engineering, as well as Simerjit Kaur Sagoo, a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science student. The win landed them a cash prize of RM7,000 and access to the TCS Sustainathon ASEAN 2021 which is scheduled to be held in June 2022.

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TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021 is a hackathon organised by Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), a global leader in IT services, digital and business solutions, that aims to address the educational challenges faced by the nation during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The competition saw 66 teams where 9 progressed through the semi-finals with only 5 teams qualifying for the finals.

As part of the competition, contestants have to choose between 4 problem statements to solve — “Digital Divide & Disconnection”, “Absenteeism & Remote Learning”, “Accessible Education for the Blind” and “Integrated Digital Learning Platform”.

The APU team went with Integrated Digital Learning Platform in hopes to address the barriers of remote learning.

“Our solution aims to centralise all educational activities and resources, establish a strong community for teachers and students, and provide easier traceability of educational progress for teachers and parents of their students or children,” said Ethan. He also added that one of the biggest winning factors aside from great team synergy was having Yudhishthra as their team leader.

“He is best known as ‘hackathon hacker’ because of his vast history of hackathon wins. He guided our team which is mostly made up of first-timers through the process and structure of a hackathon, along with the formatting of pitch and expectations of judging,” Ethan concluded.

By the same token, Yudhishthra views all the contestants as passionate changemakers from their enthusiasm during the finale. On the other hand, Wai Kaey shared that taking constructive criticism and channelling it to perfect the product was the biggest takeaway from the competition. E Heng and Simerjit lauded the modules provided by APU that helped them to implement strategies from a business perspective in developing the prototype.

According to club advisor and lecturer, Ms Abbhirami Sivarajan, the victory was proof of the commitment, time and passion that was put in by the team. The 6-month project was the result of their unique individual skill sets. Ms Abbhirami believes that the students will able to come up with their startups soon given the valuable insights they’ve gained from competition mentors.

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