Bhashini Grand Innovation Challenge

About Digital India Bhashini:

Bhashini, the National Language Technology Mission (NLTM), was launched by the Prime Minister in July 2022 to provide language technology solutions as digital public goods through the Bhashini platform ( This is aimed to be achieved by harnessing emerging technologies such as AI/ML, and NLP to develop and share open-source models, tools and solutions (products and services) for Indian languages with ecosystem development involving startups, industries, academia, research groups, enthusiasts and State/Central Governments. The approach is to create large datasets in the Scheduled Indian Languages to train AI models for translation and conversion of speech to text and vice versa, including voice to voice translation for general usage as well as for specific domains/contexts like education, healthcare and financial services etc.

1000+ pre-trained AI models have been made available on Bhashini platform. These AI language models have also been exposed via Open Bhashini APIs for Bhashini ecosystem partners. The next steps include large applications of public relevance along with fine tune AI models, demonstrate capability and acquiring implementation experience, so that implementation approaches may be developed for common language technology requirements like intelligent voice-based user interfaces, document translation and website translation at scale.

An Independent Business Division (IBD), Digital India Bhashini Division (DIBD) has been set up under Digital India Corporation (DIC) to anchor the Mission Bhashini activities and to nurture the language technology ecosystem especially involving startups.


DIBD invites solutions for following two (02) problems statements in NLP domain to evolve an effective and indigenous solution(s) to language specific problems:

S/N Problem Statement Description Desired Solution
01 Live Speech needs to be simultaneously translated into multiple target languages. The live speech delivered by the dignitary should be simultaneously translated to Indian local languages for better understanding of citizens listening to the speech. It should be done in real time without much delay while live speech is on.

An AI based solution based on Bhashini AI Models and APIs, which can translate the LIVE speech into desired languages instantly along with text captions. Further, the output should be compatible formats so that it can be broadcasted through any media/social media channels in multiple languages. The solution should be able to cater to multiple users with scale and must provide a dashboard for service management.

Live Translation Product Features:

  • AI-powered Bhashini technology
  • Platform agnostic, cloud-based service
  • Multiple output formats for feeding various media/social media channels with security (along with text captions)
  • Based on open source technology
  • Accuracy (translation) > 95%
  • latency < 1 sec/sentence (pause)
  • Output Voice Quality (DMOS >4.2)
  • Output Voice with tonality
  • Consistent output across generic domains and subjects
  • with workbench feature
  • Mobile App or web channel based solution
  • Output should be fed back into Bhashini AI Models for fine tuning securely.
02 Government of India offices receive multiple communications on paper in regional languages. These documents (both printed and handwritten) to be digitized using OCR and then translate then worked upon and then needs to be translated back and responded in original regional language. The communications received in office can be in the form of printed paper/handwritten in recognized Indian language. This needs to be OCR’d and translated to a familiar language and then would be able to be responded back in the same language.

The solution must be efficient to understand all languages whether they are in printed form, handwritten or a combination of both. These sheets should be translated into the desired language and then must be able to respond back in the same language.

OCR Product Features:

  • AI-powered OCR technology
  • Batch processing
  • Text editing
  • Multiple output formats
  • Image pre-processing
  • Metadata extraction
  • Image pre-processing
  • Platform agnostic, cloud-based service
  • Ready to use templates for several categories.
  • Form extraction
  • Table extraction
  • Handwriting recognition
  • Based on open source technology
  • Word Level Accuracy > 95%
  • Low latency < 1 sec/page

The proposed Grand Innovation Challenge with above two (02) pre-identified problem statements tries to tackle challenges relating to a system for translating the speech simultaneously into a targeted language and the communications received on paper needs to be OCR’d and translated to target language and responded. The teams can choose to participate in one or both challenges.

Stages of Challenge:

  • Ideation and Prototype (Stage-1): Teams will have to propose the innovative and cutting-edge ideas of their solution along with a prototype in 1 Indian language. The top 10 teams would be selected from this stage. Each team will receive a funding of INR 1 Lakhs to further enhance the prototype based on BHASHINI APIs.
  • Enhancement of Prototype (Stage-2): The shortlisted entries from Stage-1 will get a chance to present their enhanced prototypes to a distinguished Jury in 2 Indian languages. The top 3 teams will be shortlisted for the Final Stage. Each team will receive a funding of INR 2 Lakhs to build the deployable solution.
  • Solution Building (Final Stage): The winner will get a fixed amount of INR 50 Lakhs along with certificate from the Hon’ble Minister of Electronics & IT towards deploying the solution in 10 Indian languages for use by Government of India and State Governments for a year and further support @ Rs 10 lakhs per year towards Operations & Maintenance.

Awards and Outcomes:

  • Fast Track your future: A platform to innovate and deploy the solution for usage across government entities.
  • Customers Outreach: A high viewership platform provides you with the opportunity to showcase and promote your innovation to Leaders from organizations across Indian Industry Sectors.
  • Grow your expectations: Opportunity to meet peers in the field and get to know the latest advancement in the Ecosystem. Your peers in this program are the region’s finest. They are an important part of the experience, so we ensure you work with the very best players.
  • Recognition and Reward: Win lucrative prize money at various stages of the program with a Government contract for an amount of Rs 50 Lakhs.

IPR Policy:

The New Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) will belong to the recipient of the final winner (Institute/organization) and shall have specific terms of usage for public interest/demand of Government of India, as per the specific terms and conditions. It is the responsibility of the fund recipients to protect the new Intellectual Property Rights with their own expenditure through available institutional mechanisms and support.

Eligibility Criterion:

  • Participating teams must be an Indian company registered under the Companies Act or comply with the definition of Start-up as per the latest notification of DIPP (Available at
  • [Indian company: 51% or more shareholding is with Indian citizen or person of Indian origin]
  • If Participating Team is not yet registered, they are still allowed to participate, but are required to get registered if they get selected for the final submission.

Process of Evaluation:

Ideas submitted in challenge will be evaluated on following parameters.

# Parameter Description
1 Approach Towards Problem Solving Product Idea, Degree of Innovation, Simplicity of Final Solution, Uniqueness & scalability of Idea, Novelty of Approach
2 Business Use Case Business Case, USP and Vision
3 Solution Technical Feasibility Product features, Scalability, Interoperability, enhancement & expansion, Underlying technology components & stack and futuristic orientation
4 Product Roadmap Potential Cost to Build Product, Go to Market Strategy, Time to Market
5 Team Ability & Culture Team Leader’s Effectiveness (i.e. Ability to guide, Ability to present idea), Ability to Market Product, Growth Potential of Organization
6 Addressable Market Natural Sales Appeal, Affordability, ROI, Sales Distribution Channel

Process of evaluation will be as follows

A. Step I: First Level Quality Check & Review by Organizing Team

  • Assess compliance to Eligibility Criteria of participating Teams
  • Assess quality and completeness of the responses provided in the respective nomination forms

B. Step II: Assessment & Screening by Jury

  • Conduct Detailed Assessment of submitted ideas for shortlisting 10 teams for Prototype building stage.
  • Contact SPOC for seeking additional information / artifacts from the shortlisted nominations

C. Step III: Shortlisting Entries for Final Stage

  • Conduct presentation and review prototypes submitted by all the 10 teams.
  • Score Submitted Ideas out of 100 on each Evaluation Parameter

D. Step IV: Evaluation of Entries for Final Stage

  • a. Conduct a presentation for 3 teams and review the solution built by them.


S. No Activity Timeline
1 Launch of Innovation Challenge Monday, 12 June 2023
2 Queries/Clarification sessions Thursday, 20 June 2023
3 Last Date for Registration Thursday, 26 June 2023
4 Initial Screening of applications Wednesday, 28 June 2023
5 Declaration of Shortlisted Teams for Building Prototype Click Here Monday, 10 July 2023
6 Last Date for Prototype Submission in 1 language Friday, 4 August 2023
7 Presentations to select Top 10 Teams (Max.) Monday, 14 August 2023
8 Declaration of results of Ideation and Prototype Stage (Max. Top 10 Teams) Click Here Tuesday, 22 August 2023
9 Submission of Top 10 Team Feature Rich Solution in 2 languages Friday, 22 September 2023
10 Presentations to select Top 3 Teams (Max.) Monday, 2 October 2023
11 Declaration of results of Enhancement of Prototype Stage (Max. Top 3 Teams) Monday, 9 October 2023
12 Presentation of Top 3 Teams with Final Deployable Product Monday, 13 November 2023
13 Declaration of Results Thursday, 16 November 2023
14 Contract Signing TBD

In case of any query, please feel free to contact:

Rules & Guidelines:

  1. All participants and team must be eligible (See Eligibility Criteria) to participate.
  2. If individuals are associated with any company, then they will have to provide an NOC from their company stating that the respective company will have no right on the Prize Money and/or IPR. Furthermore, the individuals must apprise the employer through NOC or otherwise of the registration of a new entity.
  3. During the Innovation Challenge, the Team Leader shall be considered as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for all engagements & communication by the Organizing Team. Furthermore, the Team Leader cannot be changed during the Innovation Challenge.
  4. The Team Leader and Participants will be required to use their Email ID and Mobile number for the purpose of Team Registration.
  5. For any update regarding the Innovation Challenge, Participants will have to refer to DIBD/BHASHINI.
  6. All communication between the Innovation Challenge Organizing Team and Team Leader shall happen via the registered Email id only. This will be the only form of communication and any other forms of communication will not be entertained.
  7. The teams shall not display any existing solution or collaborate with companies that have existing solutions. Such entries, if identified, shall be liable for disqualification.
  8. Any outcome of this initiative shall only be consumed by the participating team for the purpose of the Innovation Challenge.
  9. Teams shall maintain detailed documentation of their Idea, Prototype and Solution at all stages of the Innovation Challenge for reference and record purpose. The Innovation Challenge Organizing Team reserves the right to review these documents any time during the program.
  10. Any changes in Approach to the shortlisted Ideas during Prototype & Solution Building stages of the Innovation Challenge will undergo deliberation by the Innovation Challenge Organizing Team.
  11. Teams are allowed removal/voluntary withdrawal of team members, only once, during the program before prototype stage. Any such step will have to be disclosed to the Innovation Challenge Organizing Team for approval. No other form of team modification will be entertained.
  12. The funding under Innovation Challenge shall be consumed for development of the solution only. The Teams will be required to provide Fund Utilization Certificate along with project completion certificate before the Next Stage, Balance amount for the said challenge can be utilized for further updates and upgrades as requested by DIBD on the date decided & communicated by the Innovation Challenge Organizing Team.
  13. Winner(s) will retain the rights of the solution/product developed as part of the Innovation Challenge. The winner(s) will however have to conform to the terms and conditions defined for the Innovation Challenge during the competition and post winning the award.
  14. The solution should not violate/breach/copy any idea/concept/product already copyrighted, patented or existing in this segment of the market.
  15. Anyone found to be non-compliant, may get their participation cancelled.
  16. Innovation Challenge Jury will take the final call for any unforeseen situation.
  17. For any dispute redressal, CEO DIBD’s decision will be the final verdict on the matter.
  18. The solution/Product so developed would be deployed in the chosen Cloud Environment and used for the Union/State/UT government entities.
  19. The winning entity would support the product for Four (4) years from the go live period.
  20. The winning entity would be supported with a fixed amount on cost plus basis to sustenance and management of the product.
  21. Going forward any new enhancements, features, innovations in the solution/product during the O&M phase would always be released to the chosen Cloud Environment.
  22. However, the winning entity would be free to market the product to any entity outside Union/State/UT Government Organizations of India