IIT Jodhpur's 'Campus RAKSHAK' to help in safe college reopening, curb COVID surge

IIT Jodhpur has collaborated with IISc Bangalore, IIT Kharagpur, IIIT Hyderabad and others to build, integrate and test to ensure safety on campuses.

IIT Jodhpur's 'Campus RAKSHAK' to help in safe college reopening, curb COVID surge IIT Jodhpur
Press Trust of India | Feb 20, 2022 - 4 p.m. IST
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New Delhi: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur, have come up with a decision framework for educational institutions called "Campus RAKSHAK" that integrates various applications and tools into one to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and ensure smooth reopening of campuses. IIT Jodhpur has collaborated with IISc Bangalore, IIT Kharagpur, IIIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, Algorithmic Biologics Pvt Ltd, HeathBadge Private Limited and Prthvi.AI to build, integrate and test to ensure safety on campuses through this initiative.

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While two prototypes of Campus RAKSHAK have been tested simultaneously at IIT Jodhpur and IIIT Hyderabad, the team is in talks to devise affordable and flexible pricing model, product, marketing and sales strategy to reach out to campuses across the country. Campus RAKSHAK has four components -- Tapestry Pooling, Go Corona Go App, Simulators and Healthbadge. These form a single platform that monitor, predict, and recommend mitigation strategies for campuses against CoViD-19.

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"The tapestry pooling method assigns individual samples to multiple pools, reducing the cost of screening to one-fourth. Based on the results of each pool, the algorithm predicts COVID-19 positive samples," Manas Bairagi, Chief Technological Officer, iHub Drishti, said. iHub Drishti at IIT Jodhpur is a technology innovation hub focussed around computer vision, augmented reality and virtual reality.

"'Go Corona Go App' is a mobile app similar to Aarogya Setu, but the data is accessible to the administration for making the right decisions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Its primary purpose is to conduct contact tracing. Users will remain connected to the campus server through the Bluetooth of the phone," Bairagi added.

Explaining about the Simulators, Bairagi said it consist of three simulation models -- Campus Modeler, CampusSim and EpiSimmer. "The simulator will be able to predict where the COVID-19 positivity will spread in the coming days. This can be considered an advisory system to help the administration make decisions.”

“'Healthbadge' is an information management and badging system that issues red, orange, and green badges to students after the coronavirus infection is investigated, depending on the adversity of the situation," he said. "The integrated information management system and dashboards are helping administrators keep track of the screening and vaccination status of the entire population at campuses and prevent possible disease spread.

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“In the future, campuses will be able to rely on the campus RAKSHAK solutions with indigenous innovations in screening and pooling strategies at affordable costs. Using this technology, future epidemics can be controlled and public health interventions evaluated across the nation and the world," Bairagi added. At present, iHuB Drishti is charging Rs 250 per user from the institutions opting for the programme.

However, the team is working on its pricing model and also exploring a subscription model, as the numbers grow. Santanu Chaudhury, Director, IIT Jodhpur, said, "The Campus RAKSHAK project is the outcome of consortium-based research to serve as an advisory system for the campus administrators. The agent-based simulator can model the mobility of agents on a campus, and the contact tracing app can build an anonymous contact-graph for the institution.

The Information Management system manages COVID-19 on campus in an economical and efficient way through digital accounts". Colleges and universities across the country have begun reopening following prolonged closure in the wake of COVID-19. The educational institutions were closed in March 2020 ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain spread of novel coronavirus. They briefly reopened in different states but were again closed after aggressive second wave last year and then the Omicron driven third wave.

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