A tenth standard student has created a buzz by leading a pack of youth who grabbed three of the four different hackathon challenges Army had recently organised to seek innovative indigenous cyber security solutions.

Mithil Salunkhe, a 15-year-old student of Gyan Mata Vidya Vihar in Nanded of Maharashtra, managed to outwit other contenders to offer a deployable solution for “NLP processing and decoding radio intercepts” in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning category.

An elated Mithil Salunkhe told businessline that his innovative product is capable of processing multiple disturbed audio pieces so that they can be clearly heard and read without any physical intervention.

“It has the ability to transcribe and translate multiple voices in more than 90 languages,” said Salunkhe.

According to Salunkhe, he managed to clinch because his “innovation fitted into Army’s requirement, was immediately deployable, and has an ease of use element built into it”.

His interest in machine learning was borne out of fiddling with a personal computer at home when he was hardly 13 years old.

That the teenage geek could upgrade the computer multiple times was a big encouragement to convert his curiosity into profession.

Prashant Kumar Singh, who is pursuing B Sc (Data Science) from IIT Madras, stood second while Naval officer Commodore Sushant Sarswat secured the third position at the second edition of “SAINYA RANAKSHETRAM 2.0” hackathon, held from October 2022 to January 2023, said the Army.

Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande felicitated the winners during a virtual function on Tuesday.

Another youngster Shaksham Jaiswal emerged winner at the “Cyber Deterrence: Capture the Flag (CTF)“ event.

Jaiswal, a BE (CS) from MVSR Engineering College in Hyderabad, said he did not sweat for the seven stage cyber security exploitation challenge because he has been a professional ethical hacker for the last five years.

Unwilling to reveal much except that he belongs to a businessman’s family, Jaiswal said, “I got a certificate for ethical hacking in 2019 which is one of 15 core qualifications I possess in my domain”.

On future opportunities, he said he has not been communicated by the armed forces so far.

Prince Kumar Patel, a student of BE (IT) at Pune-based Army Institute of Technology (AIT), came second and Hardeep Singh, a BCA from Maharaja Ganga Singh University in Bikaner, won the 3rd prize, said the Army.

Cyber security enthusiast Aravindha Hariharan M, who comes from Coimbatore, has won the prize for “Secure Software Coding” while Colonel Nishant Rathee is the only officer to have outclassed competitors—Suryasaradhi Balarkan from Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and PhD student Tanisha Joshi—to offer a solution to implement an Army specific version of Secure Wi-Fi stack.