IBM's The Great Mind Challenge

The Great Mind Challenge (TGMC) is an annual nationwide software development competition, created by the Academic Initiative of IBM. The competition currently takes place in India, Israel, China, Ireland and Switzerland; outside of India, the effort is known as the IBM Great Minds Program.

The Great Mind Challenge
BeginsApril - August
EndsJanuary - March
Location(s)India Israel Switzerland
Most recent2012
Organized byIBM
WebsiteTGMC Great Minds


International Business Machines (IBM), which was founded in 1896 as The Tabulating Machine Company, is a multinational computer, technology and IT consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, North Castle, New York, United States. It is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software (with a focus on the latter), and offers infrastructure services, hosting services, and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.

The Academic Initiative is an educational enterprise by IBM. It was created as a worldwide initiative in 2003 with the aim to equip educational institutions with the most current IT tools in the market, to better prepare students for the professional world.

IBM’s Academic Initiative includes an online portal that provides access to software downloads, hardware, training and course materials, most at no charge. Through the website, IBM provides resources for integration into college curricula to help teach students how to master open technologies.

Through the Academic Initiative, IBM partners with institutions that support open standards and seek to use open source and IBM technologies for teaching purposes, to prepare students for a more competitive information technology (IT) workforce. The Academic Initiative also addresses the need for companies to collaborate with academia to develop IT talent and drive IT to smaller towns. The Academic Initiative programs[1] include various student and university engagements designed to encourage innovation in the technology space at the university level and to enable students to become market ready. The Great Mind Challenge, launched in 2004 by the Academic Initiative of IBM in India, is one of those programs. TGMC was created with a focus on the need to better educate millions of students for a more competitive information technology (IT) workforce by partnering with colleges and universities. Each year, the number of participants and participating colleges increases. TGMC is now one of the largest nationwide student competitions in India.

The Great Minds Program started in Zurich in 2007 and since then has rolled out to include Haifa, Dublin and China.


In India, The Great Mind Challenge is open only to students across India, who form teams within their respective colleges. Colleges with registered teams eventually meet in competition for the winning project. It is aimed mainly at students from engineering colleges across India, who can develop solutions for real-time problems and scenarios. The use of IBM software in the project is compulsory. The Great Mind Challenge is also utilized as a meeting ground for large IT corporations in search of young talent and students from smaller universities looking for recruitment opportunities. Each team is constituted by one faculty member and a max of four students. The teams must develop innovative solutions using open standards-based IT tools, solely from IBM, in complex real time situations.

The IBM Research Labs in Haifa, Dublin and Zurich host a similar competition for 3 to 6-month internships at IBM Research in Zurich, Dublin and Haifa for students from central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It provides students with the unique opportunity to work alongside world-class scientists in the leading industrial IT research organization. The competition is open to any full-time student enrolled in a Master's or PhD program in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Software Engineering, Industrial Engineering or Service Science at the time of application.



Teams must register on the TGMC website, after which they start work on their projects immediately. They face a series of deadlines and eventually submit their finished projects. The competition happens in two phases. Phase one is considered to be the semi-final to the scores in the first phase.

All teams must have one faculty member and can have student members from juniors and seniors. The first phase consists of developing a quality Software Requirement Specification document. In part the other considerations include technology, use of xml, quality code and design tools are given scores based upon the usage. The second phase considers the support of regional languages and portability issues of the software developed in part with functionality, User Interface and output.

A Face to Face evaluation round is carried out by IBM for the top 300 odd projects based upon the submitted project files in prescribed formats. The Face to Face evaluation round is attended by the entire team and interviewed by experts from IBM. Here a presentation is called for and later the project is executed. In the course of time the legality of the code is checked thorough interviews by experts.

The top 20 teams are called every year for attending the felicitation ceremony where they will be declaration of the Top-3 champions from India. The Top-3 projects are kept in a special category called TGMC "HALL OF FAME" where upon the team's work and their names are kept in permanent records of IBM. All the Top-20 teams are awarded prizes based upon their rank.

The Academic Initiative provides resources such as free software download, online tutoring, discussion boards, training seminars and IBM mentors to guide teams through the process of the competition.

For the Haifa, Dublin and Zurich program, the exact starting time and duration will be agreed upon with the winning students individually, taking into account their academic commitments and the availability of IBM staff. IBM will pay the winners a lump sum towards travel expenses as well as compensation that covers adequately the cost of living in Switzerland or in Israel, respectively. IBM will also obtain the necessary visa and work permits for the successful candidates.

The program is open to any full-time student enrolled in a Master's or PhD program in computer science, electrical engineering, physics, software engineering, industrial engineering and service science at a recognized university in central or eastern Europe, the Middle East or Africa. The students must have a solid command of the English language in both written and spoken form.

Awards and recognition

TGMC has been awarded the Limca Book of Records award for the largest student competition for engineering students, with approximately 1,10,000 participants from over 1,000 colleges in 2010.

IBM Developer works the site that lead to successful discovery of knowledge on IBM tools for TGMC is declared as the largest used e-learning system in India by Limca book of records for the year 2011.

Past Winners

Outstanding Performing College/Institute

Maharishi Arvind Institute of Science and Management, Jaipur [Continuously 8th time Winner for the Best Performing College in India)[]

2011[3] [4]

  • Winners - TechnoMovers from Tirumala Engineering College, Andhra Pradesh - Paperless Hospital Service, Team Members - Shiva Gouraram,Mounika Narsingoze,Wasim Malik and Anil Talla along with the mentor of the team Laxmaiah Mettu.

2010[5] [6]

  • Winners - KMIT chargers from KMIT, Andhra Pradesh - Internet Banking System, Team Members - MOHANA KRISHNA CHATURVEDULA & ANUMULA KALYAN VENKATESH along with the mentor of the team DEEPA GANU.
  • 1st Runners Up - Scriptcoders from Madras Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu - Project chess master,Team Members - VENKATESH, VARDHAN, SURESH RATHNARAJ C & SATISH with the mentor of the team RAJESH G.
  • 2nd Runners Up - KP's eagle software solutions from KL University, Andhra Pradesh- Knowledge based community sharing system,[7] Team members- LOKALA KARTHICK, P.D.K PAVAN KUMAR and R.V. PRASANTH KUMAR with the mentor of the team Mr.K.V.D KIRAN.


  • Winners - StarGazers from Sastra University, Tamil Nadu - Online Library Management Systems
  • 1st Runners Up - Azuresky from M.V.J.College of Engineering, Bangalore,Karnataka - Online National Polling
  • 2nd Runners Up - Resilience from Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Tamil Nadu - E-cops
  • 3rd Runners up - Corrupt from JSS Academy Of Technical Education Noida, Uttar Pradesh - E-Cops


  • Winners: Ambidextrous - KLN College of Engineering, Tamil Nadu - My Mission - City Without Crime
  • 1st Runners up - Coderz - JSS Academy of Technical Education, Uttar Pradesh - Virtual Classroom System
  • 2nd Runners up - Resilience - Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Tamil Nadu - Manage Prisons
  • 3rd Runners up - Lonely Thinkers - Thangavelu Engineering College, Tamil Nadu - My Mission City Without Crime


  • Winners - Ambidextrous from K.L.N. College Of Engineering, Tamil Nadu - District Collectorate Office Information integration
  • 1st Runners up - Gvccchallenger from Department of Computer Science, Gujarat - Vehicle identification
  • 2nd Runners up - WEB MASONS from Amrita School Of Engineering (Deemed University), Tamil Nadu - Vehicle identification

TGMC in Education

Certain colleges have approved of TGMC projects as suitable for assessment purposes and have integrated them into their curricula. Below is a list of such colleges:

  • A D Patel Institute of Technology, Anand
  • Amity University, Noida
  • Amrita University, Coimbatore
  • Amrita School of Arts & Science, Mysore
  • Bapuji Institute of Engineering & Technology, Davangere
  • Bhagwan Parshuram Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • Bharat Institute of Technology, Meerut (U.P.)
  • Bhiwani Institute of Technology & Science, Bhiwani
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra
  • CMRIT, Bangalore
  • Dayanandasagar College of engineering, Bangalore
  • Dr. D.Y. Patil College of Engg., Pune
  • Dr. MGR University, Chennai
  • Dronacharya College of Engineering and Technology, Gurgaon
  • Gurgaon Institute of Technology & Management,Gurgaon
  • Engineering College, Bikaner, Rajasthan
  • ER & DCIIT College of Engg., Kerala
  • International School of informatics & Management, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Jaipur National University, Rajasthan.
  • Jayamukhi Institute of Technology, Warangal
  • JSS Academy Of Technical Education, Noida
  • K L N College Of Engineering, Madurai
  • KL University, vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
  • Kavikulguru Institute of Technology & Science, Ramtek (Nagpur)
  • Lachoo Memorial College, Jodhpur
  • Lakshmi Narain College of Technology,Bhopal,Madhya Pradesh
  • Laxmi Devi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Alwar, Rajasthan
  • Maharaj Surajmal Institute of Technology, Janakpuri, New Delhi
  • Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology (MAIT), Delhi
  • Maharishi Arvind Institute of Science and Management, Jaipur [continuously 8th time Winner for the Best Performing College in India)[]
  • Maharishi Arvind Institute of Engg. & Technology, Jaipur
  • Manav Rachna College, Faridabad
  • MBM Engineering College, Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur
  • Meerut Institute Of Engineering & Technology, (Meerut),U.P.
  • MLR Institute of Technology
  • Model Engg. College, Kerala
  • National Institute of Engineering, Mysore
  • Pimpri College of Engg., Pune
  • Poornima College Of Engineering, Jaipur
  • Poornima Institute of Engineering & Technology., Jaipur
  • Poornima Group of Institutions., Jaipur
  • Rajagiri School of Engg. & Technology, Kerala
  • Rukmini Devi Institute of Advanced Studies, Delhi
  • Sanghvi Institute of Management, Indore
  • Shree Budha College of Engg., Kerala
  • Shree Chitra Tirunal College of Engg., Kerala
  • Siddhi Vinayak College of Engineering and Technology, Gurgaon.
  • Sinhgad Institute of Technology, Lonavala
  • Singhad College of Engineering, Pune
  • South Point Women's Institute of Engineering & Technology, Haryana
  • Thiagarajar College Of Engineering, Madurai
  • Thiagarajar School Of Management, Madurai
  • TOCH Institute of Science & Technology, Kerala
  • Guruvga Institute of Typing Torture
  • G1E Institute of Virus and Sciences
  • Mewar University, Rajasthan


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