Shaastra to be the cynosure of all eyes

S Vishnu Sharmaa, INN/Chennai, @Svs037

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) will soon turn cynosure of all eyes when the 20th edition of
student run tech-fest ‘Shaastra’ will be conducted on its premises.

The  mega event titled ‘Shasstra 2020’ will take place from 3 to 6 January and will have 40 events and 30 workshops have been scheduled this year and the footfall is expected to be over 40,000.

An exhibition featuring student innovations, startups and visiting college teams is being organised at KV Grounds inside the IIT-M premises. This year the fest will be surrounded around the theme ‘Parsec to Plank,’ which will be focusing on miniaturization, the technological trend in which the sizes of mechanical, electronic and optical products are constantly being scaled down in size while maintaining the same or a superior quality.

Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras said they have many clubs to encourage co-curricular activities. This event is completely run by students, with faculty only having an advisory role.

Various parts of the Institute are connected to Shaastra and through this event, they learn how to go beyond the classroom and reach out to a large student community across the country.

‘Everybody benefits, we learn and our students learn along with the visiting students. This is an event to connect with students across the country.’

This year, Shaastra is collaborating with defence technology start-ups, manufacturers and the military to host a ‘Defence Expo’, which will shed light on the technological advancements in the robust and dynamic Defence Technology space.

Professor Shaikh Faruque Ali,  Faculty Advisor, Shaastra, IIT Madras, said Shaastra has always believed in giving back to the society in meaningful ways and creating grassroots impact. Shaastra 2020’s social endeavour, BLINK, continues this legacy by empowering the visually impaired and enabling them to realise their full potential, he said.

They also have ‘The Institute Open House’ this year. This is an event through which they wish to showcase their innovation. Along with this they will be hosting participants at the IIT Madras Research Park, said Shaikh Faruque.

IIT Madras students have been working with organizations across the city to transform the pedagogy for visually-impaired students, particularly for those in primary and secondary schools. The campaign has reached out to over 200 students so far and the team is currently looking to expand their reach to other cities in Tamil Nadu.

The Institute Open House at Shaastra 2020 will be a two-day event happening on the 3 and 4 January this year and is dedicated to providing an insight into the pathbreaking research work, student projects and the numerous advanced facilities present at IIT Madras.

Shaastra 2020 will also host Defence Tech Summit, which consists of lectures from the best minds in the field, live demos, hands-on workshops, a defence expo showcasing tech from the Armed Forces, defence tech companies and start-ups, and competitions that will challenge the participants to go beyond their boundaries.

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