IIT Madras Tech-Fest Shaastra, one of the largest in South India, begins on 3rd January 2019

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Chennai: IIT Madras’ Shaastra, one of the largest technical festivals in South India, will begin on 3rd January 2019. The four-day event is set to host a wide range of events across the spectrum

Shaastra welcomes many influential personalities to deliver lectures in areas as diverse as science, technology, policy and sports through its Spotlight Lecture Series. Shaastra 2019 will see five-time world Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, Nobel Laureate Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and renowned computer scientist and pioneer of artificial intelligence Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber, among others.

Addressing a Press Conference today (31st Dec 2018) on salient features of Shaastra 201,9 Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “Shaastra 2019 will be an eyeopener to school students on what are the possible opportunities that await them. This event is an experiential learning one for school students. Shaastra is going on for 20 years now and features many interesting events. Besides technical events, it has workshops on ‘hot topics’ such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. Further, this year we are also taking participants and school students to IIT Madras Research Park and giving them an exposure on how a startup is set up.”

Every year, Shaastra rolls out unique, impactful and lasting social campaigns, aimed at bettering the life of common people. This year’s initiative – ReACH – converted discarded cardboard boxes into desks for school students studying in government schools. ‘ReACH’ is aimed at improving the conditions of rural schools in an eco-friendly manner. Puducherry Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble, first Indian to travel in space Rakesh Sharma and others were impressed by the idea and extended their support to the campaign.

Every edition of Shaastra features a wide variety of events encompassing the entire spectrum of innovation which keeps getting better.

Speaking later, Prof. S.M. Sivakumar, Dean (Students), IIT Madras, said, “Shaastra has grown to be one of the largest national student run festivals that is also ISO certified. What is exciting is that the Shaastra team has concocted a recipe that combines fun, entertainment and technology to cater to not just the geeks but to everyone who wishes to come taste the feel. With so much happening in the Insti research and outreach, open house is sure to trigger inspiration and interest in many who visit this year, the Diamond Jubilee Year of IIT Madras.”

Shaastra 2019 will feature never-seen-before Flagship Events like Artificial Intelligence Confluence and Blockchain Summit that is sure to leave your tech-savvy brains hungry for more. Shaastra Launchpad is yet another Shaastra Flagship, that has two events under its wing – Tech and Innovation Fair (TIF) & Power2idea. Tech and Innovation Fair (TIF) is the premier event which takes in your hardcore tech project or prototype and convert it into a minimum viable product (MVP) through rigorous business mentoring by experts in industry. Power2idea is a Business Plan competition envisioned as a platform to prove your business idea, meet and network with experts and analyze how it will survive in the market.

Speaking during the Press Conference, Prof. Dr. Shaikh Faruque Ali, Advisor (Co-Curricular), IIT Madras, said, “IITM has come a long way since its establishment in 1959. As we enter our Diamond Jubilee year, we are confident that we will accelerate even further and scale new heights in research, teaching, and innovation. The Institute Open House is one event through which we wish to showcase our advancements. Along with this, we will also host participants for the first time at the IITM Research Park.”

Shaastra 2019 covers as diverse fields of impact as technology can endure. Technology has brought about several transformations in the field of Sports. Consequently, Shaastra presents the SportsTech Summit 2019, a four-day conference on Sports Technology, from 3rdto 6th January. The Summit will host many experts such as Ramky (Former Performance Analyst Indian Cricket Team), Ramji Srinivasan (Former S&C Coach of the Indian Cricket team), and J Krishnan (ex-CEO, Deccan Chargers), demos, workshops and also competitions such as a Mock IPL Auction. Yet another attraction this time, is the LawTech Conference on 4th January. Growing out of the increasing intersection between Law and Tech, the LawTech Conference will serve as a platform to enlighten those interested in the emerging field. The Conference will bring out how technological advancements are influencing the field of law and also topics such as governance where laws affect new technologies. These events are ideal for students, professionals, inventors and entrepreneurs.

Highlighting the goals behind the event, Mr. Vamsi Krishna Mula, Secretary (Co-Curricular), IIT Madras, said, “Shaastra was born with one goal in mind: to create and sustain a society of inquisitive minds by promoting the ‘Spirit of Engineering’ among youngsters. Every year Shaastra rolls out unique and innovative ways to create a long-lasting impact on society. This year, we strive to achieve this through ReACH, our social campaign for underprivileged students, Relaunch, a unique women-centric career returnship platform and finally, Shaastra for Schools, titled Ignite.”

For the first time ever, Shaastra under the banner of Shaastra Relaunch, aspires to venture out into a realm yet to be touched by any other tech fest in India. Shaastra Relaunch is a career returnship conference for women in tech and managerial field, on 5th and 6thJanuary 2019. Women professionals, after a break, with their now outdated skill sets and knowledge, encounter some difficulties in the fast-changing job market. Shaastra Relaunch envisages a knowledge filled 2-day event consisting of inspiring key notes by noteworthy speakers, intriguing workshops, mentorship and professional level networking with delegates from world class companies.

Shaastra 2019 is also organizing the ‘Institute Open House’, on 3rd and 4th of January 2019 during which participants will be given a tour of several laboratories in IIT Madras, that are the melting pots of cutting-edge technology and research. The participants also get to visit the IIT Madras Research Park, which is a haven for start-ups.

IIT Madras has always been a pioneer in advanced science and research and has always taken the initiative in promoting it. Exhibitions at Shaastra serve as a one stop destination for people to come and experience the happenings in the technology space over the world. Shaastra for the first time ever, presents International Exhibitions, in association with the US Consulate General of Chennai. The International Exhibits will be on three broad perspectives – Academics, Research and Business.

Shaastra has always been known for its mesmerising world-class professional shows – Shaastra Nights. Even better, a one of its kind interactive Giant Bubble Show and Mirage, a breath-taking laser show, are set to be the main events of this Shaastra. Moreover, world-renowned artists like Vilas Nayak and Vivek Patil are also set to be performing. Envisage, India’s first and only student organized techno-entertainment show, is also back this year with new tricks up its sleeve, prepared to leave the spectators in absolute awe. A total in-house IIT Madras production tapping into the entertainment factor of technology, Envisage is one grand success-story where “Technology meets Entertainment”.

The theme this year for Shaastra is ‘Breakthrough’ which aims at celebrating and appreciating the numerous path-breaking discoveries and inventions that humanity has come across ever since it set foot on the planet. Shaastra 2019 seeks to inculcate in today’s youth, the curiosity, zeal and knowledge to transform the world for good.

Founded in 1959, IIT Madras enters its Diamond Jubilee Year this New Year kickstarting the celebrations with a festival as splendid and exhilarating as Shaastra. This time, the four exquisite days of Shaastra 2019 unfolds itself from 3rd January to 6th January 2019, making it one special package.

Shaastra, IIT Madras, holds the unique distinction of being the first IS0 9001:2015 certified, wholly student-run technical festival in the nation. Fueled by the seamless passion – “The Spirit of Engineering” – Shaastra easily stands out from the rest in being the largest and one of the most unique tech festivals ever celebrated in India and the world. Shaastra, ever since its inception in the year 2000, has been an integral part of the technical experience at IIT Madras. The ideology of this grand fest revolves around one prime goal: to create and sustain a society of inquisitive minds, who learn and innovate by interacting with each other and industries.