Techfest

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Techfest
Logo of Techfest,IIT Bombay
Type Non-Profit Student Organization
Genre Technical
Founded 1998
Place Mumbai, India
Institute Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Website www.techfest.org

Techfest is the annual science and technology festival of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.[1] It also refers to the independent body of students who organize this event along with many other social initiatives and outreach programs round the year. Techfest is known for hosting a variety of events that include competitions, exhibitions, lectures as well as workshops. It is among the very few student organizations to have received patronage from UNESCO[2] for promotion of technical know-how and patronage of UNICEF [2] for the social causes taken up through ideate competitions and other initiatives over the years.

Started in 1998 with the aim of providing a platform for the Indian student community to develop and showcase their technical prowess, it has now grown into Asia’s largest Science and Technology festival.[3] The activities culminate in a grand three day festival event in the month of January on the campus of IIT Bombay which attracts people from all over India and abroad, including students, academia, corporates and the general public.[4]

History and Growth[edit]

The very first edition of Techfest was in 1998. The underlying spirit of the competitions was "Technology is fun" a motto that has been followed by every Techfest since. Techfest ‘98 also set the broad outlines of Techfest in the form of competitions, lectures, workshops and exhibitions which went on to become a standard feature at every Techfest. Entrepreneurship also made an appearance in the 1999 and 2000 editions. Technoholix—Techfest in the Dark showcasing technological entertainment at the end of each day as well as HUB—the centre of on the spot activities, made their debut during these years.

Techfest 2002 saw the incorporation of IIT Bombay's department based events like Yantriki, Chemsplash and Last Straw.

Techfest 2003 launched the Techfest trophy to make the competitions more interesting. Colleges from all over India participated in multiple segments to win the trophy.

Techfest 2004 marked a big milestone in the growth of Techfest as this was the year Techfest became an International event with the introduction of Cliffhanger. It also saw the introduction of the renowned robotics competition, Micromouse for the first time in India.

Techfest 2005 added challenging problem statements in the form of competitions like Survivor as well as Drishti, which was conceived with the National Association for the Blind (NAB) in order to provide aids for the visually challenged.

The emphasis at Techfest 2006 was on technology and its applications rather than just engineering know—how. With this view, a section of competitions held under the name E-Rustique had problem statements that encouraged the participants to come up with solutions to existing rural problems and hence contribute to the development of modern India.

Techfest 2007 introduced an event Nexus to take robotics to the masses via workshops and subsequent competitions with easy problem statements in cities other than Mumbai.

In Techfest 2008, Nexus was conducted at 7 centers across India namely Indore, Calicut, Jaipur, New Delhi, Pune, Surat and Mumbai respectively. Techfest 2008 also returned to the trend of taking up of initiatives by the Techfest team for social and public causes through their campaign on Global Warming.

Techfest 2009 featured the iNexus [5] taking Nexus international to Sri Lanka, UAE and Denmark, whose finalists were flown to India to compete with their counterparts from India, making Techfest the first ever student organization to go truly international. It also saw the creation of open innovation platform called Prayaas [6] to try come up with implementable solutions to problems existing in rural India.

Techfest 2010 [7] added a new segment to their festival called Scintillations.[8] The segment consisted of night exhibitions and thrilling interactive shows. The exhibitions had quite a nationalistic flavor with hanger space devoted to ISRO, Indian Navy and National Disaster Management Authority .

Techfest 2011 was held from 7 January 2011 to 9 January 2011. It more entertainment events to the festival with a new section called Crossroads which featured Street Magic Shows, Stunt Shows etc. Some of the featured events at 2011 were the VirtuSphere and Laser Tag, lecture by the likes of Harold Kroto and Richard Stallman, exhibition of Science and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci and PR2. Techfest also conducted an energy-saving competition among all Indian Institutes of Technology . Technoholix saw world's best Double Dutch (jump rope) crew and the Dunking Devils − an acrobatic basketball show among others.

Techfest 2012 took a unique initiative Ummeed-e-Milaap [9][10] to step towards a peaceful future between India and Pakistan. With the motto of spreading awareness about electric vehicles in Indian metros, WAVE-India was launched, a road-trip of electric vehicles covering over 2500 kilometers through India. It saw a series of great lecturers viz. Venki Ramakrishnan [11] (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), Karlheinz Brandenburg [11] (Co-Inventor of MP3) and many more. Many amazing exhibits like Nao Robot(France), Crazy file (Sweden) etc. were a part of the festival.[11]

The main wall of Techfest 2013

Techfest 2013 created a benchmark for itself with its lecture series, competitions and initiatives. This stint of Lecture Series at Techfest was graced by Amartya Sen [12] (Nobel Laureate in Economics), Ei-ichi Negishi (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), Rakesh Sharma and many more. International Robotics Challenge(IRC), the flagship event of Techfest 2013, witnessed participation from 8 countries. A new competition TechOlympics [13] was launched which saw 240 teams from India participate to solve multiple problem statements and be crowned the winner. The initiatives - Techfest Green Campus Challenge (participation from 750 colleges and formation of 150 new Eco-clubs) and Give-A-Coin aimed at awareness of financial child adoption were a huge success and well appreciated all over the country.

Techfest 2014 [14] registered the biggest participation in all editions. The lecture series witnessed Prof. C.N.R. Rao (Bharat Ratna 2014), Pranav Mistry (Inventor of SixthSense Technology), Kiran Bedi (India’s first woman IPS officer) among many renowned personalities. The technoholix segment witnessed the World Premiere of a 3D projection mapping play, June, covered in Indian as well as Italian media. An anti-smoking campaign, I SMOKE [15][16] set a limca book of record for the most number of doodles collected. The 16th edition also saw launch of the 4G services for the first time in India in by Reliance Jio.[17]

Structure and Organisation[edit]

All Team Meet of Techfest 2014

Techfest is an entirely student organized body. The core committee has 23 members: one Overall Coordinator at the helm and 22 managers who overlook all the aspects and activities of Techfest. A team of over 800 Coordinators and Organisers along with their respective managers work in sync to execute and implement the activities of the festival. Each Manager has a portfolio assigned to him which can be broadly categorized into two sections - administration and events. The administrative portfolios primarily include tasks like accounts, infrastructure, marketing, hospitality, publicity and media along with helping with the events. The events portfolios include responsibility for each of the numerous happenings and initiatives taken by Techfest each year. Each manager then has his own team of coordinators and organizers. The coordinators and organizers help the manager in looking into the finer details of the department and ensuring that ideas of the team are executed smoothly.[18]



Events[edit]

Competitions[edit]

International Competitions at Techfest IIT-Bombay

Competitions serve the backbone for fulfilling the basic motto of Techfest- spreading science and technology. Over the years, this segment has evolved to become a stage for international exchange. Competitions such as Apexo, Codestruck, Full Throttle, Aviator, AIR-O-MANIA [19] and many more have been instrumental in encouraging students to work in the technical field.

The International Robotics Challenge (IRC) [2] is an international competition, which was held in 12 countries during Techfest 2014. The elimination rounds are held in the respective countries and the finals held at Techfest. Till date IRC has seen participation from France, Russia, Sweden, South Africa, Egypt, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Techfest International Coding Challenge also saw participation from different countries. Techfest International Model United Nations [20] was launched with the aim of spreading political awareness on International affairs. It saw participation of more than 300 delegates in 2014.

Techfest organizes one of the biggest Robowars [21] in India. With an enclosed arena and precise set of rules, opposing robots battle it out one-on-one in one of the most popular and thrilling events during the festival which witnesses a lot of spectators. Techfest 2014 saw a new competition format, titled the Cassiopeian Wars . It involved 5 zones in India competing in robotics and coding to get the maximum points.

Exhibitions[edit]

Queue for exhibitions at Techfest IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India

The exhibitions segment of Techfest started out in 2004 with Indian Navy Exhibitions feeling the need to motivate young Indian minds towards military research and to depict the wide spectrum of technologies used in the Navy. It was re-initiated in 2006 with a plethora of exhibitions. Welcome To Mars was the first International Exhibition from Arizona State University and NASA . While 2007 witnessed a huge increase in the number of International Exhibits of which the most prominent were Mind Reading Machines and the life size exhibits of Pterosaur, in 2008 had the first interactive exhibit in Techfest in Shadow Dexterous Hand. In 2009 the underwater Amphibot capable of moving both on land and water without any limbs or wheels, face detection software on a robot security platform,rudders and flight control mechanics from Airbus, and DRDO ’s mobile autonomous launcher Brahmos and Bridge laying System of Tank Arjuna thrilled all. Alice the first robot smaller than a ping pong ball and eyewriter-writing by eye movement were the focus of Techfest Exhibitions 2010. Da Vinci Robotics Exhibitions-conceptualised by Leonardo da Vinci, Open vibe- the brain-computer interface show how brain activity, PR2 Robot, Eccerobot 2- an anthropomimetic robot acting as a human replica were the cynosure of all eyes in 2011. Techfest 2013 [22] saw the NAO Robot [23] from France, exhibits from the MIT Media Lab like the EyeNetra, HIRO robot were among the highlights of the exhibitions. Exhibitions at Techfest 2014 witnessed the BINA48 [24] (World’s most advanced social robot), Fumanoids (Soccer Humanoids, Germany), Solowheel (Electric Unicycle, USA), Cubli (Vertex balancing cube, EPFL Switzerland) and many other exhibits.

Ideate[edit]

This segment aims at upliftment and empowerment of the society to bring about a change on a magnanimous scale and make the world a better place to live in.[25] Inspire India, Utkarsh, Vidyaarth, Pakriti, Unnat and Yojna; all as a part of the segment provided a platform to the ponderers to come up with the ideas that spark the revolution. Techfest 2014 saw participation from over 300 colleges across the nation. More than 1000 ideas were planned and implemented over the period making a great impact to the society. Some ideas were presented internationally and awarded patents.

Lectures[edit]

Michael Sandel, Political Philosopher, Harvard University at Techfest 2014

Lecture Series, the most distinguished segment of Techfest has the sole motive to give students an opportunity to interact with their role models. Every year Techfest plays host to a number of eminent personalities from a variety of fields, articulating their thoughts and elaborating on their well known works, ranging from current rages to the age old topics. Lectures at Techfest are known for informative and interactive sessions between speakers and the enthusiastic audience. The past speakers at Techfest include great personalities like:

Ozone[edit]

F1 simulator in Techfest 2014

Ozone or ‘On the Spot Zone’ reveals the fun part of Techfest. It is the place to hang around for all the festive excitement and adrenaline gushing events. Started in 2006, it has proved to be an integral part of Techfest in the past few years. Through Ozone, Techfest has brought in various entertainment-based technical gadgetry for the first time in India, be it Lazer tag (2010), VirtuSphere (2011), Silent Disco (2013) [26] or F1 Simulator(2014).[24] Events like Junkyard Wars, Paintball, Water Zorbing, 6D-XD Simulator and the Gaming Zone help keep the audience engrossed when they are not involved in the gruelling competitions and workshops.

Ozone has also hosted a variety of street artists such as Zlwin Chew ( Malaysia ), Hiyro ( Japan ), Fabrizio Roseilli ( Italy ), Oded Kafri ( Israel ) and many more. SciTech Quiz started by Techfest in 2008 evolved into the largest inter-institute quiz in India, the Techfest National Open Quiz, hosted by Rohit Nair- a well known quizmaster in India.



Technoholix[edit]

Copenhagen Drummers at Techfest IIT-Bombay 2012

Technoholix, the night segment of the festival features professional shows from the biggest names in entertainment from around the world. It is often referred to as a unique combination of entertainment and technology. It has hosted magic, pyrotechnics, laser shows, acrobatics to even virtual 3D holographic displays and many other different forms. The Double Dutch Force that graced the stage of Athens Olympics subsequently performed here at Techfest. The stage has even played host to the parkour team from the sets of Casino Royale . Tony Chapek, an interactive illusionist from the States; The Pa-li-Tchi fire dancers and pyrotechnicians from Czech Republic ; the Copenhagen Drummers; Pep Bou, a renowned bubble artist from Spain are among the few that have graced the stage at IIT Bombay. In the last edition, Cait Lin (Performer at FIFA World Cup ), Tararam (Performer at Athens Olympics ), and June - The Immersive Musical from Italy performed at the OAT . June, a 3D projection mapping show received media coverage not only in India but also in Italy.[27]

Workshops[edit]

Workshops play an important role in fulfilling Techfest vision of bringing the students face to face with the latest technology that is storming the world. These workshops are organized under expert guidance from various fields and are known to attract a lot of students owing to their repute and quality content. Over the past few years workshops in Android App Development, Ethical Hacking, r-Hex Robot (all terrain six legged robot), Special Effects, Digital Photography, Humanoid Hand, Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics have given an enriching experience to participants. Apart from the workshops held during the three-day festival, Techfest also reaches out to many colleges across India through tie-ups with robotics companies and organizes workshops pertaining to spreading the robotics culture among Indian youth.

Social Initiatives[edit]

Bollywood actress Amrita Rao at the launch of ISMOKE campaign

Each year Techfest undertakes social initiatives based on relevant issues in the society. Techfest having a diverse crowd and a large reach is an ideal platform for promoting social causes. Over the years, different teams have conducted various campaigns and sought to bring about change through Techfest.

I SMOKE[edit]

I SMOKE or I Support Movement tO Kill cancEr[28] was a doodle campaign against the ill effects of smoking and awareness about lung cancer. The campaign was launched by Amrita Rao and had the support of celebrities like Ayushmann Khurana, Prachi Desai and Darsheel Safary. The campaign was conducted in 64 colleges all over India, during which 21,383 doodles were collected between August 26, 2013 and September 26, 2013. The number of doodles was recognized by the Limca Book of Records [15][16] as a record number of doodles collected.

Reform’n’ation[edit]

Reform'n'ation[29] was an initiative to involve people in holistic development of the society. The initiative involved a combination of 100 tasks which are broadly divided into - holistic development of child, sustainability, human rights and healthful living. These activities required the participating teams to create awareness as well as devise and implement practical solutions to the existing problem on these issues.

Techfest Green Campus Challenge[edit]

Techfest Green Campus Challenge[30] was an initiative to involve people in Sustainable Development and aware them about effects of neglecting the environmental issues. It was designed with a vision of making campuses across India more sustainable and green, and promote the idea and the necessity of the same among the college going youth of this country.[31]

Give-A-Coin[edit]

Give-A-Coin [32] was an initiative of IIT Bombay in joint association with Pratham Council For Vulnerable Children (PCVC). It promoted financial child adoption. The campaign invited individuals to contribute a rupee each as a token symbol of willingness to contribute to financial adoption of underprivileged children.

Ummeed-e-Milaap[edit]

Ummeed-e-Milaap was an initiative taken by the core team of Techfest 2012 in partnership with LUMS-Spades, Lahore, AIESEC Karachi and FAST Karachi-NLR with a vision to promote healthy interaction between the neighboring students and build a future of harmony and partnership. A part of this initiative was the Indo- Pak Diary Campaign [7][10] wherein a diary was circulated in over 30 colleges in Mumbai, Lahore and Karachi. Aimed at influencing the young minds for the cause, this diary invited ideas that have the potential to be the future of the Indo- Pak Peace Process.

Associates and Partners[edit]

Techfest receives extensive coverage in print, television as well as online media. Techfest has had Hindustan Times, Times of India, Big RTL Thrill, India Today, Big CBS Prime, 92.7 BIG FM. In the past known organisations and embassies have supported Techfest in its endeavours. Techfest in the past had the support of the embassy/consulate of Italy, Netherlands, Israel, Germany, Australia, Austria, Canada and Indonesia . Organisations such as DAAD, Alliance Francaise, British Council, Goethe Institute, Polish Institute, Swissnex and India-Sri Lanka foundation have also partnered with Techfest for the promotion of Science and Technology, education, culture, education as well as tourism. Social initiatives of Techfest have received the support of esteemed NGO's like CRY, Smile Foundation, Pratham, Muktangan, Garbage Concern Welfare Society, Indian Cancer Society and The Candle Project. With a diverse participation, Techfest is a very good place for engaging and interacting with the youth of the country.[33][34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Akolawala, Tasneem (4 January 2012). "Techfest 2013: The fun side of technology". DNA India. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "IIT-Bombay 'Techfest' launches three international competitions". DNA India. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Techfest 2012 - About Us". techfest.org. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Day 2 of IIT Techfest draws over 45,000 people in Mumbai". DNA. 5 January 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Techfest beckons robotics buffs". The Times Of India. 25 December 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "At IITB Techfest, a competition on finding solutions to day-to-day problems". Indian Express. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Disaster management techniques grab eyeballs at IIT Mumbai Techfest". DNA India. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Scintillations showcase at IITB Techfest 2010". onlygizmos.com. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "India, Pakistan students launch diary campaign". The Hindu. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "IIT-B launches diary for messages of unity". Hindustan Times. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "It’s the year of the robots". Hindustan Times. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Interactive session with Dr Amartya Sen at Techfest 2013, IIT Bombay". IBN Live. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "Platform for talent: IIT-Bombay launches ‘TechOlympics’". The Indian Express. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Supercars to rev up Techfest’s appeal this year". Indian Express. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "IIT-B Techfest's anti-smoking message flies into Limca Book of Records". DNA India. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "IIT-B drive makes doodle record". The Times Of India. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Reliance Jio tests 4G network, Jio Television at IIT Mumbai Techfest". NDTV gadgets. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "IIT-Bombay starts Techfest preparation". The Asian Age. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Time to build for future". The Times Of India. 8 December 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Techfest International Model United Nations". UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "IIT-B Techfest: City team wins RoboWars in record time". Indian Express. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Gadgets that will blow your mind". Hindustan Times. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Hi-tech marvels wow crowds at IIT-B’s Techfest". DNA India. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c "Kiran Bedi targets netas, roots for transparency on Day 1 of IIT-B fest". The Times Of India. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "IIT-Bombay's Techfest '13 to focus on rural India". The Times Of India. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "Silent disco: IIT-B students to party past noise curfew". Hindustan Times. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  27. ^ "L’Italia che vince nel mondo. June – The Immersive Musical, show ipertecnologico Made in Italy, debutta in India al Techfest di Mumbai". Artribune. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  28. ^ "ISMOKE". Techfest. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "Mumbai College fests turn into tool to find India's problems". Hindustan Times. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  30. ^ "TGCC". Techfest. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  31. ^ "VIT bags first prize in IIT-Bombay Techfest". The Hindu. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  32. ^ "IIT-B Techfest takes up social causes". DNA India. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  33. ^ "IIT-B Techfest gets bigger, bags over ₹1.5cr sponsorship". The Times Of India. 28 December 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  34. ^ "Sponsors shower `1 cr on IIT-B’s Techfest". Hindustan Times. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 

External links[edit]