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Type Student-run non-profit festival
Founded 2005
Place Tiruchirappalli, India
Institute NIT Trichy
Major events Coding, robotics, management, paper presentation, guest lectures, infotainment, core engineering, exhibitions, workshops
Prize money ₹14,00,000
Slogan Let's Celebrate Technology

Pragyan is the annual techno-management festival of the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. Since its inception in 2005, it has been held every year over a period of three and a half days during either the month of January or February. Every year, participants from a number of colleges across the country take part in the various events in Pragyan, making it is the largest techno-management fest in India. It is also the first student-run organization in the world and the third overall next only to London Olympics and Manchester United to get an ISO 20121:2012 Certification for Sustainable Event Management. [1] [2]

History and growth[edit]

In 2005, the staff and students collaborated to create Pragyan as a technical festival attracting innovation from across the state.[3][4] Pragyan has since expanded to include teams from over 60 countries taking part in the online programming contests. In recent years, up to 700 volunteers have worked in hosting the event.


The events in Pragyan have traditionally been broadly divided into clusters. Initially starting with eight clusters, in 2016, two more clusters were added.

Cluster Events
Chill Pill Aerogami, Chess, Fix It, Fox Hunt, Leap Action, Memory Challenge, Puzzlemania, Sanrachana, Science Solitaire, Snakes and Ladders, Star Gazing, Water Rocket.
Code It Adaventure, Bytecode, Code Character, Gaming Minifest, GPU Coding, Hunt the Code, Pengufest, Pragyan-CTF, Three's a Crowd.
Core Engineering Circuitrix, Concept Car Challenge, Contraption, Delta T, Hydro, Hover One, Junkyard Wars, Nittro, NFS Aqua, Pragyan Design Challenge, Quadcombat, Water Rocket.
Creatrix Lights On, String Theory, Fundamental.
Grey Cells M-Decoder, Crimebusters, Labyrinth, Pragyan Quiz, How Stuff Works Quiz.
Impact Greenville, Ideation Challenge, Inspinature.
IOT IOT Challenge.
Landscape Aakriti, Mortar Master, Topographya.
Manigma Beer Factory, Dalal Street, Marketing Hub, Pragyan Premier League, The Ultimate Manager.
Robovigyan Appollo18, Rush Hour, Robovision, Robowars, 7 Stones.

Guest Lectures[edit]

Each year the festival features lectures from several guest speakers.

Year Guest Lecturers
2017 Richard A. Muller, Kishore Jayaraman, Henry Throop, David J. Peterson, Ada Yonath, A. Sivathanu Pillai, Rajshekhar Murthy, Nandini Harinath.
2016 Peter G. Schultz, Varun Agarwal, Ralph Leighton, Dr. Archana Sharma, Sudhir Kumar Mishra, Gianni Di Caro, Abhas Mitra, Rene Reinsburg.
2015 Marshall Strabala, Dr. Jitendra Joshi, Paul Halpern, Suneet Tuli, Robin Chase, T. S. Krishnamurthy, Ananth Krishnan, Jill Tarter, Raju Venkatraman, Guhesh Ramanathan, Scott R Peppet, Rakshit Tandon, Rakesh Godwani.[5]
2014 L Sivasankaran, Kiruba Shankar, Anirudh & Pragun, Ram Gopal, Valerie Wagoner, Dr. Marcus du Sautoy, Jamie Hyneman, Dhananjayan Govind, Venkatesh Basker, Tevenos, T. V. Narendran.
2013 Anil Kakodkar, Tessy Thomas, Atul Gurtu, Rohan Dixit, David Christian, Richard Noble
2012 Gayle Lackmann McDowell, Gert Lanckriet, J. N. Reddy, Michael E. Brown, Jeff Lieberman, Swaminathan Gurumurthy, Dr.Vijay Chandru, Dr. Sivathanu Pillai and Narendra Nayak
2011 David Hanson (robotics designer), Sugata Mitra, Narayanan Krishnan, T. V. Padma, Stefan Engeseth and Ajeet N. Mathur
2010 Dr. Ramesh Jain, N S Ramaswamy, Dr. P. M. Bhargava, Dr. Sreenidihi Varadharajan, Raj Bala, Are Holen.
2009 Peter Norvig, Loren Acton, John C. Mather, Manish Tripathi and Kalyan Banerjee.
2008 Philippe Lebrun, Ronald Mallett, Noam Chomsky, Trilochan Sastry, K.R. Sridhar and Philip Zimmermann
2007 Douglas Osheroff, Rudolph Marcus, Guruswami Ravichandran, Gurcharan Das and Jimmy Wales
2006 Yash Pal, Stephen Wolfram, Christopher Gill, and Christopher Charles Benninger

The 2015 edition saw the introduction of 'Divergent', an inspirational talk series by youngsters who have made a marked contribution to the society. The speakers at the 2015 edition included Roman Saini, Vishnu Nair, Ajit Narayanan and Kartheeban.

In the 2016 edition, the alma mater of NITT were called to participate in Alumni Crossfire in which they debated on whether the NIT of the 70s, 80s, 90s or the 2000s which gave had the best experience.



Crossfire is a panel discussion event held during the festival. Crossfire aims to provide a global platform for the academia, industry and government to interact with the student fraternity.

Panellists of Pragyan 2012 Crossfire
Panellists of Pragyan 2013 Crossfire
Year Topic Speakers
2017 Will Equity lead to Equality? Santosh Mehrotra, M. Satya Kumar, T. R. Raghunandan, Trilochan Sastry; moderated by Dhanya Rajendran.
2016 Development sustains pollution: must we defile to go the extra mile? Ajay, Shankar, Bahar Dutt, Anoop Poonia, Abhinandan Sekhri, Nawshir Mirza, Dr. A. Ravindra.
2015 Putting an Indian on the moon seems easier than keeping an Indian street clean M. Chandra Dathan, Shyam Chetty, Dr. Damodar Tripathi, T.S. Krishnamurthy, Abdul Ghani; moderated by Dr. Sumanth C Raman.
2015 Was it all worth it? An alumni crossfire on career choices and following your passion Sharon Koshy, Shyam HN, Shankar, G. Naveen, Sri Ram Shankar.
2014 The role of youth in nation building D.R. Karthikeyan, Santhosh Hegde, Bhagwan Singh, Captain N. Thinakaran, Karthik Janakiram; moderated by Prof. G. Balakrishnan.
2013 Failing educational institutions? Chris Philips, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Ismail, Bushra Shariff, Professor Eugene D’Vas, Prashanth Raj; moderated by Prof. Vinod.
2012 It's not about the degree, it's about the passion Amoghavarsha, A.N. Chandramouli, J.N. Reddy, Arunabh Kumar, J Balamurugan, Sarath Babu, Prof. Vinod
2011 From joint families to live-in relationships, from pen pals to Facebook, from outdoor games to video games – this generation has surely changed a lot. But are these changes for the good? What are the priorities of youth at present? Where are we headed? And where do we go from there? Krish Ashok, Dr. L.S. Ganesh, Subramanian Vincent, Dr. Ramesh Jain, Kishore Kumar, Jagan Jothivel.
2010 Why aren’t we I.D.I.O.T.S (I do it on my own terms)? L.S. Ganesh, Subramaniam Vincent, Kishore Kumar, Dr. Ramesh Jain, Sudhish Kamath, Jagan Jothivel
2009 India as a global knowledge superpower Prof. Anil Gupta, Dr. P.V. Indiresan, Dr. Sujatha Ramdorai, Dr. Prabhakar Marur; moderated by Rashmi Bansal


Pragyan 2014 Quadcopter workshop

Workshops that test and hone the skills of the participants have been an integral part of the festival since 2007.

Year Workshops Conducted
2017 Construction project Management by Civil Simplified
Cross Platform Development by EI Systems
Process Design and Simulation by Innovians Technologies
Swarm Robotics by Robotech Labs
Quadcopter by AerotriX
Autotrix by Top Engineers
Network Designing by I-Medita
Nikon Photography
IBM Cognitive and Cloud Computing
Texas Instruments Power Supply and Design
SEBI Stock Marketing and Financial Planning
National Instruments' Internet of Things
PTC Creo
Data Analytics by LatentView Analytics
2016 IBM Cloud Computing
Stock Market and Financial Planning
Image Processing with Ni-Lab view
Crime Scene Investigation
Foundation Analysis and Design
Astro Photography
IC Engines
Golang by Mozilla India, a workshop on GO, an open source programming language
Process Simulation with Aspen Hysys
Cyber Warfare and Security
Automobile Prototyping RC Car
Texas Instruments TM4C UC
2015 Accelerobotix, conducted by Technophilia
Touch and Augmented Reality, conducted by Infi-Zeal Technologies
Bridge design and Fabrication, conducted by Ark Technosolutions
Whatshack, conducted by i3indya Technologies
Brainwave Robotics, conducted by Ark Technosolutions
Analytical Engineering and Decision Science
Autotrix, an automobile workshop
Infysec Workshop Series
IBM Coding Challenge
2014 Seismic Design conducted by Civil Simplified
Rocket Launch conducted by Xovian [7]
Lie Detector workshop conducted in collaboration with Truth Labs India
Big Data conducted in partnership with Microsoft
Quadcopter conducted by Robofission Labs in association with Techkriti, IIT Kanpur
PC, Internet and Speech controlled bot building workshop organized by Robogenesis
Distributed computing through Java conducted by a special initiative of IBM called “IBM India University Relations”
2013 Automotive Systems and Advancements by Tata Motors Authorised Training Consultant
Sixth Sense Robotics
Android App Development
Six sigma
Tall structure design
Underwater robotics
The viral media workshop
2012 IC Engines Assembling in association with AerotriX
Bi-pedal Robotics in association with Yogiki
Introduction to Stocks
Light Painting
Cyber Forensics
2011 Gesture Controlled Robotics: Haptics Workshop
Computer Animation
Cloud Computing
Mobile Applications
Management Workshop
2010 3D Photography
Ethical Hacking
Hexapod Robotics
Adobe Flex.
2009 Light Painting Workshop by Kshitij Anand
Animation Workshop conducted by the Nikhil Madan, RoboSapiens
2008 Ham Radio operation
Bio-inspired robotics
Amateur Astronomy
2007 Automobile Design by Amarendra Kr. Das.
Digital Signal Processing- Pattern Recognition and Digital Watermarking.

Exhibitions and Sangam[edit]

A number of exhibits are hosted during the festival each year.


Year Exhibits
2017 Smart Drone
Vantablack (Vertically Aligned Nanotube Arrays)
INDRO Humanoid Robot
Spero E-Bike
Antique Cameras - Dr. Arun's Photography and Vintage Camera Museum
2016 Metalmate Robotics
Infivention - Automated Chess
Inventrom - Bolt (formerly NetPlug) and its products
Lock Collection - Dr. Hiren Shah
IBOTS - Smart Vehicles
2015 NASA Moon Rock sample, presented by NASA
Defense exhibitions-Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) and Defence Research and Development Organisation DRDO (Tank and flight simulator)
GTRE Gas Turbines
NAO Humanoid Robots presented by Vishnu Engineering
Brain controlled helicopter presented by Pantech Solutions
Masha Nazeem's social exhibits
High energy batteries presented by High Energy Batteries (India) Limited
2014 Quad-Rotor, Robotic arm and X-pod robots by Robosoft
Surrogate, FB car, advanced vision systems, hacking Kinect, XNA gaming, computer security and Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MSRDS) by Robogenesis
Collection of antique cameras by Arun Cameras
Motion Sensing with Natural User Interface (NUI) by Gesture Research India
CSM1 3D Printer by Cycloid Systems
Pragyan 2013 Exhibition by CVRDE
Vintage Cars by GJ Automobiles, Trichy
Indian missiles presented by Defence Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad
Models and Presentations about the labs, products and facilities of Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Chennai
Vertical Axis Wind Turbine by HEXDOG Engineering
HAM Radio Operation by the Amateur Radio Society of Tiruchirappalli
Augmented Reality by GAMOOZ India
Multitouch Interactive Sensing by TouchMagix.
2012 Kinect 3D model installation by Blink Solution
Precision Instruments by Aimil Ltd.
Augmented Reality by BlinkSolution
Ductbot, Biped and Hexapods by Robosoft Systems
Adaptive Gripper Arm by Festo Bionic Learning Network
2011 Digital Effects Processing and Multitouch Technology with DJ-ing, "Reactable"
Musical performance using only solar powered instruments by Solar Punch.


Pragyan 2013 Sangam Project

Sangam is an exclusive intra-NITT technical contest involving the display of models and solutions developed by students from various departments. This event, which is held on all four days of Pragyan, provides a platform to students to implement their innovative ideas and earn recognition for the same from other participants, academicians, technocrats and industrialists.

Year Notable projects
2017 Rice Transplanter
Assisstive Rehabilitation Exoskeleton (Ares)
ASCON - Sign Language Interpreter
JARVIS - Personalised Monitoring System
E-Voting System using MATLAB and AADHAR Card Identification
Standing Wheelchair
Quadcopter with Para-glider applications
Sustainable Concrete
Rocker Arm Bike
2015 Innovation in Concrete
Drone assisted navigation
The geodesic dome project
Real time 3D object reconstruction project
'Smart' bikes equipped with gyroscopes to sense accidents
Sun powered hydraulic solar tracker
Fan Wing Aircraft
Perovskite Solar Cell
2014 Portable ECG Machine with Real Time Signal
Coanda effect flying saucer
Under water robot
Bascule Bridges
2013 Prototype for voice controller electric wheel chair
Stepper Motor using shape memory alloys
MPPT solar charger for buses
Green Charger for mobiles
2012 Solar powered water pump using PMDC motor
CO2 removal from vehicular emissions
Cold start emission Control


Pragyan 2012 Infotainment Lasers show

Since its inception in 2008, the Infotainment event of the festival has provided entertainment across genres that include acrobatics, dance, beatboxing, illusion, light shows and comedy.

Year Notable shows
2017 Laser Show by Laser Show India, Illusionist Chris Cheong, UV and Fire Shows by the Slovakian troupe Anta Agni, Comedy Night by Biswa Kalyan Rath.
2016 Illusionist JC Sum, Projection Dance Troupe Girasomnis, UV and Tron dance troupe Illuminati, Comedy Show by Sorabh Pant and S Aravind.
2015 Light and Fire Shows by Pyroterra, Semi-finalists, Britain's Got Talent
Atul Khatri and Angad Singh Rayal, East India Comedy
Radium Painting by Vivek Patil.
2014 Pragyan's Got Talent
Comedy Show by East India Comedy
UV balloons
Speed Painting by Vilas Nayak
Dance performance by Shobana Chandrakumar
2013 Informals Fire Show by Thrill Veera
3D Mapping Projection on the LHC
Comedy Night Out by The Viral Fever
Robo Dance by Robo Ganesh
Music Performance using recycled instruments by Thalavattam Band
2012 Laser Mirror Costume Act, LED light juggling show, LED costume and wings act by STIGMA
Laser Show by InfySec
Sky Lanterns Show
2011 Musical performance using only solar powered instruments by Solar Punch
Digital Effects Processing and Multitouch Technology with DJ-ing, by Carles Lopez of Reactable fame
2010 Sand Art by Mr. Amar Sen
Showcase of 3D visual effects, animation and other special effects by Zee Institute of Creative Arts(ZICA)
Air show and Aircraft Exhibition by the Rotor Sports and Hobby Club of Chennai
2009 Techno-Magic show by the renowned Mr Christopher James
Laser Show with the theme 'Evolution'
Hand Shadowgraphy

Sponsors and partners[edit]

Pragyan is a non-profit event run entirely by students of the institute. The festival has been associated with a number of corporate sponsors in the past, including Tata Steel, Texas Instruments, State Bank of India, Google, Pepsi, Marrybrown, Indian Oil Corporation, McAfee, National Instruments, Larsen & Toubro and Honeywell. For 2017 edition of Pragyan, the principal sponsors were MRF Tyres, Intel Corp and National Instruments.[8]

Pragyan Social Responsibility[edit]

In Pragyan 2012, a new wing of Pragyan, Pragyan Social Responsibility(PSR) was added. A number of initiatives are conducted by the members of this wing targeted at diverse social groups.


As NIT Trichy’s contribution to Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan, PSR invited school children in the neighbourhood to witness and take part in Pragyan 2017. Dhisai, the JEE awareness campaign was conducted this year with help from Tamil Nadu government. A mock JEE test was conducted in six centers across Tamil Nadu. Under the Catalyst initiative, science experiments were demonstrated to students of two neighbouring schools. Pragyan Pizza Project was a pet project of PSR; customers at Domino's Pizza, Trichy were gifted saplings which could be planted in their surroundings. A fire safety awareness campaign was conducted with help from personnel from Tamil Nadu Fire Rescue Services. The state-level final round of Veetukku Oru Vignaani, a science exhibition contest for school students conducted by the Puthiya Thalaimurai television network was hosted by Pragyan at NIT Trichy. A Campus Initiative Week was celebrated in which volunteers of the team took many steps to improve life in the campus. An awareness campaign against the use of high-beam headlights was also conducted.


As part of Dhisai, a Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) awareness program, information booklets were distributed across schools in all districts of Tamil Nadu and online portals were made available in Tamil, Hindi and English. A mock JEE examination was conducted for 12th grade students throughout Tamil Nadu to provide them with real time experience in a competitive scenario. The Vigilance Awareness Week at NIT Trichy saw Mr. Senthamarai Kanna, Deputy Inspector General Of Police, Trichy range and Mr.M G Devasahayam, retired IAS officer sharing their views on corruption. Under the banner of Catalyst, aimed at enhancing education through technology, workshops were conducted and computer application software were taught to school students. A science exhibition for projects by school students, Veetukku Oru Vignaani, conducted by Puthiya Thalaimurai television network was hosted and managed by Pragyan. A disaster management awareness program, Raksha was conducted, to prepare school students for facing natural and man-made disasters. A traffic and road safety awareness campaign was held. The significance of wearing helmets and seat belts was explained through the distribution of cards.


Catalyst Photo
Catalyst, A Pragyan Social Responsibility Initiative.

PSR conducted Catalyst, a one-day workshop on MS Office for the students of Boiler Plant Girls Higher Secondary School in BHEL township. The workshop was held on November 1, 2014.
As a year-round project, PSR in association with LEAP (the environment club of the college) and the Entrepreneurship cell launched PET Project, an initiative to reduce the wastage of paper in campus. This was launched after considering the enormous wastage of paper that occurs in the campus. A collection box was placed in the Octagon (the computer centre) to collect the roll number sheets that are generated for each student with a print command. The sheets were then used for activities such as making note books and helping Self Help Groups by teaching them to make paper products. The event ‘Dhisai’ aimed at educating the school students of Tamil Nadu about the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE). A mock JEE exam was conducted in Trichy for the students of class 12.[9] Talks on Career Counselling and Cybercrime were conducted by professionals.


PSR in association with The Third Dimension, the Aero-modeling Club of the NIT Trichy organised an event to spread interest and awareness in science among school students. It was conducted at a Tamil Nadu State Government Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Thiruverumbur on 6 December 2013. The event consisted of simple experiments conducted with things available around us to help the school students understand the basic concepts they study in school. Contact details were provided to the students for further assistance and also to receive study materials and college books for entrance exams free of cost as a part of Pragyan Social Responsibility. In a first of its kind initiative in NIT, Trichy; PSR took to pasting stickers in all hostels of NIT, Trichy to spread awareness about conservation of energy.


Pragyan 2013 saw two events under the wing of PSR, namely, Disha and Wishberry. Disha was a career counselling event that was launched with the sole objective of promoting the importance of technical skills and the need for innovation among the school and college going crowd. Wishberry was brought out to help improve the infrastructure in a rural government school in Trichy district. As an ode to the world class education the students of NIT-T are provided with, and as a statement of Pragyan’s commitment to education, the team proceeded in the quest of trying to fulfill the minimum required infrastructural needs possible at the Government ADW Boys Higher Secondary School located in Pappakurichi Village, Trichy District. A total of around Rs. 95000 was collected from various sources namely, Rs.73000 online and Rs.22000 in-person from interested contributors.

Square One[edit]

Pragyan Square One, formerly known as Outreach, was introduced with the aim to expand and extent technological advances and create awareness in scientific utilities in regions across the nation.


For the first time ever, Pragyan Square One was conducted in two cities- Coimbatore and Kochi. An automobiles workshop by Innovians Technologies was organised at Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology (SKCET) on 22nd and 23rd October, 2017. A workshop on Ethical Hacking was conducted at CUSAT, Kochi on 4th and 5th February, 2017. Students were invited to take part in the regional rounds of events like Circuitrix, The Ultimate Manager, Hunt the Code and Pragyan Quiz. The top teams of each event were invited to take part in the national finals which were to be conducted during Pragyan 2017 at NIT Trichy.


The 2016 edition of Pragyan saw 'Grab to Smash' a robot building contest, a Quadcopter workshop and a quiz event held in Kochi on 16 th and 17 January 2016. The Chennai version held on 30 January saw the robot contest, a 'Hunt the Code' competition for coding enthusiasts and an 'Ultimate Manager' contest. A design workshop was also held with CAD and Creo.


The First edition of the Pragyan Square One (2015) was conducted in Chennai took place at the Sathyabama University, Chennai on November 1 and 2, 2014.[10] Four different events were conducted during the course of the programme. This included a guest lecture, the Circuitrix event, the regional prelims of the Pragyan Open Quiz and a hovercraft workshop, conducted by the AeroSapiens, in association with the Third Dimension Aeromodeling club of NIT Trichy. The guest lecture had a turnout of about 250 students. The winners of the regional prelims in the quiz competition got a direct entry to the National Intercollegiate Pragyan Quiz held during Pragyan.

The 2015 edition of Pragyan saw yet another highlight event, the Hackathon conducted in association with Amazon India at Amazon, Hyderabad. The contest was held on the 20th and 21 December 2014 and had more than a hundred participants working on various projects. The contest was a theme based one, with “Collaboration Tools” set as the theme of the contest and contestants had to develop mobile and web-based apps that would help people with “team work”. The prizes were worth a total of ₹90,000.[11]

Previous Editions of Pragyan[edit]