Techfest

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Techfest, IIT Bombay
Logo of Techfest, IIT Bombay
TechFest 2k18
Duration 3 days
Venue IIT, Bombay
Location Mumbai, India
Coordinates 19°08′01.09″N 72°54′55.29″E / 19.1336361°N 72.9153583°E / 19.1336361; 72.9153583Coordinates: 19°08′01.09″N 72°54′55.29″E / 19.1336361°N 72.9153583°E / 19.1336361; 72.9153583
Type Non-Profit Student Organisation
Patron(s) UNICEF, UNESCO, Centre for environment education(CEE) and South Asia Youth Environment Network(SAYEN)
Organised by Student community of IIT 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 around the year. Techfest is known for hosting a variety of events that include competitions, exhibitions, lectures as well as workshops.

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 [2] with a footfall of 1.65 lakhs in its latest edition.[3][4][5] The activities culminate in a grand three-day festival event in the campus of IIT Bombay which attracts people from all over the World, including students, academia, corporates and the general public.[6]

History and Growth[edit]

The very first edition of Techfest was in 1998. The underlying spirit of Techfest was "to promote technology and scientific thinking and innovation" 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 the hub of on the spot activities, made their debut during these years.

TF till now.jpg

Techfest 2001-2002 saw the incorporation of IIT Bombay's department oriented events like Yantriki, Chemsplash and Last Straw. Students from G H Raisoni College of Engineering got the Engineering Excellence Award for best design. Mr. Amit Shankar Choudhary, Mr. Fahad Azad, Mr. Bodhisatta Ganguly was in the team of designers from GHRCE, Nagpur.

Techfest 2002-2003 launched the Techfest trophy to make the competitions more interesting. Colleges from all over India participated in multiple segments to win the trophy.

Techfest 2003-2004 marked a big milestone in the growth of Techfest as this was the year Techfest became an International event with the introduction of International Machine design contest - Cliffhanger. It also saw the introduction of the renowned robotics competition, Micromouse for the first time in India. Teams from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Singapore also participated in Cliffhanger.

Techfest 2004-2005 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 2006-2007 introduced an event Nexus to take robotics to the masses via robotics workshops and subsequent competitions with easy problem statements in many cities other than Mumbai.

In Techfest 2007-2008, 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 2008-2009 featured the iNexus [7] 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 [8] to try come up with implementable solutions to problems existing in rural India.

Techfest 2009-2010 [9] added a new segment to their festival called Scintillations.[10] 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 2010-2011 added 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, energy-saving competition among all Indian Institutes of Technology . Technoholix saw world's best Double Dutch (jump rope) crew.

Techfest 2011-2012 took a unique initiative Ummeed-e-Milaap [11][12] to step towards a peaceful future between India and Pakistan. WAVE-India was launched with the motto of spreading awareness about electric vehicles through a road-trip covering over 2500 kilometers through India. Great lecturers viz. Venki Ramakrishnan [13] (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), Karlheinz Brandenburg [13] (Co-Inventor of MP3) and many amazing exhibits like Nao Robot(France), Crazy file (Sweden) etc. were a part of the festival.[13]

Techfest 2012-2013 created a benchmark for itself with its lecture series, competitions and initiatives. This stint of Lecture Series at Techfest was graced by Amartya Sen,[14] 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 [15] was launched which saw 240 teams from India participate to solve multiple problem statements and compete to 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 2013-2014 [16] registered a participation of 1.35 lakhs which turned out to be the highest till that year. The lecture series witnessed Prof. C.N.R. Rao (Bharat Ratna 2014), Pranav Mistry (Inventor of SixthSense Technology), Kiran Bedi and 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 [17][18] featured in Limca Book of Records for the most number of doodles collected. The 16th edition also saw the launch of 4G services for the first time in India by Reliance Jio.[19]

Techfest 2014-2015 recorded a footfall of 1.45 lakhs.[3][4][5] The edition featured a stellar lineup of eminent lecturers like late APJ Abdul Kalam, inventor of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup and one of the founding fathers of internet Vint Cerf. The social initiatives Techfest had undertaken over the past years were nominated for Times of India Social Impact Award. Smart City Challenge, inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 100 smart cities in India, engaged college students to think of innovative ideas for making a smart city. ASK, the nationwide campaign of Techfest, with the partnership of NCPRI, was aimed at creating awareness of the Right to Information Act.

Techfest 2015-2016 witnessed the highest ever footfall of 1.65 lakhs. The lecture series was graced by renowned personalities like Prof. Serge Haroche (Physics Nobel Laureate), Eric Klinker (CEO of BitTorrent) and Dr. K. Radhakrishnan (Former Chairman of ISRO). This edition included an International Summit to unite a dynamic community of global leaders and activists to discuss solutions for challenges and analyze the impact of technology. ReCycle, a college campaign of Techfest, aimed at creating awareness about physical fitness and environmental protection among the youth in society. Internet for All, a social initiative, with the association of NIELIT, aimed at improving digital literacy in India by teaching the basics of internet to school students.

Techfest 2016-2017 was based on the theme "A Space Expedition". The lecture series was graced by Rakesh Sharma (1st Indian in Space), Bruce Allen (American Physicist and Principal Investigator, LIGO Project), Mark Papermaster (Former CTO, Apple Inc.) and many more eminent personalities. This edition hosted World MUN with 525 delegates from all over the world. CURED?, a social initiative to make the masses aware of the causes and effects of Diabetes for which over 200+[20] camps were set up all across India. Save The Souls[21] was an initiative aimed at stopping the inhumane testing of Beagle dogs in laboratories for which an online petition campaign was run. IAmPower was initiated with an aim to empower girls to become leaders of technology, innovators in STEM and build their own future through exposure to computer science and technology.

Techfest 2017-18[22] was based on “Digitalization , Sustainability and Biotechnology”, and recorded a participation of 1.75 lakhs which has been the highest for any college festival. Sophia, the first ever humanoid robot to get citizenship made its appearance for the first time in India. The lecture series was adorned by Tanmay Bakshi (youngest IBM Watson Developer), Manohar Parrikar( Chief Minister of Goa), Jayanth Sinha ( Minister of State, Civil Aviation) and many more distinguished personalities. International Robowars saw participation from 5 countries and had a massive response from its audience for its grandeur. SHE (Sanitary Health Education), a social initiative focused on emancipating the taboo of menstruation in India by conducting hygiene management sessions and distributing 2 Lakh sanitary napkins. Nirbhaya was another initiative which stood for women empowerment by conducting workshops on self-defense in various cities across the nation to help them stand-up for themselves.

Techfest 2016-2017 Graffiti Wall

Patronages, Awards and Recognitions[edit]

Techfest is among the very few student organizations to have received patronage from United Nations organisations. Among its various recognitions, prominent ones are listed below:

Structure and Organisation[edit]

All Team Meet of Techfest 2016-2017

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 Organizers along with 2500+ College ambassadors 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.[25]

Events[edit]

Competitions[edit]

Participants of International Robotics Challenge, Techfest

Competitions serve as the backbone of Techfest by fulfilling its motto of spreading Science and Technology. Techfest 2017 Competitions saw a total participation of over 32,000 from various parts of the globe. With participation from more than 20 countries, this segment has evolved to become a tremendous stage for international exchange. Young enthusiasts from all over the world come together at this magnificent platform to prove their mettle at the vanguard of technical competitions. Competitions of Techfest, IIT Bombay, covers various genres under this segment like Coding under International Coding Challenge, Aerospace under OpRahat (drone competition) and Boeing Aeromodelling Competition, Aquatics under Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge (AUV), IC Engine Cars under Full Throttle, Robotics under Robowars and International Robotics Challenge, Gaming under E-sports, Structural Engineering under Crane-o-Mania and the list continues. Competitions have been instrumental in encouraging students to work in the technical field.

The International Robotics Challenge (IRC) [23] is an international competition, which has participation from over 12 countries. 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, Syria, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Techfest International Coding Challenge also saw participation from different countries. In addition to the list of other competitions, the zonal competitions at Techfest, named Technorion included five nationwide zonal centers as Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bhopal, Mumbai And Bhubaneshwar competing in robotics and coding competitions namely Meshmerize, Enigma, Vice Clutch.[26]

Techfest International Model United Nations [27] (MUN) was launched with the aim of spreading political awareness on International affairs. Earlier held under the name of Techfest International Model United Nations until 2014, this competition was relaunched in 2016 as Techfest World Model United Nations (TWMUN). Techfest World Model United Nations (TWMUN) witnesses over 500 delegates from international universities/schools of over 20 countries, coming together to simulate various committees of the United Nations with the prime objective to innovate solutions of various international agendas and build diplomatic relations. TWMUN 2017 saw 10 different committees like WHO, UNGA, UNSC and even a special crisis committee being organized with delegates having intense discussion for a total prize worth of over 2.6 lakh Indian rupees.

International Robowars[edit]

Techfest started hosting one of the largest Robowars in the country in 2009. It was upgraded and its scale increased multi-fold when the first International Robowars was hosted by Techfest in the year 2017. It was unequivocally the largest event of combat robotics held in the country with over 300 participants from all over the world. With prizes above INR 1 Million at stake, the teams battle in the largest arena in India in various weight categories like 120 lbs, 60 lbs and 30 lbs. The show runs throughout the day and provides unfaltering entertainment for everyone present. The show is anchored by Faruq Tauheed, the official anchor for Battlebots, the most famous competition of combat robotics.

With lights and flames added for the night shows, International Robowars hosts one of the largest crowds in the world of over 6000 to have come to watch combat robotics. The event is bedizened with resplendent artist performances and glamorous ramp walks by models, which guarantees entertainment for the audience day in and day out during the fest.

E-Sports[edit]

Techfest organized the Biggest College E-Sports tournament of India during 29th-31st December 2017 with the aim of promoting e-sports culture in India. The tournament included tournament for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA2. The cash prize money for the tournament was INR 4 Lakhs and it saw participation from over 170 teams from India and over 1100 players.

Exhibitions[edit]

Queue for Exhibitions
Queue for exhibitions at Techfest IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India

Exhibitions provide an ideal platform to reduce the gap between the technology in today’s world and the common man in India. Every year Exhibition has mesmerized people by presenting technological avant-garde in the world. It helps young minds to broaden their vision and to update their tech know-how. The exhibitions segment of Techfest started out in 2004 with Indian Navy Exhibitions feeling the need to motivate young Indian minds towards military research. 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, 2008 had the first interactive exhibit in Techfest in Shadow Dexterous Hand. In 2009 an Amphibot capable of moving 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. Alice the first robot smaller than a ping-pong ball and eye-writer 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 shows brain activity, PR2 Robot, Eccerobot 2- an anthropomimetic robot acting as a human replica were the cynosure of all eyes in 2011. Techfest 2013 [28] saw the NAO Robot [29] 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,[30] Fumanoids (Germany), Solowheel (United States), Cubli (Vertex balancing cube, EPFL Switzerland) and many other exhibits. Techfest 2015 featured innovative Sepios which mimics swimming through proper fins. Bionic Hand,[3][31] an artificial bionic prosthesis using 3D printing technology. Some other exhibits at display were Beach Bot, Teegi, Tigers Mannheim, Thomas Li Vigni and many more.[32] Jinn Bot (robot which express moods such as joy and anger), Dutch Nao Team exhibits from BRAC University, ETH Zurich were among the highlights of Exhibitions in 2016. Following the Space Expedition theme, Exhibitions in Techfest 2016-17 showcased ISRO prototypes, Advanced Military Weaponry, Bebionic hand with Techconnect, an exclusive showcase of IIT Bombay research projects and Exhibits. Techfest 2016 also witnessed Auto-show as a part of exhibitions showcasing BMW i8, BMW M4, Hayabusa, Ducati, Triumph Bikes and many more. Techfest 2017-18 provided unparalleled variety and gave amazing experience by showcasing Team Puli (Hungary), KinoMo (UK), GBL robotics(United States), Mini Robot (Korea), Synergy Moon, Neurosky, Universal Robots, Softbank.

Ideate[edit]

Techfest, IIT Bombay’s Ideate has successfully sparked the entrepreneur in young minds to innovate & come up with ideas to improve the lives of millions by solving social and industrial problems. The motto of Techfest Ideate is to ignite new ideas from across the nation that would alter and revolutionize the present day situation in India. The idea is a beginning of all achievements. Techfest believes that innovation only survives when people believe in their own ideas. A good idea with proper work has the power to change the world. India needs a newly minted idea, a belief, and a vision to spark a revolution.

This segment of Techfest aims at providing a platform to the innovators to come up with the ideas that spark the revolution. In Techfest 2017, International sustainability Challenge, Digitalize, Elixir; all as a part of the segment provided a platform to the innovators from all over the world to come up with the ideas that spark the revolution. Techfest Ideate 2017 saw participation from countries like Germany, Iran, Bangladesh. Techfest 2016, had Ideates, Inspire India, Utkarsh, Vidyaarth, Prakriti, Unnat, and Yojna with participation from over 300 colleges across the nation. More than 1000 ideas were planned and implemented over the period, making a great impact on the society. Techfest 2015-16 saw participation from over 350 colleges across the nation. More than 1000 ideas for Inspire India, Manifest, Aahaar, Ujjawal & Acquanette were planned and implemented. Some ideas were presented internationally and awarded patents.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam at Techfest 2014

Lectures[edit]

Lectures is one of the most distinguished parts of the fest. The series has been continuously striving to impart knowledge and profound experience to one of the largest gathering across the continent. The sheer volume of knowledge and ideas that are spread through the series is immense and unimaginable. The platform provides the opportunity of interacting with eminent personalities and share ideas and interests. The past speakers at Techfest include great personalities like:

Ozone[edit]

F1 Simulator in Techfest 2017
F1 Simulator in Techfest 2017

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),[37] F1 Simulator(2014) [30] or Oculus Rift(2015), Augmented Wall (2017, China).[3] Events like Junkyard Wars, Paintball, Water Zorbing, 6D-XD Simulator, Flying Simulator, Go Karting, ATV rides 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 Krystoff Riewold (Poland), Juan Pablo (Argentina), Zlwin Chew ( Malaysia ), Hiyro ( Japan ), Fabrizio Roseilli ( Italy ), Kelvin Kalvus(Germany), Matej Kodes (Czech Republic), Csirmaz Andras ( Hungary ) and many more. Ozone also organises a variety of interesting workshops like cosplay, paper sculpture, poi & juggling, handwriting analysis and Origami. 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 quiz-master in India.

Technoholix[edit]

1st Project, Drummers from South Africa at Techfest-2015
Immense Crowd attending Technoholix at Techfest, IIT Bombay

Technoholix, the techno-cultural segment of Techfest features professional shows and breathtaking performances by biggest artists from all around the world. Technoholix acts as a perfect opportunity for an audience of 20,000 to rejuvenate by bringing forth a perfect blend of science, technology and entertainment. 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 2014, 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.[38] In Technoholix 2015 performances such as 1st Project (Percussionists from South Africa, Winners of World Music Awards), Flowmotion Dance Company (Austria), Khawater AlDalam(Saudi Arabia Winners of Arab's Got Talent) kept the crowd enthralled. Techfest 2015-2016 featured artist groups such as Afishal (Visual DJ drummer), Alexis Arts[34] (Illusionist, 6 Guinness World Records holder), Kenneth Sebastian[39] (Stand up comedian) and many more. Techfest 2017-18 hosted the star-studded EDM night DJ Marnik (Italy) and DJ Sountec that lit the new year’s eve. Maxwell, the bubbleologist (London), filled the air with colorful bubbles.

Smart City Challenge[edit]

Jury members of Smart City Challenge, Techfest-2015

Smart City Challenge was an initiative inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to develop 100 new smart cities to engage the youth of the country in the development of their city and prosperity of its citizens. The competition was designed with the vision of bringing together technology, government and the student fraternity to make the cities more efficient, sustainable and liveable and to improve the quality of life of the rapidly urbanizing population. The challenge involved five segments which participants could work on:

  • Infrastructure: Good infrastructure is the lifeline of a city
  • Healthcare: Clean surroundings lead to a healthier life
  • Urban Aesthetics: Beautify city, promote local culture
  • Trade & Commerce: Create wealth and dispense it wisely
  • Law & Policy Making: Remove archaic laws which hamper the progress of cities

1000 teams participated across India involving students from IITs, IIMs, IISER, NITs and BITS. The expert panel of over 50 mentors consists of IPS officers, IIT professors, corporate professionals, and eminent government officers.

Besides the prize money of INR 5 lakhs for winners, another incentive to the participants was that their ideas would be forwarded to the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Corporation. They also got a chance to experiment and implement their ideas in Lavasa City (Pune).

Summit[edit]

Bob Frankston at Techfest International Summit
Bob Frankston at Techfest International Summit

Techfest has hosted International Summit on topics like Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, over the years. An International summit was held in Techfest for two days. It focused on understanding how the business will be affected by these technologies which are rapidly adopted all over the world and how professionals may benefit from it as major technology companies and startups are embracing these strategies. The Inaugural Summit brought together corporates, entrepreneurs and investors alike, under one roof, to explore technologies like AI or IoT from business point of view. Professionals from various IT/Software cells and techies of various organizations across all strata of industry were invited to the summit. It allowed one to hear from the stalwarts of the industry and get the real picture in India and the World.

Techfest previous editions of summit consisted of panel discussions, workshops and keynote by speakers like Mr. Bob Frankston,[40] Mr.Jeff Demain, Dr. Aloknath De, Mr. Sundara Nagalingam, Mr. Ishwar Parulkar, Mr. Rishi Bhatnagar, Mrs.Vidya Mani, Mr.Kaustubh Nande, Mr. Rafiq Somani, Mr. Rajendra Pratap Gupta, Mr. Anil Mathur, Mr. Kartik Iyengar, Mr. Parvez Goiporia along with other distinguished scholars. Workshops ware conducted by Microsoft, Intel, Texas Instruments,[41] giving hands-on approach on various applications of AI, IoT etc.

The Summit provided an ideal introduction to professionals & students wanting to pursue it as a career or integrate it into their work and an opportunity of networking session with professionals and like-minded individuals to set the foundation on topics like AI, IoT etc.

Workshops[edit]

Workshops play an important role in fulfilling Techfest, IIT Bombay’s 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. Techfest 2017-18 organized workshops in Google Android, Gesture Robotics, Automobile Mechanics, Financial Fitness, Underwater Robotics, Ethical Hacking, Internet of Things, ArduinoBotix, Quadcopter, All In Cloud, 6th sense Robotics & a lot more. Over the past few years workshops which Techfest, IIT Bombay provide have been given an enriching experience to participants & connected with the most effective and tangible reform movement in high education. 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 spread the robotics culture among Indian youth.

Social Initiatives[edit]

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 a change through Techfest.

SHE (Sanitation and Health Education)[edit]

Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu launches the initiative of SHE

The menstrual cycle is considered a taboo in the Indian society. It is considered as a sign of impurity. Women of our society are taught to keep it a secret, moreover, traditional practices during menstruation and narrow-minded beliefs have been passed on from generation to generation.

Techfest had taken up the responsibility to initiate the Menstrual Cycle Health Awareness campaign by organizing seminars and distributing sanitary napkins in 50+ villages all across India.

Under the banner of SHE, Techfest, educated girl students on menstrual hygiene management and sanitary napkins were distributed in 120+ BMC schools in Mumbai. The Volunteer bus was stopped in 25+ villages from Mumbai to Nagpur and was conducting these sessions. Taapsee Pannu has joined students of IIT Bombay in their endeavor to promote sanitary education among women, which also includes distribution of sanitary napkins in villages. "I've understood why menstruation has been...taboo subject", said Taapsee. She added it's a natural aspect of womanhood and needs to be discussed for people to understand it better.

Nirbhaya[edit]

With the aim to empower women to a life of dignity and self-respect through self-defense, the previous year, Techfest at IIT Bombay had organized self -defense and mental training workshops for women. Techniques involving a deep understanding of human anatomy were taught. Techfest, IIT Bombay's pan India campaign 'Nirbhaya' where we trained girls across 10+ states in self-defense techniques impacting the lives of 1800+ girls. A cause in the remembrance of 'Nirbhaya', a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern, who was raped on 16 December 2012 in Delhi.

Bollywood actress Amrita Rao at the launch of ISMOKE campaign

I SMOKE[edit]

I SMOKE or I Support Movement tO Kill cancEr[42] 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 26 August 2013 and 26 September 2013. The number of doodles was recognized by the Limca Book of Records [17][18] as a record number of doodles collected.

ASK[edit]

Bollywood actress Prachi Desai at the inauguration of ASK campaign

Anxious? Seek Know or ASK [43] was a campaign in 50 colleges across India for spreading awareness about application of Right to Information Act. The initiative was inaugurated by Bollywood actress Prachi Desai. Being conducted in partnership with NCPRI, India's leading non-governmental organization championing the RTI, ASK saw a slew of activities aimed at spreading awareness of the provisions in the act. This included workshops in key cities of India, citizen queries being answered online and offline, creating an online repository of available information on the issue.

Give-A-Coin[edit]

Give-A-Coin [44] 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 the 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 [9][12] 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.

ReCycle[edit]

Participants at Cyclothon as a part of ReCycle
Participants at Cyclothon as a part of ReCycle

ReCycle[45] was initiated to promote health and fitness among the youth. ReCycle consisted of three events an online campaign, a college campaign and the final Cyclothon. The online campaign included slogan, poster and photography competition to create awareness about Global Warming and promotion of cycling. Techfest, IIT Bombay reached out to over 20 colleges in Mumbai to conduct the college campaign. These college campaigns focused on involving the participants and spectators in sharing knowledge, ideas, views and finding better solutions on Global Warming through various activities. The final event Cyclothon was a marathon over cycle which had a participation count of over 1,300, conducted in IIT Bombay.

Internet For All[edit]

IFA - Internet For All[46] was a step taken by Techfest in collaboration with Nehru Science Centre to provide hands-on internet experience to students in rural areas in which volunteers trained by the students and faculty of IIT Bombay showed how content can be accessed with a click. A mobile science exhibition vehicle, equipped with exhibits using latest science and technology to inspire school children, traveled from Mumbai to Delhi. Besides giving hands-on internet experience, volunteers educated rural school students about the power of the internet in delivering services in areas like health, education, agriculture, banking etc. in rural areas. IFA covered 48 villages with 50 volunteers empowering 44840 people. This was initiated under the guidance of Global bodies such as UNICEF, UNESCO, CEE, and SAYEN.

Techfest Cyclothon 2016-2017
Cyclothon 2016-2017 "Pedal For Diabetes"
Camp set up under CURED, campaign by Techfest, IIT Bombay

Cured[edit]

CURED? or Can U Really Escape Diabetes was a movement aimed to make the masses aware of the causes and effects of Diabetes for which over 200+[20] camps were set up all across India.A Guinness World Record and Limca Book Record[47][48] attempt was made for the maximum number of pledges signed and diabetes screenings respectively.

ROAR[edit]

ROAR aimed at upliftment and empowerment of women to bring about a change and make the world a better place to live in. It served to convene, unite and strengthen voices speaking out for girls and women around the world. ROAR contributed to making a change for the better of women and their communities. Famous scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar came to Techfest in 2015 and gave a lecture supporting this campaign.

Reform’n’ation[edit]

Reform'n'ation[49] 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 the child, sustainability, human rights and healthy 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[50] was an initiative to involve people in Sustainable Development and make them aware of the effects of neglecting 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.[51]

Save The Souls[edit]

STS or (Save The Souls)[21] was an initiative aimed at stopping the inhumane testing of Beagle dogs in laboratories for which an online petition campaign was run. Apart from the online campaign, there were intense on ground activities like the Vaccination Drive and the mounting of illuminating collars on stray dogs on a Pan Mumbai scale.

IAmPower[edit]

With an aim to empower girls to become leaders of technology, innovators in STEM and build their own future through exposure to computer science and technology, Techfest conducted the initiative IAmPower to support the young girls and women of India by involving them in STEM. Our initiative aims to redress an under-representation of women in employment and career progression in Science Tech Engineering and Maths discipline by attracting, retaining and advancing the women who are critical for the diverse and inclusive workplace, culminating in the acceleration of global innovation.

Associates and Partners[edit]

Techfest receives extensive coverage in print, television, digital as well as online media. Techfest has had Hindustan Times, DNA, Times of India, Maharashtra Times, CNBC, Times Internet, Discovery Channel, Big RTL Thrill, India Today, Big CBS Prime, 93.5 RED FM and 92.7 BIG FM as its media partners. 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, Hungary, South Korea, Campus France, Spain, Canada and Indonesia. In terms of industrial association and sponsorship, Techfest receives sponsorship from Telecom, PSUs, Banking, Electronics, Automobile and a wide range of other such sectors. In the Past we’ve had association with top firms like Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd,[52] which had the national launch of its 4G Free Wifi in Techfest 2014,Tata Docomo, Google, Microsoft, Intel, L&T, GE, IBM, MMRDA, NTPC, Pepsi, Nestle, RuPay, WD and more such sponsors.[53] 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 as well as tourism. Social initiatives of Techfest have received the support of esteemed NGOs like CRY, Smile Foundation, Pratham, Muktangan, Garbage Concern Welfare Society, Indian Cancer Society, Laadi, Akshara [24] and The Candle Project. With a diverse participation, Techfest is a very good place for engaging and interacting with the youth of the country. [54] [55]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]