Technical fest at Amrita University

It was not all about numbers, equations and working models at this year’s students’ technical fest, Anokha, at Amrita University.

The students competed with one another to provide solutions to improve the living conditions of tribals and solve challenges confronting non-governmental organisations.

In the first event, Nirman, the student organisers had uploaded to the Anokha website a set of data they collected about tribals of Memari village. They collected details of the tribals who live in the core forest zone in Idukki, while doing a participatory rural assessment for the Kerala Forest Department.

The challenge was to use the data to come up with a business strategy that would improve the villagers’ condition, said Rashmi Menon, a student organiser, adding the contestants would have to develop the business model within the given rules. One of those was not to disturb the ecology.

In short, this was a social entrepreneurship event, said R. Krishnan, Head, Amrita Centre for Entrepreneurship. The Centre had organised the event.

The Nirman winners were Vishnu Venugopal and Mathew Rajkumar of Amrita University.

In the second event, ‘Be the Change’, the student organisers had posted online challenges a few NGOs like Humane Animal Society, Prerana and Greenpeace faced. The students had to analyse those problems and come up with solutions.

The best solution would win the first prize.

Mini Vasudevan of Humane Animal Society, who had presented a challenge and was also on the panel of judges for the ‘Be the Change’ programme, said the solutions the students had presented were innovative and well thought out.

Niranjana Selvaraj and Mohammed Imran A.M. of Sona College of Technology had come out with a mobile app-based solution. Ms. Vasudevan said her NGO had invited the students to discuss with the staff and develop the app for use.

The winners were Amrita University students Ponnala Sai Yashwanth and Himanshu Gupta, who offered a solution for NGO Prerana to help it deal with victims who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.

On Saturday — the final day — the students participated in the ‘Wind It, Fly It’, ‘Bungee Glider’, image processing workshop, tackled industry defined problems and did much more.

Also at Anokha were TEDx programmes, 20 workshops and competitions like product design, and presentation of research papers.

The organisers said that around 7,500 students from 300 plus institutions participated in the events.

The Army conducted an artillery exhibition, which was an added attraction.

The Hindu was the media partner for the event.

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