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Updated: September 30, 2013 09:41 IST

Where fun, learning and intelligence blend

Special Correspondent
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Students participating in Mini Robo Wars at the VIT University on Sunday. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
The Hindu
Students participating in Mini Robo Wars at the VIT University on Sunday. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Over 28,000 students from 554 colleges all over India participated in three-day graVITas’2013

A fusion of engineering brains and intellectual thoughts unfolded itself in the three-day graVITas’2013, the International Knowledge Carnival which concluded at the VIT University here on Sunday.

Over 28,000 students from 554 colleges all over the country either racked their brains or unleashed their thoughts on matters concerning people through the nearly 100 events that were showcased at the annual intellectual fest hosted by VIT.

Be it the Mini Robo Wars where manually-controlled robots designed and constructed by the students fought with each other as if in a tournament or the India Emerge Youth Summit (IEYS) 2013 where students interacted with leading lights on ways of tackling corruption in society, graVITas reflected the great role that the youth can play not only in industrial development of the country but also solving social problems greatly affecting the country.

Mini Robo Wars and ‘Mirrors’ where robots had to go through a maze of mirrors to come out of an enclosure within the shortest time proved to be a combination of technical skills and games which the students enjoyed like children enjoying the winning of games. It was a combination of fun and intelligence.

Electronic skills of students were to the fore at ‘The Greatest Heist,’ an event where the visitors had to pass through the relics kept in a museum by overcoming the hurdles put on their path such as alarm-raising sensors, lasers and infra-red rays besides tyres. Debashish Sanyal (III B.Tech. ECE), Goutham Reddy (III B.Tech. EEE) and Vishesh N.P. (II B.Tech. ECE), the coordinators said that it was an event which not only involved fun, but reflected the skills of the students in designing a security system for museums, public places and houses prone to theft.

“We got the inspiration for this from the movie, Oceans 11”, they said.

Other events which formed part of the intellectual carnival included ‘Automation workshop’ aimed at providing in-depth knowledge of aspects of automotive sector and upcoming latest technologies, ‘Stock Gyan,’ which was a one-day workshop teaching the basics of Indian financial markets and their working, ‘Python and Google map’ designed to teach students the programming language

Python in a very interactive approach to programming in a manner of software creation and real-world application problem solving unlike regular approaches to teaching computing technologies, and ‘Talk @ Green India,’ which was a national summit aimed at dealing with the two aspects of worsening environmental conditions and the equally deplorable social conditions.

Another useful event was ‘Prototype IAS’ which was a simulation of the Union Public Service Examination, said Deepak Aacha, III B.Tech. ECE student.

Participating in the valedictory function of the 3-day event, S. Christopher, Director, CABS (Centre for Airborne Systems), Defence Research and Development Organisation, Bangalore spoke on the topic, ‘You the instinctive professional.’

Rahul Kanwal, Managing Editor, Headlines Today, said that the media has, in recent years, certainly contributed to an awakening among politicians that they would have to perform sincerely and honestly to avoid criticism and punishment. It was because of the heightened level of awareness among youth, the social media and other forms of media that politicians are responding to public criticism, he said.

KRSR Krishna, vice-president, Petrofac, said that technology should be made to work for us, to make things easy and less time-consuming.

For instance, a technology should be developed where those passing through tollgates can swipe their cards and pass without waiting to pay cash.

G. Viswanathan, VIT Chancellor, presided. Dr. Christopher distributed prizes to winners and certificates to participants. Aditi Kanthan, student organiser, welcomed the gathering. Aditya Shah, student organiser, proposed a vote of thanks.

Schneider Electric was the main sponsor, while The Hindu was the media partner of the event.

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