Largest technical festival in Kerala has a host of new features
Kozhikode: R.V.G. Menon, academician and former president of the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP), inaugurated ‘Tathva,’ the three-day annual technical festival of the National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C) at the NIT-C campus on Thursday.
Speaking after inaugurating the festival, Mr. Menon exhorted the engineering students to be ‘social engineers’ too. “Engineering graduates should frequently ask themselves questions like for whom are we producing and for what purpose our expertises is being put to. Our aim is to create a humane and just society,” he said.
Recalling his student days at College of Engineering, Trivandrum where he taught later, Dr. Menon said that V.V. Giri, who was not then the President of India, visited the college and talked to the students. Mr. Giri asked the engineering students to be ‘social engineers’. “Then I did not know what it meant. Today I appreciate more fully what Mr. Giri meant by social engineers,” he said.
On learning process, he quoted from a poem which said that one fourth has to be learned from the teacher, one-fourth the learner himself\herself, other one-fourth from classmates and the last one-fourth in due course, i.e., through experience.
He pointing out that technical education was passing through a critical period in the country, facing many challenges and transformation. The changes in production technology were affecting the relation among various factors of production. When one discovers new things, one should apply Mahatma Gandhi’s principle and ask oneself whether that discovery would help the poorest of the poor or result in concentration of money in a few hands.
G.R.C. Reddy, director, NIT-C presided over the function. N.Ramachandran, convener Tathva, said that more than 600 students had registered online of which 500 students are from institutions outside Kerala.
Lyla P. Das, co-convener, Dilip Kumar S and Kiran Sasikumar, student coordinators , D. Jayasimha Reddy, M.Tech representative and Bijesh A.S, student representative spoke.
This year’s edition of ‘Tathva’, the largest technical festival in Kerala, is a techno-management festival, rather than just technical one. Richard Stallman, lead architect of GNU project and software freedom activist and Aaron Swartz, technology whizkid who co-authored RSS 1.0 at the age of 14, will be interacting with the participants of ‘Tathva’ through videoconferencing facility on Friday evening.
Another major feature this year is the preliminary round of the contest ‘Nexus,’ a contest in robotics organised by IIT, Bombay which will be held on Saturday at NIT-C campus along with ‘Tathva.’ NIT-C is the only south Indian venue and one of the eight venues in the country chosen for the preliminary round of ‘Nexus’.
Another feature of the festival this year is the huge prize offered with the support of sponsors including ONGC, Accenture, Wipro, Satyam, State Bank of India, Toshiba, Canara Bank, Maruthi Driving School, Vedanta and Webaru. Tathva offers a total of Rs 4.5 lakh as prize money which is more than what is offered by IIT, Madras for its technical festival.
The public will be allowed entry into the festival free of cost. The laboratories of the departments of NIT-C will be thrown open to public and school students on ‘Tathva’ days. DRDO and VSSC will be holding exhibitions during the event.