Staff Reporter

Highlight of five-day event is the ‘Chandrayaan Workshop’

This year, the event will feature open house sessions for the public, and will have school students visiting the venue

CHENNAI: Their website received seven million hits in September. They received about 1,200 entries within 24 hours after the announcement about the event was made, and were forced to close the registration desk. Nearly 270 coordinators and 700 volunteers have been toiling for six months to put this event together. ‘Shaastra 2007’, the annual technical festival of the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras launched here on Wednesday, features 40 events, workshops, video conferences and lectures.

Addressing a press conference prior to the launch, director of IIT-Madras M.S. Ananth said engineering education had three components, namely knowledge, know how and character. “Such festivals build character and bring in a lot of team work. It is entirely a student festival,” he said.

The highlight of the five-day event ending Sunday is the ‘Chandrayaan Workshop’, aimed at informing students on the first unmanned lunar craft venture of India. The workshop will include lectures on the making of Chandrayaan and its scientific implications.

B.K. Vinay Shankar, co-curricular affairs secretary of IIT-Madras, said the objective of the event was three-fold. “It is a culmination of all tech-spirited activities. It is aimed at inspiring and providing opportunities to students from other institutions, and it is a platform to report and discuss recent developments in science and technology,” he said.

Elaborating on the new features of this year’s edition of the event, he said ‘Shaastra 2007’ featured open house sessions for the public, and would have school students visiting the venue during the event. Lectures by senior scientists, Nobel laureates and economists were other attractions, he added.

Representatives of Bosch and Microsoft, sponsors for the event, were also present at the press conference. Corporate communications manager of Bosch Sanjay Chakravarthy said, “This is a purely talent-based activity and it is part of our corporate social responsibility to nurture such talent,” he said. Staffing director of Microsoft India Development Centre Chitra Sood said the event focussed on talent, innovation and initiative, which Microsoft strongly believed in.

In a formal launch that followed, Albert Hieronimus, managing director, Bosch; IIT-M director M.S. Ananth; dean of students V.G. Idichandy; advisor, co-curricular affairs T.S. Natarajan; other representatives of Bosch, and Vinay Shankar were present.

For further details about the festival, visit: http://www.shaastra.org.

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