Looking Back: An X-ray view through Saarang and Shaastra 2016

A week before Saarang and Shaastra 2017, we take a look at these two fests for the previous year, particularly their composition in terms of both financial and team structure, to find out what makes them really click. This article is aimed at throwing light on how big Saarang and Shaastra are and how coherently their teams work to make them possible.

Think of Shaastra or Saarang you’ve been to as a first year student: people running around, music playing every where, fun in the air, coords running around with their badges, participants, competition, night outs, wolf nights etc. Feeling nostalgic? Well it’s more than this for a lot of them, it’s a bonding, it’s a family, it’s like home. And they are the ones who make it possible; despite all that pain from acads, they keep the ball rolling. To put it in insti way, they are the Shaastra and the Saarang junta.

Shaastra and Saarang started off humbly as Mardi Gras and Pragmaa and now are among India’s largest cultural and technical festivals. Over the last decade, we kept up with the pace of their growth in all dimensions and now see a huge footfall annually. As they keep getting bigger and better every year, the variety of events, workshops and lectures and competition have also only got better, giving us a chance to meet the best minds in their field and make friends and memories worth a lifetime. A lot of us might have heard of the numbers regarding the events and the shows, well now it’s time to see how they make it possible.

Team Hierarchy of Saarang and Shaastra

When you look at the Saarang and Shaastra teams from a top-down view, they look similar but the Saarang team has, a number of positions at the Super Coordinator level and Deputy Coordinator and Volunteer positions below the Coordinator level. As expected, the majority of the workforce is at the level of coordinators for both Saarang and Shaastra. But it is to be noted that the proportion of the workforce at the higher levels (Cores and Super Coordinators) has increased for both Shaastra and Saarang over the last year. This is probably because of the need felt to micromanage stuff as both the fests diversified over time. Another fact that is observed from the below graphs is Saarang employs a large number of volunteers and deputy coordinators while Shaastra doesn’t engage any.


Department-wise Composition of Coordinators

A collective effort of 716 students who worked under a core team consisting of 23 Cores pulled up the festival. The smallest team amongst all was the publicity team with 23 students which is 3.2% of the whole and the largest was events with 168 students, giving a high of 23.5% of the whole student body working, following the normal trend as every year.

SectionAmount (in rupees)
Planned1, 40, 04, 306
Revenue1, 81, 71, 986
Expenditure1, 44, 74, 503

All the revenue was planned to be donated to the CM relief fund.


Saarang 2016:

Though Saarang has seen a dip in the footfall and also the number of participants due to the floods last year, the publicity team put in extra effort to pull it up and put a great show, despite being the smallest team amongst all of them, consisting of 23 members which is only 3.1% of the whole team. Increasing its number every year, the Events team is still the biggest among all the others with 182 students in them giving 24.7% of the whole! So if you catch hold of a rando ten coordinators, 2.47 of them would turn out to be from events.

All the excess money after the expenditure was donated as a flood relief fund for the affected areas in Tamil Nadu. There was a huge turnout for all the Proshows despite a few issues popping up in the last minute, proving how able and committed the coordinators are. There were a total of 736 students, showing an increase in participation in 2016. Credits to the 25 membered core team that drove the 2016 event to success. You can look at the revenue table below:

SectionAmount (in rupees)
Revenue1, 85, 50, 000
Planned Expenditure1, 45, 83, 140

Well that’s really huge!


Comparison Saarang 2015 vs. 2016

The bar chart below draws a comparison between the participation of the students in 2015-16 under various departments. The Events team dominated both years consisting of around 130 students and the publicity team being the smallest with around 20 students in it.


Well as years pass, the budget also grows and should be managed well. Planning is in the heart of these fests. The following bar diagram elucidates the amount planned for both the years 2015-16:


Shaastra 2016 :

Shaastra has followed no different trend, as the Events team last year involved most students working for the festival, marking 41.3% which is 235 students of the whole 568-membered team which worked for Shaastra last year, pleasing us with a plethora of mind boggling events, workshops, lectures and many other verticals. Whereas on the contrast, the shows and exhibitions team is a small 16-membered team which forms 2.8% of the whole team.

The plan for expenditure and income for the year 2016 can be compared from the following bar graph. The total amount planned to spend under each plan is :

PlanPlan – A  Plan – B  Plan – C  
Amount in Rupees1, 16, 82, 557 1, 11, 31, 848 1, 07, 23, 433

Well, everyone loves backups right?


A peek at  SHAASTRA 2015 :

The smallest department in Shaastra is the Evolve team with 20 members, about 4% of the entire team whereas the largest team is the events team, with about 197 of them forming about 39.4% of the entire team.

Coming to the favourite discussion of all time: comparing Saarang 2016 to Shaastra 2016.

Comparing the number of students working hard to mould the shape of both the festivals, draws us to pretty interesting information. We can see that some of the departments like security are missing in Shaastra.


Looks like it’s Saarang that makes more people work!

In the above bar diagram the Shows under Saarang are the proshows whereas Envisage, Evolve and all the other shows are included in Shaastra for comparison.

There is a clear observation that the students under Saarang numbered 736 whereas the students under Shaastra numbered 509, this difference can be attributed to the number of sub-departments and the requirement of volunteers to manage various events in Saarang, while Shaastra is mainly handled by students from 2nd and above years.

This is the scale and magnitude at which these events happen and make us proud of them. Its success can be attributed to infinite nightouts of the coordinators and the cores who pained them all the way. Now that Saarang and Shaastra 2017 are nearly here, let’s grab the chance to immerse ourselves in the fun once again!

Disclaimer: The views are not to be construed in any manner as the official views of IIT Madras.
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