Embarking on a journey through insti’s corridors is not just about attending lectures and submitting assignments, it’s about extending yourself to the experiences that extend far beyond the limits of a classroom. As you step into the campus, you are becoming more than just a part of a premier education institution: you are entering a world where learning transcends traditional boundaries. The co-curricular spheres of IIT Madras are designed to foster holistic and well-rounded growth and nurture passions, all while making lifelong friends and memories!
Exhilarating? Let’s go through the different teams and bodies that form insti’s Co-curricular sphere!
Centre for Innovation
Centre for Innovation is a 24×7 student-run lab which aims to foster innovation by providing a nurturing ecosystem. This includes workspace, inventory, financial assistance and mentorship from faculty and senior students. The goal is to facilitate informal learning across interdisciplinary fields to promote creativity. It consists of thirteen clubs and seven competition teams specialising in different fields. This section discusses each of them briefly to give you an idea of what they do.
3D Printing Club
The 3D Printing Club began in 2015, intending to introduce students to the new manufacturing technology and encourage research and creativity in 3D printing. The club is now equipped with several printers. Collaborating with other clubs at CFI, they develop customised industrial-grade components. The 3D printer is housed at the CFI facility and is available for use by students.
As one of the earliest clubs at CFI, Aero Club is a group of drone and aeroplane enthusiasts who share a dream of flying. They take new members annually, garnering participation from different engineering backgrounds and ages. The club has shone in numerous national and international competitions like IARC (International Aerial Robotics Competition) and NAL MICAV (Micro Air Vehicle Flying Competition). The members believe that building aircraft and watching them fly is the most fruitful experience.
Are you ever so curious about the AI boom and the new world of Chat GPT? We know the place for you! A fresh addition to the CFI family, AI Club, was formed after the fusion of the Analytics Club and CVI Club. Promising new opportunities for its members, the merger provides a broader scope of artificial intelligence—aiming to tackle real-world problems through AI. The club focuses on promoting awareness and creating an inclusive and open environment for all the AI enthusiasts on campus.
Aiming to turn dreams into reality—‘one DNA strand at a time’, the Bio-Tech Club aims to share the excitement of Biotechnology with students. They aim to provide a platform that fosters the exploration of the field by conducting events, workshops and student projects. No prior knowledge is needed—just a passion for biotech. If you’re eager to roll up your sleeves, brainstorm, and find solutions, the Biotech Club is your go-to!
In 2013, three people founded the Electronics Club with a simple goal: to create a place where people could explore electronic projects and ideas. Since then, it has expanded into multiple folds to areas in Core Electronics like Robotics, Digital Design, Machine Learning, and Signal Processing. Through hands-on sessions, comprehensive workshops, and summer school, the club provides a platform for everyone interested in electronics to learn, innovate, and apply their skills to real-world problems. The Electronics Club isn’t just about circuits and wires; it’s a community for curious minds to come together, share ideas, and grow. So, whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the club offers a space to explore, create, and thrive in electronics.
Horizon is the Physics and Astronomy Society of IITM, focusing on promoting the fields on campus. They organise observation sessions and talks by students and professors. The club also offers research projects and welcomes all students, regardless of experience. The club offers a chance to learn about the universe, make friends, and pursue the mysteries of space together. Their motto: To explore space, the final frontier, and boldly go where no one has gone before!
Established in 2008, the iBot club strives to raise robotics standards at the institute. With 600+ active students, it fosters creativity and engineering skills through mentor-led programs. The club excels in competitions like URC, ROBOCON, and more. Through workshops and equipment, it empowers students to conceptualise and design advanced prototypes, ultimately aiming to be a self-sustained robotics hub. The club attracts Insti’s robotics enthusiasts, offering workshops to inspire students from all backgrounds.
In our ever-evolving world, machine learning has emerged as a powerful solution to societal issues. It’s also proven to be a great tool for forecasting and mathematical modelling. To develop these skills, the Programming Club offers sponsored projects. It organises frequent sessions to introduce the exciting world of competitive programming to students while preparing them for ICPC and similar prestigious competitions.
IIT Madras’ Annual Technical Festival, Shaastra, introduced Envisage in 2013—as a blend of technology and culture for entertainment. Today, it is India’s sole student-organized techno-entertainment show, showcasing projects also appealing to those less inclined towards technology. These projects are aligned with Envisage’s motto of “Technology meets Entertainment”.
They conduct events on Shaastra’s first day and organise interactive projects and video games at KV Stalls during the rest of the days of Shaastra. Envisage aims to inspire and empower students to explore their creativity and engineering skills through technical projects showcased. The team has expanded its reach to places like IIM Bangalore and Anna University as part of Shaastra’s publicity initiative: Samparks.
Team Sahaay was established with the goal of creating technological products and offering technical help to people with special needs—the team of students partners with different NGOs to develop impactful technological solutions for societal issues.
Over the years, Sahaay has expanded its scope, providing interdisciplinary technical answers for broader social challenges such as sanitation, waste management, elderly, differently-abled, women’s protection, environmental problems, and arthritis rehabilitation. The team is dedicated to inventing clever and affordable technological solutions for a wide range of social problems, spanning from healthcare to sanitation and aid for differently abled.
Raftar is a team of IIT Madras students from different backgrounds with a shared enthusiasm for automotive engineering and motorsports. They craft swift Formula Student race cars, foster skilled engineers, and aim to champion global competitiveness, all while promoting Formula Student culture in India.
Avishkar Hyperloop aims to revolutionise transportation via sustainable Hyperloop technology while being supported by the Indian Government. They recently built their latest pod featuring enhanced contactless propulsion and braking, designed for a track supporting levitation. They also earned global recognition and a top-5 finish at European Hyperloop Week 2022.
Team Abhiyaan focuses on crafting advanced ground navigation systems. It has 45 members operating from CFI, which fosters creative ideas into impactful prototypes with industry, faculty, and alumni guidance.
Team Anveshak is a dynamic group dedicated to robotics since early 2016. They have crafted remote all-terrain rovers with robotic manipulators and digger. The team comprises a highly talented bunch working on mechanical design, system architecture and control, outreach and business relations. They also aim to foster skilled leaders through practical expertise and educational initiatives.
Team Abhyuday, comprising 32 fervent IIT Madras students who share a zeal for spaceflight. Their achievements include the 2023 Spaceport America Cup, the largest inter-collegiate fest, where the rocket ‘CHETAK-1’ soared to 10,000ft and made a significant mark.
Formed in 2021, Team Agnirath embarked on a mission to develop skilled engineers for a sustainable future through solar research. They strive to create an innovative solar car and participate in national and international competitions like the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and American Solar Challenge.
iGEM is a team of passionate students delving into the field of synthetic biology. They participate in the annual Genetically Engineered Machine competition and create complex life forms on Petri plates. The competition aims to develop a community for synthetic biology while looking to solve global challenges. With a decade-long participation history, iGEM has garnered international recognition.
The Technical Society of IIT Madras, known as TechSoc, was established in 2018 to foster a competitive spirit through technological events. Initially focused on Inter Hostel Competition, it has grown into a hub for co-curricular activities. TechSoc’s core vision is to cultivate an environment, flood it with resources and celebrate achievements. It offers a platform for exploring various tech domains. Organising diverse competitions, from programming to aeronautics, TechSoc aims to create healthy competition among hostels. They also conduct 24-hour hackathons, supporting participants with refreshments throughout.
Moreover, through workshops and guidance from industry professionals, BuildSchool encourages a sense of entrepreneurship with a focus on building products rather than the marketing aspects. TechSoc’s editorial and design teams contribute informative articles, designs, and more, reflecting the vision of providing resources. TechSoc also manages insti’s tech contingent for InterIIT Tech Meet, striving for victories in diverse domains like AI, robotics, and biotechnology.
Nirmaan IITM is a student-operated pre-incubator that assists student-led start-ups. Their goal is to encourage entrepreneurship among students by offering resources, mentorship, and chances to connect with others. One way they assist start-ups in securing funds is by introducing them to potential investors; they also arrange pitch sessions and networking events to facilitate this process
Established in 1998 as the Centre for Technological Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Support (C-TIDES), the Entrepreneurship Cell has played a pivotal role in fostering some of the best startups. Notable successes include Detect Technologies (featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 – Asia) and Hyperverge, among others. The cell opens up the world of entrepreneurship to the IIT Madras community. Its offerings cater to a diverse audience, from startup enthusiasts to experienced entrepreneurs, through various events and workshops throughout the year, working by employing both personal and collaborative approaches.
Edited by Aditi Rathore