Edited by Nalli Sai Soumya
Shaastra, IITM’s techno-entertainment festival, resumed in full offline glory from January 26 – 29, 2023. Replete with a long snake of stalls putting niche technology on display, intense competitions scheduled by the minute and speakers rapturing throngs of audiences, this celebration of technology and innovation had something for everyone to witness.
Kicking off Day 1 with reputed film director Vetrimaaran, the Spotlight lecture series went on to host Vineeta Singh (CEO of Sugar Cosmetics), Dr R Chidambaram (Former Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India) and Dr Montek S Ahluwalia (Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission) on Day 2. Day 3 witnessed Thiru R N Ravi (Current Governor of Tamil Nadu), Dr M S Valiathan (Indian cardiac surgeon and Padma Vibushan awardee), Dr A Sivathanu Pillai (Founder-CEO of BrahMos Aerospace and Padma Bhushan awardee), before finally concluding with Mr Srinivasa Mohan (visual effects supervisor for films such as RRR and Baahubali) on Day 4.
Lectures weren’t all that were on offer. True to its technical spirit, Shaastra had a host of workshops for anyone interested in picking up new domains, ranging from IoT and Blockchain, to investing, management consulting, design thinking and product development. Industry leaders such as Nomura, JusPay, Bajaj Auto, etc. also led insight sessions for participants.
Both participants and witnesses with a piqued interest in robotics had displays of all kinds – ranging from the Flipkart Grid 4.0 Robotics Challenge to IDRL Night Racing. More challenges across soldering, aeromodelling, programming and design were conducted for those with a competitive streak.
Finally, for those who only enjoy the fruits of tech in its more palatable format, Envisage had multiple displays across the days, including Tech Voyage and Tricked Out. Shaastra Nights also held rhythmic rave, helmed by Sonu Sebastian, who pioneered his liquid drum creation, the Orbiter.
The many bedazzling lights sparkling on the OAT pathway and the variety of food stalls added to the festive atmosphere of the institute. Without missing a beat from its two-year hiatus, Shaastra stayed true to its theme – and was a spectrum of splendors to behold!