Pragyan is an ISO 9001 and 20121 certified, student run festival that is hosted every year at NIT, Tiruchirappalli. It is the largest techno-management fest in India and provides one of the best platforms for students and inquisitive minds to showcase their technical skills and knowledge. The 14th edition of Pragyan, co-sponsored by American Express, will be held from few days from now, everyone will stand witness to the spectacle from 1st to 4th of March, 2018.
So, Get ready. This year Pragyan will bring the next level of science, technology and innovation, one step closer to home. Newer ideas, better solutions and unprecedented feats will be achieved. They will catapult with the theme #TheNextDimension, populated by futuristic charm and brilliance. Pragyan works round the year and before the main four-day fest, Pragyan ’18 started conducting Outreach events and Social Responsibility activities right from August 2017.
Every year Pragyan’s Guest Lecture series brings down some of the most famous names around the world and let these bright minds inspire the student population through brilliant lectures and debates. Dignitaries who have visited Pragyan in the past are Ada Yonath – the Israeli Nobel Prize Winner, Richard A. Muller – American physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Peter C. Schultz – co-inventor of the fiber optics, among many others.
Last year AstroSoc’s BEYOND EARTH magazine was the media partner for Pragyan’17 and gifted enthusiasts an exclusive interview with NASA planetary scientist Dr. Henry Throop.
AstroSoc as Guest Lectures partner for Pragyan’18
In Pragyan 2018, Casey Handmer, Levitation Engineer at Hyperloop One, shall be joined by NASA scientist Kevin Grazier, and other dignitaries Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Robert Metcalfe, Meher Pudumjee, Steven Gal, Ajay Bhatt to comprise a stunning lineup of the Guest Lecture series. AstroSoc Corp is featured as Guest Lectures series partner and will be interviewing Dr. Kevin R. Grazier, an American planetary physicist known for his work on the Cassini/Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan. He also served as the Science Advisor for several television series and movies, notably ‘Gravity’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
Grazier was a research scientist and science planning engineer for 15 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the Cassini/Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan. He was the Investigation Scientist for the Imaging Science Subsystem instrument, and wrote mission planning and analysis software that won both JPL- and NASA-wide awards. Still an active researcher, his research areas include numerical method development, and long-term large-scale computer simulations of Solar System dynamics, evolution, and chaos. Dr. Grazier is also active in bringing the wonders of science and space to the public. He teaches classes in basic astronomy, planetary science, cosmology, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the science of science fiction at UCLA and Santa Monica College. He has appeared on several episodes of History Channel’s “The Universe,” Science Channel’s “Alien Encounters,” and National Geographic’s “Naked Science”. Well, that’s incredible stuff and we are excited to interview Dr. Grazier.
Sneak peek into Pragyan ’18
Attended by massive crowds every year, Pragyan’s Infotainment aims to turn science into a spectacle. Always eagerly awaited, it features magic shows, illusions, comedy, beatboxing to laser shows. Previous editions have enchanted the audience with illusionist Chris Cheong, projection dance troupe Girasomnis, Light and fire shows by Pyroterra, and stellar performances from Aravind SA and Sorabh Pant, to name a few. Pragyan 2018 promises to offer nothing less, for performances by Silhouette squad – a Shadow Dance Crew, Shawn Chua – ventriloquist and magician, Shivraj Morzaria – a Cardist, Shao Michael Szalucho – a manipulator and Suhani Shah, a hypnotist, are all in store.
Pragyan’s Exhibitions aim to bring together a broad spectrum of mind-boggling exhibits in the world centered around science and technology. The previous editions of Pragyan have enthralled visitors with exhibits like the Moon Rock sample (2015), INDRO – the Humanoid Robot (2017), and Vanta Black (Vertically Aligned Nanotube Arrays). Pragyan 2018 brings KalamSat(World’s lightest satellite), InMoov(3D printed robot) and UGears(Wooden gear models from Ukraine) as a part of its exhibition lineup.
The events in Pragyan have been divided into 9 clusters this year – Code It, Creatrix, Concreate, Core Engineering, Grey Cells, Impact, IoT, Manigma and Robovigyan, with prizes worth 1.2 Million INR up for grabs. The events thus cover a wide range of domains and problem statements, proving to have something for everyone.
Pragyan also provides a platform for students to showcase their technical talent through its two exhibition contests Sangam (an intra-NITT technical contest) and Ingenium (an intercollegiate technical contest exclusively for students from colleges other than NITT). Every year, Pragyan conducts a series of Workshops to impart hands-on experience and knowledge to its participants. Among others, notable workshops conducted last year were Construction Project Management, Cross Platform Development, Process Design and Simulation, and many more. Notably, workshops have helped participants hone their skills and abilities, and boast of associations that include National Instruments, IBM, CISCO, Texas Instruments, Microsoft, and much more. The mouthpiece of Pragyan – the official Pragyan Blog, continued to increase its reach by leaps and bounds in the domain of Science and Technology. By 14th August, 2017, it had become the top writer in the categories of Space and Science. The blog also continues to release the SciTech Bulletin, its fortnightly edition of science and technology related news in bite-sized digests on Medium.
Pragyan ’18 conducted a plethora of outreach events and social responsibility activities throughout the year. On World Environment Day (6th June, 2017), Uyarum – an eco-awareness initiative by Pragyan was conducted in the city of Tiruchirappalli. The event saw the distribution of 10,000 seed packets, flyers and saplings, in collaboration with The New Indian Express, Ugaoo and Indian Oil Express. Pragyan celebrated World Literacy Day on 8 th of September 2017, by conducting Karka Kasadara, an event which aimed to collect and distribute books to school students. Books and other stationery items were collected from nearby schools in Trichy, involving more than seven schools. They were donated to the children of Hope Foundation Worldwide Orphan and Anbagam Nalivutra Manavar Manaviyar Vidudhi. This year, Square One – Pragyan’s outreach series, began with editions held in the cities of Madurai and Coimbatore. Square One Madurai took place at Thiagarajar College of Engineering on the 9th and 10th of September 2017. This edition focused on robot building and automobile architecture through its Sensobotix and Autotrix workshops. Events and competitions offering a grand combined prize pool of INR 50,000 were also held. The participants of Square One Madurai were handed ID cards commemorating World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September), to remind them of their role in preventing suicides. Square One Coimbatore took place on 7th & 8th October 2017 at Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology. Along with some challenging events, it also featured a 3D printing and a Smart grid-IoT Automation workshop. Square One is slated to be held in two more cities in the month of February.
Pragyan, NIT Trichy believes in giving back to society through the use of technology – a unique aspect of its social responsibility wing. A first aid awareness programme named ‘Raksha’ was conducted by Pragyan on the occasion of World First Aid Day on September 9, 2017. Pragyan organisers visited students from Prajna Matriculation School, Madurai and taught them how to perform first aid during situations like burns, cuts, snake bites and more. On 28 October 2017, Veetuku Oru Vingnaani, the annual science exhibition conducted by Puthiya Thalaimurai, organised its state-level finals in association with Pragyan, NIT Trichy. The event saw enthusiastic participation from school children. On 4th December 2017, Pragyan organized ‘Amirtam’, an initiative to help and address the needs of the elderly. Pragyan organisers visited TRUDWES & St. Antony’s Home for the Aged, carrying food for the elderly. Introduced in 2015, Dhisai, Pragyan’s JEE awareness programme, strives to spread the word of JEE among a population that is unaware of its benefits. This year, in association with the Department of Education, Tamil Nadu, Dhisai benefited 9th and 10th graders from over 8000 schools around five districts in TN. Students were enlightened about the strategies and tips to prepare for the exam. A tour around the campus of NIT Trichy was scheduled for them, covering various prominent academic places such as the Departments of Physics and Chemistry, the Library etc.
Celebrating the phenomenon that the internet is today, Pragyan flagged off the ‘Week of the Web’, its newest initiative, on International Internet Day, 29 October 2017. WoW also served to educate the people on the various aspects of online safety and security through quizzes, games, hackathon and various other online initiatives. The first year inter hostel technical tournament of Pragyan, InHoTT, was held on 25th & 26th November 2017. From robotics to management, an array of contests was held, which helped freshers showcase their talents in the spirit of competition. The fourth edition of Pragyan Hackathon, presented by SAP Labs and SAP Internship Experience, and co-sponsored by SPI Cinemas and SPI Externship, took place on 16th & 17th December 2017 at SAP Labs India, Whitefield, Bangalore. With cash prizes and goodies worth INR 2,00,000 the event saw massive participation from budding developers and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Conceptualised in 2016, the Pragyan Youth Summit, an annual forum of active discussion and debate, has seen massive footfalls over the years. This year, it was held on 20th January 2018 at The Westin, Chennai. Hosting the brightest minds in the industry, PYS 2018 featured a Panel Discussion, the maiden edition of PYS Youth Talks, a Keynote speech, a smart city development workshop and a unique Pitchfest. Centering around the theme, ‘Mission Smart Cities’, the Summit aimed to discuss the role of emerging technologies such as Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence in the evolution of smart cities. The keynote address was delivered by Mr Bipin Pradeep Kumar, co-founder and Director at Gaia Smart Cities. Mr Siddharth Hande, Founder and CEO of Kabadiwalla Connect, delivered the youth talk. Pragyan has always helped bring technology closer to the masses. The stage is all set for Pragyan 2018 to scale new heights and achieve its ambition of being bigger and better.
Also read: Pragyan-2017 @NIT-Trichy as it happened
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