IIT Madras announced the launch of the second virtual rendition of its annual technology festival, Shaastra 2022, via an online press conference. Due to start from January 14, the fest is titled ‘Code to Chaos’ and according to Nitish Gupta, Student Secretary, IIT Madras, it is a virtual rendition of the campus and is being bolstered this time around with the added oomph of a virtual hyperloop to help navigate the portal.
Another quirk that lifts the experience this time around is the fact that the virtual IIT-M campus is set on Mars, in a subtle tribute to a futuristic world. The focus this time around is going to be gaming technology. The conference aims to facilitate the networking of enthusiasts, students and professionals in the gaming industry. The event features lectures and panel discussions with speakers from over five countries and conclusions on January 16. The speakers include Nobel Laureates Dr David Wineland, an American physicist and pioneer in quantum computing, and Dr Stefan Hell, one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen. The line-up also boasts of former badminton world No 1, Carolina Marin.
“The Shaastra Grand Championship, a one-of-its-kind event that rewards the sharpest minds of India through the inquisitive challenges and competitions. It is a platform for young minds to define and solve problems. Apart from the championship and various seminars, participants will also get to experience the latest in gaming tech,” said Nitish Gupta.
IIT Madras’ outgoing Director, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi lauded the student team for the added features this year and added that though the virtual mode hacks away at the overall experience of the seminar, it does bring more exposure to the fest from across the world. “The competitions, lectures and other events sound attractive and it will be useful for students across the country. One positive aspect is that the footfall has increased as students from across the country are able to participate. It has opened up opportunities to many people who otherwise might not have been able to participate in Shaastra physically,” said the Director.
When asked what lessons the students have learned from conducting the 22nd edition of the fest online for the second year, thanks to the pandemic, Nitish Gupta said, “The team has been able to work around participation bottlenecks and have ensured international participation this time around . Also, the inclusion of the 3D navigation system and the virtual hyperloop has further facilitated that process.”
The fest, this time around, will see 50 events and the participation of 30,000 students from around the world.