"When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, other build windmills." Innovation has the power to revolutionize and change the entire world. Throughout the history of mankind, it is the spark of innovation that has ignited growth and advancement of the society. The ability to perceive the world differently, the ability to turn a small inkling of an idea into something massive, the ability to bring about a difference in people's lives, is something, innovation thrives on.
On 13th July, the second edition of SRM's Technical summit was commemorated. It was a two-day summit, organised by Aaruush, SRM University's National Level Techno-management fest. The second edition of T-summit marked the boundless growth of technology and advancement in the field of science. It spoke of all the unspoken ideas that were waiting to be seen by the world. The T-summit welcomed students from colleges spanning different parts of the country as its attendees. To name a few, colleges such as IIT Madras, UPES, Amity University-Rajasthan, NIT- Calicut, Parul University, CBIT, RMK college of technology, NIT-Raipur, NIT -Delhi, Galgotia University, Jaypee University, VNIT Nagpur participated in the T-summit. Students from these colleges gathered under one roof to discuss the theme of the 2017 T-summit: Young Innovation. This summit was conducted under the guidance of a professor, A. Rathinam, the convener of Aaruush and VM Ponniah, the Dean of the school of management (SRM University). The summit was also skillfully guided by Dr Atul Gurtu and Dr Seshagiri Rao.
Often when one's path is blocked, it is the guidance of the wise that leads them through. With four exemplary men to guide the committee, the T-summit began with full force. Its inception was marked by a lamp lighting ceremony that signified the light of knowledge.
Dr Balasubramanian, State Informatics Officer at the NIC Tamil Nadu, delivered the Inaugural Address. He began his address by talking about the role of the younger generation in the upliftment of the Indian society. "The generation of today exists in an era where only knowledge could push the society forward Waves of innovation can also threaten the existence of a former concept or idea, but it is in fact, this wave of innovation that helps the society transform and advance towards growth." He also encouraged students to apply ideas from sectors others than theirs and to involve multidisciplinary aspects of other fields in their own project. He urged students to use open sourced government resources and to learn from them in order to innovate.
Dr Atul Gurtu chaired the entire summit. His presence and constant mentoring in the entire T-summit helped the students accomplish and unanimously take necessary decisions. An iron man, he was the pillar of strength the delegates of the T-summit leaned on. He had valuable advice for the members of the t-summit. He began his message for the delegates by crediting designs such as those of match boxes, zippers and safety pins as some of the most important inventions inevitable in history despite their simplicity. By pointing out such simple designs of the past, he delivered the message that innovation can take place at home. He further spoke about how innovation required an imagination, an ability to think out of the box and apply them in reality. Like Dr Balasubramanian, he stressed on interdisciplinary knowledge to truly innovate. He also stressed on the importance of budget allocation for projects. Innovation, according to him is often accompanied by risks. Risks and failures are inevitable. Hence, he advised students to always leave in some space while budget planning and advised them to strategize their every step.
While Innovation can be the heart and soul of development, great ideas can falter and vanish into thin air unless it is methodically planned with plan of action in place. Helen Keller once said "the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision". Keeping this in mind, Moderators of the T-summit set up agendas, keeping the theme in mind in order to derive the maximum outputs possible. Delegates of the T-summit followed on what had improved since the previous edition of the T-summit. Delegates representing their college talked about the various ways in which their technical fest had contributed to inspiring and encouraging young minds to pursue technology. Each University present in the summit had its unique ideas that set them apart from one another. IIT Madras's technical fest Shaastra dwelled on the motto to influence living of all regardless of social strata. Some of its unique ventures included pro shows related to technology under the banner – Envisage that include animations, LED Shows etc. Another eccentric feature of Shaastra was the Shaastra Fellowship , where specific winners of the competitions would get a chance to intern under a professor and pursue their project under proper guidance. UPES College had a week dedicated to different disciplines and students would be encouraged to focus and learn about these disciplines or industries in details throughout the week, as an initiative of their techfest. NIT- Calicut's Techfest Tathva had a distinctive social venture in addition to its technical Fest. Aavishkaar was the social wing of Tathva that focused on helping underpriviledged kids. Upakriti, another endeavor of Tathva helped organize medical camps and install electricity in remote villages. SRM University held special editions of Wednesday speaks on behalf of their technical fest: Aaruush, that had experienced individuals from various disciplines shed some light and impart knowledge to students. With an aim to induce scientific temper amongst the youth, Aaruush held events such as Konvolve that was multi-disciplinary project competition to induce a spark of creativity amongst students.
Every University in the T-summit had a common goal: to provide a platform to the youth of tomorrow, that could help them grow, connect and contribute towards the betterment of the society. The minds of these youth can be compared with wet cement, whatever falls on wet cement can create an impression on it. Similarly, a small spark of inspiration can go a long way and deeply mold their personalities. Every University present in the T-summit shaped its technical fest and ventures keeping this in mind.
Amidst the formal sessions, Informal sessions of questioning and analysis were also conducted by Dr.Atul Gurtu to direct the summit and address problems at hand. Several universities cited difficulties in collaborating with industries thus hindering student exposure to the market. Delegates agreed upon the convection that it was harder to rope in high end companies for collaborations due to their probable distrust towards students. They cited it to be easier to collaborate with small scale industries or startups that look for innovative solutions for problems at hand. Dr Atul suggested a cell formation with faculties that could help industries entrust students. Delegates also provided formidable solutions, such as signing of MoUs with the industries and maintaining strong Alumni connect that could tackle the aforementioned problem.
While the average minds discuss events, and the small minds discuss people, great minds discuss ideas and objectives. Dr Seshagiri Rao, The Guest of honour, joined the summit session to guide delegates and inspire them. He started his address towards the delegates by talking about the meaning of the word Aaruush. "Aaruush" means the starting rays of the sun, drawing a comparison, he talked about innovation being an essential component for the development of the society. Like the rays of the sun, it must illuminate, perforate and leave its impression everywhere in the society regardless of social strata. Innovation is young, and education is the driving force behind innovation. Education is the movement from darkness to light, from ignorance to wisdom. He advised students to progress in their own discipline for themselves and that could help progress the society indirectly.
In the next session of the T-summit, Delegates from various universities discussed possible solutions regarding specific agendas of the t-summit. This was done by suggesting of tried and tested solutions some of the colleges present, had implemented.
In line with Agenda 8: Defense and security, the delegate of Amity University suggested the inclusion of a compulsory military camp in the curriculum. This could help students become disciplined and learn interpersonal skills.
Addressing the same Agenda, Galgotia University proposed the use of quad copters and working with paramilitary forces to improve defence and security.
The delegate of UPES advocated the set-up of a committee that could overlook the quality of events taking place in a tech fest with regard to Agenda 07: Incorporating Quality management in all festivals.
NIT Calicut touching Agenda 10: Platform for Entrepreneurship Motivation recommended the formation of an association that could encourage start-ups, citing the example of a pre-existing Start-up village based in Kochi that provided constant mentorship to budding entrepreneurs with good ideas.
IIT Madras, addressing Agenda 02: Improving Day to day Lives of people through advancement in technology, proposed innovating eco-friendly methods that could not only help people but also contribute to the environment. One such project they implemented was the use of plastic bottles to build toilets in a local village. Adding to this proposition, they believed tie-ups with the panchayats could also be valuable in improving lives of people.
The most unique contribution that we'll ever make in this world will be born out of our creativity. It is clear that innovation doesn't have to be limited to technology. One could even say innovation existed in the very room the T-summit took place in. Delegates, that were students themselves, discussed, debated, analyzed and explored every agenda of the T-summit to derive the best possible outcome. It was clear, innovation doesn't just come from offering people incentives, it comes from creating an environment where their ideas can connect.
The committee sat down to discuss every agenda at hand, and create new strategies that could be implemented.
The committee sat down to discuss every agenda at hand, and create new strategies that could be implemented.
Discussing Agenda 01: Projects and Published papers to increase innovation culture in the country,
The delegate of Amity University suggested a collaboration of all the universities present in the summit for the formation of an online portal. This online portal could display best projects or research works of students from each university, for display. The delegate also proposed monitoring of the website by faculties of the universities to ensure the quality of the content being uploaded to the portal.
Adding to this, NIT Raipur suggested an addition of alumni connect to the portal, where in alumni of the colleges connected to the specific industries could help students by forwarding their work to their superiors that can in-turn increase their chances at project funding.
The delegates of IIT Madras advocated the formation of Research Development cell in all college tech-fests that could promote interdisciplinary projects as well show case existing research projects in order to promote research culture amongst fellow students.
Moving on to Agenda 02: Improving Day to day lives of people through advancement in technology, delegates from all the universities had valuable insights to provide regarding this agenda.
The delegates of IIT Madras suggested "adoption" of villages nearby. They could contribute to improving lives of common villagers by performing simple tasks such as cleaning of wells, teaching them the basics of online money transfers, etc. They could also contribute by following the government's Krishee Yojana and help farmers improve their soil quality by testing them.
Agenda 03 of the summit was: Achieving Sustainable Development with emphasis on sustainable development goals. The delegates in unison delivered some of the most unique solutions in the entire of T-summit with regard to Agenda 03.
The delegates NIT Calicut recommended an initiative referring to the Zero Hunger SDG. This initiative would deal with the distribution of excess food to the underprivileged. The excess food could be collected from the mess as well as residential colonies that would be willing to contribute to the cause. An online portal could serve as a medium of connection where willing contributors can apply to donate the excess food they have.
The delegates of Parul University suggested development of compost pits for treatment of biodegradable waste.
The next Agenda the delegates of the summit discussed was Education of the Underprivileged.
Every time a child loses his/her right to education, it is the country that pays the price. Education precedes development.The delegate of Amity University proposed the formation of a quality curriculum under the guidance of experts in the teaching field in order to offer quality education to students that will be useful for their future endeavours.
The delegates also discussed various means through which education could be provided. Ideas such as mobile education camps, use of smartphone applications were some of the solutions that were extensively debated and deliberated upon.
Agenda 05 dealt with improving water qualities and the possibility of building green structures.
"We won't have a society if we don't have an environment". These were the words of Margaret Mead, a visionary and an anthropologist. Good Quality water is a basic human right regardless of social hierarchy. Today, water- an element, all life forms depend on, has turned into a global garbage can. Man must learn to stop harming the mother earth and at the same time learn to sustain future generation by conserving and protecting available resources.
Since change begins from within, attendees of the t-summit explored options on what they could do for the environment.
NIT Calicut suggested a scheme on rain water harvesting to make use of the water received during the monsoon fully. They also proposed recycling of water to conserve to water sources. In addition, they suggested raising awareness on Lauri Baker's architectural styles for buildings that relied on eco-friendly methods of construction and design. This way, upcoming structures that need to construct will be environment-friendly.
Delegates also examined the feasibility of options like installation of sewage plants and filtration system for the supply of clean water.
Agenda 06 stood to in support for innovation to shine through and greet the world. The sixth agenda was: Bridging the gap between students and industrialists.
Industries do not respect tradition; they respect innovation. The heart and soul of an industry is creativity and innovation. Innovations can create an impact on people lives and change them for the better. These innovations can only be delivered at a large scale, to the masses, with the help of industries. An interdependency exists between the two. Delegates deliberated on the existing idea of the online portal. They unanimously agreed to open the portal to industrialists who can have a look at the projects and research works. This could bridge the gap between students and industrialists. The existence of such a portal could also provide the necessary exposure to students and at the same time, let industries find unique solutions to some of the problems they face.
The next agenda on the table was agenda 07: Defence and security.
Universities present in the t-summit focused on ideas to improve security and functioning during the duration of their tech fests. The delegates of SRM University also brought to the attention of the committee, the importance of cyber security citing the importance of a secure database, to preserve the information of the participants in the tech fest.
Agenda 08 focused on incorporating Quality Management in all fests conducted.
The delegates of IIT Madras and SRM university individually recommended the delegates present in the committee to follow the fishbone quality improvement structure and method of functioning. Adding to this, the delegate of IIT Madras also shared that the implementation of the fishbone quality improvement plan led to the ISO certification of Shaastra.
The 9th agenda of the T-summit was: Joining of the government of India initiatives. The delegates of t-summit deliberated upon policies their colleges could follow by government initiatives. The delegate of VNIT Nagpur suggested all universities present in the t-summit could promote online transactions and payments for their tech fests. This can ensure transparency and promote the Digital India concept.
The 10th and Final agenda of the T-summit was: a platform for entrepreneurship motivation. NIT Calicut proposed a scheme to motivate widows and orphans towards entrepreneurship. This could be put into action by helping them plan out their business that could provide them with a source of income. Other options such as competitions encouraging ideas for start-ups were also explored by the delegates of the T-summit to provide a platform for young science enthusiasts.
Thus, with 10 different agendas in their own way promoted the theme of the T-summit: young innovation. Students from all walks of life, different universities, different parts of the country, came together to discuss how they could contribute to the growth of the country. IIT Madras and NIT Calicut were awarded for their innovative ideas and solutions. The delegates of the T-summit decided to stay in contact, to further develop and work on the agendas with a special focus on the creation of a mutual online portal. It is safe to say that everyone present in the T-summit would have gone back to their normal lives armed with a lot of knowledge. Sharing knowledge is the first step to humanity. The T-summit ended with Dr Atul Gurtu giving his regards to students and urging them to put their plan into action. That day, Innovation found a whole new platform to shine on. It is safe to say that, the 2nd edition of the T-summit was an immense success in terms of strategy and planning. Any innovation that happens is a giant leap for mankind. Innovations have only made the world a better place to live. The T-summit offered its contribution in making the world a better place. As Dr APJ Abdul Kalam said in 2007 at the induction of Aaruush "Seek and you shall find. When everything is lost, innovation will guide you".
Let's not forget, their visionaries sitting amongst them to guiding them, and listening to every single word they're saying.
Presenting you the video of the T-summit just to give you an idea of what could have went down.
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