Chennai: With the aim of encouraging entrepreneurship among youth in the country, IIT-Madras has chosen entrepreneurship as the theme for this year’s Shaastra, IITM’s four-day, annual technical festival, which starts Saturday. IIT-M director, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, said on Friday over 15 per cent of students who registered for placements at the institute this year had joined start-ups and a few students had opted out of placement to try their hand at entrepreneurship.
“There is transformation in the country; students are looking at out-of-the-box ideas and taking up either entrepreneurship or joining a start-up. Realising this, we selected entrepreneurship as this year’s theme,” he said. Pointing out that the IIT-M’s student body, which organises the event, has added more entrepreneurship-related workshops in the event, Siddharth Dialani, secretary (co-curricular affairs), IIT-Madras, said the event consists of workshops like Android App, which would help a person develop his own application and become an entrepreneur.
“We already have 100 start-ups registered for Shaastra to showcase their company and also motivate students to become successful entrepreneurs. We have increased the number of workshops this year to help engineering college students take away a lot of things,” he said. Even before the event has kickstarted, the organisers have 22,000 students registered from various parts of the country whereas it was 7,000 last year.
“We have a few participants even from countries like Germany, Dubai and Spain. This shows the reach of our event,” he said. The prize money has also been increased this year from Rs17 lakh last year to Rs25 lakh this year. Shaastra this year has a few big names for their lecture series like Gurtej Sandhu who holds the record for the fourth highest number of patents (1,102) in the world in the field of thin film and materials, besides Ela Bhatt, founder of Sewa and expert in microfinance for women’s empowerment. Students also look forward to listening to Arogyaswami Paulraj, professor emeritus at Stanford University, and called the father of modern wi-fi....