Team Nemesis, College of Engineering, Pune after winning BAJA SAEINDIA 2013
Baja SAEINDIA 2013, the electrifying automotive event for the students have successfully left its mark at NATRIP, Pithampur near Indore. This is the event that engineering students can feel proud in India; it can be the real source of inspiration for popular Bollywood blockbusters. As Dr. K.C. Vora, Dy Director & Head, ARAI Academy and one of the brains behind this challenging meet, rightly mentioned: “One of the key reasons behind conceptualizing this event is to give the students of engineering colleges across India, a fare chance of exposure to the world of automobile as the institutes generally overlook the importance of practical exercises.” Doesn’t it sound like the theme of ‘3 Idiots’? Of course it is and when the spectators present at the track on the final day of the event saw a ‘moving object in the sky with camera attached in it then the glimpse really took us to the marvelous inventions of that Bollywood blockbuster.
Team Immortals of Krishna Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ghaziabad Bagged the 1st Runner up Award for BAJA SAE India 2013
Baja SAEINDIA 2013 truly turned out as a mega-festive platform, mixed with the spices of passion, dedication, dream and innovations it sprayed an aura of kaleidoscopic affair. Dr. Bharat. K. Soni, Chair and Professor of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the chief guest of the event pointed out: “My university has been organizing the BAJA event in USA for the last few years. While weighing the engineering aspects, the US students are more advanced then their counterparts here, but hats off to the organizers in Indore who have managed to attach a festive flavour to this meet, which is very important to fetch true success out of any event. Moreover, such vibrating spirit inspires the students to deliver their best.
Team RPM, Bagged the 2nd Runner up Award
Amidst the all-round atmosphere of excitement, there is a note of ‘hard reality’ for the aspiring students who want to make their presence felt on the Baja stage. Though in the inaugural year of this event, the response from the student community was timid and only 27 teams participated in that event, things have changed over the years. This year in the 6th edition of the event, organizers received 262 applications. Finally 120 teams were shortlisted via Virtual Baja. Just stop your breathe for few more seconds as this was not the ultimate list on the final day. This year the event carried a slogan of ‘Zero Tolerance’. Dr. Vora explained “We have a team of technical inspectors who make surprise visits to the participating colleges. They find out whether the students are taking helps of outside experts and outsourcing their tasks to make the cars. We stick to the philosophy of ‘survival for the fittest’ and we penalised the teams of straight 400 points”. Among the 120 teams, around 12 teams were rejected under Zero Tolerance policy. Ultimately 91 teams qualified for the final endurance test on 17th February.
Dr. Pawan Goenka at Baja 2013
The three day event took its wings with basic Static Evaluation round consisted of Design Evaluation, Cost Evaluation and Marketing Presentation. In the final round, the teams presented their creations of rough and tough single seat, off-road four-wheel vehicles and were judged on various grounds, including engineering design, aesthetics, marketing punch, cost, technology innovation and so on. There were a total of 33 awards, worth Rs. 33 Lakhs up for grab. Each team was entrusted with the task of developing a safe, easily transported, easily maintained and fun to drive 4-wheeled wonder cars. The speed limit was 60kmph. The Dynamic Evaluation Round tested the vehicles for acceleration, speed, hill climb and maneuverability and the Durability Evaluation Round put the vehicles under the grind of endurance tests. It examined each vehicle’s power to run without any break through rough terrain.
High Voltage Action at the Baja Event
Among the 91 teams only 38 teams managed to run for the entire duration of four hours on the final day. At the end of the gruelling test, College of Engineering, Pune emerged as the ultimate victor pocketing top six awards, Krishna Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ghaziabad & PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh were declared first runners-up and second runners-up respectively.
BLITZ, All-Women Team Fighting It Out in the Mud
This year Baja 2013 was unique as two all girls’ team from Pune and New Delhi participated in it to challenge the male domain. None of them returned empty handed. One among them Indira Gandhi Inst. of Technology, New Delhi (Team: IGIT Yantriki) bagged the Chairman’s Award of Rs.100, 000 for its ‘never say die’ attitude; even after losiing a wheel on the track it doggedly run the vehicle. The other team MKSSS's Cummins College of Engg for Women (Team Blitz) from Pune grabbed the 2nd prize of Build Quality Award (Rs. 50, 000). Commenting on the girl-power, Dr. Vora added: “This shows the popularity of Baja. Last year, there was a single all-girl team, this year it has simply doubled and both of them have made some strong marks. This shows the pull of the event. I hope there will be a time when a ‘all-girls’ tem will grab 1st prize.”
The spirit of the girls was a sight to behold and cherish. When the vehicles got stuck in the mud the girl members from the respective teams got down in the patch to restart the engines and put the vehicle on the right path. This was the spirit that marked the entire length and breadth of the event as teams struggled for survival and enter the limelight.
Team Blitz with AK Rahma, Anchor cum Commentator after Winning the 2nd Prize of Build Quality Award
Baja SAEINDIA 2013 was an event where thrill and excitement found a suitable partner in fun. There was AK Rahman, the charming anchor on the final day at the prize distribution ceremony to tickle the funny bones of the audience with his ready wit and unmatched humour.
Dr. Bharat Soni, Chair and Professor of the University of Alabama at Birmingham
The mentor of Baja SAEINDIA event, Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “Mahindra & Mahindra ltd. is delighted to be associated with Baja SAEINDIA 2013 as the title chief sponsor and further strengthen this association. With Baja, we are taking forward the philosophy of Mahindra Rise to a next level. Competitions such as Baja SAEINDIA provide students the right platform to showcase their skills and acquire real life experience posed with challenges which is critical to their success in long term”.
However, we have to wait for few more years to reap the true harvest of Baja on international scale. Dr. Vora summed it up: “As of now, the event has been producing great talents for the automobile world in India. But we have to wait cautiously before we promote the students to compete with their counterparts on the world stage.” Dr. Goenka added: “We will take it to the international stage only when the innovations from our students rise to a higher level and we are assured of a podium finish. we are planning to make this happen in 2015.”
After claiming the top spot in the tournament, Shrirang Puranik of Team Nemesis from COEP said: “Our success at the South Africa Baja 2012 tremendously boosted our morale. Our team is made of dedicated, young yet highly talented members. We only got a month to build our vehicle over there and yet we came out on flying notes. We bagged the overall 2nd rank in Engineering Design and 6th rank in overall standing in South Africa. For the Baja SAEINDIA 2013 contest, we got two months for testing our vehicle. I would like complement every member of our team. There were 25 registered members in our team while another 15 students from our college extended their positive support.”
Dr. K C Vora, Originator & Advisor of BAJA SAEINDIA at the HR Meet
The aura of the gradient event did not fade with the distribution of the awards, there was another attraction waiting for the students. Following the commencement of the event on the track, there was a HR Meet lying in store for the most talented students. Some top names in the corporate world like Mahindra & Mahindra and ARAI among others fished in the vast talent pool of future innovative brains of the automobile world. It was a bubbling site at the Indore Institute of Science and Technology, the host institute and HR Meet partner of Baja SAEINDIA 2013. Dr. Vora mentioned “Last year companies picked up around 100 students from the Baja participating teams. This year we are expecting that the number will be simply doubled.” Vora’s view was supported by Nirmal Matharu, Convenor of the event, as he said: “We at Mahindra 2 Wheelers have already inducted six students from the previous Baja events. This year we are also looking to find out some bright stars from the cluster of successful students.” Several dignitaries including Dr. Goenka pointed out that: “Students should not lose their hearts even if they cannot bag any award as the learning they get from this mega event will definitely guide their future course of action in professional world.” The final scene to unfold at the NATRIP venue was the free mingling of the top three together on the podium to preserve their triumphant moods in the cameras of the journalists, fans and volunteers present at the event.
So, students the thrill and excitement unfolded with dreams woven on the tracks of NATRIP are enough to take you to the next level of your tryst with automotive world. Drink it to the lees.
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