Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) will conduct its annual tech festival Shaastra entirely online this year. According to a statement from the institution, several internationally acclaimed speakers will speak as part of the event.

The fest will be held from February 25-28. Several eminent dignitaries are scheduled to address the ‘Spotlight Lecture’ Series, “which brings in some of the most influential people in the world from diverse fields ranging from business magnates and successful entrepreneurs to Nobel laureates,” the statement said.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist, World Health Organization (WHO), Nobel laureates Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, and Barry Barish, American experimental physicist, as well as K Radhakrishnan, former Chairman, Space Commission/Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO, are among those scheduled to address the students this year.

One of the unique features of Shaastra 2021 will be the creation of a virtual map of the important sites of IIT-M campus where the events usually take place. “This will enable a viewer to virtually walk through a location in IIT-M and provide as close to a real-life experience as possible,” the statement said adding that all the events will be available to the public free of cost. The total prize money for the contests will be worth around Rs. 17 lakh.

With the overall theme for Shaastra 2021 being ‘Schrödinger’s Realms,’ IIT Madras students plan to host events that showcase various workshops, hackathons, competitions and Spotlight lectures. Stand-up comedian Kenny Sebastian will perform on February 27.


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