Cognizance IIT Roorkee

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Cognizance is the annual technical festival of Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee.[1] It consists of technical competitions, guest lectures, workshops, exhibitions, awareness drives and techtainment shows.[2]

History and growth

Cognizance started in 2003 as a part of the Hobbies Club of IIT Roorkee with the vision to collaborate young technical minds to produce a synergic technical mélange. With each year additional elements were added Initial versions of Cognizance witnessed a participation of over 1000 students from more than 100 colleges.

Cognizance 2005 saw the inauguration with the chief guest Arun Seth, Chairman, British Telecom Ltd. (India and SAARC) and had A. K. Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL, as the chief guest for the valedictory function. The guest of honour was Ravi Sharma, Managing Director Alcatel, India. Events like Enquesta - the online quiz drew participation from other countries as well. Companies like BSNL, TATA Motors, CISCO Systems and Ericsson showed interest in the institute's activities by sponsoring the festival.

Cognizance 2008[3] invited Rajiv Kumar, General Manager for business & office team MSIDC, Padmabhushan "Late Dr. Yash Pal", India's scientist, Mr. Sean Blagsvedt, CEO of Babajob.com, Mr. Manish Tripathi, Director of Mumbai Dabbawala, and Dr. H. C. Verma, the well-known physicist as guest speakers. It had SuperUber, a Brazilian Interactive media Company, which created a wall where people interacted with their own shadows. The title sponsor was Reliance Industries Limited. The fest was co-sponsored by Microsoft IDC. Wipro sponsored Mechasoft, a programming challenge.

Cognizance 2009[4] was based on the theme ‘Think Energy, Go Green’ and was attended by many students of non-Indian technical institutes, including University of Cincinnati, Technical University of Crete, Greece Ohio State University (USA), Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto, Portugal, RIBA North-west Liverpool (UK). The festival was opened by Dr. Chandra M Kintala, director of Yahoo! Labs (India). Guest lecturers included:


Cognizance 2010,[5] witnessed a participation of 3500+ from over 900 technical and management colleges across India, and it became the largest technical festival of North India. Apart from Indian institutes, many students of foreign technical institute, including University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University also submitted entries.

Cognizance 2011[6] recorded a participation of over 2500 students for 160 events, which included centrestage events, departmental events, workshops, exhibitions and guest lectures, which were based on the theme "For a Better Tomorrow".[7] This edition was also ISO 9001:2008 certified. The website of cognizance saw 10 Million hits from 107 countries.

In 2012, Cognizance[8] had a participation of more than 3000 students for over 180 events. That year Cognizance started Student Partner Programme(SPP)[9] which aimed to make student ambassadors in different colleges. Cognizance made SPPs in over 150 colleges.

Cognizance 2013[10] was based on the theme "Aim Conclusion"[11] and was attended by over 3000 students of various colleges from India. The confluence hosted more than 180 events which included centrestage, departmental events, workshops, exhibitions and guest lectures.[12] The title sponsor was CAIRN.

Cognizance 2014[13][14][15] was organized on the theme "Engineering Change"[16] and was attended by over 3000 students. The 12th version was an assemblage of more than 150 events. The 12th version also witnessed more than 12 Million hits on its website.

Cognizance 2015[17][18] was the 13th edition was this confluence which witnessed an attendance of more than 3500 students from all over India who came to attend an assemblage of more than 180 events.

Cognizance 2016[19][20] The IIT festival was opened by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on March 18.

Cognizance 2017[21][22] was based on the theme "Eureka 2.0" and recorded an attendance of over 2700 students from all over the continent. There were more than 200 events which included 12 workshops, 8 Guest Lectures, 2 Panel Discussions and 9 Exhibitions.[23][24]

Cognizance 2018[25][26] was attended by over 3500 students. The confluence hosted more than 200 events that consisted of 13 workshops and 9 exhibitions which were all based on the theme "dreaming Discoveries".[27][28]

Cognizance 2019[29] was the 2nd largest technical festival of Asia. The fest witnessed an attendance of over 2500 students from various colleges of Asia. With a participation of 22 departments of IIT Roorkee the organizing team hosted over 200 events that consisted of 15 workshops, 4 Guest Lectures and 3 Panel Discussions.[30]

Cognizance has also hosted many techtainment nights in which many entertainers have performed. A few of them are KK, Papon, Coke Studio, Zakir Khan, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Sachin–Jigar, AronChupa, Diego Miranda, Guru Randhawa, Eluveitie.[31]

Patronages and recognitions

Over the 17 years of growth of Cognizance, it has received associations from various organizations. These have included "UNESCO"[32][33] (for the ‘Empowering Uttrakhand’ initiative in the 2020 edition), "UNDP" (for ‘TBT Productathon’ in 2019 edition), "UREDA"[34] (for the ‘Let’s Eliminate Darkness’ initiative of the edition 2018), "Digital India Campaign" (The Digital India Initiative in 2016 Cognizance was undertaken under the Digital India initiative by the Ministry of Communications and IT). More associations include "UNEP",[35] "International Year of Pulses",[20] "Centre for Environment Education (CEE)",[36][37] "SAYEN",[38][39] "Startup India", "Make In India".

Structure and organisation

Cognizance is entirely organized by the Student community of IIT Roorkee. Cognizance 2003 began with an organizing team of 5-6 members. In later years this has increased.[40] The 2019 version of cognizance had a functional structure. It was organized by a team of six number of verticals, each of which had a head, few managers, executives, and coordinators. Apart from this, the team had an Organizing Secretary and Overall Coordinator and a Faculty Coordinator to supervise the team of 50 members.[no citations needed here]

Events

Robotics

Robotics events take several forms. Armageddon or Robo-war is a competition where teams battle each other with weaponized armoured bots. Power Drift[41] also known as RC nitro buggy racing is a competition wherein rc buggy's race off on a specially designed race track which requires the buggy's to perform stunts and drifts to win. Cyborg Breakin[42] challenges the participants to take complete control of every action of their bot to clear multiple hurdles, transferring blocks of different sizes from one end to another. Aeronave (RC Plane race) and Poseidon (Aquatic Robot race) are relatively new additions to the robotics events but have had significant participation.[no citations needed here]

Technology

During the three days of Conclave, various technical events are conducted each year, which include case studies on the trending social issues and technological advancements, hackathons and cypher competitions. In the 2019 edition, various case studies were conducted on topics such as revival of rivers which focused on seeking technical solution for the concern of excessive pollution of Kosi and Rispana. Wheelelectrifying[43] was another case study which was conducted to know the impact of hybrid vehicles on the automobile industry and the future of the industry. Error 404[44] was conducted to find a solution to save the endangered species from getting extinct and protecting the environment. Various coding competitions are held for students across India including Mindsweeper, where the students prove their mettle in mathematical analysis and coding. Artboard[45] is a UI/UX based competition which is conducted to give budding designers an opportunity. Various other technical events like Schlumberger Day, Tech skill and Insomnia are conducted in collaboration with various MNCs across the three days of the festival.

Innovation Conclave

Cognizance under the banner of Information technology development agency(ITDA), Uttarakhand conducted the events Drones, WEbbED and Rural Internet Stability. Drones was an event aimed at encouraging the participants to think of innovative ideas to use drones for government agencies. The event WEbbED required participants to design and develop a new website for the State Data Centre of Uttarakhand government (conducted under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)). The event Rural Internet Stability was aimed at finding a new product or technology, or advancement in the existing technology that can be helpful in the smart village concept for the two villages Ghes and Himni, of Uttrakhand. Another event, TBT Productathon[46] conducted under the banner of UNDP was aimed at solving problems or issues prevailing in the society that requires input from young technological minds. UNDP India works to achieve the sustainable development goals by customizing traditional models to include new methods. This collegiate event on the same pitch is providing a platform to rectify these issues.

B-Street

B-Street or Business Street is a category of events conducted during the conclave in collaboration with Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee. Alankan[47] is an analytics competition which gives value to problem solving skills of the participant and how they manage to tackle the case study provided to them. The EntrepreneurMind[48] is a multi-level challenge, which was designed to bring out the entrepreneur ability in a candidate. Another event, Markastic[49] focusses on the problem solving and analytical skills of contestants. In the modern age, social media has become a crucial aspect of everyone's lives. Under Opstruct[50] students have a chance to participate in a supply chain simulation game, known as "Beer game". This will be a simulation game played by a group of 4 people, where participants have to manage the inventory. Recognizing this fact, The Brand Master[51] event was designed wherein the participating teams submit a business plan to promote and digitally market the given venture. Karyaneethi[52] is another major event where business personalities of participants are judged on the basis of their innovative ideas and presentation skills.

Finfest

FinFest Valuation Challenge[53] is a stock-pitching competition where the participants are expected to present a buy/sell recommendation on a stock of their choice from the BSE 200 companies.

FinFest Case Challenge,[54] a case-study competition, revolves around the overall sectoral analysis of the FMCG sector. The 2019 edition was organized in partnership with The Money Roller.

The Credit Crisis of 2007 changed the whole outlook of the financial world. The most reputed credit rating institutions lost all their ethical grounds and the largest investment banks were given a big punch on their faces. BearAble[55] is a video-making competition where participants make a video explaining the factors and causes of the financial crisis. CogniStreet[56] is a virtual stock-trading competition where participants get the opportunity to live the life of a trader. 2019 edition was conducted in partnership with ICICI Bank.

Lit.A.F.(Literature and Arts Festival)

Lit.A.F, Literature and Arts Festival conducts events in literature. Quizzotica was a quiz competition that presented a collection of questions to test the intellectual capabilities and creativity in participants. There were three categories of quizzes. A workshop, on microfiction writing was conducted by "The Scribbled Stories", which is a storytelling platform on the social web. It taught the participants scribbling, sharing and writing their own stories and presented the world of flash-fiction and micro-tales. In the end, participants were to write a micro tale and the best of them was published on The Scribbled Story platform. Another event Yin Yang was about presenting two interconnected endings to the same story. The aim of the game Shortify was to write given statements using the least number of characters that your friend can understand. A Pictionary event was also conducted. Pictures were presented to participants and they had to weave a story supporting the picture.

Departmental Events

Apart from the various centerstage events, departmental events are also conducted in collaboration with 22 departmental groups during the conclave. Each department conducts two events, namely:

Ideaz:

Ideaz[57] is an international level paper/poster presentation competition aimed at tapping the infinite potential of the human mind to generate ideas, which when given a proper platform, can transform into a path-breaking discovery. The purpose of this contest is to recognize and encourage student involvement in research and development. Original ideas are invited to be presented in a genuine and comprehensive way. Ideaz ensures the coverage of the entire spectrum of Science and Technology.

Spectrum:

Spectrum[58] is a department centric event which is designed and judged by professors of IIT Roorkee and is based on the concept of motivating specialized studies in students. The events conducted under Spectrum change every year and all the information regarding the events is available on the official website.

Gaming

Chaos

The event is a platform for all the gamers out in the country to showcase their talent at e-sports. Gaming competitions include Esports like FIFA 19, NFS, DOTA 2[59] and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and prove their mettle in this field. Besides, there was also a first-time inclusion of the PUBG Mobile Gaming Event in 2019.

Let's Cube

Solving the ultimate puzzle with more than 43 quintillion possibilities was never as rewarding. Participants showed their talents in all 7 formats of the game, i.e. 3 x 3, 2 x 2, 4 x 4, 5 x 5, 3 x 3 (one handed), Pyraminx and Skewb.

Social initiatives

Since its initiation in 2003, Cognizance has taken up several social initiatives to help the society develop technologically rather than being consumed by the social norms and issues. The major initiatives taken up by Cognizance over the past 17 years are:

LED - Let’s Eliminate Darkness

Lighting a room is the first step to ignite a life

The process of rural electrification, which in simplest terms means bringing electricity to rural and remote parts, is very important for our developing nation. In a mutual association with UREDA, Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency,[60] Cognizance launched the campaign LED - Let's Eliminate Darkness with the use of the most advanced and efficient technology LED - Light Emitting Diode.

Clean Ganga Campaign

Aviral Ganga: Reinstate. Rejuvenate. Retain

Ganga, a river once synonymous with serenity and sanctity, has now become a symbol of degradation. The path of the river gradually deteriorates as it moves downstream, banking the major industrial towns of the nation.[33][39] Cognizance, sustaining itself on the banks where Ganga descends from the Himalayan heavens, acknowledged the issue to be an immediate cause of concern and strives to work for the rejuvenation of our revered lifeline.[36][61]

Aviral Ganga 2.0

Reinstate. Rejuvenate. Replenish.

In order to spread awareness among the people about the overly deteriorating condition of the holy waters of Ganga despite so many actions being taken by the government as well as local NGOs and groups to clean it, Cognizance launched the second version of its clean Ganga campaign which is initiated in 2017.[24][23] An NGO named ‘Shuddhi’ works on the arenas covering Waste management, sanitation, digital India, child education, women empowerment, and environmental protection. Shuddhi has come up with many environmental benefitting advanced technology products under the Swachh Bharat Products, one of them being Bio-Toilets.[62][35] The conclave featured an event to recognise people who have working to clean the Ganges without due recognition. They were: Ankit Agarwal, co-founder of Help Us Green; Siddhant Aggarwal, co-founder of Veditam Ganga; Vikas Chandra, founder of the Ganga Bachao Andolan 2000; Jaiprakash Dabral, founder of the Himalayan Chipko Foundation; and Akash Sinha, founder of Omni Present Robot Tech.[38][37]

BDC - Blood Donation Camp

Donate Blood, Save Life

You are definitely someone’s type

Blood donation is the most gentle and selfless deed that any individual can do beneath the sunshade of social service. Donating blood connects the donor to the acceptor in a relationship adhering to humanity which is beyond every blood-relation. Cognizance had come up with the initiative of BDC with a chief intention of inculcating the spirit of social responsibility amid the youth of the nation.

GDP - Growth And Development Program

Unskilled labor is like a plague to our country that can swipe it’s fate away

Cognizance has consistently provided a podium for engineering innovations and raw ideas to emanate, develop and create an impact. Thus, cognizance has undertaken this initiative to promote skill development in the unskilled youth of our country in association with the non-profit organization Pratham. Under our initiative GDP (Growth and Development Program), we intend to work for individuals between 18–35 years of age who could not complete their education due to some financial constraints.

Cashless India Campaign ₹-efined

Weightless Wallets

The sudden disruption in the supply of currency in the aftermath of the much-highlighted demonetization was very hard for the commoners to digest. Compelled by this, Cognizance 2017 took the initiative to spread mass awareness about how one could transit to a Cashless Economy.[23][24] The effect of the initiative can be seen in IIT Roorkee campus which has been completely digitized. We strongly believe that promoting Cashless Economy is the need of the hour especially in a state like Uttarakhand where the majority of terrain remains remote and isolated. Cognizance believes that these efforts are just stepping stones to redefine the Indian Economy and make the wallets weightless.

Mental Wellness Campaign

I’m F.I.N.E: Fine is the new escape

Of late, ignorance about the term Mental Health has engulfed the Indians.[23] The issue is critical and alarming in the extreme and needs to be stressed highly to avoid dire repercussions. Taboos, social stigmas, and misinformation have made people reluctant to ask for help. Students, quite often, constitute a fair fraction of people affected by mental health illness and find catastrophic remedies to get rid of their ailments. Cognizance acknowledged the severity of the issue and has taken the initiative to help people get rid of their traumas.[24]

Digital India

Envisaging E-India

This initiative focused on integrating the concepts of Digitisation to the rural sector and further making India digitally empowered on all fronts.[20] Cognizance 2016 in association with Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan Campaign by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had organized a Digital Empowerment Campaign cum Workshop on Digital Locker at Chharba,[63] a village of Dehradun in Uttarakhand.[32] A Science Exhibition for the school children from nearby villages, along with the Digital Empowerment Campaign under the Digital India initiative by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was undertaken by Cognizance 2016. This initiative aimed at further digitizing a model village in India fully through Case Study Events and presentation of innovative ideas through online forums.

Accessible India Campaign

Aim Inclusion

This initiative focused on aiming towards making India an accessible place for the specially-abled people and is the culmination of dedicated efforts to achieve a fully accessible campus through case study events directed towards disaster mitigation for the disabled, Appathon to technologically assist the disabled, achieving a fully W3C Compliant Website and a Workshop of Barrier Free access to technical education for people with disabilities along with exhibition on prosthetics and orthotics. The Initiative Talk featured distinguished leader of the Accessible India Campaign, Mr. Mukesh Jain (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment).[20]

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Women Empowerment

Abhishapt

Cognizance Women Empowerment campaign received patronages from HeForShe campaign of United Nations and Farhan Akhtar's social campaign MARD. It called for every single human being, irrespective of gender, to stand up for equal rights. It urged every man to respect his female counterparts, protect their aspirations and nurture their dreams. It will be a dream come true – the day when there is a global radical change in the attitude towards women and when the world fully realizes the capacities and capabilities of women. That day is not far ahead when women will raise the bar and surge ahead conquering heights never scaled before. Let's take a step back, open our eyes and mend our ways.

Clean Environment

SAAF : Scrupulous Act Against Filth

As a part of our Initiatives inspired by Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,[20] we officially launched the Cogni- Social Initiative under the name of SAAF : Scrupulous Act Against Filth with the entries of the Online Sketch making Competition Limn: Towards Immaculate India by answering the question of eradication of the filth through simple meticulous acts by we, the citizens of India.

HASI - Health and Sanitation Initiative

Spreading smiles, Diminishing taboos

With a goal of "Spreading smiles, Diminishing taboos" and a mission to create awareness about viral Hepatitis, female health and menstrual hygiene, Cognizance rolled out the Health and Sanitation Initiative (HASI) in 2019.[64] Hidden behind this initiative was a will to unshackle the diseased youth of our century as a healthy youth is a key to accredit the evolution of the global residency that we all are a part of. This initiative spans across awareness drives regarding Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, and sanitary napkin distribution drives for women in association with the Rann Bhoomi Foundation, and a dedicated curtain-raiser conclave on "Women Empowerment" containing an information session on viral Hepatitis B. To extend the impact of our efforts we organized an exclusive pre-fest show on Women Empowerment as the Curtain Raiser of Cognizance 2019 on March 6, 2019. The event started with the expression of an intent to bring about a change of goodwill by Guest Talks by the Leading Ladies of our country. Maya Vishwakarma: The Pad-woman of India,[65] Mamta Saikia: COO, Bharti Foundation ignited young minds by sharing their stories. This was followed by a Poetry Confluence where the esteemed artists of The Social House poetry, Sangita Yaduvanshi, Aman Chugh and Shivani Thakur, enkindled the audience with their striking pieces. The very famous and intense poet, Pooja Sachdeva also graced our event as a performer.[66] A fundamental part of the event was the Felicitation Ceremony to recognize the efforts of the activists who have been actively involved in the journey of improving female health and menstrual hygiene: The Rann Bhoomi Foundation and Stree Sanman. The Sanitary pad vending machines were also inaugurated in this ceremony.[67]

Think Before Throwing (#TBT)

Never refuse to reuse

Every year, the World Environment Day revolves around a pressing concern of the environmental need and for 2018, the theme "Beat Plastic Pollution" aimed to mobilize the environmental delegates and every worthy citizen of the world and called for an action plan to beat the problem of trash pollution and waste mismanagement. On the pathway of the United Nations, 2019 edition of Cognizance undertook a wonderful initiative of #TBT "Think Before Throwing" showcasing a throwback to greener and less polluted Earth. TBT was a strategy, effectively planned and coordinated by the team of Cognizance 2019 to combat the problem of plastic trash pollution. Cognizance 2019 organized plastic collection drives at different places in the campus and was able to collect more than 30 kg of plastic waste in a single day which was further recycled into a usable product.

Uttarakhand Talent Search Examination (UTSE)

An initiative to scout academic excellence in Uttarakhand

Complying with the theme of Cognizance 2019, "Unwinding Chaos",[66] we strongly believe that small steps towards the development of our youth can lead to a big wave of goodwill in the future. Thus with an ambition to scout the academic excellence in the state of Uttarakhand, Cognizance took up the stride of conducting the Uttarakhand Talent Search Examination for the very first time across 14 schools of Uttarakhand in affiliation with the government under the patronage of Uttarakhand Science Education & Research Centre (USERC).[68]

Uttarakhand Talent Search Examination 2018 was a huge success. The success of the competition was not overnight but an outcome of months of hard work. This could have never been possible without the pertinent efforts of our organizing committee who traveled across different cities of Uttarakhand and gave their level best to expand the participation. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Nautiyal and Dr. Anuradha for being with us at every point in time and help us in successfully organizing this examination.

Revival of Rivers

The care of rivers is not a question of rivers but of the human heart

Revival of rivers was a social initiative by Cognizance IIT Roorkee under the banner of Uttarakhand Science Education and Research Centre (USERC). This initiative aimed at rejuvenating the two tributaries of Ganga flowing in uttarakhand Rispana and Kosi, both of the rivers are on the verge of dying. Revival of rivers was a technical event seeking technical solutions to solve the problem of the two dying rivers.[66]

Guest Lectures

The Lecture Series is one of the most distinguished parts of the fest and provides a platform to hear keynote lectures from prominent individuals across the globe. The series has been continuously striving to impart knowledge and scholarly experience to one of the largest gathering across the continent. The sheer volume of enlightenment and ideas that spread through the series is ginormous and astounding. The speakers are eager to impart knowledge and wisdom, sharing their experiences and shortcomings, which are bound to leave a lasting impression on the young audience. Over the years, Cognizance has hosted eminent personalities like:


  • Tamer Nakisci[6] (Designer, Nokia 888)

Workshops

Cognizance also offers workshops which are enjoyed by enthusiasts attending the festival. In the latest edition if Cognizance, Cognizance 2019, a total of 13 workshops were organized divided in 2 slots of 2 days. Slot 1 comprised of workshops on Internet of Things (IoT), Android App Development, Digital Image Processing through MATLAB, Digital Marketing, Python Programming, and Bridge Design.[24] The Slot 2 workshops were on Automobile Mechanics & IC engines, Ethical Hacking & Cyber Security, Robotics & Embedded Systems,[25] Amazon Web Services (AWS), Quadcopter, Big Data & Cloud Computing, and Human Centric Design (by Divami Design Labs).[69] Exhibitions and Workshops were from tech giants like Microsoft, Samsung, IBM[23]

Associations and partners

In its 17 years of legacy, Cognizance has been associated with many Multinational corporations of various fields. From IT giants like Microsoft, Google, IBM, Samsung, Adobe, HCL, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), NVIDIA, to banking giants like State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI, Punjab National Bank (PNB), to consumer goods favourites like Bisleri, Nestle, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Cafe Coffee Day, Peter England, Wrangler, to telecom mammoths like Reliance Communications, BSNL, Idea, to Automobile giants like Maruti Suzuki, Yamaha, Hero, to Indian Tycoos like Aditya Birla Group, Paytm, RazorPay, Swiggy, Cognizance has had associations with many Multinational and National Corporations. Apart from these MNCs, Cognizance has been affiliated by UNESCO, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Uttrakhand Tourism, Study in Australia, Australian Government, University of Alberta and the University of Sheffield, Schlumberger, and ONGC in the past.

References

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