Teamwork on display as BAJA kicks off

Sanjay Jadhav
Saturday, 27 January 2018

Pithampur:  It is the regular hustle and bustle in the industrial town of Pithampur, near Indore as students of engineering colleges are all gearing up for the 11th edition of Mahindra BAJA SAEINDIA series, which is underway at the NATRAX Facility of NATRiP here.

Pithampur:  It is the regular hustle and bustle in the industrial town of Pithampur, near Indore as students of engineering colleges are all gearing up for the 11th edition of Mahindra BAJA SAEINDIA series, which is underway at the NATRAX Facility of NATRiP here.

BAJA SAEINDIA is an international student level competition, a battle field where engineering college students from the length and breadth of the country participate as a team. Each team’s goal is to design and build a prototype of a rugged single seat, off-road recreational four-wheel vehicle intended for sale to the non-professional, weekend off-road enthusiast.

From designing, developing to driving their own racing cars, teams of 20-25 students are judged for innovation, sustainability, design, acceleration, manoeuvrability, durability etc. This provides final year engineering students a hands on experience and tests their professional skills and learning

Originally started in the USA by the SAE International as MINI BAJA, it was launched in India in Jan 2007 under the leadership of Dr. Pawan Goenka giving the students a practical exposure to real world challenges as faced in the industry.

The theme for BAJA 2018, this year is ‘Ground to Glory’ which celebrates the passion, hard work and perseverance of the budding engineers who start their journey from scratch and traverse throughout the year to turn their dreams into reality.

The event was inaugurated by Dileep Malkhede, Adviser AICTE  and former HOD, Mech. COEP.

“As a leading team,  I and my students had ruled this competition track for All Terrain Vehicles.  These vehicles are manufactured by students. The vehicle undergoes a series of static  and thrilling dynamic  tests on a very torturous track,”  Malkhede said.

“All my faculty members present at Pithampur were thrilled to have a former FAC adviser as a chief guest. I announced a scheme that I have designed, to send these students abroad.  If students participate in similar competitions abroad, the competition becomes more tough and the bar is raised. BAJA, SUPRA of SAE have enormously made engineering education much more interesting,” Malkhede added.

Malkhede on behalf of AICTE announced that Rs 1 crore will be given to students who will take part in competitions abroad.  A total of 10 teams will receive Rs 10 lakh each if they participate in competitions abroad.            

All eyes would be on College Of Engineering Pune (COEP) who have had a very good run in the event.

Tejas Belgamwar, captain of the COEP team was upbeat and excited about the event.

“We are at the end of third day of BAJA. The event this year was quite exciting. The overall management of the event has improved a lot. Most importantly the dynamic event tracks were changed. That made things very interesting.”

Adding further Tejas said “We managed to successfully overcome the obstacles due to the rigorous testing regime which we followed and also there was very good teamwork which was on display. The event comprises of static events too. It is always very interesting to share your thoughts with industry personnel.”

“Our faculty advisor Dr SN Sapali played a crucial role of maintaining stability of the team at event site. Moreover I am very excited to see how our vehicle faces the challenge of Endurance race which will take place on Sunday,” Tejas concluded.

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