Pragyan is an ISO 9001 and 20121 certified, student-run organisation that is hosted every year at NIT, Tiruchirappalli. It is the largest techno-management fest in India and provides one of the best platforms for students and inquisitive minds to showcase their technical skills and knowledge.
Pragyan works round the year and before the main, four-day fest, Pragyan '17 started conducting outreach events and social responsibility activities right from August 2016. It commenced with its inaugural ceremony on the March 2, 2017. The Chief Guest for the inauguration was Dr Ratan Kumar Sinha - Former Chairman at the Atomic Energy Commission of India.
Day one started with the Pragyan's flagship event- Mortar Master. It is pivotal that every civil engineer masters the science of concrete technology. It is said that broken stone, sand and cement make good concrete, but different proportions of the same ingredients can make bad concrete. The quality of end product depends on the mortar master. A mortar master knows the right technique for achieving a strong, durable and economic method of making concrete. Therefore, to test this ability of a civil engineering student, a concrete cube casting event, 'Mortar Master' was organised by Pragyan, in association with Infrastructure Today on March 3, 2017.
The third edition of Mortar Master was a two stage event. The contestants were required to produce concrete blocks as per the problem statement, which required the teams to design three cement concrete cubes of 100 mm size, with an average compressive strength of more than 45 mpa. The maximum allowed weight of each cube was 2.5 kg with a permissible error of 10 per cent. Suitable penalty was awarded to teams failing to meet the given constraints. The participants were allowed to add any material of their choice and requirements to acquire the strength. The teams had to prepare a proper design mix report, cast cubes of impeccable finish and present a briefing of their work to the judges. Only 35 teams qualified to the second stage. The evaluation was based on four parameters: the strength to weight ratio, cost, aesthetic appeal and the innovation in the mix design report. The team casting the cube with the most impressive surface finish and satisfying the greatest compressive strength to weight criteria was to be declared the 'Mortar Masters'.
After a long process of critical judgment, Prof C Natarajan and Prof J Karthikeyan of the Department of Civil Engineering, NIT Trichy selected the winners. Among the contestants, K Manoj Kumar, V Arjun and N Mohammed Aashik grabbed the first position. D Ravichandran came second; Jogi Naidu and G Sriram secured the third place. The winners were awarded with a cash prize of Rs 12,500, Rs 7,500 and Rs 5,000 respectively.
Apart from this, the entirety of the fest saw a plethora of Workshops and Exhibitions. March 5, 2017, witnessed the valedictory ceremony of Pragyan '17 which was presided over by Dr Ada Yonath, the Nobel Laureate, as the Chief Guest and Solaikutty Dhanabal - Academic Project Manager at National Instruments, as the Guest of Honour.