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QUARK!  – The annual international techno-management festival of BITS Pilani, K.K. Birla Goa campus

The ex-President of India. The Union Minister of India. The creator of Javascript. The rounder of Mozilla. Award-winning electric violinist. Professor from MIT. A brain-controlled helicopter.Women empowerment. International participants.Yes. All that and much more.Ever wondered what is common between all of them? QUARK!  – The annual international techno-management festival of BITS Pilani, K.K. Birla Goa campus.

Quark 2018, with the theme of Spanning Horizons, promises to be bigger and better than the previous editions. It is slated to be held from February 9 to 11 with an expected footfall of 50,000 this time from colleges and schools across India and abroad.There’s something for everyone. All of the events come under 8 major categories – Elixir, Corporate, Roboficial, Design and Build, Programmers Inc., Initiatives, Specials, and Electrify.

They include sub- events like MatMania, Digilogica, RoboSumo, Mortar Kombat, Paper presentation, Hackathons, Smart Cities Smart Solutions, Trailblazers, Cubing, the Quark National Quiz and many more, which witness fierce competition as participants try to build robots, connect circuits or/and think of the right answer to the questions. Matka, credited with being one of the biggest national gaming competitions for the players of CS:GO and DOTA, has people playing all day and all night long to clinch the trophy. BITSMUN, one of the biggest MUNS in India sees national and international delegations crossing 350 in number.

Exhibitions like Robotic hand, brain-controlled helicopter, Soundbox, which are brought in from India and abroad are another major attraction.Eminent companies hold workshops, conducted by learned and noted professionals. The line-up for workshop for 2018 features companies like Amazon Web Services (Cloud Computing), SolidWorks (CAD Modelling and Design), National Instruments (Internet of Things), QuickHeal (CyberForensics and Ethical Hacking), Buyucoin (Cryptocurrency), SEBI (Equity Markets, Introduction to Financial Planning and Tech Analysis). Certification from big brands at a very reasonable prices result in huge participation in these workshops from all over the country and the seats, limited in number, quickly fill up.

Perhaps the most anticipated events are the Guest Lectures, which see a jam-packed auditorium and eager listeners every edition. The Guest Lecture list has always consisted of very notable and famous names like Dr Subramanian Swamy, ex-Union Minister and member of Rajya Sabha; Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Ex- President of India; Dr Walter Lewin, noted physisict and Professor Emertius at MIT; world-famous cartoonist Stephen Pastis; co-founder of Mozilla and creator of JavaScript Brendan Eich; Joel Spolsky, creator of Trello and founder of Stack Overflow; Balaji Vishwanathan, Vice-President of Invento and one of the most followed writers on Quora; Dr Abhas Mitra, astrophysicist, best known for resolving the Black Hole Information Paradox; V.S. Sampath, ex-Chief Election Commissioner of India; K. Vaitheeswaran, father of Indian e-commerce; actress Aditi Rao Hydai. The speakers inspire the audience with their excellent speeches and interact with them in Q&A sessions.

The Aurora Nights provide the perfect complement to the ongoing technical events. The previous edition saw performances by The Indian Jam Project, India’s only bagpipe artist “The SnakeCharmer” aka Archy Jay, electric Bollywood cellist Alison Gabrielle, LED-UV dance crew Illuminati, hypnotist Andrew Newton, EDM DJ Sonic Snares and many more.

Its CSR initiatives like RED and whY Chromosome helped promote the use of technology in solving social problems through blood donation camps and awareness drives. RED has seen brand ambassadors like Kiran Bedi and this year, Col. Lalit Rai. It began in collaboration with the Indian Red Cross Society and there have been a number of successful blood donation camps across various cities in India. Quark also boasts of patronage by renowned organisations like UNESCO, CEE-SAYEN etc.

The next edition of Quark is all set to rock the technological backbone of the country from 9th February to 11th February 2018. Be sure to look out for the latest updates from the Quark, BITS Pilani Goa’s Facebook page and bag a place at what could possibly be the most mentally stimulating three days of your life.

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