Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), in association with SAEIndia, a professional society of automotive engineers, successfully organised the seventh edition of Baja SAEIndia—a series that aims to provide an opportunity to young, enthusiastic and talented engineering students to showcase their passion for automobiles while encouraging them to conceive, design and fabricate four-wheeled single-seater all-terrain vehicles. The finals were held at the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP) facility at Pithampur near Indore from February 20-23.
Sanjay Nibandhe, the convenor of Baja 2014, said that around 327 colleges had registered for this year’s event and, of these, 125 qualified for the finals, and 106 finally competed on the track. Baja 2014 was won by the SGS Institute of Technology and Science, Indore.
On the occasion, Pawan Goenka, president, automotive & farm equipment sectors, M&M, said, “We are pleased with the overwhelming response. Since the inception of the competition in 2007, we have dedicated ourselves to developing young engineering talent. We also use this opportunity to identify promising engineers, exchange views and interact with them in the HR meet where the students are interviewed and selected on the spot. Over the years, many students have joined M&M and are currently
handling very promising portfolios.”
Shrikant Marathe, director, ARAI, added, “It is imperative to create an environment that effectively promotes the development of young talent in the auto sector. One of the aims of Baja is human resource development for the automotive industry. Over the last few years, automotive industries have given on-the-spot offer letters to engineering students. Moreover, students who mention in their resume that they are Baja team members get an edge over others.”
The Baja event originated as Mini-Baja in 1976 at the University of Carolina. Since then, it has spread from the US to countries such as Mexico, South Africa, Korea, Brazil and India. The finals test the vehicle for the sound engineering practices that have gone into it, the agility of the vehicle in terms of gradability, speed, acceleration and manoeuvrability characteristics, and finally its ability to endure the back-breaking durability test.