College of Engineering, Pune, has won the eighth edition of the 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 19-22.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), in association with SAEIndia, a professional society of automotive engineers, organises the Baja event every year. This year around 323 colleges had registered for the event and, of these, 122 qualified for the finals. Of these, 12 colleges participated in eBaja (the electric car version of Baja that was started from this year onwards).
While the College of Engineering, Pune, were the overall winners, DY Patil College of Engineering, Pune, and VIT University, Vellore, stood second and third, respectively. The best eBaja team award went to KL University, Guntur.
On the occasion, Pawan Goenka of 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 promising portfolios.”
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.
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 has been human resource development for the automotive industry. Over the last few years, automotive industry players have given on-the-spot offer letters to engineering students.