March 15, 2020: 1825 hrs
We received the mail to leave the campus of IIT Guwahati, ASAP and return on March 30, 2020. This instruction did not age well, considering I am writing this still sitting at my home and missing my dearest friends and the campus. But this date changed the course of Technothlon 2020, and if it weren’t for the coronavirus, Technothlon probably wouldn’t have gone completely online for the very first time! Way to find the silver lining, am I right?
Our team achieved this feat only because of the legacy of Technothlon and the great heads before us, which motivated us to try our best and conduct Techno in these sucky times. From countless hours of discussion calls on Messenger to the times we went back and forth on some critical decisions, our ex-heads and ex-ex-heads always had our backs. And of course, our Freshers worked extremely hard and handled everything like total pros!
We kept hoping for the virus to be subdued, but the cases kept on increasing. And in the first week of May 2020, we came to grips with the fact that Technothlon 2020 will be conducted online. And to embrace this change we launched our ‘Logic Week’ series in May, with each week dedicated to our favorite topics: Combinatorics, Chess, Deciphering, and general Puzzles. We were overwhelmed by the response we got and it motivated us and our team to give the participants the best Technothlon we could!
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” — Socrates
Technothlon 2020 had some big changes, the biggest of all being that Prelims and Mains would be held online and that students will participate individually, as opposed to our previous structure of participants attempting the paper and other events in pairs. Through the months of June and July, we finalized the Prelims papers for both the squads. Going online was tough for the whole team, and now came the toughest part: THE CALLINGS. So, in order to get the word of Technothlon 2020 being held online around and get the rest of the information to all the registered students, our team must have called thousands of participants and other institutes so that no student would miss the opportunity to give our paper. And once the callings were done, we released the themes of Technothlon Prelims 2020: ‘Toy Story’ for the Juniors squad and ‘The Lion King’ for the Hauts squad.
And once the Question Paper (QP) was ready with the theme, came the time to proofread the paper. Hats off to the QP and the Literary team for creating an errorless paper and checking it, again and again, to make sure that there were no inconsistencies, neither in the questions nor in the storyline. These teams spent a lot of time finding the smallest of irregularities so that no participant would have any trouble in understanding the question paper. And the result was the perfect set of papers with no mistakes to be found!
Prelims was held on September 13, 2020. Our whole team was on Google meets for over 8 hrs that day making sure everyone was able to log in and attempt the paper. There were some obstacles to overcome, with a lot of people having trouble with the links, and our online head Shridam Mahajan came up with a quick solution to keep the show going. Even after some delays, we were able to wrap up the exam within time. And for the next week, we went through tons of data and compiled the results. The result was declared on September 27, 2020, and now the preparation for the next phase-Mains started.
Here at Technothlon, we always try to give our participants a unique experience. This was always possible when the finalists could visit our campus and experience Technothlon in all of its glory. But with Mains being held online we were really in a pickle on how to give the students a feel of the actual Mains. Our wonderfulFreshers team took this as a challenge and came up with the amazing event of ‘Campus La Vie’ so that the finalists have a chance to experience our lives in IIT Guwahati, albeit virtually. And in order to keep the spirit of competition alive, two multiplayer events- Marauders Chess and Stratego were created, with some very complex rules which brought out the ‘Mastermind’ in every student. Mains was held on 24–25 October 2020. Our whole team was once again active throughout the course of the events, juggling between Airmeet, Google Meets, and WhatsApp trying to clear the students’ doubts and ensuring fair play and a whole lot of fun!
Finally, Technothlon 2020 closing ceremony took place on October 30. The winners received a cash prize of 40k, the first runner ups got a cash prize of 25k and the second runner ups got a cash prize of 15k.
‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ — Nelson Mandela
I am not going to lie, but all of us ‘Heads’ at some point thought we wouldn’t be able to pull this off, that this was out of our league. But what kept us going was the innumerous students emailing us and calling us asking “When will Technothlon 2020 be held?” The thousands of participants rooting for Technothlon are the spirit of Technothlon and are the reason Technothlon 2020 was possible. All in all, it was a great journey and if we have to, we would do it all over again!
Preparations for Technothlon 2021 are underway! So stay tuned for more blogs!!
Literary Head, Technothlon 2020