The “Aspirations 2020” is a national level programming contest held at 474 colleges from across the country. It is an initiative taken by Infosys as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility. The title signifies that by 2020, a team from India should positively win a medal at the ACM-ICPC (International Collegiate Programming Contest) which is often referred to as the olympics of software programming. This is an annual multi-tiered computer programming competition among the universities of the world. The contest is sponsored by IBM. In order to encourage students to build up confidence and participate in technical and programming contests like the aforementioned, Infosys had taken this innovative step which helps the whole student community all over India.
This contest had around 27000+ students participating in the online teaser round which was an entry level screening exam. After conducting competitions at various levels such as inter-college, regional, state etc. and screening a large number of students, the finals were held at Hyderabad Infosys Campus, Gachibowli on March 19th, 2010. A total of 14 teams which consisted of 42 members (3 each in a team) participated in the final round. 100 students from 4 other colleges in Hyderabad were invited to witness the finals of this mega event and be present at the moment when the winner of this prestigious contest would be declared.
While the 42 final participants were undergoing the final round of the contest, the students from other colleges were engaged by a host of Infosys employees. Activities such as Non-technical quiz, JAM session, Q and A session were held. An absolutely entertaining and informative quiz was conducted by one Mr. Riyaz Usman from the Hyderabad Infosys Quiz Forum. The quiz consisted of 2 rounds. The first round was a written test which had 25 questions and based on the scores in this test, the top 6 teams were selected and the finals held. All the questions that could not be answered by the finalists were left for the audience and many students from the audience won goodies for themselves by answering questions. The most interesting thing about this quiz was that all the rounds were very innovative and the answer could mostly be deciphered from the question itself. An example of this was a question wherein a visual with two pictures of the periodic table where the element “Sn” was highlighted was shown and the question was to identify the famous cartoon character associated with the visual. For people who know that the element “Sn” – Stannum’s common name is Tin, it was a cakewalk to identify that the cartoon character is Tin Tin because the picture had been repeated twice. It would also interest one to notice that one of the rules of the quiz was to read the question again and again in order to answer it!
After the quiz session, a JAM session was held wherein students were picked at random and asked to speak about random topics. There were really quite a few interesting JAM speeches from many students. Goodies were also given away to some participants whose performance was pretty fair than the others. After the JAM and quiz sessions, lunch was arranged in a very professional style at the dining hall for all the participants at the dining hall.
2:00 PM in the noon after lunch marked a very special moment on this day for all the participants and finalists present at the venue. A webinar (A seminar on web) of the students with Mr.Srikantan Moorthy(popularly known as Tan Moorthy) and Mr. T.V.Mohandas Pai, both vice presidents of the Education and Research module of Infosys, was arranged. Both the legends gave beautiful, encouraging and informative answers to many of the questions posed by students on higher studies and job oppurtunities. At the end, a very motivational speech was also given by Mr. Mohan to encourage students to increase their learnability levels in order to satisfy the needs of the IT and other corporate firms in India.
Finally, at 4:00 PM in the evening, the moment which all the participants of “Aspirations 2020” had been eagerly waiting for, had arrived. The results of “Aspirations 2020” were about to be declared. Ms. Anshul Tiwari, the MC (Manager of Ceremony) announced the winners and runner-ups of the prestigious contest. Cheques bearing Rs. 50,000 and Rs.40,000 each and a Sony Digital Camera was awarded to each of the 3 winners and runners-up respectively.
After the presentations ceremony, all the winners and runners-up had come on to the stage and shared their feeling on how one should learn to focus on concepts rather than marks and grades. This was followed by a Vote of Thanks session by Mr. Sri Nagesh, principal of the Campus Connect initiative.
So to sum it up, Aspirations 2020 is a unique platform introduced by Infosys as part of its Campus Connect initiative to bring the best of engineering talent from across India together to interact, enjoy and learn from each other while winning a few accolades and fame in the bargain. The fact that the finals of this contest had been held at Hyderabad also facilited the interaction of students from different colleges across the city which would otherwise not be possible in the present day.
To know more about the contest and how to participate in the contest next year, please visit https://campusconnect.infosys.com
To know more about Infosys, please visit http://www.infosys.com