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Home arrow News arrow Education and training arrow BAJA SAEINDIA 2007 kicks off in Indore
BAJA SAEINDIA 2007 kicks off in Indore Print E-mail
Written by Isha   
Saturday, 22 December 2007
27 student teams evaluated on design, cost and technology innovation on Day One

Pithampur (Indore), December 21, 2007: The first edition of BAJA SAEINDIA, India’s first Vehicle Design and Build competition, got off to a flying start today with the Static Evaluation Round. 27 student teams showcased their prototype of a rugged single seat, off-road recreational four-wheel vehicle and were evaluated on various parameters, including engineering design, cost and technology innovation. 29 experts from the auto industry and media judged the Static Evaluation Round on this day.
R.S. Sirohi, Additonal Secretary (Financial Administration), Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises – Government of India was the Chief Guest at the inaugural function of BAJA SAEINDIA. He said that this was a landmark day for the automotive industry and talked about the paradigm shift that taken place. The Guest of Honour was Karun Chandhok, the F1 Driver for Team India. Karun debuted three years ago in the JK Tyre Racing Championship and emerged as the youngest ever national racing whiz kid. He is the second Indian, after Narain Karthikeyan, to participate in the British Formula-3 and the first Indian to win six races in a season. Formula-3 has also made him the youngest ever Formula Asia Champ. He was also the recipient of the prestigious NDTV Profit – Car Magazine Motorsport Award.

Aside from the Static Event, the teams will undergo two more rounds on December 22 and 23 – the Dynamic Evaluation Round which will test the vehicles for acceleration, speed, hill climb and maneouvrability and the Durability Evaluation Round which will see the vehicles undergo endurance tests. The Endurance Evaluation will be conducted on a 3.5km lap over the torture track which was designed by popular Motocross expert Shyam Kothari.

“We are very pleased to bring BAJA SAEINDIA to India for the first time. This is a unique event as it not only provides aspiring engineers with a platform to highlight their design and engineering potential, but also gives them the opportunity to develop marketing and entrepreneurial skills. Round One which is Static Evaluation, showcases the students’ innovative designs and concepts and I am sure the rest of the contest will be just as interesting,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, SAEINDIA and President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

“NATRIP (National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project) is pleased to be associated with the first ever BAJA SAEINDIA which is an innovative concept to help harness potential amongst the next generation of engineers. This event will also go a long way to help India achieve its goal of emerging as a leading hub for product design and development on the global automotive stage, as stated in the Automotive Mission Plan (AMP 2016). Moreover, it is only apt that the event is taking place at the National Automotive Test Track  (NATRAX) site in  Pithampur as it is being developed as the destination for Automotive testing and special racing events,” said Mr. Rajesh Singh, CEO and Project Director, NATRIP.

“Competitions such as BAJA SAEINDIA help students acquire much-needed real world experience, which is critical to their success as future engineers and will help them deal with the challenges posed to them by the industry at a later stage.  Today, India is one of the fastest growing automotive hubs in the world with a large talent pool of automobile engineering and design students and initiatives like BAJA SAEINDIA can only prove beneficial in the long run,” said Mr. Shrikant Marathe, Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) Pune.

 Dr. R. P. Singhania, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries ltd. said, “We at JK Tyre are proud and thankful to be associated with SAEINDIA for a commendable initiative the organization has taken for the automotive industry. Changing realities of international business, emergence of newer technologies and new regulations has asked for market supremacy. The events like BAJA SAEINDIA are providing a platform to the Indian engineering students for a world class opportunity that will simulate real world design projects and challenges. JK Tyre has always supported young talent in the country and we look forward to a proper channelisation of energy for an important objective “.

N. Sriramulu, President ITW Chemin said, "ITW Chemin (A business unit of ITW Inc.USA, a fortune 200 company), is indeed privileged to be the overall award sponsor for the BAJA SAEINDIA 2007.  As a preferred Vendor of automobile industry, it is our endeavor  to provide products, services and support for the  industry  in line with our vision   This event, where the cream of the engineering student community in India, will showcase their concept automobiles, we are sure it will attract national & worldwide attention.  By being associated with BAJA SAEINDIA 2007, ITW Chemin has demonstrated its long-term commitment, to the Indian automobile industry in their efforts to attract the talent.”

Talking about the Baja SAE event, Arvind Mathew, President and Managing Director, Ford India, said, “Competitions such as BAJA SAEINDIA play an integral role in the persistent quest for better designs, newer technology and more refined products. The platform is unique to tap the fertile, unbiased, all-accepting mind of the youth, where students can learn from practical and true-life experiences working under the guidance of industry representatives, while companies get a wealth of fresh, outsider perspective and, unique solutions from these aspiring youngsters. Ford India is glad to support BAJA SAEINDIA as it is a true representation of innovation and creativity.”

Modelled on a globally popular student competition, BAJA SAEINDIA challenges students from leading engineering institutions across the country to design and build an off-road vehicle which will survive the roughest terrains. The event commenced today at the National Automotive Test Track in Pithampur, and will culminate on December 23 at the same venue.

Fifty two Engineering college teams from all over India registered online and finally 27 teams were shortlisted based on strict evaluation criteria. The teams presently competing at the NATRIP facility are evaluated as per the rules posted on the website The competition is unique as it aims to replicate the entire process involved in creating a commercially viable vehicle which encompasses all aspects from conception to delivery. The students must not only function as a team to design, build, test, promote and compete with a vehicle within the limits of the rules but also generate financial support for their project and also should be able to market the product. Various leading automotive industries have come forward and have extended their support to these teams by way of team sponsorship of Rs. 2.00 lacs each.

The 20-member BAJA SAEINDIA Organizing Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Goenka, comprises of members from the automotive industry, research institutes, academia and SAE International. Dr. Kamal Vora, Sr. Asst. Director at ARAI is the Convenor of this Event.

The event is organized by SAEINDIA with support from NATRIP and sponsored by JK Tyres, ITW Chemin, Ford India, ARAI, AVTEC India, General Motors, Maruti Suzuki and TVS Motors. Lombardini India has supplied its 9 HP petrol engine and Mahindra & Mahindra has supplied transmissions to all the participating teams free-of-charge. BPCL, the fuel sponsor supplied Speed petrol for this event and Autoliv has sponsored the seatbelts. Sarovar Portico Hotel has also supported the cause by providing hospitality to the media and the organizers of BAJA SAEINDIA. Fusion India Pvt Ltd was assigned the management of the event.

As part of the competition, each team has designed and built a prototype of a rugged single seat, off-road recreational four-wheel vehicle, intended for sale to the non-professional, weekend off-road enthusiast. The vehicle should be safe, easy to transport and maintain, and fun to drive. Moreover, it should be able to negotiate rough terrain in all types of weather. The competition consists of a total of 1000 points spread across different static and dynamic tests such as mechanical design, engineering and sales presentation, max speed, acceleration, hill climbing, maneuverability and finally, 4 hours of endurance run.

This competition is open to any SAE student member team studying in an undergraduate engineering college in India. Participants must be above 18 years of age and possess a permanent driving license.


SAE INDIA is a professional engineering society of automotive engineers whose vision is to continuously enrich the knowledge base of practitioners in the mobility industry and institutions in the service of humanity. It is an affiliate of the 102 year old SAE International based in U.S.A. SAE India has 2500 regular members and 10,000 student members.

About NATRIP (National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project)

National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRIP), a project under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, aims to establish world class proving grounds across 4,123 acres at the identified site at Pithampur in addition to six other testing centres across India.
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