Qualification round conducted at MIT, Pune

31st October, 2018, Pune: SAE INDIA Off-Highway Board, conducted qualifying round of 2ndedition of its unique competition named TIFAN (Technology Innovation Forum for Agricultural Nurturing) for engineering and agricultural engineering students at Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), Pune.

The objective of TIFAN competition is to provide a platform for Agricultural product innovation by generating a talent pool for off-highway industry. This competition will also provide the undergraduate students hands-on experience towards agricultural/off-highway machinery and process. Eventually, such endeavors will help the society by enabling the small and marginal farmers with farm mechanization for yield and productivity improvement.

TIFAN is organized annually with a new challenging theme every three (3) years. The problem statement / challenge is related to farm operations like Land Preparation, Intercultural operation & Harvesting. The competition is being held in 2 stages viz; Qualifying round and Field Competition. The challenge for TIFAN 2019 is ‘Self Propelled Onion Harvester’. The evaluation criterion are Innovation, Productivity, Efficiency, Fuel Economy, Cost and Ease of operation.

Mr. Sandeep Mahajan, General Manager, John Deere India and Convener TIFAN 2019 welcomed all the distinguished dignitaries on stage and narrated the journey of TIFAN and its motivation towards engaging the talent from the country to the real-life challenges of the agricultural sector. Mr. Sanjay Nibandhe, Chairman, SAE India Western Section shared SAEINDIA vision in developing talent and technology in mobility industry. He also shared his views about making the harvester multi-purpose by changing few components. Mr. Nilkanth Devshetwar, Head, Competency, Technology & Labs, John Deere India provided views of Industry like John Deere towards conducting such events to develop future talent in the country. Prof. Prakash Joshi, Founder, Joint Managing Trustee MAEER’s MIT talked in his speech about the role of engineering colleges in contributing towards the real-life challenges of Agriculture sector in country.

The qualifying round of competition was inaugurated by Dr. Indra Mani, President, Indian Society of Agricultural Engineering. & Head of Agricultural Engineering. ICAR, New Delhi as Chief Guest. Dr. Maniliked TIFAN concept very much and he encouraged all the young engineeringstudents to solve the challenges of agricultural sector during his speech. He creatively coined the term ‘Engineering Agriculture’ to bring out an overwhelming change in Indian farming conditions. He also appreciated the efforts of TIFAN Organizing committee to conceptualize and executing this idea of competition.

TIFAN 2019 witnessed overwhelming response all over the India. Students from 37 colleges from 7 states across India participated in qualifying round. Most of the teams came up with new innovative designs for self-propelled onion harvester. Judges from different industries were very happy with the thought process from students and provided their valuable inputs for further improvements in the designs.

The shortlisted colleges after this round will go for the final round where they have to demonstrate the physically build machines in the field. The final will be held at Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV), Rahuri in the month of March 2019.

Other dignitaries present during the inauguration event were Dr. D.D. Pawar (Associate Dean and Registrar, MPKV Rahuri), Mahesh Masurkar (Secretary, SAEIndia Off-Highway Board), Mr. Amol Waghmode, from Cummins, Mr. Narhari Wagh (Secretary SAEIndia Western Section) and Mr. Ramesh Pasarija (Deputy-Director, SAEIndia Western Section).