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Beyond Conventional Wheels: BAJA SAEINDIA 2024 Initiates Virtual Round at Chitkara University



Beyond Conventional Wheels: BAJA SAEINDIA 2024 Initiates Virtual Round at Chitkara University

BAJA SAEINDIA, the flagship event of SAEINDIA, stands as a pinnacle in collegiate engineering design competitions. Encompassing the ingenuity of aspiring engineers, participating teams undertake the comprehensive process of conceptualizing, designing, modelling, analyzing, manufacturing, validating and competing with a single-seater ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle). Each year, BAJA SAEINDIA engages with a substantial cohort of 5,000 to 10,000 engineering students nationwide. This year, with 164 participating teams, the event will be organized in 3 parts for the 2024 season, each phase more challenging than the last one. The continuance of virtual events has in turn enabled the participation of international teams, demonstrating the vast scope of the event. With the theme set as “Multiverse of Mobility, BAJA SAEINDIA aims to diversify and broaden the competitions scope and empower the student fraternity, equipping them with the skills needed to overcome diverse challenges, surmount obstacles, gain robust technical expertise, and metamorphose into professionals ready for the dynamic workplace landscape. Today, alumni of BAJA SAEINDIA are employed by most automakers all around the world.

Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Pro-Chancellor Chitkara University along with Officials from Chitkara University and BAJA SAEINDIA 2024

With a vision of a smarter, safer and sustainable future, BAJA SAEINDIA expanded its focus to explore options to find feasible solutions. Hydrogen-based internal combustion engines are certainly a step in the right direction and BAJA SAEINDIA is heading towards the same with the hBAJA category. Currently to ease the pressure on student teams, BAJA SAEINDIA has introduced CNG-based bi-fuel injected engines for the 2024 season and will slowly progress to Hydrogen. Similarly, with evolving technology and the gradual takeover of ADAS & AI, BAJA SAEINDIA wanted to encourage students to take part in this evolution thereby introducing aBAJA (Autonomous BAJA). Currently, with the support from various organizations from the industry, BAJA SAEINDIA has successfully introduced this category.

Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Pro-Chancellor Chitkara University along with Officials from Chitkara University and BAJA SAEINDIA 2024

The Virtual Round of BAJA SAEINDIA 2024 commenced with a press conference organized by the host institute, Chitkara University. Mr. I V Rao, Chair of SAEINDIA EEB and Distinguished Fellow at TERI gave welcome address.

Talking about how BAJA SAEINDIA is playing a vital role in shaping next generation of Mobility Engineers, Dr. K C Vora, Advisor, BAJA SAEINDIA and Professor of Practice at Chitkara University said, “BAJA SAEINDIA is dedicated to bridging the gap between the Industry and Academia. This competition serves as a proving ground for engineering undergraduates and postgraduates, who in the process of building a single seater ATV, learn important technical and non-technical skills which makes them industry-ready by simulating such an environment”. He added, “This year, the theme is Multiverse of Mobility, where besides mBAJA (with 10 HP IC Engine) and eBAJA (with 9 kW eMotor and Lithium-Ion Swappable Batteries) categories, we have introduced aBAJA (Autonomous BAJA) and hBAJA (Hydrogen BAJA) to be at-par with the industry. This will benefit the sponsor organizations, since they would be able to select the best team members and give them on-the-spot placement offers in the BAJA SAEINDIA HR Meet.”

BAJA SAEINDIA is nothing without its supporters and partners and Chitkara University since last many years has been an inseparable element of BAJA SAEINDIA. Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Pro-Chancellor at Chitkara University said, “In our commitment to fostering a skilled society and advancing research and innovation through collaborations with industry and academic institutions, Chitkara University aligns seamlessly with the vision of BAJA SAEINDIA. Our partnership, initiated in 2015, reflects our shared dedication. Serving as the host institute for Virtual BAJA SAEINDIA over the past six years, we take immense pride in our ongoing support for this program. As we continue this journey together, we remain steadfast in our resolve to empower budding engineers, nurture innovation, and contribute to the growth of the automotive landscape in India. Chitkara University is honoured to be an integral part of BAJA SAEINDIA, driving excellence and shaping the future of mobility.”

The event brings together students from various engineering backgrounds around the world. They unite in their shared passion for learning, embracing new experiences, and embodying a spirit of sportsmanship. Emphasizing the significance of diversity within both BAJA SAEINDIA and the broader mobility industry, Ms. Armelle Guerin, Vice-President, Software & ADAS at Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India said, Each BAJA SAEINDIA event marks the convergence of hard work, creativity, and technical brilliance among the young minds. It’s a stage for innovation and cultivating tomorrows automotive leaders. Celebrating diversity and collaboration fuels our journey in the automotive industry forward. This year, Renault Nissan Tech is delighted to offer, for the first time, an overall award for Top all girls’ team and opportunity to do internship at our Technical Centre. This initiative reflects our commitment to equal opportunities, aiming to inspire and empower the next generation of female engineers.”

The Virtual Round is the second phase of BAJA SAEINDIA, with the event spanning over three days from 1st to 3rd December 2023. Virtual Sales Event, Go Green Event, and Virtual Dynamic Event of Maneuverability are the events that will be conducted on the first day. Then, Virtual Design Evaluation Event, Cost Event and Virtual Dynamic All Terrain Performance and will be held the following day.

The Third Phase of BAJA SAEINDIA 2024 is poised to elevate the competition to new heights, with events scheduled at three distinct locations. Commencing the series, mBAJA and hBAJA will showcase their prowess in January 2024 at NATRAX, Pithampur. Following suit in March 2024, the spotlight shifts to BV Raju Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, as eBAJA takes center stage. The grand culmination is anticipated tentatively in June 2024 at ARAI’s Takwe near Pune, where aBAJA is set to bring the competition to its zenith. These strategically chosen venues promise a culmination of technical excellence and spirited competition, further underscoring the events significance in shaping the future of mobility.


BAJA SAEINDIA is an educational pursuit for engineering college students, an out-of-classroom-education system, where engineering students can participate as a team, giving them pragmatic exposure to real-world challenges as faced in the industry. Originally started in the USA by the SAE International as Mini BAJA SAE, today it is being organized in several countries. In India, it is being organized as BAJA SAEINDIA since 2007: An engineering student-level competition in which teams from universities all over the country participate with a self-designed and self-run ATV. This is evaluated over a series of Static, Dynamic and Endurance events. Over the years, BAJA SAEINDIA has grown in numbers and has become a bigger event nationally and over the past years, expanded internationally as well. It serves as a platform for young engineering talent to showcase their skills and acquire real-life experience while overcoming obstacles and challenges – critical for their long-term success.

About hBAJA & aBAJA

The addition of two new categories was initiated by the BAJA SAEINDIA Organizing Committee under the guidance of the Steering Committee. BAJA SAEINDIA has partnered with various organizations to effectively introduce the new categories. hBAJA (Hydrogen BAJA) and aBAJA (Autonomous BAJA) represent the recent technology in the mobility Industry. BAJA SAEINDIA prides itself on being the torchbearer of making technology accessible to engineering students, and it was only natural for these categories to be included in BAJA SAEINDIA 2024 and onwards. With a gradual transition from CNG to complete hydrogen-based engines, BAJA SAEINDIA aims to achieve this in the coming years. To bring this to fruition, proof of concepts of hBAJA and aBAJA are being created by the BAJA SAEINDIA team to serve as a demo for all the teams in India. While eBAJA was an endeavour sparked by the comments of Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, it was imperative for the Steering & Organizing Committee to continue to uphold the late President’s legacy of advancing education and learning.

About Chitkara University

Chitkara University, situated near Chandigarh, has emerged as the most vibrant and high-ranking University in North India. It is ranked among the top 5% of higher education institutions in India. The University is awarded NAAC A+ accreditation and has also been ranked by NIRF (National Institute Ranking Framework).

The University offers courses in Engineering and Technology, Business Management, Planning; Architecture, Art & Design, Mass Communication, Sales and Marketing, Hospitality Management, Pharmacy, Health Sciences, Law, Psychology, and Education. Students studying at Chitkara get the best start-up support, world-class research excellence, and many internationally renowned opportunities.

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