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Pak students skip IIT-B’s Techfest

By Priyanka Sahoo, Mumbai:
PUBLISHED ON DEC 09, 2019 12:46 AM IST

For the fourth consecutive year, Pakistani students will not participate in Techfest, the annual technology festival of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B). The event is scheduled to be held between January 3 and 5, 2020.

The sources in the institute said that four students from a technology institute in Pakistan had shown interest in the robo-war event of the festival, but no one has registered for the event.

The attempts to get the students from Pakistan to register this year failed owing to difficulties in getting a visa, a source said. “No Pakistani student has registered for any of the events,” said Siddharth Maniar, an IIT- B student handling media relations.

However, the organisers of Techfest told HT that no invitations were extended to any teams in Pakistan this year.

Until last year, organisers had invited teams from Pakistan, but in vain.

Since 2016, amid growing tensions between the two countries, the participation of Pakistani students has suffered a blow. A performance by a Pakistani band in 2016 was cancelled in anticipation of unrest in the crowd.

In 2011, however, students from India and Pakistan had come together to encourage a dialogue among the students of two countries.

The project, Ummeed-e-Milaap originated at Techfest IIT-B and was supported by students from LUMS Spades Lahore, AIESEC Karachi and FAS Karachi.

Techfest, one of Asia’s largest technology festival, witnesses participation of a large number of students from across the world every year.

This year over 300 participants from more than 50 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, China, Japan and Afghanistan, have registered for the festival.

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