We reached IIST from the Trivandrum central station. IIST is near a place called Veli Church, close to Kochuveli railway station. By bus, it takes 45 minutes from the Central rly stn. You get to see the Trivandrum airport, BrahMos Aerospace limited building and the Arabian sea from the bus. The campus of IIST is very close to the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station, previously used for launching rockets as this place is close to the equator. We were welcomed by a friendly group of students at the entrance of IIST and were given accommodation in one of the hostel rooms since we were the finalists for a couple of events. It was a very hot summer day and the inaugural ceremony of the fest was due in the evening. So we went to the Veli turist village which was at a walkable distance from the IIST campus. The sea is very close to the village and we went there to cool ourselves. We returned and had a nap and later in the evening the inauguration of the Conscientia was done by Ex-President A P J Abdul Kalam sir. He was accompanied by ISRO Chief Dr. K.Radhakrishnan and IIST Director Dr. B N Suresh. ISRO Chief’s speech was informative as he gave us the updates about the payloads of Chandrayaan 1 and what Chandrayaan 2 would accomplish. Kalam sir’s speech was accompanied by a presentation which he prepared himself to explain about the various activities being done in a village in Maharashtra. He made us repeat the oath that we would be excellent students and that we would help for the development of India. He told us that India would surely become a developed nation by 2020. Some students asked questions and he answered them in a hurry as he supposedly had a flight to catch. Thus the fest started with a bang and I was overwhelmed since this was the first time I was attending a fest other than my college Techtatva.
Rest of the experience in next post.