Innovation Garage

A hub of awesomeness


August 2016

Devathon 1.0 Report

So this weekend WSDC organized Devathon 1.0, the first of its kind- a web developing event for the aspiring web developers in the campus. The event happened as a consequence of the WSDC recruitment procedure, where the shortlisted candidates from the previous rounds huddled together in the Innovation Garage for a 24 hour coding marathon.

The candidates were divided in groups of four, led by a mentor who guided the team and acted as the team leader. The teams had to choose from two problem statements and had to come up with effective solutions. The problem statements for this version of Devathon comprised of the topics- Conference Management, and Customer Management.  The participants had to code using PHP, Codeigniter, Python and Django. It was followed by an interview round for each participant, where they were judged on their team dynamics, and their contribution to solution and problem solving methods. The best solution would get implemented through WSDC within few days of the event.

The organizers pose for a selfie after the tiresome, yet rewarding event 

We caught up with a second year participant who had just finally completed his hectic yet fun coding session. “Honestly, I didn’t have any knowledge regarding Codeigniter or Django prior to coming here”,  he said with an exhausted but satisfied smile. “I really learnt a lot of stuff. Initially I got a bit nervous as I had no idea what to do. But the mentors were incredibly helpful and they guided me throughout the session. You see, the key is to not get demotivated.  You might think you don’t know anything and should rather back out. But you shouldn’t. You should keep your focus intact and be eager to grasp as much knowledge as you can. More than a competition, it has rather been a learning experience for me.

To sum it up, the first installation of Devathon has been a grand success- thanks to the relentless coders and the entire WSDC team. These kinds of events are the prime reasons for keeping the nerdy and creative adrenaline rushing in the young engineering minds of the institute. Also, a big shout out to Innovation Garage for making such endeavors possible in the campus. After the huge success of Devathon, there’s another techie extravaganza just at the doorstep. That’s right- IG’s Makeathon takes place on 10th and 11th Sept, and it’ll be much bigger and better than last time. So till then, stay tuned.

Paritosh Bailung

What you can do as a First Year in Biotechnology

Being a first year engineering student can be very exciting. After months(years…I know) of overnight study sessions, hours of butt numbing coaching classes and a heck load of pressure from the family, when we finally clear the exam and occupy a seat of a reputed college like NIT, the one thing in everyone’s minds is “IT’S FINALLY OVER”.

But being a first year BioTech student is just as confusing as it is exciting and maybe even more so and this humble writer would like to bring to your notice the seven basic things you can do to excel in Biotech and make it fun!


I have met guys of Biotech who are unaware of the basics of biology. Much less what biotech is? And though I understand why no one from Maths background would even try to remember Biology, it is a part of you now that you are Biotech major. It’s not that hard to learn bio and all you have to do is:

*Open YouTube and watch short videos on intro to biology.

*Join an online course site like:



After being here at NITW for about a month, you would have realized that ragging is pretty much non-existent around here. So shed those fears and talk. Walk up to your seniors, talk to them and see if they are from your branch or know someone who is. Believe me guys, no one can guide you better than our seniors.


Have you seen the big white modern looking building when you return to 1.8k from NAB? On the 2nd floor of that building is the I.G (INNOVATION GARAGE). Hold conversations with some of the most intellectual people in NITW.


The website is a good place to start knowing your department and faculty. Read about the professors and know their areas that interest you the most.


I have heard many people bemoaning about the lack of scopes in this field. Wake up folks! Biotech is one of the most diverse fields encompassing core biology and chemistry along with newer fields like artificial intelligence, renewable energy sources and nation wise important fields of food, defense and medicines.


NITW has an awesome and inspiring lab in its department along with faculty members who are adept in their respective fields.

Our college also has tie-ups with foreign universities in Germany and Poland and provides an amazing opportunity to a few students to study abroad on full scholarship.

Apart from that you should also search for various summer internships as they add to your profile and will fill your boring summer holidays with fun-filled research experiences.

  1. CHILL

Hey! Don’t over think things. Let them run their natural course. Make friends (seniors also), go to TS, go outside, bunk classes (make sure you have above 75%), have relationships. At the end of your day all that matters is the love you have for your subject. So buckle up and prepare for a fun-filled, mind boggling, amazing and intense ride of four years.




Daksh Pamar
Btech First Year
Biotechnology Department


Breaking the Convention

“The end credits of “3 idiots” had just begun. He was still in a trance. A trance of appreciation, awe and excitement despite watching it for the umpteenth time. In spite of an average performance till the mid of semester, he was overwhelmed at this moment. He put himself in place of Rancho and imagined flying the self-made drone, showing off his brilliance in exams with modesty and of course, a kiss at the end with a charming girlfriend. At 1:30 am in his hostel’s dorm, he suddenly regained his long lost passion for machines. An electric vibe sparked through his body and he wanted to do something useful… no wonderful, create something brilliant right there at the moment. ‘He’ no longer even existed. ‘He’ was replaced by a much more confident, hardworking, brilliant, gifted, popular student along with some more adjectives synonymous of good ascribed to him, all wrapped in modesty obviously about which people were most impressed. But it was late and practically he thought there was nothing much he could do at this hour. So, determined, he saved all his synergy for the next day, week, semester and years to come. Peacefully, he slept. And then, life continued. As usual. For the umpteenth time.”

I wrote the above piece about a month ago relating it to the state inspiring movies leave us in by the end. In the moment we could feel a burning sensation around our belly button. Rancho too had successfully imbued most of us with an urge to make something cool but yet complex. And for some of us, the movie alone could have been a factor in choosing engineering over other fields. But since the time of watching the movie, how many of us spent even a single google query on how to make the drone which we fantasized about? I will tell you what I did. I was working on my Maths the next day. I improved a bit of my physics on the second day. On the third day, I was updating myself with the new uploads of ‘Nigahiga’ and ‘PewDiePie’ on YouTube. On the fourth day, when I had made sure I had devoured everything I missed on the first two days, my search query was “Random funniest WhatsApp videos”.

Some of the lectures, speeches and epiphanies that we attend, hear or have respectively inspire us. But that is sure to fade if we don’t work on our idea. That is why, to encourage people, Innovation Garage conducts a ‘Hackathon’ every year. The name has changed to ‘Makeathon’ since this year but the spirit of the event hasn’t. The term simply refers to a 24 hour space in which the enthusiastic minds work in a team to solve a given problem statement. Mind it though, I said enthusiastic, not brilliant or exceptional. The reason is, at the end of 24 hours, participants would not have proved a difficult mathematical conjecture or even come up with a new invention that would better people’s life drastically. What they would have done instead is challenged themselves (and also restrained themselves from fixating their eyes on YouTube). They would have come up with a prototype of a hack, which if further developed, would simplify a small population’s life. If you do that, I am sure even PewDiePie would be proud and would totally understand why you haven’t had the time to watch his latest uploads.

If you still doubt if you should participate because you do not know any of the technologies mentioned, Ravi Prakash, Mechanical Engg., B.Tech 2/4 clarifies in a recent video by IG, “Of course you should…It’s about collaborative learning and the experience of exploring a totally new field [with] some of the best minds in that domain…” So yeah, go for it.

On September 10-11, some of the coolest people of NITW will be present under one roof. Yes, I am talking about mentors. Question them. Not just about your project and bugs but also about their experiences. Ask them how they cracked the highly coveted Google Summer of Code (GSOc) or implemented a fully functional bus routing technology in Hyderabad. Or just inquire how they are enjoying their post-placement life after cracking the likes of Oracle. Just approach them. They will be more than happy to share their success stories. Who knows? They might come back as recruiters during your placement season giving you an edge.

If you still haven’t been convinced, come for food, music and fun filled event or at least for a Makeathon T-shirt which you can show off not just inside the college (my heart still aches when I see my friends wear those) but also back in your home to those aunties whom you never liked.

Finally, it’s less about the competition and more about learning something new and gaining an exposure to the technologies and their real life applications. I know it sounds so clichéd but just because something is trite does not make it any less true. (Got that line from a movie) While reading this, if you have been convinced and YouTube is open in another tab, close the tab (if it’s not too important) and start going through the problem statements. Break your convention. Unleash the Rancho in you.



Gaurab Manandhar


Girls, Why You No Hack?

An amazing article by Shubhi. Ladies, if this doesn’t motivate you to code, I don’t know what will.

Shubhi Saxena's Blog

Hackathon 3.0 received an exceptionally overwhelming response. For two days, it felt as if those two rooms had turned into a massive  fireball made up of super-excited neutrons colliding together to form new things. As an organizer, I was elated to see the radiant smiles that bore testimony to our success. However, amidst all the exuberance in the air around me, the question in the title always stayed clung to my head.

As the low participation of girls was way too evident (there were no more than 10 females in the room), the issue had to be brought up sooner or later.

X( A guy alumnus) : It is not just about today, I always wonder why girls’ participation is so minimal in events like Hackathon or

Y (Another guy alumnus): Yeah, when in fact we know that girls are no lesser than guys inside the class. They perform…

View original post 672 more words

Experience at HAckathon 5.0


I spent the last week coding away at Hackathon 5.0 with my friends Himanshu Garg and Priyanka Agrawal. It was organised by The Lakshya Foundation and Innovation Garage (the only place where I get to be the participant as well as the planner!) Here I discuss our problem statement, how we approached it and the end result.

The Problem Statement

As always, Hackathon offered quite a big and diverse list of interesting hardware and software problems. After much deliberation, we decided to work on Almabase’s problem which was to build a machine learning system to find news that is relevant to a particular college. The problem statement consisted of two parts :

  1. Write crawlers to fetch news articles from a predefined list of news websites. Use RSS feeds if available.
  2. From the fetched articles, identify the ones that are relevant to a particular college. To begin with, consider only NIT Warangal. A list of synonyms of NITW and an alumni database of names and batches will be provided to the teams.

We selected this problem because :

  1. We found it to be challenging. None of us had ever written a crawler or applied ML and Data Classification concepts to practical problems. There was a lot of scope to learn.
  2. We use Almabase’s product NITWAA very often and we love it!
  3. We had heard a lot about the awesome team at Almabase from mutual friends and were eager to work with them🙂

Figuring It Out

We still had a week to go when the problem statement was released. Part 1 was relatively easy. We quickly learnt how basic crawlers are written and what are the various libraries available. We learnt about several useful libraries like Beautiful Soup, Scrapy, Feedparser and Newspaper – all of which are simply amazing! By now, it was clear that we were going to build the application in Python on Django.

Now that we have all the content posted on various news websites, how do we classify it? Heck, how to even make our bot understand that if an article is about “Armstrong” – whether it is Neil Armstrong or the physical unit Armstrong or some alumnus of a college Armstrong? We realized that we needed to take into account the context of the article e.g. if it says Armstrong ‘graduated from’ or ‘studied in’ , etc. we can say that the article is relevant to at least some college. This is where Natural Language Processing came into picture and we were introduced to the mighty Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) for python.

By going through a few blogs and the NLTK book, we formulated a solution. We will identify names of all the Persons and Organisations mentioned in the article and check if they exist in Almabase’s database. This is known as Named Entity Recognition. Cool, we got the keywords. Now how to use these keywords to classify the data as relevant or not? What exactly might be a helpful keyword apart from names of persons and organisations?

Asking For Help

We were clueless at this point given the wide variety of ML approaches and algorithms and our lack of experience with them. So I headed to the Systers mailing list and posted a question explaining the problem and my approach towards it. Surprisingly, I got a reply from Yoly Ceron in just a few hours (Thanks Yoly!) .


She shared a list of useful resources and libraries and suggested to use the ‘bag of words’ approach and Naive Bayes Classifier of Python Sci-kit (another simply amazing library). We went through the links and thought it to be a reasonably correct approach to start with. Now we had quite a clear picture of what we would do in the Hackathon.

The Solution

Summarizing our final solution :

  1. Write a crawler to fetch articles from various sites. Use RSS feeds and feedparser wherever available. We will conver it into a cron job that can be run daily.
  2. Maintain a dictionary of keywords and synonyms of that college (e.g. NITW , NIT Warangal, RECW, etc.) Apply NER and extract keywords from the article. If a keyword doesn’t already exists, add it to the dictionary . This is the learning part of the algo.
  3. Perform the following four tests on the article and give it a score based on Naive Bayes Classifier:
    1. Check if it contains synonyms of NIT Warangal.
    2. Check if it contains other keywords and phrases like ‘graduated from’,’Lakshya Foundation’, etc.
    3. Query the Almabase DB and check if the names identified in the article exist in there.
    4. Perform sentimental analysis on the article.
  4. Store relevant and positive articles in the database.
  5. Write a Django view to display articles relevant to a college according to various filters (e.g. published on a given date, published in a particular website, etc.)

The Outcome

We were ready with an approach and had already got our hands dirty on NLTK and Sci-kit. After coding for 24 hours, we came up with the first version of Smart News Scraper. Here is the code on github (its still a work in progress).

What Next?

The project has just started and a lot of improvement can be made to it. Would love to get and implement your suggestions :

  1. Improve accuracy of the algorithm . We currently use Naive Bayes which has performed with an accuracy of around 75%
  2. Improve the view and add more filters to admin panel.
  3. Increase the speed by adding multithreading.
  4. Identify relevance to more colleges than just NIT Warangal
  5. Improve the training set data.


Here are a few resources to get you started if you are looking at working on something similar.

  1. NLTK Book – Text ClassificationNER
  2. Sentimental Analysis
  3. Youtube Tutorials by Sentdex – Link 1 Link 2
  4. BeautifulSoup

In addition to working on our problem, it was great to meet so many startup founders and alumni and gain their insights. As always, Hackathon was amazing🙂

Previously published on: The Genesis of Smart News Scraper

Introduction to IGNITW

Since the inception of Innovation Garage around two years ago, it has given rise to lot of projects, friendships, interests and the list goes on. IG has become a phenomena in the recent times, built by those whose sleepless nights and persistence gave foundation to a platform that helps transform ideas to reality. In order to expand,extend and excel in its services, IG has always welcomed, cultivated and inculcated new ways and ideas. We have come a long way from having just a few bean bags and bread boards to what we are now. This blog aims on bringing you the inside stories, activities and projects happening in IG as well as a lot of interesting content to feed, inspire and motivate ambitious minds all around the world (Nope, not stopping at NITW. We are ever-expanding)

And remember, IG can only move forward with the enthusiasm of each and every one of you. So if you still haven’t visited IG, come visit. If you have visited, but you didn’t know what to do, approach the regulars (they are all more than willing to help). If you want to contribute to this blog, just contact us via email.

Stay tuned for more updates and Cheers to a new beginning! 😀


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