Innovation in Agri-Tech: IIT Bombay's C-TARA Team Triumphs in National Grand Onion Challenge

In the heart of technological innovation, the C-TARA (Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas) team from IIT Bombay has recently achieved a remarkable feat by emerging as the victor in the prestigious National Grand Onion Challenge.

In this exclusive Q&A session with the winning team members, we delve into their journey, the intricacies of their winning solution, and the impactful research led by Prof. Amit Arora’s group in the realm of agricultural technology.

Congratulations on your victory in the National Grand Onion Challenge! Can you tell us more about the competition?

Sure! The challenge was initiated by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Government of India. The team from C-TARA (Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas) team from IIT Bombay emerged as the winner.

The felicitation took place on National Consumer Day, December 24, 2023. We were honoured to be in the presence of Minister Shri Piyush Goyalji in virtual mode, Former Chief Justice and President of NCDRC, Shri Amreshwar Pratap Sahiji, and the Secretary of MoCAPD, Shri Rohit Kumar Singhji. Over 600 teams participated in this very challenging competition, which revolved around developing technology to mitigate post-harvest losses in onions.

What an impressive achievement! Can you tell us more about the members of your winning team?

Certainly! My name is Nilesh Yuvraj Vadgave and I am a PhD student at IIT Bombay. My teammates include M. Tech students Yashwanth Nandi and Om Agrahari. We all study at IIT Bombay under the mentorship of Prof. Amit Arora.

Impressive! Now, could you share some details about the winning solution presented by your team?

Certainly! Our winning solution was an innovative technology titled ‘Converting existing Open Ventilated storage structure into Climate Smart storage for improving the shelf life of onions.’

Left to Right: Yashwanth Nandi, Om Agrahari, Nilesh Vadgave, Prof. Amit Arora

That sounds groundbreaking! What potential does your winning solution hold for onion farmers?

The technology holds immense potential for onion farmers, enabling them to preserve their harvest for longer periods and secure better returns.

Could you provide insights into the focus and impact of Prof. Amit Arora's research group and the work done by them?

Certainly. Prof. Amit Arora’s research group has been dedicated to developing ‘Climate Agnostic Storage Structures for perishable Agricultural commodities’ over the past six years. The group’s focus revolves around creating innovative solutions for agricultural storage. The recent national recognition we received will undoubtedly enhance the impact of our ongoing efforts, further strengthening our commitment to serving farmers by developing and disseminating appropriate agricultural technologies.


The triumph of the C-TARA team from IIT Bombay in the National Grand Onion Challenge stands as a testament to the Institute’s unwavering commitment to innovation and problem-solving. The stellar achievements of the team, under the expert mentorship of Prof. Amit Arora, showcase not only their dedication but also the collective prowess of IIT Bombay in pioneering transformative solutions for real-world challenges.

As a beacon of technological excellence, IIT Bombay continues to lead by example, contributing significantly to the advancement of agricultural technology in the country. This recognition underscores the impact of their work and highlights IIT Bombay’s position at the forefront of technology, setting the stage for further innovations that promise to shape the future of agricultural practices and beyond.

Our heartfelt congratulations to the C-TARA team from IIT Bombay for their outstanding achievement, and best wishes for continued success in their future endeavours!