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Inside Stories! Bon Appétit

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The SAC Analysis

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PLACEMENTS- A CRITICAL REVIEW A Review of the Placement Scenario and Changes in the Past Four Years and Upcoming Changes Recent reports suggest that somewhere between a fifth to a third of the million students graduating out of India’s engineering colleges run the risk of being unemployed. Others take up jobs below their technical qualifications in a market where there are few jobs for India’s overflowing technical talent pool, thanks to the sluggish market conditions, increasing inflation and interest rates, a weakening rupee and stalled investments. With the economy still recovering from the powerful jolt of the not-so frugal frenzy of hous-

number of selections of undergraduate students from Computer science branch, despite being the highest, has been steadily declining from about 122 in 2009-10 to 79 in 2012-13. But considering department wise placements, the Department of Mining Engineering continues to have the best situation, both in terms of percentage of students placed and average package. The analysis of the category of companies and the jobs offered also gives us the fair idea of the recovery from economic slump. In 2009-10,

Recruitment Scoop:

Here’s what the Placement Officer Prof. B. B. Biswal, Current CPC Saurav Kar and Ex-CPC Prateek have got to tell us about various queries: Number of Visiting Companies PO: Number of companies visiting NITR is increasing over the year. But even if there are 50 good companies and they pick up all, then it’s appreciable. Our objective has been to invite more and more companies so that our placement is diverse.

less number of alumni in big-shot companies also add to the number. Or might be, we are not better exploiting our alumni resources. Ex-CPC: We have a database which includes many companies apart from our past recruiters. That database is always being updated through various means and we keep trying to invite the companies that have not visited us earlier. E.g. Belzabar Software visited this year but this was not the first time we had contacted them. The placement coordinators of my senior batch contacted them and so did I and similarly many companies contacted by Saurav this year might actually come to our campus in the coming years. The debate of non-availability of airport has taken place every single year, and it would keep coming up till we have one. But the T&P cannot construct an airstrip, so obviously we have to manage with whatever resources we have. The market slowdown resulting in lesser requirement, especially in core sector was a major concern. We faced infra related problems, some issues related to limited capacity of Computer Centre and even some issues related to students not ready to take up challenges.

ing loan distribution in the USA and the big ticket companies hiring in few numbers or not hiring at all, 2009-10 was not a rosy picture. Only 58 companies, out of which 3 were super dream, visited NIT Rourkela for the campus placements and took off with about 611 selections, including UG, PG and M. Sc. students. Accenture was the highest recruiter.

of the 58 companies that visited the campus, 41 were non-core companies. But this number has gone down to 25 out of 84 companies in 2012-13 indicating the demand in core and manufacturing sector. Even the total jobs offered to the students have gone up after 2010 and have steadily increased over the past 3 years.

Mass Recruitments So why is this number better at other places, e.g. NIT Warangal? PO: NITW has more specializations at masters’ level leading to more recruiters. Secondly, NITW has a lower salary package. We get around 3 lpa but they go down to 1.5 lpa especially in M. Tech. programs, and students are even interested

By 2010-11, the economic recession of 2008 had become a hazy and scary memory, the good times were allegedly back again. Around 80 companies, 15 of which were super dream, visited our campus and 731 students were placed by the end of the academic session.

PO: 145 students were selected by TCS this year. I predict that not even 45 would be joining as mass recruitment is just a security. They would definitely get other companies. CPC: Including all of our students, there are around 1200 to be placed. To ensure maximum placements or so to say to have a job security we

In 2011-12 a whopping number of 742 students were placed in 87 companies, 17 being in the category of super dreams. However 2012-13 saw a drop in the number of recruitments as well as companies despite a few welcome changes in the placement policies like the categorization of a company as a dream or super dream which earlier included only CTC criteria to now include the overall job quality too. The idea was to minimize the job wastage in dream category by having a very few, very good jobs being declared as super dream. But the court order on PSUs dealt a blow to the placements in core sector companies. According to the data, the IT sector is the biggest employer between 2009-10 and 2012-13. The fate of India’s IT is closely tied to growth prospects in advanced economies. More than 60 per cent of its revenue comes from the US and Europe which are currently facing an economic meltdown. The

The infrastructure seems to be standing on shaky grounds because of policy inaction of the Government and uncertainties that brought several projects like the development of National Highways to a standstill, hence departments such as Civil Engineering have to bear the brunt. Also the present economic scenario has affected the core industries.

DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE MM has been a companion of every NITian right since its inception. It is an official organisation of the institute bringing news and views to every ones’ desktops when we start work after a hectic week end of tiring fun. It has been especially kind to me because it provides the Director’s Desk column by which I can reach my 5000 children and 500 colleagues by spending hours chitchatting with some wonderfully bright children. I am indeed happy that the MM team is bring-

to join. Lastly the location of Rourkela is not in proximity of big cities unlike Warangal. CPC: Absence of an airport in Rourkela hits us badly. Talks with companies like Google and Yahoo have been positive, but lack of airport availability is a big hindrance. Sometimes, some companies call us for pool recruitments to places like Jamshedpur, Kolkata, etc. because they face difficulties while coming down here. Moreover,

ing out a special issue in print medium. True that it will lead to felling of at least one branch of a tree; but old habits die hard. Not everyone is tech-savvy and there are folks among us who are far more comfortable with ink and paper than with silicon and plastic. I must admit that I belong to the former category. I am looking forward to this print issue of MM. I know how hard it is to write something, in fact anything. Writing this message itself is taxing my brains to its limit, more than my third year thermo paper did! Just imagine how much hard work these young editors of MM will need to put a large piece

need to have at least one mass recruiter. Many other colleges don’t have a 3 tier-job policy like we have so certainly we have more options. IBM mass-recruited 108 last year, but it’s a top IT Company in Fortune-500 list. BM/BT Placements PO: We can’t help it because there are no recruiters for Biotechnology and Biomedical at

of papyrus on our desks. I am happy we have such talented young geniuses among us. On the occasion of publication of the first print issue of Monday Morning in 2014, I wish academic success to every student and faculty. I also wish every student, faculty and staff member success in technical innovation. At the end I would like to heartily appreciate the hard work put in by the entire Monday Morning Team.

Happy reading to one and all.


the undergraduate level. That does not mean that NIT Rourkela would stop opening new branches. NIT Rourkela tries to provide better career opportunities rather than just a job.

students? I guess not. The CM has agreed. We have had good progress in the plans. When legally we get a patch of land, we will start the work there. BBSR Centre will be utilized mostly for industrial relations and indirectly for placements. Main motto is not for placement because our motive is not to push our students for placements.

CPC: The poor placements are basically due to two reasons: One, most of the companies are not looking for freshers. Two, their pay scale is very less. But, there is very huge scope in research areas. They must try and go into research or change their line into analytics etc. Much Hyped baneswar Centre

Placement Policy for Dual Degree Students PO: Since their placements will begin from next year, so their policy and decision regarding placement coordinators will be decided in the upcoming year only.

Bhu-

PO: No, it is not for placement. Imagine a company keeps eligibility open to all and pays good package. How can you expect a whole crowd to move Bhubaneswar overnight? The BBSR Centre will be useful in a way. Recruiters have now a days moved to online form of recruitment and personal interview over the air. So, for some companies

who can’t reach Rourkela, the process can be as follows: They first conduct the online test and shortlist students for interview round. Then they come to BBSR Centre and our students go there for the interview.

Big institutes behave in a different way. Like IIT Roorkee or Kanpur, NIT Rourkela behaves in a different way regarding placements. We have high expectations from NITR students. Even if some companies are reluctant to visit NIT Rourkela, does it affect the career of NIT Rourkela

What if a student wants to sit for a significantly higher paying super dream job if he already has one super dream job? PO: It’s there in the policy. He can be allowed to sit for the other companies.

A Year Denied

The unspoken tale of a year back student debarred subjects. Or another can be that one frequently went to the classes, but never really concentrated on the studies, finding more solace in extra curriculars and neglected the essential studies. Psychological stress involving family issues and personal mental strain can also be a challenging enough calamity.

NITians are no aliens to stress. Be it academic or club or placements or even personal, every student transforms to bear the brunt of daily life. Even the occasional sinister events like grade-back, debarred or ISDC are dealt with fairly and sensibly. But of all the necessary evils that exist here, the Year Back Issue is one that is the most dreaded fear that the students suffer from, with a few unfortunate embracing this inauspicious reality every year. For a senior student, it is merely a case of inadequate CGPA. For a fellow friend, it is a self-acquired disease, that too infectious! Curable but repulsive. Even a best friend can provide nothing more than false solacing assurance that everything is going to be better, someday. For a junior classmate, he is the symbol of failure, the person his parents asked to stay away from. For a professor, he is merely the case who has to repeat a year. But what about the one who had to go through this hell? Here is an insight into the realms of such a mind. Decide, if this disease can be eliminated, but in accordance and compliance with the institute rules and regulations. For the first few months, it was like stepping into the forbidden grounds of turmoil from which there was no escape. Entrapped in a bubble of discord and shun, I could turn to no one for advice or reassurance for the single most crucial thing that I could never have the heart to do – inform my parents about the plunging state of affairs my life was in. I did not have a reasonable excuse for letting myself fall into this pit of despair, which the masses did not think twice before labelling as self-dug. Was there any evident consolation that I could offer for crushing their hopes when they sent me to this institute of national importance? I was at cross-roads with two forks in front of me: muster up the guts to confront them with the obvious or calculate a risk and delay the truth. Because there never is a perfect moment for the revelation, and the hurt is inevitable. Could I just let them be humiliated when they come someday to enquire about their own child? A wave of disgrace washes over me as I see their faces in my mind, stunned with looks of hurtful incredulity when they try to put their finger on the possible reasons that went wrong with their oh-so-capable child. I make my decision. Maybe I could let myself stew in my own state of affairs and drown in the responsibility of my own deeds. But no! My conscience perks up at this juncture. “Be your own man! You have seen a good chunk of life to know that come what may, it is your own flesh and blood who will have your back to pull through from any plight that might come your way! The truth will be a pain, but no pain would be greater than knowing that you never cared to share something this pivotal…”

The endless battle in my head continues. Some grey cell throws a query to the front “Will you be brave enough to sit with your juniors in those same classrooms as last year? Humiliating now, isn’t it?” But I am prepared for this one. Face it, I have to. Attend as many classes as possible, I have to. For I cannot afford anymore Grade Backs; Debarred is the poison that I cannot taste anymore. But sitting through a single class becomes a trial. I look around to find glib remarks and taunted smiles. Fake laughs, no reassuring familiar faces. Is expecting minimal respect not the smallest human tendency? Do my mistakes make me Undesirable No. 1? But no, my will to turn over a new leaf does not count! It all adds up to the already chaotic environment in my head and little helps to alleviate me from a situation I am, as yet, learning to embrace. Somehow surviving the disquietude of the day, I return back to my room, my mind overloaded with thoughts about graduation, about escaping the state in which I dwell alone. There is always the high web of unconscious tranquility and unawareness I can drown into. Smoking, drinking, drugs. I take my pick and build a masochistic relationship with them. Now they were good. Not the best but good. Oh, anything for the escape! Labelled we are as the worst among the 4000 odd

students of NITR. But we deserve more than a commendable respect for fighting battles at an age meant for making merry. I am a Year Back. And I rise from my seat of desolation to analyze the situation and present the bare facts before you. Let us get our facts correct before we start to judge. To say a low C.G.P.A is the sole reason is going to be an utterly foolish response. For what reasons could a better C.G.P.A not be scored? One reason could be that classes were not attended regularly and thus led to grade backs and

The only answer to all this would be to study hard. Distract yourself from whatever troubles or frenzy it is that cloud your mind and indulge yourself in the process of gaining knowledge. True that, but yet again we might be speaking too soon. A conducive solution can be to include a skilled psychiatrist at the dispensary for therapeutic purposes to help the students deal with such conflicting times. A student should realize what he is himself before taking a step towards reformation. He has to fight a tireless battle against the basic instinct of being borne back into his past. Things may not be as rosy as you would like them to be, but let not your life be an empty dream! Give up on yourself, and the world gives up with you. Fight for your potential, you have it in you, and see the world rising along with you from that deep abyss. Make the most of the situation to make an effort to increase the possibility of fruitful life. Restart your journey by selecting those close friends and keeping the distressing morons out of your life for as long a period of time as you can gather. Never forget to devote some time for that particular passion which makes you happy and is productive too. Live your life, but never lose sight of the locus of it all – studies. Because there might not be an alternative again. And the chance you got is just a one way ticket. For as the saying in the Psalm of Life goes,


3 Bon Appétit A famous author once quipped, “Students living in a hostel are always hungry.” While

the aforementioned writer has ceased to bunk in cramped rooms and dine on noisy cluttered tables since nearly two decades, the scenario has not much altered over time. Gratified taste buds and a satisfied tummy are not something one hears very frequently from the ones subjected to the mess servings of any educational temple. If for one it is the timing of the servings, it is the quality of the cuisines for the other, the situation more or less always ending in a culminated complaint of both the instances. There have been countless debates, a promised majority of them over those same noisy clattery tables, challenging and planning the rules, laws and authorities. Catering to the moods and tastes of a hundred differently cultured students is nothing less than a Herculean task. What renders itself an analysis is how far some of the top institutes of the country have been successful in their endeavors to make the hostel a home away from home for the students. For if Virginia Woolf is to be trusted, one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. And Heavens know an NITRian has to do all of the above. In an attempt to put all the deliberative discussions to rest, Team MM took the initiative of comparing the mess standards of NIT Rourkela with the top engineering institutes of the country which include the top 5 IITs, premier 3 NITs and BITS (Pilani Campus).

dished out from 7-7:30pm onwards. Undoubtedly, with the somewhat funky lifestyles of the students, most would prefer a timing closer to that of IIT BHU, where dinner is served till 10pm. Considering the rich cultural, club and sports activities of NITR, the dinner hours strictly ending at 9pm seems to be quite a harsh blow for the students, making the students’ demand of extension of timings up to 9:30pm legit and fair. A review of the mess fees of the various institutes shows that although there is a slight fluctuation in the fees considering the number of working days and holidays, all in all the figures are quite balanced statistically. However, BITS Pilani goes off the synchronization chart with a fee nearly half of the mentioned government institutes but its gross semester fees is almost three times than the others, balancing the overall scenario at par with its counterparts. So apart from BITS Pilani, every other institute is seen to be charging a minimum of Rs. 10000 as the mess fees per semester. But considering the 6-day non-veg policy of NITR messes, we can definitely breathe a sigh of relief.

The Nocturnal Paradise

The timings and pattern are suggestive enough of the daylong lifestyle of the students. With the classes starting between 8 to 8.30 am, most of the institutes start serving the breakfast at 7, with a few starting at 7.30am. The lunch timings have a clear and notable pattern of lasting over almost two hours in almost all institutes. While most of the colleges are starting their luncheons at 12pm, BITS Pilani and NIT Surathkal allow the students the freedom of a brunch by starting their servings at 11.30am. Supper is majorly

In this context, the institute enforced night canteen timings run without bordering on student expectations. Night canteens in NIT Rourkela are supposed to be closed by midnight, in less than three hours after the boarders’ last meal. None but one of NITR’s peer institutes have imposed night canteens to shut down before the night canteen crowd even arrives. The rationale behind restricting night canteens till midnight has been to induce the students into sleeping early so that they do not miss classes the next day. Yet this justification put forward by the higher authorities completely runs against students’ wishes. The directive is a blow to all of those who for whatever reasons choose to stay up past a certain time of the night. Among them many are faced with the choice between hunger and abandoning whatever they were doing.

The Hunger Games Designing a mess schedule is no child’s play considering the fact that both the interests of the students and the mess workers have to be taken into consideration. Stretching the time of the servings would lead to delay in food preparation and serving food early won’t suit the round the clock activity schedule of the students, so a standard set of timing pattern has been observed in the institutes mentioned so far.

indulge themselves in activities that span beyond academics, which is only possible if they deviate from their regular biological cycle. Whether it be pre-examination frenzy of group-studying or weeknights of merrymaking, it’s fairly common for the boarders to be found wide awake even at 1am. Dedicated research scholars and professors are found slogging in their labs burning the midnight oil. Night canteens come to picture to pacify the famished semi nocturnal crowd, which is unsurprisingly quite big in a typical institute of national repute.

But a careful examination of the present scenario can help us analyze the more harsh and realistic part of the situation. Sleep deprivation has been scientifically proven to be the cause of decreased efficiency and reduced vigor. No one would deny the fact that it often leads to a student missing the early morning classes and sometimes it even leads to a grade back in a subject. Moreover disturbing the natural biological Life on campus in its essence is different from life at home. The communal lives that the boarders of our residential halls share are but intersections of myriad staggeringly different lifestyles and preferences. A great section of boarders prefer to stay up in the night far past dinner time. Night life has become a very important part of the contemporary life style. The busy day with all its distractions doesn’t allow the workaholic bunches to enjoy the peace and tranquility that the night offers. It has become a time when the mind rests, giving way for new and innovative thoughts. Moreover students

cycle has also been known to cause diseases in the long run. In the end this boils down to an issue of giving students a say in their lifestyle decisions. Allowing night canteens to operate beyond midnight does the institute absolutely no harm but it can definitely help those students who for whatsoever reasons stay up late enough to be hungry. A late night canteen definitely gives a boarder a chance to explore the delicacies at the night time while enjoying his studies, project or even club work. Undoubtedly the late night canteens can prove to be a bane for the few people who suffer grade backs but if democratic decisions are taken keeping only the minority sufferers in mind then we soon would be facing a freedom crisis and breach in independence. A quick look at the timings will suggest that 2am is the most preferable “curfew hour” around India. This perhaps also indicates that most of college students prefer to eat up to 2am. If NITR can afford to give its students a little more freedom of choice, then may be night canteen timing can be extended to .....CONTD. on page 7


REMINISCENCES 10 years ago when Bharti Jena lost her husband, her world nearly came to a standstill. Her own daughter was forced out of education to comply with the nuances of facilitating an impoverished family. In spite of these, Bharti Mausi, the attendant of the long standing Ladies Hostel, has played a pivotal role in functioning of a hostel, where many girls come to seek education, something which her own daughter couldn’t. But rather than tragedy looming over her hallowed face, there is a smile.

Bharti started her tryst with NITR long ago. Born in a stratum of migrant labourers, she immigrated to Rourkela from Tatanagar at the age of one. While the initial affairs with education seemed blissful to her, the reeling pressure of an empty stomach effectively led to her dropout from school by the second grade. She then did what most Indian slum dwelling kids do. Nothing. However, this vacuum of eighteen years of idleness ended abruptly for her, albeit a marriage. Then came her kids. A son and a daughter. Everything was fine till this point. The cost of sustaining a family of four was too pricey. Her husband’s lone income could not make both ends meet for them. This is when Bharti joined the erstwhile REC to

The SAC Analysis T he Student Activity Centre of NITR has been since years responsible for coordinating and managing multi-

farious extra academic activities and is the fusion pot of creativity and culture. Created with an aim to promote and nurture interactions among the NITR populace, it has been fairly successful in achieving most of its objectives. But SAC has been burdened by accusations of partly being inefficient and opaque to the public perceptions in many of its activities. Rather than passing a judgment, we do a performance audit by pitting our SAC structure against certain other institutes, the brief structure of a couple of them being reviewed further in this report. The general public is responsible for electing the leaders of societies in SAC, who form the basic tier of the SAC hierarchy. The Director remains at the top most level in the executive hierarchy followed by SAC executive council consisting of the Dean of student welfare at top and followed by the SAC president; who is further preceded by 8 Vice-Presidents of all the societies, who are appointed by the Director on Dean Recommendation. The Student Conveners (2 from each society) form the base of the SAC executive council.

NIT WARANGAL: NIT Warangal has spawned

a completely new methodology to manage its SAC equivalent known as the student wing. Elective representatives constitute the students council with the Director as the Chairman and the Dean (SW) as Staff Advisor. Its composition is given below.

Composition: One student from each section of 1st year B.tech, one student from each branch of 2nd, 3rd and 4th year B.tech, one M.tech student from each department, one P.G. student from each science department, one student each from M.C.A, M.B.A and one student from Research Scholars’ fraternity compose the Student Wing. Apart from these, there are 5 Director nominated students from various other communities such as foreign students and girls. A Final year B.tech student is elected as the President of the Students’ council. Two students from the elected members, one belonging from M tech program and one from P.G program are elected as Vice Presidents. Apart from the handling of extra-curricular activities the council also extends its ju-

COMPARISON IIT Kharagpur: The SAC

counterpart in IIT KGP is called Gymkhana or Technology Students’ Gym khana (TGC). The scrutiny of the TGC constitution and the SAC constitution gives a nagging impression of similarity laced with a differential democracy. A concise tour:

General Structure:

fetch some sideway bucks. And 25 years hence, Bharti has become Bharti mausi, and now she works, not for the money, but the love and attachment with NITR. “During REC days, we were not paid much”, she quips, before adding that the present scenario has improved a bit. The institute did well to bring forth a salary hike last year. But this hike was only due long. Bharti works in the same time slot as the students do, from 8 till 5. Sometimes exhaustive, sometimes idle, her work is arbitrary and mundane. But while the students have the benefits of sick-leaves and medical insurances, she does not. If leaves come, they come after much tiring a pursuit. Last year while suffering from a medical emergency pertaining to a host of nearly-fatal tumours in her lower abdomen, she had to return to work within a month against the doctor’s advice. She had to. The institute had sanctioned the leave with hesitant reluctance. Any overstretching could have cost her the job. To add to that, being a contractually hired staff, she was deprived of the chance to benefit from the insurance policy that the institute holds out to its employees. This left a big medical bill at her disposal. But she doesn’t complain. Just like the previous tragedies that befell her, she takes it in her stride to come out of them unabashed and unmoved, a tinge stronger. Her grandchildren, with whom she spends her after-work hours, she says, are the inspiration for her to strive towards a longer, better life. Talking of life makes her nostalgic. Like the archaic edifice silently contemplating the variance of juxtaposed history, she has been a spectator to the metamorphosis of a jungle of regional anarchy into a well decorated institute of national importance. As the summer loo breezes its way on her spotless cotton sari, she evades the interview to sink into a forlorn tale of REC, unlike the figments of the present day ambience. “There was a time when REC was a forlorn forested area with a few academic buildings and there is this time when bygones from the 1980’s and 1990’s batch can hardly concede the innumerable changes the institute has undergone in the past 25 years. I have seen the Institute growing and flourishing into what it is today; from a batch of 200 students to 5000 students; the transformation of 1100 odd acres forest into a top notch infrastructure; the various versions of students pouring in each year; the good and bad times this place has been through”. We ask Bharti Mausi whether she has some complaints against the system. She

The Director is at the highest level of hierarchal structure as the rector of gymkhana. The Director nominates a faculty member as President and another professor as the honorary treasurer who follows the President in the next level of hierarchy. The Vice President of the TGC is an elected member from the student community, trailed by the general secretaries, other elected members from the various halls of residence and the secretaries. Even though most decisions are taken by the executive council, they are effectively guided by various student bodies such as the students’ forum, students’ senate etc. for more details visit (http://www.scholarsavenue.org/2010/03/constitution/).

General Body and Powers vested to them:

All students, undergraduates, postgraduates and research scholars are members of the Gymkhana, and they collectively constitute the General Body of the Gymkhana. The General Body elects the office-bearers for all the elected posts, in accordance with the Election Rules the President presides over meetings of the General Body, and the Vice President acts as its Secretary. The General Body has the power to review the performance of the Executive Council and its Committees and Sub-committees.

risdiction to prevention of ragging etc. More info about the constitution can be found at the NITW website.

THE MM ANALYSIS: A detailed perusal of the duties calls for more student autonomy. The system also draws flak for lacking any evaluative measure. Despite the general public being major contributor of the funds for SAC, the evaluation opportunity provided to them is nil and its absence sways the public opinion in favor of unaccountability and irresponsibility among student representatives. A major dis-

advantage is that there is no provision of constitutional amendment by elected members. Even though there is a provision of amendment it is mentioned in the Exceptional Cases clause which allows the Director to make changes with consultation of faculties and Dean. And absence of the representatives in the clause leads to vox populi that they don’t have any say in amendments. The entire structure of SAC calls for reduced democratic participation of the representatives and it is high time for SAC to give more consid-

smiles back at us - a sordid, unsolicited smile, one that is somewhere dwindling in the norms of sarcasm and pathos and says, “None. This is my home”. To find reason in absurdity is difficult. No doubt. But to seek happiness in places bereft of joy is a tad tougher. And this is what Bharti Jena is all about. Kudos Mausi, Kudos!


The Semi Centenary Altruism eration to even the public and its leaders in such matters.

FESTS: A PIERCING PROBE: For a more detailed analysis of our SAC structure, we decided to analyze the hierarchy of the representative student body of 4 other premier institutes of the country. Delving deep into the financial aspects of their fests, it was found that monetary matters in NIT Trichy are handled by the senate which comprises of both faculty and students. Similar responsibility distribution was seen in institutes like NIT Surathkal and IIT Madras. Since the participation of students is more the structure calls for a more democratic decision making rather than an autocratic one. An analysis of the footfall in these institutes is evidence to the above fact. Last year NIT Trichy saw a staggering participation of more than 6800 in its Annual Cultural Fest. While their Techfest witnessed an eye-catching participation of 3553 students, we have a puny figure of 600 to show for ourselves. Not to mention IIT Madras which had a stunning attendance of 56500 students in the Techfest and 59752 students in the Cultural Fest. Blame the inefficiency of the organizers

ed. But now we have a committee that decides stipulation regarding quality and price. Procurement is made central too. Coming to SAC, we have also stopped giving cash prizes in competitions. Strict evaluative action is taken when corruption instances are reported. On autonomy to student representatives: Frankly speaking, I want that. But usually at times there is disagreement and discontent among various clubs and members making our supervision necessary. Steps are being taken to increase autonomy. For instance, this year T-shirt making for Innovision has been made open to all. On conflicts between clubs/societies/elected members during fund allocation: There is no such conflict. In most cases we sanction whatever money they ask. Inter club disputes haven’t been heard of. The main problem is that they cannot spend the sanctioned amount. We are giving more stress to yearlong activities and less to fests; we are encouraging but they are not able to spend. It has rarely happened that some club is asking money and we are giving less.

Prof Pradip Sarkar: Lack of sponsorship: Companies refuse to offer sponsorships due to the low participation rate and publicity. Even a few companies like Vodafone and Futures First which were willing to sponsor in the past refuse their cooperation due to the unfortunate incidents relating to the institute. or their shying away from work in the hay days of the semester or even the meager budget allotted to each of the fests, the hard statistics speak for themselves.

The Pedagogic Perceptions: To revert back to the questioning students and the allegations received, we interviewed SAC authorities and registered their answers. Some of the answers that we received were quite baffling. To cite an example, the statement of an active SAC official, when asked about the budget allocations, was that the budget allocated to fests of NITR by the institute is meagre compared to the so called elite NITs. The official was of the ironical opinion that, though NITR is one of the premier technical institutes of the nation, a comparison between the budgets allocated for INNOVISION(9 lakhs) and ISM & Celebrity Night(25 lakhs) gives an illusion that we are the part of a premier arts college. Here are some other notable notions:

Prof KC Pati On Corruption: I cannot deny that no corruption is taking place. For instance in halls, when I was the Chief Warden, I had witnessed corruption pertaining to tampering with bills and quality of products, hence they were reject-

On students handling the purse: When asked about the faculty dominated SAC structure existing in NITR, they commented that complete autonomy over monetary matters can’t be handed over to students as students are not mature enough to handle large amount of money and it can worsen the situation, leading to increased corruption. The situation however is not that bad considering the commendable job that SAC does in provision of leaves to students and extension of help to secretaries in times of need. The SAC officials have always remained approachable, helping students in crucial dayto-day matters, be it temporary. But there is still a lot of scope for improvement. We need to present NITR as a brand and our fests need better promotion. SAC must have more clarity in the various activities with a clear know how of the approachable and accountable officers in particular matters. Moreover, SAC can be revamped to ensure more autonomy to the elected representatives in matters of budget and money. The issue of handing allowance to secretaries and punishment to absentees can also be dealt with.Complete breakdown of the annual expenditure report being made public to the students can increase the transparency of the system. As far as fests are concerned, professional handling of sponsors can be beneficial; arbitrary policy making can be avoided for faster evolution as a brand. Let us hope that we keep improving with each event and fest and one day end up being the best in the business.

52 years back, when this potbellied, benign and shy person came to Rourkela, little did he know that he would spend the next part of his life assuaging starving, overstressed engineers. Upendra Biswal, a.k.a the “Hall 2 Samosa Mausa”, has been an undoubted saviour for the innumerable famished engineers rushing about their daily schedules, skipping breakfasts in the hostel messes. Clad in plain shabby clothes, this Hanuman Chaalisa reciter has definitely been a spectator of the multitudinous changes that REC undertook to metamorphose into NIT. While a few care to wonder about the painful journey that this person has undertaken, we take you down the memory lane of this man. It was the winter of 1961. REC was recently setup, offering a host of job opportunities to those in dire need of money. It was then that Mausa came to Rourkela along with his brother in law. Back then, he was just a child and had to support his family by working for hours together, so that they could sell samosas at back post. Gradually, he mastered the art of making samosas. By 1970, he had started selling samosas by moving from one hostel to another. His glaring eyes are lost in those infinite days of struggle and misery. With a grin on his face, he says that although there were only 5 halls of residence during that time yet he earned enough to obtain 2 square meals a day. A few incidents that he has witnessed stand out. “In the earlier days, ragging and acts of violence was rampant. Ban was imposed on the first and second year students from going to backpost, etc. Around 1981, a sophomore was ragged by his senior in MV Hall and he took this matter to the authorities. Upon ignorance, the students went out to the railway station to stage a protest. On being reassured by the authorities, they returned but the situation turned ugly leading to a violent clash among 200 odd students. Classes were suspended and decision was taken to club 3rd & 4th and 1st and 2nd year students in common hostels. But when the freshers continued to bear the brunt, they were put in an isolated hostel.” He reminisces about the times when life was simpler, and a kilogram of mutton was Rs. 40, cheaper than it ever is presently. The force of simplicity and confidence from the brisk business still makes him regret his decision of not joining a permanent job. While his compatriots have ensured a safe future, he has to bear his share with Rs.1500 a month from his sale of samosas, vadas and sweets. The make shift business has become a family affair over the years. He has a son who currently works at the Docomo Company and a daughter who has completed her graduation. His daughter and wife help him in making the samosas and vadas, waking up as early as 3 in the morning. “I keep a copy of the institute calendar and go by it, else I may incur a heavy loss in case it’s a holiday or something”. When enquired about his peak sale season and time, he said “My morning sales are better. I focus on quality and never go for re-selling of stale products. Sales are better in winter, as students tend to miss meals. In summer, the food gets damaged easily owing to rancidity.” In his forty years of association with NITR, Mausa has made a lot many friends, and has a fan base spread out across the world. This makes him smile satisfactorily, as he knows he has done his job to the best level. He recounts how the present Director, Prof. S.K.Sarangi helped him out, while he was struggling for a selling place inside the campus. He also cites of the pleasure and satisfaction that he gets when people recognise him as Samosa Mausa in Delhi and Kolkata. Despite a balanced business he has his share of health woes. At the age of 58, he suffers from hyper-tension and diabetes. Moreover his lame leg doesn’t allow him to venture into all the halls except MV hall. New businesses such as Hexagon or Jo’z Kitchen have surely affected his sales, but he maintains his words. “I will go on just as I have been doing it earlier. No adulteration, no price inflation”. He glances around as he hears, “Mausa teen samosa aur do vada dena”. His hands move dexterously through his carton of wares but his eyes still wander in the glory of the eighties and prayers for a prospective future.


A bend for the

BREWS!

At the off road when one walks from main academic road of the institute to the library, just beside the newfangled Nescafet with its whirring coffee machines, nestled in the cool shadows of the vast canopy of the old banyan tree, lies a tiny establishment. Make an appearance after 5:15pm, and all you can find is a dilapidated wooden table, topped with some frayed cartons. Take a detour from a busy schedule at any minute between 8am to 5:15pm, and a strong smell of freshly brewing tea wafts from that very bend, with a wide array of cheap sweet meats gathered and displayed for your relishing convenience. Your hand almost instinctively goes to the tray filled with tiny cups of tea that seems to float up from nowhere near your elbow, while your eyes rave the display of crunchies to make their pick from. Sipping and munching away, you mingle with the flock of humanity gossiping, deliberating and debating their way through their lives, all the while unnoticing the man that infused the tea leaves into the beverage. He looks on, a silent witness to a thousand hurrying lives. Team MM ventures deep into a little known tale of the conspicuously unseen cup of tea. In the early 1980’s, Bhobani Sahu, a.k.a Cha Mausa, led a life that was nothing less than pitiable, with the limited resources and a cash flow that was meager even for a basic livelihood. It was 1988 when he decided to leave his past behind in the district of Ganjam and drifted to a land on the extramural of NITR upon the suggestion of a fellow villager, and built his house on a piece of earth that belongs to the SAIL.

Cradling a small tea shop on the outskirts of the front post market area, he had a burden of sustaining his family of four sons and a daughter. His tea stall was popular during the REC time with professors and students always keeping him busy. Bhobani realized with passing time that his business would flourish if he could somehow setup his shop inside the campus itself. His talks with the then estate manager, registrar, and principal bore fruits as he was allowed into the campus in 1996. It augured well for his business. And the shades of that banyan tree never wore a desolated aura again.

of God and nature, old age with its plethora of ailments. He has been on bed rest since the

Mr. Bhobani said on being asked about what he ever wished for. Bhobani recalls the good old days at the shop and says he misses the students who were so good to him, and the campus life, the fests, etc. “There never has been a fight or anything at my shop. Students, professors and staff just enjoy my tea. In the earlier days, upon seeing my condition, many people would ask me to keep the change.” He never applied for a permanent place, because of rents and tenders. He also never got any formal letters or proofs to have his stall in the institute area, but his son carries on with the business in a hope to make his family’s life better. Bhobani is burdened with a last responsibility- to marry off his youngest son. For now, he surely wishes to have some financial support to treat his rickety legs and improve his health condition. With the beaming demeanor of one who has had a fruitful existence since the past 25 years, Bhobani exudes confidence of his sentimental labor of dedication surviving the brunt of the machines whirring by his establishment, blessing the newer generations to enjoy that cuppa under the banyan tree.

“I started my business with a price rate of 75 paisa per cup”, Bhobani tells us. But the stall was not going to last forever, again an ace from fate. After the transformation from REC to NIT, it was hard for him to find a permanent place, convincing director was a big deal again, and to compete with the machine made coffee, he required more hands at work. The major challenge for him was the natural curse

past couple of years, finding it nearly impossible to move normally without supporting crutches. His abandoned establishment has passed on to his son Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu, aka ‘Arun Bhai’, and so has the perpetual zeal for running the shop. “I fear the rents, I fear a storm, I fear to get a notice even, but all I have got to do is to serve the purpose, earn my livelihood, and go back to rest peacefully” is what


Bon Appétit

.....CONTD. from page 3

2am as has been successfully accomplished in other institutes of national importance. If the stats are to be believed, there is definitely ample scope for the mess dinner timings to extend beyond 9.30pm. When other premier institutes can have messes where the timings are flexible enough for the students, then why can’t NITR adapt to the trends and needs? The authorities also need to rethink and exsert the night canteen timings which desperately need utter attention. Most of the institutes are much ahead of us in accepting the fact that night life is an integral part of an engineer’s life and it is high time for our institute to accept it with open arms and show some generosity in extending the times beyond the 3AM mark. At the same time, though the administration continuously faces the students’ flak for setting up rules that aren’t exactly boarder friendly, yet the fact has to be accepted that the establishment has been making continuous efforts to attain discipline, order and contentment within the student community. To comply with the demands of the students regarding the mess is undoubtedly a phenomenal task. Stepping into the administration’s shoes for a second, if we try to understand the situations and the decisions that the think-tanks have to make keeping in mind both the students and workers it is indeed commendable. After conducting a detailed research of the other institutes and the active NITR junta with crossed fingers who are keen on seeing a change, team MM yearns for a slight extension in the mess dinner timings as well as night canteens. 


THE UNEXPLORED

WATERS

A single day does not pass at the hallowed grounds of NITR when one cannot hear the residents bemoan about the incomplete chores, shared discomfort and curses for the authorities. The tipping of the scale against the demand-supply balance for the daily life essential leads to prolonged complaints. Keeping all these laments in mind, MM attempts to understand the water supply system of NIT Rourkela, by presenting the bare facts to its readers and attempts to set a stage for discussion and eventually a standard for improvement. SPLASH OF REALITY In the early days of September, when the water scarcity was at its peak and there was no respite that the authorities could provide, Team MM decided to find the crux of the issue by talking to Mr. Himanshu Satapathy of the Estate Office, the Civil Engineer who happens to be the person-in-charge of all the maintenance and construction work in the institute. The queries presented were answered with conviction which give a conclusively enlightening idea regarding the whole shortage hoopla. The SD hall gets most of its supply from the nearby river and some from an underground reservoir in the vicinity. All other halls and academic buildings receive their water from the underground resources. The water is pumped out from the four bore wells located near S.S.Bhatnagar hall, Naga Pond, BT/BM Department and New Mechanical

department building and stored in the overhead tanks. It is important to note that specific timings have been set for water supply to the halls. All the halls are provided with water four times a day except SD hall of residence owing to its small size and less number of residents. The civil engineers make efforts to ensure morning supply of water for the daily ablutions and cooking needs in the mess. According to Mr. Satapathy, the overhead tanks that have an average capacity of 4.5 lakhs litres each, need to be completely refilled at least twice a day. REASONS UNRAVELLED When there is a shortage, there can be many fold reasons for the same, with the Estate office facing mechanical, civil and electrical problems more frequently. A few reasons can include valves or pumps breaking down, leakage in the pipes, construction and digging issues leading to ceasing of the water supply for a short period of time, power shortage, etc. Prof Shishir Kumar Sahoo, from the Civil Engineering department says seepage through pipes was a very common problem a few years back, and water spilling out from the overhead tanks were order of the day but these situations have been curbed since the last 2-3 years. There are no major pilferages these days, assures Prof S. K. Sahoo.

So is it true that the water resources in the campus are threateningly on the decline? According to authorities, we do not face water shortage due to its unavailability in nature, rather due to the reckless usage it is subjected to. According to the international standards, on an average a person requires 90 litres of water per day. For the 1300 odd VS Hall boarders, 1.6 lakh litres of water is supplied every day. That implies roughly 123 litres of water is made available to every boarder. The CV Raman Hall, with a capacity of 900, theoretically receives 1.1 lakh litres every day, which is ample according to international standards.

The appreciably large 50 m X 20 m swimming pool has a water capacity of 25 lakh litres. The complex also houses shower facilities. But this has been one of the notably efficient water supply systems. The whole of the 25 lakh litres is drained out every day but, according to Mr. Satapathy, only 1-2% of all the water is wasted. Rest of the water is re-

In spite of being bestowed with resources being provided at subsidized rates, we tend to ignore their value. A careful analysis of the situation clearly depicts the image that the shortage is also the consequences of the inefficient and superfluous water usage, the repercussions of which are being felt pretty strongly. Even the VS hall which receives surplus water on regular days, faces water shortage almost every other day. Reason? There are 128 rooms in a

block and combining bathrooms and toilets, there are two water drawing points in each. Assuming that 50% of the students are responsible enough to turn off the taps as soon as the need is over, we can leave it to the reader’s imagination, how much water is wasted every day because of the other half of the community. Cisterns and taps leak, but never repaired till the umpteenth summon for a plumber. The maintenance work, undertaken at the maintainers’ own sweet conveniences, involve a conspicuously reckless use of the available resources. The importance of conservation is even more important in areas of higher altitude like GDB and MV Halls, as you need to dig deeper to reach the water table.

Team MM appeals to all its readers to rise to the occasion, encourage and practice the judicious usage of water. For it is in our own hands that our future lies, and the last thing one wants is a glaring shortcoming in the basic resource of our existence. Dear Reader,

cycled daily. While there is a calculated amount of supply of water to a major part of the campus, ambiguity reins high when it comes to one of the busiest and biggest buildings housed in the institute premises- the Lecture Assembly. After more than two long years of tedious efforts, the construction work of Population of NITR is on a rise owing to the new branches being added and seats of existing branches being increased. But the existing water resources give out an unsettling impression of defunct dwindling. According to Dr. S.K. Sahoo, new resources are going to be needed very soon as the existing bore wells won’t be enough to supply water to this ever increasing NITR crowd. Mr. Satapathy elaborated certain details of the future plans to augment the water supply. For immediate use, a water treatment plant of capacity 0.8 million litres per day is being built in the south east corner of VS Hall which will be functional within two months. Water from this plant will be used for gardening purpose. Another water treatment plant, of 5 million litres per day, is being built in the south corner of the

the building is nearing closure, and it is up and running. The LA, without doubt, remains the hub of hustle for a minimum of 9 hours a day, that too barring the club or fest activities. But till date, a better future has not yet been eyed for the water scarcity problems plaguing the building, leading to further messy complications in drinking water stalls and washrooms. All fingers point towards the absence of a direct connection for water supply to the LA; all hopes lie with the higher echelons to chalk out some blue print for alleviation of such issues. campus. Situations look happy with the state government promising to provide 5 million litres of water per day to the institute. Since VS hall faces the most acute water shortages, authorities have decided to build an underground reservoir of 1.16 lakh litres. Two new bore wells have been installed near the ongoing construction site of T&P building to be integrated with the main supply. Even the inclusion of a smatter of effectual water usage and maintenance schedules and systems can go a long way in stabilising the water resources. Regular inspection of the plumbing lines and water delivery systems should be strictly undertaken. Water purifiers can be fitted with automatic switchers which can switch off whenever the water cooler is filled to its capacity. The cleaning and upkeep of the hostels or the academic buildings should be monitored to check the imprudent usage of water.

CC JOTS

We thus present to you the first printed edition of Monday Morning. Ample efforts have been made to present the facts, data and reviews in their truest forms, trusting that the right words have been used to keep the reader captivated and spur a zeal for change, if and where required. Sincere gratitude is extended to one and all who have contributed in any manner for the success of this novel venture. Drop in your suggestions, comments and queries at morning.monday@gmail.com. Regards, Chief Coordinators.

Monday Morning  

Print Issue 2014. Monday Morning is the official newsletter of NIT Rourkela.

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