Out With The Old: Literary And Cultural Society Review
The Literary and Cultural Society under Student Activity Centre, NIT Rourkela has a new team leading it. Hence, to ensure lesser hiccups and smoother functioning a transparent system has been introduced.
Structure and Functioning
The council heading the society consists of eight elected members or secretaries and two nominated members or dean-nominees supervised by two Vice Presidents, Prof. Debarjoyti Choudhuri and Prof. Sasmita Mishra. Furthermore, there are two convenors Nishant Kumar Singh of third year and Mintu Kumar, also of third year who were selected amongst the secretaries and nominees through voting. The society consists of 18 clubs and these clubs have been divided amongst the convenors. Each convenor is responsible for 9 clubs and keeps a track of their expenditure.
Recording the expenses will ensure better idea of utilization of budget and serve as a reference of future budget allocation.
Most of the decisions are made in the meetings with the entire council and for its implementation, President SAC and the Dean of Student Welfare are accordingly approached.
The total budget for the Literary and Cultural Society for the year 2016-17 has been set at 15 lakhs excluding the 18 lakhs, which is set aside for NU. This year, Multi-Ethnic is under the Film And Music Society and is not a part of this budget.
Out of this, the clubs have been allotted a total of 5.2 lakh out of which 1 lakh is the supplementary amount which will be allotted as and when clubs require further funding. New clubs like Akriti and Umang have been allotted the provisional amount of Rs.10, 000. The actual club budget was increased by Rs.20, 000 compared to last year.
While most clubs have expressed dissatisfaction with the allotted amount they should be hopeful of monetary support from the supplementary budget in case they wish to conduct flagship events.
The operating budget consists of 9.8 lakh for the funding of events during the course of the year like freshers, foundation day, and souvenirs.
The event calendar by the Literary and Cultural Society for the year of 2016-17 is represented in the following timeline.
Last year the proposed Cult Day was scrapped and When approached for the reasons regarding the same, one of the ex-Convenors, Bibhu Prasad Das said:
It was scrapped because there was no time and events to conduct on that day. Although we held the inter hall events scheduled on that day and the funds were used for conducting workshops in NU '16
However, this year the convenors are positive about the execution of Cult Day and the proposed events under it.
Fests and Goals
Participation statistics of NU has been a major concern and the Fest has been grappling since long to deal with it. NU is conducted around the same time as Spring Fest of IIT Kharagpur which is one of the major reasons why the Fest is unable to allure considerable participants despite the efforts of the society. Previous year witnessed some glitches during NU with events being delayed, money set aside for prize money remaining unused and the pertinent scanty participation problem. One of the ex-convenors commented that:
There was some delay of events due to lack of co-ordination between the coordinators but the number of participants were more than 50 percent higher than the preceding year. There was large participation in NU 2014 around (600) no participation fee being the only reason.Moreover, the funds given to conduct was not at par with our expenses. I am always of the opinion that the ISM, NU and Celebrity Night should be merged to make our fests grander.
However, the society aims to avoid any such encumbrance this year and has already started working for NU. Different teams have been formed and tasks have been divided amongst them. Prize money has also been included for flagship events this year. Although started the preparations for NU is supposed to pace up after the INNOVISION. Nishant Kumar, one of the convenors said that:
We can actually do nothing about the NU being scheduled around similar fest of IIT Kharagpur as the calendar is tightly packed with ISM, Celebrity Night and GATE devouring the rest of the time and also not to miss the academic activities which leaves us with no other option. Prize money is a new inclusion this year and we hope it works to allure participants.
Allotted budget was one disappointment common among several clubs of the society. Although the society hiked the budget allocated to clubs, some clubs like Leo received lesser amount than what they got previously on the grounds that they don’t work directly for the students of NIT and also because there are many clubs of the same nature in the institute. Team MM spoke to Prof Sasmita Mishra regarding the lowered budget and the fallacious reason behind it.
I am aware that some clubs are allocated lesser budget as compared to last year. One thing is clear that there are many clubs of similar nature. But there is no concern as we have kept an amount of INR 1 lakh as supplementary budget. When the clubs run out of their funds they can approach the VPs for extra monetary support. It doesn't matter whether they are social service clubs or any other. Also, I would also request the club presidents to involve the NITR student populace by arranging workshops alongside their other activities.
Clubs opine the reimbursement process to be a lag as it is tedious and time consuming and affects the smooth functioning of clubs. Obtaining permissions is yet another issue. One needs to traverse the length and breadth of the institute for something as simple as booking a room. Several other institutes like NIT Warangal have overcome this problem by having an online portal for basic permissions which has made the process smooth and hassle free.
The convenors are of the opinion that SAC should be allowed to manage its own budget just like the HMC which would simplify several complex processes.
Though the society witnessed some ups and downs in its previous year due to several reasons, it has only worked as a lesson for them. The literary and cultural society is taking utmost care to avoid any untoward incident and have already started working for the NITRUTSAV ’17 so as to make the event a huge success.