A Redolent Reconciliation: 1972 Golden Jubilee Meet
Graduates of the 1967-1972 batch of REC convened for a three-day long meet at NIT-Rourkela. The occasion was to celebrate the Golden Jubilee year of their batch. The reunion organised from 4th January to 6th January 2017 in association with NITRAA, witnessed the participation of 118 alumni from the batch.
The three-day reconciliation unwounded with the alumni arriving on 4th January in the morning and being taken on a tour of the campus. They went to different departments and even residential areas and recollected their good old days and memories, as they were overcome with nostalgia. The first stop for the campus tour was at ‘Backpost’.
On the 5th January, the event was formally inaugurated with the curtain raiser held at Bhubaneswar Behera Auditorium. The alumni interacted with the Director of the institute and members of the faculty. The inaugural ceremony was also graced by the presence of the ‘gurus’ of the alumni who were felicitated. Tributes were paid to the friends and teachers of the alumni who were no more. A photo session and lunch were organized after the function for the dignitaries present.
An interactive session for the students of the final year students was organised during the afternoon. The event kick started in BBA at 2:45 pm with Dr. Debendra Kumar Das as the principal host. Air Marshall C. N. Raghunath (AVSM VSM Indian Air Force Bengaluru (Retd.)) was the first speaker with the topic of “A Career in the IAF for Engineers”. Prof. Lakshmi Narayan Bhuyan followed him with a talk on the topic “Graduate education and research in engineering: USA vs India”. Being a senior Engineering Manager at Dallas, Mr Giridhari (Gary) Krishnan spoke about the opportunities in the nuclear power industries. He said,
“Being engineers, we should always look towards cutting costs by innovating the process or product and not work as dignified technicians.”
Succeeding him on the dais, Mr Ranjan Mukherjee (Former Senior Vice President, City Group USA) spoke on “Career for Engineers outside the Engineering Domain”; focussing on the need to identify one's own interests and pursue them in the long run. He said,
“Engineering broadens your horizon and sharpens your skills. You are free to get into anything after that, starting from consulting to entrepreneurship.”
Mr. Satya Prakash Patnaik (Former MD (NINL) and Former ED HRD (SAIL), Ranchi) talked about “Pursuing a Career in the Public Sector” and emphasized the importance of humility and patience in achieving anything. Dr. Debendra Kumar Das (Professor and Past Chairman of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA) talked on “Nanotechnology as a Promising Career Option” and Mr. Vinay Raj (Strategic Advisor (Intelligence, Solutions and Advice), India) on “Importance of Developing Soft Skills”, where he mentioned,
“Your success depends 95% on soft skills and 5% on technical skills. This is enough to underscore its relevance.”
Dr Amitava Ray spoke on “Opportunities in Steel R & D - The Exciting World of Steel Research” and Ms. Binapani Sahoo on “Entrepreneurship - Challenging but Rewarding Option of Employment”, talked about the associated opportunities and concomitant challenges.
The alumni present announced the introduction of a new scholarship award for the needy meritorious students with financial constraints. The alumni presented a check of INR 10 lakhs and showed a promise to raise it up to 50 lakhs to support the institute. The Director during the interaction also expressed that professors would be rewarded for their excellence in teaching. He also asserted that the institute would increase its alumni contacts.
The visiting alumni started to depart Rourkela from the early mornings of 6th January. On the evening of 6th January, Mr. Bharat Bhusan Mohanty interacted with the student members of SARC at the Indo-German club in Rourkela. He shared his reminiscent recollections from his time at REC with the students.
The event was proposed to NITRAA in the month of September with the view to celebrate the 50th year since the admission of the 1967-1972 batch. The event was organised in association with NITRAA and was financed by the alumni, wholly. In lieu of several events that are taking place to increase the alumni-student outreach, this Golden Jubilee meet certainly played its role.