Giving Back To Their Alma Mater: Renaissance
On 5th August, the BOG meeting was attended by a few notable alumni of NITR to put forward a scholarship scheme and for the signing of a MoU for the creation and operation of Prof. Ajay K. Mohanty Endowed Chair Professorship Endownment at NIT Rourkela. With degrading research quality and overloaded professors, it was the need of the hour to create a specific post to assist the research work with the required sufficient funds. For the first time in any college of INDIA, the Endowed Chair Professorship Endowment has been brought forward by the 1972 alumni batch. The meeting was conducted in the presence of Prof. Animesh Biswas, Director, NITR, Prof. Sukadev Meher, Dean (Alumni Relations), NITR, Shri S.P. Rao,1972 NITR ALUMNUS, Prof. D. Acharya, 1970 NITR Alumnus, Mr. G.C. Pattnaik, 1972 NITR Alumnus, Dr. L.N. Bhuyan and Dr. D.K. Das. The meeting had two sessions:
The 1972 alumni batch with its united efforts has decided to give scholarships to 7 deserving students, one student from each semester, based on merit-cum-need. The students will be selected by the selection committee. They have opened an SBI account here in the NIT BRANCH. Primarily, an amount of INR 40000 per sem has been decided to be awarded to the student. There will be selection in every semester and the deserving student will be awarded in the subsequent BOG meeting. However, there has been a proposal to increase the scholarship award amount.
Three students were awarded with the scholarship on 5th August. The next awardees will be decided by the selection committee in the month of December.
(II) Creation And Operation of Prof. Ajay K. Mohanty Endowed Chair Professorship Endowment at NIT Rourkela:
This was decided with the coordination, support, and understanding of Rourkela Alumni group represented by Prof. L.N. Bhuyan (EE Graduate, batch of 1972) of NITR Overseas Alumni Association, Mr. S. P. Rao (ME Graduate, batch of 1972) of NITR Alumni Association and Prof. D Acharya (ME Graduate, batch of 1972) of NITR Alumni Association with NITR.
To create an endowment for the Chair Professor Position in NITR and to name it as “Prof. Ajaya K Mohanty Endowed Chair Professor” in the Department of Electrical Engineering. The endowment is being created by contributions from alumni of NITR as a mark of respect for their teacher Late Prof. Ajaya K Mohanty. The position aims at attracting an outstanding researcher as Chair Professor to enhance the research output, the reputation and the ranking of NITR.
Endowment Account Information:
Based on the request from Prof. L N Bhuyan, an endowment account has been created with an initial contribution of Rs. 1 crore from NITROAA in USA and NITRAA in India. Family members of Late Ajaya K Mohanty have also made contributions.
Permanency Clause of the Endowment Fund:
This endowment fund will remain in perpetuity and will always remain open to donations for future years. Any donation coming in, in future, should always be added to the principal to boost the endowment. NITR authorities may look for ways to invest it prudently, in safe and secured investment schemes and maximize the investment earning in consultation with Mr. S.P Rao. A part of the yearly earning of the investment will be reinvested back in the endowment to take care of the inflation. The remaining part of the earning will go to fund the endowed Chair Professor.
Allocation for the Chair Professorship:
Out of the earnings from the endowment, initially Rs. 6 lakhs per year will be spent for Prof. Ajaya Kr. Mohanty Chair Professorship and the balance amount will be added to the endowment. The earning from the endowment can only be spent for Prof. Ajaya Kr. Mohanty Chair Professorship purpose. A ledger free account will be created for the Chair Professor. The chair professor shall take the sole responsibility to spend the money judiciously. An amount of Rs. 25000/- per month will be given as top up salary to the Chair Professor and the remaining Rs. 3 lakhs per annum will be spent for research purposes. The heads of account of research expenses may include but would not be limited to purchase of small equipment and research consumables, expenses towards national/international conferences and travels. As the endowment grows, the amount may be revised upwards i.e. monthly top up salary and annual research expenses can be increased.
NITR will advertise and solicit applications. The Selection Committee will comprise the members as per the statute of the position of a Professor. For first five years, two alumni of NITR, Prof L.N. Bhuyan, and Prof. Damodar Acharya will assist the selection committee. After five years there will not be any alumni involved with the selection.
An outstanding researcher with a proven track record in publications, patents, funded research and national/international recognition with qualifications and experience will be considered for the position. The offer may also be made by invitation. The initial appointment of the chair professor will be made for 3 years by the selection committee. The appointment can be extended by the NIT Director up to 5 years.
Every year, the chair professor shall submit an activity report summarizing his/her accomplishments. Based on the 3-year review report by the evaluation committee, the tenure of the chair professor can be extended for another 2 years or for re-appointment.
The interface between the NIT Rourkela Endowment Manager and Alumni:
NIT Rourkela is supposed to designate someone as the Endowment Manager to act as an interface between the istitute and the alumni. The point of contact from the alumni group will be Mr. S.P Rao for first five years. He will bring alumni questions/queries to the institute. Additionally, Mr. Rao and administrators will set up a plan to facilitate the flow of future contributions from donors to Prof. Ajay K. Mohanty Endowed Chair Professorship fund. The NITR Endowment manager should consult Mr. S.P. Rao, in the case of a complex issue arising under the extenuating circumstance. Mr. Rao will bring the issue to the NITR Alumni Group and seek a resolution of the matter. This will help the successful and continuous operation of this endowed chair professorship endowment.
The alumni relations have been improving steadily and this was a major step which would further nurture strong student-alumni and alumni-institute connection. Besides that, this inititative of NITRAA would definitely boast the research scneario in the institute.