56 Years and Counting: The Institute Foundation Day
It was 71 years ago that India broke off the chains of colonial rule and set off on a path of freedom. 14 years later, Regional Engineering College, Rourkela was established in the remote city of Odisha, promising quality education to its scholars. In the long expedition from REC to NIT, this institute has confronted several ups and downs. Yet, it stands tenaciously after 56 years of its establishment, proving itself to be one of the best institutes in the country. This year, on the 15th of August, the populace of NITR gathered to witness the celebration of this historic moments. Team MM takes you on a journey of the events as they occurred on this auspicious day.
FOUNDATION DAY PREPARATION
Delaying of elections this time around had major repercussions for the foundation day event. The newly elected SAC representatives had little clue of what was happening and there was some obvious confusion with regards to handling of the events, primarily owing to the change in SAC society structure. Up until last year, the foundation day event was handled by Literary and Cultural Society. Now with two separate societies in place, The Literary Society and The Art and Culture Society, there was uncertainty as to who was going to organise the event. Eventually, it was decided that The Literary Society would organise the morning and the afternoon events and the Art and Culture Society would handle the cultural events of the evening. This time around the VPs of both the societies concerned had done the bulk of planning for the event as the Student Secretaries were elected only a week prior to the event.
FLAG HOISTING CEREMONY
The day’s event commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by Director Prof. Animesh Biswas at 8:30 am followed by the National Anthem. Following which, Prof. Animesh Biswas accompanied by Prof. U.K.Mishra and Prof. Shiv Kumar went for the parade inspection.
Then the march past started where REC school students, Army wing, Navy wing and Civil wing performed a spectacular parade. This was followed by the Director’s address to the gathered audience. All the cadets, students and gathered audience took the pledge. Awards were presented to the rank holders for their exceptional performances and finally, the patriotic song presented by the REC campus school students brought the event to an end.
FOUNDATION DAY AND PRIZE DISTRIBUTION FUNCTION
The foundation day program, scheduled to commence at 10 am, was delayed by 10 minutes. Before the event started, it was made sure that all the prize winners were in attendance. Padma Shri Nalini Ranjan Mohanty was the esteemed Chief Guest for the occasion. A graduate of the first batch of engineers from REC Rourkela, his contribution has been invaluable to the ordinance and the defence sector of the nation. A bureaucrat and technocrat, he was the former Chairman & Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as well as the president of Aeronautical Society of India (ASI) as well. He received the Ruchi Prativa Samma in 2003. For his contributions to Indian industrial sector, he received the fourth highest civilian honor of India the Padma Shri in 2004.
The event, anchored by Mitesh Mishra and Aishworya Roy, started with a bouquet presentation to all the dignitaries, following which the dignitaries took their seats on the dais. The dignitaries for the day included the Director, Prof. Animesh Biswas, the Registrar Shri S.K. Upadhyay, Dean Student Welfare, Prof. S. Panigrahi and President, SAC, Prof. S. Chakraverty.
The dignitaries then lit the lamp and started the proceedings for the function. This was followed by a welcome address by the Registrar. In his speech, Shri. S.K. Upadhyay talked about the history of the institute, the hardships faced by the state to start a regional engineering college way back in 1961, before proudly talking about the present state of the institute. More importantly, he talked about the vision set for the institute, quoting Prof. Upadhyay,
Our vision is to become an internationally acclaimed institution of higher learning that will serve as a source of knowledge and expertise for the society, thereby becoming a preferred destination for undergraduates and postgraduate students.
He praised the Director for the steps taken, since his ascension, particularly singling out the changes made with the revision of curriculum and reduction of credits.
This was followed by a speech from Dean Student Welfare, Prof. S. Panigrahi who talked at lengths about the guest of honour Shri N. R. Mohanty. Following this was the address by the chief guest, Shri Nalini Ranjan Mohanty who begun by fondly remembering his time at REC, Rourkela. Mr Mohanty talked about his struggles before admission to REC, his admiration for the then Principal of the institute, Prof. Bhubaneswar Behera and his subsequent time as a professor in this institute before moving on to talk about his professional life. He then proceeded to share his experiences in the numerous places he has served. Despite serving in such high-profile posts, his humble and down-to-earth nature left many in the audience in awe. He ended his speech by acknowledging the youth power and urging students not to stop dreaming.
The director then felicitated Mr Mohanty before moving on to say a few words about the chief guest himself. Director, Prof. Animesh Biswas in his speech, recalled his first meeting with Mr Mohanty in Hyderabad. Mr Biswas also talked about the recent changes in academic curriculum before moving on and relishing the prospect that the institution is on the right path for future developments.
The prize distribution ceremony followed the Director’s speech. Certificates were handed out to the branch toppers of B.Tech. and Dual Degree courses as well as former representatives of SAC for their commendable work last academic year. The event drew to a close with a vote of thanks by Prof S. Chakraverty.
THE EVENING CULTURAL PROGRAM
The day regained its zeal and momentum in the evening. The event had in store, for the NITR junta, a great deal of cultural extravaganza. The enthusiastic crowd clustered at BBA at around 6.30 pm and the seats were occupied in a jiffy. BBA overcame the previous shortcomings of poor air-conditioning this time with air-conditioners placed at different corners.
The event kick started as scheduled, at 7 pm where Rohit Chaturvedi and Swadha Sinha, dressed in a complete traditional attire played the host for the evening. They invited the dignitaries for the evening to embark the show, with the lighting of the lamp lighting.
The Society for the promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture, also known as SPIC MACAY, with an intention to enrich the quality of formal education by increasing awareness about different aspects of Indian heritage and inspire the young minds to imbibe the values embedded in it, organized the first two performances for the evening.
The crowd gathered at BBA witnessed one of the most celebrated torch-bearers of the Indian Classical music, India’s global music ambassador, Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya live on stage. This soulful Santoor maestro shared the stage with the Tabla player, Sunayana Ghosh. They played a whole new series of fine tuners and their mixture of high and low scale music was a treat for the ears. Their performance was hugely applauded by the crowd. Pt Tarun expressed his surprise seeing the level of acclamation of the youngsters towards classical music and on audiences’ demand played another tune based on Bengali folklore.
The next event that followed was a Sambalpuri folk dance and music. A troop of veteran artists from the Sambalpur Kala Parishad further graced the occasion. Sambalpur Kala Parishad is an institution established by Late. Murari Prasad Mishra, that aims at promotion and propagation of music and dance of Western Odisha. They showcased three different varieties of Sambalpuri dance including Dalkhai and others. The group head even enlightened the audience with minute details of the instruments they use and the costume they wear.
Pt. Tarun, Madam Sunayana and all the members of Sambalpur Kala Parishad were felicitated by our esteemed Director, Prof. Animesh Biswas accompanied by Prof. Simanchal Panigrahy, Dean Student welfare and Prof. Snehashish Chakraverty, President, SAC. By then the event was unexpectedly delayed by 45 odd minutes.
Then came the moment the audiences were excitingly looking forward to, a performance by the Spring fest 2k16 champions, the MAVERICKS dance group, whose achievements and popularity are no short of wonder. The Mavericks team made an attempt to successfully depict the wide financial differences existing in our society even after 70 years of independence. Their enthralling performance awed the crowd.
This was followed by a scintillating mime act presented by PANTOMIME, the official dramatics club of NITR. The mime presented a heart-touching story based on the life of late Captain Vikram Batra who died fighting in the Kargil war. For their sumptuous performance, the audience reserved a special standing ovation for the performers.
The day came to an end with the most awaited stagecraft of the evening, SYNERGY performance. President of Synergy, Chinmay Kumar Rout quoted-
Even after 70 years of independence, we haven’t achieved full independence in some spheres and are victims to social evils like drug addiction and women decriminalization, and hence the theme of our show.
Synergy commendably showcased four different dance forms like Urban hip-hop, and lyrical contemporary among others. This time they focused on women empowerment, and thus the power pact crumping performance by the girls on ‘Mardaani’ made a chill run down the spines, followed by a captivating act on ‘Manjha’ which was a sight to behold. The auditorium was filled with ear-splitting screams of the audiences.
Team MM caught up with Dean (SW) after the function. The dean was quite pleased with the event, he said-
The fact that the audience stayed up this late to witness program shows that this was a huge success.
Indeed it was.
P.S. : Image Courtsey: Third Eye Photography