As the much awaited four day holiday knocked in the threshold, a fluttering excitement engulfed the air. 15th of August is just Independence Day for rest of India, but for us, it symbolizes the beginning of a legacy.
The National Institute of Technology, Rourkela celebrated its foundation day on 15th August, 2014 with style. The icing on the cake was the presence of eminent scientist Dr V Narayanan, Deputy Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Indian Space Research Organization.
Almost all seats in the Bhubaneswar Behera Auditorium were reserved for the students who were to receive prizes for various academic and extra-curricular activities. The event started around 10 am with the lighting of lamp by our Hon’ble Chief Guest Dr. V Narayanan, Director Dr S K Sarangi, Dean Student Welfare Prof K C Pati and President of SAC, Prof Japes Bera, in the baritone of Sanskrit Shlokas by Piyush Dwivedi. The event was embraced by the faculty members, prize winners, students of NIT Rourkela and students from various schools. The event kicked off with the timeless words of Rabindranath Tagore quoted by the hosts. Light was thrown on various achievements of NIT Rourkela. The entire gathering was welcomed by an address by Dean of Student Welfare, Prof K C Pati, following which the audience was addressed by our esteemed Director, Dr Sunil K Sarangi, who gave many priceless pearls of advice to everyone.
The next program was the lecture on “Indian Space Program: An Overview” by our esteemed Chief Guest, Dr V Narayanan. The entire audience was left enraptured by the impressive developments that are taking place in the field of space research in our country. The main aim is to enable low cost access to space. The speaker described how ISRO grew from an office and laboratory at St Mary Magdalene’s Church at Thumba to the state-of-art organization it is today. 43 launch vehicle missions, 40 satellites from different countries, 71 spacecraft missions: ISRO has come a very long way in a very short time. There was a time when the parts of spacecrafts were being transported using cycles. From the maiden Aryabhatta mission to the PSLV C23, ISRO has taken many revolutionary steps in the way, making our motherland one of the elites in the field of space research. The PSLV program was a quantum leap from the ASLV program, paving way for easier space exploration and launch of several satellites. India is the first country to have launched 10 satellites in one mission, 4th country to have recovered a space vehicle. The most significant break came on development of the indigenous cryogenic system engine in GSLV D5. It was a major boost for the development of indigenous technology in the country. The withdrawal of the Russian technology led to its development. Thus, with this, India joined the group of elite countries to possess this technology.
Next in line was the launch of Vilokanam, the biannual gazette of Axiom, the mathematics Club of NIT Rourkela. The gazette is an interactive product of the club among various clubs and workshops conducted by it.
The Chief Guest D.r V. Narayanan was then felicitated by our Director, Dr. S. K. Sarangi, with a memento. Our Director Sir was also felicitated by our Dean Student Welfare with a memento. The Vote of Thanks was delivered by President of SAC, Prof Japes Bera who expressed his gratitude to everyone for their hard work in making the event successful. The ceremony ended with prize distribution for all the prize winners in various academic, sports and SAC activities. The winners were felicitated with a memento and a certificate.
The evening was awaited expectantly by everyone for the cultural performances. The guests and the audience were welcomed warmly. The traditional lighting of the lamp was conducted amidst the backdrop of the soothing Shlokas. The Director of NIT Rourkela addressed the milling crowd and signaled the beginning of the cultural evening.
The evening kicked off in a patriotic spirit with a poem by Prof. S K Agarwal. The poem touched the heart of every individual present there. This feeling of patriotism was reinforced by a scintillating performance of the classical dance form Odissi, by Manoranjan Pradhan and troupe. The entire audience was enraptured by the sublime music and the graceful movements by the danseur and the danseuse. The event was organized by Spic Macay, NIT Rourkela Chapter. They were felicitated by the Director, NIT Rourkela.
Next in the cavalcade was something that every student was waiting for with bated breath. The students of NITR got the turn to flaunt their forte. The recital of poem by Raviraj, a student of Mathematics got a huge round of applause from the audience. Then, the audience went wild on the entry of Mavericks, the dance club of NIT Rourkela. Their performance took the breath away of everyone and left them pondering at the same time. The re-enactment of Nirbhaya evoked strong emotions within everyone. The audience was pulled into the emotionally charged aura of the act. The performance was greeted with a wild round applause, with many asking for an encore.
But the one which stole the evening was the performance by Synergy. The depiction of the chivalry and courage of the Indian Army charged the entire atmosphere. It was nail biting, no, a performance where you actually sat on the edge of the seat. The journey of an army-man from his delicate cradle to the harsh frontlines was portrayed in the most evoking fashion. The performance was a tribute to their selfless sacrifice and either unwavering pride for the nation.
The next event was “Sabse bada rog, kya kahenge log?” : a play dedicated to condemning of honor killings in India. The play revolved around the story of a young couple, who were trapped by the medieval thinking of their community. The play was emotionally touching with a tragic ending.
The finale of the evening was the heart thumping performance by HeartBeats, the official contemporary fusion band of NIT Rourkela. The Bhubaneswar Behera Auditorium resonated to a stupendous performance of “Kesariya Balam” and “Vande Mataram (A R Rehman version)” .
As the evening came to close, we reflected on the past 53 years of achievements as well as heartbreaks. So many people have come, so many people have gone. There have been so many memories and so many precious moments to be cherished. Despite every hardship, the gargantuan NIT Rourkela has stood tall and proud. The very presence brings a sense of well-being for the people it houses. Yes! We will keep up this good work, we will be proud of NITR, no matter what!
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