Universal Suffrage or the power to vote for your representatives, to voice your concerns at the administrative level, is one of the most essential characteristics among the various rights the entire system of democracy has to offer.
With only 5 days remaining in the run-up to Technical Festival, Team MM caught up with the convenor and co-convenor of the Innovision. As most of the institute slept through the cosy, lazy Sunday afternoon, the convenors (Sri Vamsy and Prasang Singh Parihar) were busy working out the final details. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
On Final Preparations and Decorations:
MM: How are the preparations for Innovision 2014 panning out so far? When did you start? How far is the progress?
Vamsy: 85% of all the work is complete. The work had started right after the Tech Day ended. A lot of it was done during the Durga Puja vacations as well. The background functionalities had been completed by then. We are pretty happy with the progress so far.
Prasang: The invitations for the festival were sent to various institutes right after the mid-semester examination. The site is now completely functional with all events, schedules and sections. The posters and flexes have been distributed and shall be on display by Sunday night. So, all forms of publicity shall be visible all around the institute in this week. The online publicity has been very active with all our posts receiving close to 2k views. The posts are scheduled for days in advance. We also have a blog this year which has been receiving decent number of views. The content team has done a great job of keeping the blog updated with really insightful articles.
MM: How shall Innovision 2014 be different from the previous years?
Vamsy: One of the biggest renovations for Innovision has been the removal of the registration fee. This has primarily been done for publicity and to provide a very attractive deal to the participants. The bar on sponsors and outdoor publicity has been countered through this way. The boom seen during the Tech Day will hopefully continue to the Tech Fest and we expect a great participation.
Prasang: This Tech Fest, there has been a greater thrust on the technical events. The clubs have been encouraged to organise more events with technical inclination. Close to 60 central events are being organised. The workshops and guest lectures are also related to the techno-management nature of Innovision. We shall also be giving out mementoes for the winners. We have already received registration from 600 people. We are expecting a significant rise on the footfall.
MM: Innovision 2013 saw some great decorations. Can we expect similar level of decoration in Innovision 2014?
Vamsy: You can definitely expect more. A significant amount of the budget has been allocated to the decorations and they are expected to deck up the institute beautifully.
Prasang: The Rajendra Mishra Exhibition Hall has been booked for a week and the decoration work is going on in full swing. Overnight work shall also be done accordingly. You can definitely expect a much higher level of decoration this year.
MM: Innovision 2014, unlike other years, does not have any title sponsors or associates of other nature. How has this affected the festival? How did certain individual events manage to turn up with phenomenal sponsors?
Prasang:SAC and the Director have specifically mentioned a bar on all sponsorship related activities. No leave/reimbursement would be provided for anyone who goes for sponsorship purposes.
Negotiating with companies for partnership in the event is extremely difficult over telephone calls. SAC had directed us to mail the brochures only via the institute mail which is solely under the control of the faculty. So, with the SAC restricting students, we had to go ahead without any sponsors.
Nearthy.com, an NITR start-up, is our only associate. Individual event coordinators might have gone for sponsorships in their own capacity. The technical society or Innovision is not a part of any of these. The absence of sponsors has definitely been a big setback for the event. However, we have so far managed to scrape through and we are hopeful that the festival too shall not face any issues.
On Scrapping Offline Registrations:
MM: Why was the offline registration system completely scrapped? Does it not hamper the participation?
Prasang: With registration fees removed, the participation is expected to increase many folds. However, as per the Director’s directives, only 600 people can be accommodated on campus during the festival. In order to ensure that people don’t turn up in excess of the capacity of the organisers, the offline mode of registration had to be completely removed. We are hopeful that the boost received due to the removal of the registration shall counter-balance any loss of participation due to the introduction of online registration.
MM: How is the verification being done for online registration? How is it being guaranteed that people who have registered actually turn up for the event? What about those who can accommodate themselves outside the institute?
Prasang: We shall be sending confirmation mails requesting replies from all the registered participants. Those who do not reply or reply with a no shall be taken off the list of participants. Thereafter the portal shall be reopened for all those who had contacted us after the registrations closed. These people can then register for the event. We are also planning to open a separate portal for those who don’t require accommodation.
Team Work and Support from SAC:
MM: It is a general perception that students don’t possess much autonomy while organizing a fest. What have you got to say about this?
Vamsy: There is absolutely no such issue for the Technical Festival. There is absolute coordination at all levels of the hierarchy and all the VPs, secretaries and coordinators have their respective duties and job roles.
Prasang: We do not face any problem with respect to freedom or access. The only catch is everything must be approved and permissions must be obtained for that. Our previous convenors have provided us with the data related to permissions and approvals and we have been going perfectly fine with the help of those.
MM: How has been the coordination and cooperation on the part of your team?
Prasang: The cooperation has been very cordial. As convenor and co-convenor, we only deal with the respective team leaders. They in turn deal with the coordinators, who direct the volunteers. There is perfect synchronisation at all levels and working with them has been a very enjoyable experience.
On Prizes and Certificates:
MM: What kind of prizes are we giving out this year?
Prasang: We shall be giving out mementoes for the winners. No cash prizes are being given this year as per the directive of the institute. Food coupons shall be given to the participants. No gift coupons or cash convertible coupons shall be given to the winners. The aim is to promote the spirit of participation.
MM: Shall coordinators be provided with certificates this year? They were missing in the last edition.
This year we shall have Certificates for participation, excellence and coordination.
The SAC has been set up with PCs for printing the same. They shall be provided during the festival without any delay. The database for the participants and coordinators is ready and accordingly the certificates will be printed on that day. The online registration has made the process completely seamless.
MM: What shall we see on the pro-nite? Why was the band performance scrapped?
Prasang: The pro-nite shall have a fire show and institute band performance. The band performances were scrapped keeping with the technical mind-set of the festival. We are hopeful that this will not affect the quality of participation in Innovision. We were also on a tight budget to deal with any outside performances.
MM: How does the fact that the Multi-Ethnic festival has a greater budget than the Technical Festival affect you?
Prasang: Yes, we definitely think that this has been a big blow to the technical ambience of the institute. Initially we tried a lot along with the other convenors. However, the Director pointed out that the quality of ideas and events by the Technical Society were low and not particularly worthy of a greater budget. So, we had to ultimately go ahead with the same budget despite a lot of meetings and persuasions. However, the SAC and the Director have helped a lot with regard to the accommodation and registration fee issues.
MM: Any final message for the readers to bring them out of their rooms to make them a part of this extravaganza?
Prasang: I can assure them that awesomeness is awaiting their presence. I will ask them to Come, Innovate, Get Inspired and Go back Ignited.
Team MM wishes the Innovision team all the very best as they go on to organise the Techn-Management fest of the 2014-15 session.
Quite a few of us are avid followers of the saying that ignorance is bliss and care freely while away our time, being unaware of all the immense greatness that is around us. A thing that is personified by Shri Nalini Nihar Nayak in the case of NIT Rourkela. Some of us know of him being a Student Activity Officer of this institute, but very few of us are aware that this man is a nation-acclaimed ‘Nayak’ (Hindi for actor). Hailing from the Gavadia village of Atul town in district Kendrapada, Odisha,
After a successful Innovision 2k13 and the curtain raiser for next version of the technical extravaganza scheduled to be held on 6th September, the Technical Society looks forward to take greater strides in this direction. Team MM caught up with the Vice President Prof. D Chaira for a candid discussion.
Every spring, when the dried leaves, which fell from the branches of the trees during winter, pile up all over the road, the concerned few of the neighborhood take it upon themselves to rake the heap of leaves and clear the road of the litter. Team Monday Morning took the onus on themselves to rake the heap of doubts on everyone’s mind at the start of spring (the scholastic year of 2014-15) by consulting the Dean of Student Welfare, Prof. K.C.Pati on issues plaguing everybody in this institute of national importance.