Inter NIT Sports Issues: Power outshines Potential
The Inter-NIT tournament is organized annually, and with this year's scheduled dates due soon, preparations for various events have been in full swing since the beginning of the new semester. Among various such sports is football, for which the institute team has always been deemed praiseworthy, having won many laurels in past years. But in recent times, due to a sudden rift that arose as a disagreement between the team members and the officials, and inconvenient circumstances led to the team’s withdrawal from the event.
The grievances of the team itself with regard to the tournament, which is to be held at Agartala, were put forth by their captain, Shaswata Bisi,
The journey from here to Guwahati lasts for two and half days, followed by a bus ride to Agartala on a road that is very risky. So we requested to be allowed to complete the same journey on a flight, realizing funding shouldn’t be a problem because the date of travel is far from the date of booking.
He also mentioned that students from other NITs such as NIT Calicut were also being allowed similar liberties because of the unique situation. However, despite the exception made by another NITs, the authorities remained resolute on their stance that such a trip could not be funded by the institute since an existing rule denies students the use of air transport. Thus, left with no other option, the team had to withdraw their participation from the tournament, altogether.
On being questioned about whether such a rule could not be bypassed, Dean (Student Welfare), Prof. D. R. K. Parhi said that he was unaware of such a situation and would approach President, SAC, after the Puja Holidays, to gain greater insight into the matter. The Sports Officer, Dr. P. K. Rout was contacted and he opined as follows,
The rule clearly states that B. Tech students will be reimbursed for travel via sleeper class only, while M. Tech and other postgraduate students are entitled to Third Class Air-Conditioned Coaches. Thus, money was never an issue in this matter, and they were denied simply because of the implications of the existing rules. Naturally, the students had to back out of the tournament.
While one would imagine that a slight deviation in one of the guidelines would not get in the way of nurturing talent, and causing hard work to go to waste, disregarded - the authorities refuse to budge. In an attempt to understand why frameworks are not supportive of student activities, former interim Director, Prof. R. K. Sahoo said that,
There’s a rule that students cannot be permitted to travel in flights. Hence, the team’s demand is not justified, whatever their grounds might be. Air transport can only be allowed for the staff, and there are places farther than Agartala where students go for tournaments. The mention of risky roads can’t really be accepted as a legitimate reason because people go through that course anyway. Such a request cannot be granted now nor can it be conceded to in similar future instances.
Next year, the Chess Team is supposed to attend the Inter-NIT Sports meet which has been scheduled at Srinagar. The days of travel, as well as the inconvenience, would be considerably reduced if students were allowed to avail flight tickets which would be bought at a cost similar to those of train tickets, if purchased well in advance. However, the authorities are certain that they will not create an exception for any future instance, either because they believe these guidelines should be strictly implemented to prevent misuse by students.