Reforming for Righteousness: Literary Society Review
With the major SAC restructuring in the last year, there has been a significant number of modifications in various aspects of its structure and functioning. The Literary Society, underwent further amendments with the election of Dr. Rohan Dhiman and Dr. Nivedita Patra as the Vice Presidents of the society in the academic session of 2018-19.
Headed by the two Vice Presidents, the Literary Society office bearers for the year 2018-19 are as follows:
- Literary Society Secretaries:
- Adarsh Chowdhury
- Ishan Jee Dhruv
- Md. Tousif Ansari
- Braj Gopal
- Dean’s Nominee for Literary Society: Gaurav Kumar Panda
- Fest Convenors of NITRUtsav:
- Anubhav Sharma
- Ranjeet Kumar
- Dean’s Nominee of NITRUtsav: Swapnil Sahoo
NITRUtsav, as customary, will be organized by the Literary Society in collaboration with Arts and Cultural Society.
NEW AMENDMENTS AND IMPLEMENTATIONS
One of the first steps taken by the VPs after the inception of their tenure was to prepare a proper database of the clubs registered under the Society which was amiss prior to their time. As quoted by Dr. Rohan Dhiman, “The accountability of every club is very important.” Hence, the post-holders were interviewed about their working and expenditure of their allotted budget.
Another initiative which was undertaken by the Society was bringing in the Activity Analysis and Outcome Form to keep a track of the budget consumption of each event conducted by a club. Prior to this reform, the clubs did not maintain proper records of the events organised by them in the fiscal year, which diminished the authenticity of the bills produced during budget allocation procedure. Hence, according to this reform, clubs are supposed to maintain these forms for each event conducted by the club and then these are deposited while submitting their bills for the year. This form includes various fields like activity’s aim, participation, its outcome, ideas exchanged and contribution to the SAC.
Moreover, there has been particular streamlining in the procedures and regulations. According to the VPs, there have been instances when the students have come for event permissions in the nick of the time or have advanced the event without permission. Such practices are now deemed to be unacceptable by the heads, and following three rules have been implemented in this regard –
• If there is no budget involvement, then the club should have approved permissions with club faculty advisor signatures prior to one week of the event.
• If there is a budget involvement like purchasing of props or other materials, the approved permissions are needed to be sanctioned prior to 14 days of the event.
• If the budget involvement is higher as in case of special functions, the permissions are to be taken well before two weeks of the event.
The Literary Society, under the new VPs, has tried to stem the unwanted flow of funds in various events as well as minimize the costs of publishing the Souvenir for the UG and PG final year students so that these funds can be diverted to make the fests as well as other such events bigger and better.
CHANGES IN SOCIETY’S SATELLITE CLUBS
Previously, a total of 20 clubs were registered under the Society. In this academic session; after interviewing the individual club’s chief post-holders, the budget was allocated to the clubs - considering their budget estimate for the 2017-18 fiscal year, performance in past years and utilization of funds provided. Few clubs like Umang, TedX which have stayed dormant for a long time, were dissolved. Clubs like Chitraang and C Cube (former Voice Club) were migrated to Arts and Cultural Society because their interests and relevance were proved to be better in that field. As of now, 11 clubs are registered under the Literary Society witha collective total budget of 6.1 lakhs. However, Pantomime Club was recently registered under the society and has not been allotted any budget yet. There have been no new club inclusions in society this year, however, few groups which had applied to be sanctioned as an official club under SAC were given permissions to conduct events during Innovision and NITRUtsav. If it is deemed to be successful with a strong statement of purpose, they would be provided official status as a registered club of NITR.
The Literary Society has been allotted with 15 lakhs INR by SAC this year, for the year-round functioning of the clubs and organization of events. An amount of 6.1 lakhs INR has been dedicated to the clubs for their year-long functioning. An additional amount of 50k INR has been allotted as supplementary budget for clubs. This amount would be utilized to compensate for unforeseen expenditures of the clubs if the Society is provided with a viable explanation and proper accounts. However, the compensation cannot be more than 10-15% of the budget allocated to the club.
The operating budget is set at 8.4 lakhs. The Operating budget entails the expenditure in organising the events directly convened by the Literary Society, like Fresher’s Welcome Ceremony, Independence Day Celebration, Foundation Day, and other year-long cultural events. The NITRUtsav fest has been allocated a total sum of 13 lakhs INR for its organisation.
While the number of clubs under the Society has been reduced, the same 15 lakh-mark has been maintained as the total budget like the last year. As a result, many clubs received a hike in their budget as compared to the last year.
Name of the Club
Budget of 2017-18
Budget of 2018-19
In addition to the SAC Budget, there is a provision of the Deans’ Fund and the SAC President Fund of 15 Lakh INR each which is utilised under their discretion in cases of emergency or requirement of funds for other events under SAC. However, these funds were not utilised fully in the last academic year which could have been used for boosting the budget of fests or other workshops and events. When the VP Literary Society, Dr. Rohan Dhiman was asked about this, he said
I am unaware of this development as I have joined as the VP this year. But I can assure that the remaining funds will be utilised for making the events and the fests better and ease any monetary requirements they demand. After all, it is the students’ money and it will be used for the interest of the students.
HITCHES IN PATH OF NITRUTSAV
Being the cultural fest of NIT Rourkela, NITRUTSAV is expected to garner a large audience, but it has not been the scenario in recent years. There were a few suggestions from the student fraternity to change the dates of the fest because of its close proximity to the Spring Fest of IIT Kharagpur. When the VP was asked about the same, he replied:
The dates were finalized last year itself before my tenure. But if the convenors take up this issue in the meetings, which is generally held every week, then the Dean and the SAC President can look into the matter and come up with a feasible solution.
The budget for the Celebrity Night had been slashed following the SAC restructuring which dented the chances of a celebrity of a big stature turning up. So this has resulted in a drop of enthusiasm among the junta which in turn has restricted NITRUtsav to grow into one of the leading fests of the country. But the VP assured that if a celebrity of good stature can be convinced to come, then the budget might extend, with the consent of the Dean and the SAC President by pumping in some money from their funds and the operating budget of the societies.
NOTABLE EVENTS BY THE CLUBS
This year, Inquizzitive conducted Jnangni: The Biz Quiz in association with NITRAA during September. Leo will be conducting its flagship event, Rhapsody in November in association with Lions Club. Clarion organised its bi-annual Intra-Clarion Debate Competition along with the exemplary performances in Parliamentary Debate Competitions at CNLU (Asian PD) and IIT Bombay (British PD). Cognizen will be conducting the second edition of the International Model United Nations Conference on a tentative date in March. Degree 361, the official magazine of NITR will come up with its annual magazine during NITRUtsav. Apart from the Annual issue of the magazine, there is an upcoming print issue which will be published in November.
After organizing the Foundation Day, the Independence Day and the Institute Freshers successfully, the Literary Society is planning to organize a Ghazal night by roping in a celebrity singer along with organizing some workshops for the development of literary skills in enthusiastic students. Team MM looks forward to the betterment of the Society to ensure the best for the students’ interests.