Reviewing The Hub Of Technocrats: Technical Society Review

Reviewing The Hub Of Technocrats: Technical Society Review

It would not be wrong to call the Technical Society of the Student Activity Centre, NIT Rourkela, to be the pivot of all the societies, given the fact that NITR is a technical institute. It is claimed to be the most active society in the institute considering the multitude of activities and clubs coming under it. The aim of this society is to promote and encourage technical innovations through entrepreneurial endeavors among students. The Technical Society also organises the national level techno-management festival “INNOVISION” every year that attracts participation from various eminent organizations and institutions of the nation. All-in-all, it is prerogative of spreading judicious prudence amongst the budding engineers of NITR. The society is resided by Professor S K Behera and Manas Ranjan Tripathy as the Vice President. The student representatives are as follows-

SECOND YEAR REPRESENTATIVESATYAM AGARWALLA
THIRD YEAR REPRESENTATIVETAMATAM KRISHNA REDDY
FOURTH AND FIFTH YEAR REPRESENTATIVETIRUMALA REVANTH
PG AND RESEARCHP DUTTA SAMPATH KUMAR

The Dean’s nominee for the technical society is Ayush Pradhan. The conveners of Innovision are Sainandan Mohanty and Subhranshu Sahoo and its Dean’s Nominee was Rishitha Paga.

Budget Allocation

The Technical Society has been allotted a budget with 12 Lakhs INR by SAC this year, for the year-round functioning of the clubs and organisation of events. An amount of 9.4 Lakhs INR has been dedicated to clubs for their functioning throughout the year. An additional amount of 2.6 Lakhs INR has been allotted for miscellaneous purposes which include organising seminars, workshops, publishing posters, and magazines, etc. There were 19 clubs registered under the technical society. This year saw numerous new clubs registered under this society. The overall budget allotted to some of the clubs has reduced to some extent.

Sl. No.Name of the clubProposed budget (INR)
1.SAE club4 lakhs
2.ASME1 lakhs
3.ICE UK15,000
4.CEST70,000
5.CYBORG80,000
6.AICHE25,000
7.SPAWN25,000
8.AXIOM20,000
9.PLUGGED IN20,000
10.MICROSOFT20,000
11.UDAAN20,000
12.GENESYS25,000
13.DESIGN TAB20,000
14.ASTRO club30,000
15.SSPA30,000
16.NITR-ICS20,000
17.OPEN CODE10,000
18.CODE-HUB10,000
19.E-CELLNo budget

Clubs

Clubs play an integral part in the life of a NITR student. NITR being a technical institute has a large chunk of its student population belonging to technical clubs. Although most of the club activities are overseen by students, most of the monetary needs are covered by SAC. Team MM caught up with a few clubs and we asked them about how SAC has affected their club activities;

CEST

President: Pooja Nayak

The technical society is being less cooperative as compared to the previous year. Rules are being changed often without us being informed. A large number of official documents are required for conducting events, which sometimes get lost due to the carelessness of some of the other people. We are allotted a budget of Rs. 70,000 and that is sufficient for the needs of our club. During Innovision, we were given fewer materials and resources for conducting the events than what we had demanded.

CYBORG

President: Debasish Panda

I feel that the rules under the technical society have become cumbersome for us. Frequent change of rules creates misunderstandings between numerous people. We had demanded extra budget so that our club could participate in events outside India as well, but sadly we were allotted the same amount as previously. During Innovision we had conducted three events, we were given the requirements as per time and the entire thing went great.

ASME

President: Pratik Mohanty

The technical society was not being cooperative enough as compared to previous year. The rules are being changed pretty frequently and the students remain unaware of it. The budget allotted to us does not suffice as we have to participate in competitions outside Odisha. Also, the official works and such stuff become cumbersome for us. For instance, we had to transport the vehicle that we designed to Coimbatore. But at the end moment, we were not granted the expenses for transportation as was promised by the technical society. We thank our faculty advisor Professor Suman Ghosh who aided greatly in making all the arrangements for transportation of the vehicle by train, although this was a risky affair.

AICHE

President: Manisha Rath

I have three things to say. First, the budget that we were granted this year was very less as compared to the previous years. We often need to buy chemicals and other electronic components online and they cost us heavily. Secondly, we are asked to get an approval for every event that we conduct throughout the year. The applications submitted by us are not approved soon and the date of the event happens to be in a day or two. Thirdly, they say that our expenses will be reimbursed soon. But I don't see this thing happening any sooner than next year. Fourth, the rules are being changed frequently. Every time we go to the SAC for approval of some bill or other documents, we are told about some new rules that we were not even made aware of. Our club even participates in an event named Azeotropy in IIT Bombay, we were asked to get a formal application signed by all the 60 members of the club that they do not have any problem if the 15 participants are being granted money for the event. Such cumbersome things do not take place in other societies as far as I know.

Looking at the above statements, there is one thing that keeps recurring, all the clubs seem to be complaining about the fact that rules keep changing and it becomes difficult for them to keep up with them. Additionally, most of the clubs aren’t satisfied with their club budget.

Student Society Representatives

Team MM tried to get an insight towards society through the eyes of the student representatives.

After some digging, we found out that the budget allocation for the clubs was done without the presence of all the student representatives.

Ayush Pradhan, Dean’s Nominee said,

Budget allocation was done before the beginning of my tenure. In the meeting for allocating budget, only the fest conveners were called up for the meeting. This was the result of a misunderstanding because it was written only about “conveners” which meant technical society conveners, but the officials misunderstood it as fest conveners.

There is normally a meeting held with the VPs weekly but student representatives are never apart of it. Since the student representatives act as the bridge between the clubs and authorities, it is only reasonable to have the representatives present at the meeting for the smooth flow of information.

The present rule regarding sanctioning of budget says that if a budget of up to INR 25,000 is to be sanctioned, it must be applied 15 days before, and if the budget exceeds INR 50,000 it needs to be applied at least a month before. Ideally, in case of reimbursement, the applications have to get signed from the faculty advisor of the respective clubs, then the student representatives, the VPs and the hierarchy continues. In the case of BAJA and ASME, the students had to spend their own money and the process of reimbursement is quite cumbersome. The representatives of ASME say that they had filed an MoU of 500 dollars, but SAC denies to grant any money because the latter says that it has not yet notified about it.

Another thing that is of major concern is that in spite of clubs facing problems, they never approach the student representatives.

Ayush Pradhan, Deans Nominee said,

We are mostly never approached by clubs when they are facing issues, I believe that this is mainly because the clubs are of the mindset that approaching any representative is an effort in vain.

Innovision being the largest on-campus fest did have discrepancies this year, for which there has been an application submitted to the VPs to look into the shortcomings of the fest by the dean's nominee,  Ayush Pradhan, and Innovision Convener, Sainandan Mohanty. But nothing has been done about the application even after constant follow-ups.

Tech-X

There was a total of 2.6 lakhs sanctioned towards workshops and exhibitions. The initial plan was to use this amount for conducting Tech-X however due to the overspending by almost double the allocated budget for Innovision, there weren’t enough funds for Tech-X to take place.

Statement of Ayush Pradhan,

The technical society could have performed way better than it did. We as students representatives could have been way more proactive.

Conclusion

Every executive body has shortcomings but the post holders to succeed the future executive bodies should make sure that these shortcomings aren't repeated. Given the scenario for this year in the technical society, funds weren't managed well to ensure that all pre-planned events actually take place. The rules and regulations should be outlined to each club at the beginning of the year with a clear explanation of what is expected of them. Clubs should also keep in mind that they do have a helping hand in the form of the student representatives who can assist them in the smooth functioning of the clubs. Team MM hopes that these flaws are amended and the NITR populace gets to experience the best that SAC can provide.

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