Student Amenities Upgraded: NITRAA Provides Respite
The term alma mater is reason enough to give back.
So believes the NIT Rourkela Alumni association (NITRAA), which has never left a stone unturned when it comes to contributing to the institute’s continued development. This time around, the contributions have come in the form of investment in student amenities for better living standards of students in NIT Rourkela’s hostels. NITRAA bore the entire cost of 150 washing machines installed across the hostels with ease of access for all the students. In addition to this, 30 coffee/ tea vending machines have been provided to be placed in the academic departments of NIT Rourkela for use by faculty and staff. Being a project of significant investment having no precedence in the past, a Committee for Washing Machines Procurement was formed to broad base the decision making. Based on an extensive study by the Chief Hostel Warden and consultations from the committee, the machines’ number and model were decided upon.
Let us brief upon the efforts that went into this decision making through a concise timeline of events.
The proposal from NITRAA: March 2020
During one of its occasional deliberations, the executive council of NITRAA decides to take up projects for enhancing student amenities in the hostels, especially for a post-Covid scenario. The deliberations conclude on the majority opinion on providing washing machines across hostels. Consequently, two members from the executive committee based at Rourkela are tasked with taking the project from conceptualisation to completion.
Monday Morning conducts a survey: August 2020
To get students’ opinion regarding the urgent need for amenities, NITRAA, in collaboration with Monday Morning, the student media body of NIT Rourkela, conducts a widespread survey amongst students. An overwhelming majority (96.3%) of students felt that washing machines were extremely essential in hostels, and hence NITRAA went on with further proceedings towards this cause.
Findings of the study by Chief Warden: November 2020
Campus authorities were consulted, and the Chief Hostel Warden was tasked with estimating the required number of washing machines based on hostel wise, floor wise requirements of all 10 Hostels, including no of students mapped to each machine. Preliminary data is put together about the existing facilities such as:
Available space around washrooms
Wastewater discharge connection
The data is further expanded into a detailed report giving exact locations and available utilities. Eventually, it was estimated that 150 machines would have to be installed, which will be located at alternate washrooms across the hostels to cater to the present strength of 6500 students.
For this matter, the Chief Warden, Prof S Pratihar, was approached to give a furnished study on hostel-wise and subsequently floor-wise requirements of the machines in all the hostels.
The findings of the study are as follows:
Committee deliberations: December 2020
A project of this scale with such great alumni involvement and investment had never happened previously. To broad-base the decision-making process, a seven-membered committee was formed with an undergraduate from NIT Rourkela, a faculty member who was an alumnus of NIT Rourkela, a senior alumnus from Rourkela and four alumni for representation from all the geographic zones in India. The committee was handed over the responsibility to sift through the proposals. Here’s the list of members –
Prabodh Ranjan Padhee
Ravindra Kumar Tulsiyan
Manoj Kumar Mutreja
Pankaj Kumar Sa
NIT Rourkela Faculty
Pre-final year (2022)
The committee got quotations from four major branded manufactures; IFB, Whirlpool, Samsung, and LG. They deliberated on several essential parameters, such as build quality of the machine, maintainability, annual maintenance contract, cleaning efficiency, installation constraints, student to machine ratio, front vs top-loading, spare part availability, overall price, etc. were taken into consideration to take a valued decision and not compromise on the quality.
Facility Installed: February 2021
Based on the majority voting of the above committee, the order for 150 fully automated Samsung Washing Machines with model number – WA65A4002GS/TL of top load capacity of 6.5kgs was placed. The total cost to NITRAA including all taxes, duties and freight was around 30 Lakhs INR (around 25 lakhs on washing machines and 5 lakhs on tea/ coffee vending machines).
All the washing machines arrived at the hostels in batches and were installed phase-wise under the Chief Warden’s supervision.
Apart from the huge scale investment in washing machines, NITRAA had also taken up the responsibility for the installation of coffee/tea vending machines in all academic departments of NIT Rourkela. After discussion with the Director, Prof Animesh Biswas, 30 Nescafe Machines were purchased and installed from a Bhubaneswar dealer.
Words from the Chief Warden
Team MM approached the Chief Warden, Prof S.K. Pratihar to know more about the installations and functionality of the machines.
Chief Warden (CW): NITRAA had asked us to give us a study on the number of hostels, occupants, floors etc. so that they could make an estimate. They came with 150 washing machines which were distributed across all the halls. Every alternate washroom has a washing machine now placed outside the same. We have followed this pattern everywhere possible, except for a few cases where there might be one or two shortages, but that will not be an issue. The washing machines are already in use.
All the provisions of maintenance and spare/repair parts cost are born by NITRAA. Along with the washing machines purchase, they have also bought a 3 years annual maintenance contract and warranty card along with the machines. Students need to take care of the machines and operate them carefully, just like they would do with their home appliances. We haven’t put any restrictions on the usage as of now. While using the machines, don’t overload or under-load; at the same time, don’t keep it running for long hours at a stretch. We trust that our students are responsible and cooperative and thus will protect them.
Important Words from NITRAA
This historic move by the Alumni Association which sees no similar precedent to it was made under the able guidance of the current executive body of NITRAA. The complete project was coordinated on-ground from start to finish by two Alumni, Shri Uday Patel and Shri S.K. Panigrahi, the General Secretary and Treasurer of NITRAA respectively. Team MM reached out to The General Secretary of NITRAA, Shri Uday Patel to get his views about the project and the future plans of NITRAA:
We have installed 150 fully automatic washing machines across hostels and 30 tea/ coffee vending machines across the academic departments. This is one of the most significant contributions in the history of NITRAA which is going to hugely improve the lifestyle of students within campus. This was only possible because of the immense cooperation that we received both from the Alumni Network and the Institute Administration. We are currently working on providing a WiFi network in both the ladies hostels and are looking forward to more such projects in the future.
Speaking about his message for the students, he added:
All of you are very fortunate to be in a prestigious institute like NIT Rourkela. The Alumni Network is huge and we are there to help you at every point in time. The machines have been installed keeping good faith in the current students. I urge all of you to responsibly use these machines as it is not only important for you but also for the future batches.
Message From Monday Morning
The current students of the institute are in a unique position of responsibility. Given that this was a first of its kind project by NITRAA, the response from us and the responsibility with which we use these machines will determine the future course of action for the upcoming projects which are in the pipeline for NITRAA. We strongly urge every student to use this facility responsibly and plant the seed for greater trust in our ties with the alumni.
Monday Morning thanks NITRAA for its generous contribution and hopes that this is just the beginning of even stronger student- alumni ties at NIT Rourkela.