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Monday Morning Article Cover for: DONE AND DUSTED: NITRUTSAV 2K16 Review

Campus

|Student Activities

DONE AND DUSTED: NITRUTSAV 2K16 Review

Feb 23, 2016|3 minutes

Megha Agarwal

Mitesh Mishra


Three days, scores of events, hundreds of zealous participants, enjoyment an octave higher, NITRUTSAV 2016 was the hub of it all. With the entire fest themed to refresh memories from childhood, it surely proved to be the best of its kind in terms of grandeur and uniqueness. However, it came with its own share of glitches and delays. Team MM, after much persistence to conduct a meeting with the organisers, thoroughly discussed the various aspects of the fest.

Budget allocation and sponsorship

The allocated budget for NITRUTSAV’16 was INR 18 lakhs, out of which INR 1 lakh was reserved for Cultural Day. Later on, it was realized to be redundant and unnecessary, hence got scrapped off. So the one lakh was decided to be utilized in the guest lecture. Since no guests could be confirmed, the allocated money remained unutilized and is reserved for other purposes.

The sponsorship money received for NITRUTSAV has been dismal. INR 50k was received from Udyanta Fresh and forwarded to the Director’s account. But it was not utilized anywhere during the fest and hence is reserved for future use. Bibhu Prasad Das, Convenor, NITRUTSAV 2016, stated:

Many companies were contacted for sponsorship but all of them refused. The problem was that those companies were already contacted before to sponsor Innovision. So they were not willing to sponsor NITRUTSAV.

Online/ offline publicity and footfall

In the month of December 2015, many students of NITR visited colleges in Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, Rourkela and Sambalpur, and a few other places within Odisha personally, giving out invitations for NITRUTSAV. NITs of nearby states were contacted through their campus ambassadors. Regarding online publicity, the student convenors were pretty satisfied with it. However, Chandan Kumar Barik, one of the core coordinators of the publicity team expressed his dissatisfaction and felt it was not up to the mark. One of the reasons cited by him was that the other team members and co-ordinators were uncooperative and not in support of online publicity. With just few people publicising, the event didn’t fetch the required results. On this Mohammad Sajidur Rahman, Dean Nominee, said,

Not everybody likes spamming. We cannot force everyone to spam or publicise the event.

The turnout for the fest was 130+. With the refreshing theme of ‘Nostalgic 90’s’ to varied and exciting events planned out, this year’ NITRUTSAV could not boast of much higher participation. There were various reasons cited by the student convenors and the authorities for the less outside participation, few of them being the remote location of NIT Rourkela, no cash prizes for winners and IIT KGP’s spring fest being held just one week before NU.

On questioning probable reasons for low turnout Sajidur Rahmancommented,

We had our cultural fest just one week after IIT KGP’s spring fest. So, how can you expect more number of people to turn up? Many of my friends’ families say that in tech fest he can be allowed but for cultural fest, why do you need to go when you have already attended one in IIT KGP just one week ago? Also, authorities say that we organize fests mainly for our students. The outside participation is secondary. More number of people will turn up if cash prize is kept for an event. People from outside, even from IIT KGP, were interested in events like Footloose but they backed out just because there was no cash prize.

Decoration

The highlight of this year’s NITRUTSAV was its theme of “Nostalgic 90’s”. Unlike every year, this time to raise the standards of decoration to a professional level, a tender was given to the professional decorators to brighten up the stage and the pathway connecting Ceramic gate to SAC. For this, the numbers and specifications were given to the decoration head by student coordinator Nikhil Patwari. But due to misplacement of the chart by the decoration head, he came up with the cut-outs of smaller size. Overall it was good, but more was expected by the student coordinators. To this Sasmita Mishra, Vice President, Literary and Cultural Society, SAC responded by saying,

This issue should have been reported by the students. I was completely unaware of this. Since we are paying for the work assigned to them, it is required to keep a check whether it is done properly or not.

The NU App

An android app was built solely for the NITRUTSAV 2016. While the organisers asked the app developer to develop the same on 15th of January, the app was finally built on the 3rd of February and launched on the following day. However, due to lack of publicity, most of the participants weren’t aware about it. Bibhu Prasad Das stated,

The app was officially launched just before the fest. The app was not for the NITians but to make the outside participants aware about the details of the various events. Hence publicity wasn’t a big concern.

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Events: Cancellations and delays

This year the organising committee was devoid of any coordinators and consisted of just four tiers, two Student Convenors of Literary & Cultural Society, the Secretaries, the Central Co-ordinators and the event coordinators. While three events, namely, ‘BUREAUSPECTRE’, ‘PhotoBooth’ and ‘Up We Go’ were cancelled, event timings and venues of a number of events were changed without providing prior information to the coordinators. The organising committee clarified that the rooms for the events were booked in LA well in advance. However, two days prior to the fest, Chief Security Officer, Balaram Champatiray denied to handover the keys stating that the GATE Exams would be conducted during the weekend. On being questioned, the CSO said that he was unaware about the dates of GATE 2016. He clarified that,

I received a letter from Prof. A. Turuk and Prof. S.K. Sarangi just 2-3 days prior to the fest regarding booking of LA for GATE 2016. Hence, I had to ask the organising committee to shift their venues for conducting their various events.

This forced them to book rooms in other departments and shift a lot of venues.

The poster for Inquizitive’s event Gen Quiz mentioned Manish Kumar, a non-Inquizitive member as one of the coordinators. Although he was the coordinator of the event, he could not provide details of it as he was not present during the event and hence had no idea regarding its proceedings. On demanding clarification for such carelessness of the coordinators, the convenors said that the event coordinators were decided by the club itself. However, this particular event was short of one coordinator hence, Manish Kumar was assigned and given proper information about the event. Also one of the flagship events, Voice of NU, got delayed by more than three hours. The coordinators for the event, namely Keshav Chauhan and Anshuman Mohanty, didn’t turn up for the event by noon. It was then that Vibhuti Ghursal, Secretary, Literary and Cultural Society, asked two volunteers to coordinate the event. Apparently the venue, BBA, was locked and no prior arrangements were made.

MM suggested to scrap the certificates of the coordinators who did not work for their respective events. To this, Akshay Aggrawal reacted,

The coordinators worked for the whole week. Just because they didn’t turn up one day doesn’t mean their certificates will be scrapped. They would be given certificates.

However, the team then accepted that they were unware about the situation and actions would be taken after a formal discussion.

Urban Crusade, India’s first app based treasure hunt was undoubtedly a huge success and created new benchmarks. However, the final round was not played since many of the coordinators were handling the responsibility of Central Coordinators in both NITRUTSAV as well as Urban Crusade. They were too exhausted to start the second round of event on time the next day, hence it got postponed.

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The Food Stalls

This year in NITRUTSAV, only a single food stall was set up by JAM. On being questioned about the disinterest, Swadhin Kumar Nayak, Central Co-ordinator, NITRUTSAV stated: “Central Park denied any form of sponsorships however agreed to set up food stalls for two days and give flat 70% discount on all the food items." However, the authorities declined the offer and were more keen on having the food stall from Mayfair. Clearing the air, Prof K.C. Pati, shared:

I personally contacted Mayfair and asked if they are interested in putting up stalls or not. They said it was not possible because the Prime Minister was supposed to visit Paradip for some inauguration purpose so they were busy in that. Also regarding Central Park, students approached me and said that it is ready to give flat 70% off. I said if it deposits INR 10k, then it shall be allowed. According to norms, if someone is interested in putting up food stalls, then he has to give INR 10k and we will provide space and tents for the same. Afterwards, I even asked Sasmita ma’am whether CP is coming or not. I don’t think CP showed interest afterwards. Yes, students approached me regarding this but no follow up was done.

Suggestions and future plans

The student convenors reiterated the statement that ISM and NITRUTSAV should be clubbed together. A lot of money is wasted unnecessarily in the same requirements which ultimately lead to degradation of the quality of fest. Also, the procedure of getting permissions and other official processes should be made a little less tedious and student-friendly.

According to Sasmita Mishra,

Events should be conducted more seriously. More students of NITR should come out of their rooms and participate in such events. Also the coordinators should conduct their respective events seriously and in a proper manner.

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