Innovision 2018: Destiny On Time Or Not?
Festivals are the sine qua non of most institutes. Full stop. The previous sentence is neither hyperbole nor propaganda rather it’s a testament to the fact that college fests regardless of size and scale serve as platforms for portraying the talent as well as capabilities of the students involved. For attendees of said fests, they act as a proxy for the overall quality of the institute reflecting the prevalent culture of the institution in question. Closer to home at NIT Rourkela, rechristened in recent years as a techno-management fest, Innovision is the flagship event of NIT Rourkela. It plays an important role too. It is one such event where the student community gets to showcase their skills and competes with the best in the business. It is not just about competitions but also events where the exchange of ideas takes place- a chance to learn, spread and inspire. Moreover the fact as opportunities for attendees to present their creations and showcase their budding artistry to the world. But as Rambo once said in a motivational dialogue scene ‘Life isn’t all Sunshine and Rainbows’ so isn’t Innovision. So we, Team MM, conduct a weekly poll to gauge the reactions of attendees of Innovision 2018 in a sincere attempt to find out if Destiny Arrived on time or was it too little; too late?
26% of the respondents believe that Innovision 2018 was the best that it could be, in terms of both experience and organisation. This was the least polled option yet has some truth to it. Among this crowd were principally sophomores who had seen last years Innovision. The pro-shows, especially in the opinion of many people, were the highlight of Innovision 2018. Rupesh Mahore and Sumit Anand lit up the evening stage with their brilliant and hilarious stand-ups targeting a very wide variety of issues that students come across including very recent ones. There was a lot of praise from all corners with congratulatory and celebratory messages pouring in with the word of mouth being that this year's comedy scene was a tremendous improvement from last year’s which was a dud. Furthermore accommodation and registration this year was a clear improvement from last year with only very few people experiencing problems related to the above along with the fact that most of the awards were given on time with no particularly singular delays. CS Sambit, mentor Innovision 2018 noted
I feel destiny has finally arrived. I have been a part of Innovision since last four years and I'm really proud of it. The success of Innovision goes to the entire team, including the volunteers who have contributed to the fest even in small amounts. For us, Innovision is not just a fest, it is a feeling.
DJ Kalpanik and DJ FunkD were met with an energetic and enthused crowd at DTS which was pretty evident since the show area was jam-packed with little room left to spare. RM Hall exhibitions were also a hit and quite popular with the crowd with Srijan, Radiance and Iridescence coming together to create magical artistry with various installations spread across a wide variety of themes, ideas and objects. Moreover, the guest lectures had a pretty good reception as well this year apart from some gaffes. Various other club events were also pretty good, with some showing dramatic improvement and some remaining stagnant across the board. Events like RoboSumo and Death Race were the highlights of this year’s Innovision as they have been throughout previous years. New events like the RunIO made a debut this year to much-deserved applause and greater than expected participation. Priyanshu Panda, a sophomore commented
The environment was filled with great energy and enthusiasm. The work that students, especially the organising committee were doing is simply commendable. They could handle everything with great efficiency.
Moving on to the largest portion of the poll, Nearly 45% of students think that it was better than previous versions of Innovision, though it still had rooms for improvement.
There was a myriad of events taking place on the campus, all of which were worth witnessing in some way or the other across a wide variety of genres. But due to time constraints and in some cases lapses on the part of the organizing team participants missed out on a lot of them. In several of these events, the participants could not enjoy the fest to their fullest due to numerous issues such as cancellation on the part of clubs, permission issues, so on and so forth. There was uncertainty regarding guest lectures which were not confirmed until the eleventh hour due to various issues cropping up and cancellations which although unfortunate is common in this line of business.
Despite all that, this year's Innovision saw an increased participation from last year even though the constraints were more this year. Students across the country flocked in to attend one of the largest techno-management fests of eastern India. There were no severe complaints except for the fact that things could have been planned and executed much earlier keeping in mind the roadblocks that always hinder the speed of the procedures. If done next time; Team Innovision can put up a better show since they are mighty capable of doing it.
The turnout and overall coordination of events were praiseworthy but they weren’t without their flaws though. Lack of punctuality stood out like a sore thumb amongst the participants since delays caused temporally separated events to clash unexpectedly. Transportation remained a challenge for many attendees as many were unable to reach places like LA due to lack of volunteers or any orientation upon their arrival. Still, Team MM learned that maps indicating the various landmarks were printed on the registration booklet and name labels were pasted throughout the campus, questioning the willingness of the participants to turn up in the first place. A similar situation happened in case of scheduling events and workshops which saw participation dwindle at ground zero despite a considerably high number of registrations. Inquizzitive, for instance, saw over 130 registrations but a turnout of about 30-40, while the numbers were high in a few other cases like Maze Hunt by Genesys.
There were also some noticeable issues at DTS with many participants complaining about the dust and breathing issues as the grounds weren't adequately watered, despite the situation being a marked improvement over last year.
Commenting on the above matter Mayank Mohanty, mentor, Innovision said
The VPs and the SAC representatives were ignorant about the urgency of situations and were far from being as proactive as they should have. Students were taking too much load and it is pretty evident things could have been way easier had the faculties been more cooperative. So kudos to the team who worked as hard as they could in terms of getting approvals and making sure the events were carried out smoothly. At the same time students could have taken the roadblocks into account and planned-and-executed ahead of time accordingly to avoid lapses. I hope these will be rectified in the future.
Dushyant Kumar Behera, another attendee commented
It was a great experience, especially the DJ night and the pro shows. I liked the events and workshops too, but couldn't participate in all because of overlapping events. The exhibitions were also very innovative.
The second largest group of respondents coming at 29% believed that Innovision 2018 was worse than last year, below expectations. Starting with the theme of Innovision 2018: Sci-Fi Odyssey, there were many problems from the beginning with the theme which at best didn’t translate well onto decorations and posters. Unless you take Sci-Fi Odyssey as a euphemism for Marvel superheroes there is no way that Sci-Fi Odyssey had any significant mention. Most of the posters and decorations mentioned superheroes instead of elements from the stated theme with associated posters taking too much inspiration from Pinterest. If you were expecting positronic robot references from Issac Asimov's work you’ll be sorely disappointed. What’d you got instead was the short end of the proverbial stick: social media posts asking you to predict the future, some failed attempts to mimic Deadpool and, perfunctorily illustrated superheroes being passed off as Sci-Fi Odyssey. Given the total disconnect with the stated theme and end result, it would take a Faustian bargain to rectify the chasm that existed.
Coming to the decorations they were a disappointment too, according to many folks who were in the institute in the last year with Christmas lights, or Diwali lights as we call them back at home, being the most noticeable element of decoration with hardly any references to Sci-Fi culture or Space Opera. Gaffes were aplenty with people giving guest lectures at pro-show venues, the closing ceremony being winded down in an unexplained hurry and, untoward security incidents happening which to be fair was far, far better than the previous year. Satish Behera, a curious onlooker, spoke to us and mentioned
I feel the accommodation facilities provided to students could have been better, as it was last year. My friend, who came to NIT Rourkela to participate in our fest was very excited, but at the same time, he faced troubles regarding accommodation.
When Satyam Agarwala, student representative of Technical Society, was asked about the problems prevalent in this year's Innovision he said
There were some events which got delayed, such as the exhibition of Tiburon. Also, the process of clearing and approval of Purchase Orders in the Administration is a tedious task. This resulted in a delay in procuring of equipment.
In most of the contexts across multiple conversations, we had with people from within the institute and outside, the view taken by students when they took into account the organizational capabilities of both the Innovision Team and Institute administration into account. Since quite a few people who worked for Innovision last year didn’t make a comeback this year there were some instances in the early days where the rate of progress was slowed down to a crawl. Despite all this according to most people, Innovision was the best it could be if the external constraints and administrative support were taken into account; there remaining significant room for improvement. Team MM wishes Team Innovision all the best for their future endeavours as they strive to make Innovision bigger and better with each edition.