I take the privilege of belonging to the pioneer batch of NIT, Rourkela, in writing to you this letter. It was known those days as Regional Engineering College or REC, Rourkela. It was inaugurated on 15th August of 1961, at premises of the Panposh, ITI, by late Biju Pattnayak, where we lived during India's China war of 1962.
REC, moved to its present campus on January 1963. We moved into the 1st 4 seated hostel. We graduated in 1965, which was followed by the Pakistan War and the recession of 1965/1966, which lasted till 1973. They were the worst years for the Engineers probably in last 60 years. Some of my classmates remained Junior Engineers in Govt of Orissa for nearly 8 years and they were top of line scholars.
But we had our high hopes and potential. And given the proper environment our juniors did much better though some of my own classmates also did extremely well.
One of them Sri Nalini R. Mohanty, went on to become Chairman of the prestigious PSU, HAL, Bangalore and has since been decorated with a Padma shree. And after that many other Alumni have reached similar and/or greater heights. In absence of good net working even I don't know about all of them.
In 2004 another Alumni Surya Narayan Mahapatra of 1971 batch was elected by Quest Diagnostics, a Fortune 500 company as it's CEO and it's Chairman.
This year another Alumni Drona Rath of 1972 became the 1st Chairman of the NITR itself. He had earlier became Chief of MECON, a top PSU.
This year as a proud member of the Orissa Society of America executive, I had the privilege of recommending 3 names for the Prabasi Pratibha Samman, a NRO(Non Resident Oriya) award. And all three were NITRaans.
And hundreds of other's have reached the top rung of any industry or Govt. they decided to work for, some of whom I know some others I don't. But this was all their individual disconnected effort. It resulted in much less achievement compared to our potential and talent. Because this did not involve networking that is possible today, with Rengcol Yahoogroup or overseasnitran Yahoogroups or similar.
But now we are coming in to an era which networking is possible easily. Two significant results of networking through Rengcol Yahoogroup happened this year.
1st when IBM reneged in taking the 2007 batch campus hires. Within days NITRans in IBM acted to help the affected students and they were absorbed.
2nd was when the Aricent repeated similar action. This time the old boys net work worked and only partially. Only half of the affected could be helped.
Why? Because only 5700 of 14 thousand students are listed in the Data Base and only half (of them) are connected through e-mails. So most of the Alumni even today are not in the network, and though they could have helped, they have not or could not - the news did not reach them.
This Data Base creation, sole credit goes to Dr. Saroj K. Patel, the present General Secretary of NITRAA.
He has confided in me and sought my counsel because the whole database registration has gotten practically stalled in the last 2 months and he has no ideas as to how to expand it further. Neither do I.
It now needs fresh volunteers, fresh ideas and fresh initiatives from the many chapters that have come up. I am appealing to you all: to please call, write e-mail to, any one you know who has not registered. Everyone of you must be in touch with 10 of your classmates who are not members and probably 20 of juniors/seniors also who are not members.
My appeal to you is to persuade them to be members and come in to expand this network, through which we can soon communicate to all of the Alumni. Today, I can visit any city in USA and find members NITRans who live nearby and meet them. I have done so thrice already during my visit to San Francisco Bay Area, South California and Detroit, MI.
I have also helped to connect Alumni visiting cities of USA or other countries thus. The potential is enormous, if everyone gives a hand.
Please request all your attendees, in the year end Alumni parties to register at site(with use of WiFi and a lap top) and each one to try to persuade 3 to 5 of their NITR friends, who have not registered to register.
May I, request you all to join in, and give a hand?
Sandip K. Dasverma