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Golden Jubilee Reunion 2021

December 8, 2021

A cultural night was conducted by the Institute Alumni Relations Cell (IARC) and the Cultural Council, as a part of the Golden Jubilee reunion of the batch of 1971 organized by the office of the Dean of Resources and Alumni Affairs (DORA). Conducted on the first day (23rd Nov), the event was open to all residents of the campus. Receiving an overwhelming response, the MAC Auditorium was filled to its maximum capacity for the first time in two years.

The event included a number of cultural pieces with performances by the Music Section, Kshitij, and the Choreography Section. The student performances were followed by a Sufi performance by the Shaan music group, and poet Mr Saddaq Jhanjhat.

Watch Out! was fortunate to interview Mr Shaan over dinner. Born in Roorkee and with three generations connected to the Institute, Mr Shaan used to be a music teacher here. He performs at every alumni reunion in addition to other cultural events. He told us that he has always loved the junta’s ‘unique taste in music’. He went on to praise the students for their devotion and interest in music.

Talking to some alumni after the event, they described their nostalgia about returning to the campus after 50 years. They recalled the days when as students they visited their favourite spots on campus. Memories at the Engineering Students (ES) Club, the bakery near KIH, and the swimming pool were the highlights.

On the last day of the reunion (25th Nov), Watch Out! interviewed Mr P. S. Mohan and Mr V. K. Puri, graduates of the Electrical Engineering batch of 1971. “A lot of new developments have taken place since we graduated. At our time, we just had six departments. Now, several new departments and labs have been set up too”, Mr Puri said, describing how the campus has changed since they graduated. “We take pride in associating ourselves with the University of Roorkee as apart from academics, the Institute invested in our all-around development, which eventually helped us to reach the pinnacle of our professions.” Mr Mohan added.

They told us that there was a strong emphasis on discipline with strict rules in place. Mr Mohan said, “These days we see the students roaming near the Thomason Building. Back in our days no one dared go near it. We had to dress up in formal clothing to eat in the mess and the terror of professors would send chills down our spine. In that respect, students today have much more freedom. Excellence was not an option, but a necessity.” Mr Puri added, “The best skill that the Institute taught us was ‘problem-solving’. Having the right mindset helped us go ahead in our lives.”

On the changes in the Institute they said, “There used to be just one computer in the Software Engineering Research Center (now the ICC) where we used to line up to run Fortran programmes. There were very few vehicles in the campus. Sports were an important part of the curriculum. We were supposed to earn a given number of credits in sports-related activities in order to be promoted. Interestingly, one had to swim across the complete length of the pool just in order to be promoted to the fourth year, failing which one had to stay back in their class.” They advised the students to always take pride in their Institute. Finally, they thanked the DORA office for the reunion and were happy with the arrangements and the hospitality.