Hello CETians! We, on the behalf of CET Rising, wish you a very happy Republic Day! As you know, today is the launch of our new website, and what better way to start the journey than an interview with a man, who is nothing short of an inspiration and an individual who has led CET to greater heights. He is a leader who leads by example and is the glue that binds us all together. You got it right! It’s our very own Principal Sir, Prof (Dr.) P.K. Patra. Here is an exclusive interview with the man himself by Anshuman Ray, Nimisha Acharya and Shirin Sonali..!
Anshuman: Sir, You have been at the helm of affairs for quite some time now. How do you think has CET evolved in your tenure so far? And how has been your journey so far on a personal note?
Principal Sir: Being an administrator and the head of an institute, I have to work together with the students, faculty and the non-teaching staff as well. The faculty, along with me, has to support and cooperate with the students, because if we can hear and understand their grievances, only then can we solve their problems. We have to understand what the students want, and look at their situation judiciously. Till now, the students have also been very cooperative. So, all in all, we have worked together to ensure that CET gets better in all aspects. I believe CET has undergone many positive changes in the recent past, and it would continue to do so. On a personal note, embarking on this journey has enhanced my life in many ways, and it has been great so far.
Nimisha: Sir, CET is soon going to be a university. What will be the benefits for the students after that?
Principal Sir: This is a very critical question to answer in the present scenario. But, everyone feels that being a 35-year old institute, CET should soon be converted into a university. From an academic point of view, being a university would be very advantageous, as the syllabus would be at par with institutes like IITs and NITs, and it would be updated regularly. We can set our own syllabus depending upon the exhaustive needs and requirements. We can give more flexibility with regards to elective subjects. The result declaration would be done promptly. Students would not have any problems regarding certificates, marksheets, correction of names etc. All the problems can be solved centrally in the college. Now, as far as faculty members are concerned, we would be encouraged to teach new topics by referring to the journals. Currently, we are not able to teach whatever we want due to certain restrictions in syllabus. Most importantly, being a university would grant us academic autonomy.
Shirin: But even after the most sincere and persistent efforts by you, the faculty and students, we have been unable to get the job done. What according to you is holding us back?
Principal Sir: We are trying our best and putting a cumulative effort, and I believe only time can tell whether our efforts would bear fruit or not. We are getting support in every possible way, from all corners; it is just a matter of clicking at the right time. Maybe 2017 will be our year!! We have already got accreditation from NBA for four departments (ME, EE, CE, IE) and in February last week, NBA would be visiting the campus for the rest of the departments. Also, the NAAC team has visited us in December and we are awaiting the grades soon (At the time of the interview, the NAAC grade was not announced, and we are overwhelmed as CET got an ‘A’ grade!!). Once all the courses are NBA accredited and the college receives a good grade from NAAC, there is no stopping us from becoming a university. The cooperation of the students and the faculty will definitely result in something good this year. Not to forget, the alumni support is very important, and we have been receiving tremendous support from them as well. This perfect amalgamation of support and cooperation from all quarters will help the college in getting its due as soon as possible.
Anshuman: Sir, the batch of 2013 saw an increase in the number of seats in the four major branches bringing the total student strength from 400 to 800. It was imperative on the part of the college to make infrastructural changes to accommodate all students. Sir, why is it that students even in their final year are still not finding a seat in the hostel?
Principal Sir: Government has already given us the due support, with the construction of two new hostels, Kalam Hall of Residence for the boys, and Kasturba Hall of Residence for the girls, with a total intake capacity of 1100. We are also planning to develop two more hostels. Out of almost 4000 students, the current hostels can accommodate up to 50 percent of the total strength. Along with these changes, the Government has also increased the number of teaching positions, and new laboratory buildings as well as classrooms have been established. It is very essential to make the college fully residential as it would give the students a feeling of togetherness and improve the bonding. But it would take almost 5 years to establish these facilities.
Nimisha: Sir, Many students complain about the inconveniences caused by strict library rules. For example, if a student issues a book, he/she has to return it the next day, not on the same day. Further the Library is viewed as a glorified book store with timing from 10.30 am-3.30 pm. Can these problems be solved?
Principal Sir: Some of the problems are already solved, whereas for the others, the PIC, Library should bring these problems to my notice. Currently, there is an acute shortage of staff in the Library. So, if I am duly notified of any such problem, I would try my best to solve it.
Shirin: Sir, as the principal of the college, what differences do you want to make in CET and for the students. What kind of legacy would you like to set?
Principal Sir: I feel at home whenever I am in CET as I have been here for almost three decades. And I do not want much, I just want my home to be developed, decorated and we reach the pinnacle. I also want the students to be cooperative in all our endeavours and feel a sense of belonging. That is the CET rule! My message for the students would be to do well in their lives and achieve success in every field, without bringing others down and without causing them any harm.
Sir, in the recent #askyourprincipal campaign, people from the College have some queries, hopefully you would oblige them with an answer…
Nimisha: It has been 10 years since Biotechnology branch has been established in CET but then also not even a single core company comes to the college for placements. What can be the reason behind it?
Principal Sir: This is beyond my knowledge, but we would definitely try our best. Biotechnology is one of the fastest emerging branches, and in CET, the department has some wonderful equipment courtesy TEQIP. The M. Tech programme started 2 years back and is growing from strength to strength. Also, very good research publications are there in Biotechnology. Core companies are a necessity and we would try our level best to ensure that in each and every department.
Shirin: Why are scholarships such as CET Merit Scholarship offered only on the basis of CGPA? Why aren’t there scholarships granted to people who undertake projects and are involved in extra-curricular activities?
Principal Sir: That is a very good question! We have never really thought of this idea, but there is a TEQIP programme for students having innovative ideas. So, we may use the funds from TEQIP to provide Scholarships to such students, who have some fantastic ideas and are involved in extra-curricular activities.
Anshuman: CET has maximum placements in Software companies, CSE and IT have a very wide scope round the globe. You yourself have been a Computer Science Student, so what is the reason that even after having so much expertise and facilities in the college, CSE and IT continue to be Self-Sustaining Courses in the College?
Principal Sir: So, these departments were opened in the college when the Government was going through a financial crunch. We are trying our best, and we have written many letters to the Government regarding all the four SSC departments such as CSE, IT, Biotech and F&AT, to turn them into regular courses. Hopefully, once we are autonomous, we can solve this issue. Even though such courses are self- financing, students with good JEE ranks choose these branches, and all their expectations are fulfilled, because these departments have excellent faculty. You can take the example of our alumnus Ronak Samantray, who was in CSE, but he received proper guidance from his teachers. Still, we are trying our best for the regularization of these courses, and we just require Government’s approval.
So now we conclude the interview. We would like to thank Principal Sir for taking out time from his busy schedule. And Happy Republic Day Again!
Not to forget, The photo credits go to CET Photofactory!! And Sir’s Facebook profile 🙂