Who We Are
National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela Overseas Alumni Association, abbreviated as NITROAA, is a non-profit organization for alumni of the NIT Rourkela, Odisha, India, who are currently living in the North America (USA & Canada). The organization works to advance the educational and social well-being of the alumni, current students, faculty and the alma mater by providing direct assistance, scholarships or knowledge exchange opportunities as appropriate.
Our alumni have been present in this country since the first batch of engineers graduated from the erstwhile REC Rourkela (since renamed as National Institute of Technology, Rourkela). Girish Misra, Sudhanshu Mohanty and Braja Sundar Mohapatra, all Mechanical Engineering graduates of our pioneer 1965 graduation batch, arrived in the US for graduate studies immediately after completing their Bachelor degrees in Rourkela. Since then, there has been a steady flow of alumni to US and Canada. While actual data is not available, it is estimated that at least 1500 NIT alumni currently live in this part of the world.
The North American alumni have made efforts in helping the alma mater, its students and other alumni members. Dr. Debendra Das (1972, Mech), Dr. Laxmi Bhuyan (1972,Elect ) and Mr. Pratap Dash (1993, Elect) initiated a fund raising drive to donate books to the college library and set up a scholarship fund for NIT, Rourkela students. As a result of their efforts, $2,500 was collected. This money was deposited with NITRAA to establish the Prof. Bhubaneswar Behera Memorial Scholarship for a meritorious student. Niranjan Mishra (1965, Civil) initiated another fund raising effort and collected $1,765. This money was collected to help NITRAA in installing a bronze bust of Prof. Bhubaneswar Behera, the founding Principal.
Amaresh Tripathy (1999, Civil) and Shantanu Das (2000, Civil) prepared an information booklet in order to help NIT students interested in applying to the US Universities for graduate studies.
Sandip DasVerma (1965, Mech) has organized remote lectures on various topics by eminent alumni and others for the NIT students. These lectures have been well received by these students. In addition, Sandip DasVerma has been working to facilitate student interns’ arrival in the US. Efforts are being made to initiate collaborative research projects at NIT Rourkela with the help of NIT alumni who are faculty members at North American universities.
The alumni have actively participated in various humanitarian efforts. Examples of such efforts include providing financial assistance for the kidney transplantation of one of NITRAA alumni, and the transportation of the mortal remains of an alumnus to India who had accidentally drowned in Arizona.
In order to facilitate networking among the alumni, Dr. Ashutosh Dutta (1985, Elect) had started the rengcol listserve in Columbia University. A Yahoo group in the name overseasnitrans was started in 2005. This group has about 275 members. Currently several social networking groups are active.
Since no formal infrastructure was available to conduct alumni get together, an informal group was started on the sidelines of Odisha Society of Americas (OSA). Many OSA members are also graduates of NIT Rourkela. Since 2002, several such meetings have been organized at various locations such as Princeton and Trenton, NJ, Detroit, MI , Toronto, CA and Chicago, IL . These alumni get together were also attended by many NIT graduates who are not ethnically from Odisha.
An alumni organization in the name of Overseas REC Rourkela Alumni Association was started in the 1990s with Dr. Debendra Das as its first President. Dr. Das relinquished the presidency in 2001. The next two presidents were successively Niranjan Mishra and Birendra Jena (2006). In order to formalize the Association, a constitution was drafted and was in the process of being ratified when a group of alumni came up with a the idea of forming a Global Alumni Network with the objectives of providing a social and professional networking platform to the alumni and helping the alma mater and its students. There was lot of enthusiasm among alumni for this new organization which led to the merger of the overseas alumni association and the Global Alumni Network. NITRAA is a successor of these past efforts.