Foundation Day

65th Foundation Day

Standing tall in the cradle of the Mother Nature, I’m the witness to billions of seconds in this nation. Be it social, technical or economic. Existing from the times the first artificial satellite, ‘Sputnik’, was built by Russia in 1956 to being the nurturer of the country’s first indigenously built multi-purpose rocket developed and launched by a student club, the tale is a reminiscence of a souvenir in the crest of the nation. This is the tale of the neoteric VSSUT, the first-ever engineering institute of the state as well as one of the oldest of the nation. Or in the classic ways that unite us all, this is University College of Engineering, Burla. Even today, the central library stands as a remembrance to this glorious name.

Timeline of the University

Nature changes the course of nations. Quite the embodiment, the regular floods owing to the River Mahanadi dating back to early 1900s posed quite a concern for the state. Initiated during Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to the district of Sambalpur in 1928, he requested Sir Visvesvaraya to devise a control mechanism against the concern. This was addressed under the first government of the nation giving birth to the World’s longest ever earthen dam – The Mighty Hirakud, ranging over 5 km. What followed next was a natural inquiry as to who would be responsible for maintenance of this creation. This necessity paved the inception of the first-ever Engineering College of Odisha on 12th of August, 1956 in the name of University College of Engineering (UCE) owing to contributions by the visionary Chief Engineer of the dam, Er. Tirumala Iyenagar. After more than 5 decades, post its Golden Jubilee on 1st of July, 2009, the college got upgraded to a state university. And ever since then we have been celebrating the Foundation Day on 1st of July every year. The institution was rechristened as Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) as a mark of respect to the legend who once sacrificed his life by fighting valiantly against the British East India Company

Starting with a handful of 70 students in 1956, today it’s a proud nurturer of over 5200 students, being moulded as the nation builders of tomorrow. Initially functioning from the warehouse of the Hirakud Dam project, today it is spread over a sprawling campus of 350 acres. Starting with just 3 branches, subsequently, with the adjustment of the technological landscape in the nation, new branches were facilitated. The university has one of its kind facilities in terms of research and infrastructure featuring Scanning Electron Microscope, Super Computing Facilities, Central Internet Research Facilities, Central Library, a 1500 seated Auditorium named after Sir Visvesvaraya, Open Air Theatre, Gymanisum and with the latest addition in line, the E-Learning centre. Placed at the epicentre of the massive industrialization, it is surrounded by industries like Vedanta Aluminium, Hindalco, Burla Hydro Power Station, MCL, ACC, UltraTech, Nalco & NTPC providing students to integrate the summer training that provides valuable practical insights and experience with the engineering curriculum, preparing them to take onus of the nation in the coming future.

The past year has seen tremendous growth in terms of the scale of the cultural fests and flagship events harbouring performers across the nation, further recognition in the national stage of satellite team to grow the project, VSLV, and startups growing in the entrepreneurial landscape. More students have exhibited their calibre at various national-level events and the promise is not dimming anytime soon.

With technical excellence on one hand, creativity is intimately fostered on the other at the University to enable the students to grow as individuals as well. With faculties in charge as guides, the students conduct grand technical, cultural and sports festivals every year making the University the star of the attraction. With 30,000 alumni spread across the world, VSSUT is a University which has withstood history with vigour and promises to deliver the nation with worthy engineers who are not just capable of shaping the world around them with their technical excellence but also display an astute sense of culture, aesthetics, innovation and creativity. This day serves as a symbol of unity of the University’s reign of over 6 decades, of the valiant Veer Surendra Sai, of the large alumni base spread across the globe, of the current students, of the mission to flourish as the harbinger of the technical and cultural innovations in the nation.

Picture Credit: Priyanka Sinha

About the author

Atul Saswat

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