“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
– Manikant Behera, Final year, Computer Science is the perfect example of this popular adage. He has proved his stance in every field possible, an amicable head of the robotics club of VSSUT, Burla under the guidance of whom the club owned laurels like never before and now as the TnP head. He is a man who believes, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” It’s his insatiable curiosity of knowledge that has brought him to the position he is currently in. The varsity is indeed proud to be endowed with such talents.
Team Vission recently shared a candid interview with Mr. Manikant Behera.
PRATIK MOHANTY: Leadership is something synonymous with you. They say, some leaders are born while others are made. So, which category you think, you fall into?
Manikant Behera: Firstly, I would like to thank ‘Team Vission’ for considering me as a ‘leader’. But the truth is, I’m nothing but a small town boy with an extremely inquisitive mind. I often end up doing experiments to the extreme level in order to satisfy curiosity.
PRATIK MOHANTY: To some extent, Robotics is a passion that you have mastered. So, are you going to pursue robotics as a career in future?
Manikant Behera: Since childhood, I used to dismantle things, re-join them, make things and fix the various technical problems encountered in day-to-day life. I loved to do ‘jugaad’ for anything and everything perhaps. As I stepped in this varsity of ours, I found a name for my passion i.e. ROBOTICS. Many people have a misconception that, robotics is all about FOUR WHEELS AND A DPDT REMOTE. Well, they are wrong at that point. Robotics is rather about applied physics, mechanics, electronics and many more fields of research. According to me, four years of b-tech wasn’t enough to satisfy my quest of knowledge of robotics. So, I definitely prefer to have it as a profession to work full time and develop things that would be helpful to a common man.
PRATIK MOHANTY: You have excelled in extracurricular activities at the cost of your academics. What is your take on Rote Studying and gaining knowledge practically?
Manikant Behera: Yes, it’s true that I have excelled in extracurricular activities at the cost of my academics. My parents don’t give much stress on my academics, however on being asked about semester performances, I happen to ignore the question and rather give a diplomatic answer. At times, I regret of lying them and that’s the moment where I realize I have to repay them by doing something really good, and hence my lies happen to motivate me. Now coming to your next question, ‘rote studies & practical knowledge gain’. See, rote studies are limited to the basic formulae, equations, theorems, principles and laws that are given in books. You learn it when you actually do it. Experimentation along with the application of rote knowledge makes it more interesting and we no more have to memorize things.
PRATIK MOHANTY: These days, we often see that VSSUT, Burla students aren’t actually applying their bookish knowledge in the practical field. What do you think is the lagging factor?
Manikant Behera: Burla has always been considered as the abode of technocrats(engineers) and life savers( Doctors). UCE students were famous for their ignited minds. As now we are known as VSSUTians, we are in a new found domain. There’s a hell & heaven difference between Uceians & Vssutians because the former didn’t run after teachers for grades rather they focused on learning & implementing things practically. Nowadays sadly, students mug up the subjects in order to secure a really good CGPA and don’t try to implement it practically.
PRATIK MOHANTY: You have been a bridge between alumni & students. Alumni have everything to give & students have nothing to lose. Then why a misinformed miscommunication always?
Manikant Behera: You raised an important point which needs to clear. See, alumni are like our elder siblings who have been through the same challenges and struggle as we facing are or about to. Whenever we approach the alumni, they always extend their hearty support to their Alma mater. And as of now, we are not able to create a good relationship with our alumni because we haven’t yet come up with a platform where we can get together and discuss matters openly with each other. As far I am to be considered, all I did is updated them about the happenings in the college and invited them to be a part of the crowd where they used to be and received a really nice response every time.
PRATIK MOHANTY: Heading robotics, and now the head of training & placement cell. How varied & difficult has been the experience?
Manikant Behera: Being the head of robotics was one of the great achievements I have had in this college. Just as the coin has two faces, one face is where you have to understand the Government organization a better way by waiting for hours outside the dean’s office for a ‘signature’ , struggling for funds and being engrossed in many more time consuming activities. Flipping the other side, you have the phase where you enjoy a lot, learn a lot, and at the same time garner great experiences. And now, heading the training & placement department would be a totally different experience with new challenges & hurdles.
PRATIK MOHANTY: Indubitably, you have been a real legend here. What are you dreams as an entrepreneur that you aspire to be?
Manikant Behera: “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg
My dreams are nothing but to experience the dynamic challenges and problems which an entrepreneur faces each & every moment, and hence to provide technical solutions to the common problems.
PRATIK MOHANTY: Lastly, anything you wish to say about ViSSion & a message that you would like to share with your beloved juniors?
Manikant Behera: Vission is a great idea incorporated by the literary society. This is the platform where we are notified about the buzz going around in the college. I am aware of the hardships you all have gone through & I wish that everything goes well.
For my beloved juniors, I would like to say that never be demotivated, no matter what the situation is you are forced into. Make good friends, be sociable because the moments you share with them are going to be your lifetime memories. And at last, I would say, do hard-core party, plan instant trips, late night hangouts, always try to think innovative & break rules.