The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 1 , 2014

Tech hub plans date with Pranab

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam last September, President Pranab Mukherjee this September.

National Institute of Technology (NIT), Patna, has invited Mukherjee to grace the tech cradle’s convocation this year as chief guest. The institute administration has fixed September 23 as the convocation date.

An invitation has been sent to the nation’s first citizen. Yet to receive confirmation from the President’s office, the administration is hopeful that Mukherjee would spare time from his busy schedule for the event.

Institute director Asok De said: “NIT-Patna has invited President Pranab Mukherjee to grace the convocation as its chief guest. It would be held in September. We are hopeful that he would attend the function.”

Former President and India’s missile man APJ Abdul Kalam was the chief guest at NIT-Patna’s convocation on September 29. As many as 544 techies had received their degrees from Kalam.

Around 550 techies, including BTech, MTech and PhD students, would be handed their degrees this time.

If the President’s office agrees to the visit, it would be the second institution in Patna and third in Bihar where Mukherjee would attend the convocation ceremony.

In October 2012, he had attended the convocation of LN Mithila University, Darbhanga. A year later, on October 26, he had graced the convocation of Indian Institute of Technology, Patna.

NIT-Patna students are excited at the prospect of the presidential visit.

Gyan Shankar, a mechanical engineering student, said: “Getting degrees from the President’s hands is always memorable. We will be on a par with IIT-Patna students who got their degrees from Mukherjee last year.”

The convocation would be held at SK Memorial Hall like last year and the institute plans to make it a grand affair. Pending confirmation from the President’s office, the administration looks to include a visit to the college in the itinerary.

Planning ahead, renovation is under way on the institute campus. The various hostels are undergoing electrical revamp with new wiring. The ground is also getting a facelift with sitting arrangements on all four sides of the hostels. A jogging track around it has also been created.

Apart from renovation work, the hostels are being named afresh.

The New Engineering Hostel at the institute entrance would be known as Sone block I while the adjacent hostel would be called Sone block II. The boys’ and girls’ hostels would be named Bagmati and Ganga, respectively.