On 15th July 2002 on a bright Monday morning in Bhubaneswar my life took a significant turn. On this day I choose, it would be more appropriate to say I was forced to choose chemical engineering. The decision was taken by a reluctant engineering aspirant who had simply no other choice. Constraints for a more sought-after branch in engineering were few less marks in the entrance exams and a pleading from my mother not to venture out of Odisha. So finally, I choose to study chemical engineering in NIT Rourkela. The then HOD of Chemical Engineering, who was there for the counselling process, had even admonished me since I took very long to decide. For a 18-year-old who hated chemistry to the core, this was the end of world. I remained frustrated for 3-4 days before for I accepted the truth.
17 years later, on the very same date/day and place, the same boy started classes for an Executive M Tech Course in Process Engineering IOC-ICT Campus at Bhubaneswar. Apart from the numbers in the years column, there are many dissimilarities in the two events and associated emotions.
In between the 17 years, the boy had a sigh of relieve that Chemical Engineering is not about Chemistry. He has since fallen in love with Chemical Engineering. He got a job in one of the most reputed companies to work for as a chemical engineer. He has more strands of grey hairs than the black ones and has accumulated fats at the wrong place. More importantly he has learned that there is no end to learning and the quest for knowledge should never die.
The institute’s Bhubaneswar campus is a young one. Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and IOC has joined hands to start the Bhubaneswar campus. From 2019 they have started the executive M Tech course. The campus is being run from the IIT Kharagpur extension center in Gajapati Nagar. So we belong to the first batch of the executive M Tech Course.
The first class, whole full day class, was taken by Prof. BN Thorat, Director of the Institute. It was more of a personal interaction rather than a technical lecture. We discussed about our life journey till date. He seems a widely read and traveled man having a vast experience in life. It was an engaging session with two-way communications. None of us felt sleepy in the post lunch session is a testimony to the quality of the conversation.
I am sure we will have exciting times ahead and our stint in the campus will be enriching for us professionally, personally and intellectually.