Confluence 2017, the annual CSE alumni meet, was organized by the Computer Science and Engineering Society (CSES), Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad on 10 June 2017 at the Octave Hotel, Sarjapura Road, Bengaluru. On behalf of the department, Dr. Chiranjeev Kumar, Dr. Amgoth Tarachand and about 50 undergraduate students were present. 51 alumni, starting from B. Tech 2007 to B. Tech. 2017 were also present. The motto of the event was Reconnect, Reunite, Reminisce, and as always, it aimed to strengthen the alumni base of the department and bring them under the giant umbrella of CSES.
The event was initiated with a presentation by Dr. Tarachand. Referring to established alumni programs of prestigious institutes like Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, he reiterated the motto of the event. He said that just like confluence meant the joining of two rivers, the event was supposed to be a meeting between the alumni and the department. He brought to light the struggles faced by the students to convert the institute into an IIT and congratulated everyone involved in the process.
Dr. Tarachand stated that the society was committed towards encouraging skill development and team work among the students of the department through various technical and cultural activities like Confluence itself, BufferedReader, CodeISM, Udbhav, and other events. He specifically elaborated on Udbhav, the Annual Day celebration of the department and cited that the Alumnus-of-the-Year and Companyof- the-Year awards are presented in the event. Considering the conversion of the institute into an IIT, he also wanted the gathering to suggest a change in name of CodeISM. He read out a message from Prof. P. K. Jana, the founding and the current president of the society. Prof. Jana, who was unable to attend the event, expressed his happiness that the event could be organized successfully, welcomed all the alumni and finally thanked Dr. Kumar, Dr. Tarachand, and the students for making the event a success.
Introducing all the faculty members of the department, Dr. Tarachand waxed lyrical about the improving facilities for research and development in the department. Harping on industry-academia collaboration, he wanted each alumnus to mentor a group of students, mentioning the positive impact such an arrangement would have upon the careers of students. He concluded his presentation by explaining the concept of alumni ambassador – an alumnus who would be the point of contact between his company and the department.
Mr. Ashay Sinha of B.Tech. 2016 then took to the stage to present the idea of the department sponsored medal. This medal would be awarded to candidates not on the basis of their GPA, but on the all-round profile of the student. Factors such as the student’s research contribution, participation in extra-curricular activities, developmental skills, and contribution to the department would be considered while awarding this medal. Mr. Ashay Sinha iterated that the introduction of this award would encourage the students to build a better all-round profile. This novel idea was met with acclaim from the audience.
The event then proceeded with an address by Dr. Chiranjeev Kumar. He thanked the M.Tech. alumni for making their presence felt for the first time in the event. Saying that the industry sector has advanced a lot over the last few years, he hoped for support from alumni towards the growth of the department. He implored the alumni to remain in contact with the students in whatever capacity they could, and suggested regular skype sessions as one such method. He echoed the need to have a GPA of 7.5 as a qualifying criteria for the sponsored medal, but assured the gathering that students will be fairly evaluated on the decided parameters and GPA will be not be a judging criteria. He wanted to make the medal into a reality and hoped that a common consensus on the evaluation criteria could be reached as soon as possible.
He also mentioned the existence of SARC – the Student Alumni Relationship Cell, and hoped that it would serve as a portal for important communication between students and alumni. He declared that as per tradition, Code Marathon, the annual coding competition organized by CSES, would be sponsored by the B.Tech. batch of 2009 this year. Announcing his responsibility as the new Professor in-charge of Training and Placement of the institute, he said that the placement season would start from December 1 as per IIT council regulations and wanted the alumni to help in getting as many industry contacts as possible. He concluded by yearning for more core electronics companies to make their presence felt during the placement season.
The event continued with the alumni recounting their favorite memories from college days. Mr. Anurag Anand of B. Tech. 2007 said that back in 2004, Infosys was the first company to come for campus placements and remembered how overjoyed the students were back then when Infosys registered for placements. He was amazed to see the improvement in the department, and was at a loss to understand how almost 100 students got placed straight out of college. Mr. Dhirendra Kumar Singh of B. Tech 2008 continued from where Mr. Anand left off, saying that when he came to the institute for campus placements with Flipkart, the students were so good that he had to reach out to the vice president of the company to increase the number of students recruited. Mr. Hind K. Geel of B. Tech 2015 remembered the days when he was a part of the editorial board of BufferedReader and said that it was heartening for him to see the magazine reach greater heights with every passing edition.
Mr. Ankit Agarwal, B. Tech 2016, added to the air of nostalgia that had gripped the evening and remembered the way he used to run to attend classes every morning for fear of missing his attendance. Mr. Abhinav Goyal, B. Tech 2016, recounted that college life was indeed a lot of fun for them. Mr. Jitesh Karamchandani, B. Tech 2016, said that the department was always supportive when it came to organizing activities and hoped that it would continue the same in the future too. Mr. Ashay Sinha, B. Tech 2016, recounted how useful the lectures were in college and said that he learnt a lot from them. Mr. Nikhil Mittal, B. Tech 2016, reiterated the same and also reminisced the various activities organized by the department.
After the nostalgic tales of college life, the organizing team of Confluence 2017 brought the event to life with a game. The audience was divided into teams and each team was given five keywords related to Computer Science. The teams were supposed to make the other teams guess their keywords in three words or less. A photography session followed and the event was brought to a conclusion by a vote of thanks by Mr. Maheswara Reddy, the Secretary of CSES.