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Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology

Also Known As: VRCE, Visvesvaraya Regional College of Engineering. Say VNIT and you will be directed/led to the Nagpur Improvement Trust building.

The Campus: It’s a huge campus, sprawled out over 220 acres. In fact, the walk from the hostels to the departments is so long and tiring that many people give up halfway through and return back to the cozy hostel rooms.

The sports ground is so far away that some of the people get lost on the way. Most of them, however, just keep the picture of the girls’ hostel (which is bang opposite the ground) in their mind and determinedly reach the fields.

The campus also boasts of a lot of green cover and a flourishing fauna, most of which is stray cows, angry dogs, accident-causing pigs and an occasional snake.

The Infrastructure: Most of the infrastructure is well maintained, owing to the regular visits by the National Board of Accreditation. The computer centre is overlooked by a burly, sour-faced guy, who finds any website other than the institute’s home page a waste of bandwidth. The sports facilities boast of a table tennis room and several other indoor games. Badminton, however, has to be played in the auditorium beneath the stage.

The auditorium itself is built with a strange false ceiling, which makes any sound from the brand new Bose speakers echo throughout the hall. It makes one feel like he/she is at an echo point.

The library is a huge building that is home to several beehives. (There is a high possibility that the bees have better knowledge than some of the students.)

The Faculty: The huge range of faculty here is one of the most wondrous works of nature. While some are God incarnate when it comes teaching and command over the subject, others will make you think whether you are at an NIT. Sometimes, even the students can teach better than some of the staff. But irrespective of the category your professor falls in, they all have one common ground — if they hate you, no one can save you. Trust me.

The Crowd: The crowd is an eclectic mix of locals with their strange “Hao na re”, “Hoyenga na be” and “Jhaamal jhaamal maahol” and students from rest of the country. However, the gulti population has been rising in the last 4 years.

The Hangout Places: Hangout is a different word in VRCE, depending on the time of the day. If it is daytime, the canteen is where you will find everyone. There will be couples cozying up, while the less fortunate will be looking for ways to make them uncomfortable and pull their leg.

VRCE is like any small community where gossip gets around really fast. So, you’ve really got to be on your toes to keep up. After class and lunch hours are meant for sitting at the tapri outside the Bajaj Nagar gate (there are 4 gates), burning your lungs and sipping Doctor Uncle’s chai. At night and on weekends (or exam end), most people are seen in the adjoining bar, PP’s, guzzling away by the gallons during happy hours.

The Canteen: It is probably one of the best places to sit and chill, with chairs for about 40 people inside and the rest outside. You can also laze under the shelter or by the swing. The menu is pretty normal, with the only difference being everything being served with dahi and sambar (samosa, kachori). You can get about 6-7 varieties of Maggi here, including butter, cheese or Chinese. But the quantity of Maggi decreases regularly.

Fests: The cultural festival is called Aarohi, mostly a localites’ effort (don’t ask why) and the technical festival is Axis. They are all large-scale events, but the participation is mainly from outside. VNITians see them as holidays and catch up on sleep or rush back home.

– Saurabh Datar

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