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NIT Rourkela Becomes first NIT to Award Blockchain-based Digital Degrees

By   /  August 13, 2022  /  Comments Off on NIT Rourkela Becomes first NIT to Award Blockchain-based Digital Degrees

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Rourkela, 13 August 2022: Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, awarded degrees to a total of 1,555 students of National Institute of Technology Rourkela during its 19th Convocation held today (13th August 2022).

For the first time in its History, the Institute awarded to its graduating students ‘Blockchain-based Digital Degrees’ developed in assistance with IIT Kanpur’s C3i Innovation Hub, under the aegis of National Blockchain Project mooted by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. With the adoption of this ambitious project, NIT Rourkela has become the first NIT and the second among ‘Institutes of National Importance,’ after IIT Kanpur, to implement a futuristic technology for its graduating students.

The graduating students would receive an OTP on their mobile number, which will also be sent to their email id, to provide access to a secure portal containing their degrees. The degrees would also be available to be downloaded as a PDF file making them accessible anywhere globally. Blockchain system works on the principle of de-centralization, which results in control not being in the hands of one person but on a distributed network. Information in a blockchain is recorded and stored sequentially along with an exact timestamp and cannot be altered making it a tamper-proof transcript.

This digital wallet provides a secure, tamper-proof environment that the students can share with their prospective employers. It could be verified instantly, saving the laborious verification process carried out by third parties, which easily takes 2 to 3 weeks currently.

Addressing the Convocation, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, said, “I want to see NIT Rourkela to become hub of technology. The Institute must plan proactively on how the entire Sundergarh district can be linked to blockchain, how the households can be mapped, how the people can get benefits provided by government and how can it help in increasing the skill and employment possibility among the youth. NIT Rourkela should work on mapping this through the blockchain.”

Further, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said, “During my recent visits to other eminent institutes, I recognized that senior educationists were putting caps and gowns on Convocation. Today, I am congratulating NIT Rourkela for adopting the traditional Sambalpuri dress code. We have to remember the essence of this NEP. It’s just not a document, it’s a philosophy to decolonize our mindset. Things are changing very fast around the globe. Let us take a pledge for the next 25 years to make this Institute a multi-disciplinary and multi-visionary Institute. The Institute must focus on collaborating with various Institutes for starting new collaborative courses and conducting research. NIT Rourkela should become a catalyst of change in this district.”

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan added, “NEP recommends students must learn in local languages. Japan, Germany and China have adapted their mother tongue in their learning, research and innovation and are at heights today. The research and basic studies should be done in local languages also and NIT Rourkela must come up with new ideas and innovation to improve the translator technology.”

Addressing the convocation, Prof. K. Umamaheshwar Rao, Chairman, Board of Governors, NIT Rourkela, and Director, NIT Rourkela, said, “Established in the year 1961, NIT Rourkela is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee. During its 60 years of NIT Rourkela, it has evolved into one of the high-ranking technical institutions in India offering B.Tech. Degrees in 14 disciplines across 12 departments. The Institute has been recognized for its cutting-edge research and technology, development in diverse fields, science, engineering and technology, management, architecture, humanities and social sciences.”

Further, Prof. K. Umamaheshwar Rao said, “NIT Rourkela has traditionally been known as a leader in sponsored research and industrial consultancy. During the calendar year 2021-22, the Institute has received sanction of 97 Sponsored projects with a total value of Rs. 24.13 Crore and 110 consultancy projects with a total value of nearly Rs. 11.43 Crore. Our Career Development Centre has been untiringly coordinating with several organization to provide quality placement to our graduates, postgraduates and doctorates, both inside and outside the country. During the academic year 2021-22, a total of 1,290 full-time job offers were provided to our students with significant increase compared to previous years.”

During the Annual Convocation 2021, Six Institute Gold Medals, Five Endowment Gold Medals, Five Endowment Awards, 70 Branch Topper Medals and One Endowment Cash Award were awarded to graduands. A total of 11 Alumni were conferred with Distinguished Alumnus Award–2021. A total of 1,555 students (859 Undergraduate, 608 Post-graduate, 88 PhDs) were awarded their degrees.

Shri Jual Oram (Hon’ble MP, Sundargarh) and Shri Sarada Prasad Nayak (Hon’ble MLA, Rourkela) were the Guests of Honour. The Students wore Sambalpuri-themed dress code and ethos of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.’

NIT Rourkela Researchers have published 13,790 publications with 127 h-index per the Scopus database and 7,138 publications with 110 h-index per the Web of Science database, which is among the top when compared with all other NITs. As per NIRF 2022, NIT Rourkela has the highest research scores (Research, Professional practices and Collaborative performance) among all NITs.

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