As an extension of the GS meter updates that assess the performance of student representatives, Insight presents the end-term review of the work undertaken by the PG Academic Council. Deekshith K Shetty, the GSAA representing the PG students, has undertaken several initiatives for all post-graduate students in his mind, ranging from cutting the red tape in various academic procedures to educating students about matters that they frequently need help with. This article aims to review all the plans that he had proposed at the beginning of his tenure and those that are still in the pipeline.
Note that, since Deekshith was the continuing GSAA for this year, there was no new manifesto made by him for this election. The agenda that he planned to work on was based on his team’s suggestions and carry-overs from his past tenure, and was subject to change in due course of the year.
Several of the following initiatives are in the pipeline and are just pending approval.
- The PGAC has streamlined the process of obtaining an exit degree with MPhil. for PhD students. Students now have the option to submit their theses within six months of applying for the exit degree.
- A survey has been conducted on post-graduate internships and the departments’ feedback on the same has been obtained. A sub-committee of professors, functionaries and student representatives will be formed to look into the matter.
- The senate has approved the removal of HS200 (Environmental Studies) and CS101 (Computer Programming and Utilization) from the institute’s compulsory courses list. These courses are no longer mandated by the institute, allowing departments to take a call on whether they require to include similar courses as part of their curriculum.
- The number of accessible Turnitin and Grammarly accounts on campus have been increased by 500. More such accounts have been proposed.
- Coursework for incoming PhD students has been compiled. Departments have been asked to make this available on their websites.
- The proposal for including the overall co-ordinators of the IRSCP and the ISCP in senate meetings has been approved.
- Proposal for a hike in international conference funding has been approved and followed up by the PGAC.
- 1TB of online storage has been made available through OneDrive. The previous team had tried to secure storage of Google Suite but due to the reservations of privacy, such as the GMail ID being linked to one’s ASC ID, it hadn’t been provided.
- Proposed to get the date of receiving the fellowship has been fixed to around the 10th of every month. Approval has been received and the Accounts Section has been asked to look into how it could be implemented as many steps are involved before receiving the funds such as checking and verifying the attendance.
- From the date of pre-synopsis to submission of thesis there used to be 4 months, if there was a delay in submission one was supposed to pay a fine and repeat the pre-synopsis. The PGAC proposed to get the fine removed if a person repeats the pre-syn. The duration will now get extended by 4 months or as requested by the students.
- The council has proposed to implement printing facility through login in every department drawing inspiration from the HSS department. This facility has been successfully implemented in CTARA after approval of the head of the department. Plans are in place to implement it in other departments.
- It has proposed to get the registration window for the Masters to open earlier as they encompass a huge chunk of the student populace, which helps to counter the problem of delay due to site crashes. This is applicable only for courses which don’t have an upper cap. The proposal has been approved, and now the council needs to work out the details with the UGAC. The proposal can be implemented earliest by the next semester
ONGOING AGENDA POINTS
- Most departments have a uniform structure for PhD coursework: compulsory courses (cores) and electives. Departments have been asked to display these lists on their websites. Comparison of coursework across departments will hence be made possible.
- Proposed restructuring of HS791 includes either reduction in class size or handing the course over to the departments.
- Currently, fellowship for MSc PhD programs are rescinded if a candidate has a CPI < 6.5. The PGAC recommended deduction of 25% of fellowship if the CPI dips below 6.5 and to rescind the fellowship completely only if the CPI of the candidate dips below 5.0.
- Currently, PGs cannot register for any credits during the summer semester. This poses a problem for people who are about to graduate, but have a backlog. Right now, the head of the department has to recommend a summer semester course. If the proposal gets approved, students can register for summer semester course in their graduating semester, if only to clear an FR before graduation.
- Proposal has been sent for mandated department electives that need to be changed.
- Proposal for restarting of advanced loans for DST INSPIRE scholars. These loan facilities were discontinued a year ago.
- A revision in conference funding rules suggested a reimbursement of ten percent of the airfare. A proposal has been made in this regard, but this has not been implemented yet.
- A proposal for TA Certificates for instrument TAs has been forwarded, since it takes a lot of training and work to be the assistant for a heavy equipment in the department. These TAs currently do not receive any certificates for their work.
- Modifications of Rulebook: For MSc PhD combined programs or MTech PhD combined programs, coursework should be similar. MSc students have to take GATE. The rest of the interview processes are exactly the same as those of MTechs.
- Masters students should be allowed to register for additional learning courses, the tag of which can only be changed once, at the end of the program. This proposal has not been discussed with the administration yet.
- A hike in fellowship has been approved but is yet to be implemented.
- A document has been compiled for conference funding for easier navigation. The document needs to be reviewed by the Accounts and the Academic sections.
- Skill-based, non-credit courses for PG students for learning softwares and more had been planned. However, the details are still being discussed with concerned professors and the proposal has not been completed.
- There had been plans to conduct orientations about sexual harassment, student harassment, guiding PhD students for their projects and more for the faculty members of the institute. This has not come to fruition and needs to be discussed with the faculty first.
- The PGAC planned to arrange compulsory gender sensitization and stress management sessions for student companions from the ISCP and IRSCP programmes. While the Women’s Cell is all for it, the Student Wellness Centre wants the details of the sessions to be ironed out. In addition, the way in which attendance should be mandated needs to be thought out.
- The agenda included setting up of reading rooms and seating spaces in all departments. A few departments are yet to agree to this proposal. Department Councils have been asked to push for it. Additionally, plans for setting up common seating rooms for PhD students of all departments are still in the pipeline.
- Policy and infrastructure related proposals are yet to be made in order to aid the differently-abled student community. This is a joint initiative by the UGAC, PGAC and HA council and will include organizing sensitization workshops and more.
- A proposal to grant student representation in both the DUGC and the DPGC is still in the works.
- The PGAC plans to organize several workshops going forward for the PG community. The workshops will cover a wide range of subjects like English proficiency, MATLAB and Latex tutorials and PGAC introductory sessions.
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