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Next up in the end-term reviews for various general secretaries, is the review of GS – Technical Affairs, Athul Nambolan (2018-19).

Athul Nambolan

Athul Nambolan

Overall Tenure Review

Athul’s tenure saw quite a few improvements in the tech scene overall. A major highlight among these was the introduction of the highly handy InstiApp and its integration with various facets of the institute.

This year’s inter-IIT tech meet saw huge precedents. For the very first time, the Inter-IIT Tech Meet constitution was drafted and launched. It also happened to be the first-ever Tech Meet which saw a whopping participation from all 23 IITs. To top it all, IIT-Bombay emerged the runners-up of this Meet.

Under Athul, the Tinkerers’ Lab saw quite some equipment and storage expansion — including new storage spaces for power tools, new 3D printers, and a milling machine. The current STAB room was also revamped to include various club and tech-team inventories.

During this tenure, Exofly and Robocon were 2 new tech-teams which were formed and were given direct funding from the Student Technical Proposals Committee, which falls under the Dean R&D. The existing Mars Rover team also started receiving funds from the STPC.

There was a greater focus on sustainability, with many clubs pursuing sustainability-themed events, as well as GCs like Zero Waste GC, the Hostel Hack GC on automation, etc. With regards to the individual clubs, Athul’s tenure saw an increased collaboration of the clubs with external companies, wherein 10-15 companies gave talks this year, a large increase compared to the previous year.

The Tech and R&D meet which happens every year, was rebranded to ResTech and also saw some internal changes.

There was also significant collaboration with other bodies like sports (for ITSP), with Aavhaan, with Techfest, Sustainability Cell/NSS, etc.

Speaking of ITSP, the projects this time around are being grouped under a new system of categories (rather than being individual club-based)– from smart vehicles, automation, to agricultural development, healthcare-based projects, etc.

As to the people-side of things, Athul remarks that, with regards to infrastructure expansion and admin-related works, the tenure has been smooth, but they could have done better in the community-building aspect of tech. He also says that significant efforts have been invested in InstiApp, and it resulted in some of the digital initiatives not making much progress. Also, the Tech and TL newsletters couldn’t be realised this year. Yet overall, he believes these are just the trade-offs for the improvements and policy-changes achieved.

Manifesto Points

The progress on the various manifesto points can be seen in the updated GS Metre.

While the actual number of Athul’s manifesto points is 30, we have divided certain points based on different degrees of completion of sub-parts within a single point.

It can be seen that the points which have been fully completed roughly constitute about 70% of the manifesto.
There has been a partial degree of completion on some of the manifesto points, and the rest of the points have either been not achieved at all, or had a change in focus, thereby resulting in the execution being different from what was promised in the manifesto.

A Few Specifics

  • Students’ work on the TL projects was not publicised through the TL newsletter, because the TL newsletter itself was shelved.
  • Under summer and winter projects, instead of floating limited tailored projects to PG and senior UG students, they were floated to everyone as part of the inter-IIT.
  • The proposed RF-ID tagging system was not purchased due to diversion of funds to buy new equipment like 3D printers, power tools, etc.
  • Under TL infrastructure, the set-up of GPU infrastructure as proposed has not been achieved. The set-up of vending machines will depend on when the current trial-period in the LHC gets completed, so that it can be extended to other areas.
  • While a TEDx event has been conducted, it is to be noted that it was officially organised by the IRCC in collaboration with the Cultural Council.
  • The ‘topic expert database’ for students in specific projects is not in an exhaustive state, and has not been shared or hosted with everyone for that reason.

Find here the GS Metre page for for Technical Affairs.

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