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Under Pankaj, PGAC has set the standard in being inclusive and accountable. With AURAAs ( Academic Unit Representative for Academic Affairs) elected for the first time from SOM and IDC, their involvement in the PGAC increased.
For improved approachability, the council adhered to an ‘expected time of reply’ policy. Also, a mid term Open House was conducted where people gave their inputs on the council’s working. This, along with updating the PG calendar (based on feedback) and formally presenting the budget, was an effort from PGAC’s side in encouraging students to participate actively.
One of the major highlights of the tenure has been the the revival of ResConAm. After it was cancelled last year, the PGAC worked hard towards it and this year, ReSConAm’17 had a total participation of about 300, including scientific presentations, workshops and start-up expos from various institutes across the country. In addition, an amount of 70k has been set aside in the PGAC’s budget for ReSConAm, ensuring that funds will never be a hindrance in conducting the event in future.
Promotion of IDFR and Research Media cell, sharing the ongoing research database internally, organizing talks from industry (like Airbus) and conduction of software and language workshops have all contributed towards improving the research experience of the students. Introduction of photocopiers and the upcoming night canteen facility will aid the same, making it convenient for them to work during odd hours.
Special efforts have been taken to resolve the issues faced by the Married Research Scholars community. Their representation in RSF has been increased. While significant steps have been taken to ensure that they get proper accommodation in the campus, a formal system for the same is yet to be implemented.
While some of the uncompleted points relate to the apathy shown by the students, some other points relate to reluctance from the institute functionaries’ side. Attempts at publishing a bi-monthly research newsletter, pushing the PG research work database to the institute website and conducting personality development workshops are examples of the former one whereas, introduction of ‘minors’ for PG students and proposal for regular summer and Winter internships in coordination with the PT cell and centralized TA allotment scheme are points deprecated by the institute functionaries. Pankaj feels that reforms at the department level can only be implemented if it is the common agenda pursued by both the institute council and the Department General Secretaries.
Important points that can be carried forward by the incumbent GSAA PG are :-
- Setting up an institute wide (instead of department wise) grievance portal for addressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dressme.co.nz/ball-dressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dresses.html”>dressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dressing specific issues related to the student community.
- Making a Roadmap for Ph.D. students for all departments and centres of excellence at IITB
- Increase in financial support for students attending International conferences
Other than the scope of work in the manifesto Pankaj has pursued the following important issues:-
- Making the PG handbook and rule book online and easily accessible instead of distributing printouts.’
- PGAC spread awareness about the benefits of a cashless society among street vendors in the vicinity of the main gate and helped some of them in getting POS machines from Canara Bank.
- Actively worked with authorities to get rid of old redundant systems like the Akash tablet distribution and shortening the PG orientation to just 1 day instead of two, allowing SOM students to attend it as well.
- The proposal for setting 25 computers reserved for Research Scholars in the library is being considered by the library committee.
63.64% of the manifesto points successfully completed.