InsIghT presents a review of the work done by the current General Secretary of Academic Affairs – PG Yeshwanth Reddy, over the course of his tenure till date. The General Body Meeting, or GBM, for the PG Academic Council will be conducted on the 7th of November 2013 from 7:00 PM to 8:25 PM.
**A brief summary of the advances in each sub-field has been provided. Please click on particular manifesto points to know more about the work done on each of them.
The following midterm review of the General Secretary of Academic Affairs (PG) gives one the impression that the work done by the PG Academic council would best be described as a “Work in Progress”. The PG Council has definitely got the ball rolling but apparently there still is a long way to go. Going by the look of it, a lot is left to be accomplished in the next semester. However, major breakthroughs have been achieved and stalemates broken which indicate a highly optimistic future. As one delves into the review, he/she will be convinced that January, February and March 2014 are going to be months where the council will have to work with a religious zeal as not as much was achieved in the odd-semester as was initially planned.
Curriculum Courses, Policies and Norms
[gsreview title=”Propose a bridge course consisting of all important computing software skill sets like MATLAB, PYTHON, LINUX, HYPERFORM etc., (depending on the requirement of a department’s curriculum)” color=”blue”]The idea was to carry out these workshops in two phases; Phase 1(semester1) owing to commonly used software packages and Phase 2(semester 2) owing to branch specific software workshops.
Out of the ambitious list of 18 ‘computing software’ workshops that had been envisioned, only four of them have been conducted till date [MATLAB, LINUX, LATEX, and PYTHON]. Out of the 1200 Post Graduates on campus, the attendance for these workshops averaged around a mere 300. The feedback for these workshops (to factor in constructive changes for Phase 2) is also yet to be taken.
InsIghT’s projection for the future: In what seems to be left of the tenure, the task of organizing and conducting the remaining workshops in the next three to four months is only possible if the whole task is decentralized and the AURAA members take the onus upon them to conduct these workshops.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Push for a spoken English course on the lines of other language courses running in the institute.” color=”blue”]The plan to partner with the British Council did not come through since it worked out to be extremely expensive for the students. An alternate plan to supplement this by roping in existing talent in the campus also did not bear fruit since the instructor to student ratio was unacceptable as per classroom standards. This issue will be looked at in the coming semester.
InsIghT: Students who have been preparing for placements would have benefitted greatly if such help sessions were organized in the odd semester itself.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Follow up on the proposed Tagging system for PGs” color=”blue”]Successfully proposed and passed the tagging system for Post Graduates (a norm and policy that was once upon a time enjoyed only by the UG’s). The PG Council pushed hard and convinced the management to extend this rule to the 2012 entrants as well. This definitely is a commendable initiative by the PG Council
InsIghT: What this essentially means is that ; 2012 &2013 PG[M.Tech + PhD] entrants can now take additional courses and tag them with ‘already completed’ courses in which they may have scored an unsatisfactory CPI. 2012 entrants may want to take special note of this and work up a course plan since they are left with one semester before they graduate.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Push for a curriculum revision every year depending on student feedback” color=”blue”]In addition to the already existing methodology for feedback on ASC (results of which are confidential) special feedback (especially concerning the course curriculum revision) will be taken after the end semester exams. All systems are in place for this operation.
InsIghT: The motive behind this objective seems to be a little hazy since course curriculum revision has got more to do with convincing the faculty rather than stockpiling data of student’s perspectives and opinions. The results must be evaluated well and presented in a prudent manner to the Heads of various Departments.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Push for preferential TA allotment in all academic units” color=”blue”]Nothing done on this front as of now. Will propose this in the upcoming PGPC meet.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose Flexible TAship whereby postgraduates can opt for receiving reduced stipend, if they do not wish to perform TA duties” color=”blue”]Regarding the TA allotment and flexible TAship, nothing concrete has been accomplished until now. This issue will be raised in the second PGPC meeting of this semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose Minors for PGs and construct its structure depending on the program” color=”blue”]The proposal for minor’s for PG’s has been approved by the Main Building. What’s left is a department level persuasion of respective heads of the departments.
InsIghT: Certain departments may approve of this and the others may not. Therefore, a uniform minor system may not be launched in this tenure.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Conduct a survey for introduction of new institute electives according to interest of students” color=”blue”]Survey has been prepared and is ready to be sent out after the end semester exams.
[gsreview title=”Follow up on NSO proposal as an optional for PGs” color=”blue”]A programme in the name of PEP( Physical Education Programme for PG’s) has been instituted in consultation with the management. Now interested PG’s can enroll for this and engage in sport activity under the guidance of professional coaches.[/gsreview]
Information Dissemination and Awareness:
[gsreview title=”Propose new entrants to undergo basic Lab equipment training for equipment’s like CRO, DAC, NMR, TEM etc.” color=”blue”]An event catering to this particular need had been conducted on the 3rd of September in liaison with IRCC and SAIF. However, the response was pretty feeble (30 students).
InsIghT: The publicity and promotion for this event was the major stumbling block with regards to the success of this event. Effective promotional strategies (posters, banners etc) have to be employed rather than solely depending on a Facebook page and ‘Student Notices’ mail.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Implement a Query & Grievance portal and ensure prompt solutions to the problems faced.” color=”blue”]The ‘grievance and query’ portal was successfully established. The incidence of queries and complaints was tremendous in the beginning of the semester and has gradually mellowed down to about one or two complaints per week as of now. The respective AURAA and a core council member have been assigned the task of 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 these queries.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Create a centralized project portal for displaying the ongoing and completed projects of faculty and students” color=”blue”]Borrowing from the existing trend at the Civil engineering department, the project details of all students will be uploaded after the first stage presentations. This will be up and running by the end of November.
[gsreview title=”Propose a centralized MTP portal where all the faculty would float their MTP topics and requirements (Also, recommend all the academic units to conduct an orientation session about choosing an MTP)” color=”blue”]Talks are in progress to initiate a new methodology for the seminar and project allocation. As of now only faint approval from the main building has been achieved but no structured system has been institutionalized across departments. No orientation session with regards to helping a student choose his/her MTP has been conducted.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose a club fair (STAB, Engineering associations, E-cell, Techfest, Mood-I etc.,) during PG orientation and encourage students to join their interest during their 1st academic week itself.” color=”blue”]The club fair was a first-class initiative that helped the ‘Institute bodies’ improve their reach/visibility among the postgraduate fraternity.
The stalls received a good response and gained first hand publicity and direct reach to the PGs.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Coordinate with student teams (FS, BAJA etc.,) and propose to keep a session in orientation on their ongoing work and opportunities for PGs” color=”blue”]There has been significant and noteworthy participation from PG’s in STAB, MOODI, TECHFEST , SHUNYA, SAE, IIT B Racing, PRATHAM.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Create a wiki page to ensemble all the information regarding PG studies at IITB (from rules and regulations to ethics and course details)” color=”blue”]The Wiki page (created by the previous council) has been updated and has a comprehensive set of guidelines for the students.
InsIghT: There is definitely more scope for improvement. Issues like project description, list of good courses, apping fundas etc.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Coordinate with SARC to create PG Alumni database” color=”blue”]A PG Alumni database was created independently without any dependence on SARC. Out of 1300 PG students who graduated last semester, the PG Alumni database boasts of having about 800 entries. A plan for an Alumni meet is being chalked out for the next semester.
InsIghT: A close coordination with SARC and ACR cell (Alumni & Corporate Relations) needs to be worked on.
[gsreview title=”Upload previous exam question papers on professor’s approval and useful course resources
” color=”blue”]This has not yet been done. The plan is to do it at the end of this semester.
InsIghT : The PG Council should have contacted existing PG’s for previous question papers. The Student Companions themselves could have pitched in and contributed for this cause. This would have benefitted the current batch.
However the need for this contradicts the essence of the ‘IIT EXPERIENCE’ since merely preparing based on previous question papers is not reflective of the standard of our institution. Instead, the professors could be urged to release model question papers.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to conduct bi-annual progress seminar after 4th year of PhD” color=”blue”]This will be proposed in the upcoming PGPC meeting.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to organize PG oriented events in Inter-IIT Tech Summit” color=”blue”]The events that were held last year (previous council’s work) will be conducted this year as well. Inter-IIT Tech Summit (this year) has nothing new to offer with regards to PG oriented events. This was due to a communication gap between the organizing body and the PG Council.
InsIght: Having said that, the future looks brighter as there are a host of PG oriented activities that will be held in Feb 2014.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Push to increase the frequency and quality of R&D magazine” color=”blue”]The first issue has been drafted and is awaiting a final green signal from faculty advisors. Once approved, it will sent it for printing and will be rolled out before the semester ends. The next issue for the coming semester is work under progress.
InsIght: The selection process for editors (for PULSE) comes across as subjective. It would have been fair if a call for nominations (for the post of editors) were to be sent out. As of now, the editors are Ph.D students from the current council. There is also no representation from Masters Students. We are hopeful that the method of selection (that represents a diverse team-M.Tech/Ph.D, specialization etc.) is revamped for the upcoming issue and all the others to come.
[gsreview title=”Follow up on all the proposals which are in pipeline (International conference support, HRA for married scholars, study groups etc.)” color=”blue”]International Conference Support- This has been successfully approved in the Board of Governors meet. The conference support/funding has been increased by an appreciative amount for everybody (including UG’s)
Housing Rental Allowance for Married Scholars- This initiative has also been successfully approved in the Board of Governors meet. All married research scholars are now receiving a HRA allowance of 30%). A proposal to open up QIP quarters (after the construction of Hostel 16) is being looked at and will soon be put up.
Study Groups- Study Groups 2.0 has been initiated. However the talks haven’t started as yet (will commence in the first week of December)
Proposals in the pipeline- Research Scholars Confluence (A two day event that will be held in January 2014)
ENTHUSE which ideally should have been conducted in the first semester for all good reasons has been pushed to the second semester. A lack of coordination between the three councils(Hostel, UG & PG) resulted in this shift.
[gsreview title=”Conduct apping sessions which are particularly PhD oriented” color=”blue”]The ‘Apping’ sessions could not be conducted. A proposal to conduct them later is being sketched out.
InsIghT: Conducting such ‘apping sessions’ next semester doesn’t really serve the purpose. The usefulness and effectiveness of such sessions after the peak period (given that majority of top notch universities accept intake for ‘Fall’) is not going to sharpen the current batch. Instead, the PG council could have tagged along with the UG Council’s apping sessions.
[gsreview title=”Coordinate with Research Scholar’s Forum to promote research and addressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dressme.co.nz/ball-dressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dresses.html”>dressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dress issues among PhD’s” color=”blue”]The predicament in this tenure is that the Research Scholar’s Forum did not elect a representative. Although this was not the responsibility of the PG Council, concerted efforts were put in to select leadership for RSF. However, things have remained stagnant even then.[/gsreview]
PG Council Calendar
[gsreview title=”Try to fit all proposed events into PG council calendar and conduct them accordingly. Gather periodic feedback on the events conducted and suggestions for the events to be conducted and optimize the calendar accordingly” color=”blue”]A fully functional PG Event calendar is up and running on the PG website.[/gsreview]
PG Internship Cell
[gsreview title=”Try to establish a dedicated internship cell for PGs. Push for an internship window according to the convenience of respective departments.” color=”blue”]A dedicated internship cell has been created (praise worthy accomplishment). A tie up with Institute Placement team is helping the initiative stay afloat.
InsIghT: Internships for students belonging to various branches (including non core profiles) needs to be looked at too.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to procure books, which are less than the approved number (not meeting 10:1 ratio)” color=”blue”]Several meetings were held with library staff. Commendable work was done in this area. The suggestions will be implemented and will come into effect as early as possible.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Conduct a survey on deficient journals and books and ensure their availability
Conduct regular surveys on development on all central facilities (SAIF, IRCC etc.)” color=”blue”]Both these surveys have not been conducted yet.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure proper training of students before their allotment as student companions” color=”blue”]The ‘One Day SCP’ training was held as promised and was attended by all companions.
InsIghT: Companions need to be made aware of all the opportunities available at IIT in various fields. The value of the SCP programme has to match with that of the ISMP.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Assign companions to the students at least a week before the registrations.” color=”blue”]The companions were assigned well in advance. This was appreciated by the freshie batch and they made thorough use of this opportunity to catch up with companions even before coming to IIT.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Define essential responsibilities for IMR, IDR, EM’s & AURAA’s for their tenure” color=”blue”]The responsibilities were well defined and they were asked to submit a written statement of purpose before their selection
InsIghT: ACR is a very good initiative. It gives an opportunity for first year students to get involved in the council work.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure the recognition of AURAA’s in their respective departments and give autonomous rights to conduct activities.
Inform academic units about the role of AURAA’s and involve them in decision making processes.” color=”blue”]This is still in progress.
InsIghT : AURAA’s are not very well recognized in their departments. They basically tend to cater to the freshie batch.
HOD’s have to be apprised of the roles and responsibilities of their respective AURAA member.