Reading Time: 12 Minutes

InsIghT presents a review of the work done by the current GS Cultural Affairs Deepak Sharma over the course of his tenure till date. The General Body Meeting, or GBM, for the Institute Cultural Council will be conducted on the 8th of November 2013 from 10:30 PM to 11:55 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.

Opportunities to Learn

Visible progress has been made so far in terms of expanding the scope of Summer and In-Semester School of Cult (Paathshala) which have been restructured from last year. This tenure saw an overall increase in participation and the number of sessions organized for each genre. The sessions were also spaced across the entire semester for the first time. A proposal for introducing NSO Culturals (apart from the regular NSO Music) has been approved by Dean SA and Dean AP. However, the First Stage platform has not kicked off so far.

[gsreview title=”School of Cult: Introduce semester long cultural classes with a monthly feedback system” color=”blue”]While, the Summer/In-Sem School of Cult was conceptualized and introduced for the first time in the last tenure, a lot of major changes were made to its structure in this tenure. This year, classes were conducted across 5 genres (Music, Dance, Fine Arts, Film Making and Literary Arts) as compared to just a Dance workshop last year, in the summer and across 7 genres (Music, Dance, Fine Arts, Film Making, Literary Arts, Dramatics and Photography) during the first semester. There was an increase in the number of sessions for each workshop as well. However, a monthly feedback system was not put in place. Feedback will now be taken at the end of each workshop. Some of these workshops were conducted by students, who were compensated accordingly.

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[gsreview title=”First Stage: Provide a platform to the School of Cult attendees to showcase their learning” color=”blue”]Since the Cultural Calendar is already stacked up with events, the best students from the Paathshala workshops could probably be given a platform next semester during pre-planned annual events (AIDS, Goonj, Ann Prod etc.)[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”NSO Culturals: Propose to extend NSO to cultural activities, for both UGs and PGs” color=”blue”]The proposal to introduce NSO in 2 additional genres (Dramatics and Fine Arts) has been approved by Dean SA and Dean AP in principal. The proposal has been forwarded to the Dean’s Committee which is yet to meet for the same.[/gsreview]

Talent Recognition

IITB’s Got Talent was one of the major highlights of the work done by the Cutural Council this semester. The idea was introduced for the first time and was implemented quite successfully. The ‘Live your Passion’ initiative was introduced in just one genre and efforts are being made in order to provide similar opportunities to the other GC-winning entries as well.

[gsreview title=”IITB’s Got Talent: Promote the unrecognised acts and talents through a dedicated open entertainment stage structured as a competition” color=”blue”]In order to recognize the hidden talents of students in the institute, an open entertainment stage was introduced in the form of ‘IITB’s Got Talent’. Several new talents were discovered through this stage and there was a huge diversity in the kind of entries that were received. Since the number of entries received was quite large (70) and offline eliminations could not be conducted after 30 entries or so, video entries are being invited now.
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[gsreview title=”Live your Passion: Propose to reward the GC winning entries through professional opportunities” color=”blue”]Live your Passion, which was meant to provide professional opportunities to all GC-winning entries has been executed successfully for Dramatics, Movie Making, Goonj and Literary Arts so far. Dramatics & Movie Making GC winners will get a chance to showcase their talents at NCPA. The winning entries of Creative Writing GC will be put up on Coolage. The GS, however, believes that similar opportunities will be provided to the winners of Gyrations at ‘Kala Ghoda’ next semester. An agreement for the same is not in place as of now. No LYP is planned for Speaking, Photography and Fine Arts as of now.
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Giving Back to Society

The ‘Make A Difference Initiative’ has been modified completely and will now remain limited only to Workshops. The Cult Council could not collaborate with any NGOs and no institute performances which may be used to collect donations will be conducted because the proposal was rejected by Dean SA. However, efforts are being made in collaboration with the GRA (Group for Rural Activities) wherein students from the nearby slum areas will be brought to IITB campus on the weekends for cultural workshops. The proposal has been approved by Dean SA and is pending for approval by the GRA head.

[gsreview title=”Make a Difference: Propose to collaborate with various NGOs in their social campaign via institute performances and help them with donations obtained from the same” color=”blue”]The initiative has been modified completely. The proposal to collaborate with NGOs and organize institute performances to collect donation has been rejected by Dean SA.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Workshops: Conduct workshops for the underprivileged.” color=”blue”]Workshops have ben planned and approved by the Dean SA. The decision now rests in the hands of GRA head.[/gsreview]

Administration

The current council has made little progress as far as administrative reforms are concerned. Genre-wise Committees which comprise of the Hostel Secretaries of a specific genre and the Institute Secretary have been established with the aim of promoting cultural activities at the hostel level. Monthly Work Reports of the Council Members have not been made public. Also, an online feedback forum was planned by the GS which has also not been implemented so far. The GS however insisted that feedback was taken informally by council members at every event.

[gsreview title=”Online Booking Portal: Ease booking SAC Cultural Rooms and issuance of cultural inventory” color=”blue”]No efforts have been made to construct the portal so far and this job has been deferred to the next semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Genre Wise Committees: Teaming up with hostel secretaries in conceptualizing and executing GCs and hostel events” color=”blue”]Genre wise committees comprising of hostel secretaries of a specific genre and the Institute Secretary have been established and regular meetings have been conducted successfully in this tenure. The committee’s primary agenda is to brainstorm about events that can be conducted at the hostel level so as to promote cultural activities at the hostel level as well. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Monthly Work Report: Public log of accomplishments of each member of the cultural council” color=”blue”]A public log of the accomplishments of each member of the Cultural Council was not made available primarily due to time constraints.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Feedback Forum: On-the-spot and online mechanism for constructive feedback” color=”blue”]On-the-spot feedback was taken after every event and in the meetings with Hostel Cultural Councilors by the GS. However, an online portal for the same has not been created so far.[/gsreview]

Social and Cultural Exchange

Commendable progress was made in terms of promoting social interaction among the inmates of IITB through cultural activities this semester. Also, several platforms such as Norwegian Opera, visits to Prithvi Theater, NCPA, Jehangir Art Gallery etc. were made available for the students to expose them to the professional scene. The council is also working towards sorting out issues that have hindered the Institute Box Office and movie screening initiatives.

[gsreview title=”International Cult: Expose students to foreign cultures through professional showcases and workshops; explore possible involvement of foreign exchange students in the same” color=”blue”]As part of the International Cult initiative which was meant to expose students to foreign cultures through professional showcases and workshops, only one event has been organized so far – The Norwegian Opera. The Cultural Council is in talks with two other major artists who may visit the institute during the next semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Cross-over Weekend: Foster cross-genre interaction through events involving multiple art forms” color=”blue”]The Cross-over Weekend has been planned for the next semester. In fact, a Comic Strip Making Event was the only cross-over event (between Literary Arts and Fine Arts) which was conducted this semester. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Organise visits to renowned production houses, cultural showcases and art festivals” color=”blue”]This tenure saw a tremendous increase in the number of visits to renowned production houses, cultural showcases, festivals etc. Students from different cultural clubs have already visited prestigious places such as Prithvi Theater, NCPA and Jehangir Art Gallery. A photowalk was also organized this semester. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Revive the culture of weekly screening of popular/unique movies” color=”blue”]The GS’s proposal to revive the culture of weekly screening of popular movies/events is on hold because of screening related issues in the Convocation Hall. Even though, the council has approval from the institute for the same, the movie quality will not be that great in the current state of the Convocation Hall.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Celebrate prominent festivals through institute-wide social events to promote interaction” color=”blue”]Two major events (Dandiya Night and Diwali celebration) were organized this semester.[/gsreview]

Online Media & Publicity

The responsibility for the Android App as was proposed by GSCA, GSSA and GSAA in their manifestos has been taken up by InsIghT. Three high preparation events – Surbahar, Main Dramatics General Championship and Gyrations were professionally recorded this year. The website for IITB Culturals has improved significantly and has been re-designed to improve functionality. A common Cult Calendar has been uploaded on the website for the convenience of students. Cultopedia which is essentially a collection of videos that can help students in self-learning have been put up on the website. Publicity methods remained mostly the same and the common monthly calendar (a flex listing down all the important events happening in the month) could not be used because of budget constraints.

[gsreview title=”Construct an Android app and browser extension to publicize schedule and results as reminders” color=”blue”]The Android App and Chrome Extension are both being designed by InsIghT for the Cult, Sports and Acad Council.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Cultopedia: A database of tutorial videos on digital arts, music, theatre and other art forms” color=”blue”]Basic and advanced level tutorials that can help interested students in learning a particular activity by themselves have been put on the Cultural Council’s website. All 7 genres have been covered. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Common Monthly Calendar: Highlight institute events through flexes at strategic locations” color=”blue”]The Common Monthly Calendar could not be put up as flexes throughout the institute primarily due to budget constraints. The Council therefore decided to send digest mails on the Student Notices Mailing List on GPO.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Relaunch the cultural website as a hub of online competitions and other information” color=”blue”]The Cultural Council’s website was modified completely from last year and efforts are still being made to improve it’s user friendliness. Online Competitions were also conducted through the website in the summers.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure professional recording of major cultural events and archive them with past content” color=”blue”]3 events – Main Dramatics General Championship, Surbahar and Gyrations were professional recorded in this semester. The Council plans to record at least 5 more events in the next semester.[/gsreview]

Revitalization & Innovation

Campus Radio was reintroduced into the IITB Cult Scene this semester and efforts were made to introduce students to new genres such as digital arts, scripting etc by tying up with a professional organization. However, a centralized purchase system could not be built during this semester because the idea in itself was not executable. As far as Sophie Culturals are concerned, the scene was quite similar to last year.

[gsreview title=”Campus Radio: Restructure to promote speaking skills through live entertainment based shows” color=”blue”]The Campus Radio which was revitalized in partnership with InsIghT. One episode (close to 1 hour) was released on the radio and the second show will be released very soon.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Strengthen growing interest in digital arts, sound and lights through professional workshops” color=”blue”]Workshops have been planned or organized for new genres such as scripting, digital arts and sounds and lights in association with an organization called TPPL (Theater Professionals Private Limited). An agreement is in place with the said organization for conducting 5 workshops on campus, 2 of which have already been conducted this semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Centralize purchases of costumes and FA supplies through yearlong contracts” color=”blue”]Will not be built this year because the idea was not executable.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Expand the wings of Sophie Culturals to include Non-Performing Arts” color=”blue”]Sophie Culturals could not be expanded across all Non Performing Arts in this semester. No event was conducted for Sophies in the genres of Literary Arts and Debating. [/gsreview]

Inter-Collegiate Fests

The Institute Cultural Council has taken huge steps towards improving and recognizing the performance of IITB students at the Inter-Collegiate level. In order to provide a fair platform to everyone, centralized auditions for Umang and Malhaar were conducted for the first time. A fest calendar was introduced on the Cultural’s website which contained consolidated information about the different college festivals happening in the country. Funding is also being provided by the Institute for various new cultural events this year.

[gsreview title=”Conduct centralised auditions across genres for representation in various competitions” color=”blue”]For the first time, centralized auditions for inter-collegiate festivals were conducted earlier this year with the aim of providing a fair chance to everyone, including freshies and postgraduates. Similar auditions will also be conducted for choosing contingent entries to other festivals such as Mood Indigo, Unmaad etc.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Introduce Fest Calendar, a comprehensive document of upcoming fests to fuel participation” color=”blue”]A ‘Fest Calendar’, as promised, was introduced on the Gymkhana website. However, it hasn’t been publicized well and the respective google group of each genre still remains the sole source of information about all inter-collegiate fests for the interested people.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to recognize winning members of IITB contingent through Semester Felicitation Ceremony” color=”blue”]The ‘Semester Felicitation Ceremony’ – which is meant towards those who’ve made the institute proud at an inter-college festival – hasn’t happened and will, reportedly, only happen next semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to extend the outreach to more intercollegiate competition; cover TA and DA as per the institute policies” color=”blue”]As for the fests attended, Umang(Narsee Monjee) and Malhar(Xavier’s) happened in August. While the trip to Malhar was funded by the institute, that to Umang wasn’t. A contingent from the institute will most likely be sent to Unmaad (IIM Bangalore) again this year. The Dean has also approved funding for visits to Pakistan (Debate contingent) and IIT Madras (Nihilanth – The Inter IIT-IIM Quiz Festival).[/gsreview]

Events

Speaking Fest and Rukhsat were conducted this semester while the Institute Mela has been planned for next semester. The Institute Mela will probably be conducted in association with the Sports Council and other regional clubs in the institute.

[gsreview title=”Speaking Fest: A weekend dedicated to promote speaking activities with events like RJ/VJ Hunt, GD and JAM sessions” color=”blue”]The Speaking Fest was conducted in late August as the annual flagship event of the Speakers Club. Interactive sessions with eminent professionals and journalists were conducted. Panel Discussions and a movie screening were also organized as part of the festival.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Institute Mela: An event to showcase traditional cultural performances in collaboration with regional groups and other institute bodies” color=”blue”]The Institute Mela which will be conducted next semester has been planned as an informal event. The event will comprise of food stalls, Indian games, informal cultural and social events.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Rukhsat: Organize a farewell event in all genres as a tribute to the passing out seniors” color=”blue”]A small farewell event was organized by each Cultural Club in the institute as part of the Rukhsat initiative.[/gsreview]

Postgraduates

PG Cult League is a championship envisioned to be contested in the odd semester among pools of 4-5 departments each. Phase I of the same has already been conducted parallel to Freshizza Phase II. Phase II of the PGCL hasn’t happened in the ‘odd semester’ as was the plan and is to be conducted next semester. A separate PG Cult orientation could not be organized for each hostel.

[gsreview title=”PG Cult League: An odd semester championship among pools of 4-5 departments each, to promote inter department interaction and equal opportunities for participation” color=”blue”]Phase I of the PGCL was conducted successfully this semester. Phase II is planned for the next semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”PG Conveners: Propose to extend the outreach of information and promote participation in PGs by making a team of Cultural Genre Conveners” color=”blue”]The policy was not implemented forcibly by the GS, and the decision was left upon the Institute Secretaries for each genre. Literary Arts and Debating are the only two genres that currently do not have a PG convener.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Conduct a separate hostel based cult orientation for PG freshmen” color=”blue”]No orientation was conducted for the PG freshmen at the hostel level.[/gsreview]

General Championships & PAF

‘Gem of the GC’ – which was supposed to award extra points to a hostel for an exceptional individual performance by an inmate was rejected by the Cult Co’s and has hence been happening informally for certain high preparation events. A brochure containing the rules and regulations of all the GCs was to be distributed at the beginning of the semester. However, it never happened due to budget constraints. Therefore, a soft copy of the same was circulated during the summers. A PAF brochure shall be circulated around in the next semester. Also, there’s no board at SAC maintaining the records of all the GC and PAF winners.

[gsreview title=”‘Gem of the GC’: Propose to recognize individual excellence by awarding extra points to the respective hostel” color=”blue”]The proposal to award extra points was rejected by the Cult Co’s. In certain high preparation GC’s, the Gem of the GC was decided by the judges and announced with the winners. However, no points have been awarded for the same so far.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to publicize GCs and PAF and to convey their rules and regulations through General Championship and PAF Brochure at the beginning of session” color=”blue”]A brochure containing the rules and regulations of all GCs could not be distributed due to Budget Constraints. A soft copy of the same was circulated during the summers. The PAF Brochure will be released next semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Maintain a board at SAC to keep a record of Overall Cult Trophy and PAF winners” color=”blue”]The proposal to maintain a board at SAC for maintaining records of all GC and PAF winners has been rejected and it will not be installed this year. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure selection of quality judges for GCs by prior consultation with cultural committee” color=”blue”]Profiles of the judges were discussed in the Cult Committee meetings for all events.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Organise an institute-wide orientation session for PAF to foster the enthusiasm of freshmen” color=”blue”]Will probably be conducted next semester.[/gsreview]

Extra Work Done

[gsreview title=”Major Infrastructural Changes – Recording Room and Mini Theater” color=”blue”]Several major infrastructural changes have been planned in the Student Activity Centre. The Institute Cultural Council has approval from Dean SA for the construction of a Mini Theatre and a Recording Room in the existing SAC complex. The construction is expected to begin in the next semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Renovation of Current Facilities – Dance Room and Photo Studio” color=”blue”]Renovation of the Dance Room and conversion of the Recording Room into a Photo Studio have also been approved.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Appointment of Cultural Mentors to help freshmen living in H15″ color=”blue”]The Cultural Council appointed 7 Cult Mentors this year. They were primarily responsible for introducing the freshmen to the different genres of cultural activities and publicity of events in the newly constructed Hostel 15. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”24*7 SAC Library and installation of computers” color=”blue”]A proposal to keep the SAC library open 24*7 has also been approved by the Dean. However, this will start only after the installation of computers in the library. An exclusive DC Hub will also be created in the Library and recordings, tutorials, pictures etc. related to Cultural Activities will be shared from there. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Establishment of two new clubs – ROOTS and Lifestyle Club” color=”blue”]The Institute Cultural Council has also been allowed to start two new clubs in the institute. One of them is ROOTS which has already started functioning and the other one is a Lifestyle Club which will deal with genres of Fashion, Cuisine and Cinema. The Lifestyle Club is expected to kick off sometime next semester.[/gsreview]