In the Institute General Body Meetings conducted on 04/11/19 and 05/11/19, Insight collected questions from the students and asked those to the GSes in their respective GBMs. Here are the transcripts of their responses:
1: Regarding the duration of summer vacations – last year, summer vacations were extended by two weeks, which helped a lot of students in foreign internships. Is something similar being done this year also?
A: Yes. It is being done this year also. One motivation behind extending the duration of the vacation was to make the duration of the semesters equal. It is even ensured that the number of days are matched between the two semesters.
2: What is the status of proposals like LDAP Printing Admin Connect?
A: The LDAP proposal was completed. It has to be followed up.
3: What is the status of the online counseling platform?
A: There is a proposal by the ‘92 batch to have an online platform to raise mental health awareness. It is proposed to be completed next semester.
4: There was a proposal for the inclusion of skill-based courses in domains like culturals, tech, etc. in the curriculum with the possibility of making them compulsory. What’s the status on that?
A: It’s the same as that in the last GS Meter and Mid-term review. We’re yet to start working on the proposal. We’re still in the ideation stage and are conceptualizing it. It will be formulated in the next semester and sent across to the appropriate authorities.
5: What’s the status of the low-cost laptop and institute computer facilities for students?
A: We explored some external financing options. Now we’re looking for inhouse financing options. I’ll be speaking to the professors who’re responsible. The existing facilities couldn’t run AutoCAD and even Pruter. That’s why we looked for external financing options.
6: Did anything happen to the UG forms flowchart?
A: The plan was extended by two weeks because there was a lot of chaos in the academic section. I have forwarded the flowcharts.
7: Gender Sensitization Workshops that UGAC had conducted last year.
A: We didn’t conduct any workshops. We had conducted an SMPT workshop.
8:Lots of problems regarding the IDDP program for dual degree students. A lot of students are yet to get their stipend, and there are a lot of issues regarding registrations.
A: We’re trying to sort this out. Yet to take a follow-up. We’ve discussed the issue with them.
9: What’s the status of the FF grade? Is it going to be implemented this semester?
A: If it is passed by the Senate, it would be implemented this semester itself.
INDUSTRIAL EXPOSURE OF DEPARTMENTS
1: How the industrial collaboration of departments is being ensured through department events like RSS, energy day etc?
Aditya: During the previous year, Energy day was marked by organizational mismanagement. It was planned out two weeks before the final date, so a lot of people who were supposed to be there were not present. But RSS has seen a good success in the Chemical Engineering department.
2: How are we assessing the success of such events, should we expect more industrial projects or core placements through this?
Deekshith: It’s not necessary that such events should culminate in projects being offered to the departments. That being said, a lot of industry personnel comes to visit our labs. Most of these companies who visit us are from an R&D background. They visit our labs and sometimes inform and see the opportunity to provide better equipment that we would need in the labs. The PhDs also visit their facilities to work on the equipment that they can provide.
3: Can you provide any source of data from where the success of such activities can be assessed?
Deekshith: Department councils will have some idea since these activities and details about industries providing such access of facilities are not documented. Professors are contacted when students visit such facilities but these activities are not easy to document.
Aditya: These events like Energy day would take time to reach a certain level and gain momentum. We are emphasizing right now on having more and more industrial interaction and exposure, so that it can reach a level from where these kinds of outcomes can be documented. RSS has already reached a certain momentum.
4: Could you give us more clarification on how you are trying to increase the industrial participation in departments through these events?
Aditya: The aim is to invite and have people from industries, visit the departments as much as possible so that they can know the kind of research work that is being conducted here. Of course some of the professors are in good contact with some of the industries, but there are many industries that do not have any idea of the kind of work we undertake, and whether there is some application of that work in their area of interest. So we want to increase the exposure of department research work in industries at first.
Every department has their own ways of achieving this i,e, to invite and identify the type of companies who would be interested in their work which is why a full concrete plan of achieving this cannot be described, but we are pushing it to every department as much as we can.
The Department of Energy Science and Engineering, for example, has an Industry Liaison Officer now.
1: What’s the current status of issues with PhD accommodation?
Aditya: Right now the Associate Dean (SA) is planning to arrange a satellite housing for students. It is a temporary place of accommodation outside the campus from where the students will commute to the Institute.
2: What is the status of this project?
Aditya: A proposal has been taken from OYO to arrange this satellite housing at around 0.9 km from the campus. A budget has been proposed to MHRD to fund the project, but we haven’t received any reply yet. The expense of the accommodation will be borne partly by the institute and partly by the students.
3: What kind of accommodations have been arranged?
Aditya: We have tried to work on the economics of buying/renting a block of the apartment by the institute, such that the expenses borne by the students and the cost of periodic availability of transportation made available by the institute can give us a feasible model. This model has been successfully adopted by the TIFR and IISc. Fortunately, they have their accommodations in places where the cost of living was relatively low. Our previous attempts to make it feasible including the HRA was not successful, therefore we are looking to revise the plan to have a feasible way.
4: How much cost beyond HRA is IIT willing to pay?
Arbaj: The proposal has been sent to get funding of 16 crores for the entire project of satellite housing which is the figure got after taking account of the amount of fair that students would bear.
1: What is the status of infrastructural changes in the institute for differently-abled students?
Aditya: The infrastructural changes for the ease of accessibility of facilities to differently-abled people has been proposed to be funded by the alumni. But before proposing a budget to the alumni, an audit report will have to be made for the proposed changes. It has been previously done voluntarily by the TATA group and this time we are approaching the alumni who have contacts of some companies who can assess the audit for free. The audit is necessary to give a better analysis of the changes and is necessary to be done by the specialists.
We expect the audit part to be over by January end, after which we would get an estimation of the budget to be proposed to the alumni.
2: How are you trying to increase PG participation in the institute activities?
Aditya: This semester there has particularly been a drop because of the two weeks been lost in the increased academic load. But overall we are trying to go beyond the usual workshops being conducted by the PGAC council. We have some ideas of new events that would have greater interaction between the students which we would be implementing in the coming semester.
3: Lot of departments don’t have an updated department website? Why isn’t it being rectified?
Aditya: The responsibility to update the website isn’t really an officially compulsory task being looked over by the PGAC council. Its encouraged to be done and looked over by the department councils itself. The task is usually assigned to a department web secretary who holds this responsibility, but the problem is that no one takes this post voluntarily, At times students and department councils are pushed to get this task done by realizing them the necessity of it.
4: What’s the status of maintenance and repair of academic infrastructure like lights, seats and specially plugs that are very important in placement seasons? Why was the process not expedited considering the placements?
Arbaj: We have sent the proposal of repair and maintenance works to be done a long time ago, but the work is being halted due to the logistical constraints i.e. mostly the busy schedule and unavailability of the spare period to conduct repairs. This is the major reason for most of our projects to be under the pipeline.
1: Why is Hostel 16 not allowed to participate in Goonj, MDGC and Gyrations?
A: ISMPs have a problem with the freshies staying awake and practising past their bedtimes. If you see, the practices for some of these events go on till 3-4 am in the morning which is not acceptable for the freshies who are majorly here to study. So, it’s not something that the ICC has imposed upon them, it is something which, from the Dean’s perspective has to be taken into account. Freshies are allowed to participate but only at the complete discretion of the Cult Cos or General Secretaries of the senior hostels.
Follow-up question: Can there be a performance from Hostel 16 itself?
A: The ISMP guidelines have to be taken into account with respect to the GCs. As far as the senior hostels are concerned, they have to take full responsibility of the freshie that is performing with/for them.
2: Why has the PG Cult website not been updated?
A: There was no Web Convener till Phase 1 events. The Web Convener was appointed after Phase 1 events. So the website will be updated soon
Follow-up question: Any reason for the delay in the appointment of the Convener? When can the website be expected to be updated?
A: There was a problem in finding a suitable student who would both be willing and able to update the website. The website can be expected to be up and running by the beginning of the Spring Semester.
3: In the Summer School and Cult School Courses, there are too many drop-outs. Is it wise to continue the programs?
A: There has been a rise in the no. of registrations in Summer and Cult Schools as compared to the previous tenure which is a fair reflection of the success of the programs. Students tend to pay up before the beginning of the course on the account of the limited seats that are available. Students tend to drop-out as they might not like the course after the Demo class or they might have some other commitments during the scheduled timing of the course, which is kept according to the instructor and cannot be changed. In such cases, the students are refunded.
4: Why did the General Secretary, Cultural Affairs perform in front of a crowd of 1000s during ‘Institute Nite’ of Mood Indigo? As there are a multitude of singers in the Music Club, wouldn’t it have been better if someone else from the Club had performed?
A: I wasn’t supposed to be a part of the event initially and was asked to perform just the night before the event. We were given a 30-minute slot and the plan was to have a Solo, Duet and a Band performance each as promised to the Dean. I prepared for just 2 hours prior to the event as it was not in the plan.
Follow-up question: Is there any clarification as to why this was delayed till the last minute?
A: I asked the Institute Music Secretary to find someone who could perform but since the practices of ‘Surbahaar’ were also running parallely, it became difficult to find anyone. At the last moment, we worked things out as the slot had to be occupied and went ahead with the performance.
A: So BMC has changed the valve twice and they arrived today as well. Assured that this will end in 5 days. Dean IPS has already written a mail to them and they (HA) are currently going take the follow up in 5 days. But the HA said that apart from reminders, they cannot do much more.
2: Increase in routes of e-shuttles & update on tum-tums, transport situation in general
A: Submitted proposal to Dean SA for more e-shuttles and will increase routes once approved, negotiated with e-shuttle for decrease in prices, NFC cards have not been publicized since currently the prices are still 10 and hence people are not buying the cards.
3: Update on replacement of Eateries closed (Amul/Campus hub/Coffee Shack)
A: Branded cafeteria tender twice but not a great response, planning a direct MoU with a specific brand for the locations. Expected to be completed in his tenure.
4: AC Study Rooms update
A: H9,11 in one week. 9&11 construction is done but the installation of ac, meter for. Ac billing for it etc are pending and the reason for the delay is due to a miscommunication between the design cell and EMD officials For the rest of the hostels the estimates have been completed now but were on hold due to various reasons :
Hostel 3, 6 follow up will be taken soon. H3 has a water seepage issue which wasn’t considered in the initial plans H10 delayed the finalization of location After all this were resolved the design cell had been handling more projects and didn’t have the manpower to overlook so many different hostels So it was decided that they will be tendered in batches of 2 But the other projects design cell was involved in have recently been completed enabling them to speed up the estimates and bow they will be tendered. So yes a lot of factors one after the other
5: Guest booking portal update
A: Increase of rooms in H18 is compensated by loss of rooms in H4,8
In talks with authorities to make a dynamic portal that’ll remove paperwork and also include booking for siblings in addition for parents.
6: Cycle shop & Unisex barbershop proposal broken, why?
A: Cycle shop point has not yet started. Regarding, barber shop, HA realized that there is currently not any need for the same since there was not enough response from students.
7: How has the inclusion of PG ISHA affected the working of the Hostel Council compared to last year?
A: Previously, PG students voiced their complaints to PG GSAA and then he informed it to GSHA. Now, this process had become direct.
8: Status of Mobile network boosters.
A: Delay due to companies; all except two refused to provide boosters due to cost analysis. Once the company decides upon whether to build towers or boosters, we will float a form among hostels to gauge the network problem.
9: Location of approved electronic repair shop
A: H18 (tentative), open for location ideas.
10: Is there a specific policy for allotment of Government and private mess? Future steps planned?
A: Drafting a policy regarding fine for CHMS worker violations (New committee); H7,8 mess transferred to H3, 11. Kanaka can’t handle H15 & H3 together due to a new contract saying that one caterer cannot handle one big and one small hostel.
Trying to phase out CHMS messes eventually with retirement of workers.
Suggestion: Since the present 5 government messes are understaffed, allot 4 hostels to CHMS workers.
11: Lack of hot water in H18
A: Met with Associate Dean IPS and he said Mali Sir said they’ll complete the document of tendering till 5th Nov.
1: In Carrom GC Semis, Quarters and Finals matches were scheduled within a gap of two hours. This had an impact on the players who were playing. All the players of a team may not be free for the whole day to play. At least there should be a day gap between important matches. Please look into this issue and ensure that this does not happen in future GCs.
A: In Carrom GC, group matches were scheduled before the Diwali break. After the breaks, students were not free Monday onwards. We asked the players and the hostel sports-cos and the decision was taken with consensus. That was not the best-case scenario to conduct all-important matches in one day, but we were left with no other choices.
2: Why the GCs schedule is running late? For example, badminton and athletic GCs which are usually conducted during the autumn semester have not been conducted yet?
A: The first reason was that the semester started late, the process of making committees was crumpled, We had to convince all the hostels including the H18 dilemma, another reason was monsoon havoc.
3: How are fixtures set for GCs, and how is it made sure that a particular hostel is not benefitted?
A: In any IIT in any tournament, the fixtures are made according to a fixed format. We look into the standings from last year’s results, for example, fixtures for the year 2020 will be set considering the results of 2019. Four groups are formed and the first team/ hostel to be placed in each of these four groups are pre-decided as per the standings. The winner goes into group A while the first, second and third runner up are allotted groups B, C and D respectively. The rest of the teams are picked randomly through chits and it is solely luck that determines the fixtures. To further ensure no misconduct this is done under the eyes of the council members.
4: Please put a crystal clear email regarding the participation of freshies in the various GC’s. Like in chess, freshers participated as H-16 whereas in carrom they participated from the corresponding senior hostels
A: Yes we acknowledge this problem persists, this has existed for 3 years now and even we in our freshie year wanted to play for 15-16. This topic was under discussion in our council and arguments were heard from both sides, the sport Cos and the seniors from the senior hostels cited their reasons for the current paradigm. If freshies are allowed to play for hostel 15-16 then in the four years of their stay they only would play for two years for senior hostels considering no one plays in the 4th year. Further, it helps both seniors and freshies to establish communication through early interaction which would be beneficial in the future. Listening to the freshies who say they want to play with their friends we have come to the conclusion that it is a choice of the freshie hostel to participate as 15-16 or for their corresponding future hostels. Coming to the miscommunication, since the hostel council of 15-16 was not formed during the carrom GC, the players participated directly from NSO through the institute Carrom secretary’s assistance. When the committee came into the picture they played for 15-16.
5: Any updates regarding the proposed synthetic jogging track around the old swimming pool area.
A: The old swimming pool area is currently used for many varied purposes and many other proposals are also there like a skating track. We are considering other options besides the swimming pool area. The area just off the football ground is also under our radar but safety h, hurdles are holding us back similarly to the area near 12-13, but there are,e impediments in that as well.
The project might take two or three years to take off, but we will get clarity by next semester’s midterm examinations.
1: What measures have been taken to ensure safety in tech labs? This year in April there was a fire accident in the aerospace department. Has there been an increase in precautionary measures after that?
A: After the incident tech teams were told to submit a safety report to their facads and Aerospace department HOD as many tech teams are located there. Fire drills were conducted in the subsequent period. All the teams were encouraged to be part of these drills. The satellite team has submitted a safety report to aerospace HOD. Also, other labs like IITB racing have measures for fire safety like fire extinguishers.
2: There are speculations that there is a decline in the number of participants in tech GCs, is it true?
(Number of participants in each GC were provided)
A: Also, earlier Jhatka GC was one-day event but this year it was extended to 2 days. There was a session before Jhatka GC so that non-elec students can also participate by making them aware of basic tools required like oscilloscope, DSO, etc.
3: What is the status of team formation for Inter IIT?
A: As soon as problem statements were provided we floated the forms for team formation. High-prep teams are formed already. Mid-prep and low-prep teams are in progress because their problem statements were released very late just a few days ago.
4: There were allegations in last year’s tech GBM that funds were underutilized. Your remarks on it?
A: Last year’s funds were completely utilized.
5: Why this year doesn’t have a tech-team nominee?
A: Unlike last year, this year we have only a project nominee. Reason being Aniruddha, projects and teams nominee this year is also project manager of one of the tech teams that could have been a direct contradiction at multiple places with the powers he would have had. Other teams might have felt that he is abusing his powers to do well for his team, that is why we decided to take up only the projects portfolio. Also, I did not see any point in increasing the POR.
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