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InsIghT presents a review of the work done by the current GSHA Abhijeet Mukhekar over the course of his tenure till date. The General Body Meeting, or GBM, for the institute hostel affairs council will be conducted on the 7th of November 2013 from 8:45 PM to 10:10 PM.

Please note the review of SARC, a body functioning under Hostel Affairs Council, has been carried out separately and can be found here

**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.

Institute Wide Facilities

The work of Hostel Affairs Council revolves around various administrative bodies such as the Estate Office, Electrical Maintenance Unit (EMU) and offices of Deputy Director and Deans. Getting their approval for various projects and follow up of the same often turns out to be a very time consuming process. In such a bureaucratic atmosphere, the Council’s work is often delayed as in the case of new ATM installation or LDAP verification at the main gate.

[gsreview title=”Ensure fully furnished guest rooms are made available in hostels without increment in the prices
” color=”blue”]As of now this facility exists only in 4 hostels (Hostel-12,13,14 and 15). The Hostel Affairs Council will be extending this to several hostels in the next semester, the rooms of which have currently been earmarked.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to increase the number of ATMs in hostel area to cater to the increased number of students
” color=”blue”]In principle approval has been given to install a new ATM near the hostel area. The process is being delayed from the administrative side, even after 4 months the location is yet to be finalized.
[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure speedy extension of IFWA facility to provide proxy-free internet to all the students” color=”blue”]
IFWA for students is in Beta testing phase, currently procurement of new servers is in process to cater more users as compared to 3000 earlier. It is expected to be fully functioning by the start of next semester.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to set up a printing and photocopy facility in the academic area and will try for 24 hour accessibility of these facilities in hostel area during mid and end semester exams” color=”blue”]
The new printing and photocopy facility is expected to be inaugurated by the second week of November and the 24 hour facilities were made available during the mid-semester exam.
[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Campus Card: Propose to integrate the Student ID card with Cashless Campus system” color=”blue”]
This facility is currently on hold, some of the preliminary testing has been done by Prof. Ashish Das of Department of Mathematics, who is leading this project. Whether it can be implemented smoothly within the current GSHA’s tenure is still a question.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to have an emergency quota in the guest house for students” color=”blue”]
The proposal has been made and the current guest room facility will be extended for parents in emergency situation.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure installation of LDAP verification system at the main gate to facilitate entry in case of non-possession of ID cards” color=”blue”]
This idea was given an in-principle approval by the Dean of Student Affairs but the security personnel at the main gate are hesitant to take up the maintenance responsibility of the computers/tablets. The project will be taken up once the main gate is complete and will also be extended to the hostels.[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. Hostel wise Voter ID camps and PAN card camps were organized
2. Online centralized fine record system has been approved for the convinience of students
3. Provision has been made to facilitate emergency visits of parents after 10 pm
4. Temporary stalls for tea, coffee and snacks in central library was made available during mid and end semester examinations
5. Cashless Campus: System has seen major improvements including proper management of logistics, online recharge facility and appended list of online vendors.

Hostel Facilities

Improving Hostel facilities need collaborative efforts from both the Hostel Affairs Council and the respective hostel administration. For a few cases (such as electronic access or double tube lights) blanket permission has been given and it’s now up to the individual hostels to implement it. The General Maintenance took a beating during summers primarily due to lack of coordination and whimsical planning.

[gsreview title=”Propose to have electronic access to all the hostel common areas replacing the key system” color=”blue”]A blanket permission i.e. institute wide permission has been approved and now it’s up to the individual hostels to take up the project. The estimated cost of the project is INR 4 lakhs per hostel.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Install zero radiation signal enhancers in hostels to increase the network coverage” color=”blue”]The installation of zero radiation signal enhancer has been rejected. Initially the authorities were interested to install the signal enhancers especially in Hostel-10. However, after Supreme Court’s verdict to remove all overhead cell towers in the residential areas, the proposal has been denied. Currently the administration is considering the installation of a mobile tower behind the Convocation Hall. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to have complete general maintenance of all hostel rooms done during every summer
” color=”blue”]General maintenance of hostel rooms was taken up for the first time during the summer break. This was one of the flagship projects taken up by the Hostel Council and it received heavy appreciation from the student community. That being said, the work that followed was not up to the mark, the Hostel Affairs council was too dependent on the individual hostels and the Estate Office & Electrical Maintenance Unit (EMU) whine that they never estimated such large numbers.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Follow up on installation of Heat Pumps in Hostels 12, 13 and 14 which will simultaneously function as a water heater and water cooler
” color=”blue”]This project was approved last year and has faced many hurdles related to contracts and tenders. A revised contract is now on the floor and is awaiting approval of the hostel wardens.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Develop an online slot based system to facilitate room cleaning on weekdays for the ease and convenience of students
” color=”blue”]This was an ambitious task on the part of the Hostel Council. Although the portal is fully developed, the lack of cooperation from the several hostels is causing the delay.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Follow up on doubling of tube lights in hostel rooms with insufficient illumination
” color=”blue”]A blanket permission has been given and it has been installed in some of the hostels (H4, H6 etc.)[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure speedy completion of Wireless Network access points in common areas of hostels
” color=”blue”]This project is also delayed because of vendor related issues. The former vendor ended the agreement because of the increase in US Dollar’s value. The Computer Center (CC) is currently looking for a new vendor. However, the project is yet to be approved by CC head Prof. Manjunath.
[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose lifting of LAN-BAN on weekends” color=”blue”]The agenda has been tabled before Dean of Student Affairs and a LAN ban committee was formed last month to give recommendations. Due to unavailability of a few members the meeting has been postponed to next semester.[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. The online PHO Portal consists of two parts – One to be used by all students to register for online slot based system (which is ready to use) and Second part – to be used by maintenance councils of hostels to report the working of the PHO. The second part should be accessible from next semester onwards.
2. Institute budget allotted to hostels was increased from 5.5 lakhs to 6.75 lakhs per hostel
3. Printing-Photocopy-Scanning machines in all computer rooms have been approved

Administrative Reforms

Most of the administrative reforms have been implemented and have eased the work of Hostel Councillors and secretaries (as in the case of ATS). The formation of Special Task Force has resulted in swift completion of pending Estate Office and EMU work. Only the furniture rate contract is not finalized as of now and by the looks of it significant work will start only in the next semester.

[gsreview title=”Propose to set up an Application Tracking System (ATS) for all hostel related applications from student representatives, to identify bottlenecks and speed up the processes” color=”blue”]The ATS has been developed and is currently in use. This is indeed a step in the right direction but only time will tell how successful it becomes. A few hostel representatives are still apprehensive about the efficiency of this system.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure better representation of issues faced by girls by including Girls Nominee in the HA Council
” color=”blue”]A girl Nominee has been appointed in the HA council and she regularly presents the issues faced by girls.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Aim to make the procurement of furniture and other major equipment easy by having a Rate Contract in hostels along the lines of the Rate Contract for Computer Center
” color=”blue”]The furniture rate contract will be prepared in coordination with Asst. Dean(SA) and DRMM. As of now, the advertisements have not been published.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure the formation of a Special Task Force with sufficient student representation to review the working of Estate Office, EMU and PHO, and push to implement its recommendations
” color=”blue”]A special task force was formed during summers to oversee the workings of Estate Office, EMU and PHO. 4 meetings of the task force have been convened so far, the recommendations of which have been conveyed to the concerned authorities.
[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Make the balance sheets of the entire hostel and other student related fund accounts publicly accessible for better transparency and accountability
” color=”blue”]All the wardens & hall managers have been informed of the same and at the end of this semester the balance sheet will be made public.[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. The CMS facility has been revamped and extended to transport and hospital related issues.
2. Henceforth warden and hall managers will be present during HMC, EMC meetings to make meetings more structured.
3. GABS facility has been appended with an option of preferred hostel.

Mess Facilities

In general the work related to the mess facility has experienced various obstructions be it from the administrative side (as in the case of Gas Pipeline or new Hostel-14 mess) or due to improper planning (in the case of Nutritionist in mess review committee). Indeed the hostel council has put a lot of efforts to get the work done but the only major progress made so far is the approval for exhaust ducts.

[gsreview title=”Follow up on reducing the fees paid for Hostel subsidy from Rs 6000 to Rs 3000 per semester
” color=”blue”]This proposal was denied by the authorities and a revised proposal by the GSHA to reduce the hostel subsidy to Rs 5000 is currently under consideration.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to install exhaust ducts in all the mess kitchens to improve kitchen ventilation
” color=”blue”]Exhaust ducts were installed in Hostel-3 a year back. Since the HA council has now received a blanket approval for the same, the onus is now on the individual hostels. [/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to include nutritionists in the mess review committee for periodic inspection
” color=”blue”]The Hostel Council has planned to hire a nutrionist for the committee. However, they might also include IIT Bombay Hospital’s nutritionist in order to avoid delay. So far, no concrete decision has been taken since the mess committee has decided to have a mess review next semester.
[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Follow up the setting up of a separate mess and propose a new activity area for Hostel 14
” color=”blue”]This project came in limelight after the food poisoning fiasco. The current council is putting in all efforts to get it approved, but Hostel-14’s warden is not in favor of this project.
[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Follow up on the centralized Gas Piping System from Mahanagar Gas Limited to bring down costs in mess and canteens
” color=”blue”]Work on this facility has been ongoing for over a year. The pipeline from Mahanagar Gas Limited should be constructed uptil IITB by late December. However, further branching out of its network will require diligent work from the Estate Office.
[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. Messes of Hostels 4,6,9 and 10 A have been privatized.
2. In-principle approval has been obtained to have automated cooking ovens in hostel messes so as to prepare food on large scale of better quality.

Eateries and Other Conveniences

Some of the very ambitious projects such as construction of a 24×7 Lipton Cafe or that of a professional hair salon have failed to kick off. The Amul Parlor will be up and running soon near Hostel 14.

[gsreview title=”Set up a fruit shop with a juice center and AmulTM parlor in the Hostel 12, 13, 14 area
” color=”blue”]The location of the fruit shop has not been finalized as of now. As per the HA council it should be constructed by next semester. The contract of the Amul Parlor was signed on 24th October but as of now no security deposits has been made.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to relocate the CokeTM Happiness Station to the Hostel 6, 7, 9 area for better accessibility
” color=”blue”]The Coke Happiness Station was taken down by the HA council after Mom’s Khana was removed pertaining to hypgiene related issues and will not be relocated.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to set up LiptonTM cafe which will function as a 24×7 food outlet near Library
” color=”blue”]The proposal has been rejected by the current Deputy Director and instead he suggested the construction of a small cafeteria inside the library. The proposal to include a cafeteria was approved recently by Dean IPS as a part of Library Expansion.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Ensure hostel delivery of customized cakes from Brewberry Cafe, with special discounts and reminders upon advanced registrations
” color=”blue”]This facility was made available earlier this semester. As far as special discounts are concerned, the Hostel Council is yet to disclose its plans.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to set up professional hair salon in the Hostel area
” color=”blue”]HA council is in talks with several salons and is in the process of choosing a particular vendor. Once that is done, the proposal will be tabled before the authorities for approval.[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. During Mid-sem and End-sem examinations timings of eateries were extended to 4 am in the night.
2. Two vending machines (one for Hostel area and one for Academic area) have been approved
3. Proposal to reduce rental of hostel canteens is being considered, thus reducing the price of food served in the canteens.
4. Two bhuttawala stalls have been set up near Hostel-1 and campus hub

Transport

Transportation facility will be undergoing a major reform with outsourcing of a few buses. The lack of coordination between the authorities and TumTum drivers’ society has resulted in the general apathy towards the TumTum service. Amidst all of this chaos, the HA council has done a remarkable job by increasing the number of TumTum’s and ensuring their smooth functioning.

[gsreview title=”Push for the procurement of 6 new TumTums at the earliest to ease the rush during peak hours
” color=”blue”]Rather than buying 6 new Tum-Tums, institute has agreed upon an outsourced facility with 5 new buses. According to the Hostel Council they were supposed to be running by the 1st week of November.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Set up and ensure proper maintenance of the TumTum coupon vending machine at Main Gate, YP gate and the Hostel area
” color=”blue”]Coupon vending machines have not been installed as of now. The primary reason for the delay is the expected increase in maintenance costs of machine due to the dust from construction. While this may be true in case of Main Gate and YP gate, it could still have been placed near hostel and residential areas.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to set up TumTum starting points near H1 and H7-H9 during peak hours
” color=”blue”]This has been approved and the new outsourced Tum-Tums will further add to this. It would be safe to expect an increase in the frequency of TumTum’s from the first week of November.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to increase the Night TumTum frequency as per necessity
” color=”blue”]The proposal has been approved and an additional medium sized Tum-Tum will be running till 2am every night.[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. Differential scheduling during peak hours has been approved. System will be followed once 5 additional buses start running.
2. Coordination committee with STAB has been formed to ensure speedy implementation of TumTum Tracker and Digital Display Boards project.
3. Permanent shelters for bus stops have been approved and will be set up soon.
4. Dial-a-Ride night transport service has been extended to students staying in Hostel 15C

Health and Hygiene

[gsreview title=”Push for frequent specialist visits in hospital particularly on weekends for students’ benefit
” color=”blue”]Although on paper the number has been increased, seldom one finds a speciality doctor during the allotted time. The implementation of this agenda is even taking quite a toll on Hostel Council.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Propose to shift hospital record files to software based system on the lines of library records to organize information and improve efficiency of OPD
” color=”blue”]This has been proposed to the HHAC (Hospital Health Administration Committee), the Hostel Council is constantly pushing for this one. A little pro-active support from the administrative side may result in quickening the process.[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. New wing of hospital is operational
2. Monthly vaccination camps at discounted rates were organized

Security

[gsreview title=”Review the street lighting facility and propose to increase their numbers to remove dark patches
” color=”blue”]The tender for the same is published, the EMU will soon fix this issue.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Co-ordinate with the security office and propose fencing of the complete campus perimeter with moving CCTV cameras installed at the forest borders
” color=”blue”]The proposal has been given an in-principle approval and currently the cost estimation is being evaluated. The tender has not been opened yet.
[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. Four member committee consisting of 2 wardens and 2 HA Council members have been set up to review feasibility of more secured access to hostels.
2. Online portal for security on the lines of PHO is being prepared. It will facilitate online issuance of gate passes for visitors.
3. Dedicated emergency helpline numbers have been floated for quick response in case of any issues faced.

Alumni and International Relations

[gsreview title=”Propose to set up an Alumni Center and will follow up on the setting up of IIT Bombay Museum
” color=”blue”]Well in principle, the Alumni center has been proposed by the HA council and the entire proceeding is overtaken by the Estate Office. The gradual work will follow soon and will take it’s own time. Regarding the IIT Bombay Museum, Class of 67 have already floated some donations, but as of now it’s on hold as the authorities are yet to decide on it’s location.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Formally launch the Buddy Program for all the international students that would aim to help international students to gain a complete cultural experience from IIT Bombay
” color=”blue”]A buddy program was launched by ISIR earlier this semester, quite a few international students participated in the same.
[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Revamp the History Saving Mechanism (HSM) as an online archive of the student activities and biography for seamless interaction and networking
” color=”blue”]The initial drafting of the HSM is in process and basic features and algorithms have been decided. The coding work is planned to start in December.
[/gsreview]
Additional Work

1. Spoken English Classes by British Council will be conducted from next semester for students who are currently attending PET classes, in coordination with AA council
2. Sessions were conducted by the General Consulate of Canada, Education USA, Campus France and DAAD as part of the IIT Bombay University Information Fair, in coordination with AA Council

Sustainable IIT Bombay

[gsreview title=”Initiate a vision for a sustainable campus, starting with Cycle Pools, cycle stands installed in the Institute allowing students to issue cycles on their ID-Cards
” color=”blue”]Cycle Pool is one of the flagship projects of the current HA council and the idea is also appreciated by the student community. This was supposed to be in action by 2nd October as per the HA council’s timeline. The delay was caused due the reservations of the current Deputy Director that this facility may require a lot of efforts. The HA Council’s target is to get it implemented in next sem.[/gsreview]
[gsreview title=”Lay the foundations of environment friendly practices by proposing practices like Landscape and Ground development, Bio-Gas Plant, Rain-water and Grey-water harvesting
” color=”blue”]This seems to be a very general point just for the sake of sustainability. No well thought-out plan of action has being proposed.
[/gsreview]
Miscellaneous

The HA council had a tough time in arranging accommodation for freshmen this year. There was lack of coordination among the administrative bodies and the HA council couldn’t do much more than just wait until the official deadline approached. After the initial debacle, the council did well to prepare a back up plan and getting the Type 2B quarters ready in a short duration. Undoubtedly, freshmen have faced a lot of problems this year. The real question is whether all these problems could have been avoided with better planning.