Manifesto Review: Hostel Affairs Secretary — T Kranthi Kumar

The colour scheme works like this:

Green completed already.

Orange will most likely be completed before end of tenure.

Red not completed, or left to future Secretaries.

Kranthi Kumar was elected unopposed to the post of Hostel Affairs Secretary. He says he wanted to change how the students perceived the office of the HAS with a complete overhaul of current methods of functioning, and believes that things could’ve been different for him had the iKollege initiative not failed initially. He cites the Engineering Unit’s delays in project delivery, including hostel maintenance and sanitation, as the major obstacle to the implementation of his ideas. He wishes to see a secondary private agency complementing the EU catering to urgent requirements of the Institute. He also thinks that hostel mess secretaries are not being able to perform their primary duty of representing their hostel residents in mess issues and hence wishes to see a different system, possibly consisting of Institute Mess Councillors for each mess, introduced.

As seems to be the trend this year, Kranthi’s review indicates a low success rate in the execution of tasks, with only 26% of the points on his manifesto being taken to completion. He believes he will be able to effect a further 17% of his manifesto before his term ends. He feels that being instrumental in getting the Tatkal booking counter set up, starting a non-vegetarian mess and proposing the idea of tendering for student facilities are his important achievements outside his manifesto.

 

Mess

Mandakini mess shall be reopened factoring in the increasing student strength.

Carried out in the even semester.

Cycle parking area of Himalaya shall be extended to the area behind GFC.

Marked cycle parking extended to the sides of the two forked roads leading up to Himalaya, but not to the area behind GFC.

Food Court tenure shall be reduced from four months to two months.

Decreased to one month from the even semester onwards.

 

Hostels

Temporary rain/sun sheds shall be installed at Jamuna, Narmada and ESB bus stops.

This proposal has been approved, but the Engineering Unit has not been able to take up this project.

Signboard displaying departure timings shall be installed at Narmada and ESB bus stops.

Kranthi cites this too as one of the Engineering Unit’s pending projects.

There shall be strict monitoring of the housekeeping staff and awareness shall be spread about the cleaning policy.

There has been very little change on this front, which Kranthi says is due to the current tender document not being too rigid. He says the present tender will not be extended when the housekeeping tender is taken up next year, and it is likely to be a process that shall involve students as well.

Security cameras shall be re-installed at the entrances of all hostels.

Has happened.

An insurance policy camp shall be organized in the hostel zone (optional- against theft) for laptops and mobile phones.

Has not happened till now, but Kranthi says this is still a possibility.

An open house in every hostel shall be administered once a semester in coordination with the hostel council members to assess, solve and review hostel related issues.

This was carried out in Krishna, Cauvery, Brahmaputra and Pampa in the vacations, and also in Saraswathi during the academic year. Kranthi says the rest of the hostels shall be covered at the end of his tenure.

Apart from the usual fumigation along term effective insecticide shall be sprayed in order to keep the mosquitoes away.

Kranthi cites logistical obstacles, of not having rooms free at a stretch for them to be safe for inhabitation after insecticides are sprayed, as the reason for this not having been carried out till now. Although he feels he can get the administrative groundwork done by the end of his tenure, it is debatable whether the logistics will work out in this short a time. An alternative proposal, he feels, is having a dedicated unit under the EU to which requests can be submitted whenever rooms are free.

 

Facilities

Will advocate the diversification of the menu catering to the regional appetites and improvement of the bakery section in Gurunath patisserie.

Has happened.

Will propose to increase the number of ATMs (SBI) in hostel areas.

PoS (Point of Sales) cash withdrawal system set up at Gurunath, but no new ATMs set up anywhere in the hostel zone.

A secondary dedicated ironing service that functions during the evening time shall be commenced.

Has not happened, but in its stead, the frequency of the present one has been increased and a hostel delivery system has been introduced.

Air Compressors shall be setup at Velachery and Main gates.

Has not happened, but Kranthi says it is only a matter of getting the EU to set up compressors.

Better lighting in Himalaya lawn shall be provided as it would serve as a good meeting spot.

New LED lights installed at the beginning of the year.

Feedback boxes shall be made available at each and every student facility.

Tried out at Gurunath, but did not turn out to be very effective. Not installed anywhere else.

 

Students’ Portal

Set up a campus book swapping portal: A web based tool to facilitate exchange of books among the student community.

Has not happened. WebOps team’s workload cited as primary reason.*

Set up a Secretary portal: A web based tool to view the progress of secretaries’ work along with the timeline and manifestos.

Has not happened. WebOps team’s workload cited as primary reason.*

Options Panel: A web based tool to take polls for deciding the menu of the messes.

Has not happened. WebOps team’s workload cited as primary reason.*

 

Follow up on work of Ex-Council

Unused cycles in all the hostels shall be repaired and then infused into cycle lending system.

Will not happen.

How Things Work: A collection of all procedures & regulations of the institute shall be documented & made available.

SWiki has been delivered by the WebOps team, but documentation will take time.

The list of the items in rate Contract shall be extended and then the system shall be made use of by all the hostels.

Has not happened.

A revision of the bus timings shall be done according to class and lab timings.

Bus frequency in the morning from 7.30 – 9 has been increased, but a problem with bus drivers’ shifts is being cited as the reason for an unchanged schedule otherwise.

 

Vital Statistics

Item and Colour Code

Number

Percentage

Completed/Green

6

26

Will Be Completed/Orange

4

17.4

Can’t Be Effected/Red

13

56.6

Total

23

100

Miscellaneous (notable points not a part of the manifesto)

These are a few noteworthy non-manifesto initiatives that the HAS played a part in executing:

  • Setting up of the following facilities:

    •  Biryani shop.

    •  Momos stall (which shall now be replaced by pasta shop).

    •  A fruit juice shop.

  • Mess:

    •  A non-vegetarian mess started in the campus.

    •  Service tax on student’s mess bill was waved off.

  • Fees payment in installations made possible for students availing scholarship

  • Arranged monkey-proof dustbins wherever it was required in the hostel zone.

  • Pilot waste disposal methods being tried out in hostel (especially in Tapti).

*Note: This line of the review has been edited on 15th March, 2014. “Has not happened. WebOps team’s integration into a single Institute unit and the resulting workload cited as the primary reason,” has been changed to, “Has not happened. WebOps team’s workload cited as primary reason.” 

 

You can find all the manifesto reviews here.

Disclaimer: The views are not to be construed in any manner as the official views of IIT Madras.
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