Manifesto Review: Co-Curricular Affairs Secretary — Tanuj Jhunjhunwala


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.

Blue – for points difficult to classify into one of the above (a more detailed explanation can be found in the paragraphs below).

Tanuj ‘Tdot’ Jhunjhunwala was elected unopposed to the post of Co-Curricular Affairs Secretary for the year 2013-14. He had earlier worked as the Events core for Shaastra 2013 and Technical Affairs Secretary of Godavari hostel (2011-12), besides holding a variety of technical and leadership positions in CFI.

It must be noted at the outset that parts of Tanuj’s manifesto contain points that are broad by nature. Such points outline the vision he had for a particular area, without getting into specific deliverables. Without this specificity, it is difficult to perform an objective analysis of his manifesto points and colour-code them based on completion status in a manner directly comparable to the reviews of other Secretaries. Thus, the colour scheme has been modified for his review alone — manifesto points that were too broad to classify into one of the three categories have been marked in blue, while the rest follow the usual code.

For the broader points, we have listed out a few specific initiatives that were implemented towards their fulfillment. Although a direct comparison is not possible owing to the slightly modified colour code utilised here, the Co-CAS for 2013-14 appears to have done more justice to his manifesto than most other Secretaries.



Open House
  • A launch-pad for students to exhibit their projects and facilitate networking among students, faculty, industries and alumni.

The second edition of CFI Open House was conducted, where over 300 students and 40 faculty members (but, notably, very few potential industrial sponsors) interacted with the people involved with CFI.

Industrial and Public Relations:
  • To define a well-structured system that facilitates accepting projects from faculty, start-ups, industry , NGOs and more collaborative projects with international universities
  1. As part of the implementation of this point, the CFI website was revamped to have Alumni|Faculty|Students tabs and to facilitate dynamic interaction with all the stakeholders. Two project proposals from faculty members and three from companies were received through this web portal.
  2. An Industry Connect team was formed to source projects from the industry, aimed at making CFI self-sustainable, and giving its students practical exposure. Currently, work has started on 3 projects. There are more projects lined up, which have been put on hold until these projects are seen to completion.
  3. Team Sahaay was formed to work in association with RuTAG to address the technical challenges that NGOs face. Out of the 5 projects taken up, 4 projects have been completed and handed over to the NGOs for first-phase testing.
  4. An active Facebook page (with over 3000 likes) has been created.
Involvement: Clubs and Projects:
  • To channelize efforts for Intellectual Property generation

An awareness session about filing for patents and gaining copyrights and related benefits was organized.

  •  Involve seniors (second/third years) through projects from Faculty/Industrial collaborations

This was achieved via the Industry Connect team.

  • Faculty involvement as “Board of Advisors”:

A Board of Advisors was constituted, consisting of twelve faculty members across the departments and two alumni, who each helped mentor projects from their fields. However, not a single meeting of the Board took place over the current academic year.

Overall,  the number of people involved in CFI activities, total project budget and number of projects  are as below:

  • CFI estimates show that approximately 1100 people were involved with CFI in the past 3-8 months. The basis of these calculations is the number of registrations that CFI had recorded for biometric access and the number of people who attended CFI club sessions. Clearly, the stats are not a true indicator of the number of people actually carrying out CFI projects, as a majority of individuals who attend club sessions do not end up taking up a project. Besides, people attending the club sessions (especially freshies) are not unique across the clubs. A more realistic estimate would be about 300-400.

  • Projects were undertaken with a total budget of 20L. (A decrease compared to last year’s budget of 30+ lakhs).

  • Young Innovators Program, aimed at freshie summer projects, received 240 ideas, of which the student head of CFI estimates that 60 will be accepted as CFI projects. Applicants will be mentored by CFI seniors and the projects will be executed with a budget of 7-8 lakhs

  • To elevate quality standards.
  1. Introduced a finance portal for temporary advance application and settlement for clubs and competitions.
  2. Made deals with Machine shops for regular maintenance and service of machinery and power tools.
  3. Obtained permission to utilize workshop CNC machines for competition and projects.
  • To reduce the ‘time factor’ in all tasks performed under CFI administration. 
  • Making CFI open to all by providing basic set of resources and Standard Operation Procedures.
  1. Biometric system has been installed at the entrance.
  2. Order for basic tools to be placed in a common area has been made.
  3. Standard Operating Procedures have to be put up at various location to define protocols for use and facilitate smooth functioning.

Some new facilities that have been procured for CFI this year:

  • A new CNC milling machine has been procured with funds from 1998 batch.

  • A Mechatronics lab worth over 10 lakhs, sponsored by Eaton, has been approved to be built in CFI.



Shaastra 2014 witnessed  an on-ground participation of 4000 college and 500 school students, with a budget of nearly 90 lakhs.

Brand  Value:
  • International events, publicity and associations:

This did not happen owing to time constraints, and a lack of understanding of how to go about it.

  • Launch products at Shaastra. Revamp the IITM Ideas Challenge.

Three devices were designed by the Shaastra team (an anti-theft tracking device, a photo-switch for energy saving and a bottle designed for efficient jogging).  The prototypes will be tested in the institute. The Ideas Challenge team was mentored under CFI and provided with required resources.

Restructuring the team:
  • Focussed on an unparalleled lecture series by dedicating a Core member.
  • Successfully merged Hospitality and Publicity departments into a single Student Relations department.
  • Introduced a separate Core position for managing Shows (Envisage and Shaastra Nights).
Improvements to existing shows/events:

Two big new events —  Lunar Rover Challenge and Pan IIT Research Expo — were introduced in Shaasra 2014.

  • Shaastra Junior reached out to more parts of India. Science projects were demonstrated at the same.

  • More involvement of postgraduate students achieved by introducing department flagship events, paper and poster presentation, and research expo.

Institute Activities:

  • Shuffle TechSoc events to bring in more diversity and variety

Events like Fire n Ice and Hovercraft were introduced into TechSoc this year in accordance with the same.

  • Utilise Tech boards, website and Facebook site for regular updates.

  • An internal newsletter, in association with T5E covering TechSoc, CFI, Shaastra to cover highlights and acknowledge even small contributions.

Did not happen because of lack of enough manpower from T5E.

Lectures and Interactions:

A Day with a Visionary:
  • A whole day of inspiring, intellectually stimulating activities and networking sessions with a world renowned visionary and technocrat for the students body of IITM.

A lecture and interaction session was organised with Richard Stallman, computer programmer and American software freedom activist, during Shaastra.

  • Aimed at two such lectures per semester and one at Shaastra

Could not organise lectures during the semester as alumni sponsors preferred getting visionaries from a variety of fields, not limited to the technical. As efforts to collaborate with Saarang and EML teams in this direction failed, only one lecture could be organised, which was during Shaastra.

Infi talks:
  •  An interactive platform at IIT Madras for and by its students to share experiences & thoughts.

Two talks are scheduled in March and April as part of this series.

Inter-IIT Tech Meet

To create a universal platform where the Co-Curricular activities of all the IITs would be demonstrated for promoting interaction between IITs.

  • Shaastra 2014 was aimed at being an occasion for this meet.

But the meet was hosted by IITB, on the grounds that they would be unable to host it next year due to the Inter-IIT Sports Meet scheduled concurrently. However, the 2014-15 edition will be hosted by IIT Madras. It is also worth noting that IITM came second overall at the 2013-14 Meet.

  • Create a high-quality platform where beginners can learn a lot by just reading fellow IITians’ works.

IITM envisioned the  Tech Meet to be a stage for sharing knowledge between all the IITs. However, IITB went on to host the meet, and ended up organising competitions. In keeping with the philosophy of knowledge sharing, a pan-IIT Research Expo was organised at Shaastra 2014.

Item and Colour Code












Difficult to Classify/Blue







You can find all the manifesto reviews here.

Raghavi Kodati is a senior undergraduate student in the Chemical Engineering department, whose research interests are in microfluidics and materials. While working on this article, she got fascinated by the history of material joining processes – from their use in iron pillars in ancient India to today’s aluminium-lithium SpaceX rockets. Excited about science writing, she has written for three issues of Immerse.

Raghavi Rao Kodati

Raghavi Kodati is a senior undergraduate student in the Chemical Engineering department, whose research interests are in microfluidics and materials. While working on this article, she got fascinated by the history of material joining processes – from their use in iron pillars in ancient India to today’s aluminium-lithium SpaceX rockets. Excited about science writing, she has written for three issues of Immerse.

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