The Students’ General Secretary, Nikhil Agarwal, shares with us some new initiatives and what has changed/will change in insti over the next few months.
The proposed new complex in front of Sharavati hostel will consist of a cycle repair shop, a 24-hour canteen, a beauty parlour and a stationery shop. “The opening of a new ATM in the same area is also a possibility,” says the Gen Sec. To be completed tentatively in seven to eight months, this initiative will be immensely beneficial to the female community, who otherwise have to go as far as Alakananda to get a puncture fixed, or go all the way to Gurunath just to buy a pen. Construction of temporary set-ups for the cycle-repair shop and the canteen is already in progress and will be functional in a month or two.
Unfortunately, the already overpopulated cycle parking area in front of the hostel will have to be partly demolished to make room for this new facility.
The unused Xerox shop in front of the CCW office will be converted into another 24-hour canteen. This is probably the most awaited initiative for the vast majority of the campus, who now depend on the chai-walas outside Krishna or Taramani gates after a late Call of Duty marathon session.
An additional cycle repair shop is to be set up in the vicinity of Krishna hostel, taking the total count of cycle repair centers inside the campus to three.
A possible development in the near future is the addition of a Tatkal ticket counter in Gurunath. The administration has contacted the Railways and talks are already in progress, says Nikhil.
CFI and tech-enthusiasts have reason to cheer- they will no longer need to travel outside the campus to procure raw materials for their various projects. In addition to the Tatkal counter, there will be a new Tech Shop in Gurunath, which will have all the necessary electronic items.
Zaitoon (as we know it) will be a thing of the past, as the only after-hours food joint in the institute is set for a major renovation, being converted into a one-storey building.
Regular meetings will be conducted in the hostels where students can register complaints on the spot and they can be discussed and solved then and there. Students lose faith in the system when complaints are not acknowledged even after days, feels Nikhil. Open discussions and the absence of intermediate stages for processing complaints will reduce mistrust and add transparency to the system.
The much-awaited institute mobile application is close to completion and will be available in just a few days. It will (eventually) contain every facility that is available at this point either online or otherwise. Notable features include ‘Share-a-cab’, Institute Bus Tracker, Mess Registration, Library facilities and a complaint register.
Revamping of the Students Portal
“People say nothing ever happens here. That’s not true. Things can happen if you want them to happen”, says Nikhil. Aiming to make the Students Portal a one-stop portal, be it for the Freshies’ forum, mess registration, election details or even Shaastra/Saarang-related information, this portal will cater to them all. He also hopes to integrate Smail with the portal. In addition, it will consist of a discussion forum called Thought Cloud and an online complaint registration feature.
Keeping in mind the need for transparency, the portal will also feature a Secretary page (a regularly updated one, hopefully) which will contain details about each Secretary – the job description, teams under him/her, monthly reports and the like. The aim is to increase the involvement of students to more than just campaigning for candidates and voting in elections.
Vision for the future
Improvement of the hostel welfare fund, making it available to more students and involvement of more alumni in the process are some of the agendas for the future.
“I am very unhappy with the inter-gender interactions in the campus now. There is no place where girls and guys can come together and have productive discussions,” notes the Gen Sec. When asked why such a place doesn’t exist yet, he replies, “The idea of a common place where such interactions can happen is not feasible because we cannot find a suitable location. Library cannot be open beyond 12 because there’s no one to monitor it. Faculty is strictly against having it on the first floor of the future Zaitoon building, since they do not want productive discussions and food to mix.” He hopes that in the next few years, a viable solution is found and implemented.
Correction: The proposed discussion forum on the Students portal is called ‘Thought Cloud’ and not ‘Think Cloud’ as previously reported.