SAC Meeting Review: Feb 2012


img_3141by Darsana Vijay and Sarthak Pathak

The SAC meeting started with explanations for the many hiccups in internet connectivity on campus. The change of proxy authentication to LDAP was made in November. Prof.Nitin Chandrachoodan had identified overuse of Facebook and Gmail as the reason for the heavy traffic and internet being very slow. He explained that students usually did not log out even after they were done accessing their accounts. 20 out of 120 Mbps was being taken up by Facebook. Limiting bandwith allotted to particular sites was not an option. Hence, it was blocked to observe the effect.

He also mentioned a few changes to intranet in the hostel zone. Previously, hostels were connected to one hub in the computer center via a common gateway – Now, the hostel zone has been divided into different subnet masks roughly encompassing one hostel each. Hence, the download speeds have increased within the same subnet mask but have decreased between different subnet masks.

A query was raised whether it was possible to restore access to in the academic zone thereby ensuring uninterrupted internet atleast in the labs, because was not robust enough.

The Academic Affairs Secretary stated that a sub-committee would be formed to look into matters involving the internet. The measure was vaguely reminiscent of an EML where the speaker remarked, “If you don’t know the solution, and neither do I, then we shall set up a committee and forget about the problem” gathered much attention.

The first two phases of the placement season took place from Dec 1 to December 23. 232 companies (10-12 per day) conducted tests and interviews. This was the first time placement took place in two phases, and helped in attracting bigger companies. Out of 1216 students who sat for placements, 786 got job offers. A more detailed report will follow shortly on The Fifth Estate.

Demand for a holiday on the occasion of Holi: A motion was passed with a simple majority to request the senate to declare 8th March as a holiday. The flipside of this is that 10th March (Saturday) might be made a working day to conserve the number of days in the semester.

Hostel Nights: A motion was passed to place before the Senate the request to allow girls to be present in the boys hostels till midnight. The hostel General Secretary and the hostel council in general would have to take care that undesirable incidents do not take place.

There was a discussion on why girls are not allowed in Krishna, Cauvery and Brahmaputra hostels when there was a system of standardized rules for the same. The Dean of Students talked about a few complaints from parents of students. He noted that the culture that we are born and brought up in was responsible for these things before digressing from the issue.

Another committee will be formed to look into the popular demand to have 24 hours net during institute recognized holidays.

Regarding the shortage of books, a student can approach the Library affairs committee member (who will be a professor of the respective department) demanding any book that is prescribed for a particular course to be included in the library. The AAS also urged the students to make use of the book bank. E-books will be purchased and made available in the online database. Following dismal reports on the function and maintenance of the hostel libraries, the Cultural Affairs Secretary will meet with the Literary secretaries of each hostel.

Student General Secretary :

Security : The General Secretary said that the administration would be requested to provide increased security in light of recent issues. The executive wing members pointed out several blind spots in the insti, places with negligible security cover. It was claimed that in many spots access to campus was possible directly from outside. Some doubts were also raised regarding the access times of some gates in campus. The gate access rules will be put up near all the gates conveying the time till which students can enter/exit the gates. The demand for an all-night canteen was also discussed without reaching any decisive conclusion.

Water dispensers in CRC : This proposal has been floating around for many years. The General Secretary claimed that bubble dispensers aren’t viable due to monkeys. Since this was a problem of grave concern, the standard approach of setting up a committee had already been employed. This committee is still looking into alternatives and if this amounts to nothing, bubble dispensers will be put up.

Hostel Affair Secretary :

In fashion with other secretaries, the HAS also mentioned a committee – a monitoring committee for student facilities – comprising of two cores, four coordinators, the Hostel Affairs Secretary and the Student General Secretary. It looks into issues related to GFC, power laundry, special railway reservations, tour packages during summer, etc.. They have collected student feedback on Zaitoon and the laundry system.

The reason behind the hike in the mess charges : During the last week of September, A-diet express, which was working at a daily rate of Rs 50, demanded a raise to Rs 55. The other messes were operating around the same rate and hence the request had to be granted. The previous caterers, Sakhti’s Kitchen, were contacted and they offered to serve at the same rate; hence they were reinstituted to serve in Vindhya mess. Since the feedback forms collected from 75 students rated A-diet 6.5-7 it was allowed to continue.

A question was raised regarding penalties imposed on A-diet. There was only one such incident in Vindhya mess, after which there was no such major complaint. The penalty was implemented in a rather creative way – the caterer had to serve each student an ice-cream for dinner. The efficiency of mess complaint registers was questioned. It was bought to notice that the students should notify the mess manager or the hostel mess secretary before writing down the complaint.

Mess Monitoring committee reports : The HAS mentioned that these reports are prepared on a regular basis. The chairman of the committee is the Cauvery hostel warden who is assisted by 17 mess secretaries, 4 mess cores, 3 mess members (previous mess secretaries), and HAS.

Mess Account Automation: One of the responses on the mess feedback noted that the smart card fell short of being smart. “All it does is to grant me access to the library. Mess card, smart card, food court card, extras card – how many should I carry around?”. Reacting to that statement, the HAS said that a single card will be introduced which will perform all the functions of Smart card, mess/ food court card and extras/cash card. Triesten Technologies has been contacted to carry out this process.

HAS stated that limited meal coupons will be made available eliminating the need to stand in the queue. This coupon should be produced at the serving counter to buy an economic meal. A student pointed out that this would not really solve the problem, since there will be a similar rush at the serving counter. It was also mentioned that the real problem was under-staffing. There was no concrete response from the HAS regarding this.

Problems with the students portal and mess registrations were due to the change in server. The new server could not be accessed from outside the institute.

The Industrial Washing Facility was dismissed as it was found to be not very viable. The earlier Power Laundry system is one lakh cheaper per annum and the maintenance costs are also lower. It will be brought back with increased rates. It will cost roughly Rs. 17 (12 earlier) per pair.

The Sports Secretary :

The sports secretary remained absent from the SAC meeting, as it was claimed he was “playing footer for his hostel” at the time. The Academic Affairs Secretary answered a single query in his favor and said that the swimming pool’s need of a total revamp is due to cracking of many parts including the wall. To this, the Dean of Students added that despite the official claim of requiring 15 months to open the swimming pool, it would take around 18.

The Co-Curricular Affairs Secretary observed that the hostel tech rooms lacked organisation. A standard template of the facilities that should be present in each tech room will be prescribed. Measures to deal with electronic junk will be figured out. 5-6 computers would be bought per hostel and other improvements are likely to be made.


Rude behavior of the Security personnel was an issue raised by several students. There were reports of guards aiding non-insti people who cause inconvenience to students. LSG directed the students to contact him directly if such an issue was encountered.

The token system at Tifanys was reported to be highly inefficient and it is rarely made use of. Steps will be taken to redress this issue.

A general qualm that was raised by several students was regarding relaxation or total abolishment of the 85% attendance rule. Though the executive council did agree to put it up before the Senate they did not seem very confident in getting it passed.

Shaastra-Saarang Rescheduling :

There was a demand made by professors to reschedule Shaastra and Saarang as they were seen to be linked to a loss in academic momentum. Nearly 5 alternatives were presented and the SAC was somewhat favorable towards the midsem break format. According to this, the semester will begin four days in advance; Shaastra will be towards the end of the semester with a mid-sem break during which time the preparations for Shaastra have to be carried out. Saarang will also be around the same time the next semester.

The meeting of the executive wing and hostel council manifesto review were pegged down as 21st and 22nd February.

A suggestion was put forth regarding the introduction of preferential voting system in the elections. It was dismissed saying that it would not make much of a difference.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *