Secretary Review: Academic Affairs Secretary – Vishranth Suresh


You’ll find the other manifesto reviews here.

The colour code used in this review works like this:

  • Green – completed already

  • Yellow– partially completed and/or will most likely be completed before end of tenure

  • Red – not completed, or left to future Secretaries

On speaking to the team Vishranth has worked with, they appreciate his efficiency as a leader. IPR Core Sashank Vandrangi mentioned that he was never a bottleneck in the process and they admire how he took decisions and handled pressure from different quarters. This opinion is echoed by many of the Branch Councillors and Placement Team. Of the initiatives that could not be completed, Vishranth attributes a lot of them to the failure in hiking placement fees, which he believed would be implemented at the time of his election. The overall response to his term seems satisfactory, with a lot of fundamental initiatives (such as regulation of placement slotting, curriculum modifications etc.) having taken place.


Implement an Undergraduate Research Orientation Program(UROP) –Projects offered to undergraduate students will be compiled and displayed online

This could not be implemented. According to Vishranth, the administration felt that this would lead to a drop in faculty-student interaction and thus, this point was vetoed.

Initiate a institute-wide structured Study Circle program involving TAs and volunteers

Vishranth’s original plan for this initiative was to have paid TAs taking up the work. However, as the Study Circle did not fall under the purview of options available to TAs for paid work, they would have had to take up the work separately.

Teacher’s Course Feedback will be collected online (through workflow)

The proposal to move collection of Teacher’s Course Feedback was passed in the Senate and will be implemented at the time of course registration for the next semester.

A system for Dual Degree students to select their specializations after their 5th semester, will be implemented across all departments

This initiative has been passed in the BAC and Senate. Dual Degree students will also be allowed to complete their M.Tech projects in a department other than their own.

Grand viva will be shifted to the odd semester(based on the students’ feedback and feasibility)

While this was proposed on the institute level by Vishranth, the onus falls on the respective departments (and their BCs) to implement it. Only few of the departments (BT and Metallurgy) that have the grand viva had it shifted to the odd semester.

A written communication course for M.Tech/M.Sc students will be introduced

Propose to introduce a 3 credit Seminar course for final year students

While neither of these initiatives have been implemented, the Soft Skills workshop has been greatly improved upon as compared to the previous years. Lots of emphasis has been given to providing students with fundae sessions, mock GDs, mock interviews and so on. The Seminar course could not be implemented as a credited course due to a paucity of staff.


Implement a Campus Engagement Program with companies and keep them updated with the institute events

Companies were contacted by the Placement Office through email about Shaastra, Saarang and other larger happenings on campus. It was more difficult to inform them about department specific conferences and events.

Implement an extensive feedback system through customized company feedback forms  

There was a shift from the generic feedback form to feedback forms specific to the kind of company. This also allowed easier compilation of this information for future use.

Contact companies through a structured Alumni Outreach Program

This was done in conjunction with the IAR secretary and alumni office.. The alumni network was harnessed for cold calling companies rather than going through traditional channels of directly calling the HR/recruitment personnel.

Initiate company visits starting summer, so as to establish an advantageous relationship with companies thereby increasing the job opportunities

This initiative was successful, but only in the case of a few departments. Vishranth assisted in the initial stages, and the Branch Councillors of a few departments such as BioTech and NavArch visited companies like Reliance Institute of Life Sciences, Cipla, VAV lipids Pvt Ltd, HAL offshore etc.  over the summer to initiate talks. However, these plans did not materialize for many of the departments.

Placement Brochure shall be printed in Japanese to attract companies from Japan

This was one of Vishranth’s manifesto points that could not be completed to shortage of funding. Instead, a set of mediatory companies were called in in order to approach Japanese companies.

Implement Placement Holiday : Provision for students to sit for placements a year after graduation, to nurture entrepreneurship

A system of deferred placements was successfully implemented this year, allowing students deferred entry into the placement program. This would enable students who are interested in entrepreneurship and who are seeking further admission to not be excluded from the placement process.

Implement the two-slot system up to at least Day 5 to maximize offers

The two slot system, which had been tested in previous years, was implemented up to Day 5 this year.

Focus on recruitment opportunities at Universities and Engineering Colleges, primarily for the benefit of Research Scholars/M.Tech students & App Fair – Webinars with alumni in various universities.

This initiative was moderately successful. Slotting has been separated to allow for universities that start recruiting for PhD and MS only in January. While the proposed initiative of Webinars could not be implemented due to reluctance from the universities, professors from universities both local and abroad (including Carnegie Mellon and NUS) were brought down by the team to address students regarding recruitment.

Emphasis will be laid to permit M.Tech students to apply for companies open to Dual Degree and vice versa

This was implemented with the assistance of BoP members and Professor Babu. While Dual Degree and M.Tech students are eligible to apply to the same companies, there is confusion on the company end regarding what Dual Degree exactly means. Around 20-25 companies were opened up under this initiative.

Blazer-rent facility shall be initiated during Placements

The demand for this facility lacked the minimum numbers that showrooms wanted to rent blazers. Moreover, students tend to prefer fitted blazers.

A paid Xerox facility will be arranged around the Placements Avenue during December

This initiative was proposed keeping in mind that placements would happen in tower hostels. As placements took place in Sabarmati close to the Sarayu Xerox Shop, this was not required.

A Placement Monitoring Committee comprising of ex-placement team members will be instituted to monitor the work of the AAS and the core team

It was feared that a monitoring committee could interfere with the working of the placement team. Feedback was instead collected during informal sessions from each department.

Industry and Public Relations Cores will be allotted to work separately on Finance, Analytics and Miscellaneous(Consult/Sales/Teaching) sectors

The cores – Sashaank, Rohit and Arvind – were each allotted a set of functions and companies according to the sector they were dealing with.

Initiate a series of institute wide practice tests

A series of institute-wide practice tests were conducted before placements in non-core companies.

Include a “preparation” tab for companies in the placement portal, where material from bluebook/alumni feedback/company, job description will be uploaded.

The placement portal can be accessed by companies, so a preparation tab containing informal material and feedback may prove problematic. The placement preparation portal, however, contains the relevant information. The department BCs each had a prep file in place as well.

Coding sessions will be conducted to enhance the programming skills of the students -A certified program with 6 hours each of C/C++, spread over one month

There have been complaints for several years about the lack of attention to coding prep at placement time. This has been difficult to implement due to a lack of faculty, and there is a reluctance to bring in outside agencies to teach skills that are covered at the undergraduate level. Individual Branch Councillors did, however, assist department students by focusing on coding prep and circulating preparation material.

A series of inter department mock GDs will be conducted during the odd semester

Departments were paired up in order to conduct mock group discussions.

 An extensive App Database will be created

This should be compiled by the time university admits are completed.

An Internship Brochure will be made and circulated along with the Placement Brochure

The internship brochure has too much overlap with Placement brochure.

An Internship portal  ( with preparation material and a Calendar will be created

This has successfully been created and is no longer a google site, but a proper website on the IIT Madras domain.

An Internship Bluebook will be made on the lines of the Placement bluebook

This should be done in around March or April.


 A session will be conducted during April to educate students about library resources

This was done for M.S. and PhD students alone; although this is technically a function of the Research Affairs Secretary.

List of reference books will be obtained from the Professors and suitably stocked

This was discussed in the Library Committee meetings. A list of reference books provided by professors from the Library Advisory Committee were compiled and stocked.

CRC ground floor would be made WiFi enabled and shall be kept open till 2.00 am during Quiz/End semester weeks.

CRC ground floor was kept open till 1.00 am.



45. 16%

Will be completed/Partially complete


16. 12%

Not completed


37. 5%

Other Initiatives:

It was Vishranth’s initiative to bring in a separate internship cell to handle the logistics, reducing the burden of the internship heads.

  • The placement process was made more efficient – slotting was improved, there was increased focus on M.S and P.hD Students.

  • Various academic changes such as an increase in the number of minors etc. have been set into place.

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