Secretary Review: Hostel Affairs Secretary – Jayachandran K


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

JC had fairly positive reviews from people who worked with him. Aditya Bharadwaj, Students’ General Secretary (2014-15) considers JC his go-to guy for new projects and initiatives. “I remember, the summer after his tenure began, he gave up on an internship opportunity in order to oversee the tendering process at Insti” says Aditya, who’s worked with JC for years before their Executive Wing comradeship.

The Green Tribunal’s ban on construction within campus affected even the simplest of proceedings of the EW, especially those pertaining to the HAS. Despite these odds, the general consensus amongst the members of the MMCC, CMGFS and the Hostel General Secretaries regarding JC’s tenure falls on the positive end of the spectrum. “The HAS was extremely organised and made it a point that every task meets a deadline” says a member of CMGFS. Another mentions how sometimes his extensively planned ideas and headstrong nature tended to stifle the opinions of others in the committee. “He gets work done” says a Hostel Gen-Sec.

Here’s how he fared with his manifesto review:




Two Food Courts & One Non-Veg Mess (An additional food court and a non-vegetarian mess facility will be introduced at Himalaya to cater to the current demand)

There isn’t an additional food court or a non-vegetarian mess facility at Himalaya. However, there was an additional food court introduced in Vindhya mess, under Shelter Caterers during the odd semester. (The caterers discontinued their tenure after the odd semester the on their own accord)

The Non-Vegetarian mess was shifted from Mandakini to Krishna, with its capacity expanded from 350 to 550 students.

Meal Billing- A coupon system shall be introduced which can be availed for a minimal meal in the morning or tea/coffee in the evening

It must be noted, that the intent of this initiative was to give students coupons with an option between availing breakfast post 9.30 and coffee/tea in the evening. However, the idea was accepted and appreciated by the council and the breakfast timing was extended up to 10.30 sans the coupon system. This gave the student body extra time for breakfast without missing out on tea/coffee in the evening.

iKollege shall be restructured as a dedicated portal for accounting, while mess registration shall be routed through the student portal

An effective redressal system shall be set up to address student issues and Social Media Forums will be exploited extensively for the same

The process of registering a complaint is streamlined through teatime meetings; one could share mess grievances by entering a report in a ledger. This is equivalent to the system that was followed last year.

There exists a Facebook group by the name  IITM Mess Issues, moderated by the HAS , that gives the student body a platform to discuss mess complaints, however with just a little more than 300 members in it, it clearly hasn’t been extensively exploited.

Various sub-committees in the MMCC shall be introduced to concentrate on issues like menu-decisions, choice of extras and penalty regulation

The penalty regulation was followed briefly in the odd semester, the decisions regarding the same were made by the professor in charge.

Consequent to division of mess halls, the number of caterers shall be increased (to around 11) to ensure quality and encourage healthy competition amongst caterers

Tea time meetings shall be better structured and documented, student member participants shall be empowered to regulate the penalties for erring caterers

The final decision on penalties is still taken by the professor in charge.

Tea time snack and  a minimum of 5 items (previously 3) of Lunch-time (including sweet) and dinner time (including ice cream) will be made available at affordable rates

There is a lack of consistency in this matter across various messes.

The qualifying caterers – starting with Krishna and Cauvery – shall be asked to provide night canteens at the mess halls through the tender process

This plan has not been carried out in Krishna & Cauvery. However, there is a night canteen functioning in Vindhya mess instead, under Vasan Tiffin Homes. Ice cream, juices and sandwiches are available till midnight (this varies from day-to-day though-they close earlier often). This will go on to be implemented in Himalaya soon, on a rotational basis between the caterers.


Sponsor – IIT Madras will host a Food Festival with the participation of external service providers and general public. The accruing revenue shall be pumped into permanent hostel infrastructure.

The Dean of Students and the Registrar approved the plan, however it was not put into action due to skepticism regarding student participation.

As a preliminary step to gauge culinary interest, and to encourage cooking skills amidst the student body, IITM Cooking Club was formed. It has had two sessions so far. One of which taught the participants how to make red/white sauce pasta. And the other had chefs from Zaitoon teach the students how to make ‘Chicken Lahori’.

The Food Festival is intended to be executed in the coming terms.

Sri Gurunath Patisserie – along with the extension shops will be made functional from 7 am to 3am

It does remain open well into the night, with the exception of GFC..

Reclamation of the defunct mini SFC near Saraswati hostel shall be proposed. The plan is to renovate and use the old SFC for additional student facilities.

In the light of the Green tribunal’s ban on construction in IIT Madras, the proposal to renovate the mini-SFC was turned down in accordance with the carbon footprint reports.

A mini breakfast package will be introduced for take-away at the SFC.

The construction of the new facility space in the academic zone will be accelerated and a food court model with five different service providers shall be introduced on the first floor

The construction is almost complete and the facility, along with Zaitoon (Quark) is expected to start functioning from May.

A Committee for Monitoring Infrastructure and Services shall be set up

CMIS is not an organized committee, however, there is an effective review system in place with the input of general secretaries in assisting the Engineering Unit. They meet on the second Friday of every month.


The tested concept of hostel coffee machine shall be proposed in all the hostels in coordination with the IAR office, where the initial investment will be sourced from the alumni

Jayachandran had successfully tested the concept of a coffee vending machine in Tapti, as the Mess Secretary prior to his election. However, further brainstorming for an Institute-wide implementation brought about a different idea.  There will be small kiosks (in collaboration with Hindustan Unilever Limited) in each hostel soon that will provide snacks and tea/coffee well into the night.

Since the kiosks are profit-based, there was no need for funding from IAR, these stalls will be handed out on the basis of a tender.

The mess rebate shall be reduced from 10 to 5 days

It has been reduced to 6 days. For those unaware, a mess rebate is the refund one can avail when they take a leave of absence from the institute for more than 6 days.

An annual performance review shall be scheduled to evaluate the work of mess secretaries in the hostels

The General Secretaries of each hostel were asked to review the performance of their respective mess secretaries, but the reviews were not uniformly carried out.

Monthly mess bills shall be disclosed through hostel notice boards and iKollege

Bills are disclosed in iKollege, not on the hostel notice boards.







Not completed



Partially completed 



NoteFor manifesto points where one half was implemented and the other half was not, each half has been counted as 0.5 points. It may also be noted that the construction ban was in effect for most of the HAS’s tenure, preventing any buildings from being constructed. Further, the percentage completion rate is only one of the indicators towards a secretary’s effectiveness. Thus, readers are requested to go through the entire review to understand his tenure better.



Every external or third party commercial body in the institute has to go through the tender process to acquire their position. Quotes are made, and with  thorough examination and comparison, the best one is picked. This has brought about transparency in the working of the messes and SFCs.
The idea was initiated in the previous terms by Deepak Johnson and Ajesh, amongst others.
Jayachandran has worked closely with the caterers and proprietors since his initiation, to establish a competitive environment that would maximize efficiency.


Payments , Mess entry, Hostel entry. Everything will soon be standardized with a smart card system in place. The Executive Wing has worked towards this goal diligently. The HAS has had a crucial role to play in this regard. But it hasn’t happened yet, despite having set into motion in odd semester.

IITM Cooking Club

The cooking club was launched as a precursor to the Food Festival that was planned for this semester. It has had two sessions so far.

The Students Portal

The Executive Wing (2014-2015) has pooled in tremendous effort to revamp the Student Portal. The Executive Wing Blog, The Feedback Portal are direct links between the secretaries and the general body.

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