Secretary Review: International and Alumni Affairs Secretary – Rohit Kothari


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

T5E interviewed Rohit, the outgoing I&AR secretary, to gauge his effectiveness as a secretary. This review is based also on interviews with people who worked with and under him, including several heads of I&AR teams.

Rohit says that despite the workload for an Institute Secretary being quite high, the immense networking opportunities it provides makes the post worth the trouble. He indicates that the administration was extremely helpful and never proved to be a hindrance for any of his work.

MaaduWe received positive reviews about Rohit as a secretary from I&AR heads. Ravi Teja, who heads the Chennai 36 team, tells us that he admires his managing skills and openness to new ideas. Ruturaj, head of IITMTV and I&AR Branding team, found Rohit a passionate and polite secretary. He blames ‘certain constraints’ for incomplete initiatives. Prateek, who heads the Career Development team, regards the tenure as quite successful given that the I&AR department is still a very young team. Neelotpal, head of Alumni Outreach team, found Rohit motivating and optimistic. He also considers Rohit hard-working but believes sometimes Rohit follows his own style of work and needs to be more in sync with everyone. Reshmi, also the head of Alumni Outreach team, believes Rohit can be a bit more strict, which would be necessary with people under him who don’t know him from before . According to her, Rohit lets the teams work at their own pace without setting hard deadlines. Almost everyone agreed that Rohit follows up fairly well on all the initiatives. Vishranth, the outgoing Academic Affairs Secretary, worked with Rohit on few projects. He says that Rohit did a commendable job given that his team is only 2 years old.


· CBAM: Chennai and Bangalore Alumni Meet. Elite events will be organized for them.

Since this year coincided with Golden Jubilee year of IITMAA (the IITM Alumni Association), instead of CBAM the Mardi Gras festival was organized by I&AR team in association with IITMAA. Several cultural activities were organized for alumni during the two-day event.

· A Web Portal that sums up everything. It will contain discussion forums, one on one student mentoring, alumni profiles, recent developments in IITM, the reunions scheduled, etc.

A company has been contacted for working on the portal but it is still in its budding stage.

· Events and competitions will be organized for alumni during Saarang.

Although events could not be organized during Saarang, this has been marked partially complete because again, Mardi Gras festival happened in the same academic year. Also, the 1989 batch reunion which happened in December was handled by the I&AR team in collaboration with the Saarang team. A mini Envisage with alumni showcasing projects was organized along with concerts and jugalbandis.

· IITM All Alumni Bridge Competition.

The event is scheduled to happen on 13-14 March with more than 100 alumni expected to participate.

· A You Tube channel ‘I Love IIT Madras’ that brands IIT Madras through its creative and go-viral content.

Instead of channel called ‘I love IIT Madras’, the IITM TV youtube channel previously handled by recently passed out students was taken over by I & AR team and several sub-series, ‘I love Insti ’, ‘Sound Stage’, ‘Alumni Diaries’ were launched.


· Hostel alumni reunions and departmental reunions in collaboration with Alumni Affairs Secretary of the hostels will be organized. Videos depicting the IITM life and timeline of their hostels will be showcased.

Informal reunions happened in Ganga and Saraswati hostels and are expected to happen in Jamuna and Tapti. Civil Department PG Reunion is also scheduled to happen this semester.

· Heritage Day-Teams comprising of professor and students to indulge in competitions in Willkommen and other special occasions.

Many notable alumni including the co-authors of ‘Campus Chimes’, IITM’s first coffee-table book and the first Registrar were invited for speaking on Heritage Day. Several events are being planned this year as well for Wilkommen.

· Escalating foreign opportunities for Research and PG students.

An Institute-wide fundae session was organized for Research and PG Students to make them aware of foreign opportunities.

· Inter IIT semester exchange programs will be proposed after taking consent from other IITs.

IIT Mandi already has a similar program with IITM, but this could not be taken forward as the Dean asked the team to concentrate more on international opportunities.


· Club Culture @IIT Madras

  • Ø  Includes Core Engineering, Other Areas-Consulting, Finance and Analytics, Civil Services (IAS, IES, etc.).

  • Ø  Facilitate networking between UGs-PGs-MBA students and with alumni, faculty in relevant fields.

  • Ø  Solve real life problems in long run.

The Analytics and Finance clubs were successfully started this year with help of CFI (Center of Innovation). The clubs have been fairly regular in meetings with at least one meeting each week. The Consulting club could not be started because of lack of people with expertise. Civil Services club and Core Engineering clubs were not in collaboration with the with the I&AR team. Interns are taken from the club by companies to solve real-life problems. Networking could happen in the clubs with alumni who came as speakers for sessions and among club members although nothing very specific was taken up.

· Improvise the Foreign Studies Portal detailing the number of opportunities for internships, research and other related programs explicitly.

Interns have been taken from the HS department to interview students who went abroad and these interviews are being converted to FAQs which will be finally put up on the portal. Few interviews have been taken up till now and work needs to be speeded up.

· In collaboration with Academic Affairs Secretary, mock interviews and placement training sessions will be coordinated.

Sessions were successfully organized last semester before the placement season. This time preferences of students were also collected to know which field requires more alumni to be called.

· Telethon: New dedicated team will be assigned to boost the outreach to alumni. Formation of database is the prime concern.

A separate team was created for this purpose and around 3k-4k calls were made from the existing database of 6k alumni to verify email ids and get contacts of other alumni. Since the success rate was low and only about 800 alumni were actually contacted, the team will explore more efficient avenues like LinkedIN in next year.

· Career Connect: Innovative measures will be taken to publicize lectures and orientation sessions that will be organized regularly.

The sessions were organized for CAT, Finance, Analytics, IT, Consulting and Core engineering.

· Chennai36: Hostel level publicity of the blog to be initiated. Various means to publicize will be approached.

Freshies were made correspondents for the team to make the blog more known among freshies although nothing very specific for hostel-level publicity was taken up. A must-read articles compilation was put up on I&AR facebook page and a separate Chennai36 Facebook page has been created for online publicity.

· “I Love Insti”: Revamping the structure and style of the videos will be initiated. Creative storyline to be focused on rather than documentaries.

This was done as mentioned earlier. ‘I love insti’ was made a sub-series of IITMTV and several creative videos were put up.

· Expansion of ‘Mentor For Interns’ and ‘Alumni Chapter Revivals’ projects to a larger scale.

The ‘Mentor For Interns’ program was successfully organized in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore with good turnouts of both students and alumni. ‘Alumni Day of Service’ was organized in Bombay, Chennai and Bangalore. A Chapter meeting has happened in Delhi and is scheduled to happen in other cities.

· IIT Madras Batch of 2014 Yearbook: Develop a yearbook that contains details of all students of the graduating batch.

The 2014 yearbook was created but has not been printed. The 2015 yearbook will be printed and several photo sessions were organized for the yearbook. Separate photos of students were taken this year, unlike in 2014 where photos were taken from the institute photoshoot session.


· Insti Spice: A blog comprising of the travel experiences of international students in India, photographic stories, videos, etc. will be maintained.

The blog was successfully launched last semester and contains accounts of Indian as well as International students.

· Restructuring the team so as to improve our outreach to foreign students.

The team was more condensed (based on last year’s feedback) to organize things in a better manner.

· Branding of IITM through showcasing of videos in Orientation Programs.

Although IITM branding videos are being uploaded on IITMTV, a video exclusively to be shown to foreign students wasn’t created

· International Evenings will be organized and publicized through pranks and gags.

International evening was successfully organized and many international students volunteering to perform and set up food and game stalls. Publicity was done though pranks and gags and photos were uploaded on facebook although this could have been done better.

· Other activities and possible explorable avenues to be provided for international students.

Cricket matches and trips to VGP Universal Kingdom were successfully organized by the iPALs team.

Initiatives outside the Manifesto:

1. Alumni Day of Service:

A new concept of Alumni Day of Service was started in Bombay, Chennai and Bangalore Chapters wherein alumni in the respective cities spent a day with students. Although the Bombay and Bangalore Events witnessed lower turnouts, the Chennai event turned out to be quite successful.

2. IAR Team Structure

A previously disorganized team was properly structured under Rohit’s tenure and posts in the team were well defined.

3.  Organization of Aspiring Coordinators Meet (ACM)

An ACM was organized for the first time for the team which improved the count of students applying for positions in the team.

4.   Alumni-to-be Cards for Freshies

A new initiative by the IAR team under which alumni-to-be card holders get discount in select places like Hard Rock Café, California Pizza Kitchen, Gadget Monster etc. These cards will help create a database of activities done by students during their institute days along with their other details like Hometown, JEE Preparation Centre details etc. To use these cards in successive years, activities done by the student in past year need to be given. These were given to around 500 freshies during the Freshie Commendation organized in SAC.

5.  Webops team for Chennai36 and launching of Placement Guru

A Webops team was hired for the Chennai-36 for revamping of the website and 28 articles were released under Placement Guru by Chennai36 during the placement period.

6. I&AR Branding

Since there was a need for branding and publicity of the IAR department, a sub-team was created for this purpose. The team did online as well as on-ground publicity. The team created ‘Alumni Matters’ video for 1989 batch reunion, launched ‘Kal Aaj aur Kal’ poster campaign on Alumni Day, came up with more creative topics for Leadership Lecture Series and handled the ACM publicity to name few of its works.

7.   Fund Raising for improving Sports facilities, World Class I&AR office and Institute Chairs

Funds were successfully raised through institute alumni for improving sports facilities and building an I&AR office by the team. The team is currently planning to launch fund raising for institute chairs.

8.   Annual Giving Reports

An annual report focusing only on donations during the year will be compiled and released on Institute Day.

9.   Interviews with Research Scholars

Several research scholars were interviewed and video was circulated in Chennai colleges to improve applications for Research programs from Chennai.

10.   IITM Anthem

IITM Anthem is going to be launched by this month’s end by the I&AR Team. The team ran an Institute-wide competition and the best lyrics were chosen.

11.   Chinese New Year Celebration

Chinese New Year celebrations were organized in the Institute, which witnessed a cooking workshop, Chinese movie screening and sky lanterns at the stadium, among other events.

12.   Foreign Opportunities Sessions

Sessions were organized in each department to make the students more aware of the foreign opportunities available for them and how to make use of them. A separate session was organized for Research and PG Students.

Apart from the aforementioned points, I & AR is helping in the launch of a Super-30 program in Tamil Nadu and is collaborating with DOMS and Shaastra Networking team to organize a DOMS Conclave.

When asked about the obstacles he had to face during his tenure, Rohit tells us that one of the biggest challenges for his team was informing students about his team’s initiatives.  Another shortcoming was that not many alumni turned up for certain Chapter Meetings.







Partially Completed / Will be finished in present term



Not completed / Left to future secretaries.



Note: Similar points were clubbed into one point. 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.


Write a Comment

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