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
The Student General Secretary is possibly the most visible executive wing post there is, and attached to it is a lot of work. The outgoing SGS, Aditya “2C” Bharadwaj, says that the challenge of that work was one of the main reasons he ran for the post in the first place.
He also says that the role of SGS “gave him the opportunity to work on meaningful projects which can create an immediate impact”. We reviewed his tenure to see how many of these projects he was able to complete during his tenure.
FOR, OF, BY THE STUDENTS
Mobile application integrated with a computer at the security section to combat cases of sexual harassment
VithU sends an alert to a pre-entered number (in insti’s case, to the security section) if a user presses the power button on their phone twice. The number has been released to the student body this weekend. Additionally, another app called Safetipin has also been introduced to the student body. This app allows users to rate the safety of different areas in the campus, based on different factors such as lighting.
Mosquito repellent plants such as catnip shall be planted key areas such as Gurunath and IRCTC
The mosquito-repellent plant locally known as “nocchi” (the five-leaved chaste tree, Vitex negundo) has been planted in IRCTC. Marigold has been planted at Gurunath and the Administration building. Catnip was avoided because deer graze on it
Cycle sharing initiative to be pursued further with admin
An agreement has been reached with The Atlanta Foundation, and 60 cycles will initially be made available for a trial period of 3 months. An MoU has been drawn up and will be signed soon.
Wi-Fi at earmarked places such as Gurunath, SAC and IRCTC
WiFi routers are now being installed in CFI. Routers are also slated to be installed in the SAC soon. Routers will not be installed in Gurunath and IRCTC during the current term because a company has been contracted to provide institute-wide WiFi over the summer, and those places will be covered then.
Department Store/ATM near girls’ hostel
The SGS says that a separate store or/and ATM was not realizable during his tenure because of the recently lifted construction ban. (He is, however, pushing for a department store to be opened within Sarayu hostel. The issue will be taken up in the next CMGFS meeting later this month.)
All-night refreshment kiosk in acad zone
Hindustan Unilever is set to start operating an all-night kiosk in different hostels, starting from Jamuna (this was an initiative taken up by the HAS). Depending on how these kiosks work out, the proposal for a similar kiosk in the academic zone will be considered. However, this is unlikely to be done by the end of the current term.
Collect continuous feedback from students
The feedback portal (students.iitm.ac.in/feedback) was built for this purpose. The executive wing portal also allows students to comment on posts by the executive wing members.
EML flagship event every semester as well as exploring Google Hangouts as a potential medium for EMLs
This did not happen this year. Although the idea was initially put forth, interest tapered off and ultimately, the flagship event did not materialize.
InstiHow – “Find answers to general questions about various processes, systems and bodies in the institute.”
The General Secretary first envisioned a Quora-like forum where students could post questions and answers. As an initial step, this above portal was created. It contains the timings of eateries and facilities on campus, as well as the contact details of all hostel officials. It also has an option for the respective hostel secretaries to update the hostel’s status in LitSoc, TechSoc and Schroeter. The full-fledged forum envisioned is unlikely to be finished in the current term, as the Institute WebOps team is busy with the upcoming elections.
Online Grievance Portal with a tracking system for complaints related to Engineering Unit
Although the aforementioned feedback portal provides a forum for students to put forth grievances, it has not been linked to the Engineering Unit.
Bulk SMS Channel for information dissemination to freshers
Has been implemented. Information about certain EMLs that took place were sent to freshers using this system.
Video chatting and online file sharing facility on students portal: (https://students.iitm.ac.in/iitm_video/)
The link has not been sent to the student body yet, but the video conferencing is completely functional. Students can create virtual “rooms”, which other students can then join and chat on. The SGS envisions this facility will be used by final year students preparing for placements (mock interviews, case studies, etc.) and also to broadcast any events happening in insti. The online file sharing facility was not implemented, because the SGS felt it was redundant due to the presence of DC++)
Share-a-Cab and Buy-Sell platform on students portal:
These were envisioned as extensions of the Buy & Sell and Share-a-Cab Facebook portals, so that professors can use these as well. The Buy & Sell page is up (students.iitm.ac.in/BNS), and the link has been shared with the student body. The Share-a-Cab platform will not be implemented, though.
Emergency Blood Donor Database
A database of students interested in donating blood has been created from data culled from hostel records. Either the SGS or HAS is contacted when there is a need for blood, and in turn, they send emails specifically to those individuals whose blood group matches the required blood type.
Consolidated institute maps using Google Maps API
The link has been released to the student body. The locations of the various labs in the academic zone was received from branch councillors.
Revamp structure and unify design of all institute websites
While the newly introduced portals (feedback, executive wing, information, etc.) have unified designs, the designs and structures of existing websites were not revamped.
Prevent student details from the CCW database appearing publicly on Google search
This was done in response to requests from some female members of the student body.
INSTI GIVES BACK
Promote BTP/DDP/internships in RuTAG in coordination with AAS
In the past year, 9 summer internships were allotted to students from IITM under RuTAG. This year, 28 semester projects and 18 summer projects have been allotted to students from IITM, and pitches for BTPs and DDPs are being made to professors.
Initiate the formation of a study group for students interested in Civil Services exams
The strength of the study group is currently about 450 members. The group has organized 5 guest lectures so far. There are weekly meetings held in the library where members give presentations on different topics.
Combined open house for NSS, IVil and S-Net
IViL (IIT for Villages), S-Net (Sustainability Network) and Campus Palliative Care set up stalls in the SAC on March 14th, and talked about the work the organizations had been doing over the past year. NSS, however, did not participate, and will be conducting their own open house later.
SGS column on T5E, with monthly reports published by the teams under the SGS
This column was not written. However, the General Secretary actively blogged, providing periodic updates about his work on the executive wing portal.
Ask Your Secretary! – Google Hangout twice a semester
The SGS said on his blog that he’d be available on Google Talk every Saturday for any students to talk to him or bring up grievances. However, the response from the student body was lukewarm.
Live audio streaming and archiving of SAC meetings
The archived SAC meetings can be found here: students.iitm.ac.in/SAC
Live audio streaming was not carried out.
CONTINUATION OF ONGOING WORK AND MISC. INITIATIVES
Provision for and maintenance of first aid boxes at hostel security desks and sports complex
An official from the hospital will come and check first aid boxes in the hostels periodically to ensure that any expired items are replaced. An agreement with the institute hospital has been worked out for the same.
Peer reviews for hostel general secretaries
For every hostel general secretary, two General Secretaries of other hostels have been asked to review/rate his/her performance. However, not all Hostel General Secretaries’ peer reviews have been carried out as of now.
Shelters at Jamuna and Velachery bus-stops
Although the construction ban prevented the building of permanent shelters, temporary shelters, like those at Gurunath, are going to be bought and put up at bus stops. The General Secretary expects this will be done by the end of his term.
Book fair in conjunction with book signing, poetry reading sessions, etc. shall be conducted on campus once every semester
No book fair was held during either semester, although Rajdeep Sardesai conducted a book sale-cum-signing after his EML in January.
Books and material collection drive from graduating students to set up an institute-wide repository
The collection drive was carried out last year in hostels, but saw a lukewarm response from the student body, with a total of around 80 books being collected. It is scheduled to happen again this year.
Explore avenues to better utilize RFID tags in student IDs
ID cards will soon be used to purchase extras in messes. The costs will be charged to a student’s iKollege account. Trials have already been carried out, and the system will be implemented during vacations.
Note: For 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 SGS’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.
Aditya received generally positive reviews from the heads of organizations that are under the purview of the SGS. They opined that he gave them a lot of freedom to manage their respective organizations, while suggesting new initiatives. However, a common complaint among organizational Cores under him was that he did not represent them satisfactorily when their organizations ran into roadblocks with the administration.
As part of the mission stated on his manifesto, the SGS proposed the creation of “a documented framework consisting of a set of guidelines for every team and organization headed by the SGS.” Nascent constitutions have been drawn up for four of the organizations under the SGS (IIT for Society, IViL, S-Net and The Colloquium). They can be found on the executive wing blog.
Initiatives that the SGS has taken up outside of his manifesto points include:
The SGS has been drafting official institute policies for a Tobacco-Free Campus, Sustainable Campus and Prevention of Sexual Harassment, with the help of enthusiastic and concerned students. The policy on a Tobacco-Free Campus has been passed by the SAC, and will be released to the student body after the addition of measures to combat alcohol and substance abuse.
The SGS headed the collection of relief funds for Kashmir and for the Vishakhapatnam floods. Around Rs. 1.5 lakhs was raised for each cause.
- The SGS along with the Co-curricular Affairs Secretary are attempting to introduce electric autos at the main gate. The final goal is to completely ban taxis and other such vehicles entering the campus from the outside, and to have visitors use these electric autos. Although still in its nascent stages, the administration is supportive of this proposal.