(Click on the names to download manifestos. Scroll down to see the videos.)
What is your motivation behind standing for the post of SGS?
Raj: My aim is not to intimidate, there is no self-motive. The only motive is to ensure that the experience we get in the campus as a student is an experience we deserve and to strengthen the interaction between the student community by bringing together the UG and PG students, which still remains a dream for the people who wish to integrate it.
Shady: The General Secretary post is a very challenging position. A Gen Sec is the representative of each and every person in the institute. Each and every person’s needs and problems have to be addressed. And personally, I like to take challenges. And I believe, based on my previous experiences, that I have taken challenges and gone through tough endeavours and have succeeded. Also on a more personal level, whoever the student is, be it a UG or a PG, whatever background he is from, throughout my insti life I always felt like I could connect to him. Also, all my friends have told me that I am the most appropriate person for this position. This was one of the most important factors as far as motivation is concerned.
Chaat: For the past four years, I have realised that many basic procedures are difficult to follow in the institute. Everything is decentralised – like making complaints, reaching out to executive wing, to name a few. Also, an institute of our repute should have an institute design and PR team. I want to see this happen and I think that General Secretary is in a position to make this happen.
Why should the electorate vote for you?
Raj: I feel I have enough experience as a hostel warden, where I have encountered a lot of problems. I have delivered duties which your Students General Secretary here is delivering. I hope that experience will help me to work for the benefit of the student community and with genuine interest.
Shady: As I was saying, I could connect to each and every student in the institute. And so, I could find out the needs and problems of every student – the major issues that the student community wants addressed. Based on that, I have come up with a manifesto that addresses these problems. Since I reflect on the students’ needs, I feel the electorate should vote for me.
Chaat: I worked in teams in which interaction with the administration was necessary and crucial. Also I was a part of the GCU. It provided me an opportunity to interact with a lot of students. Last Shaastra I was part of the finance team wherein I was worked on the new initiative- ACFC online gateway -which was tried and tested for the past few years but was not successful. I worked on the idea and got it implemented. Also I believe that I have a very good work ethic which has helped me in getting up the hierarchy till now. I feel these are the necessary skills required for a General Secretary.
What is the one point in your manifesto that you would like to highlight?
Raj: The laptop insurance scheme. I have already developed a scheme for it. That will be my first objective.
Shady: It would be regarding safety and security aspects like the Laptop and Mobile Insurance Plan, wherein each student will be paying a fixed amount annually and he will be given insurance for laptop theft & physical damage. This is a very important aspect because a lot of incidents have taken place in the past in the institute and have to be taken care of.
Chaat: I feel that there is a serious need to centralise things in the institute. At the hostel level, I feel a lot of the hostel gen-sec’s work can be centralised. Like getting mentors at the start of the year. Also at the institute level, I think we should have a design, PR, and WebOps team to cater to the needs of the institute. And I feel that students’ portal must be the one stop portal for all the student related activities.
What do you feel are the major issues that require to be addressed in the coming year?
Raj: The basic amenities need to be improved, overall. Major issues: Strengthening security in the hostel zone, improving the interaction between the UG and PG students by bridging the gap between them.
Shady: Safety and security are the most important issues that need to be addressed. Safety referring to the safety of property of students, security for females – all these issues is important. Relating to this, I have points in my manifesto such as alarm system in male and female hostels, cycle checks of the cycles going in and out of the campus, laptop insurance etc.
Chaat: I think population has increased substantially over the years but the institute facilities and amenities have not been able to keep pace. Also I feel the quality of food in the mess is definitely not good. Another concern in the institute is the security. The information dissemination system in the institute is not up to the mark. I also feel that there is gap between the administration and students which needs to be reduced.
How do you plan to bridge the gap between student community and the administration?
Raj: I have been a student for 10 years, and a faculty member for 6 years. When I was a faculty member, I had been on the administrative side and I can look at any problem both from student point of view, as well as administration point of view. I have been in the capacity of HoD in my department where I have worked. I have also been hostel warden. So I know how to address a problem, how to satisfy the student as well as the administration. I am an open-minded person, and I have no ego in getting new ideas from students and presenting it to the administration. The problem with students is, they want the problem to be solved immediately. But the management looks at it with a longer perspective. Everyone wants smooth running and functioning of the system, but the students need immediate effect. The administration looks at other aspects. Every coin has two sides. As I have been student as well as faculty, I have been on the administration side, I know how to voice the problem to the administration so that they get convinced. First of all we have to see how much financially can be saved to the management, so they will take action.
Shady: If I am the General Secretary, I should realise there are two sides to everything. The student community will have their needs. But as the Gen Sec I should realise that the administration have their practical limitations, feasibility issues and financial limitations. I should think and come up with the mean of respecting these two, such that both their views are represented collectively in the final outcome.
Chaat: I think we need to have a grievances forum wherein people can raise complaints or raise concerns to the executive wing. Also, there is no public opinion being taken for any major decision making. I want to have a survey or a poll before the whole decision making procedure. I also propose to have a LAN based IITM internet radio wherein there will be interviews of the secretaries and administrative personnel which reduce the gap. I also propose a team of members to discuss future possibilities and plans in the administration. As of now, there is no such committee. I propose to make a committee with students and professors to discuss such matters.
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