General Secretary Academic Affairs UG (GSAA-UG)

General Secretary Academic Affairs UG (GSAA-UG)

1.   When and why did you decide to stand for GS?

Ishan Shrivastava (Kart)

I decide to contest for GSAA (UG) last semester when, as a Department Academic Mentor, I saw myself thinking of ideas and successfully implementing them at the department level. This directed my thought process towards similar scalable ideas and reforms at the institute level. The post of a GS will provide me an official channel to execute my vision (which is reflected in my manifesto) with maximum impact, and will be a great learning experience.

Sarjan Satra

I decided to stand for GSAA last year after applying, unsuccessfully, for a Management minor course. I knew that people with lower CPIs got the minor. I filed an RTI requesting allocation details and found preferential treatment was given for the 07 batch. My discussions with the Dean AP lead to a project course offered in the MG-minor. After this experience I felt I could take the initiative and make the system effective and student-friendly.

 

2. What is the ideology behind your whole manifesto?

Ishan Shrivastava (Kart)

The ideology behind my manifesto is to:
1.      Increase the level of awareness about opportunities and systems, make information easily accessible, and assist students in making informed career choices
2.      Improve academic processes, systems and infrastructure to make them more student-friendly
3.      Provide more opportunities to students for them to develop personally and professionally
4.      Represent student interests with all fairness in curriculum and policy reforms

Sarjan Satra

I wish to create a student community that is aware of the many options offered by a flexible curriculum in a student friendly environment. I hope to improve the student support system by transforming the counseling and career guidance scenario in the institute. I intend to reduce some of the rigidness in the present curriculum. I want to give students more freedom, while striving to ensure that they utilize this freedom to the fullest.

 

3. Why do you think the electorate will vote for you over your opponent(s)

Ishan Shrivastava (Kart)

My manifesto caters to the different academic needs of the students. I have stressed more upon the fundamental reforms and initiatives, solving issues that I came across during my extensive groundwork.
Through the diverse set of organizational and leadership experiences I have had during my stay in IITB, I believe I am in a position to take up this role and leave a lasting impact.

Sarjan Satra

Upon reading both manifestos I hope you will agree that mine is more creative and ambitious. I truly believe in my vision, and the same is highlighted by the fact that a lot of the goals I have set will have far reaching effects even beyond my tenure. I have also been a TA twice, and it has given me an insight into how the academic system functions which is something my opponent again lacks.

 

4. Previously, when one got an FR and repeated the course, the credits were counted twice; halving your grade in a course with twice as many credits. According to the new curriculum, once you clear a backlog, the credits are counted only once. Do you think this system is fair or the previous system was better?

Ishan Shrivastava (Kart)

Firstly, the effects of a backlog are not just limited to repeating a course. Students cannot take courses which require passing of pre-requisite courses; it is an emotional set-back for a lot, and one cannot take up an institute post with an active backlog. In the current scenario the student can look forward to achieving a good grade on repeating, which helps in motivating the student as opposed to the previous scenario.

Sarjan Satra

Having a backlog, in a core course, has detrimental effects over and above the grade. Being motivated, while repeating a course, is hard. Capping the maximum grade at 5 is not going help that. Most people would not wish for a backlog in order to get a better grade the next time.

 

5. Do you think that having a tagging window every year is ethical? Especially when it allows for Minor courses to be re-tagged as Institute Electives, hence disincentivizing the former.

Ishan Shrivastava (Kart)

The tagging window promotes additional learning in the institute and I do not believe it is unethical, and it should continue every year. For minor courses, there is a cap on the number of seats which disallows some students to continue with their minor if they do not meet the cut-off. Also, a student might not want to continue with the minor due to lack of further interest. For such cases, this facility is helpful.

Sarjan Satra

The tagging principle offers students more freedom with their curriculum and I support it. The minor curriculum, as it is structured, means that a lot of students do not complete it. Once you decide to stop pursuing a minor, why not receive credit for the efforts you have already put in. Obtaining minor degree should be incentive enough. The latter system better appreciates improvement, which is something that should be viewed positively.

 

6. Is there any one point from your manifesto that you would like to highlight?

Ishan Shrivastava (Kart)

Of the various initiatives on my manifesto, I would like to highlight the establishment of the Society for Promotion of Undergraduate Research, which would be headed by an ISAA and some SATF members will be the department representatives. The key responsibilities of this society would be to  increase awareness about research, maintain the Project Portal, obtain summer projects for first and second year students, help students find faculty and student mentors, and showcases student projects.

Sarjan Satra

For those not in the know, alumni have recently pledged to raise funds for counseling facilities at IIT-Bombay. The present counseling facilities are a far cry from what they should be. Very few people make use of them. In my manifesto I summarize my vision for counseling services in the institute. Apart from this, as a university I think it is important that we have Career counseling which is another aspect I wish to address.