General Secretary Cultural Affairs (GSCult)

General Secretary Cultural Affairs (GSCult)

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

Koustoobh Pandey

I have been actively involved in the cultural scene of the institute ever since my first year, in performing arts and music. I have also been a part of my hostel council and worked in Mood Indigo, to gain experience in the functioning and organization of events. During my MI tenure, I decided to use this experience in order to better the cultural scene, with which I have been closely and passionately associated throughout my IIT Life.

Poorna Chandra

The decision was made in November. When reviewed my work at the end of the semester prior to endsems, I realized that the majority of the work as an Institute Secretary was to get things done (the execution part of the organizational work). It was a great value addition nevertheless. However, the process of making policies, structure for the activities on campus, negotiating with the dean and other authorities is what that convinced and motivated me to contest for the GS post.

Uttam Sikaria

I took the final call to stand for GS Cultural in early November. After a successful tenure as the IPFAS and after a year of observing the cultural scene from an outsider’s point-of-view, I felt I have gained the necessary perspective and understanding about the different aspects of cultural activities. On a personal level, I relish the novel opportunity to effect change on an institute-wide scale, and help take cultural activities to greater heights.

 

2. What is the ideology behind your whole manifesto?

Koustoobh Pandey

I want to provide a platform to everyone at every level – be it the beginners, the experienced or just the enthusiasts. For the people who are already at the zenith of their cultural endowment, I will provide bigger and better platforms to showcase their talents and groom them. For the beginners, who want to explore the various genres of cult, I will ensure that they get the chance to do so throughout the year. 

Poorna Chandra

The requirement was to optimize the resources and calendar dates keeping in mind three strata of students on campus available as performers, beginners in learning and as an audience. Also, taking into account the necessity of cultural activities for interaction, for an all-round development of an individual, for leisure and recreation and to develop a hobby.

Uttam Sikaria

My ideology rests upon three pillars: Exposure, Excellence and Execution.

Exposure – Be it high-preparation events, or casual sessions, everyone should be able to pursue their hobby to the limit of their passion.

Excellence: IITBombay’s most talented performers should get the opportunity to display their talent at the most prestigious avenues.

Execution: Flawless execution of cultural events, which cater to the needs and demands of the student community should be the prerogative of the cultural council.

 

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

Koustoobh Pandey

It is my experience of working in an Independent Body and the Hostel Cultural Council, which gives me a lot practical knowledge and confidence to effect a change in the organization of cultural events. I am also tremendously passionate about several cultural genres in our institute, having been proactively involved in dramatics, dance and music. It is this passion that drives me to take the cultural scene to a whole new level. 

Poorna Chandra

It is important for the General Secretary to have had a good exposure to how things work at a hostel level, at a club level and at an institute level as far as cultural activities are concerned. Such a ground reality is possible if one has spent enough time in cultural activities himself. The awards the institute and hostel has bestowed on me for having involved myself in cultural activities can prove this. And as organizer too, have held positions at a hostel, department and most importantly at an institute level.

Uttam Sikaria

I bring to the table a unique mixture of perspective and experience. I have had the opportunity to witness the cultural scene at different levels – as a freshman, as convener, as an institute secretary, and finally as a “cult-enthu” senior, which has imbibed in me the understanding of the nuances of the cultural genres. I have a detailed knowledge of the workings of the council and my organizational skills have been felicitated by an organizational colour.

 

4. What will your focus be on – breadth or depth? Would you rather organise more events for novices or more events for experienced punters?

Koustoobh Pandey

My manifesto reflects my intention to keep a balance between both. I want to offer a chance to the newcomers to explore the diverse cultural scene in the institute and also groom the talented by providing them with opportunities to refine their skills. Informal events will be held (Institute Cultural Day) to get the enthusiasts involved in the cultural scene. Through informal games, interaction among them will improve and new people will provide a fresh outlook to all cultural genres. The experienced will be exposed to various platforms outside the institute as well as within it and will be groomed by recognized professionals.

Poorna Chandra

The major focus would be on breadth. I want to take the cultural activities to the masses since it is a means for an all round development, interaction, leisure and recreation of the individual. Some of my manifesto points like peer-to-peer teaching, cultural weekend, cultural alumni day, speakers society, cultural outings have been made keeping such a philosophy as the basis.

Uttam Sikaria

I feel we have a good structure in place for experienced punters. People who are ready to devote time to cultural activities have a range of events to participate in and there is neither a need nor any scope for increment of such events. It is only novices and those who pursue cultural activities as hobby and can’t devote as much time, who need to be given more opportunities. I would have more activities for novices. For the experienced punters, I shall strive not to have more events but provide more platforms where they can further enhance their cultural prowess.

 

5. What are your views on having an Inter IIT Cult when individual IIT’s already have established cultural festivals like Mood Indigo, Saarang, Antaragni, etc..?

Koustoobh Pandey

InterIITCult, as a concept, is a wonderful and novel idea. Even though the cultural festivals of individual IITs are well established, they are localised to a considerable extent. A dedicated cultural competition amongst IITs would be an exciting prospect. This would foster a competitive spirit among all students of our institute and would also inculcate team spirit and unity at an institute level among students of all cultural genres. In terms of resources and logistics, the execution of such a ‘Cult Meet’ would be a challenge that I would be ready to take in the best interest of the cultural scene at IIT Bombay.

Poorna Chandra

Given the existing cultural outlets for IIT-Bombay students Inter IIT Cult would just prove to be yet another outlet for talent. However, in the longer run it might turn out to be a matter of pride to represent IIT-Bombay on such a platform. It can of course coexist with other IIT cultural fests (MI, Saarang etc) too if the schedules are worked out well. It might also act as a great step for learning for the newer IITs.

Uttam Sikaria

Inter-IIT Cult is a brilliant plan. It provides a great opportunity to interact with and learn from like-minded individuals in other IITs. The spirit that Inter-IIT embodies is unparalleled as seen from Inter-IIT sports. But it has its cons. Given that we are way ahead in terms of talent as compared to most other IITs, there isn’t comparable competition to look forward to especially in the short run. Thus, if it leads to compromising participation in Mood Indigo for IITB, it’s a definite no-go for us. If it can be accommodated otherwise, then it is surely an amazing initiative.

 

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

Koustoobh Pandey

Blogging GC. Blogging is an untapped source, not explored at all. Everyone has an online presence today. Through this GC, I would bring out those hidden bloggers, showcase their talent and make them an active member of the institute as well as hostel cultural scene.

Poorna Chandra

Peer-to-Peer Teaching: A point that focuses on both the novices and experts from the cultural front on campus. Beginners without any fees being charged would be taught by students talented in the field of music, dance, dramatics, photography, fine arts etc. In the process increasing the number of opportunities on campus to learn. Also, facilitating the spreading of knowledge within campus from student to another.

Uttam Sikaria

I feel very strongly about my proposal for a cultural database, because of the various objectives this simple census can achieve. Not only will such an initiative help us catch the pulse of the student community and effectively cater to the institute, but it will also boost participation by customized information dissemination. Keeping record of individual achievements will instill a sense of pride for the institute and motivate students to achieve ever greater heights.