GSAA-PG Review: Yeshwanth Reddy
InsIghT presents a review of the work done by the current General Secretary of Academic Affairs – PG Yeshwanth Reddy, over the course of his tenure till date. The General Body Meeting, or GBM, for the PG Academic Council will be conducted on the 7th of November 2013 from 7:00 PM to 8:25 PM.
**A brief summary of the advances in each sub-field has been provided. Please click on particular manifesto points to know more about the work done on each of them.
The following midterm review of the General Secretary of Academic Affairs (PG) gives one the impression that the work done by the PG Academic council would best be described as a “Work in Progress”. The PG Council has definitely got the ball rolling but apparently there still is a long way to go. Going by the look of it, a lot is left to be accomplished in the next semester. However, major breakthroughs have been achieved and stalemates broken which indicate a highly optimistic future. As one delves into the review, he/she will be convinced that January, February and March 2014 are going to be months where the council will have to work with a religious zeal as not as much was achieved in the odd-semester as was initially planned.
Curriculum Courses, Policies and Norms
|→||Propose a bridge course consisting of all important computing software skill sets like MATLAB, PYTHON, LINUX, HYPERFORM etc., (depending on the requirement of a department’s curriculum)|
Out of the ambitious list of 18 ‘computing software’ workshops that had been envisioned, only four of them have been conducted till date [MATLAB, LINUX, LATEX, and PYTHON]. Out of the 1200 Post Graduates on campus, the attendance for these workshops averaged around a mere 300. The feedback for these workshops (to factor in constructive changes for Phase 2) is also yet to be taken.
InsIghT’s projection for the future: In what seems to be left of the tenure, the task of organizing and conducting the remaining workshops in the next three to four months is only possible if the whole task is decentralized and the AURAA members take the onus upon them to conduct these workshops.
|→||Push for a spoken English course on the lines of other language courses running in the institute.|
InsIghT: Students who have been preparing for placements would have benefitted greatly if such help sessions were organized in the odd semester itself.
|→||Follow up on the proposed Tagging system for PGs|
InsIghT: What this essentially means is that ; 2012 &2013 PG[M.Tech + PhD] entrants can now take additional courses and tag them with ‘already completed’ courses in which they may have scored an unsatisfactory CPI. 2012 entrants may want to take special note of this and work up a course plan since they are left with one semester before they graduate.
|→||Push for a curriculum revision every year depending on student feedback|
InsIghT: The motive behind this objective seems to be a little hazy since course curriculum revision has got more to do with convincing the faculty rather than stockpiling data of student’s perspectives and opinions. The results must be evaluated well and presented in a prudent manner to the Heads of various Departments.
|→||Push for preferential TA allotment in all academic units|
|→||Propose Flexible TAship whereby postgraduates can opt for receiving reduced stipend, if they do not wish to perform TA duties|
|→||Propose Minors for PGs and construct its structure depending on the program|
InsIghT: Certain departments may approve of this and the others may not. Therefore, a uniform minor system may not be launched in this tenure.
|→||Conduct a survey for introduction of new institute electives according to interest of students|
|→||Follow up on NSO proposal as an optional for PGs|
Information Dissemination and Awareness:
|→||Propose new entrants to undergo basic Lab equipment training for equipment’s like CRO, DAC, NMR, TEM etc.|
InsIghT: The publicity and promotion for this event was the major stumbling block with regards to the success of this event. Effective promotional strategies (posters, banners etc) have to be employed rather than solely depending on a Facebook page and ‘Student Notices’ mail.
|→||Implement a Query & Grievance portal and ensure prompt solutions to the problems faced.|
|→||Create a centralized project portal for displaying the ongoing and completed projects of faculty and students|
|→||Propose a centralized MTP portal where all the faculty would float their MTP topics and requirements (Also, recommend all the academic units to conduct an orientation session about choosing an MTP)|
|→||Propose a club fair (STAB, Engineering associations, E-cell, Techfest, Mood-I etc.,) during PG orientation and encourage students to join their interest during their 1st academic week itself.|
The stalls received a good response and gained first hand publicity and direct reach to the PGs.
|→||Coordinate with student teams (FS, BAJA etc.,) and propose to keep a session in orientation on their ongoing work and opportunities for PGs|
|→||Create a wiki page to ensemble all the information regarding PG studies at IITB (from rules and regulations to ethics and course details)|
InsIghT: There is definitely more scope for improvement. Issues like project description, list of good courses, apping fundas etc.
|→||Coordinate with SARC to create PG Alumni database|
InsIghT: A close coordination with SARC and ACR cell (Alumni & Corporate Relations) needs to be worked on.
|→||Upload previous exam question papers on professor’s approval and useful course resources|
InsIghT : The PG Council should have contacted existing PG’s for previous question papers. The Student Companions themselves could have pitched in and contributed for this cause. This would have benefitted the current batch.
However the need for this contradicts the essence of the ‘IIT EXPERIENCE’ since merely preparing based on previous question papers is not reflective of the standard of our institution. Instead, the professors could be urged to release model question papers.
|→||Propose to conduct bi-annual progress seminar after 4th year of PhD|
|→||Propose to organize PG oriented events in Inter-IIT Tech Summit|
InsIght: Having said that, the future looks brighter as there are a host of PG oriented activities that will be held in Feb 2014.
|→||Push to increase the frequency and quality of R&D magazine|
InsIght: The selection process for editors (for PULSE) comes across as subjective. It would have been fair if a call for nominations (for the post of editors) were to be sent out. As of now, the editors are Ph.D students from the current council. There is also no representation from Masters Students. We are hopeful that the method of selection (that represents a diverse team-M.Tech/Ph.D, specialization etc.) is revamped for the upcoming issue and all the others to come.
|→||Follow up on all the proposals which are in pipeline (International conference support, HRA for married scholars, study groups etc.)|
Housing Rental Allowance for Married Scholars- This initiative has also been successfully approved in the Board of Governors meet. All married research scholars are now receiving a HRA allowance of 30%). A proposal to open up QIP quarters (after the construction of Hostel 16) is being looked at and will soon be put up.
Study Groups- Study Groups 2.0 has been initiated. However the talks haven’t started as yet (will commence in the first week of December)
Proposals in the pipeline- Research Scholars Confluence (A two day event that will be held in January 2014)
ENTHUSE which ideally should have been conducted in the first semester for all good reasons has been pushed to the second semester. A lack of coordination between the three councils(Hostel, UG & PG) resulted in this shift.
|→||Conduct apping sessions which are particularly PhD oriented|
InsIghT: Conducting such ‘apping sessions’ next semester doesn’t really serve the purpose. The usefulness and effectiveness of such sessions after the peak period (given that majority of top notch universities accept intake for ‘Fall’) is not going to sharpen the current batch. Instead, the PG council could have tagged along with the UG Council’s apping sessions.
|→||Coordinate with Research Scholar’s Forum to promote research and address issues among PhD’s|
PG Council Calendar
|→||Try to fit all proposed events into PG council calendar and conduct them accordingly. Gather periodic feedback on the events conducted and suggestions for the events to be conducted and optimize the calendar accordingly|
PG Internship Cell
|→||Try to establish a dedicated internship cell for PGs. Push for an internship window according to the convenience of respective departments.|
InsIghT: Internships for students belonging to various branches (including non core profiles) needs to be looked at too.
|→||Propose to procure books, which are less than the approved number (not meeting 10:1 ratio)|
|→||Conduct a survey on deficient journals and books and ensure their availability|
Conduct regular surveys on development on all central facilities (SAIF, IRCC etc.)
|→||Ensure proper training of students before their allotment as student companions|
InsIghT: Companions need to be made aware of all the opportunities available at IIT in various fields. The value of the SCP programme has to match with that of the ISMP.
|→||Assign companions to the students at least a week before the registrations.|
|→||Define essential responsibilities for IMR, IDR, EM’s & AURAA’s for their tenure|
InsIghT: ACR is a very good initiative. It gives an opportunity for first year students to get involved in the council work.
|→||Ensure the recognition of AURAA’s in their respective departments and give autonomous rights to conduct activities.|
Inform academic units about the role of AURAA’s and involve them in decision making processes.
InsIghT : AURAA’s are not very well recognized in their departments. They basically tend to cater to the freshie batch.
HOD’s have to be apprised of the roles and responsibilities of their respective AURAA member.