GSAA-UG Review: Dhanasree Molugu

InsIghT presents a review of the work done by the current GSAA-UG Dhanasree Molugu over the course of her tenure till date. The General Body Meeting, or GBM, for the institute academic council will be conducted on the 6th of November 2013 from 8:00 PM to 9:25 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.

Academic Resources and Infrastructure

A lot of effort has been put into getting work regarding Academic Resources and Infrastructure done. It so happened that the relatively minor issues were the ones that required no assistance from bodies other than the Academic Affairs (AA) council – and were thus, executed satisfactorily. However, the points that had to pass through the administrative chain of command (such as opening the library 24×7 or ensuring updating of course info on ASC) have faced major bottlenecks.

Propose to have library open 24x7 starting from a week before midsems and endsems
Promote Library Student Assistantship and propose an increase in stipend
Propose to improve the Book Bank facility by getting more copies of course reference books with the help of Department Councils
Create Homepage Generator App to help students utilize their allotted free space on
Develop Tracking Facility in online enquiry portal to get updates on the status of student’s academic related queries
Establish Integrated Information Management System (IIMS) – Online notices with selective subscription to academic information such as scholarships, seminars, and exchange programs
Ensure updating of course info on ASC, and try to incorporate evaluation policy before registration
Ensure speedy set up of IITB-Wireless WiFi connection in departments’ common areas

Student Support Services

Almost all events to be conducted in the SSS have seen significant progress. However, a few major initiatives such as the Spoken English classes and GD/PI sessions which could, perhaps, have benefitted a larger section of the student population this semester have been planned for the next.

Launch GROW – Personality Development Program engaging students in the organization and execution of Student Council activities on a voluntary basis
Establish Tutorial Services Center
Develop an online slot-preference interface to provide tutoring appointments with TAs and voluntary tutors
Propose to award Honorary TAship to the voluntary tutors
Propose to set up Writing and Communication Center which organizes Spoken English classes, Resume and SOP writing workshops and GD/PI sessions
Promote facad-student interaction through informal events & regular Academic Advising Sessions
Improve the counseling services with specialized counselors and easy access through a helpline
Organize IIT-Bombay Non-Technical Summer School that includes courses on foreign languages, finance, web development, marketing, and photography among others

EnPoWER – Engineering oriented Promotion of Work Experience and Research

Focussing chiefly on providing industry exposure to students, the visible progress in this section has been insignificant. With many of the activities tied up the launch of the Innovation Centre, it remains to be seen exactly how successful the execution will be. The only set of events fully executed are the workshops and mentoring sessions organized in collaboration with Treelabs this summer.

Industrial Exposure

Launch Industrial Learning Program to promote industrial projects as SLP, BTP, DDP
Conduct Industry Day in collaboration with IRCC involving interaction between industrial representatives and students through exhibition of Research and Technical Projects
Facilitate patronship and sponsorship for projects and competitions through the Industry Corporate Alumni Network in collaboration with SARC and IRCC

Research and Innovation

Create Re-Search – An online database, listing all research facilities, projects undertaken, faculty and student profiles, and available research opportunities
Provide mentoring & organize training workshops, brainstorming sessions in collaboration with Treelabs to assist students in exploring research opportunities and their practical applications

Academic Reforms

As with any change in the Institute’s policies, the set of reforms suggested are moving at a glacial pace. Reforms in the Minor curriculum and the choice in department electives, and the introduction of software-based labs/courses are all issues which will need approval independently from each Department to move any further. Reforms in FacAd selection, enhancement of the FacAd handbook and the Industry and University Curriculum review, however, will only see progress next semester.

Propose to incorporate the following reforms in the Minor curriculum:
  • Higher flexibility by allotting 2 minor slots and a more extensive minor course list
  • New secondary procedure for Minor allotment based on evaluation of related project work
  • Allow students to undertake projects in place of courses to fulfill minor degree requirement
Propose to consider DAMP team review in selection of facads and improve the facad to student ratio
Enhance the existing facad handbook with information on facad responsibilities and common registration issues
Propose to prepare lists of courses from other departments which can be tagged as department electives and update the honors lists with the help of department councils
Follow up on the Industry and University review of Curriculum in collaboration with Placement Cell and SARC (FAN), in addition to the department level reviews
Propose to introduce Software-based courses/lab into department curriculum through DGsecs

Career Cell

Career Cell has been very active this year, having conducted a large variety of events in almost all fields . Conspicuous by their absence, however, were awareness sessions regarding student exchange programs.

Organize IITB University Fair to aid students in the apping process through interactions with representatives of eminent universities worldwide
Conduct orientation sessions to create awareness regarding student exchange programs
Launch Career Counseling with Alumni taking student preferences through online slot scheduling
Conduct Career Talks, Workshops to provide students with insights into diverse career options
Compile Career Guidance Database – a collection of Career Awareness resources such as videos, case studies and articles aiding students in placement preparations, apping, IAS, and other careers

Technical Activities

Two more events have been tied up with the launch of the Innovation centre. Again, they can only be judged when the Innovation centre comes up.

Technopreneur Promotion Programme – Collaborate with SINE and E-Cell to provide exclusive support and mentoring channel for Technical projects to develop them into a commercial product
Facilitate establishment of Innovation Centre to provide equipments and a common workspace for students to pursue technical activities
Provide timely information and updates on National and International Technical Competitions

2 year MSc Academics

The problem with 2 year MSc academics is that IIT Bombay considers them as Undergraduates, even though they are here for a Masters’ degree. While no MSc students were brought into the council, their issues are being dealt with in co-ordination with the PG council.

Work with Placement Cell to include MSc Internships with the help of 1st year MSc coordinators
Ensure representation from the MSc students in the academic council to address their issues and timely dissemination of information
Conduct Department Induction Sessions for MSc students to acquaint them with academic facilities

Group for Rural Activities (GRA)

Institutionalization of socially minded bodies and their active representation in the council were points that were not actively pursued by these bodies, let alone the AA council. In the long run, however, the need for both these points is clear to all concerned. The last point concerning development projects has seen some progress, but will only yield results next semester.

Propose to provide institutional support and funding to socially minded and volunteering groups such as Samwad, Abhyasika (GRA related bodies)
Provide a platform for the students to engage themselves in development projects through NGOs and social ventures
Allocate a position for a nominee in the council to adequately represent the interests of the social body and actively encourage students’ participation in their activities