Hostel Affairs Council: Mid-Term Review
The Institute General Body Meets (GBMs) are conducted twice every year with the intent to provide all students a convenient mechanism to provide feedback and address concern to the student representatives responsible for various amenities on campus.
The Hostel Affairs Council GBM is scheduled from 9:30pm on 2nd November at the Open Air Theater (OAT) in SAC.
This review is split into three parts.
- The first summarizes the findings of a survey conducted among the student body.
- The second describes, in depth, the progress made on initiatives the council attempted / intended to push through.
- The third is an excerpt from the General Secretary leading the council.
There has been a portal set up for filling up Room Conditioning forms to ensure better maintenance of rooms however it is still not complete. A dynamic room portal to make the room allocation completely transparent was done for the freshers in hostel 15 and 16 this year. This kind of allotment is to be expanded to all further room changes with an aim of being merged with ASC interface. The CMS (Complaint Management System) has been revamped to have an auto-escalate feature which will take up the issue with the Head of Maintenance Unit if a problem is not solved in a stipulated time frame.
However, regarding room allocation a student says, “Room allocation is always a mess. It takes more than a month for the room issues to settle.”
Inspite of auto-escalate features a student faced this problem: He quotes, “I had complained to electrical maintenance regarding slow speed before 1 month, I have got a reply that they dont have capacitors. Its amazingly shocking that though we have so many hostels in the campus their team don’t have a single capacitor. And complaint is still pending.”
Hot water showers for all hostels is still in the pipeline and is to be forwarded to the hostel coordinating committee. The online PHO portal which was a point in the GSHA’s manifesto has been built and is employed by Hostel GSecs. To improve the living conditions inside the hostels, an initiative called the Make Hostel My Home will be conducted as a GC to see in which hostel the inmates care the most about the living conditions by complaining regarding them so that an action can be taken. Electric backup heating for all the solar water heaters has been implemented for all hostels.
Ensuring the use of vacuum cleaners during room cleaning is still pending.
All in all, a lot of promised work has been started and in some cases, completed.
“The emergency ward doesn’t have many types of medicines with them. Also, the quantity of medicines they give is really less (one pill only). The emergency ward at least should be well equipped with all sort of medicines to handle any emergencies.”
“Hospital is ok for normal ailments but horrible for serious problems which require skilled surgeons.”
The IITB hospital has been at the receiving end of a lot of flak for quite some time now from the general populace. A few Hostel GSecs were of the opinion that the hospital needs a complete revamp and that they have given their inputs to the HA council. With an aim to increase the quality of medical care for students, the HA council had come up with a proposal to outsource services to the Hiranandani Hospital.This proposal has been submitted to the HGSC which will verify the proposal based on student opinions and then forward it to the Hospital Health Advisory Committee and other institute authorities for implementation. The process of digitisation of hospital records can be undertaken only after a decision is taken on the outsourcing initiative.
The HA council is trying to work out a suitable methodology for queuing for specialists by digitisation of token number but nothing concrete has been achieved yet.
The issue of outsourcing of the hospital dispensary is under discussion with the authorities. The temporary medical camp near gymkhana grounds will be set up as proposed during Inter IIT.
Apart from the above a few Hostel GSecs also felt that vaccination drives should be done in hostels and that vaccination should be taken seriously by students but that strict guidelines have not been implemented by the council.
According to the GSHA, the schedule of TumTums will be made public very soon. Also, the much delayed TumTum Tracker project has almost been completed and will be released soon.
The HA council is waiting for the situation with the TumTum drivers to stabilise before presenting the proposal for Hiranandani shuttle runs during the weekend.
The cycle pooling initiative has been stuck in Main Building for quite some time now. MB is considering handing out the tender to a private contractor and there are some administrative hurdles. The process has been even more delayed because of the situation with the TumTum drivers. Hostels are implementing this individually and they have expressed their concern saying things are moving slowly with respect to the cycle pooling initiative.
Permanent bus stop shelters were built well before the onset of the monsoon season this year.
Flexible schedules for TumTums to deal with different events have not been proposed to the Dean yet.
Cycle repairing drives in hostels too haven’t been undertaken as of now.
A new gymkhana server has been bought. This will ensure all IITB related websites are hosted in house and ease preservation of Cultural archives, etc.
However, WIFI access points have not yet been implemented which can be used in case of emergency LAN failure as was proposed by the GSHA in his manifesto.
Despite all this there are a lot of problems with the network according to students. Examples of what students had to say regarding the LAN and Wifi and also complaint management regarding lan:
“Network in quite unstable. I didn’t face such problems when I was in my NIT.”
“Wifi ka infi pain ho rha hai aajkal both connectivity wise and functionality wise”
“Worst response from cc on network related complains. This is fourth time in last 6 months that I have complained about network problem. I have to wait for atleast 20 days to get some response and that to a mail will be sent at night 10 or even after that about Vendor’s visit next day, if by mistake also you miss a mail you are done.”
|→||Mess / Eateries|
The H10 GSec has problems with the canteen menu reduction as well because apparently the H10 canteen has to pay more rent as compared to other canteens and hence the reduction in the number of items is affecting the H10 canteen.
A lot of work regarding messes and eateries is yet to be done such as setting up snack vending machines, setting up an eatery in the LHC, etc mainly because a meeting of the GSHA and the eateries committee has been long pending.
Coming to messes, automated cooking machines to make bulk cooking more efficient and exhaust ducts were to be installed in the messes. Some hostel GSecs said that they still are waiting for the installation of chimneys/exhaust ducts in the messes. According the GSHA, both of these are in their trial phases, an automated cooking machine will be bought and tried in H16 first and exhaust ducts are in the trial phase in H15 and H3.
The guest accommodation booking system is under progress as the GSHA wants to merge this with ASC however ASC is yet to implement it.
A common Lounge with 24×7 Wifi in the hostel area was proposed but due to lack of space in the institute it had been delayed. Now plans are to construct it in the area near H7.
It was proposed in the GSHA’s manifesto that an additional ATM inside the hostel area would be established however this is not going through. This is because SBI bank is opening a branch inside the institute and although the exact plans are not drawn yet an ATM is planned to be included within the branch. Instead the GSHA is proposing for additional ATM machines inside the existing ATMs.
Other work which is still on hold is improving the horticulture in the institute, installing electronic notice boards in the hostels and also establishing a unisex hair salon in the hostel area.
Work related to administration such as structuring the Hall Manager’s duty, implementation of the Application Tracking System are still in the pipeline. Models for the Application Tracking System have been proposed but an approval is awaited.
With regard to the security, it was proposed in the manifesto that automated gate entry passes would be extended to students but this is yet to be done.(Link for the automated gate entry pass currently only for faculty)
Apart from the above some Hostel GSecs expressed their concern regarding scrap removal in the institute, complaining that it has been a big problem for many years now, yet the HA council has been moving at a very slow pace with respect to this. We will have to wait and see if any action is taken up on this matter.
General Secretary Speaks: Abbas Ali Bohra
The working of the GSHA and the hostel affairs council is very different from various councils and is highly dependent on the administration for execution. The primary job of the council is the job of being a student representative and act as a link of communication amongst between student and the administration.
The main focus was to do the above and we can see that by the increase in the number of meetings with the student representatives, better communication channels, and approachability through initiatives like open houses.
There were successful attempts made for the first time to involve the administration directly in hostel issues, through Hostel Maintenance Committee. The entire admission and allocation process was also made much smoother. Very high involvement in TumTum issues with proposal to restructure the SWS Society under consideration.
The above are examples of the various things already done to consolidate the base of Hostel Affairs, along with pushing for the initiatives promised earlier, several of them are already completed, and I am hopeful to be able to complete the rest in the remaining tenure.
Do come to the GBM starting 9:30 PM on 2nd Nov. at OAT, SAC. Your views are important to us.