Students’ Technical Activities Body: 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 Students’ Technical Activities Body GBM is scheduled from 8:45pm 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.
|→||General Policy Changes|
From the feedback we got, it has not been a good idea to do this.
Sessions such as those on image processing, Eagle, etc, were very well received last year, and at least some basic sessions, which people will find useful, can be there, if not all. This is especially necessary, as otherwise there are no sessions at all, as it is not always easy to have people from outside giving talks, and this year, there haven’t been much of those, with the exception of MnP and WnCC. This is also necessary to maintain an active presence.
After discussion with the Tech Councils of various hostels, the GC structure has also been changed. The feedback of the tech councils was that no one in the hostel wants to help with mid, or high prep GCs, and ultimately, it is the tech secy’s, which end up doing the same work every year. Keeping this in mind, the two mid-prep GCs have been scrapped off, and a new GC, Smart Hostel GC has introduced, in the hope that it will involve more senior participation from hostel, and will help in contributing something concrete too.
Depending on how this is received at the end, more such GCs may be introduced.
However, according to some Hostel GCs, currently, hostels are not involved by STAB very often, as is the problem not just in Tech, but other places too. There should be more involvement of Hostel Tech Councils, better communication, and common meetings maybe.
The lab, with its infrastructure, was also meant to support independent projects, apart from the ITSP and Technovation projects, and the infrastructure, and facilities available were meant to aid development of innovative applications on existing technology.
The idea of independent projects being floated under the Tinkerer’s labs has been scrapped, because of infeasibility, and lack of support from professors.
The lab has been helpful during ITSP, and STAB has been successful in building RF modules by themselves, for competitions such as XLR8.
There is a technician in the lab at all times, and one of the Technovation managers is responsible for procurement and ordering of new things for the lab.
However, the problems that the lab is currently facing are lack of inventory management, and not taking enough care of the lab equipment. Most students who have visited the lab recently, have not been able to find things they need. Members of Technical labs say that in the much more limited space they have, equipment are much better organised, and thus work is much more efficient.
Thus, clearly, there is a need for proper inventory management of everything that the lab has to offer, for it to be useful to various teams pursuing tech projects, and to the various tech teams.
|→||Technical Teams of IIT Bombay|
The space problem is being solved by creating a dedicated space for all tech bodies on the rooftop of Hostel 3. The proposal has been accepted, and load testing for the place has started.
Also, STAB this year has been organizing regular sessions between all the bodies, to encourage sharing of resources, and knowledge between the teams.
In addition to this, there is also a proposal being made, to make participation in tech teams a credited activity, wherein each subsystem of the team will have a professor guide. This system is already in place in IIT Madras, where there exists a Center for Innovation, with which all Technical Teams work, and all such work is a 6 credit activity.
This will be a win win situation for everybody, as it will increase professor student involvement, research oriented work in tech teams.
|→||Institute Technical Summer Projects (ITSP)|
The vision behind this was that participants would work on new ideas, which can help these fields, and then encourage them to carry forward these projects into Technovation, or something like that, thus creating a pipeline, by which these participants stay with tech, and also come up with various useful prototypes.
This is definitely a great initiative, but it could be implemented with very few ITSP teams only. Hopefully STAB will be able to convey the message to larger audience next time.
The top teams, whose projects had potential to grow were invited to carry forward with their projects as Technovation, and 7 of the ITSP projects are Technovation projects now. This is good, but considering the fact that almost 70 of the registered teams completed at least some section of their problem statements, this number can, and should be bigger.
Mentorship – Every mentor was assigned two teams, and there were some supermentors (M.Tech., or Final year DDs), who specialized in certain topics, and there were some sessions, with these supermentors, during each slot.
While some teams had great mentors, many teams had mentors, who were either on their interns, or working on something or the other, and didn’t seem to be interested in mentoring the team at all.
Rahul recognized the fact that this problem exists, and there should be a system in place for giving mentors incentives, and/or recognition. STAB tried to have a system of food coupons this time, which was unsuccessful. A very good way to incentivize would be giving credits, but that does not seem likely in the near future.
Many ambitious projects have been taken up under Technovation, such as Parinat, Book Keeping Bot, tum-tum tracking service, electronic notice board, etc.
But most of them have not been able to reach to completion and implementation stage due to various problems such as delay in funding deliverance, seniors passing out, drop in enthusiasm, transfer of projects from one STAB team to the next etc.
STAB has taken measures to avoid many of the problems. This year, STAB started Summer Technovation, where teams started working in summers and four projects continued in-semester all of which are at a prototype stage now and are expected to complete within a month or two. About 10 more projects, some of which are the best ITSP projects started their work post mid-semester.
Technovation, along with supporting student projects is collaborating with alumni, professors and industries to provide mentorship to students. Also these professionals can float project ideas which students can pursue. To organize it in better manner, Technovation has launched two categories – Social and Industrial Projects.
STAB has tied up with Abhyuday for societal projects, Healthcare Research Consortium under Prof. Santosh Noronha for health-care projects, and TI, Mahindra and Humming Whale Solutions for projects in the industrial category.
Successful attempts have been taken to revive the old projects. Tum-tum tracking service is nearing completion, and in expected to be fully functional by mid December. An amount of 6 lakhs has been approved for 14 Electronic notice boards, which is expected to save a lot of publicity costs on flexes, etc. Parinat has also been revived, making it an independent technical team with provision of direct funding.
However, other clubs are not working properly on publicity, for lack of resources(in terms of people who can work on publicity), or whatever other reasons, and this is affecting people’s perception about them, and information about the events they have is often not reaching people who otherwise might be interested.
An STAB calendar, which is ready, should be also publicised and launched.
This event provided a platform for not just ITSP and ISPA projects, but also research work being done by the various different Tech bodies of the institute, and research work at different labs.
It was with Student Alumni Meet(SAM), so it saw a lot of alumni, many professors, and various start-ups had been invited too, to provide opportunities to the involved teams. There were also people from the industry, such as people from Tata, Mahindra, etc.
This event was a great initiative, and a good success.
Overall Coordinator (OC) Speaks: Rahul Prajapat
It has been great experience organizing tech events till now. Team has achieved many milestones with the help of seniors, professors and administration. Thanks to all of them.
Revamping ITSP structure, developing indigenous technologies for XLR8 & line follower, launching Tech and R&D Expo in collaboration with Acad council & SARC, initiating new events scratch hack and BARC & TIFR guest lectures to encourage freshmen, lab space for technical teams with help of HA council, launching “Smart Hostels” tech GC were key highlights of this sem.
Apart from hobby club events, we promoted innovation in technical projects through Technovation and Tinkerers’ Lab. Guidance from professors, alumnus and collaboration with various institute bodies Sine, E-cell, TechGSR, Abhyuday, Healthcare Consortium and companies TI, Tata, Arduino, Humming Whale etc has played very important role in reviving the Technovation program.
In near future, we are planning to launch an Online Knowledge Sharing Platform for our institute and for regional & national engineering colleges at later stage in collaboration with CDEEP. We would be able to have many more such exciting technical events with your help, so please feel free to pour in suggestions for the same.
Do come to the GBM starting 8:45 PM on 2nd Nov. at OAT, SAC. Your views are important to us.