GS Academic Affairs UG Review: Kanish Soni

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 General Secretary Academic Affairs GBM is scheduled from 9:30pm on 29th March at the IRCC Auditorium (SOM).

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Kanish Soni, GSAA (UG) 2014-15

Kanish Soni, GSAA (UG) 2014-15


Manifesto analysis

A point by point analysis of the Manifesto can be found here.

General Policy

The tenure saw a lot of ambitious initiatives being taken up, including attempts at major policy changes, but was highlighted by the lack of initiatives actually making it through DUGC into reforms. There were sincere attempts at making the academic infrastructure better in terms of setting up of canteens near academic areas and study rooms and technical reforms such as introducing online tagging approval for courses . Career Cell initiatives saw attempts made to aid students appearing for placements and planning to go abroad for higher education, with the help of dedicated sessions for the same. These were received positively by students. Progress was made on creating a portal for sharing knowledge regarding placements, with the help of past years’ databases.

Policy Reforms

The beginning of the tenure was marked by efforts to implement a lot of reforms promised in the manifesto, which aimed mainly at increasing flexibility in academics and the placement process.

The beginning of the tenure was marked by efforts to implement a lot of reforms promised in the manifesto, which aimed mainly at increasing flexibility in academics and the placement process.

Though the reforms were tabled in the UGPC and SAC meetings, very few to none saw light of day due to disagreements with the council. Most issues were outside the purview of powers of GSAA and were left hanging. The tenure also proposed for better administration of the technical activities through initiatives like setting up a Technical Board for efficient resource allocation. This was accomplished in principle. A proposal to set up an institute think-tank on education was also taken up, with forms being floated asking people to contribute their thoughts. The other stages of setting it up would be taken up by the next council. Some administrative reforms that saw significant progress include the proposal to reinstate the FF grade, which was discussed in UGPC and is waiting for the go-ahead from the Senate. The proposal to give monetary incentive for TA’s in the Tutorial Services under SSS got passed by Dean SA, but was shot down by DD FEA as a parallel system of TA framework was not considered acceptable. A change in the DUGC structure was also proposed with DAMP coordinators being assimilated into the council. This has been partially achieved with the issue to be tabled in the next HOD meeting.

Initiatives To Promote Research

Apart from policy reforms concerning academics, effort was also made to promote research activities among students through exposure to ongoing innovation in various fields through programs like MAPS(Management and Allocation of Projects for Students). Despite efforts to complete it in the ongoing tenure, the initiative is still under progress. Besides, eALMANAC , a calendar covering all major information regarding symposiums, talks and sem exchanges was planned, but is yet to be completed due to issues regarding its publicity and the lack of details regarding these things. An amalgamation of entrepreneurship and technical activities, technopreneurship was introduced in collaboration with SINE. To increase exposure of the students to their departments, lab visits were organised and student-faculty interactive sessions were held.

ASC Reforms

One of the major areas of change this year, has been the ASC portal, over which various attempts have been made to make it more efficient and student-friendly. First of all, the initiative to update course information, including the details pertaining to course prerequisites, course strength and grading statistics has been taken up with some progress.

The initiative to update course information, including the details pertaining to course prerequisites, course strength and grading statistics has been taken up with some progress.

This was coupled with making the scope of courses and departments in CourseRank wider. Other initiatives aimed at reducing paperwork such as introducing online tagging of courses were discussed and completed, while in some other cases, for instance, dropping of courses, the administration wanted to keep it offline. An online portal for payment of fines was proposed, but is yet to come out of the pipeline, with further discussion on the matter pending. SMS notifications for communicating online update of grades was also similarly proposed, but was later scrapped due to lack of utility and practicality.

Other Initiatives

At the beginning of the tenure, progress was made on getting approval for infrastructural needs having air conditioned study rooms in each hostel and having canteens/eateries near the academic area but are still in the pipeline. Also, efforts were made with regards to getting department newsletters published for every department but the intitiative was later scrapped due to a feeble response. For freshmen, identification of students with special need for language classes and then following up with weekly language sessions, for both English and Hindi, was proposed to ease their transition into the institute. This was carried out with significant progress with British Council conducting English workshops for them.

The follow-up on initiatives, in general, has been fair but has been caught in administrative red-tape for too long and quite a lot of them have been left upon the new council to fulfill.

A resume-building app to help freshmen in their sophomore year is also in the making and would be available for use soon. A mid-sem feedback of courses was also among the things proposed, but was not carried out due to issues with logistics. The follow-up on initiatives, in general, has been fair but has been caught in administrative red-tape for too long and quite a lot of them have been left upon the new council to fulfill.

Here’s a summary of the GSAA’s performance:

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