Mid Term Review : General Secretary, Academic Affairs (PG) 2016-17
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With the introduction of the Insight GS-Metres, it has been easier to keep tabs on the working of the elected General Secretaries (GSes). Here we review the term of Pankaj Sharma, GSAA PG.
Overview: from a total of 33 manifesto points
Completed: 10 (30%)
In progress: 10(30%)
Broken: 3 (9.9%)
Not started: 10 (30%)
With around 60% of the days in office being done, a significant number of points have been completed so far. A highlight of the tenure has been the attempt to increase student participation in every facet possible concerning them. The PG academic calendar was developed according to the students needs gauged from a survey/feedback on the previous calendar. An AURAA ( Academic Unit Representative for Academic Affairs) has been elected for the first time both in SOM and IDC, hence increasing their involvement in the PGAC. Moving outside the manifesto, the unnecessary distribution of Aakash tables was stopped after conducting a survey on their usefulness to students, which reflected poorly on the past policy.
There has been definite effort from the PGAC’s side to be more approachable to students. An Academic Affairs portal was created so that students could address their problems. Also a reply system with ‘expected time of reply’ was instituted so. A mid term Open House was conducted where people gave their inputs on the council’s working. However Pankaj feels there is a (lack of interest/apathy) among the students due to which some points like the periodic newsletter could not be worked upon.
Pankaj has proactively publicized activities that increase interaction between students like the IDFR (Informal Discussion and Formal Research). Some other points that have been completed so far include the creation of PhD research database, industrial visit by Airbus and conduction of Software and Language classes for students
Some of the interesting points that are underway are updates of the academic info on ASC, introduction of more electives for students and a push for getting students funding for international conferences. However it seems like these issues are still in discussion with the relevant authorities and further development is awaited.
A push was made to provide internship opportunities and allow PGs to pursue minors. The academic committee simply felt that allowing minors would take away from the main focus of the students major fields, especially considering that PGs have highly specialized work. Further extending the argument of things extraneous to work, the PGPC felt that allowing students for internship should be left up to the discretion of the student’s guide.
Other than the scope of work in the manifesto Pankaj has pursued the following issues:
1. Making the PG handbook and rule book online and easily accessible instead of distributing printouts.
2. Pushed to increase PG participation in Tech Connect.
3. Actively worked with authorities to get rid of old redundant systems like the Akash tablet distribution and shortening the PG orientation to just 1 day instead of two, allowing SOM students to attend it as well.