Mid Term Review : General Secretary, Academic Affairs (UG) 2016-17

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After completing about half of his time in office, Abhishek’s tenure seems like a mixed bag. With substantial progress on most points, the percentage completion stands at 17% as of today.

Freshmen-oriented initiatives

A new timetable for UG first year of study was designed by the council and was implemented to conduct Engineering Drawing and CS 101 courses in different semesters, to normalize the course load across the two semesters. Apart from this, the TA selection process for institute common courses was facilitated by the creation of a centralized TA selection portal.

With the aim to help students from vernacular backgrounds, two additional TAs were approved and a Study and Learn at Your Own Pace (SLOP) program was initiated with weekly sessions for CS 101, BB 101, PH 107 and MA 105.

Major policy changes
Two major policies were passed in the Senate during this tenure:

1. Inter-disciplinary dual degree program
2. Inter IIT Semester Exchange

Students can pursue masters in the stream of their desire, given that they meets all criteria set by the respective departments (including both your current department and the one in which you intend to pursue masters). Even though, the procedural guidelines are yet to be set by individual departments it is expected to start by the next academic year, at least for a few departments.

As far as the semester exchange policy change is concerned, we will soon begin it with IIT Delhi, with exchanges beginning from autumn 2017-18. After gauging the response, it will be extended to other IITs as well.

Miscellaneous

The woes of the first year students have finally been heard and a change in the first year curriculum was incorporated with Engg. Drawing and CS101 running in separate semesters for students. A curriculum review committee has also been formed with the GSAA UG as a part of it. A comprehensive feedback form was also floated to ask for suggestions regarding other changes required.

A Time and Stress management workshop was conducted by the Institute Counsellors and a paid spoken English workshop was organized in the summers.

This tenure also saw a conduction of a series of informal talks and sessions by professors for the students, to foster faculty-student relationship and motivate students towards research . These sessions were very well received especially by the first year students.

Broken points: (Nil)

With almost all of Abhishek’s initiatives either being in the pipeline or completed, there aren’t any broken promises as of yet. But a few of his manifesto points, like the one promising availability of a centralized list of department electives and the allowed institute electives across all departments, seem to be long due. Also, certain initiatives like conducting AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions and setting up of an eatery near the library have been postponed to the spring semester.