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It’s that time of the year again! Contingents from all IITs will battle it out again in various events across Sports, Tech and Cult to achieve the elusive Inter-IIT glory.

Unlike the Inter-IIT Sports Meet, the Technical & Cultural Meets are not being given recognition by the MHRD. Until last year, though, the events were still termed Inter-IITs. But this year, the Board of Directors, which comprises of authorities from all IITs, has reached upon a decision to restrict the use of the term ‘Inter-IIT’ for these events.

No clear reasons as to why the above decision was made have been given to the student representatives despite their persistent efforts. The Director, on being approached by Insight, insisted that he was altogether unaware of any such ruling. This raises the question: ‘Who are the people involved in the decision-making process? Who is responsible for executing them? To what extent are the students’ opinions taken into account before making decisions concerning the students themselves?’

The former Director, Prof. Devang Khakhar, didn’t respond to our attempts to get comments from him.

Prof Soumyo Mukherji had this to say when Insight approached him regarding the above decision.

“Although this was done during the last six months (possibly) when I was Dean SA, I did not have any say, not clear knowledge in the matter of scrapping the inter IIT status of Tech meet and Cultural Meets. I came to know of the decision later, probably much after it was done and that too probably in the last few days of my office. (The dates might be a bit off, but the fact remains the same). It was a council decision and as far as I remember, no one asked me for feedback or opinion. If it was asked, my position as Dean SA would have been for encouraging these activities.

“Although I had encouraged starting the inter IIT cultural meet, and encouraged the tech meet as well, there might be a variety of reasons behind the decision of the council (eg. the scheduling, which can only happen during winter… which might clash with other activities, the financing of the meets, etc.). So I should not comment on the decision, without knowing the reasoning behind it.”

Inter-IIT competitions have traditionally acted as platforms for students across IITs to interact and exchange ideas. Stripping away the Inter-IIT status of these events may discourage the students who invest so much time and energy into putting up noteworthy performances.

Inter-IIT credentials always keep students in good stead as excelling at the Inter-IIT level is a benchmark for the dedication and hard work. Taking the Inter-IIT tag away from these events might just reduce them to one of the many competitions that take place across colleges in the country.

The General Secretary, Technical Affairs, Shobhna Misra, gave us the following statement when we approached her for her take on the proceedings-

“We have been receiving funding for Inter IIT Tech Meet from the institute in the past three years since we started participating again. We are in touch with the authorities regarding the Inter IIT status.” 

Ever since the inception of the idea of an Inter IIT Cultural and Tech meet, obtaining funds from the MHRD (which currently funds the Inter IIT Sports) has been a pressure point, and the recent turn of events has been a step in the backward direction for this cause.

All is not lost, however. The student representatives from the different IITs have collaborated among themselves and have got the events back on their feet, albeit under different names by funding these events through their existing budgets provided by their institutes. Let us hope that the administration can be pushed and that the events will earn their Inter-IIT tags.

Here’s to hoping that the events won’t lose their sheen and that the performances and displays will be as intense as ever. May the best IIT (i.e. ours) win!