Student Media Body of IIT Kgp

 

Technology Gymkhana Elections 2017-18



Candidate for Vice-President, Gymkhana

Mayank Srivastava

DEPARTMENT: Mining Engineering
HALL: LBS Hall of Residence

Proposal I: My KGP

Students at IIT Kharagpur often face difficulty planning out their additional courses for completing their Minor and Micro-Specialization Degree. Several of the additional courses have slot clashes with regular departmental courses. Academically weak students specially face an issue regarding their course selections.

Hence, there is a need for smart planning of academic courses, which is where My KGP steps in. It is a website which will feature several sections with course information for every subject, professor information, previous years’ grade distribution, a summary of teaching feedback and pre-requisites and follow-up courses.

The website will also feature a smart system for planning out timetables in a way that distributes the workload evenly among the remaining semesters and takes into account slots and pre-requisites.

Apart from this, the website will be a common space for activities such as venue booking, cab sharing and lost and found notices.

Proposal II: Student Support Services

There are several problems faced by the student community, whether it be undergraduates, post-graduates or research scholars regarding grievances regarding student activities such as academics.

This proposal aims to establish Student Support Services, which will act as a repository of information, resources, and referrals and provide advice and recommendations to the students for their grievances.

Proposal III: External Relations Cell

The External Relations Cell will help bridge the lack of exposure students have to the corporate life by conducting a set of corporate workshops under a Corporate Summit, which would involve talks by various companies. It will also enable the undergraduate, postgraduate and research scholars of IIT Kharagpur to showcase their research activities to help secure greater funding for the same.

Proposal IV: Faculty Interaction Cell

Students at IIT Kharagpur miss out on several facets of student-faculty interaction outside the classroom walls. There is a lack of a platform for the students from among undergraduates, postgraduates and research scholars who share common interests to meet and discuss new projects and ideas with their faculty.

The Faculty Interaction Cell aims to promote interaction between the faculty and the students and create a more collaborative environment to have a more friendly and productive stay at the institute.Proposal V: Efficient Room Allocation

There is a dearth in the number of meeting-hubs, co-working spaces, and rooms for discussion within the institute where the students can meet and discuss their ideas.

Most students, whether belonging to societies, start-ups or study groups have faced this issue multiple times in their stay at IIT Kharagpur.

Therefore, there is a need to responsibly make available a large number of classrooms at IIT Kharagpur to the students. Thus, I propose to set up an efficient system, involving the security desk personnel to issue rooms to students on the basis of their requirements.

Proposal VI: Fair Play Award

Great enthusiasm is shown by all the halls of residence in participating in the events of the General Championship. However, there are a few instances where enthusiasm converts to hurling abuses, skirmishes, and vulgar hooting. This proposal aims to incentivize fair play and proper behaviour by the halls, by providing an additional 10% to the hall securing this award.

PROPOSAL I : My KGP     

Need:

IIT Kharagpur provides a plethora of courses for students to take up according to their interests. However, it is often observed that students are unable to either take up courses or complete the courses as a part of minors or micro-specializations either due to a lack of information beforehand or due to a lack of effective planning. Several courses, either a part of minor or micro-specializations requirements, often have slot clashes with regular courses or high workload in some semester prevents students from opting for the courses they desire. Academically weak students specially face an issue regarding their course selections.

Therefore there is a huge need for a common platform for smart planning of academic courses which students can effectively use to take up courses according to their interests, primarily in choosing additional and elective courses and also for choosing breadth subjects. This will reduce the chances of students being unable to complete their minors or micro-specializations due to slot clashes. Moreover, the timetable planner will also help in sharing of workload through the semesters so that students do not get bogged down by high workload pressure that they might face while choosing elective, additional and breadth subjects. This feature will ensure that the timetable planner is user-friendly and transparent for the student community. Apart from this, there are several activities performed by students of IIT Kharagpur, for which no common platform is available. Venue booking is one such issue faced by students trying to book rooms for events, seminars, society meetings, among several miscellaneous activities. Cab sharing, currently done on KGP Centrale on Facebook, is grossly inefficient, considering the amount of effort students need to put in, in order to secure co-passengers. In addition, the institute also lacks a common platform to put up lost and found notices, which currently is done on several hall and other groups on Facebook.

My KGP would provide an integrated service, linking the necessity of all the students of the IIT Kharagpur campus, into one coherent website.

Solution:

A website for the students, by the students is the best solution for sharing information in this digital era. The website (My KGP) will feature various options to serve different purposes, which are organized into various tabs as follows:

1. Courses Tab: All the courses provided by the institute will be present under this tab.

For every course, there will be more detailed description regarding the previous year's’ grade distribution, a summary of the teaching feedback, the professors concerned with the course, feedback from the professors and their detailed profile as well. The course content, its prerequisites and the follow-up courses to be taken after the course will also be present. A description of the course and the course utility can also be added optionally by the professor. 2. Professor Information Tab: The contact details, areas of research, Research Scholars working under the professor, ongoing projects along with patents and research papers filed would be present. The professors’ personal profile shall also be added so that students can get an opportunity to know the professor better.

The research areas on all of the professors would be mapped with all the professors. A student if he does not know the professors working on a particular area of interest that they can search for.

3. My Timetable Tab: This tab will enable a student to choose courses and organize his timetable easily according to his interest areas, minors, microspecializations and even some specific skills.

This feature will also include a smart system for workload distribution so that courses can be spaced out evenly over the semesters a student will be studying in the institute.

The system will incorporate an algorithm to match all the pre-requisites required for completing a minor/ micro-specialization and give out a complete timetable for each semester in the future, with the compulsory and additional subjects adjusted to take into account slots, pre-requisite courses and an even workload throughout the semester.

This time table shall be made available to download in a universal calendar format which can be imported in Google and Microsoft, Apple Calendars. 4. Cab Sharing Tab: Currently, cab sharing in IIT Kharagpur is done primarily on KGP Centrale, where students have to manually look into offers made for cab sharing, the time window for travel, date, the number of seats available and the destination of travel. This can be automated using a smart system. The Cab Sharing Tab will feature a form which will take into input the time window, date of travel, number of seats available, the destination of travel and contact details. An algorithm to find the best match amongst all the cab sharing queries put forward before for the specified requirements shall be used to instantly get a match or a notification when someone posts a similar requirement.

This system will drastically reduce the time and effort put in by students for sharing cabs and would result in significant cost savings.

5. Venue Tab: This feature will make the booking of classrooms and auditoriums for workshops, discussions and other events more intuitive, hence encouraging more students to take part in stimulating activities inside the institute.

6. Lost and Found Tab: This feature will enable all the residents of the IIT Kharagpur campus to put up digital notices regarding items lost and found.

Implementation:

1. Development of MyKgp Website

I have discussed the proposal with Mr. Naresh, maintainer at MetaKGP regarding the proposal. A part of the website, i.e. the development of My Timetable feature has already been initiated, and the data regarding courses has already been extracted.

2. ERP Integration

I have discussed the proposal in length with Dean, Faculty Mr. Subhasish Tripathy who expressed great enthusiasm regarding the proposal and promised support in the data requirements from the institute to implement the features of the website.

Timeline:

After consultation with Mr. Sandeep Kumar Pani and Mr. Naresh, both having significant experience in website development, an appropriate timeline has been constructed for implementation of this proposal. A time period of 8 weeks is required to develop the website after securing the required permissions for data to be used in the website.

1. The development work shall be done primarily between the 4th of September, 2017 and the 27th of October, 2018.

2. Website trials shall be done the following week, from the 28th of September till the 4th of November.

3. The website will be launched on the 6th of November, 2017

Groundwork:

I have talked to the Dean of Student Affairs, Mr. Manish Bhattacharjee and the President, Technology Students Gymkhana, Mr. Somesh Kumar regarding this proposal.

Both of them had a positive response and have appreciated the effort. I have also talked to Mr. Naresh, Maintainer at MetaKGP and Captain, Dashboard Inter IIT Tech Team. He has expressed his support for implementing the My KGP.

PROPOSAL II : Student Support Services      

Need:

IIT Kharagpur is home to over ten thousand students across all disciplines. While the immense diversity is something our institute has always been proud of, it is also a matter of concern that there is no centralized reception or place where a student can go in case he/she needs help that might require escalation of the grievance to the concerned stakeholders in the administration. There are also some issues which might not be under the responsibilities of a particular member of the administration due to ambiguities in the mind of the students regarding the same. This has previously led to some issues which could have been handled in a much better way. Sometimes, the students need support from the administration and not the counselling centre. Thus there is a tremendous need for setting up of support services to cater to each and every student of IIT Kharagpur.

Solution:

I propose the establishment of Student Support Services for the students of IIT Kharagpur. Student Support Services will provide advice and recommendation for students and act as a repository of information, resources, and referrals across the student community of IIT-Kharagpur. The Student Support Services would have a professional, available during office hours from 9 AM to 5 PM, for appointments which the students can meet or send their grievances through e-mails. If the grievances is not a case of a referral or an information requirement, such cases will be escalated to a committee comprising of a representative from the Counselling Centre, a Professor in Charge and a Student Representative for further action. These cases can be further escalated to the relevant authorities. The committee will also track the redressal of such grievances and will make sure no stone is unturned until the students’ grievances are fulfilled.

Difference from the Counselling Centre:

The counselling centre of IIT Kharagpur consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, and counsellors. The counselling centre does not provide services such as advocacy for the students in various facets of life at IIT Kharagpur such as academics, departmental activities among others.

The Student Support Services is comprised of staff from the academic administration of the institute and student representatives. It would help students to deal with personal issues and academics by providing a support system offering guidance, advice, and referrals.

Implementation:

Phase 1:

Creation of the committee comprising of a representative from the Counselling Centre, a Professor in Charge and a Student Representative would comprise as the first step. Since setting up an office and the appointment of a professional in this field will take time, the Student Support Services will start with an ERP Tab named Student Support Services. During this phase, all student grievances will directly be addressed by the above authority. All queries from Student Support Services would be forwarded to a common email account, accessible by all members of the above committee.

Phase 2:

1. Recruitment of a professional for Student Support Services, taking cues from other institutes, giving the students an opportunity to book an appointment for meetings in the future.

2. A reception desk will be set up for proper information dissemination and ease of grievance lodging by the student community.

3. Setting up of a Helpline Number

Timeline:

The two phases of the proposal shall be implemented in a sequential fashion. 1. The formation of the committee of representatives from the Counselling Centre, Professor in Charge and a Student Representative would be done beginning the first week of September, i.e. 4th September 2017.

2. The second phase, i.e. the recruitment of a professional would be done in parallel.

3. Student Support Services can be started beginning January 2018.

Groundwork:

I have talked to the Dean of Student Affairs, Mr. Manish Bhattacharjee and the President, Technology Students Gymkhana, Mr. Somesh Kumar regarding this proposal.

Both of them had a positive response and have appreciated the effort. They have remarked that the proposal is a much need initiative to better link all student grievances to the institute. Appropriate support for setting up the ERP link has also been promised.

I also have talked to Mr. Mohammed Abeer, Counsellor, Counselling Centre and he has expressed his support for the proposal.

PROPOSAL III : External Relations Cell      

Need:

IIT Kharagpur is like a prism of possibilities. Our institute presents new roads to the student fraternity beyond just core engineering, by introducing them to Data Analytics, Software Engineering, Consultancy and the likes. However, the student community has very little idea about the needs and thrills of corporate life. The only talks that students are exposed to are the presentations by companies which doesn't highlight the skills and experiences needed by the students. The above presentations are also restricted to only the final and pre-final year students, which again leaves the other students often clueless about the corporate life.

Also, there is little motivation for those students who want to get into research to know about the corporate life, hence eluding them for the knowledge of this career path. Hence, it is extremely necessary to expose the entire student fraternity to the corporate lifestyle right in the 1st or 2nd year so that they can gain valuable insights. Providing corporate exposure to student groups such as Kharagpur Data Analytics Group (KDAG) and B-Club will directly encourage student members of these societies to take up this exciting career as well as make their batch mates aware of the corporate lifestyle. Student groups such as Autonomous Ground Vehicles (AGV), Aerial Robotics Kharagpur (ARK), Swarm, IIT Kharagpur, Kharagpur Robo-Soccer Students’ Group (KRSSG) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) can utilize industrial mentorship to keep up with the current industry trends and hence upgrade their research output. Moreover, these companies can collaborate with NGOs and student-run groups for eg. Gopali Youth Welfare Society under the aegis of IIT Kharagpur to provide them with new opportunities and support under CSR initiatives.

Solution:

World class companies are vying for hiring students from IIT Kharagpur. Hence setting up the External Relations Cell is the only next logical step that will bring the student community closer to the corporate life. The External Relations Cell will invite speakers and representatives from various companies and start-ups to deliver presentations and conduct workshops to introduce the students to the corporate world. Also the Cell will invite eminent alumni from various sectors of industry and academia to help students get involved and also provide mentorship to them. Finally, the cell will also conduct regular competitions like Case Study and Data Analytics competitions so that the students also get hands-on experience in these fields. The research projects undertaken by Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students and Research Scholars will also be showcased during the Corporate Summit to help secure greater funding for these research activities. These activities will be conducted in tandem with Technology Transfer Group (TTG), IIT Kharagpur.

Implementation:

Phase 1:

The establishment of the External Relations Cell will require electing a student representative body and selecting a professor-in-charge. The Cell will be responsible for organizing the workshops by inviting companies and alumni from industry and academia.

Phase 2:

Setting up of collaborative links between the research groups and industries. This will also involve CSR initiatives to support NGOs and student-run groups. Finally, the cell will conduct competitions either under the aegis of Gymkhana or by collaborating with corporate houses.

Timeline:

1. The first set of corporate workshops under the Corporate Summit would be held in the month of August 2017. The corporates will be reached out by the Student Placement Coordinators during the summer break.

2. A new External Relations Cell will be formed in the month of July whose first responsibility would be to conduct the Corporate Summit after which the responsibility of contacting corporates and organising the next event would be handed over to the Corporate Relations Cell.

3. The External Relations Cell will conduct the 2nd Corporate Summit in the month of March 2018.

Groundwork:

I have conveyed this proposal to Prof. Debasis Deb, Chairman, Career Development Centre, Prof. Uday Shankar, Vice-President, Corporate Relations and Student Placement Coordinator, Mr. Sanket regarding the proposal.

I have talked to Mr. Chinimili Bhanu Prakash from the Gopali Youth Welfare Society regarding securing funding through CSR activities. With regard to collaboration with Technology Transfer Group, I have talked to Mr. Mervyn T Pereira, who has confirmed the feasibility for showcasing IIT Kharagpur’s research exhibits.

PROPOSAL IV :Faculty Interaction Cell      

Need:

IIT Kharagpur is home to not just students from diverse backgrounds but also illustrious professors with vast experiences in different walks of life. Some of them are also gems beyond non-academic fields like in the field of arts, music, and even sports. However, there is unfortunately very little interaction between the studentteacher community beyond the four walls of the classrooms or laboratories. Thus, the students miss out on a lot of advice and experience from the faculty which they often do not share among large classrooms. Also, there is a lack of a platform for the students from among undergraduates, postgraduates and research scholars who share common interests to meet and discuss new projects and ideas. Thus there is a huge need to bridge this gap between professor and the student community and also between the various sections of the student community, hence helping all of them to be aware of the various aspects of each other's lives and work.

Solution:

Often the faculty has a lot more to offer to students than what is prescribed in curricula. IIT Kharagpur has a world-class faculty which consists of accomplished industry professionals and renowned academics. The Faculty Interaction Cell aims to promote interaction between the faculty and students outside the limited scope of the classroom.

Further, the faculty can act as a means of bringing students of similar interests across Undergraduate students, Postgraduate students, and Research Scholars together thus building a sense of brotherhood amongst them. Hence the Faculty Interaction Cell will consist of a professor-in-charge and student representatives who will organize and conduct faculty-student meetups and also conduct meetups between different student groups. Not just this, the cell will help students find mentors from among professors and senior students whose interest matches with the interests of the students themselves. Therefore, this will create a more collaborative environment for students and professors to have a more friendly and productive stay at the institute.

Implementation:

Phase 1:

The establishment of the Faculty Interaction Cell will require electing a student representative body and selecting a professor-in-charge. The Cell will be responsible for organizing the student-faculty meetups and events involving the entire student community.

Phase 2:

A personal profile of all the professors willing to contribute will be made. Professors will be invited to all Open-IIT events. Apart from this, other informal events will also be arranged.

This will help connect Undergraduate students, Post-Graduate students, Research Scholars and Professors, promoting brotherhood amongst the entire student community. Undergraduate students, Post-Graduate students, Research Scholars and Professors will discuss the opportunities in their department for research, internships, and placements with first-year students in their department. Professors with industry experience can help students prepare for internships and placements. Foreign language sessions can be arranged with professors who are proficient in the same.

Groundwork:

I have talked to the Dean, Faculty Mr. Subhasish Tripathy, Professor Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Prof. Chacko Jacob, Material Science Centre regarding this proposal. They have expressed their approval for the same and have pointed out the need for such activities in a campus as diverse as ours.

PROPOSAL V :Efficient Room Allocation      

Need:

Our institute has a burgeoning community of thinkers, innovators and change makers. However, the needs of this growing community are not entirely fulfilled by the institute as of yet. There is a dearth in the number of meeting-hubs, co-working spaces, and rooms for discussion within the institute where the students can meet and discuss their ideas.

We have contacted the governors of various societies, start-ups, and people with similar interests and study groups and most of them have voiced their grievances against the unavailability of proper spaces within the institute where they can go and discuss their ideas in a room with amenities like white boards, black boards, and charging points. This calls for a provision for more effective utilization of the resources of the institute.

Solution:

The classrooms in various academic complexes all over the institute should be made available for use by the student community after the class hours for a better utilization of the resources that our institute has. This will make way for more meetups, workshops, and seminars by the various societies, research groups, start-ups and students with similar interests for the KGP community.

There are security desks in all of the academic complexes from where a provision will be made for students to be able to collect the keys to access rooms by entering details in a register and submitting their identity cards at the desks. Thus the accountability of any kind of damages that might happen is taken care of, as the student ID card will be present to track down the miscreant.

Students can get back their I-Card after submitting the keys of the room or once the issues related to the room, say, any damages, is addressed. Since this is very similar to issuance of books in our central library, both the students and the persons at the security desks will easily adapt to the new system, hence encouraging the efficient utilization of institute resources, more participation by the student community and more output by the community in terms of research and participation in competitions without losing valuable time in formalities.

Implementation:

Phase 1:

• Security desk will be set up in all the academic complexes in different stages, starting with, say, the Nalanda Complex as it features most of the amenities required by the students. The desk will be under the aegis of a security personnel who will be having a register and key cabinet similar to the existing one in the main building.

• Students will deposit their I-Card in the register filling their details, group size, their needs and time requirement. Security will then issue a key according to the group size and needs, along with a print-out of the details of the group and the copy of identity cards for future references by both the parties.

• Fines and Disciplinary actions will be imposed in case of any mishandling by the students.

• Students will return the keys and the security guards will inspect the room before he issues the I-Card back to the student, hence making the room allocation process less prone to misuse.

Phase 2:

• The manual register will be upgraded to an ERP-linked barcode scanner, which will create a soft-copy of the details of the group using the room and the information of one of the students who would be liable for punishment in case of any negligence or damages in the room.

Groundwork:

Several people contacted for grievances regarding room availability including Mr. Nishant Jayaswal (ex-governor of Business Club), Mr. Mervyn T. Pereira (Coordinator, Technology Transfer Group (TTG)), Mr. Yash Shrivastava (exgovernor, Technology Literary Society (TLS)), Mr. Naresh (Maintainer, MetaKGP), Mr. Rishabh Shrivastava (Inter-IIT Tech Case Study Team Member) and several others.

I have talked to the Dean of Student Affairs, Mr. Manish Bhattacharjee and the President, Technology Students Gymkhana, Mr. Somesh Kumar regarding this proposal. They have expressed their approval for the same.

I have also approached Mr. Sushil Kumar Choubey, the Assistant Security Officer regarding the logistics of setting up this proposal. He has given his support for the same and applauded the initiative to take this proposal.

PROPOSAL VI :Fair Play Award      

Need:

General Championship is the heart and soul of innovation and creativity within the IIT KGP campus. Students from various disciplines, irrespective of their years of stay meet up, toil hours and hours to bring glory to their respective halls of residence. Many of them find their inner voice and creativity expressed through this set of annual events which opens up new possibilities for the students to pursue further in the campus life and beyond.

However, there has been an increasing number of cases where students have not been able to show their true sportsmanship spirit during the GC events, by hurling abuses, skirmishes and vulgar hooting. Many a time, it is not done by the participants themselves, who put in a lot of effort and act responsibly, but by students of their respective halls which creates a bad image surrounding the General Championship and the student community of IIT Kharagpur as a whole. Therefore, this brings forth a proposal which will incentivize fair play and proper behaviour by the halls, hence lending the General Championships the respect it deserves.

Solution:

The introduction of Fair Play Award in the General Championship with an addition of 10% of the points to the winner of the Fair Play award will surely encourage the halls to maintain proper ethical behaviour and enjoy the events responsibly. Not just that, it will provide the participants with a congenial atmosphere in which they can perform and excel in the events and also a safe environment for the audience to watch and enjoy. The winners of the Fair Play awards will be awarded additional points, amounting to 10% of their original score in all 3 General Championships, thereby motivating the Halls of Residence to play fair and to maintain a decent decorum during the events. With such steps, the miscreants can be penalized, more students will be ready to take part in the events, and the performance levels of the participants will also be at the peak.

Implementation:

Phase 1:

There is a need for strict administrators during the events who can recognize the miscreants and suitably penalize the teams.

Judging Criteria:

A gymkhana official (say PTIs in the case of sports) will keep track of the behaviour of the halls of residence during the event. Fair Play points will be awarded to the participating team by the official after the match.

Fair Play points will be awarded if:

• The crowd shows appreciation to both the teams.

• The crowd does not pass any vulgar comments at any player.

• The crowd does not cause any halt to the event.

• The crowd does not pass any verbal abuse.

• The crowd does not get involved in any skirmishes.

• The crowd does not pass any comments which can provoke the opponent.

Student representatives from the participating halls of residence can also lodge a complaint during the sub-committee meeting with a proper proof, which will enable proper dissemination of justice to all the halls and create a congenial environment for General Championships to take place effectively.

Phase 2:

Addition to GC:

The winner of the Fair Play award will be awarded a trophy and 10% point addition in all 3 GCs will be awarded.

Groundwork:

I have talked to the Dean of Student Affairs, Mr. Manish Bhattacharjee and the President, Technology Students Gymkhana, Mr. Somesh Kumar regarding this proposal. They have expressed their approval for the same.

Disclaimer: The format and content of all the Proposals are given by the candidates only. No editing have been done by Awaaz.


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