TSA: Congratulations on the election to the post. What are your views on carrying forward any proposals of former VPs ?
PA: One of Arnav’s proposals was the induction of students in the Library Committee. The long process of procuring a book can be shortened through student representation. I’d like to address the prohibition of taking books issued in the Hall/Department libraries into the CL.
I’ll look to increase the involvement of Department representatives in the TnP granting formal membership of the T&P Cell, without calling privileges.
These are only suggestions at present, however, and nothing has been finalized.
TSA: That brings to mind Celestine’s Internship Committee Proposal. What are your thoughts on that?
PA: The burden of providing internships to students rests with the Departments as well. Moreover, this is not a feasible option, because there would be an inevitable communication gap, a majority of companies being common to both. A possible solution could be sending internship application forms to the companies, along with the job forms currently sent. In addition, the Alumni Cell has come up with the Institute Development Fund, a goal of which is increased interaction between alumni and students, so that a greater number of students may receive suitable internship offers.
TSA: Let’s discuss your proposals. On sending regular gymkhana updates to students via email.
PA: We had to formulate a plan wherein the frequency of emails remained suitably low but provided a comprehensive update. I plan to send a weekly email, on Fridays most probably, which will contain information of events in the forthcoming week as well as results of the previous week. There will be sections relevant to the 3 GCs along with academic updates, if and as requested by the administration or faculty.
The mass mailing has already been tested by sending mails informing students about the Institute email-ids. The weekly newsletter will start from the next semester, whererin we’ll work in tandem with TSA.
TSA: On the implementation of the proposal on No Due certificates.
PA: I have already spoken to two companies regarding this, and they have confirmed that the system can be implemented within a month. I am confident that we will be able to have the online payment gateway integrated into the system by the end of the semester.
TSA: On the nature of grievances to be addressed by the Grievance Cell.
PA: A student can post any grievance he/she seeks to be addressed on the forum. The issues shall be made public on the forum subject to the Grievance Cell’s discretion. It is better if a matter is routed through us rather than approaching the administration directly. It will act as a medium between students and the administration.
TSA: About the Research Program Proposal.
PA: The idea is to have a system similar to foreign universities where summer programs are held with the participants receiving a stipend. Such a program is also already present in IITK and IITD.
The source of the fund will be the caution deposit of final years who will have the option of contributing.
HODs of departments will be asked to give a list of projects which they would like students to apply to. Projects may be accepted from the various Centres and Schools as well. This program, which will first be implemented next year, will act as an incentive for students to stay in Kgp in the summer.
TSA: Could you tell us more about the funding? Where does the unreclaimed or donated caution deposit currently go?
PA: Students who joined prior to 2006 paid Rs 4000 as the caution while those who joined in 2007 and later paid Rs 6000. Due to this variation, it isn’t known beforehand how much money will be received. A stipend of Rs 6000 per student over 2 months is an estimate.
Also, the stipend will be drawn from the interest collected on the contributed amount, compunded annually. Also, the sum will act as a buffer if a shortage of funds is faced.
Right now, the caution money goes to the Alumni Cell. Presently, not many students are aware of how to claim the money. Dues are deducted from this caution. Once the research program is in place, the dues will be dealt with separately.
TSA: Tell us about the TnP Site.
PA: A public website exclusively for TnP purposes, incentives to recruit from Kgp, placement statistics, the number and enrolment of courses and the placement brochure will be available on the site for visiting companies. The highlighting feature is a dedicated student login portal and a company login portal.
From the point of view of the students, the process will be easier as they can directly apply to companies and read notices which otherwise are up on the internal notice board.
It will make things easier for companies as well, who can view the profiles of the applying students.
Finally, it will also help smoothen the Placement Committee’s functioning.
I aim to have the databse completed over the summer, and we will be getting to see the site in practice once students return for the next term.
TSA: Any of Akshat Verma’s proposals you plan to work on?
PA: I liked his proposal regarding the provision of bus services between Kgp and Kolkata, as well as the online payment gateway idea. The latter will be integrated in my proposal pertaining to the procurement of No Due certificates. I will take these up only if the idea proves to be a success.
TSA: Aside from the proposals, any other matters you have in mind to work on during your tenure?
PA: Next year will be eventful for IIT Kharagpur with the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Inter-IIT. That is something which no earlier VP has been involved in, and will be an additional responsibility for me.
As for other matters, I plan to increase security in the other part of the 2.2 as it is rather deserted. With the addition of the Grievance Cell, new matters that require attention will be brought to notice.
TSA: Could you tell us about the Inter-IIT plans?
PA: Two main goals are to be focussed on. Firstly, providing very good hospitality to all participants and secondly, Kgp’s performance.
TSA: Having been through the process, what do you think of the election scenario and the system followed here?
PA: As a VP I won’t be judgemental of the system. I feel that people who want to contest independently should come forward. Personally, I feel that the pact system should not be present, but at the same time we should not have 10-11 candidates. If somebody can come up with a system that works better, well and good.