TSA caught up with Rinshul Chandra (Vice President, Gymkhana 2012-2013) midway through his term as the VP and had a small chat discussing the status of implementation of his proposals and his experience so far


TSA: Could you tell us something about the status of implementation of the Public Relations Cell?

VP:  The proposal for creation of a PR cell is underway for implementation- a significant part of the proposed work has already been completed. In the next semester, office bearers for the same would be appointed, with the Public Relations chair of the TSG as a de-facto member. The roles of the PR cell will be diverse, and interacting with the media to publicize the achievements of Students Alumni and Faculty of IIT Kharagpur. A broadcasting cell is underway for sharing of high quality videos of events within the campus, the TSG website has been revamped and a considerable effort is being made in the Central Library to digitize the Research Publications in the institute.

The decentralized use of social platforms has been replaced with separate social media profiles that are now being maintained officially. The internal notice board is being redeveloped. Steps are underway to develop an extensive budget and framework for censorship norms of the institute with the admin’s approval.


TSA: There has been a proposal by successive VP’s for creation of a Foreign Application cell for disseminating information on the best Universities abroad. How far have you been successful in following up on this?

VP:  The Foreign Application cell will require a dedicated employee for processing the applications. It has been successfully created in IIM Shillong and IIT Bhubaneshwar. This would require the recruitment of a new employee, for which the necessary approvals are being taken. If all goes well, I expect the advertisement for the position to be released in the next semester. The T&P office is already overworked with the placement scene, and attempts to create a cell which has only student participation have been unsuccessful in the past years. This year, a number of universities have been contacted, but the process would be more effective if undertaken in an official manner. This will definitely be followed up in the next sem.


TSA: Extension of the working hours of the Central Library- your views?

VP:  Due to the unavailability of staff and security issues after the working hours, it is not feasible to keep the central library open for 24 hours at present. However, three classrooms have been opened up for students intending to study late in to the night. We are working on the implementation of RFID system across the Central Library, that will make deposit/issue of books hassle-free.


TSA: What about the PG halls’ mess tenders? What does the HMC say? Has any action been taking towards calling for yearlong bids? Any improvements?

VP:  Halls with PG students face acute problems due to closure of messes during vacations. To address this, this scheme of awarding mess tenders for 6 months, instead of 4, will be implemented in three halls – VS, JCB and RLB, from next academic session.

A committee has been appointed, comprising of professors and general secretaries of halls having private messes to suggest steps for improvement in hygiene, and quality of food being served in these messes.


TSA: What has been done towards or planned for the creation of Cultural Technology Dramatics Society (CTDS)?

VP:  An executive council meeting was held on November 7th, and it has been decided that from the next year, Technology Dramatics Society would now exist as one society with four advisors nominated by TSG, who will further appoint 12 Governors, exclusive of all languages. The Soc-cult General Championship will also see a change from next year as the inter-hall Bengali Dramatics event will be converted into an open platform for other languages as well.


TSA: Work beyond proposals:

VP:  The next semester will see the opening of a new Subway outlet in the Nalanda complex. I am also in talks with several other entities, such as Dominos, Saravanaa Bhavan, Indian Coffee House etc. Around 100 dustbins will be installed around the Scholars’ Avenue soon. Efforts are on to implement a cashless card system across the campus, in collaboration with National Payments Corporation of India, something on the lines of IIT Bombay. Also, we are working on having a central laundry system in place in campus, which will enable a centralized and more coordinated solution to laundry problems, leading to more efficiency, and cheaper costs.


TSA: A lot of people feel that the work done by the elected office-bearers of the Gymkhana are redundant and could be done more efficiently by an administrative bureaucracy? Your take on this.

VP:  It is true that the role of the elected office bearers can be performed by a capable administrative bureaucracy. In fact, it can, in some ways, be perceived to be a better solution, because there will be a continuity in the implementation of proposals. Right now, every year, a VP candidate has to focus on implementation of new proposals, which may lead to neglect of the efforts made in the previous years. However, this consideration blindly ignores the virtue of student representatives in the first place- they being ‘students’ themselves, can think from their perspective and help students with what they need. An official employee performing the same function will never truly ‘represent’ the students’ perspective.


TSA: What about CV verification? Is this proposal under consideration?

VP:  A separate ERP system, which was started by Prateek, has been successfully developed now and this will be implemented in the second phase of Placements. The portal will provide students an interface to update their details, upload their resumes, apply for company profiles; and the T&P office to verify and cross-check the details of the CV submitted. Currently, manual verification is done routinely to prevent any malpractices.


TSA: Work done by FMC/MMC:
VP:  FMC (a body of CELC), and MMC (under the aegis of HMC) have been smartly merged this year, and their work is already underway. The results of the eateries’ survey have already been released. We have actively tried to implement the results of our findings. Eateries have been issued notices to implement the suggestions- both “Must Do” and “Should Do”. The most unhygienic of the eateries will soon be closed down. Also sometime next week, the results of the mess-raid in halls will be out. A night-canteen survey will soon be conducted as well.


TSA: Work done by SWG:

VP:  This year several new initiatives have been taken up for the students’ welfare – Launch of the freshmen self-help brochure and separate orientation sessions for UG, PG, RS students are some of them. A major change was the extension of Students’ Mentor Programme, initiated last year, to all the students – UG, PG and RS. Proper mechanism of feedback for last year’s SMP was developed in July-Aug, and only the interested mentors were continued, who shall receive certificates of appreciation from Dean, SA.

Would take this opportunity to thank: Prateek, Akshat, Abhimanyu, Jani, Jose, Sayak, Anshul, PlaceComm team, Ankit and entire SWG team, FMC/MMC team and everyone else for their constant support and guidance.

Have more questions for the Vice President? Let us know in the comments below

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