TSA: We want to know about your feelings, about your tenure almost coming to an end – the accomplishments you feel you have achieved. How far are you satisfied with your tenure?
GSEC: (Negi) Our tenure, you may say, was an unique tenure, because not every Gsec gets to organise an Inter-IIT. We had the Inter-IIT which was a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience and a very successful one – as everyone has noticed. The organisation was very successful, about which we received appreciation from many IIT’s.
(Pathak) Personally, I’m satisfied with my tenure. There are very few cases of chaos in Inter-hall events nowadays. In Inter-IIT, apart from two or three brawls, the entire organisation was very good and we were appreciated a lot. Though the performance of Kharagpur wasn’t so good in this edition, we won medals in three new sports, which is quite commendable. Actually, the year before, we were very dependent on athletics. This year we couldn’t perform in athletics. That’s why our performance went down. Hopefully next year, we will perform better in sports like squash, tennis – in which we had new teams this year. I think with this infrastructure now, there’s no reason to say that we cannot perform well in future editions.
TSA: Both of you intended to improve Kharagpur’s performance in Inter-IIT. What is your comment on the contingent’s performance?
GSEC: (Negi) More practice is required. This year, the cricket pitch, the football and hockey grounds, the badminton and basketball courts and the squash court were not available. These sports had no practice. Athletics faced the same problem as the ground was dug up. But in the end still, they came out with good performances. The basketball team got bronze, cricket got Bronze, which was much above the expectation that we had set for them. Now the infrastructure is complete. Conditions can only improve.
(Pathak) The thing is, every sport has a different reason for its performance- for some it’s the lack of practice, for some its lack of equipment – like the equipment for hockey and athletics came very late this year. The administration and we, as general secretaries, are definitely responsible for some of the failure. But there are numerous reasons- which I cannot quote here, why we couldn’t perform that well. But I’m still satisfied that we won new medals in three sports. We had improved participation. Students were very enthusiastic about the Inter-IIT. Hopefully, with some effort, good practice, and earlier team selections, we can get more medals in the next Inter-IIT.
TSA: In your proposals, you had focused a lot on improving post graduate participation. How do you feel that was managed?
GSEC: (Pathak) Regarding implementing the proposal about the committee formation, I’m currently working with 6 of my PG secretaries (6 out my 11 secretaries are PG students). I’m working with them, along with the help of Negi and others, to form this committee – we’re actually doing the groundwork itself. Before Inter-IIT, I couldn’t get a chance to act on this thing. During my tenure I realised that, with the existing structure of Gymkhana, a lot can be done for the PG students. With the help of the PG rep, the help of the GSec sports of all these PG halls, and also with the help of the PTI’s we were able to communicate well with these halls, and were able to get the PG students to come out of their halls, to practice for Inter-IIT. Many PG students came to practice and many were selected for the Inter-IIT team. In volleyball, there was a very good PG player, whose contribution was remarkable, which helped us win silver. In cricket there was also a PG student, in athletics there was a PG student, in football there were three PG students. Also in inter-hall sports, everyone can notice that more and more number of PG halls are participating this year. So with this enthusiasm being shown, I think my proposal is going in the right direction. I think I’ve done a satisfactory job. For the sake of the name of the proposal, I’m definitely doing the groundwork – forming this committee. Again, with the existing structure of the gymkhana, I believe a lot can be done.
TSA: What do you think is the reason behind the lack of awareness of the PG students?
GSEC: (Pathak) Look, actually there was a very tight schedule. Apart from lawn tennis, most of the practices are during the evening – after 4:30-6pm. PG students have a very tight academic schedule. Also earlier, most of the secretaries were UG. So awareness was mainly lacking due to this. PG students, even if interested, couldn’t come out of their halls to practice. There is a lot of talent in the PG students, most of whom have participated in college team sports. There was a lack of awareness, but now it is improving. Many PG students did participate this year.
TSA: In your proposal, you said that coaches would be installed for every game. How well do you think that has worked?
GSEC: (Negi) For the Inter-IIT preparation, the previous sports officer in-charge , Mr. Chowdhury was very busy. So, badminton and cricket were left without coaches. When the players asked for a coach, a new badminton coach was called. Plus we have four new PTIs this year, football, hockey, lawn tennis – a new PTI also came for athletics, but he left later on. So, hockey, football, lawn tennis, badminton and table tennis – five new coaches were called.
TSA: What about how late they were called?
GSEC: (Negi) These four coaches joined- in late August. When I returned from the vacation, they had started coming. And after that the coaches were called in late-mid October, when the players needed them.
TSA: Squash and aquatics had the same coach. Your comments on that?
GSEC: (Negi) For aquatics, Mr. Ritesh Guchhait has been coaching the team for many years now – and has proved invaluable to the team. He wasn’t the coach for squash – rather the in-charge of the sport. Since the squash court was not prepared till Inter-IIT, the players used to go to some nearby squash court (the players had some contacts nearby) to practice. Ritesh was basically the in-charge. Whatever requirement the team had, regarding equipments, he used to fulfil. (Pathak) He also knows a lot about squash. He has been playing squash for a long time.
TSA: Your vision about the Gymkhana website hasn’t exactly panned out. What are your comments on that?
GSEC: (Negi) The only thing which has not panned out is the NSO list which I wanted to incorporate. Sagnik (PR Chair) and I have improved the website a lot. It is a very interactive website. The gymkhana website, the facebook page, and now a new youtube channel. We used to publicise through the facebook page only (as you might have noticed). A lot of feeds come through the page. This year, awareness has increased a lot, more than last year.
TSA: You had proposed the formation of a number of committees, like the Inter-IIT committee. So, have they been formed?
GSEC: (Pathak) There was no such committee in the constitution. But we had regular meetings – every week. We had all the captains, the senior players, all the sports officers included in this. Apart from giving a name to the committee, this proposal was very much successful. We had some good decisions taken here. Most of the players were very supportive and attended the meetings. Overall, this thing was a success.
TSA: Finally, advice for the incoming G.sec candidates?
GSEC: (Pathak) I’d prefer to give it to them personally. But definitely, my advice would be to work hard. They will have one less problem to work upon. The major reason for the lack of performance in previous years– the infrastructure- has been fixed. So if they perform well, if the secretaries perform well, if they co-ordinate well with PTIs and other students – things will improve. They must ensure that the practice is good; they must ensure that the team selections are done early- they should push the administration so that it works to maintain the grounds properly. That’s about it. There is no other reason standing in the way of better performance.