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theInquirer

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Rendezvous 13: The (not-so)hidden Truth

Vol 1 Issue 3 | January 2014 | Board for Student Publications IIT Delhi

Environment and IITD

Paradigm of Whims: The Untold Story of Rendezvous Team Selections

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The continuing Saga of Lan Ban

From The-Editor-in-Chief

riends, IITians and countrymen, I wish you all a happy and successful new year, and all such conventional things. So after a long wait, comes here, the Inquirer, bringing you a bunch of campus stories, and catering to your every taste, and every need. Beginning with something that affects each one of us, bearing the appellation of our second homes, our HOSTELS, the Inquirer focuses on the hostel budgetary issues and their effects on the increasing hostility of our hostel lives. Money is the tragedy of all souls, true that! Rendezvous has found ample room in our multi-storey newsletter, with a critique on RDV13 unveiling many (not so) hidden truths and the model of RDV14 team recruitment being taken to discuss the greater principle of democracy, the rule by, of and for the people versus centralization of power. This issue also reveals the current status of the much debated LAN ban, as Will we have to step out of our hostels after 1 in these biting cold winters to complete our assignments? remains an important question that demands an answer. For all you environmental enthusiasts, there features a box of surprises! Now when I use the word, surprises, allow me keep my mouth shut and give you the opportunity to explore these on your own. Facultys say has also been given space with the Inquirer expressing concerns of the faculty regarding students not filling the feedback forms sincerely. Finally, since the Inquirer is the voice of IIT, just and transparent, we have full two pages raising the opinions of our community on popular issues. People are just not cool with A.Cs not working at R2 and our predominant male community is frozen to imagine that they will have to walk all the way to the institute area these winters to find a comfortable place to study. Power distribution between faculty and students still bothers us and my eyes sparkle when one of you tells me what an exchange student at IIT found the the IIT community very small, close and tightly knit. ;almost like a surrogate family away from home. Just dive into the Inquirer and tell me what you feel, your letters to me would be published in the next issue of Inquirer. Bonne Lecture!

Hostel-Life@IITd

Things to commend and to condemn


ach new day invariably brings to our FB Notifications a thread of complaints or musings on the hostel conditions that some fellow hostellite highlights on the common groups rather expectantly, but such individual efforts seldom find permanent solutions. Considering the genuine unrest among the residents about the conditions they live in, ones which not many find worthy of the money they cost them, and the rising discontent among all on the lackadaisical pace of implementation of their demands, it becomes a necessity to dig deeper into the Nitty Gritties of our beloved hostels.

Kalki Kukreja, Abhishek Verma

sports equipment, music instruments, etcetera and second, the Mess, which includes all consumer goods viz the decorative materials for Dance and Dramatics, newspapers and magazines, canvas and paints for Fine Arts, repair costs and the like. The proportion of mess budget, which is at least around one third of the total budget, is meant to be paid for by the hostel residents. This brings up another set of questions into picture: Why will a PHD student, who is burning midnight oil to reap the fruits of his research, pay for a dance costume used in a RCA competition?, or why would a person staying all day in the four walls of his room, pay for the library books or newspapers he doesnt even bother to read? ..hostels are not meant just to provide a room to This brings to light the very principle of hostel life; sleep and a mess to eat, it is a platform for the hostels are not meant just to provide a room to sleep and students to indulge in social life, an opportunity a mess to eat, it is a platform for the students to indulge in social life, an opportunity to get involved it sports and to get involved it sports and recreation. recreation. Almost all the hostels provide sport equipment: badminton court, TT table, gym facilities, carom and chess Every infrastructural setup, and its maintenance, requires boards, workshops to get involved in cultural fields, music funds, procedures to get things in action, and representatives instruments, opportunities to put your hand in any cultural to take care of the same. As Mark Twain said, lack of activity, whatsoever, a library to issue various books to money is the root of all evils, we begin by presenting the read and study comfortably, a common room to watch TV budgets of different hostels which have been approved by and hold discussions, computers to the students without the Dean of Students. So, we have been, in fact, approved laptops (like freshers) and much more. Its up to us how to make hostels a better place to live in. But does it end much we make of it. To counter the impossibility to divide here? Procuring the funds from the budgets is another long who should pay for what an equal distribution for all is story. Thus though the monetary figures provided are huge proposed. enough to surprise you, but even then complains grow Thus our cover story highlights the present conditions of unabatedly each year. The budgets are not utilized to even these hostels by focussing on the hostel budget issues and 50 percent of their total value each year, the reasons to utilization. Peep into the newsletter to find out who could which are analysed here. be responsible for the growing hostility of the hostels? Why The budgetary figures would certainly push you to worship does it take so long? Where does the flaw lie and what could the generosity of the institute. The amount of funds it be the solutions?Our cover story highlights the present agrees to provide for each hostel, apart from covering all the conditions of these hostels by focussing on the hostel academic and non-academic expenditures of the institute! budget issues and utilization. Peep into the newsletter to But wait, its not just the institute that pays all, the budget find out who could be responsible for the growing hostility is divided into two sections: first, the DDF, the funds of the hostels? Where does the flaw lie and what could be provided to the imperishable items like washing machines, the solutions? Totalhave Hostel Budget/ This is the first time the accounts of all hostels been brought in aRs. public forum, an important step towards promoting transparency.
Karakoram Girnar Shivalik Aravali Vindhyachal Himadri Kumaon Jwalamukhi Satpura Nilgiri Zanskar Kailash Udaigiri 0 500000 1288285 1263524 1243180 1219600 1150200 1124904 1000000 1500000 2000000 1744240 1662370 1659800 1495254 1460603 2247420 2115700

Total Hostel Budget/`

2500000

*The data has been provided and verified by the house secretaries of the respective hostels from their approved budgets

isclaimer - All the characters, incidents and places in this play might not be completely fictitious, nor is the resemblance to any person living or dead purely coincidental, but certain creative leverages have been taken, none of which mean to demean anyone or hurt any sentiments.
Location : IIT Delhi Star cast: RDV organizing team, the Dilli Policewallas, participants from far over, authorities from the institute itself, besides the usual IITD and DU Junta. All the worlds RDVs a stage, And all the men and women merely players organizers; they have their exits and their entrances (with their jugaads), And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages four days. Continuing on with the clichs, we just say that it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness. RDV13, promising to be biggest IITD had ever seen, arrived. With stakes of over a crore and months of nightouts ready to reap rewards, there could hardly be scope for errors or glitches. But things seldom go according to plan here, and theres always the last minute innovations, or Jugaads as we like to call them, that save the day. Lets elaborate:

Rendezvous 13: in the eyes of an organizer


Devesh mohnot
s I sit to write this, I wonder how fascinated you would be to know that this is being written by someone who wasnt even there during the thick of the action, but then thats whats special about Rendezvous, I could feel the pulse some 3000 miles away. Its not just a 4 day extravaganza where people away from the humdrum of academic life, indulge in spirited competition and carefree fun of informal stages. Its that and a lot more. This is my take on that clichd lot more. When all is said and done, Rendezvous13 will go down as one of the fests iconic editions. For starters, the structure of the organizing team went through an overhaul leading to creation of Core team Members and after this 1st of December, the hallowed CTMs. After an initial dose of anticipated drama, the eventual 6 member team oversaw a historic marketing campaign with sponsorship that easily overshadowed any of the past editions. They say marketing is the key, that fuels everything else, I kind of agree but only to an extent. The pan Indian Campus Ambassador Initiative with an outreach of 90 colleges, the Pre-fest buzz of Catch up Guide, The innovative facebook applications, expanding presence on Twitter, RDV13s publicity campaigns struck a chord with an unprecedented audience.

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feature, the In house technical entertainment though did perfect justice to the cool geeky IIT stereotype with its trendy Foot Piano and Lazer Maze. Away from the glitter, RDV13 also gave birth to Udaan, a promising social campaign that ultimately didnt live up to expectations due to failure in organisation and mismanagement of intended projects, nonetheless was still a heartfelt initiative. Its not for no reason then that they say this Rendezvous just about had it all. So with an unassuming smile on face and an unfinished cup of Tea in hand, I decide to hang up. RDV13 taught me to respect commitment beyond personality clashes and in the process, gifted me unconditional friendships, the kinds one craves for and cherishes for a lifetime. Its this beautiful after feeling that stays with me after such a storied experience. One last thing, if ever you felt that this is an attempt at glorifying Rendezvous or some publicity gimmick, well you guessed it right. What else do you expect from next years Media and Outreach Coordinator?

Scene 1: The Dark (k)night


uthority X, the Dark knight that RDV deserved, but did not need right now, had earlier banned the use of thermocol for any decorations. These restrictions by this silent guardian of the environment meant the Deco team coming up with novel idea of using lights to add to the aesthetic value of the campus. And thus variedly coloured wires were seen dangling over walls and trees all around the campus. But when someone from the deco team finally ordered, Let There Be Light, they realized, that in fact, no electricity, or bulbs, had been provided to them. So much for the innovation, all was back to square one. The last minute preparation practice that the team would have accumulated over numerous majors and minors came to full avail as they put up whatever they could to rescue the situation, and somehow, this disaster was averted.

The restructuring of the Fest schedule this time, meant 4 Pro Nights across 4 days. Unquestionably what made the most headlines was the much hyped big bucks shelled out to rope in Hoobastank. Tiring, long queues ensued to just catch a glimpse of the reverberating OAT. However, beyond Hoobastank the crowds were enthralled by earthy sounds of Agnee, Parikrama, Bandish and Qawallis. The effervescent Farhan Akhtar capped an extraordinary line up of performers. As time passes though, the lasting memory of RDV13 will always be its eclectic Global Mela. The samba twist of Pedro Miranda, the rhythm of Taiwans Ten drums, the grace of Sin cha Hong, the life in Gianni Denittos music coupled with the food street, subtle lighting and decoration provided the perfect setting for an absorbing, quintessential International experience. Going for a single food vendor was touted as one of the path breaking moves of this Rendezvous as it could facilitate management and hygiene without compromising on the diversity of Hues offered to the palate. Sometimes things pan out to the contrary though as they did in this case, leading to lack of availability of food and an overpriced menu. Another novel

Scene 4: the security spectacles


Aashish Garg Deepali jain avadh singhal Noticing how wholeheartedly All-Access cards had been made available the previous day, changing the Go signal from green to yellow seemed a satisfactory solution. And so all those speeding in towards the OAT with those green All Accesses hanging from their necks had nothing, except just a crash waiting for them at the gates. But the day had in store greater security issues to be dealt with. At 5, while the audience is desperate to enter, the security guards decide to remain unavailable whilst enjoying a high tea. The second year Team Heads (the select few that they were) now came to full use and rescued the situation by holding the fort till backups arrived. The authorities had to be called in to raise questions on the sincerity of the security-wallas, but the guards had their own musings and their own complaints desiring a look into. The previous night, they have had to travel over a kilometer to get dinner as the food nearby was too expensive. Now, they demanded a better treatment in lieu of the services they were offering. Authority X was called, Dilli PoliceWalla : Tum mujhe food do, main tumhe security doonga Authority X : Serve and thou will be served (food), and thus the problem was temporarily averted. Next Day , 7 PM- The famished police wallas now demand the promised dinner. Authority X is unreachable. Dark clouds now hover on the whole event. Really tensed, the Security Coordis somehow save the day, lighter on their hearts, and on their wallets.

Scene 5: what happens in vegas


hile the OAT remained the center of attraction, and remains now in this article as well, the Instii Area had its own set of stories. Audience at the Sem Hall, waiting for the fifth stage play performance, is now getting restless. Meanwhile, backstage, our very own IITD team, completely dressed up and ready to take the stage, is shocked with Authority Ys decision of postponing the play to the next day. In no mood to break any institute or government laws, Authority Y seemingly ignores his assistants pleas to let the performances end before calling off the day, who had apparently complete idea how plays are conducted and had managed 15 such events earlier. The IITD stage play team, now their normal selves, are considering to leave, when, out of the blue, Authority Y has a sudden change of mind, and tells them, Chalo Beta, Apna play abhi kar lo, leaving the team completely baffled. However, the play is finally postponed, and performed the next day in front of a lesser (only in terms of number, no puns here) audience and judging panel. Par Yeh toh Rahi Andar Ki Baat , and though the play inside the building had been postponed, the drama did not seize outside. Picture abhi baaki thi; A Punjabi gang (no stereotypes here, just plain facts), most probably drunk, was seen outside getting physical with the local police. The scene, both tense and amusing at the same time, was complete with the Tu Hai Kaun dialogues that the audiences almost consider their right to

scene 2: the quintessential quizzer


DV, Day 1- Bechara Bachcha, tired and exhausted from previous nights dance practice, is woken up by his friend at 7:40 and informed about his quiz scheduled at 8:00. Completely unprepared (and devastated), he rushes to WS 104, only to discover a notice, No Class for MAL230 today put up on the locked door. Now overjoyed, Bechara Bachcha is about to leave with his friends when the Prof arrives at the scene with a set of those dreaded quiz papers. Background, a day earlier- When the issue of locating a place for the marketing merchandise to be stored for the night , a RDV Coordi, too busy to be vexed with such trivial matters had casually suggested, Just find some open room somewhere. WS104 was open. Present Day, 8:10 AM- The Coordi is

somehow discovered and brought to the scene, somewhat confused. The Confused Coordi tries his level best to keep the merchandise inside the room, while Bechara Bachcha is hoping against hope for the quiz to be cancelled, but the Persistent Prof is not ready to relent. Pointing to an assistant staff member (his name, Daya), he directs, Daya, Darwaza Tod Do. Daya, loyal to his master, broke open the lock and even though there was no time left for the quiz (much too Bechara Bachchas pleasure), the professor determined to enlighten the children with his theorems, managed to deliver a shortened lecture. The problem was thus handled, and the Bechara Bachcha sure thanked the Coordi for saving him from the quiz, but should we really rejoice?

scene 3: in medias res @first pro-night


ith thousands fighting for the limited number of passes to the OAT events, IITD was living up to its reputation of maintaining a low admission rate. RDV was set to start off rocking (yes, literally) and Hoobastanks visit had found ample talk in the media circles. But you expect such a band to come with its own set of demands, and those too right up till the last moment. So, two hours before the final sound check, the bands support crew arrives at the OAT and finds the stage setting totally unacceptable. Once the stage is re-set, the drum kits start looking too fragile to be used by the coveted band. Paying 15K at a moments notice to rent a strong enough kit for just a day seems pretty acceptable considering the stakes (ie 15K<<25 lac). By the time the sound check is completed, there is hardly time to allow the competing bands the full performance time they had earlier been allotted. They, now feeling neglected, raise up a war cry, with one band going as far as threatening to leave at the last moment. Coordi X, perhaps prepared for such an onslaught, just casually remarked, Jaa Mera Kya Ja Raha Hai, Hoobastank Toh aa raha hai. And thus this minor hiccup was seen off. A bands performance was later cut off in the middle.

be witness to in such situations. A crowd, 50 or so strong, had gathered around, and each one in that crowd had a unique completely true account of what had sparked off this tussle. Somehow, the matter is resolved. Among the truths that are kept hidden after the incident, one is which even the police had no clues about. While they were busy jostling and maintaining law and order center-stage, someone had secretly removed the air from the back tyre of their vehicle. A different police van had to be then called to escort them out of the campus later. And so the RDV was conducted. The above incidents, though neither exhaustive, nor exactly described as they occurred, point out some glitches that should not have occurred, and represent what we wish to be improved upon in subsequent editions of the fest. So much for the criticism and the jokes we now crack on the glitches that happened, we realize that such things invariably form a part of events as big as Rendezvous, and understand that we simply cannot survive these four (or five) years without this 4 day revelation. In all, as said in a previous edition of this newsletter before, some people savour Rendezvous, the others just havent been to one.

BUDGET DE$IGN AND PROPOSAL


All the house secretaries ask the secretaries under them to prepare a budget for their specific fields on the guidelines of previous year budgets of that hostel. The budgets are studied and compiled by the house secretary. A BHM meeting is convened to discuss the myriad issues in making a budget including estimation of commodity price and segregation of budget into DDF and mess. The BHM Meeting was not held this semester, to the surprise of most house secretaries.

Cover Story

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Now the bills under maintenance and sports are prepared. Quotations by vendors are submitted to the accounts office and then cheque payments are made for them. The cultural bills are somewhat special due to the fact that the representatives need to pay them from their pockets. At the end of the academic year these bills get materialized only if the accounts section feels that they are authentic and legitimate.

This is what goes on in making hostel budgets, getting it passed and procuring bills

Inter hostel comparison


mall dingy rooms, insufficient tables/chairs and improper ventilation virtually come as freebies with your admission to IIT Delhi. It startles me to see that most hostels accommodate much more students than they were meant to when built; especially Kailash which has a total capacity of 442, house in a whooping number of approximately 560 students, courtesy, the periodic rise of the student influx into IITs. The unequal distribution of the surplus students in different hostels is intriguing, making the conditions for some hostels to be worse than the others though beneficial for the hostel authorities as more number of students = more money for the hostel. Also, it is interesting to note that though most of the hostels aim to provide good maintenance, promote same set of cultural activities (the 9 clubs) and same sports amongst the students at IIT, each of who is entitled to same facilities, different hostels have strikingly different budgets with Karakoram at the top of the podium and Udaigiri at the bottom. It seems like each hostel is a separate entity, has a separate culture and separate needs, even though all lie under the umbrella of the same institute. This is because different hostels are run by different sets of people with different visions and priorities, making the hostels distinct from each other. The pie charts depicting the Sports, Maintenance and Cultural budgets of the 13 hostels show that there is minimal correlation between the hostels performance and the proportion it devotes to its budgets. We expected the cultural budgets of hostels like Kumaon and Shivalik and the sports budget of Nilgiri and Kumaon to be amongst the % of total highest since they are known to be the budget topmost in promoting cultural activities and sports respectively and thus would invest more to maintain their position, but the trend is not as expected. Thus its not just the money that matters; its the people who build the culture. Another intriguing observation on studying the detailed budgets of various hostels was the cost of items. While working on the detailed budget of hostels, we found out that different hostels allocate different amounts to same items, which clearly shows lack of coordination among hostels while designing the budgets. Also, facilities like library and computer room are not functional in all hostels, primarily due to callousness of the secretaries in charge of them which points to the inequitable distribution of these facilities among IITians. Thus with plethora of issues in the pipeline and solutions suggested, we attempt to purvey information to the students and bring into notice, this issue to the administration so as to encourage the design and implementation of a more efficient way of functioning and improving the conditions of our hostels. Regarding facilities like a functional library and computer room, there are two important things to ponder on. First residents of every hostel do not get the opportunity to reap the benefits of these facilities and second who is there to gauge their performance versus the budget allocated to them in previous years. This has implications like budgetary leakages and inequitable distribution of facilities.

The house secretary presents the budget in the House Working Committee chaired by the warden of the hostel. This is followed by cuts in the budget on lines of unnecessary demands and easily avoidable ones.

The adjusted budget goes to the accounts section and is scrutinized by the Dean of Hostel Management where the dean discusses all the budgets with the respective hostel wardens and introduces necessary changes. Finally the bill gets passed but not so.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Hostel Secretaries Speak


Hostel Conditions
As for the issue of improving hostel conditions, I believe that the elected representatives do get the opportunity to bring their concerns to the notice of administration- be it hostel warden or the Dean himself. I have never had any problems regarding that. That being said, it is also true that, the final decision making power rests always in the hands of the administration. And there is very little that elected representatives can do to change the decisions of administration, once made. I have seen the administration making big promises like having Wi-Fi network in hostels, ACs in common areas of hostel with no actions to back their word. I have seen them dismiss requests for having more than 1 drinking water purifier in a 400+ size hostel as unnecessary luxuries. In order to make the administration more accountable to the students, the general secretaries and house secretaries should be allowed to write review articles for their corresponding boards and hostels, respectively. This should be an open space (made public on web) where he should be allowed to (sensibly) criticize the administration and give a status quo of the measures being taken. To ensure that the secretaries follow these steps religiously, the review article should be made a judging criterion of adjudging the best secretary and other such awards. the extra-curricular events start at the very beginning of the semester, it becomes very difficult to meet the expenditure. The elected representatives end up spending considerable sums from their own pockets. The institute should allocate a certain fund to every hostel (to be managed by the warden and house secretary) at the beginning of each session. This may be utilized till the budget is being reviewed. Another simple solution could be to ask the new house secretary to submit the budget proposal for his term before the summer vacations. The process of procuring the amount is so slow and lengthy that the hostels end up spending only a fraction of their allotted budget (though it is also due to the negligence of hostel representatives). To get a better picture, there should be a mechanism to record as to how much of the total budget allocated is utilized.

Sports

Budget Allocation -

Budget allocation, in my opinion, is a shamefully inefficient, slow and cumbersome process. This year, Shivalik house got its budget approved by the Dean office by October end, even though the budget proposal was submitted before mid-August. The trend has been similar over the years. Our repeated requests to grant advance payment for some of the urgent hostel requirements were repeatedly denied. Given that

Mess

Piyush Gupta, house secretary shivalik house


surplus or deficit in the maintenance budget. Also, the maintenance activities are handled by the caretaker. This leaves room for misuse of maintenance budget.

The BHM has been working inefficiently when it comes to providing a forum for budget related discussions. There is a need to increase the frequency of meetings. The accounts section takes 3-4 weeks to pass a particular bill submitted by a hostel. Till then no

new bill can be sent by the hostel, making the process slow. The budget process would be simpler and faster if made online. Sometimes, the maintenance secretary is not well informed about the prices of various commodities required in the hostel which leads to a

Surplus Students Number of Surplus Students


Udaigiri Girnar 40 105 28 20 80 30 122 92 68 100 19 84 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Jwala Karakoram Vindhyachal 89

Dinesh Chaudhary, ex-house secretary Nilgiri House


root cause of delays. An active and responsible student community can actually get things done! Also, on request, we were given the permission to extend last years unused budget during summer vacations before the beginning of the new academic year using which we bought a drum set, four washing machine, desert coolers for the mess and library racks!
Hostels

In my opinion, the problem lies in the lack of awareness of the hostel representatives. By the time they understand different procedures and strategies, it gets too late to implement the same for the improvement of the hostel. The main highlight for the Jwalamukhi Hostel this year is going to be the new Hostel Gym, with the old one being replace by ISC room with the provision for Foosball (something new at the hostel level), Darts, Chess, Carrom and place to play various other card games and I must say that the care-

taker, the President, BHM and the Dean have been very supportive in materializing this. To meet the high expenses, the administration has agreed to offer aid from the institute funds which is highly applaudable. On our request, we were also allowed to extend the usage of previous years budget during summer vacations. The problem is that there are no guidelines in place thus the position holders remain unaware of the procedural and official functions, which I think is the

Aravali Kumaon Satpura Nilgiri Shivalik Zanskar Himadri Kailash

Cultural

ritesh sahoo, maintanence secretary jwalamukhi House

No. of students. *Number of Surplus Students = Total Students - Hostel Capacity

Environment and IITD


Abhishek Verma
he journey of this article is solely driven by the motivation to investigate the efforts made by the premier institute of our country in the field of environment sustainability. The findings were both interesting as well as startling. Far from being a role model for rest of the country, the research at IIT and its successful implementation need a quantum jump in their very own home turf. It is appalling to find that lack of awareness and technical knowhow have turned out to be the barriers for implementing environment friendly research in our very own institute. It will go a very long way in improving the ground situation in our country if IIT Delhis research witnesses fruition in our own neighbourhood.

Waste management
The status quo of the treatment met by the waste, that IIT Delhi produces stands as the following. The institute hires a contractor for waste disposal of the campus. Since its inception, this contractor has been taking all the waste not to mention, regardless of its nature and recyclability, and dumping it in landfills. This has two important implications. One, this reflects the large waste footprint of our institute and two it increases the burden on already diminishing available free land resource. Talking to the concerned authority it was found out that the institute is in talks with an organization, Green Bandhu, to segregate the waste so that the organic one can be converted into manure inside thecampus using a zero waste

Green Buildings
Professor B. Bhattacharjee of the Civil Engineering Department is actively involved in the field of buildings. The following excerpt has been taken from an interaction with him. Transport is an important factor that is considered in depth before constructing a building. Decades back when the campus was planned by Chaudhary and Gurudar Singh, the idea was to make the MS(A) the focal point and keep the faculty housing(B) at one end and the hostels(C) at the other. Initially there were only three blocks and the main building giving the physical appearance of IIT (E) when viewed from the top. At that time there was lack of visualisation of the campus for the future. As a result as time passed the campus grew haphazardly. With several new centres and programmes coming up and also with the increase in the intake of students, new buildings and hostels came up. The blocks have increased to six with plans about building a 7th on the cards(G). Hostels have spread over a virtually large area and the faculty housing(F) also has been dispersed. Had there been this realization way back then the campus could have been planned in a better way. A passive demo green building was once built in the campus which was earth sheltered. It maintained a temperature of 20o C being cool in the summers and warm in the winters but it had some water seepage issues. Similarly in a project on roof ponding in Block V there was a similar issue of water proofing. In any building, several factors need to be considered and only when they work in tandem with each other can they actually bear any fruit. There is a rating for buildings called the LEED rating, i.e., Leadership in Energy and Environment Design to track their environment sustainability. But our campus is not covered under any such rating., though Sustainable IITD is working to get it evaluated under the GRIHA(Green Buildings Rating Systems India) readings. Certain measures related to acoustics, ventilation and air conditioning have been put in place in the newer buildings like Girnar hostel and the new lecture theatre building (H). According to well-placed sources once the 1000 capacity hostel building (I) comes up near Girnar there are plans to reconstruct the older hostels into ones with larger capacity

processing system. But there lies a catch. The remaining part consisting of bottles and other possibly recyclable waste will continue to go to the same contractor and meet the same old fate. This plan is most likely to be completed in four months, as suggested by some administrative sources There are two drains that flow through IIT Delhi, one near Kailash(A) and the other near Zanskar(B) that bear the burden of sewage of our campus. These drains culminate into a larger drain, the Yamuna. Surprisingly the campus, now more than a golden jubliee old has plans for a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) inside the campus. The plans will bear fruit after a year. The water from the sewage plant will be used for horticulture purposes.

Contributions of NSS and Sustainable IITD They plan to have special bins meant for the same plastic bottles, earlier destined to go for landfills. They had a pet bottle collection drive during Rendezvous 2012 that was quite successful. Ever wondered the fate of posters that you see everywhere? NSS collects them and reuses them on the back side and they finally end up for the art and craft activities of the slum children. The plans for transforming the poster boards to white boards near library and other areas are also in place thus resulting in less usage of paper. More recently a cleanliness drive was organized by NSS in collaboration with I Lead India, a TOI initiative for cleaning the subway near the IIT main gate (C). Movie screenings like that of The Plastic Cow also serve the same purpose.

IIT Delhi, being a premier academic institution must effectively implement its technical prowess to set an example in using green technologies, particularly in its very own campus. This is only possible when all the stakeholders participate in the pursuit. Green infrastructure planning by the authorities, initiatives taken up by NSS, and research in eco-friendly technologies present a promising future, realization of which needs each resident to be self-aware and take individual initiatives. We may not have inherited a campus well planned for growth, but it is up to us to ameliorate the harmony that exists between us and the environment.

Energy Issues
Major changes in energy usage:

A. Hostel Area: All the street lights near the hostels have been replaced with LED which are energy efficient. This is being followed up for all the street lights. B. MS/Blocks: LED lights have been installed in some of the toilets in the campus. As put forth by professor V.K. Agarwal, now these toilets use 2 LEDs resulting in 6 W usage as compared to 4 tubelights using 40 W electric power formerly. C. Directors Residence: With regard to renewable energy, a solar power generator of 20kW has been installed on the directors residence. D. Blocks: There are plans to bring up similar structures on the roofs of the various blocks that

will have a whooping capacity of 1 MW. This will help to tap solar energy and convert it into electricity. E. CES: At the same time several researches are going on in the Centre of Energy Studies in IIT Delhi related to renewable energy sources. There are plans of photovoltaic renovation and installation in the campus. NSS project: Electricity Energy Waste Reduction
As a perfect example of administration-student cooperation in field of energy consumption, the NSS project Electricity Energy Waste Reduction needs a mention. Phase 1: Under this project, the team made posters of the free slots for various lecture rooms and put them in these rooms, requesting the people to keep the lights switched off during these slots. Phase 2: The naturally lit areas were demarcated that will not need any artificial lighting during daytime. Also the street lights that are hindered by the trees and thus

rendered useless have been determined for removal. Phase 3: The team intends to make posters mapping the switches of a room to the tube lights as well as the fans. This will prevent unnecessary switching on of other lights and fans whenone specifically wants to light a particular tube light. The administration has taken inputs from this NSS project to make several changes in the lighting facilities like installation of master switches. In addition to this, some other noteworthy endeavours of NSS In order to promote cycle usage, the campus already has a provision of disallowing private vehicles of the students in the campus. NSS has carried out a survey on cycle sharing to study the relevance of the same on the lines of its successful implementation in IISc, Bangalore. It has also carried out a study on the solar lighting programme using pet bottles and has implemented the same in some of the slum dwellings in Munirka.

Water Management
1. Rainwater harvesting at IITD Our campus does have rainwater harvesting structures. Surprised?

bad
2. Other Mea-

been clogged due to mud flow from surrounding areas partly due to monsoon, rendering it a shape.
sures

tecting some exclusive documents from the flood fury. The Shivalik residents had a similar experience. To ensure that such a situation doesnt repeat itself, pits are being dug in a low lying area near both the locations for effective percolation and seepage of rainwater into the ground.
The selection of the type of rainwater harvesting structure depends on the very purpose of its use. In an arid area, water is harvested for usage while in other areas it may be used to recharge the groundwater level. The reason of recent floods in the office area was the backflow of water from a major drainage pipe. The actual reason can only come up once a study of the drainage system is done to determine whether it has turned dysfunctional or the load increased suddenly calling for appropriate measures in the future. - Prof. Rakesh Khosa, actively involved in the field of rainwater harvesting and watershed management in the Vidarbha region and the Delhi master drainage plan.

A. Behind Block VI: Ever visited the area behind Block VI? There is a huge ejection well just behind Block VI, where rainwater from the roofs of all the blocks is accumulated for recharging the groundwater. B. OAT Area: The second structure, a closed rainwater harvesting device in OAT. C. Hospital Area: The third one is near hospital, though this one is an open structure and has

D. MS/Blocks: Zero water usage toilets have been successfully installed in several toilets in MS and Blocks. This has significantly reduced the water usage of the toilets where earlier the urinals kept running 24*7. This has also eliminated the odour. E. JEE office/Shivalik: During recent monsoon season an unprecedented event took place. For the first time the area near the GATE and JEE offices got flooded making people wary of pro-

Power = Responsibility
Utkarsh Malhotra he systematic division of power and responsibility is almost poetic within the IIT system, with the faculty and students working harmoniously to make the campus a better place. With little or no political influences from outside, the forces are largely cohesive and there are clear procedures for most selections, meetings and actions. The democratic nature of all processes involved makes sure the student gets ample say in the running of the system that he in an integral part of and representation in the major is decision making bodies makes sure his voice gets heard. With an extremely rosy picture at hand it is difficult to imagine what could possibly go wrong, and yet the deeper one goes the more one finds the system plagued by its own air tight mechanisms. The power pyramid in our campus is divided into various student bodies at the institute level and hostels for local organization. The election processes are more prime-ministerial than presidential, and there is complete autonomy at least in the selection procedures. The ladder goes up to the team of General Secretaries who work in their individual boards, and with the Student Affairs Council to co-ordinate

once upon a time in india


Shreya rajpal e see them all around us. Theyre in our hostels, the friendly, familiar faces that to live for a semester or two and then fly off to their native lands, only to be replaced by an exotic new set of faces. For this issue of the Inquirer, I would like to present to you Once upon a time in India, which interviews a handful of current and former exchange-students of IIT Delhi, and provides a glimpse into their day to day lives. The first question that comes to mind, obviously, is about Hindi! Do you know any?, and Assia admits, embarrassed, that she doesnt. She gets by, though. Shes learnt the basics, Kitna paisa bhaiya?, Nahi, bohot zyada hai, kam karo!. We chuckle. In their defence, though, the Foreign Exchange Program

Miles to go before i sleep

It just isnt cool

passionately about how hes used to doing in-depth research and devoting at least a month to a term paper, so hes new to the IIT mantra of doing it fast. Hes sympathetic to our plight, though, and brings up deeper questions on the Indian vs. Western education system: which is the better path to take?

A Concerned resident roposal: Providing a Reading Room facility in the boys hostel area Problem: The hostels, as is common experience, are not conducive for intensive study sessions, which is the reason why reading spaces have been provided in the institute area. Besides, it is during the night when the study rooms are most occupied, pointing towards the normal schedule of a typical student. The problems for the male students, an overwhelming majority in the institute, are the following: 1. Latent time: The average distance for different hostels residents comes to around 1.5 km. Experience says that the latent time (travel, preparations, finding appropriate location etc.) per visit is around 1 hour, over and above your study hours. Most students, on normal days, do not indulge themselves in long study sessions. This implies that 25-40% of the time is spent in entirely wasteful and avoidable activities, not to mention the countless times when the students postpone the study sessions because of the laborious effort that travel to the institute would entail. 2. Lunch: The problem becomes acute near exams, when students prefer to spend most of their time in R2. But many are forced to make a couple of to and for trips just for lunch and dinner, wasting precious time and adding to the agony. 3. Weather: Delhi winter is especially infamous for its severity. Having to spend so long at night in adverse conditions just to find a suitable place of study is unrealistic and unfortunate. A reading space closer to the hostels is required not just be considered in this regard: 1.The empty ground between Southee and synthetic courts 2.SAC 3.Some hostels garden (almost none of them is

Aashish Garg Saksham Kakar here are you going at this time? Why? Is there a quiz tomorrow? No? But youre not in CS. Theres not even an assignment due. But theres still two weeks to the majors.... Hypothetically, just hypothetically, if someone someday has an awakening, and decides to use his nights constructively, puts on his bag and moves towards the instii to study, and is caught red-handed, then the above is a set of questions he would definitely have to face. Now imagine the month being April. Having manoeuvred the rapid fire, he makes his way to the R2 door, opens it and discovers what we all have become accustomed to: A stream of hot air gushes out, and forces the enlightened to reconsider his decision. He makes up his mind, this time deciding in favour of letting his quest for knowledge take a backseat, as he lives to fight another day. But such a situation has probably never been encountered before, and neither will it in the near future. Probably the administration staff has it faiths deeply

The IIT community is very small, close and tightly knit. Almost like a surrogate family away from home.
Hostel life was next on the agenda. We start with discussing the food. Contrary

the students postpone the study sessions because of the laborious effort that travel to the institute would entail.
used by the residents) Benefits: Apart from solving the above problems, the following benefits can be expected: 1. An alternate solution for LAN ban: If provision is made for internet availability in the reading room, this will provide an alternate solution in the raging debate on LAN ban. The main concern of the faculty that net availability will be misused will be taken care of, while not damaging students interests at the same time. 2. Alternate for GCL: Probably no one can describe the aforementioned problems better than CS junta, which is forced to undertake the arduous journey regularly for completion of assignments. Some part may be reserved in the new facility to provide similar services, which would relieve some load off an anyways stressed life. 3. Promoting work culture: Ease of access to a calm, quiet place of study will provide an amazing boost to the study culture in campus, which many

..more autonomy must be given to those deemed responsible with a clear mandate especially for routine procedures
student activities. It becomes imperative in this case that the right kind of candidates get elected on meritocratic basis, the onus of which lies on the intellectually stimulated creed of citizens in our case. And yet it has been noted, ironically by the SAC itself, that despite removing the nuisances involved in most elections in our country there have been lapses in the system which allows people to exploit and manipulate selection procedures because of the larger disconnect with the voting audience. The general feeling of apathy trickles down as the levels of involvement in the decision making process reduce, and the average IITian begins to believe that there is not much he could do to change the system. Over the past years there have been systemic changes from the restructuring of the boards to a new design of the Rdv team, and while it would be too early to comment on the positives of these changes it is heartening to see that debates have been initiated in this regard. Student participation at IITD is one of the highest across the country, but the roles need to incorporate accountability and transparency to create a system where the system is less oriented towards election procedures and more oriented towards meaningful efforts. As a sincere effort to make processes student friendly, more autonomy must be given to those deemed responsible with a clear mandate especially for routine procedures like booking of rooms so that the role of secretaries and representatives becomes more functional and less administrative. To bridge the greater disconnect between stakeholders and the decision makers, we need every active member of the board/club to feel responsible for its working and to actively have an opportunity to contribute to the functioning of the body. While the demand for more autonomy for positions of responsibility has always been there, there has to be an understanding that greater power can only come with greater responsibility, but the virtuous cycle needs to established before it turns into a vicious one not only for greater power but more importantly as responsible IITians setting an example for the ones outside the confines of the campus.

Outlook
hasnt delivered on their promise of taking regular Hindi classes. She says, Most of the exchange-students were looking forward to learning basics of the language, but the first effort made by the administration came weeks after their landing, and by then wed already figured out most of what we were told. Things like telling them that they could get their supplies from a market across the main gate (SDA Market), or outside of which gates could they find autorickshaws. However, she does admit that it isnt as absolute as that. Whenever she has faced a problem, or sought some key information, she hasnt tried reaching out to the administration, either. One strongly felt qualm the exchange students have, however, is with the attendance policy! Oh, thats not exclusive to the exchange students!, the writer of this article quips. And of course, the work load. When there is plenty of work, the quality of work deteriorates. Felix, a 23 year old Social Science exchange student, talks to popular belief, the exchange students find the food palatable. A more interesting aspect of the Mess is the social structure it symbolises. Students, ranging anywhere from 17 to 27 years are used to being served by the mess staff, and generally do not rely on themselves to source their meals. On one hand, this is a metaphor for the perpetuation of a school-like system where students dont learn to be as dependent on themselves. On the other hand, however, this leads to all students, hailing from different corners of the country, to stand in the same queue, be served the same food and eat from the same plates. And this firm feeling of fraternity is palpable. The IIT community is very small, close and tightly knit. Almost like a surrogate family away from home. We just hope that these guests of ours always feel a part of this family, and take back with them loads of indelible memories and experiences to cherish

when the library has to be closed at midnight, the cooling tower common to both the library and the R2 is switched off too
rooted in this belief, for even though the library is now kept open 24*7 during the exams, the R2 remains hot and suffocating for the rest of the days. The logic behind this seems simple: Why would anyone, in their right frame of mind, with no quiz or assignment deadlines drawing perilously close, want to study? Surely it must be a determined soul that can afford to miss the coveted DotA or CS championships of his hostel wing at this time. Surely he must be really stubborn to come to the campus and still overlook the pleasures of spending time at the WindT. If so, then he already has the qualities it takes to fully utilize the R2. If not, then he might as well wait for the minors... The R2, in fact, is supposed to have a functioning A/C that can make it habitable even during the hot Delhi afternoons. And though this A/C is at present defunct, the process to procure a new one has already begun, and according to the authorities, we would hopefully have a habitable R2 next summer. The problem that remains, however, is that when the library has to be closed at midnight, the cooling tower common to both the library and the R2 is switched off too. Letting it switched on for the entire duration of the night means not only additional overtime charges for the supervising staff, but also further accentuates the water shortage at IIT-D. Lets see if the administration can leverage some restrictions on that budget and make our education a bit more luxurious, or at least come up with an acceptable compromise. Meanwhile, we wait....

to protect the health and well being of students, but also to boost the students time investment in academics. 4. Dogs: Dog menace is a frequently highlighted problem, but it becomes all the more dangerous during the late hours. With the road connecting SAC to the insti dimly lit, and dogs often engaging in incessant barking and occasional chases, this is a very serious concern for the residents on this side of the campus. I am sure that enough cases of dog bites have been brought in front of the esteemed bodies to take cognizance of the situation. These major problems make the provision of a reading room facility in the boys hostel area a necessity. The following are a few locations that may

fear as being on the wane. Classes through the day and various extracurricular activities later make afterdinner the only realistic time slot which students may invest in academics. But the present situation, as has been shown, is a major hindrance. This provision will encourage students to undertake short, regular study sessions, and the improvement is sure to be reflected in the average performance of students. While there might be considerable infrastructural cost associated, it is my belief that detailed analysis will clearly justify the motivation and the tangible benefits that implementation of this proposal will yield.

10

paradigm of whims
Kalki Kukreja The interplay of the reformed selection process and the present mode of functioning of the Organizing team shall soon reduce Rendezvous to a personal fiefdom of a select few, with different faces but the same autocratic ideology.

idiculing democracy is the most fashionable political opinion of our generation. Trashing the faade called elections, vouching for a strong, stable leadership is the most acceptable panacea for all the problems the nation faces. Discussions and deliberations are so outdated; Transparency and accountability so overhyped! While the spectacular performance by the AAP must have turned a few around, we attempt a look at how this philosophy plays closer home. And our case in point will be the possibly most talked about thing on campus Rendezvous 14 team selection. Brace yourselves people, for we will be pulling more than a few skeletons out of the closet. Kaunsa hostel Rendezvous karva raha hai? The recent overhaul of the selection process necessitates a brief historical perspective. The old structure was characterized by the demi-God RCA G.Sec almost the singular authority on all appointments. Obvious then that this was(is?) the most sought after position on the campus, with months of planning and political manoeuvring preceding the election shady alliances and murky deals being solicited in the metaphorical underbelly of the campus. Not even a faade of issues and ideologies was maintained, the power mongers unabashedly made a mockery of the electoral process. Understandably, the typical IITian was left disgusted to the point of indifference. Behold ye all! The President has Spoken! In this sorry state of affairs, a messiah arrived, and summoned a meeting of the General Secretaries to revamp the structure of the Organizing team (Find the MoM here: http://goo.gl/Do57Ry). Rendezvous was now slated to have a Core Team, assisted by a set of Coordinators. For all we know, a 9 question long application reviewed by President BRCA finalized the first set of CTMs. One can only wonder about the extent of her involvement in RDV 12 and familiarity with the plentiful ac-heads that could guide this top-team selection. But no questions asked, soon the first set of coordinators was chosen, and we had what was called the best ever team to lead us into a path-breaking fest! Well, much sewage has flown down the Yamuna since then; the fest happened, the new team was chosen a lot of issues, very few explanations. We have presented the opinions, questions and objections of numerous stakeholders in sleek designer boxes, staying true to our glamorous subject. But the issue we face goes far beyond a few appointments, the debate is structural and institutional. I take the readers back to the aforementioned meeting held on 04.01.13, the underpinning for an amendment of the only existing statutory provision related to Rendezvous. Article IV-B-3, BRCA constitution (after review): The B.R.C.A. Executive Committee will be the steer-

ing-committee for the organization of the B.R.C.A. part of the Students Week, which is held in the first semester of the academic year. For this purpose, it may co-opt as many members as it deems necessary. The

Rendezvous goes exclusive!


We have been requested to ask why a Pro-night manager (or any RDV team member), with an admittedly limited role (temporally and otherwise), has been barred from holding any other POR for the remaining year. While the G.Sec replied with the ostensible focus them in Rendezvous, the political underpinnings have definitely turned many a heads, we are informed.

members must be selected by President, B.R.C.A. or any other faculty member suggested by President, B.R.C.A. Additional members can be co-opted on the advice of the B.R.C.A. Board. The Constitution now puts the authority to select Rendezvous Organizing team solely with President, BRCA. We protest against the complete absence of public debate or even knowledge (ensuring which, we must add, is a responsibility of the elected representatives) of a meeting effecting such fundamental paradigm change. And we continue further with the single objective of promoting public discussion on the reformed structure, and evolving consensus on necessary and desirable changes. The reviewed clause has brought the very fundamentals of our fest into question. For a Students Week by definition must cater to the aspirations of IITDs student community, not some bureaucrat. The reformed structure has officially completed the growing disconnect of the organizing team from this community, since the teams authority and vision now derive legitimacy out of a posh office, not the students. An interaction with most members of the recent teams makes the effects amply clear the focus has shifted to

bigger sponsors, bigger names than a festive weekend for IITD students. Organizing Rendezvous is now only a matter of personal prestige, and no longer a service to the wants and desires of the student population, for which the Students Week was always intended. A few recent examples illustrate well how this distinction plays. The headliner 1 hour Hoobastank performance cost us around Rs. 28 lacs, and Farhan Lives 1 hour gig set us back by around Rs. 20 lacs. The dominant opinion is that the insti was barren, with the fest being reduced to a 4 night music concert (overcrowded and mismanaged, no surprises there!) An excellent festive atmosphere through a number of small localized stalls, events, shows could have been created across the campus, probably for a fraction of the above amounts. Another case in point is of grant-

The coterie knows best!


The BRCA G.Sec stressed on recommendations from the ex-team, wherein they could even write about their experience, as a testimony to all-inclusive nature of the process. But when pointed out that the single dotted line was taken by most to be a place only for signatures, he wrote Yes, it was to write that all written on the second page is correct since anyways everyone writes the same thing while recommending. The Coordinators opinions, reviews and experience with candidates are too subjective to be captured in a signature, and too detailed and intimate to be ignored. This complete disregard for them raises fears of establishment of a deep rooted oligarchy in the Rendezvous setup. ing monopoly to a single food vendor, a decision well in sync with bigger sponsors, bigger names, but one which made the experience of most attendees less than savoury. The specific choices are not the issue here, for each team must face and resolve such competing ob-

Marketing No! No!


In an informal chat, the President BRCA informed some of her team members that she did not want any marketing people to grace her core team. But when asked why two marketing specialists were included in the shortlist, she came up with the ludicrous reasoning of it being an acknowledgement of their efforts and contribution towards Rendezvous 13.

Womens quota!
In another, the President BRCA justified a particular selection, which has ruffled quite a few feathers, by saying that she wanted a woman in the team. While the person(rdv team member) talking to her was sensible enough not to question the logic behind this, she understandably had no answer to why this provision was not made public, or informed of earlier.

jectives, but the underlying philosophy which guides such resolutions must be ratified by the community which has been and must always remain the focus of this celebration. This is not to say that all is well within the Organizing team. A hierarchy is crucial for order and structure in any organization, but (in the relevant case) is acceptable and functional only when derived out of popular mandate, not imposed based on the whims and pleasures of a dictatorial regime. Such imposition only provides fertile breeding ground for mistrust, suspicion and alienation, facts which every lesser mortal of Rendezvous 13 team agrees to behind closed doors. To what extent this vitiates the whole atmosphere is described well by Abhishek Tayal (Marketing Coordi 13): Unlike any past year, this year working in Team Rendezvous was like going to the office. You just wanted to be in the VIP room for as long as your work demanded. The fun involved in the 6 months of organizing had been lost. The hype generated around big numbers and big names has made most to miss the fact that the reformed structure still encapsulates all the notorious ills complete centralization with zero transparency and zero accountability. The barely-concealed crooked political dealings of the relatively many have given way to almost opaque corporate style politics of the select few in elite hallways. Favouritism and Nepotism, the hallmarks of such regimes, have already sprouted, so much so that an important team member thus advices the would be ac-heads its more important to project yourself in front of President BRCA than to work hard, if you want to seal your place in the 2015 team Simple steps such as making public the candidates resumes, vision documents and the complete, unedited transcription of meetings held to shortlist and select will go a long way in bringing transparency and accountability. While the criticality of public mandate has been established, introducing it will probably be the trickiest part, as our historical misadventures suggest. Our campus recently witnessed a historic upsurge in political consciousness; it seems only fair to call upon the community for intense deliberations for a cause so dear. Let thy not be fazed by the uncertainties and vagaries of the democratic process; hold dear that thought of the champion, Thomas Jefferson: I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude. There exist a few, typical of each autocratic administration, closer to the source of power and thus promoting the status quo. To such, I have only a remark from that incredible political genius Machiavelli: Such stand simply elevated upon the goodwill and the fortune of him who has elevated them two most inconstant and unstable things. Await the awakening, gentlemen! While we hope this article sets in motion the long clogged wheels of public debate, but our purpose will be defeated if the debate is scattered in small groups and located in isolated rooms. We call upon the residents to channelize their opinions and send them to us, which we shall publish (anonymously, if requested) on our page or in the next issue of the Inquirer.

On Feedbacks and Responses


Abhishek kumar Sharma An effective feedback policy is essential for a premier institute like IIT Delhi to evolve. However, the current feedback policy needs better response, particularly from the students end.

11

eedback policy. It has been there for a long time, but it has not been functioning that well. The issue is not with the policy or the administration, but it is the students who have not been enthusiastic about speaking up, effectively at least. Of the late, students hardly fill the mid or end semester feedback. This is a worrying situation for the policy as there is a little the administration can do to improve unless the students start taking it seriously. In April 2013, Prof. M. R. Ravi, Associate Dean (Curriculum) mentioned in his mail to all students while revealing the data for feedback responses that many students fill the feedback thoughtlessly, to fulfil the formalities. BSP had an opportunity to view the response sheet for AML120 course for the the mid semester feedback for the last semester, which revealed that students at times either respond mindlessly, or fail to describe their issues well. Students need to describe their issues well in order to make feedback more effective. Even after requesting all students to participate in the feedback, only 60 out of 171 students registered for the course actually gave the feedback. I have been trying to take feedback into consideration, and as of now I can see a qualitative improvement based on past suggestions, says Prof. Rajesh Prasad of Applied Mechanics Department, who coordinated the course. Popular arguments put up by dormant students include doubts about the seriousness and openness with which these feedbacks are received by the faculty and administration. However, it has been re-iterated a number of times in the past by the Dean that it is taken up seriously to check faculty on their teaching

activity and decide the awardees of teaching excellence awards. Although, as the student response in the feedback has not been serious and largely non-representative, the use of these responses as a criteria for awards is debatable. Some students also feel that free expression of their views is hindered by the fear of getting themselves identified or annoying the faculty. Here again, the policy ensures the anonymity of the student. This fact is validated by BSP as the responses received by the faculty do not have any indication of the identity of the responder as the responses are discreetly displayed in a list, as seen on the response sheets of AML120 mid semester feedback form. Moreover, the end semester feedback is displayed only after the submission of grades. When Prof. M.R. Ravi, was approached for his response to current status of the feedback policy, his only comment was Students do not fill feedback forms. That is all I have to say. Definitely, there is not much the administration can do with the feedback policy unless we cooperate. Anonymity, display of feedback after grade submission are a few among many steps taken by the administration to improve the system, but if the students stick to their dormant ways, there is no way the system can work efficiently. Among the responses to the question Based on the course plan given by the Teacher, would you like certain topics to be added/ deleted? for AML120 course last semester, one student answered deleted, clearly not a very concerned response.

Acknowledgements
The Editorial Board:
Editor-In-Chief (Content): Kalki Kukreja Editor-In-Chief (Design) : Siddhant Malviya Editors: Abhishek Verma, Aashish Garg, Abhishek Kumar Sharma, Bhanu Mittal Deepali Jain, Avadh Singhal, Mohit Soni, Saksham Kakar, Anubhav Barsaiyan

Special Thanks to:


Prof. Khare, President, BSP Utkarsh Malhotra, General Secretary, BSP Prof. M.R.Ravi, Prof. Rajesh Prasad, Prof. Ashok Gupta, Prof. V.K. Agarwal, Prof Rakesh Khosa, Professor B. Bhattacharjee, Prof. Shashi Mathur Ravi Sudhakar, Piyush Gupta, Dinesh Chaudhary, Isha Dhoble, Ritesh Sahoo, Anchit Gupta, Devesh Mohnot, Aayush Jindal, Chitrodeep Gupta, Vedant Saboo, Prashant Garg, Abhishek Tayal, Tushar Singla, Surbhi Miglani, Kshitij Agarwal, Chinmay Mittal, Surabhi Jha, Shreya Rajpal and many more who interacted with us, shared honest opinions and provided information required to complete the newsletter. For opinions and letters, drop us a mail at 0@gmail.com

While this paradigm of whims and complete absence of any defined regulations or protocol may leave you sufficiently flustered, we would leave you with this official statement of the BRCA G.Sec on the significance of interviews: I always see people think that this is all waste of time and things are decided backdoor. I insist that there is nothing like this and the forms as well as interviews are taken very seriously evident from the fact that there are faculty members present during this. Need we say more!

12

Lan BAn:
Surabhi Jha mohit soni

the Saga Continues

n July 2011, a meeting was held to discuss matters of network connectivity in the hostels to followup and implement the matters relating to similar problems raised by the students in SAC earlier that year. Among other things it was finalized that all network traffic from the hostel switches will be blocked in each room during 0100-0600 hours every day. Also the inter-hostel and inter-room network connectivity was blocked at other times to stop gaming and moviesharing activities. This article discusses a survey and a subsequent SAC meeting in 2013 while trying to present the points of discussion regarding the issue ever since it became that, an issue. For starters, I will not try to trivialize the utility of internet, for academic purposes and our mere existence, by daring to attempt and list down its uses. The problems with Wi-Fi connectivity in the academic area are painful but discussing that is not our intention. It began with students raising the problems (as is their habit) the recently introduced attendance rule seemed to be causing. Since going to class is students fundamental duty, we ought not to raise such frivolous issues like reducing the required attendance. As is fit, it was not taken in good light. Discussions started happening about students staying up all night for online gaming, watching and downloading movies and the like. This made them miss classes to sleep all day, contradicting with the First Law of Studenthood. A 100% attendance rule was proposed, a jibe was made to stop the internet at night, the jibe was taken seriously, and students who were now faced with a tough choice took some way out. The internet ban in hostels was thus conceptualized. The reasons for the ban at the time were mentioned in the SAC meeting held in November 2013. One was extensive gaming in the hostels which had purportedly started affecting the psychological stability of a few students. In fact just the fact that students spent so much of their time gaming and watching movies was considered undesirable by students and faculty alike. In retrospect many faculty members believe that it also affects attendance in the morning classes. An online survey was conducted to get the student opinion in the matter and to understand the reasons to use internet at night. It was an openly conducted survey which required the students to write their entry numbers to avoid multiple responses. The students were asked the following questions: 1. Do you think the removal of ban on LAN timings will affect your morning class attendance?
82% 18%

2. Is the LAN ban the main reason for you sleeping around 1 AM?

70%

17%

13%

0%

20%

40% Yes

60% No

80%

100%

NeverNoticed

3. Why do you use the internet at night? (the respondent was asked to choose 3 options from the ones provided)

4. How often do you go to insti/ SAC to use the internet?

5. Why do you want the internet at the night only?

preparation of competitive exams / placements, etc. The LAN BAN definitely causes a discomfort to these 4th year students. The results to these questions were doubted leading to an interesting paradox. Since the students knew that the survey results would be used for making the argument in SAC they could have allegedly filled in options that they thought would make the faculty remove the ban. 120% Now the results which were shown seemed doctored to the faculty members present at the SAC meeting which buttered their resolve of keeping it. This misunderstanding could be a result of a number of reasons; the respondents over-smartness, the facultys lack of belief in the students or the survey creators/ analyzers oversight. Or it could be a complex mix of all three and others that I may not have considered. Towards the end the meeting became a student versus teacher tussle which had to be put to peace by the Chair of the meeting, the Director, to be considered later in light of certain technical solutions to the problem that were made in the meeting. Prof. Ambuj Sagar after consultation with Prof. Subhasis Banerjee about its feasibility suggested that if the roadblock was that students indulged in gaming, the speed could be decreased at night which would make it hard for students to use the internet for any purpose other than academic ones, assuming that PDFs and documents are lighter files. It is about this and many other issues where the faculty members consider it their responsibility to coach us for the outer world. Train us to be responsible citizens. While their stance is understandable, a very important aspect of the kind of member of the civil society that I would want to become, because I can only talk for myself, is one that takes independent decisions, has some semblance of control over what happens in her life and takes responsibility (or bears the consequences) for the good and the bad decisions she takes.

0%

20%

40%

60% Yes No

80%

100%

Majority of the 853 total respondents were Undergraduate Students (93%). The survey was designed to be a multi-response survey. Hence the total number of respondents and the total number of responses to individual questions are not the same. Of the respondents who reported having going to SAC / Insti at least twice a week, 44% went for Academic purposes while 21% reported having going to SAC / Insti at least twice a week for viewing Video Lectures / Tutorials. More than 50% of the 2010 Entry UG students reported having going to SAC / Insti in 120%night for academic purposes, probably because the of the internet is needed by final year students for

The S.A.C. was set up so that the faculty and students thrash out matters amicably. But with the present state of affairs it seems just like the Viceregal Executive Councils of Imperial India which acted as a safety valve, where Indians could blow off steam without causing damage and without affecting the administration. But the authorities would do well to remember that people soon lost faith in these organisations and took matters into their own hands. Melodramatic? Perhaps. Threat? Certainly not. Warning? Yes. BSP Archives (1984)