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Meet The New Student Council

We intend to familiarise MITians with the newly elected Student Council, and what they do. Introducing the Student Council for the year 2016-2017, their goals, motives, and the hurdles they plan to overcome in the year to come.

Objectives:

The primary objective of the Student Council is to make themselves accessible to every single student on the campus. They not only want to address major grievances, but also persisting day-to-day inconveniences. Recently, they were able to convince the college to increase the number of seats available in program electives, thus decreasing the GPA cut-offs.

The Student Council is also pushing for increased inter-collegiate participation when it comes to fests, not just in and around Karnataka, but on a national level.

Lastly, they would like to organize interactive sessions with more and more inspirational people. Adam Gilchrist and Rajeev Suri graced the college with their presence, but if they succeed, that should just be the tip of the iceberg.

Hurdles:

The major hurdles for the council right now are the budget limitations and the unlikelihood of the college hiring more faculty just to increase the number of elective classes. They also need to find an effective replacement to the GPA criterion.

The council is also concerned about students missing out on counselling about any and all of their grievances because they might be ridiculed for needing it. They are planning to make Skype appointments with the college’s student counsellors to tackle the same.

President

Name: Darshan Nandekar
Department: Chemical Engineering

I joined the Student Council last year as the Joint Sports Secretary, and as the President of the Student Council, my role includes deliberating with the Vice Presidents and Secretaries, organizing college fests with the core-committee, approving formation of new student clubs, overseeing the existing clubs, among other things.

Having worked with various clubs including sports clubs in the past, I’ve experienced first-hand, the challenges they face. We’re in discussion with the college to allow both MIT-A and MIT-B teams to compete in fests across the country. We’re also trying to provide opportunities for more and more people by aiding the formation of sports leagues like MITFL, MITCL and more recently, MITBL.

Vice-President (Male)

Name: Althaf Ibrahim Para
Department: Electronics & Communication Engineering

I joined the Student Council because I found the system in place for the lateral entry students to be counter-productive. I had quite a few friends from whom I found out that they had a burden of an extra subject piled on.

I want to remedy the status quo, and I’m working with the President, and fellow Vice-Presidents to consolidate two semesters’ subject portions into one. I’m also involved with the CollPoll app. We’re hoping to integrate tons of more features, like logging attendances, checking food court balances, library dues among other things.

Vice-President (Female)

Name: Harshini N
Department: Computers & Communication Engineering

I’ve wanted to be a part of a Student Council for as long as I can remember and when I got here, I decided I would finally give it a shot, and that’s how I ended up as the Vice-President.

Apart from overseeing the general organization of fests and assisting the President, or being his proxy in his absence, I want to increase the participation of students in cultural clubs, and that of cultural clubs in festival celebrations. It is a shame that a lot of the students know only about the old and well established clubs. I aim to help the new, up and coming clubs, which have a lot of potential, to reach the students.

Vice-President (Post Graduate)

Name: Nandagopal P
Department: Computer Applications

I’ve been here for just a semester now and the experience has been amazing. Joining MIT for Post-graduation was one of my best decisions as you won’t find any other college in India this vibrant. I joined as the PG Vice-President of the Student Council because the realms of PG students, and the rest of the college don’t seem to interact as much as I would like. Most of the PG students feel left out and isolated and I’d very much like to change that. To that effect, starting from Revels’17, PG students shall be included as Organizers, and eventually, as Event-Heads and Category-Heads.

Treasurer

Name: Soumya Mishra
Department: Chemical Engineering

The treasurer handles the money part of everything. During the fests, all the revenue that goes through the categories like finance come down to the treasurer at the end. I’m responsible for accounting all of that and clearing it with the authority here and then submitting it to the university.

I had joined the Student Council on a whim because I had heard about it and knew that they were associated with the fests and pretty much everything around college. Last year, I saw the working of the council, and witnessed the work that my seniors were doing. As to why I ran for the post of treasurer specifically, I could say that I helped out in all the departments as the vice-president last year, as I was allotted work under different seniors, but I worked closely with the treasurer most of the time. I enjoyed the work I did, and I knew I could do justice to this post.

Objectives:

The work the previous councils did was commendable, but there is always room to improve. I have noticed minor issues like some miscommunications between categories and these need to be worked on. My goal is to have the fests conducted in the maximum budget possible. I will try to get good sponsorships, something that didn’t happen last time around. There is a sponsorship category to handle that, but the treasurer is involved too. I’ll be working with them on the final detailing, guidelines and approvals, to help secure sponsorships. I will be trying to operate without incurring losses and doing my best to execute all the points in the plan of action that got this year’s council elected.

Hurdles:

Even normally, there is a lot of work involved for the treasurer, because he or she is involved in both the fests because of the cash-flow everywhere. This being the Diamond Jubilee year, I have a lot of work cut out for me. People will be expecting this year to be bigger than usual, and we are planning even more events this time. It will be a challenge to manage all that work while dealing with my categories and other college activities.

When it was time to apply for this year’s council, many of us from the previous council were worried about the extra work load. We were unsure if we wanted to do this and were concerned about our academics taking a hit. But in the end, we decided that we would all apply together and the rest of us would help whoever gets in, and that support is going to be of big help.

General Secretaries and Joint Secretaries

Objectives:

The primary objective of The Student Council is to bridge the gap between the students and the college administration. It is the General Secretaries’ duty, in particular, to monitor every aspect of an MITian’s life, including any hostel or mess related concerns one might have. Over the course of the past year, they, as a committee, have managed to establish the gender neutral curfew of 11 PM, and as a Council, have successfully seen through the process of completion of the walkway from the boys’ blocks to the Food Court. This year, they intend to look into the messing aspect of student problems, and are closely working with the administration to improve the quality of mess food. Having previously worked together as the Joint Secretaries for the academic year 2015-2016, they both believe they can bring about bigger changes for the upcoming year.

Hurdles:

One of the difficulties faced by the Council has been the public’s perception of them as a student body. Despite their numerous achievements, the general secretaries both agree that the students seldom see the Council as the hardworking and diligent group of people they are. With the amount of work they take upon themselves, it gets really difficult to pull through every task with as much determination and passion as is expected. But despite the all tribulations they might face, they are hopeful and resolute.

General Secretary (Female)

Name: Aastha Jain
Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering

I was not really sure why I joined the Council in the first place. But once I did, I saw how they functioned, and I never wanted to leave. My previous appointment as the Joint Secretary gave me the necessary exposure to the workings of the Council and the bond they share with the students and administration. Now, as a person with higher authority than before, I am determined to give life to all my ideas.

General Secretary (Male)

Name: Utkarsh Tripathy
Department: Computer Science and Engineering

I believe the Council stands for something that is ‘for the people, by the people and of the people’. Funnily enough, I initially joined the Council with almost no idea about how it works. But now I am immensely passionate about the Student Council, and wish that one day, the public will view it with the same reverence that I do.

Joint Secretary (Female)

Name: Shimona Roy Chowdhury
Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering

My role towards the Student Council will focus on betterment of every aspect of an MITian’s life. Also, I will come to know of the working of various departments, like the Sports, Cultural among others. All in all, it will be a learning experience for me, for it will make me learn the managerial skills required to hold various events and fests, to interact with the students and the authorities.

Joint Secretary (Male)

Name: Mayank Agarwal
Department: Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

The Student Council is a platform which helps you hone your leadership skills. It makes you responsible because a single wrong move has many ripples and repercussions to it. I want to make the Student Council not only about the fests, but a complete student-body. Students can put up their problems and questions regarding any change that has been brought in by the authorities and get to know the motive behind it, because we are ready to answer and communicate with them, and I, personally, am ready to be the bridge if there is any communication gap.

Cultural Department

Objectives:

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of MIT, the cultural committee has dazzling plans for Revels this year. Also, last year the team from MIT finished third at Manipal University’s cultural fest Utsav, which has been our best performance yet. The committee plans on pushing the participation even further and bringing home the trophy this year. They also plan to work on the existing cultural clubs in Manipal and also make room for any new clubs that come up.

Hurdles:

Designing the cultural calendar is a challenge as new clubs emerge every year and various new events get introduced because of the same.

Owing to the geographical position of Manipal, the committee often faces difficulty in procuring artists for the events. Even after overcoming that problem, provisions have to be made in the budget for the transportation of the artist’s equipment and the supporting staff.

Cultural Secretary (Male)

Name: Pashangh Lavangia
Department:  Civil Engineering

I haven’t essentially been part of any cultural clubs and I wanted to give back to the student community here at MIT.  I served as Joint Cultural Secretary for last year’s student council and I was fortunate enough to be elected Cultural Secretary this year. I felt as though this was something I genuinely enjoyed doing. As far as cultural secretaries go, our main agenda is to organize Revels, the cultural fest here at MIT. We also manage the cultural clubs. This entails making their yearly calendars, databases, annual reports and also coordinating with the Manipal University Cultural Coordination committee.

Cultural Secretary (Female)

Name: Vidushee Singh
Department: Electronics and Communications Engineering

The idea of being in the student council hit me when I was in my first year and ever since then I have had my heart set on being the Cultural Secretary. I have been singing and dancing throughout my school life and I have been part of clubs in both performing and managerial capacities. As a Cultural Secretary I hope to maintain a balance among the cultural clubs and make sure that the calendar is strategically planned and uncluttered.

Joint Cultural Secretary (Male)

Name: Vaibhav Mehrotra
Department: Computers and Communication Engineering

When I came to MIT I was surprised to see the diversity among the cultural clubs here. I joined a lot of them and I cannot put to words the experience I gained from interacting with so many talented people. To me, joining the student council was all about giving other people a platform to showcase their skills because there is just so much talent here. My plan of action involved improving the quality of the work being done within the cultural clubs by providing them a better structure and also increasing the outgoing participation, because I truly believe that with a little bit of effort there isn’t a single inter-college competition that we cannot win.

Joint Cultural Secretary (Female)

Name: Sowmya Yalla
Department: Electronics and Communications Engineering

I love everything about the cultural activities that go around here. Being a part of these activities was a great learning experience. I wanted to be a part of the student council as it would be an excellent medium for me to project my own thoughts and ideas onto the cultural scene at MIT.

Technical Department

Objectives:

The Technical Department plan to increase the focus on student projects and to conduct workshops, to further educate people on applications of technical knowledge. Mandatory industrial visits, department wise, to see real life applications. They plan to ease the process for clubs to book rooms, through an online portal. Introduction of new events in TechTatva is also on the cards, or changes in events already taking place, to liven and freshen up the fest as a whole. Also in the pipeline is the digitization of TechTatva, for things like delegate cards and registrations, to ease up application procedure. They intend to reduce the number of events conducted by the clubs, which is resulting in poor participation. The technical department is aiming to create a website so that people can keep up with the events being held by the various clubs, initially with the technical clubs only.

Hurdles:

They believe that collaboration between clubs might be an issue, resulting in conflicts. Student projects might be reluctant to conduct workshops and will need to be given incentives to do so. TechTatva having low participation was a big issue this year, resulting in a need to increase participation in technical events.

Technical Secretary (Male)

Name: Shobhit Sinha
Department: Information and Communication Technology

I am a part of four clubs, but, as a member of the Student Council, you can positively impact every club and I want to increase collaboration between clubs. I discovered from my fellow interns that IIT Delhi has a laboratory only for physically disabled people. Such thoughtfulness needs to be applied in Manipal as well. TechTatva needs to have more featured events so that turnout increases. Student projects should show off their work to everyone, so that people can learn. This might be controversial, but I feel all the pre TechTatva events should be free, as this will definitely increase participation. Sponsorship will be required for this. This might be difficult to implement. A huge benefit of being in the SC is that we get one to one interactions, where you can learn a lot. We play an interactive role, not an authoritarian one.

Technical Secretary (Female)

Name: Aayushi Roy
Department: Civil Engineering

When you are a part of a club, there is definitely a lot of work to be done, but not the kind from which the entire college will benefit. When in the Student Council, you are representing an entire college. It gives you the ability to analyse issues, work with others, identify problems, and refine execution of solutions. Online booking of rooms is very important. The current procedure is very difficult, making it a hectic job to get a room. If the website is successfully implemented, it will be time saving, and it will be easier to know whether rooms are available or not. Outstation participation in TechTatva needs to be prioritised. There are plans in progress, where a committee will be created to take note of events going on in other colleges close by, and participants will be sent to these events. As a result, participants from these colleges will also be attending our events.

Joint Technical Secretary (Female)

Name: Alolika Chakravarthy
Department: Information and Communication Technology

I joined the Student Council as I wanted exposure, to learn new things, and to interact with people. Knowing the inner workings of things was tempting too. I feel that a lot of work needs to be done on outstation participation in TechTatva. As a result of this, cross pollination of ideas will take place, and there will be more exposure for everyone. We need to send participants to other colleges for their events too. There should also be more publicity for student events. Their talent should be put on display, and more people should get to know about the passionate work they do.

Joint Technical Secretary (Male)

Name: Shubham Garg
Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering

When I was in my first year, I faced many problems as a member of different clubs. I wanted to work on the solutions as a part of the system, hence I joined the Student Council. I want to bring about change and more liveliness in our college’s fests. Events need to change, and there needs to be greater publicity. The website and the app need to be launched earlier, so that people know about events beforehand, and can choose to participate in them. Outstation participation needs to be increased and enhanced, so that an exchange of ideas can take place. There are plenty of technical resources that Manipal pays a lot for, such as research papers and learner’s IDs. My goal is to make all of this available to the class representatives, so that students are able to make use of all these resources. CollPoll is quite useful in this regard, as it can be used as a common platform for uploading notes and assignments, instead of mail IDs or cloud services, as it is more organized.

Placement Department

Objectives:

The placement secretaries seemed extremely focused upon getting more number of companies from the core branches so that the students do not miss out on internship and placement opportunities which their fellow peers, placed in IT companies, receive. Also, they spoke at length about increasing the number of ‘dream companies’ so that the placement of a student isn’t jeopardized if one of the companies decided not to turn up. One of the recurring things that could be heard throughout the interview from all the placement secretaries was that tapping into the alumni network would have to be the most important job that they perform in their tenure. The M. Tech placement secretary felt that since most M. Tech students have an experience of 2-3 years working in the industry, the contacts that they have developed must be used to their utmost potential to avoid a repeat of the ongoing poor placement season. The placement secretary of  MCA made a very good point when she spoke about initiating placement classes that would envelope the basic etiquettes, group discussions as well as the most probable questions that can be asked in an interview. One of the goals that the placement department have in mind is to sort out the attendance issues of the seventh semester students so that they can concentrate on placements without any distractions.

Hurdles:

Coordinating with core companies would be one of the many hurdles that they might face. The core companies are generally not mass recruiters and therefore getting a student from a core branch placed could prove to be a herculean task. Also, considering the amount of FAQ’s, for the placement interviews, that is at the disposal of the students, sorting them in organized fashion into a repository often proves to be difficult. Another major hurdle they might face in the next one year or so is the ongoing job crisis in India. With job opportunities at an all-time low, more companies have to be brought in, be it from the IT sector or the core sector.

Akshitha, the placement secretary of MCA was quick to accept the shortcomings of the MCA students in the field of Mathematics and Aptitude, and quoted that to have any chance of getting placed, the students from MCA would have to be at par with the BTech students. A change in mentality was an area that all of them stressed upon, the forgetful and callous nature of the students at times often lead to missing out on wonderful placement opportunities.

Placement Secretary (Male)

Name: Chetan K N
Department: Instrumentation and Control Engineering

I could always say a few cheesy lines as to how joining the Student Council has been my lifelong dream and stuff as such. But I think looking at my seniors being in the Student Council and the exemplary things that they achieved being a part of it, encouraged me to undertake this massive responsibility.

Placement Secretary (Female)

Name: Srishti Majumdar
Department: Computers and Communications Engineering

Every student who joins college in their first year has a dream of getting placed by the time they pass out. To make this dream come true was one of my biggest motivation to join the Student Council as the Placement Secretary. This is a very creative process and often we may not get results at their face value but the learning that we acquire through this process is lifelong. The job most certainly comes with its own set of adversities but at the end of the day, if we come out of the tunnel with the goals being fulfilled, then it would truly be a fruitful experience.

 Placement Secretary (MCA)

Name: Akshitha

Being a part of the Student Council, provides me with a space to find my weaknesses and strengths. Facing the challenges that come up while I’m at this job would prove to be instrumental as to how I would encounter the corporate world waiting outside. This task at hand also provides me with an opportunity to interact with loads of people and improve my socials skills.

Placement Secretary (M. Tech)

Name: Anil Baby
Department: Manufacturing

I joined the Student Council to be part of something that is much bigger than myself or anyone in this college and whatever role that I undertake, I should do full justice to it. Also, being a part of this body allows me to be a bridge between the Post Graduate students and the various events that take place at this college. More often than not, the PG students are not aware of what is going on and I wish to bring about a change in that respect.

Sports Department

Objectives:

The Sports Department of the Student Council believes that sports is omnipresent. It is prevalent in every aspect of an individual’s development, be it discipline, health or leadership qualities. The four members of the department made it clear that they are passionate about the importance of sports in our lives and hope to bring about some positive developments in this field. The goal of The Sports Department is to conduct more leagues and promote events in association with sports clubs like Cyclothon. Their aim is to increase the participation in every game and build a cooperative sports community. Their short term objective is to ensure the smooth functioning of all the tournaments under Revels, next year.

Hurdles:

Upon being asked about the hurdles that they might face towards achieving their goals, the department has immense concern about the low participation in some games. The department encourages students to overcome their personal barriers, motivate themselves and take time out for sports because it will not only freshen up their moods and act as a stress buster but will also improve their self-efficacy. It is undeniable that sports encompasses all-round development itself.

Sports Secretary (Male)

Name: Rohit Jain
Department: Electrical and Electronics Engineering

I truly believe that sports is very crucial for an individual’s growth and development in every aspect. I have been a sports enthusiast since childhood. I have actively participated in a wide range of different kinds of games and I believe that I have the qualities to lead the department, with ardor and firmness. Knowing the importance of sports in my life and believing in its crucial role in everyone’s all-round development, I have joined the department to make sports more prevalent and bring it to the forefront.

Sports Secretary (Female)

Name: Nikita Chordia
Department: Mechatronics Engineering

I believe that that sports teaches valuable lessons, be it team spirit, discipline or focus. Being passionate about sports myself, I have joined the department in hopes of being able to foster my niche. I intend to increase the over-all participation in various sports by increasing the number of activities and leagues related to sports.

Joint Sports Secretary (Female)

Name: Paridhi Sirohi
Department: Computers and Communications Engineering

I have had to face numerous problems through the years because of the substandard infrastructure and facilities pertaining to sports available in our country. Indeed, it is considered a gamble to venture into sports as a profession by many, even more so because opportunities in this field are sparse which makes the future of sportsmen and sportswomen very uncertain. I believe that taking small steps to solve this issue is the key and joining the Student Council has given me a direct access to make a change.

Joint Sports Secretary (Male)

Name: Sushrut Devasthli
Department: Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

I am fanatical about participating in various games and sports. Being an active sports enthusiast already, I joined the Sports Department of the Student Council, in hopes to be able to help guide the reigns of management in achieving our biggest objective; to make the significance of sports known among students and encourage them to participate.

The Editorial Board

Objectives:

The EdBoard’s main job is to come up with the yearbook for the outgoing batch, and making sure that each year’s yearbook is a notch above the previous ones. ‘It’s only human to err, ‘states managing editor Suvodeep Misra. But they want to keep a very small margin for error, making sure that grammatical and factual mistakes are minimal. This time around, the EdBoard aims higher. The objective is to come up with a year book so striking and all-encompassing that it surpasses anything that came before and to commemorate MIT’s 60th anniversary. Another goal is to publish the yearbook well before end-semester exams next year, while ensuring that the standard and quality of writing is not compromised.
Finally, the Board also plans to ensure maximum participation of all students in the formation of the yearbook.

Hurdles:

The EdBoard expects a lot from themselves, and that’s the highest expectation to live up to. The amount of work they can feasibly do, versus the amount of work they want to do is quite staggering. Another struggle that they feel, is maintaining a good GPA and academic profile, whilst devoting enough time to the EdBoard. This feat proves to be hectic and tiring, but has been accepted as a problem that they must overcome.

Editor-in-Chief

Name: Jaya Aishwarya

Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering


Joining the Editorial Board was a spur of the moment decision for me. I initially joined as a member of the database section in my second year and worked my way up from there. I was aware that I was inclined towards writing, I joined the Board to expand my horizons, and work towards being better at what I loved.

Managing Editor

Name: Suvodeep Misra
Department: Computers and Communication Engineering

A friend had applied for me during the EdBoard recruitment in my first year. I joined the Board as a designer. It all built up after that. My inspiration to join was initially to just learn and improve upon my skills, but later, the Board ended up doing much more for me. I grew as a designer and as a person. This has been a splendid learning experience, teaching me far more than academics ever could.

The MIT Post

 Objectives:

 The Post’s aim has been fairly straightforward- to bridge the gap between the student body and the administration. It wishes to break down the misconception that the administration turns an apathetic ear to the students’ issues. An initiative that they have in mind is to showcase the technical side of the college. ‘MIT students have earned the reputation of being well-rounded individuals, but we’re still seen as not very technically sound. It’s about time that changes.’ remarks editor-in-chief, Mukund Poddar. The Post aspires to provide the technical clubs a platform to talk about their events and ideas, by starting a column exclusively for technical news.
Commenting on TechTatva ‘16, managing editor Samriddhi Jayaswal said ‘This year we successfully published newsletters for all four days of TechTatva, which took a lot of time and effort, but was definitely worth it, given the kind of response it elicited from the students.’ The art department too grew phenomenally this year, successfully completing Inktober, complete with guest entries from artists from the rest of the college, which was a boost for the underrated art community in Manipal.

Hurdles:

One of the biggest hurdles that the Post faces is manpower. The amount of things they plan to do, but can’t, due to lack of manpower is frustrating, feels Mukund Poddar. The Post has a limited number of writers, and most of their writing and articles are event-related. ‘Also,’ they add jokingly ‘an air conditioned office would be cool.’

Editor-in-Chief

Name: Mukund Poddar
Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Having been there since the inception of the Post, I was one of the first members of the body. A friend of mine called me up on a Sunday morning and asked me if I wanted to write for a new media body. I honestly just rolled out if bed, wore the first thing I saw and headed over to a desolate classroom in AB1. That’s how I end up here, two years later. The Post can do so much. We have influence and we can bring about change on a pretty large scale.

Managing Editor

Name: Samriddhi Jayaswal
Department: Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

I went from being a volunteer, to a writer, to a sub-editor, to finally becoming the managing editor. I believe that we can make a difference, and that pulled me into it. Also, there’s so much opportunity to learn all kinds of things here- be it technical, cultural, art, or design. Being a writer here doesn’t limit the possibilities, it just expands your horizons.

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