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The Student Council (2022- 2023)

An important body providing a bridge of communication between the administration and the students of MIT, the Student Council constantly strives to provide assistance and make life on campus smooth and enriching for the latter. In order to familiarise students with our newly elected Student Council, the MIT Post interviewed the members on their goals and ambitions for this term.

President

Name: Tushar Srivastava

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Email: president.scmit@manipal.edu

As a student of MIT, I have always noticed many issues faced by students that are not addressed by the administration. This was one of my biggest motivations for applying for the post of President. As an MIT-ian, it was always my dream to prove to people that you can conquer the greatest milestones in the world even if you have an ‘M’ instead of an ‘I’ in your college name.

I really want to take MIT to the heights which the college and its students genuinely deserve. Not only increasing the competence of the college in the technical domain but also giving them a larger canvas to paint upon, giving them unlimited opportunities to act upon, and giving them a college experience that they remember for ages. Thus, as the President of the Student Council of MIT, I want the students to get the best from the best.

My Plan of action for this tenure would include:

1) Improving the communication between the students and the faculty members.

2) Organizing club expos to give freshers detailed information on all the clubs and student

projects of MIT so that they can choose the best for themselves.

3) Having an inspection and if required, installing (on certain floors in the hostels) water

dispensers so that students can be provided with hot, cold, and ambient temperature water on all floors.

Monthly maintenance of water dispensers is also to be conducted.

4) Encouraging research opportunities in college. This will provide a platform to students interested in research and development and will help in procuring a greater number of grants to the college from acclaimed bodies.

5) Requesting HoDs to conduct industrial visits for students at least once a semester. This will help students to be more prepared by getting a gist of real-life working conditions and scenarios.

6) Organizing an internal book fair for students wherein the senior year students can give away books to juniors.

7) Mental health week to be conducted in collaboration with the Student Support Team once every

semester.

8) Organizing seminars on GRE, GMAT, CAT, and other competitive exams for higher studies, in order

to give the students a headstart on their preparations for higher studies.

9) Coordinating with the Sports Secretary and organizing inter-hostel sports tournaments.

10) Conducting monthly meetings between the student council and administration to discuss the

grievances of students and collectively decide on solutions.

General Secretary (Male)

Name: Arnav Agrawal

Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Email: arnavagr22@gmail.com

For me, since the beginning of college, making a change and having contributed to the social, academic, and cultural life of the college was important. Student Council was the best place for me to make this change. Thus, I applied for the post of General Secretary which covers all these domains.

My plan of action revolves around increasing transparency, making hostel and mess committees, having academic interactions, and adding initiatives to improve mental health and reduce substance abuse in the college. My policies will help add a one-stop solution to giving and receiving feedback. I want to encourage increased communication between the class representatives and the Council, as well as make the Council, the MIT Post, the Editorial Board, and the E-Cell a team who works together.

General Secretary (Female)

Name: Paridhi Gupta

Department: Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering

E-mail: paridhig37@gmail.com

I have a certain quality within myself that acts both as my strength and my weakness; that quality is self-confidence. I believe that fifty percent of the task is done when you have the confidence to do it, and that is where I access my strength. The position of Joint Secretary was the perfect opportunity for me to be a leader and a follower. As the leader, I want to be the inspiration and someone the next Joint secretary can look up to. I want to learn from my vice president and the senior student council as a follower. The next time I apply for a leadership position, I will use everything I have learned from them. I didn’t want to bind myself to a cultural or sports secretary. I am an all-rounder person, and joint secretary did more justice to all my qualities.

My primary responsibility is going to be hostels and messes. For the hostels, we, as the student council, will form a committee that will conduct daily checks. The committee will make sure that they can always come up with a solution for all the students in the hostel face. Regarding the mess, our main aim will be to maintain the food quality already being provided. Manipal is already a college that offers one of the most refined mess foods compared to other colleges. To ensure the quality remains good, we will form a committee that does quality checks every week. Along with that, we will give feedback to all the messes regarding what they can improve and ask the students for their input. Also, we will be in close contact with all the CRs so that all the announcements reach every student.

Our main plan of action will be to gain feedback from students to understand where else the campus is lacking. Regular feedback will help us work efficiently for the welfare of the students. For this, we want to be as approachable as possible and make sure that there is no hesitation in the students when they reach out, irrespective of whether they are our juniors or seniors.

I want to be the most approachable person in the crowd, and secondly, I want to be an inspiration to others. As the joint secretary, I want to set an example so that the next joint secretary looks up to me for all the right reasons and the wrong ones so that if I make a mistake, they make sure not to repeat it in their tenure. My goal is to always live up to the confidence I have and never lose the virtues, morals, and principles that I have built throughout my life. They act as my strength, they act as my confidence, and they will help me be the person I aspire to be.

Treasurer

Name: Abhigna Mincheri

Department: Data Science Engineering

Email: abhigna.mincheri01@gmail.com

Besides the allure of finances, the opportunity to problem-solve and the practicality of the work of a treasurer are what drew me in. As a Data Science student, the position of treasurer is one that I felt I can contribute to the most. I have immersed myself in the fields of data analytics and machine learning for two years now. This has instilled in me a curiosity to delve deeper into understanding how numbers work. These skills can be effectively translated while handling and maintaining records of funds for the Student Council. Approachability, sincerity, and meticulousness are qualities that I believe in and aspire towards, therefore the position of treasurer seemed perfect.

The role of a treasurer is important for smooth functioning. I aim to carry out my responsibilities efficiently so that resources can be bought and events can be planned. During my tenure, I plan on increasing the focus on documentation. Accuracy and completeness of transactions are ensured by leaving a paper trail. Future members of the council can always look back and use it as a reference. Another objective that I will be working towards is spending with consultation. I will make an effort to be aware of the general opinion and welfare of the student body. I am honored to be occupying the position of Treasurer and am confident in making a positive contribution. I aim to balance records in a manner that achieves the aspirations of both, the administration and the students.

Technical Secretary (Male)

Name: Vinamra Choudhary

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Email: vinamra01c@gmail.com

The Technical Secretary’s work is always associated with computer science and coding, so I was a little hesitant about applying for the position as a mechanical engineering student, even though I knew I was interested in the post. Eventually, I pushed myself to go for it to change the fact that most people nowadays assume that the term ‘technical’ only involves coding. Moreover, the most important responsibility that comes with being the Technical Secretary, which I found exciting, is being the Convener of Techtatva, the national-level technical fest of Manipal Institute of Technology. I am very excited to take on this responsibility and take the fest to a whole new level.

Manipal Institute of Technology is a reputable college with an outstanding record when it comes to technical knowledge and education. As the Technical Secretary of the college, I would like to enhance the student’s technical skills and help them get the best out of the institute in terms of academics, technical advancement, fests, and an exquisite technical environment for the sustainable and exponential growth of the students.

We have a lot lined up for this term, starting with the creation of a proper channel for the technical clubs and student projects so that they can easily communicate with us without facing any difficulties. Next comes the website of the Student Council, which will contain the event calendar of all the events taking place around the campus so that each student can benefit from the workshops happening all around the campus.

I also hope to increase the general awareness among students of pursuing academic research as undergraduates.

I am also excited about Techtatva and Manipal Hackathon. I want to take them to a new level by ensuring everything runs smoothly and hosting the website for both events well before time.

Technical Secretary (Female)

Name: Manaswi Deepak Jadhav

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Email: manaswidjadhav@gmail.com

A technical secretary is in charge of inter- and intra-college technical activities, as well as the planning and scheduling of technical events during the academic year. 

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure”-Bill Gates. 

As a leader, I look forward to working towards the betterment of the aspects that faced failures and maintaining the consistency of achievements while also considering the changes related to technology that we are experiencing after the COVID-19 pandemic in the last year. As a former student project member, I am aware of the dedication of students towards their fields of interest and of their bringing great success to the college with their skills. As a leader, I will try my best to conceptualize and arrange technical programs and activities which will help the students become ready for the corporate world.

My plan of action as Technical Secretary will include

TECHTATVA – I will make sure that this year’s technical fest will be a great success by coming up with the best solutions for all the hurdles we face during the same.

STUDENT PROJECTS /CLUBS –

1) Student projects/technical clubs hold a significant share of the success earned by the college. I will work towards the smooth functioning of the student projects/technical clubs and will address any problems that arise. I will work towards the proper management of the yearly student project expo and student project scrutiny board meet. I will also be in regular contact with the student project/technical club boards and faculty advisors.

2) “It may not happen tomorrow, because it’s a big ship to turn and it takes time, but I truly believe we can manifest anything that we want”- Ellen DeGeneres. Providing the small and new student projects/technical clubs a platform to showcase their skills will be my top priority.

3) Ensuring that all rules and regulations established by authorities are followed by the student projects and clubs.

4) Introducing a compulsory HR department within every student project/club for internal issue resolution so that their progress is not hindered by unresolved conflicts.

TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS-

1) Arrange regular technical workshops initiated by student project/club collaborations which will not only educate the audience but also lead to the exchange of ideas between collaborating clubs that might help with their future endeavors.

2) Invite achievers in technical fields to hold sessions and share their valuable knowledge and experience with the students.

3) Arrange regular alumni meets and invite those who have achieved great success in their careers to share their experiences and guide the students.

Along with accomplishing these goals, I promise to be enthusiastic and have a can-do attitude about all activities that I undertake as a technical secretary. I will make certain that the job is completed on time and that it is done well and will respect everyone’s ideas. I will lead with integrity.

Cultural Secretary (Male)

Name: Aditya Goyal

Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Email: culsec.scmit@manipal.edu

MIT is a hub of cultural diversity and when i started interacting with people here, i realised how different cultures have so much more to offer. I want to learn as much as i can about our traditions and the value they hold and what better opportunity can there be for this than being the Cultural Secretary!

Cultural Secretary (Female)

Name: Pragya Chawla

Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Email: pragya.chawla@learner.manipal.edu

 

One of the primary reasons for applying for this post was that I’ve always enjoyed taking part in cultural events. I have actively been a part of The ShowStoppers Crew, performed in several events, and represented MIT in various cultural fests. I would also like to add that I have a BA degree in Kathak dance form. Apart from being an artist who has been on various stages as a performer, I’ve also been a part of teams that work behind the scenes. This is why I understand the level of dedication and sincerity required, not only by someone who’s presented to the audience but also by someone who’s been working backstage throughout.

Talking about my plan of action for the upcoming year, the main objective will be to promote an environment that is more inclusive and motivates students to participate in cultural activities, which will bring out the creativity and talent they harbour. Other than that, one of my primary aims is to organise Revels. Adding on to that, I also wish to organise tons of cultural events and also make sure that all the cultural clubs are provided assistance whenever required.

Not a change per se, but I wish to organise specific events that haven’t been organised in the past (like inter-hostel competitions!), include more social work, and encourage maximum number of students to participate in the same. Considering the year we all went through I want to reiterate the importance of mental health assist anyone who needs help.

I want to help create an environment where students can be heard and foster mindsets that envision new horizons and possibilities that do not simply ask what we can gain from college but how we can add value to it. I hope to make this year a memorable one for everyone!

Sports Secretary (Male)

Name: Satyap Ilme

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Email: sportssec.mitsc@manipal.edu

I have been involved in sports for as long as I can remember. It was when I was five years old that I played Tennis for the first time and since then there has been no looking back.

The responsibility of being the Sports Secretary allows me to ensure that all sports-related activities run smoothly. It also gives me a chance to learn, experience, and innovate in areas not just related to sports but also the general working of the Student Council as well as the administration. It gives me a very special opportunity to be one of the representatives of our institute.

The following shall be my proposed plan of action for my tenure as the Sports Secretary of the Student Council at MIT:

  1. Improvements are to be carried out in the D Block gym. Renovation and revamping of the gym are extremely important. The appointment of an official Gym Trainer with the addition of newer gym equipment and considerations on making the gym fully air-conditioned would be one of the aims in the coming tenure.
  2. Sports Week is an initiative that can be taken in order to conduct inter-hostel/intra-college sports tournaments which would not just help students get a sense of team spirit at the same time would enhance leadership, integrity and competitiveness amongst themselves. For such event, all major or minor sports shall be considered and shall be played in a League format with a Points Table to note the wins and losses of each Team.
  3. Ensuring that the Basketball courts, Tennis Courts and the Athletics Track are converted into Synthetic surfaces as the existing ones which are cemented affects the knees and the bone joints of the player severely and increases the chances of injury on a higher side.
  4. Many sports teams in our college are not been appointed with a coach/ fitness trainer. I feel such coach/fitness trainer should be appointed which shall not just be a motivation to the team players but also let the players improve upon their game and fitness.
  5. Proper fencing for the football ground is to be done at the same time it is noticed that the football ground has an uneven surface for which repairing of ground shall be done. Creation of a football turf inside the campus shall also be done.
  6. A Sports Calendar should be created wherein the days shall mark all information about the competitions and tournaments that are to be conducted. Also, an official sports website shall be made for the college where we shall add profiles, achievements and the records of win and losses of teams and players in addition to the sports calendar, which not just gives a sense of pride and achievement amongst the players but also motivates them to work and train harder.  
  7. During Revels, it is to be made sure that all the sports events are conducted smoothly and in case there is any sort of miscommunication or conflicts between teams/ players or participants they are peacefully resolved.
  8. Safety of players is the utmost priority and an official First Aid Team, one of its kind shall be readily available in case of any sort of injury or accident a player undergoes while playing, as it takes significant amount of time for the ambulance to reach the destination and take the injured player to hospital. Hence an initial help for the same could be provided by the First Aid Team. 
  9. A few sports like Handball & dodgeball and others should be introduced as new sports for the college at the same time there shall be allocation of space for the same.
  10. Participation of women has been low in any kind of sporting event for which I shall work and coordinate with the administration in order to formulate better provisions for a higher footfall in this case.
  11. Awareness, Execution and Competition- A higher awareness about sports, execution of the plan and conduction of competition is a three-tier plan for conducting any tournament inside or outside the college campus. 
  12. Friendly Tournaments/Matches can be scheduled as per the academic plan not just amongst the students of MIT Teams but with also the Teams coming under MAHE, with consultation from senior authorities at the Student Welfare departments and Council of other colleges under MAHE.
  13. Regular meetings with the Teams/Players of our college will be conducted in which it shall be made sure that they are provided with all sort of required resources from the administrations end.
  14. Motivational Seminars and brief talks should be conducted for the players to stay motivated throughout their journey and make sure they have the sense of pride, humility and integrity at the same time have leadership qualities amongst themselves.

Sports Secretary (Female)

Name: Namitha Mk

Department: Civil Engineering

Email: namithagowdan2002@gmail.com

I applied for the position of sports secretary because I have always been very interested in sports. I believed that I could best represent my interest in sports at MIT. My primary responsibility is to host a successful Revels Cup. Which I will do along with my fellow sports secretary and a team of core committee members dedicated to giving athletes a platform to be recognized for their talents. 

During my tenure, I want to achieve the following. First I  would like to introduce new sports teams at MIT for sports previously not formally organized. Secondly, I would like to encourage more and more people to play sports. Creating awareness about its benefits and joy. I aim to improve outstation participation in our fest. As well as find more opportunities for our teams to compete at other sports events across the country. I will organize intra-MIT sports to keep the spirit high and ensure that information regarding inter-MAHE sports events is given out well in advance so that teams from MIT can prepare accordingly and do well in all events.

Placement Secretary (Male)

Name: Shivam Goyal

Department: Industrial & Production Engineering

Email: placement.scmit@manipal.edu

I applied for the position of Placement Secretary in the Student Council because I am confident that my skills and experience would make me a valuable asset to the team. I believe that my background in event planning, marketing, and communication, as well as my ability to manage multiple tasks effectively, would be critical in ensuring the success of the placement program.

I am passionate about helping students achieve their career goals, and I see this role as an opportunity to make a positive impact in their lives. I am excited about the prospect of using my organizational and communication skills to help students find meaningful internships and job opportunities.

I am eager to bring my enthusiasm and dedication to the role of Placement Secretary, and I am confident that I would be able to make a meaningful contribution to the college by being a part of the Student Council.

My primary role, to the best of my knowledge, is that I would be a connecting link between the university

placement cell and the students. The placement club would be assisting me with this entire process. My expectations from this role include overall enhancement of the institution’s placement process, implementing new methods for assisting the students and advancing their skill set, and hoping to increase the overall placement percentage. Considering today’s highly competitive world, starting with a precise plan is the need of the hour. The plan is inked, keeping in mind the present needs and trends in the industry.

Some of the activities that I would like to initiate this year are:

1) Volunteer Orientation:

Volunteering during placement drives plays a crucial role, and to make it a smooth process the volunteers must be trained to face challenges.

2) Increase Social media presence:

I would like to increase the social media presence of the placement cell by initiating a new Instagram and LinkedIn page. I also wish to revamp the YouTube channel with tons of placement prep videos.

3) Placement Process Awareness (Sensitization talks)

4) Aptitude and coding development courses

5) Increase Alumni Networking

6) Conduct mock interviews

7) Organize CV and Resume building seminars.

Placement Secretary (Female)

Name: Swathi Mohan

Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Email: Swathi15mohan@gmail.com

Placement- a vital chapter of every student’s life, comes with its own baggage of hassle, anxiety and apprehension. As the placement secretary, my first motive is to eradicate the panic that surrounds placement. I chose this position to help the students have the most tussle free placement process. Everyone deserves a chance to make it big in their dream company, and it is my responsibility to ensure that there is nothing that stands in their way of doing so. We, the placement secretaries, have many exciting revamps and ideas lined up for the upcoming year, and we hope we do justice to our role!

Instead of focussing on the placement process itself, this time I’d like to shift our focus towards placement preparation. I would like to arrange and conduct important workshops, bootcamps, mock interviews, coding sessions, guest speeches etc. for 3rd and 4th year students to aid them with their preparation and assist them to build a strategy.

The next goal is to collaborate with learning platforms, coaching institutions, and various engineering colleges in order to increase opportunities for our students as well as to shape their placement journey.

Lastly, I would like to push forth and shed light on core branches like Civil, Mechatronics, Industrial Production etc. by widening my network and contacting companies that do not adhere to prime software roles. Not only will this be a huge benefit for the respective branch students, but it will also be a major boost for MIT’s placement rates, which will further up our college stature.

I hope these reforms will bud into a successful legacy and that my tenure as the placement secretary proves to be a fruitful one!

Vice President (MTech)

Name: Sudeepvardhan T. Angadi

Department: Industrial Automation And Robotics

Email: sudeepvardhan.angadi245@gmail.com

The council, like the college as a whole, believes that everyone matters. The council is committed to the rights of the students and wants to give them the opportunity to exercise those rights. So I found this opportunity to get myself involved valuable as my previous experience in Bharat Scouts And Guides helped me gain leadership and discipline qualities as a Rashtrapati Scout. This experience will help foster both personal and professional growth.

Some of my aims include:

1.) Peer support: We as a student council will work together to act as a peer support group to provide a confidential environment for students to share their problems, be it personal or social.

2.) Providers of information: All the members of the student council could provide

management with information. It could alert management to student concerns that they might not be aware of.

3.) An educational opportunity: Student council can be used as a learning tool where we can involve students as spectators so that they can learn to think critically through observation and involvement.

4.) Promote Scholarships: Many students aren’t aware of the scholarships provided by the government. So informing every student of every class for the same is an important goal.

5.) Promote cultural values and human relations.

Vice President (Male)

Name: Ayaz Munis

Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering

Email: ayazmunis.k@gmail.com

As the Vice President, I get to observe closely how the college functions and present my views to the higher authorities to help with decisions that are beneficial for the students. I believe that by taking on the role of Vice President, I can help to implement initiatives that enhance the “fun” aspect of the college lives of students as well as smooth out the academic road bumps of the students.

This year has been remarkable, with MIT reopening after nearly two years. The present Student Council had to build everything up from scratch and they did an astounding job. Now it is our turn to carry forward their legacy. As the Vice President of the Student Council, I aim at fostering an environment for the welfare of the students, an environment that caters to their needs, an environment through which students can open up. Here is a peek into my plan of action for the same:

  • To build a deeper connection with the various technical and non-technical clubs of MIT
  • To minimize the communication gap between various student bodies
  • Act as a point of contact for the students

And loads more. While these are some of the goals I intend on achieving as a student council member, I wish to try my best to take every decision only after thorough discussion and acknowledgment.

Vice President (Female)

Name: Triya Roy

Department: Information Technology

Email: triya.roy@learner.manipal.edu

As the Vice President of the college, my experience so far has been truly enriching. I have had the privilege of working with a vibrant community of students, faculty, and staff, each with their own unique passion and drive. My role has provided me with the ability to speak on behalf of the student body and to play a significant role in determining the future of the college.

I am committed to improving the student experience by providing greater access to resources and support systems, fostering a sense of community, and advocating for increased funding for student organizations and initiatives. I will collaborate with my colleagues to overcome any challenges and to ensure that the college continues to thrive.

A wise person once said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” This statement aligns with my philosophy as Vice President, as I aim to make a positive impact and leave a lasting mark on the college community.

Joint General Secretary (Male)

Name: Rohan J. A.

Department: Computer Science Engineering

Email: rohanja2003@gmail.com

To be part of the Student Council as Joint Secretary offers me the unique opportunity to represent my fellow batchmates and bring to light the changes that I would like to see at my university. The things I learned and the experiences I acquired as president of my school’s student council in the tenth grade made me want to apply to be part of the student council at MIT. I want to bridge the gap between the students and the administration, which is why I applied for this post. I love interacting with people, so I want to make the student council more transparent and accessible to students. Since I am interested in management, I am sure that being a member of the student council will give me a good head-start in pursuing my interest in this field.

My goals during my tenure include focusing on mental health awareness and bringing out solutions to various problems. I will assist the other members in the management of hostel and mess committees and attend to related issues. I will coordinate with the class representatives and look into the problems faced by students, thus acting as a medium between the students and the administration. I want to create a system through which students can give feedback and suggestions regularly on various topics. As a firm believer in the advantages of transparency, I want to give the students the ability to share with me their true concerns and allow them the opportunity to personally flourish while we work together to fix what they believe needs to be improved. I would like to work with clubs and student projects in ways that would help in their advancement and generate curiosity amongst students about the same. I want to be an inspiration to others and be as friendly and approachable as possible, while also keeping students updated about events taking place in and around the campus.

I will bring to my position excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as integrity, selflessness, and engagement in campus-wide issues. I will give my best to all responsibilities assigned to me.

Joint General Secretary (Female)

Name: Aditi Bhoomireddy

Department: Computer Science Engineering

Email: hello2aditibhoomireddy@gmail.com

The student council has always fascinated me in terms of how they work as a unit to bridge the gap between the students and the administration. I’ve always wanted to be a part of this process that brings about much-needed changes. In a college life full of academics, the student council gives me an opportunity to add something different to my routine and I believe there is a lot to learn from the same.

“Empowering those around you to be heard and valued makes the difference between a leader who simply instructs and one who inspires.” 

The line above resonates with me and I aspire to act by it. I intend to work with the rest of my team to ensure seamless communication between the students and the faculty. Addressing various grievances of my peers is of utmost importance to me and I hope to establish a system to make the same more efficient. Another goal is to ensure the smooth functioning of student projects and clubs which form an essential part of the vibrant student life here at MIT. I look forward to being a part of the change.

Joint Cultural Secretary (Male)

Name: Anand Ji Parasar

Department: Data Science Engineering

Email: upadhyayanandji@gmail.com

I have always been very interested in literature and poetry. I naturally became invested in other cultural activities that stimulate creativity. Poetry and literature as artforms have profoundly impacted my life, and I wanted to share that feeling with like-minded people interested in the arts. The position of the joint cultural secretary would allow me to do just that. It was my main motivation behind applying for this position. 

My main responsibility as joint cultural secretary is to organise a successful Revels. I will support the cultural secretaries in making their vision a reality. I will work together with all the core committee members and assist them in organising events. Events ranging from music and drama to art and dance. An event for every student in their field of interest. That is my goal.

Joint Cultural Secretary (Female)

Name: Nandini Anand

Department: Computer and Communication Engineering

Email: nandini.anand02@gmail.com

The vibrance of our culture and the extravagance of celebrations have always charmed me. An opening for the post of the Joint Cultural Secretary at the prestigious Student Council of MIT was an opportunity that I just couldn’t miss!

Here at MIT, students come from all over the country bringing a diverse set of talents with them.

I want to encourage all students to explore their creative side, and along with the administration’s help, contribute towards creating the perfect atmosphere where these skills can be nurtured, displayed, and celebrated.

Joint Technical Secretary (Male)

Name: Varada Hemanth Kumar

Department: Information Technology

Email: Varada.kumar1@learner.manipal.edu

 

The decision to contest to join the Student Council as the Joint Technical Secretary was not an easy one. However, I have a strong desire to be of help to the people around me, to solve their problems, and work for their interests, and I believe that being a part of the Student Council is the first step towards achieving this goal.

Furthermore, I am passionate about using technology to make a positive impact on people’s lives. As the Joint Technical Secretary, I believe I can leverage my technical skills to make meaningful changes that benefit the student community.

Working as a team and for a just cause is important to me, and I believe nothing is a bigger cause than being in the student council and solving students’ problems. No leader can survive alone, and the best results are achieved when the interests of everyone are taken care of. Overall, my goal as the Joint Technical Secretary is to contribute to the council’s vision of creating a better campus experience for all students by implementing innovative solutions that improve student experiences, streamline communication, and increase efficiency.

I want to create a thriving coding culture on our campus. To achieve this, I will organise workshops, hackathons, and coding competitions collaborating with the technical clubs to encourage students to learn and practice coding. I will also collaborate with industry experts to provide mentorship, internships, and job opportunities to students. Furthermore, I will be in constant touch with all the technical club presidents to help them in whatever way possible and get things done by the administration.

In addition to creating a coding culture, I will also implement project-based learning that aligns with the curriculum and requires students to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems. These projects will be challenging, engaging, and will allow students to work collaboratively.

Regarding Techtatva, I recognise that there has been limited participation in the past due to poor promotion. Therefore, I will devise a comprehensive promotional strategy using various digital channels such as social media, and other promotional methods to reach out to a larger audience. I will also involve all the faculty members in the promotion to encourage students to participate in the fest.

To ensure that the fest runs smoothly, I will begin planning the event well in advance, setting clear objectives and timelines, and involving all stakeholders. I understand that planning started late in the past, so I will ensure that we start planning earlier and create a well-detailed plan of action to be followed by all categories to avoid any last-minute clashes or issues.

Joint Technical Secretary (Female)

Name: Anushka Singh

Department: Information Technology

Email: singh7anushka@gmail.com

Technology and the wonders it can produce have always caught my attention. With this vision, I wanted to play a part in boosting this digital era that we are living in to great heights. Fascinated by the techno-savy culture in college, I always wanted to contribute to it to increase it and share my knowledge so that more people get to know the actual benefit of technology.

During my tenure I want to have a very smooth process for the functioning of all clubs and have portals for everything online on one platform so that it’s is convenient for everyone to access. I also look forward to increasing the coding culture in tech as well as non-tech branches as I believe that not only would it improve one’s coding skills but also problem solving skills and knowledge.

Joint Sports Secretary (Male)

Name: Dhruv Kutmutia

Department: Information Technology

Email: dhruvkutmutia10@gmail.com

I have gained valuable experience playing various kinds of sports like chess, swimming, football, hockey, archery, and so on. I also had the opportunity to gain experience in a leadership role when I become Chartered President of the Leo Club of Malegoan Vibrant.

My plan of action for my tenure as Joint Sports Secretary involves promoting sports events such that participation and attendance increase tremendously.

  • Most participants in college have some prior experience playing sports. My goal is to create enthusiasm and eagerness for participating in sporting events among new students that may not have this prior experience.
  • Organizing enough sports events so that every individual can participate and experience the fun and joy of playing sports.
  • It is a well-known concept that academics and sports go hand in hand. Playing a sport also helps in studies and keeps the mind and body healthy and productive. As such, my goal is to work towards promoting this mindset in the student community.
  • Providing better facilities and coaching to sportspersons, which also includes providing basic equipment for relatively unpopular sports like archery and javelin throw.
  • Try to make all the sports facilities readily accessible to all the students and manage the scheduling of their usage to provide enough time for each individual.
  • A healthy sportsperson is one that considers not only training but also a good diet. As such, I look forward to aiding members of MIT’s sports teams in creating and following recommended diet plans and completing their daily protein requirements.

Some other objectives that I aim to fulfill during my tenure are:

  1. Aid students in developing their physical fitness.
  2. Promote a greater understanding of the importance of sports in the student community.
  3. Provide opportunities to be innovative and creative in sports.
  4. To develop the capacity to maintain an interest in sports. 
  5. To develop leadership skills and qualities, self-esteem, and self-confidence amongst students.
  6. To promote an understanding of physical and mental well-being.
  7. Maintaining records of sports events attended by students at all levels and their achievements. 
  8. Submitting an annual report on events conducted and budget allocations and expenditure during the year.

Joint Sports Secretary (Female)

Name: Jia Arora

Department: Information Technology

Email: jia.arora2003@gmail.com

 

 

One of the reasons I applied for this position was to contribute to the development and promotion of sports in the student community. As a sports enthusiast, I am passionate about the positive impact that sports can have on individuals and the society as a whole. I believe that by serving on the student council as the Joint Sports Secretary, I can create and implement initiatives that will encourage more people to participate in sports, improve access to sports facilities and programs, and support the growth of local sports organizations.

My plan of action includes increasing participation in sports, improving access to sports facilities, or promoting healthy lifestyles through sports. Conducting research on the current state of sports in the college is extremely important. This will help us identify areas that need improvement and potential opportunities for growth.

Chairperson – Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell), MIT

Name: Siddharth Prakash

Department: Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Email: siddhrth.1122@gmail.com

E-cell has two major goals: to help startups grow and to inculcate a spirit of entrepreneurship in the student community of Manipal.

Being a startup enthusiast myself, I resonate with these goals and hence wanted to spearhead the organization working towards them. This is why I applied to become the Chairperson at the Entrepreneurship Cell at MIT.

I consider the E-Cell at MIT as a startup in itself and hence my goals also align with building it as one. Some of them are:

1) Building an organizational culture

2) Getting at least 3 startups funded in my tenure

3) Building alumni and corporate mentor databases

4) Building technology for the matchmaking of startups with the mentors they need

5) Building an upskilling engine inside E-Cell to nurture and produce the best professionals in the startup world.

Deputy Chairperson – Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell), MIT

Name: Raunak Gupta

Department: Chemical Engineering

Email: raunakgupta1001@gmail.com

I have a keen interest in entrepreneurship and in supporting others to start their own businesses as well as in contributing to the success of E-Cell’s initiatives and events. I look forward to developing leadership and organizational skills by serving as the Deputy Chairperson of E-Cell, MIT. Being a member of E-Cell also gives me the opportunity to network and connect with entrepreneurs and business leaders. I aim and desire to contribute to the growth of the entrepreneurship community by connecting bright students to a larger audience. I wish to get all students with creative thoughts and ideas together and help them transform their ideas into startups.

My plan of action includes the following:

  1. Collaborating with the Chairperson to set the strategic direction of the cell.
  2. To nurture the skills and hone the creativity of students at MIT.
  3. Developing and implementing programs and activities to promote entrepreneurship.
  4. Networking with industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and other organizations to build partnerships and opportunities for members.
  5. Organizing workshops, guest lectures, and competitions to educate and inspire members.
  6. Mentoring and supporting members in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
  7. Monitoring and managing the budget and finances of the cell.
  8. Ensuring the cell’s goals and objectives are met through regular reporting and evaluations.
  9. Encouraging and facilitating collaboration and innovation among members.
  10. Promoting the cell and its activities to a wider audience to increase visibility and impact.
  11. To help provide funding and mentorship to students from investors and alumni.
  12. To get research projects and help them convert to start-ups.

Deputy Chairperson – Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell), MIT

Name: Archit Singh

Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering

Email: 666architsingh@gmail.com

I applied for the position of Deputy Chairperson for the Entrepreneurship Cell at MIT because I have a passion for entrepreneurship and want to contribute to the development of this field in my college.

As the Deputy Chairperson of the Entrepreneurial Cell, the following is my plan of action:

  1. Encourage and support the development of new ideas and projects, and help members bring them to fruition.
  2. Plan and coordinate events, workshops, and guest speaker sessions to provide members with opportunities to learn and grow as entrepreneurs.
  3. Network with local businesses and entrepreneurs to identify potential mentorship and internship opportunities for members.
  4. Create and manage the organization’s budget, allocate resources effectively, and ensure financial accountability.
  5. Develop and maintain partnerships with relevant departments within the college and other organizations in the local community.
  6. Promote the organization and its activities through social media, newsletters, and other marketing efforts.
  7. Foster a positive and inclusive culture within the organization, encouraging open communication and collaboration among members.
  8. Continuously assess and evaluate the organization’s progress toward its goals and make changes as needed.
  9. Mentor and support members, helping them to achieve their individual goals and grow as entrepreneurs.

This plan of action seeks to create a supportive and dynamic environment for members to develop their entrepreneurial skills and bring their ideas to life. By promoting collaboration, learning, and community involvement, the organization will provide its members with valuable resources and experiences to help them succeed as entrepreneurs.

Editor-in-Chief – The MIT Post

Name: Sagarika Seshagiri

Department: Computer Science Engineering

Email: sagarika.seshagiri@gmail.com

The Post was the first student body I joined as a first-year student. I always loved writing, but here, through all the club activities I learned the art of reporting. To be able to lead the organisation that has shaped my college life is truly an honor. I applied for this position so I could continue to nurture the safe space I found in the Post. To enable all my members to write, draw, and create, and to provide a platform to showcase their work.

The MIT campus is always abuzz with events, performances, and competitions. As the head of the official student media body of MIT, I aim to curate these moments, to freeze them in time. So, when someone reads about it, it could be news or a blast from the past. I want to produce art series and op-eds that reflect the matters we care about. Through my tenure I wish to fulfill my responsibilities and inspire others along the way.

Managing Editor – The MIT Post

Name: Janvi Dhanani

Department: Aeronautical Engineering

Email: janvidhanani4@gmail.com

As a child, I have always gravitated towards literature. The MIT Post has provided me with the platform to grow as a person and expand my creative horizons. The position of Managing Editor and being in-charge of nearly a hundred people gave me the opportunity to refine my leadership and management skills. The experience that I gain from this position will stay with me for a long time.

One of the main things I intend to do is increase the reach of the Post amongst the students, via carefully crafted artworks on our Instagram and publishing versatile articles on our website. I want to tap into the incredible talent of all the members of our Staff to put out some of the best content possible. Another goal I plan to acheive is to give more opportunities to our Photography and Videography team, so we can put out stellar video content on our social media as well. As the Managing Editor, I intend to carry on the incredible work done by our seniors. Through the Standard magazine, articles, event reports, artworks, and newsletters for Revels and TechTatva, I aim to take The Post to great heights.

Editor-in-Chief – Editorial Board

Name: Priyamvadha Chandrasekar

Department: Data Science and Engineering

Email: priyamvadha.c@gmail.com

I applied for the position of EIC on the Editorial Board because I have a genuine interest in being a part of the committee behind something as iconic as the yearbook. I found this to be the perfect position for me since I possess a passion for writing and I believe I have good ideas for the yearbook. I also noticed that the Ed Board, despite being an established and important organization, was not as prominent among the student body of Manipal. I will be honest here for a second, one of the reasons I applied was because I wanted something “fancy” on my resume. It took me around thirty minutes to draft my POA, which is something that everyone who has ever written a POA knows, is little time. Ideas flowed in like water. That was the very moment I found my reason to apply for this position.

As the EIC of the Ed Board, I aim to successfully curate a yearbook for the batch of 2023, showcasing their student life. Yearbooks are a gateway to nostalgia, a reminder of the beautiful memories people make here, the friends they made, the food they ate, and the places they went. It is therefore very important that it encompasses the spirit of MIT and gives people a reason to open and reopen the yearbooks.

One of the main aspects of a yearbook is the graphics and the colors that grab the attention of people and make them want to go through the yearbook. I will ensure that the most vibrant colors are used, in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Every batch is unique, with different ideas and different visions. Uniqueness in themes and color palettes will be implemented in the yearbook of every batch to embrace and portray their idiosyncrasies. With the right ideas and with the help of a competent graphics team, I can ensure the yearbook would become a book people would want to revisit over and over.

Managing Editor – Editorial Board

Name: Kashish Dagli

Department: Biotechnology

Email: daglikashish@gmail.com

The yearbook is something very special for each batch as it marks a new beginning and I wanted to contribute to that experience. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. My experience in managing events makes me comfortable with a herculean task such as compiling the yearbook. My journey, both in Manipal as a student and in the Ed Board as a managing committee member, was really special and it is something I would love to pay forward to the juniors. We will be a part of making something that our batch will cherish forever and I want it to be the best anyone has ever seen.

Our primary goal will be to complete the yearbook for our seniors (2019-2023) which will include editing photos and addition of pictures of the HoDs and director. The pictures will be labelled according to their names and position in the photo. The art and illustration team along with the graphics team will capture the essence of the 4 years spent here and transform it into a magnificent yearbook. The previous yearbooks will be digitalized and the new yearbook will be made virtual with the help of the IT department. The new managing committee will be recruited along with the department heads. Once this has been completed, the collection of data for our yearbook will follow, which will include contacting various student clubs and projects for the same. The photos for our batch will be taken in October while the data collection and rough outline for the yearbook shall be finalized by September. The yearbook for our batch will be then completed by the managing committee using all the information provided by us.




Sitting down with Arthur T. Benjamin

Professor Arthur T. Benjamin, popularly known as the Mathemagician, is an American mathematician specialising in combinatorics. He occupies the chair of the Smallwood Family Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. His adept techniques explore and simplify mathematics’ fun, quirky side. Often regarded as the Bob Ross of Mathematics, learn more about Professor Benjamin’s’s conversation with our team.

Professor Benjamin poses with some members of the Post Team.

As one of the most renowned “mathemagicians”, spectators are in awe of what you do. Do you think of it as “just math”, or is it somehow magical to you too?

I guess I approach it as a skill. I think of it as performing a magic show. Maybe similar to someone who has practised playing the piano and performing in front of a large audience. They are not composing music on the spot; they are just performing something that they have gotten to do very well over the years. So for me, mental math is like my instrument that I am playing for the audience.

What inspired your interest in the domain of combinatorics?

Mathematics has many different facets, including those that have nothing to do with numbers, like Geometry, Topology, but the math that I love is very number oriented. Combinatorics is the mathematics of counting. In how many different ways can we seat 20 different people? How many ways can we seat them if there are certain restrictions? Questions like those. I find questions like those very fun and very number oriented. It allows you to think about problems very creatively. I guess it was the mathematics that tickled my brain the most; hence I continue to study it because I like to be tickled, mentally, not physically.

When it comes to mental maths, how do you think one can train their cognitive faculties to achieve a desired level of speed and accuracy?

Accuracy comes from understanding the process, and speed comes from lots and lots and lots of practice. Accuracy comes from the technique of squaring a number. You do this, and as you practice more, for example, if someone said what’s 300 times 300, the first time you say that it’s, oh, is it nine thousand? Is it ninety thousand? But after a bit of practice, you know that’s around 90 thousand. But in the beginning, you’re trying to figure out what the sizes of things are; after a while, that’s not a problem; you know the size of the things, and now you have got to get to the exact answer.

You’ve also been a vocal proponent of creative visualisation as a means to understanding mathematics. To what extent do you think that’s applicable, especially when one moves on to higher studies, for instance, if we take higher-order matrices?

I think one of the best things about mathematics is that it can be done in a very creative way. There are often many, many different ways to solve them. Whether we’re talking about an arithmetic problem, algebraic problems, or real-life problems, often there are many promising approaches to a problem, and what’s fun about mathematics is that if you can do a problem in different ways, you’ll get the same answer. That’s true for arithmetic as well as for a lot of real-life problems as well. I found that consistency of mathematics to be absolutely beautiful, which I still do now as a mathematician. Again, I think the ability to look at problems from multiple angles is important; it gives you depth. If you can see from different angles, you’ll see different sides of it. You’ll get the big picture of what you got, and I think that’s true, in all areas of mathematics, from arithmetic to matrices to calculus, and I certainly want to send the message that when people see me, they just see the mental math, they don’t see me doing algebra or calculus. I want to send the message that arithmetic is just the beginning, but it’s the beginning for everybody, and if people get turned off even at that first step, then they probably never going to like mathematics at all. If you give them a good first step, I hope they would take the second and third and fourth and fifth steps.

What would you like to leave as food for thought for the younger generations to ponder upon?

There is a fun and beautiful side to mathematics that you are probably not exposed to in school. It would be as if in school if the only music they played for you was opera, and that’s all you’ve ever heard of music. You might like opera, but you wouldn’t know about the variety of other music out there. Just because you don’t like opera doesn’t mean you dislike music. Just because a lot of math in school doesn’t interest you, there’s a gigantic part of the fun and beautiful mathematics out there that I hope you get to experience.

As students of mathematics, we crack a good number of math jokes. How often do you find yourself indulging in some?

I have certainly heard a lot of math jokes, like, what do you call a hen that counts its egg? A “Mathmachicken”.  You know what I’d like to do? I probably have never said this in an interview; I love the musical Hamilton. What I love about Hamilton, you know, is that my daughters learnt the entire musical, including the cabinet meetings between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and I was thinking, wow! These kids learn a slightly fictionalized version of American History and get into it. I mean, Alexander Hamilton, before Lin Manuel Miranda, was just some boring guy on a 10-dollar bill, and no one ever knew anything interesting about this guy unless you were a history major. Because of that musical, a whole generation of kids learnt to love a portion of American History. I would love to do and try something like that for mathematics. When I retire, that is one of the things that is on the back of my mind: can we do something that would be interesting enough, cool enough, or popular enough?

I watch kids who invest thousands of hours in memorising rap lyrics, and cricket statistics, and I wonder if only that energy could be channelled into something like mathematics. Oh my God! How brilliant they could become and how good that would be. If I could create something like that or if I create a musical or a book that a generation of kids knew how to prove that there are infinite prime numbers and found that to be astonishing. There is a beautiful side of mathematics that they are not showing you in school. I think that love of mathematics pays so many dividends for science, technology and for the world! Anyway can’t remember what the original question was, but that is something I would love to do for mathematics, that is, create something that is Hamilton-like.

By the way, I think everyone should learn multiplication tables till 10. Do you really need it? Yes. Especially at a young age, you have that. What is an 8-year-old or 9-year-old going to think about anyway? You can use some of their brain cells to master a skill that will be useful for them for the rest of their lives. But make it fun. Don’t make it monotonous. The worst thing that could happen is for people to take my mental math ideas and say, “Now we are gonna make people learn this every night for hours and hours”, and everyone will hate mathematics.

Given the rise of ChatGPT and Google Bard, do you think that somewhere computational mathematics may find itself somewhat stagnant as human-paced developments would give way to instant artificial intelligence?

I think we should give it time to evolve. I mean, people made fun of the internet and Google Searches in their infancy. With Wikipedia, they used to be like look at what this says about Mathematics. I think I am not worried about ChatGPT putting mathematicians out of work because they cannot think creatively. It just thinks, “What are the most likely words that can appear out of words that are already here?” and it doesn’t understand what it is saying. It is just saying. You can ask some very basic questions, questions that a child would get right, and ChatGPT would just bluff its way very authoritatively. But again, to succeed in mathematics requires you to think differently. Think outside the box, and think from an angle that has not been explored before, whereas ChatGPT is all about doing what seems to flow the best from what has been written before.

I think as far as technology and mathematics are concerned, no, your advances come from thinking in a new direction, not just thinking in the old direction. I think it is a wonderful tool. It is a wonderful starting point. Let’s say I am trying to write a song about the infinity of prime numbers; I may ask ChatGPT to give me some ideas and rhymes. It’s like asking a friend. At least I am not using it as the authoritative, that this is THE answer. It surprised me that ChatGPT is being used for software development. You can ask, “give me a computer program that will do this.” and maybe partly. This is why we see layoffs in software companies. What took software developers months to develop, you get it instantly, and now you can tweak it. Again it won’t put the entire company out of business because you need people to think in new directions, but a lot of the routine work, forget about mental arithmetic, think about writing code; I think in the past, you could have Googled things and found things around the internet but this thing just gives it to you. It is exciting and scary at the same time.

All these big tech companies, we keep hearing- Microsoft is laying off people; Google is laying off people, and Facebook is laying off people. I don’t think I have heard the full reason.

In the same way, this generation grew up with iPhones and the internet as a way of life. What would the next generation who grew up with ChatGPT be like? Whatever the next big thing is, that is based on these models that are at their fingertips since they were born. People are thinking, how is it going to affect education? It can write a college essay that could get a B. You don’t learn from that.

We academics are wrestling over things anyway; I mean, there are enough sites out there where we can buy answers to homework problems which makes professors say, “What is the purpose of homework?” I hope the purpose is that it makes people think and solidify the concepts better, but do you make it required? Do you give it weight? Ultimately you’ll have to be given tests, offline exams showing what you know at your fingertips, even though that is not very realistic.

Professor Benjamin with students and faculty who were present at the show.

Sir, you’re someone who’s been working with patterns, sometimes recognising some which would otherwise go unnoticed. Have you ever contemplated applying it to the share market?

Well, there are certainly people who do and there’s a lot of money paid to people who can discover patterns and correlations. Now, if everybody knows that fact, you can’t make money off of it but if you’re one of the first people to make that connection then yes it can be very rewarding. One of the greatest geniuses in financial math was Edward Thorpe, and he had analysed a card game that was played in the casinos called Black Jack and he figured out how to play the game to have an advantage, and the casinos had to change the rules because he’d figured these things out. He later also applied the same ability to optimize to finding things in the stock market to say certain things are worth this much and if people are selling that much then you can make some good money. I am not trained in finance and macroeconomics but I know some people who are very strong mathematically and who’ve gone on to do very well in the financial sector, and it’s really good for people in that sort of field. I used to say if I hadn’t gone into teaching I might’ve gone into financial mathematics and now I’m saying if I hadn’t gone into teaching I might’ve gotten into data science because it defines a lot of things I like to do.

When one reads about you, one comes across the fact that you’ve been deeply involved with scepticism. With due respect, what do you believe is more true about scepticism, is it a constant state of questioning widely accepted standards, or a temporary suspension of belief?

You know what, I was greatly influenced by another magician by the name of James Randy. He performed as the Amazing Randy. A very successful escape artist and illusionist, but like Houdini, was disappointed in seeing magicians deceive the public using magic tricks represented as legitimate science. Millions believe in communicating with dead people and would spend money on these magicians (or worse). I met him early in my career, as I was starting to perform shows. He got very excited because it allowed him to say that these people are full of it and are not telling the truth, they are making you believe in things that are not true whereas this guy is not cheating. He’s doing amazing things with his mind but he’s not claiming supernatural powers to do it. This is what we should be paying attention to, science is beautiful all by itself and it doesn’t need supernatural mumbo jumbo. If there are things out there that we don’t understand, let’s study and research them.

For instance, in parapsychology, there is not a single repeatable experiment in that field. Does the Extrasensory Perception exist? Probably not, but no one’s been able to measure anything for a little bit of time. As I was transitioning from doing magic onto mentalism, I thought this was magic and I can really pull it off, but after meeting Randy and a few others, I felt guilty that I might be spreading misinformation. After my show, if people thought “Oh my gosh look at that guy he really could read your mind”, I wouldn’t want people to start thinking that was legitimate. I’ve always performed things that for the most part I was willing to explain afterwards. Most magicians would never do that but when it comes to mathematical magic it should be open, there should be no secrets. I think the explanation can be more fascinating than the effect.




Sitting down with The Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri

Dr G. Satheesh Reddy is the Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri. A proponent of indigenization, he guides the development of significant programmes on missiles and strategic systems, fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial defence systems, underwater systems, radar systems, strategic materials, and armaments among other futuristic technologies. The MIT Post had the fortune to interact with and interview Satheesh Sir about his expert experience and in-exhaustive knowledge in the scientific domain.

Under your tenure as the Chairman of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), various indigenous projects like the fourth-generation TEJAS and DRDO-Ghatak were integrated.
In comparison with our imports, where do these indigenous projects stand, sir?

Most of the latest technologies in the aeronautical sector have come a long way.  A lot of things have been developed in the country.  Academia and accreditations have come up with many innovative solutions and systems. Lots of infrastructure has come into the country like wind tunnel testing, and so on. The government has planned an order for 83 TEJAS jets which has given a major boost to the indigenous aeronautics industry today. The industry plays a major role in the supply chain of the various parts and subsystems. In the coming aircrafts, the indigenous content will be very high and now, the country is poised to make state-of-the-art five-plus generation aircrafts. The country is already working on the design and is in the R&D phase of the design.

Project Shakti 2019 or the Anti-SAT programme was also undertaken with your wise guidance. While planning for the entire project, how did you monitor the entire programme so that the debris would not fall on the Earth or not collide with the satellites orbiting around the lower orbit?

Lots of studies, simulations, and analyses have gone into the study. The site chosen was the lower side of the lower orbit. We have also seen the impact angle at which the impact of the physical collision occurs. We have seen the angles at which the distortion improves and doesn’t go higher in altitude. Whatever debris is generated dies down quickly. There is barely any debris in space this way. Many countries have done this safely and so have we.

The Russia-Ukrainian war is a significant stressor for the Government since our nation’s Defence sector was virtually on tip-toes and both of our partners, that is, the Western Front and the Russian Front are at war with each other. During such times, does it seem like a stressor for you as a strategic advisor?

I’m a scientific adviser, with more emphasis on technology and this is more inclined towards international affairs and related parameters.

As a scientific advisor, does your expertise extend to the definition of the Defence Budget appointed to the Defence sector in a fiscal year?

As a scientific adviser, you are finalizing the technology, the research, and the designs that have to be completed, the weapons, the systems, and the tools being developed also come under your purview. So you also make a road map on that on the technologies and the areas in which the systems will be set. Naturally, inter-institutional departments work very well to take care of the allocation work that needs to happen.

There are brilliant establishments like iDEX that empower the youth to invest and come up with projects in the Defence sector. However, post inception, we have heard that it takes nearly thirty years, on average, to implement the idea as in the case of Tejas. Is there a system that helps in cutting off the thirty-year phase that goes into finalising and applying it?

It does not take thirty years to finalise an idea. In thirty years, the idea does not remain valid at all. It takes a maximum of one to two years to finalise an idea, depending on the complexity of the system. If the armed forces need it urgently, the delay is even lesser. Once the prototype is seen by the Department of Production, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Armed Forces, it is taken to the next level. From there, the product is brought to life and thereupon only minor arrangements are necessary.

You are one of the only people in the last hundred years to be nominated as a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society of London and its American equivalent. How does that make you feel about the entire aeronautical domain and how can it be expanded further in India?

This shows that the ecosystem method in the aerospace department of the country is defined by what is required by the public in the country. If a country is coming up with a lot of technologies, systems, and research and is recognized in the name of a person, we need to note that the achievements are not in the name of a person but for the whole country. So, India has been taking the leading role in the aeronautics sector.




Sitting Down with Dr Srijib Mukherjee

One of our distinguished alums, Dr Srijib Mukherjee is an academic with a distinguished background in engineering and research. He graduated in 1989 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After completing his MSc and PhD, Dr Mukherjee spends his professional years in the USA. He is currently a Senior Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The MIT Post had the opportunity to have a chat with him about his experiences here in Manipal and abroad.

You have had a varied education. Could you walk us through the different courses you have taken over the years?

In my opinion, the four classes of critical importance to anybody, whichever field they choose in a core curriculum, are—Mathematics, the three sciences, and a language which need not be only English. It can be anything from Kannada to Bengali or Spanish along with the social sciences. My young nephew loves learning about history, how modern engineering connects with it, how the world looks at the geographical system and GSI, and how they influence the climate. So, I will say these four are probably the foundation or the “core curriculum” of how one can succeed.

Q: You did your B.Sc in Physics before your BE degree. What was that thought process? Did you extensively plan that, or was it a go-with-the-flow kind of move?

I did not. When I finished high school, I had never considered pursuing engineering. I only sat for the NDA exam, and I cleared it. I did not pass the IIT exam, which upset my father, and my mom turned down the offer from the navy. Having missed my opportunity in engineering, I had to do something for the next six months, and this was the alternative—get mature and get my feet wet. After high school, most people need time to understand what they want to do. Something like a community college for one or two years might help one to understand if engineering is their thing. Something that invokes the feeling, “I love doing this. I love fixing that”. At that time, I remember having two options—one in VIT, Vellore for civil engineering and the other was Manipal. My father said, “We cannot make a civil engineer out of you, so we better make an electrical engineer out of you.” That is how I ended up here. I graduated with distinction and was third in my class. 

The experience of being in a B.Sc program and doing an engineering course provided you with maturity and a unique point of view that many might not have. How have you used that to your advantage? 

Life is all about having broad knowledge. If you pursue a PhD in your interests, you might end up with a narrow but specific field of expertise. Unfortunately, this could reduce your employability. You just need to be constantly willing to learn. The biggest thing I learnt in engineering college is that the fundamentals will always be applicable. My son always asks me, “Papa, how can you solve math problems mentally and so quickly?” In India, we did not have calculators; even logarithm and trigonometry had big charts. It is like a layup in basketball. How do you get better at it? You take a million shots— just muscle memory. When you do it a lot, you get the ability to do it. So, we Indians are very good with this muscle memory since we focus on learning these applications mentally and eventually learn to apply them with ease. 

You are an innovator who is active in various fields. This area of work does not promise results, and uncertainty is a given. So what makes you do it every day? 

At this stage of my life and career, I am about six odd years from retirement. But I want to continue after that. I want to do meaningful work. My generation was all about loyalty, growing yourself, showing respect, and growing wealth. But it also requires you to consider your values and the legacy you leave behind. Educators and faculty members here have their students. When Prof. Thomas talks about me, I am his legacy. So when he looks back on his career and life, looking at how his students have excelled is a big deal. As an engineer, what drives me is how I invented and made the world better. I tell all the young people I mentor, “If you get out of bed three days in a row feeling I dislike my work, I dislike the organisation I work for, the people I am surrounded with, then it is time to think about doing something else with your life.” Taking that challenge and objective in a broader sense of knowledge. That is what it is about.

No job is a pleasant one. Each job comes with its positives and negatives. Off the top of your head, what is the best and the worst thing about your job?

I will start with the worst thing about my job. For me, it is the bureaucracy and anything to do with administration. We are part of a large governing system that requires rules, regulations, and paperwork. For example, the worst part of a teacher’s job is to deal with the parents. You love your students but do not want to deal with the parents’ whining. The best part about my job is working with my colleagues, faculty members, and my students and helping them succeed and improve their lives. Somebody helped me, and if I can do the same for others, it makes me feel better. Mentorship is the best part of my job. A great leader is a great mentor. Managing people is easy, ‘Idhar chalo,udhar chalo’. But I think I have made the world better by making that person better, correct?

How long has it been since you have been to Manipal again since graduation? How does it feel to see everything around you change?

I graduated in the ’90s. So it has been about thirty-three years. I came back for my 25th reunion. That was the year I lost my mom. Prof. Kinny was kind enough to make me a distinguished alumnus with other great alums like Suri and Nadella. I feel honoured and humbled to be at this level in such an esteemed institute. My father loved Manipal, and so did I. I wish to help my children and nephews open their eyes to what life here is like. They have no idea. Wanting to help them drives me. It is not about helping the institution I went to in America. I want to help the institute that gave me my foundation here in India. I would not have been an engineer if it were not for India, not America.

The infrastructure growth and the people here just blow my mind. My brother told me how humble and wonderful the faculty members were to come to our room and shake our hands. Someone of Prof.Thomas and Prof.Kinny’s stature takes the time to come out and even show us around and meet the students. It means the world to me. It blew my mind that we were picked up from the airport in a completely electric car. My American friends were all amazed. I said, “Yes, look how advanced Manipal is, and India is no longer a sleepy little place. It is now a growing giant.” It is a known fact that some of the most brilliant engineers in the world are from India. 

As someone currently pursuing an engineering degree in 2022 and wants to move forward in academia, much like you, what advice would you give me?

The line in academia between research and teaching is quite blurry. I would have never done a PhD if I was not threatened that I would lose my visa and they would cut my scholarship. However, the interest in doing advanced research came much later. At the time, I was more inclined towards teaching and helping people. Unfortunately, they did not support the teaching faculty as much as the research faculty. But the difference between teaching and research faculty is closing now. Research faculty do not want to be teachers, but the teaching faculty want to be a part of the research.

Knowing what you want to do needs a deeper form of maturity and thinking. “EV” could be a buzzword. But it does not mean that just because society or your peers are doing it, you have to follow too. I was talking to my nephew, who is currently in 7th grade. He loves the humanities. In my generation in India, my father used to tell me you have to be an engineer or you have to be a doctor. That is not necessary anymore. You can choose what you love. Science is interdisciplinary. Humanities is interdisciplinary. In America, doctors have a humanities degree, and an English degree holder switches to engineering. You can switch to what you love anytime. Enjoy learning; what I am saying is do not go with peer pressure, go with what you love, go with what you are. If you love cooking, go into that, if you like music production, go into that, be a sound engineer even though the demand might not be much. Go into that, go into what you love. Follow your passion.




Making the Most of MIT—A Chat with Meghana Dharmapuri

Meghana Dharmapuri was the Editor—in—Chief of the MIT Post for the academic year 2017-18. A student of Computer Science and Engineering, she graduated in 2019. She left a lasting impression on her peers and faculty alike. Currently a Solution Advisor at Deloitte India (Offices of the US). The MIT Post had the opportunity to sit down and interview Meghana about her experiences in MIT, the MIT Post and her professional life.

How was your MIT experience? What stood out to you the most?

Okay, I did a lot of things. I was one of those “active kids around the block” at that time. I come from an army background. So, there’s a lot of sports and all of that involved. So, when I came here, I saw this whole avenue of things to do. I was part of the music club, debate club, and MIT Post. Eventually, I was on the Editorial board also, and a lot of other things. I was part of the tennis team and swimming team. So, I used to be in all of these things because it was something apart from the academics itself. I also made sure that I took out time to study. The evenings were just for ensuring I’m in all these student activities and technical projects. One of the reasons why it was really nice for me was that the seniors were very authentic. It made a lot of impact the way they were with you, the way they encouraged you to always do whatever felt better. I was also part of the dramatics club AAINA. It was a unique experience compared to all my other peers in different colleges. Apart from your academics, you get that time to explore different avenues and see what else you are good at. So that is something I enjoyed.

Were you part of any projects?

I was actually with Manohar Pai Sir. There was a technical project called RC Air. We worked on air cleansing machines. 

How different is your MIT experience from your professional life?

Very different. Here, you used to get that time to balance things out. At work you don’t because there’s just so much to do. For the sake of comfort, there are sports there. I’m part of the football club over there and the basketball club. But still, it’s not the same, because here, you have that whole peer group aspect. Everybody is your age and going through the same things, the same journey. The end goal is the same, at least for those four years. That helps you through that whole process, no matter where you are in life at that point in time. In an office, it becomes very different because you’re dealing with many different people. For me, I’m not even dealing with my colleagues. I’m only dealing with people on the Swiss or US sides who I have never even seen in my life. That’s the thing. It makes a huge difference when you’re here and learning things hands-on, online it’s a little different.

It’s the time aspect, the amount of time that you have to do things, and the rat race- it is still a little easier because everybody’s going through the same thing.

You seem to have participated in many different activities, so to most students, would you recommend joining many clubs or focusing on one?

See, I would say first you should explore. You see, if you’ve not tried something, you don’t know if you’re good at it or if you enjoy it. You don’t know the kind of seniors you meet, the kind of people you meet. Otherwise, you’re restricted to a very small circle. So, make sure you go out there, do things, and meet as many people as possible because the exposure is very vast. The kind of people you meet, their experiences, what you learn from them, you never know, you might make some friends for life through that. So, after that year, see what you like, and then start narrowing it down. That’s what I did. So, in the first year, lots of clubs. The second year, few. And then the third year, I just stuck to a couple of clubs like IECSE and MIT Post.

What do you think of our curriculum and course structure now that you are in the industry? Has it helped you in your professional life? 

Actually, it is. To a great extent, it is. Everybody is taking a course they are interested in. I have gone more into the consulting side of things in the software field, but for me, it was more of the technical mindset that I could develop through the course and curriculum. The kind of questions I should ask, the kind of technology, while it’s not the same tools and technologies you’re using, it makes me adapt faster to those. But for others who are more interested in the software field. It’s a very up-to-date course, in fact, for that matter. I think I’ve heard that your courses are getting updated even still. That’s wonderful because most of my time, they did network; I think the networking one, then SVPN that they were doing then, are things they applied in their jobs. So definitely the course has been immensely helpful for everybody relevant.

We have heard you like to travel and said you’re from a military background. Did you move around a lot as a child?

Yes, I did. I studied in seven different states. I studied in nine different schools, so I was always moving. I’ve studied in the school for just ten months, and I’ve also studied for two years. But to date, the longest place of residence has been Manipal for me. So that’s something really interesting when somebody asks, what is home? I wonder if it is the longest place for residence. Because then it’s Manipal. It’s the feeling that this is my hometown for me. 

What was your experience like in MIT Post?

There’s a reason I stuck around all four years in this one club. Firstly, my love of writing. I used to like writing the kind of articles that I did. But apart from that, it was the whole culture. It is not entirely just students. It’s got some part of the administration. You’ve got that sort of mix of things going on that you are running around and talking to professors about things, getting those permissions. That’s got a real kick to itself, right? Then the kind of people I interacted with; my seniors-their objectives were very clear. I had certain visions for the Post, which pushed me to do a few more things there. Like we had a new column that I created called In Transit, which was our travel column. So that is something that I really enjoyed working on with everybody because every vacation needs to be going somewhere new.

We had the yearly magazine, the Standard, which had a different set of articles going into it. There was a lot of variation in the way we worked. So, it was really fun. 

Where did you do your internships, and did you find them on campus?

My internship was at Deloitte. Other internships are small ones. I did that development here, so that was it. Apart from that, it was only Deloitte. A lot of us from campus were there. So, they hired a lot of people. It was a lot of fun to learn things during our internship because we didn’t have to execute many things. It was just shadowing different projects and different kinds of things on which people were working.  We had something called an innovation project. So that is something my team and I did. You were supposed to use different kinds of technology to see what kind of things that you can do. It was a competition at the end of the day, and we won. Hence internship was a good period. We returned to college every time for the midterms, and the final terms were also fun. We just coordinated together. 

What additional learnings outside the classroom that you value most?

As I said, go out there as you don’t know what field you find interesting. I’ve seen people who completed their engineering, but one of these clubs stuck, and they made a career out of those things and are very successful doing that right now. Or even the projects they did, so many people did mechanical or computer science projects, and they have their own start-ups now, so it’s all about how you leverage your interest and first go out there and put yourself out there to see what is there. If you test what is there and see what you can do with it, then make the most of it. Make sure you experience Manipal to the maximum because, trust me, nobody has experienced what we have. To date, I know so many seniors who were in that “Manipal bubble” because of the experience they had. Most people get out of college and are done with it, but everybody carries Manipal with them for a long time in their lives, so make sure you make full use of that. 




The Student Council (2021- 2022)

An important body providing a bridge of communication between the administration and the students of MIT, the Student Council constantly strives to provide assistance and make life on campus smoother and enriching for the latter. In order to familiarise students with our newly elected Student Council, the MIT Post interviewed the members on their goals and ambitions for this term.

President

Name: Priyanshu Gupta
Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering
E-mail: thisispriyanshu.pg@gmail.com

Leadership and Management roles have always been my natural habitat. From working in my school Student Council for more than 4 years to being a class representative in college for all 3 academic years, and even being a board member of clubs and a student project, I realised I will be able to lead the student council effectively with my experience and will keep on learning in this journey.

The President is primarily responsible for managing and leading the team of Student Council members. The President has to represent MIT in MAHE and different platforms and serve as the student representative in discussions with college administration.

My journey, until now, has been a roller coaster ride, with the Covid-19 outbreak and online examinations, along with the preparation for Revels after a gap of 2 years. I have understood that effective communication with students and administration is the key to solving all problems. I believe my experience will be the most valuable asset in my tenure as the President.

I plan to utilise the situation and convince the college administration to bring digitisation to the evaluation and assessment scheme. Along with this, I plan to introduce a grievance redressal system for all students of MIT, effectively covering all aspects of college.

Due to the pandemic, Batch of 2023 is the last batch that has actually seen and experienced the conventional mode of college. As we accept the new normal and the change in lifestyle, my focus will be on smoothly and effectively passing on the legacy of MIT to our juniors since I believe college is all about culture and experiences.

General Secretary (Male)

Name: Yashvardhan Singh
Department: Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: singhyashvardhan0930@gmail.com

The post of General Secretary gives me the chance to ensure that the general working of all college bodies runs smoothly. It allows me to learn, experience, and resolve all issues pertaining to both cultural and technical activities and hold regular conversations with the administration to discuss and resolve all issues of our college students.

In the past, I have experienced the task of leading clubs and even being a part of organising committees during my school days. Hence, when the opportunity to represent and resolve the problems of the entire college was presented, I couldn’t let it pass by. I feel grateful to have had experience in being a leader in multiple fields. I have also been fortunate to have had a chance to become the operations head at MIT Gaming, where owing to my work and enthusiasm, I was nominated as the President of the club.

My plan of action for the term would be to create and maintain a hassle-free environment for all students, maintain equality in all fields, and channel a smooth path regarding clarifying doubts pertaining to placement and internship opportunities. I want to promote and ensure the importance of mental well-being of all students of our college. I also look forward to ensuring proper standards of food and hostel amenities throughout our college.

For me, a leader is supportive of the team and encourages all the team members, ensuring their development while setting the right goals, someone who takes up the responsibility when something goes wrong and distributes the credit after success. These are some of the ideals I wish to abide by as a leader.

General Secretary (Female)

Name: Piyushi Goyal
Department: Computer Science and Engineering
E-mail: piyoo.goyal@gmail.com

My role in the Student Council is not restricted to any one domain and involves overall management and co-functioning. It requires a lot of patience to make sure that the team members are working in tandem with each other.

As the General Secretary, it is our job to maintain effective communication with the student welfare. We are the points of contact for other colleges as well. I have always been a natural leader and have been trusted with important responsibilities. I am a person who voices out her opinions without any fear. A General Secretary should be disciplined, organised, and confident. I have always displayed such qualities, and hence, I realised that I was a good fit for this position.

Our college was devoid of a Student Council for a whole year due to the pandemic. I saw the inconvenience students had to face without an interface to communicate with the admin. Now that we have our Council back, I feel proud to be part of it. It gives me happiness when students approach me with their doubts and issues, and I am able to help them. I hope to set an example of a council that future batches will follow.

Firstly, I want the student community to know that the Student Council exists to solve their problems with all the power we possess. During my tenure, I want to make sure that students can trust the Student Council. I hope to make sure that they have patience and don’t hesitate. We are also students, and hence, we understand their situation most of the time. As of now, the Student Council is focusing on making Revels happen. Apart from this, we’re looking into improving the hostels and messes. Next, we are hoping to improve matters with the Wi-Fi as well. As a resident of a girls’ block, I will try working around the perm time too.

For the Student Council aspirants, I would like to say that it’s very important to possess certain skills such as self-confidence, trust, tolerance, patience, and teamwork. It’s also imperative that you manage your time well. Lastly, always have genuine respect and love for your Institute. Otherwise, you will never be able to give it your best.

Treasurer 

Name: Mrigesh Kumar Gupta
Department: Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: mrigeshgupta05@gmail.com

To be a part of the Student Council in the position of Treasurer offers me the unique opportunity to represent my fellow mates and bring to light the changes that I would like to see at my university. This essentially is the reason I applied for the post—taking up the onus of this position was driven by both my future aspirations of working in the field of finance and my experience in acting as an interface between the administration, students, and all other stakeholders.

I’ve taken up several positions of responsibility in the past, ranging from being the Head Boy, Sports Secretary at school to being the CR in college, which has facilitated my leadership skills.

I believe my trustworthy and adeptly communicative self, along with skills of being a methodical problem solver, having an eye for detail, and comfortableness in working with figures will aid in pushing me to be a good Treasurer.

Technical Secretary (Male) 

Name: Anmol Agarwal
Department: Computer and Communication Engineering
E-mail: agarwalanmol3010@gmail.com

I was always fascinated by technology, specifically in ways to make life easier by using technology. Hence I wanted to do something to modernise the technical sphere of the college. Being the Technical Secretary, I can do so by proposing and implementing various apps and websites for the college. This made me apply for the post of technical Secretary. Moreover, it comes with the responsibility of convening TechTatva, and who doesn’t want to host a national technical fest and take it to the next level?

During my tenure, I want to prepare a proper channel for the technical clubs to get what they need and give them recognition by the college. I also intend to release a Student Council App, which will have everything from SLCM to notices and a portal to make getting permissions more convenient. I also hope to increase the general awareness among students for academic research during UG.

I believe every experience leaves a mark on you, and I feel that this will have a strong impact on my overall personal growth.

Technical Secretary (Female) 

Name: Aashrayi Ranjan
Department: Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: aashrayiranjan@gmail.com

The Technical Secretary’s work is always associated with CS and coding, so I was a little hesitant about applying for it, being a mechanical kid, even though I knew I was interested in the post. I eventually ended up pushing myself to go for it because I felt that my skill set would help fill any void that may be present.

We’ve got a lot lined up for this term. On top of our list, you will find the SC website and mobile application. TechTatva and Manipal Hackathon are some events we’re very excited about too. My main goal for this year is to help the technical clubs and student projects get their offline work and events back on track by providing all assistance and support necessary to make it possible.

I would like to reiterate that for any issue or any questions, students can come to us, and we will always try our best to help. No issue is invalid.

Cultural Secretary (Male)

Name: Aagam Shah
Department: Computer and Communication Engineering
E-mail: aagampshah7@gmail.com

My role as Cultural Secretary in the Student Council is to be the convenor of Revels 2022, to make sure it happens on campus and that everything works smoothly. My task is to make sure all cultural activities and club events are coordinated, such that all clubs can get the permissions they need from the administration. Keeping up the vibrant culture of Manipal, including events, sports, and so on, is my main task.

Since my first year, I was always interested in taking up a leadership position. Students of my batch didn’t have the experience of being in the Junior Council since everything happened online in our second year. So, instead of taking up a position in a club in my third year, I opted for a position in the Student Council.

Winning the election felt really great. The election process helped me dig deeper into myself and discover what I wanted from this position if I were elected. In my speech, the one main goal I mentioned was to conduct Revels no matter what came in the way.

Conducting a Holi celebration in March is also a goal. I wish that the Manipal I witnessed in my first year can come back again, and I definitely want to make the events even better than I had seen. We, as the cultural secretaries, have devised a rough framework for everything we want to do during our tenure. Depending on the freedom that we can get from the administration, we’d like to organise both Holi and Diwali events.

For those who would like to be Student Council members in the future, the first thing you need is a drive to work and make things happen for your batch. Good time management skills are crucial since you need to balance your academics and Council work. Being a Student Council member is an experience one will cherish forever because you get to know both the administration’s and the student’s side.

Cultural Secretary (Female)

Name: Vedangi Mittal
Department: Electronics & Communication Engineering
E-mail: mittalvedangi@gmail.com

One of the primary reasons for applying for this post was that I’ve always enjoyed taking part in cultural events. I have actively been a part of The ShowStoppers Crew, performed in several events, and represented MIT in various cultural fests. I would also like to add that I have a BA degree in Kathak dance form. Apart from being an artist who has been on various stages as a performer, I’ve also been a part of teams that work behind the scenes. This is why I understand the level of dedication and sincerity required, not only by someone who’s presented to the audience but also by someone who’s been working backstage throughout.

Talking about my plan of action for the upcoming year, the main objective will be to promote an environment that is more inclusive and motivates students to participate in cultural activities, which will bring out the creativity and talent they harbour. Other than that, one of my primary aims is to organise Revels. Adding on to that, I also wish to organise tons of cultural events and also make sure that all the cultural clubs are provided assistance whenever required.

Not a change per se, but I wish to organise specific events that haven’t been organised in the past (like inter-hostel competitions!), include more social work and encourage maximum students to participate in the same. Considering the year we all went through I want to reiterate the importance of mental health assist anyone who needs help.

I want to help create an environment where students can be heard and foster mindsets that envision new horizons and possibilities that do not simply ask what we can gain from college but how we can add value to it. I hope to make this year a memorable one for everyone!

Sports Secretary (Male) 

Name: Chandraraj Singh
Department: Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: chandraraj0131@gmail.com

I have been into sports for as long as I can remember. One of the ideas behind my pursuit of becoming the Sports Secretary was to combine my love for sports with a desire to bring positive change to the part of college that has shaped my life to a large extent. Being a member of the MIT football team since my first year in college and representing MIT has been a matter of immense pride and has fuelled my performance and attitude, on and off the football field.

The Sports Secretary (along with the Cultural Secretary) has the task of organising MIT’s cultural and sports festival, Revels, one of our most recognised and celebrated events. Alongside this, the smooth functioning of gyms, courts, fields, and tracks in all aspects falls under the responsibility of the Sports Secretary, with the safety of students being of the utmost importance. Revamping D-Block, organising more intra-college tournaments, and providing special concessions for MIT athletes across all sports are of priority as of now.

We hope the circumstances favour us this year with respect to COVID-19, and we can start checking things off of our list of agendas.

Sports Secretary (Female)

Name: Sukanya Dubey
Department: 
Aeronautical Engineering
E-mail:  
sukanaya95@gmail.com

I’ve been involved in sports for as long as I can remember, so I am really grateful to my HODs and our college for giving me this opportunity. I was initially worried about being able to balance my academics and my duties towards the Council, but after some encouragement from my Faculty Advisor, I decided to apply for the post.

The immediate priority for us is obviously Revels 2022. It has been a huge challenge but we are working with all hands on deck. Despite the pandemic, we have been doing everything we can to ensure a smooth and successful event.

I have also noticed a decrease in participation of women in sports, so one of my major objectives is to increase the number of sports events that are organised in MIT and get more people, not just women, out in the field participating and having fun. Apart from that, any repairs and maintenance to courts and arenas will also be one of the top priorities to ensure that every student has a level playing field, pun intended.

I have been working in clubs and student projects throughout my time at MIT but never at the scale that we are currently operating on. I am looking forward to learning a lot of management skills as well as dealing with different kinds of people and getting them to work towards the same goal.

Placement Secretary (Male) 

Name: Avinash Murali
Department: Industrial and Production Engineering
E-mail: avinashmg318@gmail.com

As a Placement Secretary, it is my job to act as the bridge between the placement cell & the students. With placements being a matter of constant turmoil for students, having clarity and proper information is of the essence. Hence it is my responsibility to ensure that students get all the necessary information that I receive from the companies and placement cell.

Some of the initiatives that I want to bring into force are: 

  • Internship help centre
  • Reintroducing placement training sessions
  • TOEFL/IELTS group study clubs

Most importantly, I would like to focus on branches like Mechanical, Civil, Media Technology, Bio-Technology, Industrial & Production to ensure that MIT’s placement rates and statistics improve across all departments, which in turn is for the betterment of the students and Institute. 

I have had the opportunity to be the placement volunteer a couple of times which provided me with an understanding of how the placement cell & the company recruitments generally work. This has helped me understand how the role of Placement Secretary is very crucial.

Placement Secretary (Female) 

Name: Jahnvi Singh
Department: Information Technology
E-mail:  jahnvi1212@gmail.com

As a Placement Secretary, I feel like it is my responsibility to act as an intermediary between the placement department and the college students. I am responsible for making the placement process smoother and ensuring that everyone gets a fair chance to shoot their shot and get placed in their dream companies, for their own good future.

My main aims are to have a placement portal setup and to ensure everyone gets some guidance before the placement season commences such that everyone is well equipped with the information one needs beforehand. I have wanted to incorporate as many companies as we can, such that they are core specific and everyone gets equal opportunities no matter what branch.

So far my journey has been thrilling. Right from preparing for Revels to getting insights on the placement process, everything has been really amazing. 

Placement Secretary (MTech) 

Name: Madhura Nakadi
Department: Biomedical Engineering
E-mail: madhuranakadi19@gmail.com

As the Placement Secretary, I am mostly involved in bridging the gap between the placement cell and students. I have to ensure that all the information regarding placement activities is passed on to all the students and that there is a smooth and systematic flow of placement activities.

During my Btech too, I was the placement secretary so I knew the process of placements and the activities that take place. I have the experience of coordinating many companies who came to recruit so I thought of applying here as well.

This term my aim is to conduct mock—interviews, tests, to make students familiar with the placement process as well as to orient juniors about the placement activities and address all the new issues faced by any student during placements.

Placement Secretary (MCA)

Name: Chandana BK
Department: Computer Applications
E-mail: chandana.kalmardappa@gmail.com

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who gave me this opportunity to become the student placement secretary for MCA.
As the placement secretary, I would like to do the following:

  • Determine all required placement requirements and assist all apprentice participants to exchange all information appropriately.
  • Maintain knowledge of all requirements to facilitate efficient working of the company.
  • I will ensure smooth communication with each and every company on the lookout for any opportunities.
  • Prepare all resumes and conduct interviews with all students and provide assistance to all graduates.
  • Collaborate with the externship coordinator and program directors to administer all changes required.
  • Conduct an orientation program for all new students.
    I have already donned the hat of being a placement secretary before, and I very much look forward to being a part of the Student Council.

Vice President (MTech)

Name: Akash Acharya
Department: Engineering Management
E-mail: akashacharya7977@gmail.com

I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.“—Elon Musk. This quote resonates with me, encouraging me to strive harder towards being extraordinary in any work I take up.

A person with experience, a person you can depend on, a person who will address the concerns and represent everyone, a person who will go beyond his limits for the student body is the type of person you need in service as your Student Vice President. I have always aspired to learn new things and do things out of my comfort zone. Having an industrial experience of three years and working for multinational companies, I thought I should take this opportunity to explore the unexplored.

One of my goals is to increase the student body’s involvement with the Student Council. I propose to democratise the decision-making process in the campus by creating a discussion forum where the Student Council and student body could deliberate on various matters before taking significant steps. This can cause substantial benefits by bridging the student community and the Institution.

My next major goal is to work on eliminating the industry-academia gap. To make students job-ready even before entering the companies, I plan to organise Industry collaborations, Industrial visits, and technical talks from various experts. To transform job seekers into job creators, education on financial independence and investment will be pursued, which will help students make wiser decisions on money management in their professional and personal lives.

Sports and extracurricular activities are also vital for the overall development of students. Thus, Interdepartmental and Intercollegiate competitions will be held throughout the year in tandem with academic assignments and tests such that there is a balance among studies and sports.

My favourite item in this list is the start-up week or start-up month, wherein students develop an innovative idea and pitch it in meetings with investors. The best start-up idea will be funded and helped set up as a company. We will have speakers from all sectors to inspire students with their journeys and mentor them in the ideation processes.

As your Vice-president, I wish to represent myself as the ‘first among equals’ within the student body. I also wish to leave this legacy behind at Manipal and create a self-sustaining system that is helpful to the next generation of students.

Vice President (Female)

Name: Iza Singh
Department: Civil Engineering
E-mail:  singhiza1882@gmail.com

From the first day I’ve arrived at college, I knew I wanted to become more involved. There are enthusiasts out there and we all help each other and that is not something we find everywhere. One of the reasons I’m running for Vice President is because I want to be that friendly face for new students coming in and a defender for students already here. During the past year, I’ve known how the administration works and it’ll be an honour to pitch in ideas and work side-by-side with the student body to ensure all the events throughout are well-heeled. As the name of the post says, steadfastness and the ability to work with others even during conflictive circumstances while still keeping a sense of humour is the motive.

I have extensive experience with difficult and challenging management situations where strong leadership and direction has been needed. Being a problem solver, performing well under pressure with a positive attitude, I am a solid decision maker and possesses excellent communication skills, all these abilities made me apply for the post of Vice President!

My goal during my tenure would be to focus on mental health awareness and introduce necessities. I will assist the President in the management of hostel and mess committees and attend to its related issues. I will coordinate with the class representatives and look into the problems faced by students, thus forming a medium between students and administration. I want to start a mechanism through which the students can give their feedback and suggestions regularly on various topics. I also want to work on some areas such as waste segregation on campus, setting up the pharmacy and more. I will execute the duties bestowed on me as the Vice President female of the student council.

I plan on being as available as possible so that I can be a link between the students and the staff, faculty & administration, not just to this extent but to also make my campus memorable so that everyone at campus cherishes their life to the best. Furthermore, I plan on attending club meetings in my free time and seeing how each club does their meeting and what they want to do & then offer my help. I will always be there to support the chair in ensuring smooth functioning of the management committee along with help of other council members as a team. I believe with transparency; I will give the students the ability to share with me their true concerns and allow them the opportunity to personally flourish while they work on fixing what they believe needs to be improved. I would like to work with clubs and student projects in such ways which would help in the advancement of clubs. Besides these it will also generate curiosity amongst students about the same. I will keep students updated with what is going in and around the campus. I position brand new ideas in terms of promotion of events along with other new ideas that can help bring awareness of certain issues or events.

I will bring to my position first rate communication skills both orally and written as well as integrity, selflessness, and engagement on issues campus wide. I will give my best to whatever responsibilities are given to me.

Joint Secretary (Male)

Name: Siddhant Singh
Department: Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: siddhant20803@gmail.com

I was in my school’s student council in 10th and 12th as the President. The things I learned there and the experiences I acquired made me want to apply for the student council at MIT. I want to bridge the gap between the students and the administration, which is why I applied for this post. I love interacting with people, so I want to make the student council more transparent and accessible to students. Since I am interested in management, I am sure that the student council will give me a good head-start.

The well-being of students is what matters to me the most. Whether it be the students’ mental health or physical health, I want to make sure we as the student council are there for every need of the students. I want to make a healthier environment for the students, especially in the hostels, as the inventories and the first aid require a lot of checks and improvements. Keeping in mind students’ mental health, the student council is regularly in contact with the SST, which provides counselling sessions. We will be holding awareness sessions and putting up message boxes all around the campus so that any student facing any issues can reach out easily.

Another thing that I want to improve personally is the hostel allotment process. I want to ensure the allotment process is based on CGPA rather than just random allotment. The Council will meet with the chief warden and ensure the allotment is transparent and strictly based on CGPA.

I became the joint secretary to be the voice of the students and work for their betterment.

Joint Secretary (Female)

Name: Paridhi Gupta
Department: Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering
E-mail: paridhig37@gmail.com

I have a certain quality within myself that acts both as my strength and my weakness; that quality is self-confidence. I believe that fifty percent of the task is done when you have the confidence to do it, and that is where I access my strength. The position of Joint Secretary was the perfect opportunity for me to be a leader and a follower. As the leader, I want to be the inspiration and someone the next Joint secretary can look up to. I want to learn from my vice president and the senior student council as a follower. The next time I apply for a leadership position, I will use everything I have learned from them. I didn’t want to bind myself to a cultural or sports secretary. I am an all-rounder person, and joint secretary did more justice to all my qualities.

My primary responsibility is going to be hostels and messes. For the hostels, we, as the student council, will form a committee that will conduct daily checks. The committee will make sure that they can always come up with a solution for all the students in the hostel face. Regarding the mess, our main aim will be to maintain the food quality already being provided. Manipal is already a college that offers one of the most refined mess foods compared to other colleges. To ensure the quality remains good, we will form a committee that does quality checks every week. Along with that, we will give feedback to all the messes regarding what they can improve and ask the students for their input. Also, we will be in close contact with all the CRs so that all the announcements reach every student.

One of the significant changes that we as the Council want to bring is getting things back offline; we think having an offline college life is very important. We have already started taking small steps and have a circular out for hybrid mode. We want to be the intermediate between the students and the administration.

Our main plan of action will be to gain feedback from students to understand where else the campus is lacking. Regular feedback will help us work efficiently for the welfare of the students. For this, we want to be as approachable as possible and make sure that there is no hesitation in the students when they reach out, irrespective of whether they are our juniors or seniors.

I want to be the most approachable person in the crowd, and secondly, I want to be an inspiration to others. As the joint secretary, I want to set an example so that the next joint secretary looks up to me for all the right reasons and the wrong ones so that if I make a mistake, they make sure not to repeat it in their tenure. My goal is to always live up to the confidence I have and never lose the virtues, morals, and principles that I have built throughout my life. They act as my strength, they act as my confidence, and they will help me be the person I aspire to be.

Joint Cultural Secretary (Male)

Name: Tushar Srivastava
Department: Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: tusharsrivastava354@gmail.com

Since childhood, I have been very involved with the creative aspect of things. Apart from being an avid participant in singing, dramatics, and MUN competitions, I have also contributed to organising various fests and inter-school activities during my school times. These experiences have contributed to my personality, which I would like to spread to my peers and juniors. As Joint Cultural Secretary, I firmly believe I can bring about many constructive changes for the better.

As a first-year, I joined multiple clubs in Manipal, which gave me unforgettable learnings for a lifetime. I am a firm believer in learning on my feet, and my time in Manipal has given me exactly that. Realising how different school and college cultures are and how many new things you get to learn, both academically and culturally, has completely changed my perspective. 

Manipal is a culture hub full of talent. I want to provide an open platform to showcase this talent, motivating many students to understand their culture and maybe even connect with their creative side. I urge everyone to participate in such events, even online, as they provide a powerful platform to shape public relations and communication skills.

Revels is the most significant responsibility I have as the Joint Cultural Secretary as it is being organised after almost two years. My biggest goal is to make it a grand success because it will be the first experience for our first and second years. Encouraging my fellow second years to learn the basics of organising such a big event will be my primary plan, and I will make sure they have a great time doing it.

Being the Joint Cultural Secretary is a great honour, and I am very proud that I get to give back to this college in some way. I want to encourage all of you to do the same and be grateful that our college has given us numerous opportunities to express ourselves and be our best versions. I look forward to making it a culturally enriching experience for everyone.

Joint Cultural Secretary (Female)

Name: Vasudha S K
Department: Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering
E-mail: vasoosk@gmail.com

Since my school days, I have enthusiastically participated in multiple Music, Dance, Sports competitions at both school-level and South-zone levels. Recently, I’m exploring business, finance, and entrepreneurship and have taken part in those competitions. I am very passionate about cultural events, so I thought I would make an excellent fit for the post of Joint Cultural Secretary.

In terms of bringing change into the cultural atmosphere of Manipal, I would like to include more culture-specific celebrations. Apart from major festivals like Diwali, Christmas, etc., I would like to bring in an atmosphere that caters to other regional festivals/events like Kannada Rajyotsava. We can organise street plays or poetry competitions in the Kannada language.

My action plan would be to collect information about all festivals that can potentially be implemented as an event. I would take in inputs from diverse, regional groups of students who could introduce me to lesser known festivals, which would be a blast to conduct and present to students.

The present circumstances have hindered the experiences of many students, especially first-years, and even though planning for a cultural fest is easier online, unfortunately there’s no comparison to experiencing it offline. I strive to plan the event so that we are ready to implement it online or offline. It should be flexible planning and execution. Even if circumstances forbid us to keep it offline, I endeavour to make the online experience close just as good if not better.

Planning REVELS-the biggest cultural event of MIT is my primary responsibility. From deciding events and cultural categories to recruiting core members for the smooth functioning of the fest, it will be my goal to make sure everything is organised to its last detail.

As the Joint Cultural Secretary, I assure you that you will have a fantastic experience in cultural fests. We, as a team, are very approachable and open to inputs for events from your side. We must not miss out on any talent, so we strive to have an event for all interests. Feel free to approach us with your ideas and suggestions. Let’s collaborate and make it an exceptional experience for you all!

Joint Technical Secretary (Female)

Name: Spandana Erukulla
Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering
E-mail: spandanaerukulla2002@gmail.com

Our main idea was to ensure that there is enough avenue for students to have fun and explore, thereby leading to an enriching student life experience that they’re passionate about and conceptualise inter-department fete. Setting up the job of authority and business, which assists with a portion of the requests, is needed and hence justifies the name of the post. Hosting other national level fests wherein students can thrust their minds out can make a huge difference in the running system, workshops with different levels of creativity improving the functioning of technical clubs will be aimed.

The procedure and the agenda of the program/fest will always be properly planned, and execution of it as a whole comes by with the effort put in by each and everyone in the Council to make it a big success. I will ensure good PR, publicity of the event(s) and enlist adequate sponsors(whether internal or external). To give technical support to the higher officials providing ongoing and timely updates on the status of the infrastructure, facilities and the Institute’s Modernisation Master Plan as well as document binding services with maintenance will be positioned.

The plan of action and a change is to ensure every meeting is effectively organised and minuted with maintaining effective records and administration so that there’s no glitch in the budget, to give technical support to the director by providing ongoing and timely updates. I’m an extremely coordinated individual who can be depended upon. This can be found in the degree of exertion I put into my tasks, which are consistently on schedule. Set up to give an assortment of secretarial help to the allocated President or the student body, building up and keeping up division records, organising allowed ventures, and gathering and dispersing a wide assortment of material and reports in favour is the primary motive. In conclusion, the research outcome of the college as a whole is going to be flawless.

Joint Sports Secretary (Female)

Name: Dimitra Shenoy
Department: Chemical Engineering
E-mail: dimitrashenoy1@gmail.com

Students go through multiple issues in sports and they feel that contacting the administration is not feasible for them. Therefore, I would want to be there to help them out in any way possible and also act as the medium between the students and administration.

One of my main goals would be to be the voice of the students and help them discover their passion and skills, which could be in various domains, be it co-curricular activities, sports, academics, etc. For the immediate short term, I would like to organise Revels ’22 professionally and keep it memorable for all the participants and the students.

For the next one-year horizon, I would like to host multiple events/ tournaments in various games. There used to be inter-branch tournaments which I hope to revive as well. I also plan on ensuring proper maintenance of basketball, tennis, and badminton courts, gyms, etc. In India, girls are comparatively less involved in sports and the ones who want to participate don’t get many opportunities and attention, I would like to work on the same.

My life has always revolved around sports. I’ve been playing Badminton for almost 10 years now and have also represented my State, West Bengal in many tournaments. Racket sports have always had a soft corner in my heart. Watching cricket with my family is something that I never miss out on! Having played badminton for years now, I know the stress and strain one goes through and all the benefits that sports give us. My experience as sports captain in school would put me in a good position to leverage my past experiences in creating a thriving sporting culture at MIT.

Additionally, I would like to conduct some talent hunt events so that more students can showcase their talent and we can scout players from a larger pool of players. I’d also like to make timings for sports more flexible in order to accommodate more players. I also want to discuss with my fellow members to make it more pocket-friendly. Since we are seeing a dip in the number of COVID cases, I feel it’s the right time to revive the sports atmosphere by organising more competitions/tournaments.

Having the state-of-the-art sports infrastructure that MIT has, I would encourage students to take up sports in their routine and utilise the given resources to the fullest. 

I want students to never be afraid of trying a sport or learning one or even competing in one. For students who never entered any field, I would request them to dive into the world of sports. I’d like them to try any sport which fascinates them.

Editor-in-Chief: The MIT Post

Name: Snigdha Deshmukh
Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering
E-mail:  dsnigdha12@gmail.com

I joined the MIT Post as a writer in my first year as I have been interested in writing from a young age. In the 3 years that I have been a part of the MIT Post, I’ve learned a lot and grown as a person.

Becoming the Editor-in-Chief of the official media body of MIT Manipal has been quite a transformative journey for me. My prior experience as a part of the Student Council in school helped me embrace this new role in which the work was at times exhausting but an amazing experience overall.

As the Editor-in-Chief, I am responsible for the smooth operation of the MIT Post and coordinating between the various departments like writing, art, design, and tech to publish newsletters, articles, and creative pieces.
Through our app, website, and social media handles, we keep students informed of crucial academic updates and also cover events that occur in and around the campus.
I have been fortunate to have worked with many talented people in college. This has helped in bridging the gap between the administration and students as a part of the Council.

During my tenure, I hope to provide a platform for the members of the Post and the entire student body to discover and hone their talents to ensure a memorable college experience. I also hope to create an open environment to discuss relevant issues to help the students grow into responsible, informed people in today’s world.

Managing Editor : The MIT Post

Name: Shrijani Manna
Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering
E-mail: shrijanimanna@gmail.com

As the Managing Editor of the MIT Post, my job entails synchronizing and systematizing the tasks of each department within the organization.

The Post provides those with a passion to disseminate prompt and veracious content with a platform. I want to uphold its ethos and ensure that we continue to reach the right people. I believe I have the willpower to steer the organization in that direction. With this position, I have more leeway of enforcing the right decisions to attain that.

In my tenure, I aim to provide our current junior batch with a holistic insight into life at MIT through more relatable content so they can learn more about what MIT stands for. With the Student Welfare and the rest of the Council’s support, I want to guide the organization to offer our students a more transparent view of the college administration and local activities. Above all, I want the Post to remain a vocal medium for those who go unheard.

Editor-in-Chief: Editorial Board

Name: Laaboni Mukerjee
Department: Electronics and Communication Engineering
E-mail: mlaaboni@gmail.com

The college life of the students in the Covid era has been a roller coaster ride. The challenges and changes brought along by the pandemic always made me wonder how one would be able to capture all our experiences, both online and offline, in a book that we could open a decade from now and relive these times, hopefully with a smile. While I racked my brain to help the Ed Board solve this puzzle, I was presented with the opportunity to take the lead and guide my team to revive its glory. The will to solve the conundrum of the hybrid experience, the will to make the Yearbook momentous, and the need to rebuild the Editorial Board for the new normal, made me apply for the post of Editor-in-Chief.

Due to the previous remote mode of education, there is now a need to rebuild and revive our student bodies for the offline shift. The Editorial Board is no exception. As the EIC, my foremost priority is to recruit and build a strong and artistic team that will help me realize the dream of inculcating the hybrid experience in the Yearbook. We shall next work towards preserving our memories in an organised fashion and updating our database to account for the information lost in the past two years. We will work hard to bring back our traditions, and put in tireless days filled with photoshoots and nights with artistic misery, to make what we will look back upon to remember our time at college. Lastly, we will ensure that the batch of ’22 does not leave without memorabilia, regardless of how little time we have.

Unlike ever before, this time we plan to make two yearbooks; a unique and unconventional one for our seniors, the batch of ’22 whose last semesters of college were spent online, and another for the batch of ’23 to revive the traditional practices, while also doing justice to the turbulent time we experienced. We plan to make these yearbooks highly illustrative, an amalgamation of individual and collective experiences, inclusive yet distinctive.

This academic year experienced a huge change in the functioning of all student bodies, which gave us the chance to restructure and reform them to fit our needs and those of the future. This pandemic presented every leader with an opportunity, a choice, to correct and satiate what the system was missing. We all hope to come out of this stronger and better, and the support of our peers is what keeps us motivated to grow.

Managing Editor: Editorial Board

Name: Rasesh Rajpopat
Department: Computer Science Engineering
E-mail: raseshrajpopat@gmail.com

I joined the Editorial Board as a member of the Admin & Logistics team in my first year. In the last two years, I have worked closely with my seniors and learned a lot from them. As a managing editor, it is my duty to ensure smooth functioning between all the departments, dealing with the college administration and also the increased workload which comes with the post. I act as the medium of communication between the college administration and my board.

The Editorial Board is primarily concerned with making the yearbook for our college. From the frantic Btech photoshoots at the beginning of the year to the joyful book launch at the end, the Ed board ensures that the entire process runs seamlessly. The upcoming yearbook will include everything, ranging from artworks to pictures contributed by students from the college. It will include short stories, poetry, and other literary material, as well as the yearbook’s main attraction, photoshoots.

Because of the pandemic, our seniors were unable to make any final year memories with their classmates or have a class portrait shot for the yearbook. We intend to create a smaller version of the yearbook for them so they can look back on it. It has undoubtedly been a tough time for the Ed board to rebuild the board from the ground up owing to the gap caused by COVID -19, but we have begun all of the necessary work, and everything should be back to normal in a couple of months.

Managing Editor: The Editorial Board

Name: Anushka Bhattacharyya
Department: Computer and Communication Engineering
E-mail: anushb103@gmail.com

I wanted to be an active part of the Editorial Board in my second year. Then I came across the application for Managing Editor, an opportunity to lead the development of the Yearbook along with the Editor-in-Chief and my fellow Managing Editor. The prospect of shaping and creating a yearbook for our seniors was very interesting and it spurred me to apply. The journey has just begun and though it will be a little tough given the circumstances, I am excited to create something amazing and form a formidable student body.

Currently, we are beginning our recruitments for the head positions of each department. Once we are finished with that, we can finally start shaping the yearbook, coming up with themes and a rough outline of what we need to do.

In my tenure as Managing Editor, I want to learn to become a good leader and hope that we don’t just deliver any yearbook but do it to the best of our abilities. There is a lot of work that goes into this and I want everyone involved to enjoy and learn in the process. I hope this time’s Editorial Board will kickstart normalcy in the student body to be as it was before.

The Student Council can be reached through their email address, studentcouncil.mit@manipal.edu.




Empowering Entrepreneurs—Sitting Down with the Founders of E-Cell, MIT

E-Cell aims to inculcate an entrepreneurial mindset among students and plans to establish a robust start-up ecosystem for budding entrepreneurs on the campus. In a span of a few months, it has supported over ten student start-ups and provided internships to over fifty students at the institute despite the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Cell has also organised an ideation competition with a prize pool of 1.5 lakhs. Through “Sambhav”—National Level Awareness Program, the Cell holds regular webinars with notable Entrepreneurs such as Ritesh Shergill and Abhinav Arora. The MIT Post had the opportunity to converse with the organisation’s co-founders, Dhwanit Shah, Armaan Charania, and Ankit Jajoo.

What was the motivation behind founding E-Cell?

Ankit: The construction of the E-Cell has been long overdue. With the help of our faculty advisor, Dr Sriram KV, we established an organisation under the official MIT body. Our alumni have been successful in research, scientific projects, and placements but have faltered in start-ups and entrepreneurial aspects. We wanted to start an organisation that would push and promote students to develop their ideas and revolutionise entrepreneurship and start-ups in MIT.

Dhwanit: For example, in my first year, I had an idea, but I lacked the resources to move to the next steps. I was aware of multiple individuals that had taken up responsibilities in different aspects of the entrepreneurship world. However, there was no organisation with the ultimate handbook and rules, helping with all elements that a start-up or entrepreneur might need to be successful. E-Cell becomes that one-stop destination that students can approach, regardless of what step in their entrepreneurship journey they find themselves in. It is a single central organisation that provides advice, access to networking, and helps with expanding skillsets.

What does E-Cell offer students?

Armaan: The mission of E-Cell is to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship within the student community through greater awareness and act as a one-stop destination for all students looking to turn their ideas into viable startups. We want to help empower entrepreneurs by providing them with a vibrant start-up ecosystem and developing their ideas into successful ventures through dedicated mentorship and guidance.

Before E-Cell’s formation, no specific body focused on MIT students. Recent AICTE norms mandated the need to have a dedicated entrepreneurship cell in every technical college under the National Innovation Start-up Policy, and this brought about the idea of starting an E-Cell for MIT students. Our fundamental aim is to develop a vibrant start-up culture on campus focusing on innovation, problem-solving, self-employment, and the creation of valuable companies.

The E-Cell will act as a bridge between students with ideas and people with expertise in Manipal Institute of Technology. To further this motive, we plan on creating a network of experts who could mentor the budding students to develop their ideas,  providing the students access to the alumni network of MIT, referring students with mature ideas to MUTBI for pre-incubation and funding, increasing the ground outreach and awareness about various government policies for innovation and start-ups and conducting events and activities to promote entrepreneurship ecosystem on-campus: Mentorship meets, Workshops, E-summits, case study competitions, B-model competitions, etc.

What will these workshops and events be about?

Dhwanit: Many students who are aware that their idea could become something significant, often don’t know the next step in the process. These students require the essential skills to create a basic business model, conduct market research and build a team. The workshops that we will host will target empowering the students in gaining these skills. 

As everyone is affected by the current circumstances, many planned workshops and competitions were hindered in their offline conduct. They will happen in the future, at some point, although we look forward to conducting events like app connect, idea validation meetups, and more, shortly in an online atmosphere. 

What is the difference between MUTBI of MAHE and E-Cell MIT? Is there a direct liaison between the two?

Armaan: MUTBI is an incubator where a student can approach the team, and they will help the student get incubated, which means paperwork and other legal work. In return for the resources and services they provide, they will take a couple of shares of the organisation founded. There is no direct affiliation between MUTBI and E-Cell MIT. Instead, we coordinate with them when the need arises, but E-Cell MIT is an existing individual body of MITan extension of the MIT administrative body. 

Dhwanit: MUTBI is a professional body with professors, faculty and professionals—not any students. It also pertains to all of MAHE, and Student Entrepreneurship Cell (SEC) serves as the student face of the organisation. In comparison, E-Cell MIT works directly in alliance with the administration of MIT and is run by students, under the direct stewardship of the faculty. 

How does the process generally work in E-Cell? 

Dhwanit: We have created communities of expertise—accounting, finance, law, and so on. When a student approaches us with an idea, we plan to connect them to a relevant member from the expert team who will direct them professionally. We do not house experts within our organisation. Instead, we help students contact the appropriate people needed for them to gain insight into their endeavours. The list of experts and professionals is a continuously growing community. 

Armaan: These groups of experts include MIT and MAHE faculty, MIT and MAHE alumni, industry experts of various companies, and other founders who are willing to mentor students looking for guidance. We will pair them with the individual that we see fit and establish these relationships to be long term, where the mentor will help the student develop and mature their idea. 

Ankit: The process and cycle time of the entire mentorship process will cater to the individual student’s idea. It is going to be flexible and customisable, with no generalisation regarding time. 

What is currently in the works for E-Cell that students can be excited about?

Dhwanit: The organisation is currently working on a dedicated website and newsletter that will include all updates pertaining to entrepreneurship in MIT, and its students. The website will be unique in its creation. It will have a learning platform that will recommend videos, podcasts, books, and more that focus on providing idea generation and cultivation for students looking for them.

What is your goal?

Dhwanit: E-Cell is spearheading this drive towards entrepreneurship and job creation rather than job seeking. Our immediate aim is to create awareness about entrepreneurship, expose the lucrative options that entrepreneurship offers, and stir that new mindset. The long term goal is to help create real start-ups that can raise funding, employ people, and add value to the ecosystem. 

Established eleven months ago, E-Cell continues to strive towards empowering budding entrepreneurs to achieve unfathomable heights and is currently recruiting first-years to be part of their robust community.

Featured Image Credits: Sara Dharmik and Rishab Sanjay




Revolutionary EdTech Startup From MIT—Golden Bird

In today’s growing world of computers, education technology, or ed-tech, becomes equally valuable and important at every step. EdTech is devoted to the development and application of software and hardware tools to promote education. The MIT Post had the opportunity to have a chat with Pushpendra Singh, a fourth-year student of MIT and budding entrepreneur responsible for creating the EdTech start-up, Golden Bird.

What was the inspiration behind starting this initiative?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, I realised that most students were not doing anything productive at home. Since my engineering life got affected, I wondered how affected the tier 3 colleges would be. In addition to then not being very good, the students’ productivity was also halted. Secondly, the Tech companies back then were offering block coding on simulated softwares—something which could not be considered proper coding. So as a professional developer, it was my obligation to teach students what App Development, Web Development, and Tech education actually meant, at affordable rates. The name of our company Golden Bird is based on the name of India, once known as the Golden Bird. 

Pushpendra Singh, CEO, and Founder of Golden Bird Education

Tell us a bit about your journey.

I had come to MIT on a scholarship wherein I took up ECE, and I was doing coding parallelly. Then an incident occurred in the 4th semester that left me completely isolated from the others, and I felt like I had no friends and my life was going in a downward spiral. I told myself to just put aside the emotion and everything happening to me and focus on work instead. The MIT administration always stood by me and helped me in all possible ways.  I knew that there was something great that I could achieve, and that was my motivation. Due to this, I had a lot of time which I productively applied to complete my iOS, Android, and Unity Development Certification. Since my childhood, I was certain that I was going to do something unconventional. In 2020, I started participating in multiple competitions across India and won two of them hosted by IIT Bombay. We even won Rs. 50,000 in that grant and met a lot of good mentors. I have met some of the best professionals in their departments across the world.

Shortly thereafter, I drafted my curriculum. Then in January 2021, I launched my company. I had launched two companies focusing respectively on health tech and ed-tech. I stuck with the latter and today we have more than 1,00,000 students in our panel. We have branded more than 75 schools such as Vibgyor High and parts of Delhi Public School. There are over 1,000 students who have completed the course, and this is how we are growing. According to this year’s plan, we hope to add 20 more career courses to the panel.

What difficulties did you encounter when you first came up with the start-up?

There were a lot of difficulties, let me tell you straight. First of all, I’m only 22 and nobody wants to talk to a young entrepreneur when you want to partner with a college or school. In spite of being from a great university like MAHE, which has provided the kind of facilities and exposure that very few institutions can provide in India, I have experienced that entrepreneurs from IITs and IIMs are preferred in the startup ecosystem. Thirdly, we were a very early-stage start-up and already many big ed-tech companies existed. The first question everybody used to ask me is, “How are you any different from other ed-tech companies in the market?”

In the first college I reached out to partner with to teach their students, I told the gentleman that I’m a research undergraduate and would like to get some guidance from senior professors. These were some of the tactics I had to use to get my foot through the door and get them to take us seriously. I pitched my idea to the professor about my startup in detail and he was very impressed. This is the story of how I got my first college on board. Our curriculum is one of the best in the country. With mouth-to-mouth publicity, we have secured all the colleges and schools on our panel so far. I have not spent a single penny in marketing. 

What points do you cover while pitching to investors or colleges to convince them to partner with you?

All I need to crack a deal is a five-minute meeting. I call it 5 MM. I just need 5 minutes because I know that our EdTech is the best that is available in the Indian education system. Once I get that 5-minute meeting, we just expand on our enterprise. From just one college in less than six months, we now work with more than 75 schools and colleges and cater to more than 1,00,000 students.

The best part of our curriculum is that everybody becomes a registered developer. By the end of the session, everybody has their own app, game, or web development project they wish to work on. If a student is learning iOS app development, they will certainly have their own professional app running in the App Store. Secondly, the price plays a big role. My courses do not cost more than Rs. 8,000. The price varies according to the course but never touches double digits. For instance, right now we are providing the course at only Rs. 5,000 or 5,500 because we are a B2B business. We cater to the entire college. So now if you compare it with other companies, some of them charge Rs 1,00,000 and we do the same thing at Rs. 8,000 or 8,500. Our course, with the same quality, is 12 times more cost-effective, which is what is the need of the hour for the country’s students. 

Moreover, we are the only EdTech company in India that teaches on official software. For android app development, we use Android Studio, for Unity development engine, Unity, and so on. Other companies usually have their own build-up website in which they teach block coding. We are the only company that teaches text coding instead. These are the points and USPs that make us completely different from other companies in the industry.

How did you manage to secure the necessary resources?

Before this, I had been doing freelancing work. I have worked as a freelancer in multiple sectors. I had my own print-on-demand website. I had also worked as a debugger in multiple big tech companies. So, post-2019, I was quite financially independent. I did not have to ask for a single penny from my family. From there I saved my own money and therefore had some capital in hand. I got new hardware like laptops and made my own classroom setup. Golden Bird has a completely live classroom setup.

In the daytime, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM, I took three classes, and in the second half of the day, I went and met the professors, scheduled meetings to partner with new schools and colleges. Simultaneously, I had to do my college work as I am still an eighth-semester student. I had to attend lectures and do assignments and activities. This is what my day used to look like and this is how I handled everything.

Are there any other people who played a major role in the success of Golden Bird?

I had my best friend help me in the beginning for around two-and-a-half months. He is from IIT Bombay and he handled the process of creating the curriculum. He had prior experience working as a teaching assistant in his college which helped greatly. Other than that, everything has been done by me, including the marketing. I am currently handling more than fourteen departments in the company.

There are a few more people. I won’t call it a successful start-up as of now as it’s just been 6 months and this is a very short period of time to call a start-up successful. As of now, we are just at the beginning so I’ll call it a growing start-up.

Rajdip, my CFO in the company, has provided some great inputs. I’m not a finance guy. Right now, I’m learning some MBA courses but I still don’t know some financial terms. He has given us some financial planning on how to enter the market and some good business development procedures. Secondly, I’ll mention Prashant Gupta who handles my investment firms. The third person would have to be Sameer Khan, my CA and mentor. Sameer Khan and Prashant Gupta are two of the best people that I have met in my life who have truly helped me think out of the box. I now know how investments work and all the ins and outs of start-ups. I’m learning every day and I am thankful to them for supporting my venture and having faith in me.

An online class in the process of being taught on Golden Bird. [Image Credits: Golden Bird Education]

How does Golden Bird Education operate?

We’re a B2B company. We partner with institutions and schools. We are like Udaan, which is similar to Flipkart or Amazon.  It is basically an online selling platform for businesspeople. So if I own a shop I won’t buy the product from Flipkart, I shall buy it from Udaan as I’ll get it at wholesale. We only partner with schools and colleges. Then we hold an orientation programme, a live free webinar where we brief students about our training program, what we have to offer, what they will learn, and if they find it interesting, they join us. After this, we conduct live classes.

We approach the school or the college and give them a proper pitch regarding what we will be delivering, how much we will be charging, at what time we’ll be doing it, what’s best for the kids, and how it will benefit the kids and the school. Our curriculum is designed for school children from grades 6 to 12, and STEM majors in college—students pursuing a degree in Polytechnic, B.Sc, M.Sc, Engineering. Then we hold the orientation programme. The interested students then pay the fee and join the session after which we start. We do not take more than 36 students in the classroom. In one classroom we have one main instructor for teaching and one teaching assistant who helps the students with doubts.

What do you envision for the future of the organisation?

My goal is to give Manipal University its first unicorn startup. In the next three to five years, Golden Bird will be the first unicorn from MIT and secondly, this company will set a benchmark regarding what education should be and the tech education students should be given. In the future what we see now as a conventional education system—the physical schools that we all go to—will not be so conventional anymore. A new form will emerge, which I would call parallel e-schooling, will become more conventional. Earlier, coaching classes were not conventional, but then it became such that every student now went to a coaching class in order to get good grades. In the coming decade, I am hopeful that we will be leading this new online education system.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

The first piece of advice that I would like to give to everyone is that first prove yourself in the market. In the market, don’t think that you’re the smartest and that you would not have to prove yourself. This is again not applicable to every start-up, because there are some start-ups that are physical, based particularly on hardware, and take time to earn money. Try to prove yourself either in the tech department or in the market before approaching an investor. For every start-up, there could be a different milestone, so first prove yourself so that everybody respects you. 

So first prove yourself and make note of your milestones. Note down the milestones you want to achieve, achieve those, and then try for marketing and investment. Always be open to learning. There is a saying in my hometown—“On some days you are Sahab some days you are Salaam Sahab”, which means that some days you need to bow down and, on some days, you have to keep your head up, depending on the situation. Initially, you will have to adjust and do whatever it takes for you to grow to a respectable position after which you can start saying no to something that you don’t want to do. But that does not mean that you do something that is completely illegal or unethical. Do whatever is required and pour your heart and soul into it.

My inbox is filled with messages of gratitude from the students and their families. Always look at the greater good and do what is to be done in an ethical way. That’s the bottom line.

 

Featured Image Credits: Golden Bird Education




Social Entrepreneurship—Enactus Manipal

The MIT Post was in conversation with Nikhil Kumar, a third-year MIT student who is the President of the Manipal Chapter of Enactus and Pratiksha Das, the Joint Secretary of Enactus.

Could you tell us a bit about your club?

Enactus is an international organisation and is present on almost every campus. It focuses mainly on social entrepreneurship, i.e., business ideas having a powerful social impact. I’ll make it simpler—let us take an example of a footwear company that uses renewable plastic to make soles of the said footwear, hence having a strong social impact. The success of this company will not be evaluated based on the number of products sold but on the amount of renewable plastic used to make the products.

How should one prepare to join Enactus?

To join Enactus, one needs to have an innovative mindset, a passion for entrepreneurship, and a will to make a social impact. Other than that, various innate skills like those concerning logical reasoning and analytical prowess are required; one just needs to build upon them. Rest can be acquired while being a part of this club itself.

How has your experience in the club been so far?

As Enactus has just opened one of its chapters in MIT, I do not have much to say about it. I will, instead, focus on my experience in social entrepreneurship in general. When I was in my second year of college, the second wave of covid took on the entire country by storm and lockdown was imposed. During that period, I was a part of a social initiative where I worked on supplying oxygen cylinders to the needy. I also started a social drive called Meally, which involved collecting a month’s ration and providing food to the daily wage labourers, who had lost their jobs owing to the pandemic. Having come from a defence background, I have always been taught to give back to society, and as we all know, engineers are creative individuals. Hence, it would be great to use our innovative mindset to do something for the people.

I know that going specifically into social entrepreneurship while in college will not stand good with many students because it does not result in instant gratification. However, it will actually prove to be beneficial in the long run as it helps improve entrepreneurship skills while creating a social impact, which will persist for a long time.

What is your position on the board?

I am working in the PR team while he, the other interviewee, is the co-founder and President of the club. We are still figuring out the different positions, but the divisions would mostly be like any other club.

What kind of events are you planning to organise?

As of now, the Enactus Global body is planning two international events. In India, these events will be handled by the Enactus India body. Last year, the event was called “Race for the Oceans”, wherein one had to present an idea to solve the problems of aquatic life depletion, ocean pollution, or any other similar concepts. We are still waiting for the topic of this year. Usually, Enactus follows the 17 SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals, so depending on that, we will formulate our business model and present it in the international championship that happens every year.

How is Enactus different from other clubs?

In Enactus, your work directly affects the people involved. I will give you an example: the Enactus SRCC body went in and around Delhi to identify the people who made copper utensils. Due to the pandemic, the businesses of these individuals had been drastically affected. Enactus helped them collaborate with and sell their utensils to ITCs, Taj and other premium hotels. Within a year, they got revenue of over twenty-two lakhs, which solely went to the local workers. Our sole mission is to help others, and we are looking for people with a similar mindset.

Even in Manipal, we have seen how all shops and the entire economy collapses as soon as students leave, due to a variety of reasons. We aim to have a sustainable business model running that would ensure that irrespective of whether there are students in Manipal or not, the businesses will continue functioning.

We are looking forward to getting to know people who actually want to make a difference and want to learn how entrepreneurship works. There is a lot of hype about entrepreneurship and how it works, but people do not really understand how to go about it. We are looking to recruit people who believe in building something and like working in a team. The change that we are going to make will really make an impact.

Are you looking for any prior experience in the new applicants?

A lot of it is about how people talk during the interview, just like any other club recruitment that happens in Manipal. We have a slight addition to our recruitment process, where we look at what is going on in the back of people’s minds when we have the recruitment interview, apart from an individual written round.

Featured Image Credits: Enactus




Optimising Your Meals—Sitting Down with dotfood

“Time moves slowly when you’re hungry and even slower when you’re waiting for food delivery…”

dotfood is a new online food delivery platform operating inside the MIT campus. Developed by third years Soumith Ganji and Parthiv Menon, the product as a whole aims to make ordering food from restaurants and food courts within MIT hassle-free. The MIT Post sat down with the creators of this service to talk about the app’s past, present, and future.

dotfood is a new online food delivery platform operating inside the MIT campus. Why did you feel the need for such an app?

Soumith: What happens nowadays in MIT, especially in the peak hours after 9:30 – 10, you have to call the place a minimum of 5 to 10 times, for your line to get connected. And for restaurants like MFC, even ten is less. I know people who’ve called 50 times. To eliminate this very need of continuous calls and waiting, we came up with the platform called dotfood.

Who did you get in touch with while trying to bring this idea to life? What are the organizations involved in the development of this app?

Soumith: I spoke to the managers of FC2, Apoorva, and The Kitchen. There is no third-party organisation as such. We have a direct contract with them.

Parthiv: We also talked to all the restaurant owners and managers about signing a contract with them regarding how the app would function and the kind of deal that we would strike with them over a span of 30 days, for now.

What are some of the setbacks you faced?

Soumith: There was one major setback that we faced the day we launched the app. We got about ten fake orders, which all summed up to about three to four thousand rupees in losses. The issue was with there being no validation for phone numbers while placing the order. We had to change the app’s architecture immediately and had to force everyone to shift to the new one. This brought a negative impact to the users on the very first day itself.

Parthiv: We did manage to fix the bug in a day, and rolled out a new update which incorporated the OTP verification methodology and since then, the app has been functioning well and gaining traction with the students.

Give us a brief on the day-to-day workings.

Parthiv: There are two parts to the whole product. One is the app that the students use. The other is the web app that the restaurant managers or receptionists use to track orders, modify menus, and let people know the restaurants open for delivery. The app has three basic screens, a list of all the restaurants, menus for each specific restaurant, and available offers. When a person places an order, it gets added to the cart like on any delivery app, and then you can place your order along with the mode of payment. All of this data is reflected on the web app for the restaurants.

The user interface on the Android app

The web interface that restaurants see.

 

How did you come up with the name? Is there a story there?

Soumith: We were sitting about, thinking of a name, and it wasn’t us who came up with the name. One of our friends suggested it, and we really liked it. So we decided to go ahead with the name dotfood.

Parthiv: We were also trying out different combinations for logos, and this one looked pretty good. Earlier ones looked like we were impersonating some other companies.

When can we expect an iOS and a web version?

Soumith: We’ve already started looking for iOS developers. We have received multiple requests from people asking for the iOS app.

Parthiv: Right now, it’s just the two of us in the whole team, and we work on all aspects—marketing, outreach, development, and operations. So eventually, we are looking to expand our team. But at the moment, our priority is to get an iOS developer. And as far as the web version is concerned, we don’t feel the need for a web version because apps are handier for such use cases.

If you were to scale the idea, would you offer the same services to other universities if they face the same issues?

Soumith: We definitely have a plan for scaling up and around Manipal. Firstly, we plan to implement the same business model in Kasturba Medical College (KMC). Apart from that, there are several other colleges in and around Manipal, apart from MAHE as well. We hope to put this app in as many universities and colleges as possible.

Considering that the service is limited to a small area, would you consider using reusable crockery and cutlery picking up boxes from the customer in an effort not to generate avoidable packaging waste?

Soumith: That is a point to be considered, but there is a major drawback of using crockery. If they break or get misplaced, it is a loss. They also need to be washed. It may not be a significant loss, but it could be a considerable loss if many people break stuff. As for picking up leftover boxes or utilising reusable crockery, it is highly unpredictable in the longer run. We, as students, live mostly in hostels. And I don’t think a lot of people would have boxes or reusable crockery.

The UI is not only easy to use but also aesthetically pleasing. What are some of the software you used to develop this app? And which of them would you recommend to other aspiring app developers?

Soumith: I built the app using Java—it is a native android app. The web app portal for the restaurants was created by Parthiv using ReactJS. Personally, I would suggest all aspiring app developers to stick to native Android or iOS platforms instead of going for hybrid models.

Parthiv: Additionally, we used Firebase—it is a platform provided by Google that doles out backend as a service. Since we wanted a quick and clean launch, we stayed away from building the back-end of the application from scratch. We leveraged a lot of inbuilt functionalities provided by Firebase, including authentication and notification services. So, Firebase is what forms the sturdy back-end of our application.

Featured Image Credits: dotfood