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Director's Open Meet for final and prefinal year students

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An open discussion of final-year (and pre-final year) students with the director of IIT Delhi was held today in the evening by SAC IIT Delhi.

Students turned up in fair numbers and their enthusiasm was remarkable. The presence of the Director, Prof. R.K. Shevgaonkar and also of a competent administrative panel consisting of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Associate Dean of Curriculum, the Dean of Alumni Affairs and International Programmes and the Dean of Academics provided a reassurance that their concerns were being placed before eminent authorities. It was indeed a very successful and engaging session with diverse issues being raised and students venting positive criticisms accompanied with constructive suggestions. There was a healthy discussion on the resolution of students’ issues and the level of interaction of the students with the director and the deans was commendable.

At the very outset, Prof. R.K. Shevgaonkar called for frank and helpful suggestions that could help make IIT Delhi a better place in all respects. Ample time was dedicated both to academic affairs and to extra-curriculars and hostel life. Copious suggestions poured in relating to the academic betterment and the concerns raised were very diverse. A moot point regarding the gravity held by the faculty feedback was raised and students suggested that not only should the feedback hold more seriousness but also reflect on their teaching as well. It was acknowledged that feedback was already a means to analyze and decide on awards for meritorious faculty members with good feedback, but furthering the issue of poor feedback was not currently the case because the credibility of the same was not assured. Nevertheless, the director, Prof. Shevgaonkar went on to emphasize that feedback should be seriously taken by the students. An issue regarding anonymity in this regard was also addressed and assurance was given that feedback was anonymous barring exceptional circumstances. Apart from this an assortment of concerns voiced by the students ranged from increasing teacher-student ratio, quality-check on lab infrastructure and also the teaching assistants being not up to the mark, the need to focus on research and interdisciplinary projects/courses to the evaluation of research project works, the change in the system of open-course credits and to the provision for the mention of specializations undertaken by the student on his degree among others.

Even in non-academic improvements, students were keen on voicing their suggestions. There was a concern regarding the single parent allowance for convocation which was raised and discussed in detail. The suggestions were diverse and included how a more active alumni support network was needed, mess woes, focus on co-curricular clubs and a thorough internship policy especially regarding the compulsory final year internship. A concern was also voiced on the medical facilities being inept in handling serious diagnosis and the faulty way of issue of medical certificates among others.

The quality of the discussion was impressive and so also was the level of interaction and engagement between the students and the director and the deans. The discussion was on a very constructive note and hopefully leads to not only the resolution of the students’ grievances but also to the betterment of IIT Delhi in general.

 Minutes of discussion

·         Taking the feedbacks submitted by students for the teachers seriously

The credibility of the feedbacks can’t be verified. So teachers who get consistently good feedback are awarded but there is no means to actually judge whether the bad feedbacks are credible enough to be taken under consideration. Students were urged to fill feedbacks seriously.

·         Anonymity of the person who gives feedbacks:

Barring exceptional cases the anonymity is maintained

·         Decreasing teacher student ratio

As the quality of teaching can’t be compromised, the problem persists due to dearth of quality applicants during every recruitment session.

·         Quality of lab infrastructure is not good and the teaching assistants are not so good

That will be surely looked into in the near future. The point has been noted.

·         Registration portal not up to mark

That is something we have been trying to work on. However it would be good if the student body can take the initiative to solve this problem by working with us.

·         Feedbacks to the professors should be made public

That is a very debatable topic and suggestions are invited as to how that feedback should reach the concerned person efficiently.

·         Feedbacks should be made optional

That cannot happen as then most of the students won’t fill feedbacks in the first place.

·         Very less open category courses floated than the number which is listed.

Reply not given. Just the point is noted.

·         Specialization should be mentioned in the degree for a Dual Degree/M. Tech. student

There is no provision for this right now and it entirely depends upon how the courses are structured.

·         Number of seats in a particular department should be as per the market demand.

That has been debated a number of times.

·         The credits for open category courses in the new curriculum have been reduced.

That has been done with students remarks itself and it is only for the weak students. Good students can do the same number of open category courses as earlier.

·         Regarding the way medical certificates are issued to students: about how some people are deprived of these certificates and some take undue advantage.

It’s hard to judge when a medical certificate is credible and when it is not.

·         In IIT like the outside world people are finding shortcuts and focusing on the ways to get these shortcuts.

Students are losing the charm of the journey by focusing on the destination. Suggestions are invited as to how we reduce this although the new curriculum has already included teaching good values to the students.

·         Does IIT support non tech start-ups.

Initially the number of incubators was less and work is going on the installation of more number of incubators to support the cause of start-ups.

·         Allow students of dual degree to do internship only in the fourth year.

The new curriculum has made internship optional and anyone can do internship at any point of time in IIT. Even full semester internships have been permitted. We will also consider what can be done for those students on which this new curriculum does not apply.

·         A lot of friction in interdisciplinary research.

The new curriculum has taken this into account and the friction needs to be reduced.

·         AC Reading rooms in every hostel

The infrastructure has been improved and ACs have been setup

·         Only one visitor passes per student for the convocation ceremony.

The students become impatient as soon as they are given their degree and this creates a lot of commotion. The ground is insufficient to accommodate more visitors and since the last seven years, various models for the convocation has been used and all have had some or the other problem.

·         Students should be consulted when it comes to inviting the chief guest for the convocations.

That is a very secret process and students are only informed, they can’t be consulted.

·         Co curricular clubs should be highly promoted by the institute.

The Robotics club is the club with maximum funding from the institute. Funding from the beginning is difficult however if the club grows on then the funding is sure to come.

·         A lot of dogs in the campus make it not so secure to move around at night.

We don’t know how to solve the problem as of now. Suggestions are invited from the students.

·         Not eating the mess food but staying in hostel so no such payment.

The hostel mess staffs still serve to you. Also, it’s difficult to know who is paying and who is not. This won’t be feasible as demarcation of students is highly impractical.