Removing The Purgatory: Ask a Question 9.0
Being the official student media body of NITR, it is our prime responsibility to ensure that we voice out the concerns of our readers and help them in every possible way by clearing their clouds of doubts. In this edition of ‘Ask A Question’, we try to reach out to you and answer the various queries that you have posted previously:
Response from Dean (Academic) Prof. B. Majhi:
Q. Why is it mandatory for the students of our institute to take two OEs from the humanities department?
BM: Humanities have become an integral part of all engineering branches. These social science and management courses make a student complete and fit enough to deal with the challenges that lie ahead, once they graduate as an engineer from the institute.
Q. In the previous semester, some professors warned students to award lower grades in the end semester, after they received unexpected feedback from them. What should be done to ensure that students aren’t victimised for giving honest feedbacks?
BM: Such discrepancies were never brought to my notice! If there are professors who warn students of awarding them with lower grades, then the students should approach me directly. I will make sure that the papers are being re-evaluated. In an institute like ours, honest feedback is mandatory because that’s the only way we can improve the teaching-learning process.
Q. Under what circumstances can one register for a backlog paper? Is 8.0 CGPA required to register for a backlog?
BM: There are no CGPA criteria as such. Backlog papers are those for which a student doesn’t need to attend classes and can appear directly for the mid-semester and end-semester examinations, irrespective of his CGPA.
Q. Can a B.Tech. 6th semester student change his allotted final year project if he is not satisfied with the project/guide? If yes, what is the exact procedure?
BM: Yes, we have a provision. At first,the student needs to approach the corresponding faculty and report him about his displeasure. Then the faculty would express the same to the HOD. After which, under the supervision of the HOD, the student will be allotted a new project.
Q. Why do the Dual Degree students need to give biometric attendance till 31st May, 2017 though they are paid stipend till 14th May, 2017?
BM: They will receive stipend either till 31st May, 2017 or till the last day of viva-voce. They would be receiving the stipend as per the number of working days.
Q.As per the current scenario, dual degree students receive stipend for a period of 10 months, in spite of giving biometric attendance for 12 months. What is the reason behind this? Does MHRD approve stipend for 10 months only?
BM: I don’t think they receive a stipend for a period of 10 months. The present batch of dual degree students received a stipend from 1st May, 2016 and they would continue receiving it until the end of May, 2017. So they receive the amount for more than 12 months.
Q. In one of the previous editions, you mentioned that students can voice out their suggestions regarding OEs. What is the appropriate channel to deliberate and discuss on this burning issue?
BM: Practically, we are thinking of doing away with the concept of Open Electives. From the next academic year, there will be three Electives, (two from the Humanities department and one from Management) and students will be studying those during their course period in three different semesters.
Q. There are certain labs in which the assigned experiment can be completed within three hours yet the professors force students to stay in the laboratory for three hours. How necessary is it?
BM: The laboratory experiments are chosen in such a way that students should take three hours to perform them. If students are completing them before time, then they should be given some additional assignments to complete within the stipulated time. It is mandatory for the students to stay in the laboratory for three hours.
Q. Sir I had applied for medical leave in the dispensary a month ago, it was forwarded to my department and then to the academic office but my attendance has not been updated yet. What are the reasons behind it? (My roll no. is 116ee0286)
BM: I think the academic office has approved it. If it’s not getting updated in the NITRIS portal, then I believe the concerned teacher hasn’t uploaded the attendance for that specific month.
Q. What are the several heads of Personal Leaves? Under what circumstances can one procure it?
BM: There is no separate provision for Personal Leave. The absent limit of 6 or 8 per semester is the space for Personal Leave of a student. Within this limit, they need to take care of their absence, even if it is because of some family functions. Nevertheless, we are giving Calamity leaves, which a student can procure in a case of death of any of his family members.
Q. According to the academic rules, a student has to go in the slow pace at the end of 1st year, if he scores a CGPA less than 6. But why are they forced to go in a slow pace in 2nd semester if they score less than 6 SGPA in the first semester?
BM: This is not practiced in our institute. In the first semester, students are new to the campus and they take their own time to settle themselves. So those securing a CGPA less than 6 in their first semester often complain about this and request that they would be able to improve their academic performance by the end of second semester. So we give them a second chance to prove themselves, failing which we advice them to go on a slow pace.
Q. Why there are no possible alternatives for Professional Electives in our curriculum? At times, there is only one course under the heading of Professional Elective, which totally defies its purpose.
BM: This varies from department to department and it occurs because of a lesser number of faculties in a department. But if a department fails to provide options for Professional Elective courses, then they should collaborate with other departments and give more options to students. For an example, students of EC and EI can be offered a Professional Elective of EE or CS department. This not only gives students more options but also provides scope for multi-disciplinary activities. This is allowed in our institute but unfortunately, the departments are not practicing it.
Q. Most of the faculties conduct class tests to award TA marks. Why is it being done irrespective of the fact that we write 80 marks for our examination?
BM: Class tests and quizzes are a part of the continuous evaluation process. This should be done rigorously and we should have surprise tests more frequently. The system should be such that students sit on their study table and read for two hours a day. This can be achieved only by having surprise tests and quizzes. Our objective is not to make students attend classes and pass the semester by appearing for mid-semester and end-semester examinations but to ensure that they are in touch with their books throughout the semester and are in a position to appear for a test at any instant.
Q.Is a student going on slow pace allowed to sit for the campus placement process?
BM: Yes, students going on slow pace are allowed to appear for campus placement process in their final year of study.
Q. A student going on slow pace has appeared for ESE 2017, which was supposed to be his graduating year before slow pace was imposed. If he clears the prelims, will he be allowed to sit for mains, which is only allowed for graduated students?
BM: That’s totally up to the authorities who are conducting the examination. We would be mentioning that the student would be graduating in 2018, then it’s up to the authorities to decide if he should be allowed to sit for the Mains or not.
Q. What will the student select while applying for GATE exam if he is going through slow pace?
BM: The ones going through slow pace should choose their year of graduation while applying for GATE examination. If they were supposed to graduate in 2017 but because of slow pace their course period is extended by a year, then they should mention 2018 while applying for any entrance examination.
Q. If someone unsuccessfully attends an Extra Academic activity in his odd semester, can he retake it in an even semester?
BM: Yes, it is allowed. A student with a backlog of Extra Academic Activity in his first or second semester can register for it in any of the semesters following the freshman year.
Response from Director Prof. Animesh Biswas:
Q. In one of the previous interviews, you mentioned that the institute would be offering more academic freedom by providing lenience in strict attendance rules. But later, Prof. B. Majhi denied of any such plans. Can we expect a bit more freedom in attendance for final year students so that they can prepare and appear for more companies?
AB: There is no such difference in the opinions amongst us. There must be some sort of attendance which is essential for the undergraduate students. But, then there should not be an excessive burden on you. So I will provide the requisite amount of freedom to you, but you should be in a state to utilise it properly and not misutilise it. I do not believe in the concept of zero percent attendance, so there must be some restrictions.
Q.Why is the elevator of the main building dysfunctional, despite the location being the nucleus of our academic campus?
AB: We have taken up this matter and the method of procurement is under process. Prof Chittaranjan Patra, Dean (Planning and Development) has placed the purchase order of 6 elevators to be installed in different locations of the institute.
Q.Why does our institute not provide railway concession forms for travelling from hometown to college and from college to hometown? It is given in all IITs and NITs then why not here?
AB: I was asked this question previously in one of the interviews but due to prior engagements, I had forgotten this. I will surely put forth this in the next Dean’s Meeting, which is held in the first week of every month.
Q. Why the Institute bus service plying to Rourkela Railway Station has been stopped?
AB: The condition of the bus is such that it cannot ply everywhere. In addition to that, we do not have a permanent driver for it. As of now, we have plans to complete the ongoing infrastructure work in the campus and after all the targets are met, we will get back to this issue.
Q. Students had the OE exam on 28th Feb, which is commemorated annually as the National Science Day. In spite of being an Institute of National Importance, why NITR blissfully ignored the special day?
AB: I think SAC should have organised this. It is a noble idea, but instead of asking me about this, they keep on approaching me with issues of various fests. Instead of that, they should think of organising events on such days!
Q. It was an instantaneous decision on behalf of the Director during a meeting with the SAC representatives to construct a SAC restructuring team. Thus, the members from amongst those present in the meeting were selected for the team. How can one hand over such a great responsibility to people based on attendance in some meeting?
AB: It was basically a SAC meeting. SAC is an authorised body of the institute. I even requested them to form a team of student representatives and it was their choice to form a team amongst themselves because that was their way of selection. I never said to form a team amongst the people present on that day. I requested to involve more and more students in the restructuring committee.
Response from Warden of ladies hostel:
Q. How many late entries can one girl residing in CVR/KMS have without any penalty in a month? Also, what is the penalty if one crosses the limit? Why is it needed if the reasons for late entry are valid?
Prof Archana Mallick (Warden, CVR): A maximum of three late entries will be allowed in one semester. After first late entry, no action will be taken. On the second, the concerned person has to meet me and on third, a warning will be given to her and her parents will be informed accordingly. On fourth late entry, the case will be taken up with the Disciplinary Committee and action will be taken against her.
These rules are meant for the safety of girls. If anyone has a genuine reason and was not able to inform me in advance, then I will consider that and no action will be taken.
Response from Prof. A. K. Turuk, Head of Computer Centre:
Q.Why is the internet speed slow during weekends and late nights?
AKT: I had already sent a group mail to all the students stating the reasons for the internet being down due to some construction activities. That is the only reason for this. If the internet is down, it means that there is some fibre cut that is checked by Rourkela BSNL office. Otherwise, there is no such problem from our side.
Q.Why is the internet service blocked from 8am to 5pm?
AKT: This is an institute policy and we are working according to that. We had an Open House Discussion on this previously and our previous Director had clearly mentioned about this policy. If the institute changes this policy, then only we can bring changes in the timing.
Response from Team MM:
Q. Why has the Monday Morning gallery not been updated?
MM: The gallery couldn't be updated because of certain technical constraints. However, it will be updated soon within the end of this academic year.
Q. Why does not MM have a subscription feed like all major newsletters in the world?
MM: Because our servers do not have internet access to other servers, we are unable to sustain a subscription module, as of now. However, we have plans in our pipeline to introduce the same pretty soon.
Q. A 'Coming Soon' poster was put up for the MM App. When is it going to be launched fully?
MM: The app has already been launched and has garnered 500+ downloads within the first month since its launch. Do check our squiggles for the link or simply search “Monday Morning” on PlayStore.
Q. Why there is no change in the mess menu even after 45 days? (Question was asked to Chief Warden)
MM: Try to be more specific in your question. Mention the name of your hall so that we can approach the respective HEC. The Mess Secretary and Warden of your hall deal with this and the Chief Warden is not answerable for it.