Recuperating The Flaws: Restructuring SAC

Recuperating The Flaws: Restructuring SAC

Aug 07, 2017 | Deepak Kumar Samikshya Saumya Agarwal

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Despite the existence of a very well-ingrained Student Activity Centre, the woes and exasperations of the NITR populace does not seem to be restrained. The inefficacious performance of the SAC committee domineered and persevered until the Director, Prof. Animesh Biswas decided to reorient SAC to improve the present scenario and to transcend it apace. The chaos related to activities carried out under SAC had to be desisted and the procedures involved should undergo at a ferocious pace. Then again, to ensure justice and rectitude, a certain degree of transparency became highly imperative. Both the club activities and fest activities had to be looked after by the SAC separately and with equal importance. While addressing the plights of the students, the SAC remained quite ineffective with the students bound to come up with their issues themselves. Thus, the SAC rules were reformed to wholly and cordially accommodate the best interest of the NITR student multitude.

The committee which was obliged to carry out such a radical change was appointed by the Director, headed by former SAC President, Prof. Japes Bera. The members included Payal Agrawal, Mohit Gupta, Anup Mittal, Poorva Singh, Pushkar Mishra, Pallerla rajanish reddy, Nishant Kumar Singh, B Narsingh Rao and Debabrata Mohapatra as student representatives and the VPs of the 4 societies along with 2 SAC office bearers. This panel was summoned to identify the drawbacks of the existing SAC model and propose methods to challenge and obliterate them.

SAC ELECTIONS

The key amendment that SAC Election underwent through is the separation of the fest body from the SAC Elections so that proper attention can be paid to the clubs as well as to the fests. Now that the bodies managing the clubs and fests are different, the number of secretaries are reduced to half from 10 (8 elected + 2 nominated) in each society to 5 (4 elected + 1 nominated). Accordingly, three conveners would be chosen from elections (2 elected + 1 nominated) for each of the three fests (Technical Fest, Cultural Fest and the Sports Fest) as proposed by the SAC restructuring body.

For the SAC society elections, secretaries would be declared winners on the clear majority of votes (as there will be only one seat up for grabs). Since there will be two elected posts for the conveners for each fest, the algorithm for computing the winners is yet to be declared. On being asked about the methods of calculating the votes for fest body conveners, Prof. S. Chakraverty, President SAC mentioned,

The election for the conveners has been delayed owing to the fact that the automation cell is not yet ready to conduct elections for two seats at once. The automation cell is working on making a program for the election of fest body conveners before 15th August. The previous method was quite complex and it may or may not be implemented this year.

The committee also suggested changes to the algorithm for counting the votes polled. For the convener elections, (2 seats for each fest) each student can vote for 2 students of their choice (Primary and Secondary). The students with the top 2 maximum (Primary + Secondary) votes will be announced as the winner for the particular seat. In case two candidates have secured the same amount of votes, and also have the highest vote count, both the candisates will be declared as the winner. However in case of a tie for the second position, the student with the maximum number of primary votes will be declared as the winner. Under normal circumsatnces however, both the votes (primary and secondary) carry the same weightage, and should be the deciding factor only in case of a tie.

A major negligence was observed this year as two students who didn’t submit the hardcopy of the documents after filing nominations online are still allowed to contest the elections. On this account, Prof. S. Chakraverty acknowledged the mistake on SAC’s part and said,

We accept this lapse that occurred since everything was hurried for the election procedure to fasten up. Such things will definitely be taken care from next time.

The results of the society elections which were held on the 2nd of August, 2017 are published below:

Name of the Society

Constituency

Roll No.

Name of the Candidate

Technical Society

Second Year

116CH0101

Vamsi Krishna Karella

Third Year

115CE0113

Amlan Kumar Sahoo

Fourth and Fifth Year

114EC0127

Sibasish Mohanty

PG and Research

NA

NIL

Games and Sports Society

Second Year

116MN0550

Buddiga Bhargava Suresh

Third Year

115MM0510

Abinash Sahoo

Fourth and Fifth Year

114CR0083

Mukesh Kumar Apat

PG and Research

216EE4299

Rongali Charanteja

Literary Society

Second Year

116MN0580

Saurav Kumar Saraf

Third Year

715CR2136

Harsh Saini

Fourth and Fifth Year

714CR2136

Rajyashree Lenka

PG and Research

NA

NA

Arts and Cultural Society

Second Year

116ME0462

Debasis Mishra

Third Year

115CR0169

Pratyush Dash

Fourth and Fifth Year

714CE3011

Ajit Kumar

PG and Research

NA

NA

Team MM congratulates all the winners and wishes them the best of luck for all their future endeavours.

SCRUTINIZATION

The members of the SAC restructuring body suggested a 3 step process for the scrutiny of candidates for the fest body elections including the elimination rounds:

Screening: The applications will be screened by the ex-conveners of the respective fests along with the 2 faculty incharges.

  1. Stress Interview: The same panel will then conduct a stress interview for the screened candidates, taking into account their applications.

  2. Open House Debate (OHD)/Soapbox: The contenders would be directly answerable to the NITR junta and their manifesto will be discussed amongst an audience of students. This would not be an elimination round.

  3. Elections: Thereby, the NITR junta can elect two conveners.

Although the final decision regarding the above proposals are yet to be taken (considering the conveners’ election is yet to be scheduled), a final decision regarding the same will be conveyed very soon. While favouring the concept of an OHD, SAC President, Prof.S.Chakraverty said,

It’s a very good proposition and we can give a serious thought to implement it. Even Monday Morning can help us in conducting such sort of an event in SAC to familiarize the voters with the contenders.

The concept of Open House Discussion for scrutinising candidates is inspired from similar policies already existing in premiere IITs and private colleges in the country. For instance, IIT Kharagpur organises ‘Soapbox’ where competing candidates share their vision as well as past experiences of working with SAC/Gymkhana with the students of the institute in a public debate. A series of cross-questioning ensues as the audience (which includes previous post holders) debates upon the manifesto presented by the candidate.

For the SAC society elections, the process of scrutinization involved only a checking of the minimum threshold CGPA as well as past disciplinary records.

For the current year, for the fest body elections for the conveners, the second year UG students have no say whatsoever. It has been a long drawn process that forbids the first year students from voting for second year or higher constituency as a measure to curb ragging activities. However, considering that fact, that this year by the time of elections, the freshers are now sophomores and reside in the same halls with the seniors so there is no point in continuing it. On asking Prof. S. Chakraverty said,

 Assume that the elections are taking place at its usual time, say in April 2017. We are facing such a situation this year because the elections have been delayed from April to August. Since the elections are delayed this year, such situation arose, but from next year, it will get back on track.

However, following on the same assumptions, the institute also loses the votes of the final year students who graduated in the session 2017-18.

Another issue that surfaced in the SAC society elections is, no nominations were received for two P.G seats. On asking about their plans, SAC president Prof.S.Chakraverty said,

We won’t let the seat go unfilled since the number of secretaries is already reduced to half. We are planning to have a discussion with Director and go for Director’s nominee in this case.

SUGGESTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE

The first major change proposed by the restructuring committee was a reduction in the number of fests from five to three annually. A proposal was presented to separate the fest organisation from the society. The objective was to have a separate election for fest convenors and a separate body for organizing a particular fest. There would be three convenors for each fest, two of whom would be elected and one would be nominated. The convenors would work under the guidance of two faculties in-charge, who would govern the overall functioning of the fest. Apart from them, the organizing team of any particular fest would consist of managers, co-ordinators and volunteers, all of whom would be selected by the conveners after a rigorous selection process.

From the above-mentioned proposals, the SAC restructuring committee has accepted to reduce the number of fests to three, the techno-management fest INNOVISION, the Literary and Cultural fest NITRUTSAV and a sports fest. Musical Night, previously called Celebrity Night, has been clubbed with NITRUTSAV. A budget of 13 lakhs INR has been allocated to NITRUTSAV 2018 as compared to 18 lakhs INR in NU 2017, the difference of which would be utilized for funding SPIC MACAY workshops.

BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR THE YEAR 2017-18:

SUB CODE NO. OF NE07/2017

MINOR HEAD

AMOUNT ALLOTED (IN LAKHS)

RESPONSIBLE HOD

APPROVING AUTHORITY

NE0701/2017

SAC Office Expenses

3.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE0702/2017

Technical Society (Except Tech Fest)

12.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE0703/2017

Games and Sports Society

12.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE0704/2017

Literary Society

15.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE0705/2017

Art and Cultural Society (Except Musical Night)

9.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE0706/2017

Tech Fest

11.0

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE0707/2017

Spring Fest

13.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE0708/2017

Musical Night

20.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE0709/2017

Inter NIT Events

7.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE07010/2017

Miscellaneous Expenses (Director)

10.00

DIRECTOR

DIRECTOR

NE07011/2017

Swimming Pool

13.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE07012/2017

Souvenir

6.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE07013/2017

Counselling

20.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

 

SPIC MACAY

5.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

DEAN (SW)

NE07014/2017

Miscellaneous Expenses (DEAN)

15.00

DEAN (SW)

DEAN (SW)

NE07015/2017

Miscellaneous Expenses (PRESIDENT)

15.00

PRESIDENT (SAC)

PRESIDENT (SAC)

TOTAL ALLOTMENT

186.00

 

 

The students of SAC restructuring committee also suggested changes to the existing society structure. The proposed proposition included renaming the societies so as to accomodate roughly the samenumber of clubs in every society. Apart from this, they intended to reduce the number of representatives for SAC societies. Previously, SAC societies had 8 elected representatives, along with 2 dean-nominated representatives for each society. As per the committee’s proposal, SAC societies would only have four elected representatives along with one dean-nominated representative per society.

The SAC restructuring committee largely accepted the changes proposed in this regard and all the changes have since been implemented. The number of student representatives has now been reduced to 5 per society. The SAC societies have also been renamed to inculcate roughly equal distribution of clubs per society.

PROPOSAL FOR THE STUDENTS COUNCIL

The students of restructuring body proposed a Student Council, which is independent of any other body, society or organization of the NIT Chapters and is solely answerable to the Director for acts of omission and commission. The suggested hierarchy was as follows:

On enquiring as to why the idea was scraped, former SAC President, Prof. Japes Bera said,

It wasn’t discussed in the meeting because it has a wider scope and is not just confined to the matters concerning student activities and SAC. It was proposed to be directly under the Director because keeping it under SAC would not fulfil the motive of its inception. In my views, this is a very proficient concept and should be taken forward in consultation with the Director.

After years of glitches and adversities, the new Director opted for a newly reformed SAC to uplift the existing standards, encompass the satisfaction of the students, and effectively answer to their requirements. Team MM clearly presented the unbiased facts related to how and what changes could be brought to effect. Now the spectators of NITR are left to judge its effectiveness on the present scenario and with the elections drawing so close, Team MM expects the NITR junta to cast their invaluable vote fairly and rightly.

SAC Speaks

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