SAC’s White Knight

Cometh the time, cometh the man. A man with an amicable demeanour, spiced with a no-nonsense attitude, Prof JapeshBera might just be the person the Student Activity Centre needed. Team MM caught up with the newly appointed President of SAC, as we settled for a chit chat on the course that the SAC is going to take in the upcoming session.

MM: What is your perception about the general public of NITR not having much awareness about the functioning and events of SAC? How can this scenario be changed?

SP: This is a matter to ponder about. One way could be, as you have suggested, by having a separate column dedicated to the events and meetings of SAC. Every month we can have an interview focussing on the upcoming events and meetings, so that more students can be involved. Students should go through the SAC regulations to keep themselves a bit informed. We should definitely reach to more students, in order to function efficiently.

MM: How can the club be scrutinised about their regular activities, rather than just conducting the events during the fest?

SP: For day to day activities, required funds can be allotted. In fact, mail has been sent to club representatives to prepare a list of programs they want to conduct throughout, so that the required budget can be allocated depending on the activities bring taken up. Funds will not be wasted upon clubs not functioning properly. 

MM: What is your opinion about the present election procedure which is seen to be too much politicised?

SP: It is not just here, throughout India the elections are politicised. 

MM Suggestion- Before nominating the person for the post contested, we can ask for his profile so that we can get to know his expertise in that area. The student should be scrutinised by a panel about the duties he has to perform and activities he wants to organise, so that he is well aware of what should done once he gets elected. A similar system is being followed by some IITs too.

SP:Yes, this is a good idea, we can propose it to the Director. Once it gets approved by the Director, we can introduce it.

MM: How do you think not giving away cash prizes to the winners is going to have an impact on the fest participation? This has been a matter of debate throughout the last year.

SP: Yes, this is tricky problem. Most college’s give cash prizes, which tends to be best motivation and also boosts fest participation. But according to our college regulations giving cash prizes is not possible. Instead of cash prizes we can give a memento, good books or any useful electronic gadget like a pen drive etc. 

MM Suggestion: We can avail scholarships to the winners. For example: The winner of BIT Mesra’s, one of the fest’s, dance competition was offered a training in dance at a Dance Academy. 

SP: This is a good idea, we can try to implement it. 

MM: Students who participated in NITRUTSAV 2014 and ISM 2014, have complained that they have not yet received the certificates. What will be done this year to address the problem? 

SP: The students should approach the convener and voice their problems, who in turn will communicate to us, and we will see that the problem is addressed. This year I want to follow the SAC regulations as far as possible. If it is in the regulation then it will be put into action.

MM: The authorities under SAC office have a major role in the SAC decisions. What is your opinion about complete autonomy to the student representatives regarding the SAC activities?

SP: Definitely it is a serious matter, I will look into it.

MM: According to you is it a feasible option to have two cultural festivals NITRUSTSAV and ISM in a gap of just one month which has resulted in low participation of students. Can we conduct one fest in each semester? 

SP: This decision is passed by a Senate. The fest are fixed in the academic calendar. During the meeting of the Senate this has to be proposed. Once the academic calendar has been set, it’s difficult to make any changes. During the preparation of the calendar, the Senate can be approached through Dean to make any changes. Due to puja holidays during the first semester, it might be difficult to squeeze in the cultural fest in the first semester.

But I personally feel that the fests should be evenly distributed throughout the year.

MM: An acoustic music room has been due in the SAC building since a long time. But there does not seem to have begun any work to set it up, in spite of giving necessary quotations. What can be the possible reasons for this? 

SP: I have taken charges recently. I will look into the matter and take care of it. Recently I have a signed an instrument list, which will be acquired soon. Student representatives should propose the plan, so that the Director can allot extra funds for the acoustic room. I will let you know the status of this problem soon.

MM: Can we expect some sort of budget transparency this year?

This is a government institute, so there will be budget transparency. This (showing the budget allotment sheet) is the funds allotted to various clubs. Official will be passed in the meeting on 31st of July and be sent to Director for the approval. I will publish it so that it can viewed by the NITR public.

MM: With you taking the charge, along with the newly elected SAC team, what changes can be expected this year?

SP: Firstly, I would like to make the functioning of SAC more transparent. Secondly, I would like to make it more student opinion oriented. Students will have a say in the celebrity, items etc. 

MM Suggestion- Can we have some kind of open house discussion regarding the SAC issues, so that even the general public can take part in it, along with the representatives with some SAC officials moderating over it. This way students can have access to SAC officials and issues. 

SP:Yes, it is a good idea, we will think about it (making note).

MM: Any message to the students of NITR eager to see a light of change?

SP: You will definitely see the difference. We expect the involvement of all the students, and if they face any kind of problem regarding the SAC, they can directly contact me.