Parable of Priorities: HMC 3.0
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The meeting began with the approval of the minutes of the previous HMC. Previously taken decisions and subsequent actions were discussed. It was decided that the concerned Wardens are to instruct the mess caterers to open bank accounts for all their mess staff.
REVIEW OF VISHWAKARMA PUJA
The Chief Warden expressed gratitude to all the Wardens and Assistant Wardens for their cooperation in organising Sri Vishwakarma Puja and applauded the enthusiastic participation from the students’ side. The expenses of the Puja were put forth to the committee for scrutiny, which were as follows:
Decoration and Light
Although efforts were made to limit the expenses to the previously decided budget of Rs. 40,000/-, a larger amount had to be spent owing to the venue for the event being outdoors and the immersion being done in a more extravagant and befitting manner. It was hence proposed in the meeting that the budget for the same be elevated by 10% for the next time.
MESS CLOSURE DURING DURGA PUJA HOLIDAYS
Since most of the boarders of different Halls will be leaving for their homes during Durga Puja holidays, the mess facility shall be discontinued for all the Halls, except for HomiBhabha (HB) and CV Raman Hall of Residence (CVR). The students who stay back can avail their mess facilities on direct payment basis.The mess expenditure of the students from foreign nations would remain as usual. It was decided that the mess services of the various halls will be discontinuedSaturday, 8th October onwards, only to continue from Sunday, 16th October, dinner onwards.
OVERALL MAINTENANCE OF THE HALLS
It was observed that the grass in the two lawns besides M.S.S. Hall of Residence (MSS) is almost dead, and hence needs to be taken care of immediately. Suggestion was also made to cut down the grass besides the mess of CVR, which has grown excessively in recent times.
The issue of no showers in the bathrooms of HB was brought forth, in response to which it was revealed that showers are being removed from the washrooms of all the Halls of Residence, due to the boarders taking them off and never putting them back in place. It was also disclosed that all the new showers are missing from the bathrooms of Satish Dhawan Hall of Residence (SD) for reasons unknown. In many cases, the showers were taken off by the students due to them being jammed.
As a solution to this, it was propounded that if the maintenance secretaries of the various Halls can assure the committee that the showers will remain intact upon installation and not go missing, the process of installation can be commenced immediately. However, it was realised that this would not be effective, as the maintenance secretaries cannot really keep a check on the showers at all times. It was hence suggested that plastic showers be installed in place of stainless steel ones, so that even if they go missing, less cost is incurred in replacing them. It was realised that the showers are pointless in winters, and hence installation of showers can wait till summers.
Repairing of dysfunctional geysers is being done centrally by the Chief Warden Office, and it will be ensured that the maximum number of geysers be functional by the time winter approaches. The central water heating system in HB will be repaired in the Durga Puja holidays, while the hot water system in M.V. Hall of Residence(MV) can be expected to be operational after the Puja vacation.
As per the requirement, 2 new water coolers were decided to be procured, one for SD and another for HB.
Shortage of furniture such as tables and chairs had been acknowledged by the committee a long time back, but any concrete results are yet to be observed.The HMC was assured by the Chief Warden that the procurement is underway. However, since the HMC is not directly responsible for the procurement,which is in the hands of the Institute Furniture Committee, the only thing that can be done by the HMC is to look into the matter and try to speed up the procedure. It was proffered that furniture that is not being used in other Halls be shifted to halls where there is a dearth of it.
The issue of a single LAN port in C-Block of GD Birla Hall of Residence (GDB) was brought up, to which it was told that the HoD, Computer Centre has informed the Chief Warden that the C-Block rooms of GDB are always going to be single-seater, and hence will always have only one LAN port. Installing wireless internet facilities was stated to be out of the question, owing to some IP conflicts. It was revealed that NITRAA wants to install WiFi in some Halls, and is in process of collecting funds for the same. Installation of splitters was also proposed.In MV, the procedure of installing 2 LAN ports is already underway.
A decision to tile the floors in HB was passed, which shall commence as soon as the new wing with 800 rooms is ready.
ELECTRICITY PROBLEM IN HALL AREA
It was clarified that although Diesel Generator (DG) system is still stationed at DBA Hall of Residence (DBA), the connection is no more available to the residents of various Halls, and has already been diverted to the areas in the institute where research work is carried out, such as the Biomedical Engineering department and the Chemical Engineering department, owing to the procurement of some expensive equipment by them, which require 24/7 power supply. It was stated that as soon as a bigger DG system is procured by the institute, the services will once more be extended to Hostel area.
It was suggested that during exams, DG connection be made available to the Hall area one day in advance, so that the boarders get uninterrupted power supply atleast during exams, and hence perform well academically. The HMC unanimously agreed upon taking this matter to the Director for further reconsideration and subsequent action.
A change in the caterer of V. S. Hall of Residence (VS) was suggested, owing to the misbehaviour of the mess staff with the students and their questionable sense of hygiene. It was made clear that calling in professional caterers is not an option at all, as they ask for a minimum of 20% margin for themselves, which is hard to provide with thecurrent budget of Rs. 93/- per student per day. Reshuffling is not a feasible solution either.
It was suggested that an HEC meeting be called in Halls that are facing similar issues and the respective caterers be fined, either in the form of a monetary fine or by asking them to arrange a special meal for the students, for not providing services that are up to the mark. It was also propounded that the possibility of finding a substitute be explored.
A temporary solution was proposed wherein the Wardens and Asst. wardens will look into the matter and take necessary steps for the time being. If the conditions do not improve by the next meeting, which is scheduled to take place next month, drastic steps will be taken by the HMC.
BONUS PAYMENT TO HALL STAFF
One month of remuneration was announced to be given to the Common Room Bearers working under the HMC as a compensation amount in the month of October.
It was clarified that no bonus shall be awarded to the contractors such as the cleaning staff, cycle stand attendants and the gardeners, by the HMC.
Some members argued that if the bonus of the Hall Assistants is being cut off by the HMC, an attempt to revise their remuneration from a mere Rs.1000/- to a larger amount should be made.To this, the Chief Warden suggested that a resolution be prepared in HMC and be forwarded to the higher authorities for reconsideration and consequent measures.
IMPOSING MESS CHECKING COMMITTEES
It was decided that 4 mess committees with the Assistant Wardens leading the team will be formed exclusively to look after the cleanliness and proper functionalities of the mess. It was also made clear that when the mess committee goes for an inspection, it will ask the mess secretary to be there. The presence of a student representative in the committee will help cater to their needs as well.
TENDERING MONEY BILLS
Based on decisions made earlier whenever a purchase of more than 15,000 INR was made, tendering of the bills was done by the Chief Warden Office and all the tenders made had to be signed by the Central Purchase Committee headed by Prof. Jugal Mahapatra.
It was also stated that any purchase of assets of more than 15,000 INR needs to be entered in stock registers. Barring aside a few halls, most halls don’t have or maintain one now which is why the existing procedure was modified during the last HMC meeting. Whatever has to be ordered individually from hostels, it will be done by the HEC itself and whatever has to be bought centrally involving a large amount will be bought by the Purchase Committee.
Centralisation of the purchase gym equipment so as to remove disparity was decided as a follow-up.
GUEST LIST FOR HALL FUNCTIONS
For all hall functions, the guest list that was decided earlier will be the same. Earlier the guest list included:
- Director with family
- Chief warden
- Medical officers
- All Hall secretaries
- Wardens and Assistant Wardens
- Immediate ex- Chief Warden.
- All staff members from the Office of Chief Warden
- Hall assistants from all the Halls
The previously decided guest was numbered at 131 as the limit. However, this time, the HMC decided to include the gardeners, cycle stand guards, sweeping staff and the security staff from the respective halls. Since this number will differ from one Hall to another, all of them shall be sent invitations but in no case should the number exceed 150.
Should Monday Morning be a part of the HMC?
The HMC was of the opinion that the presence of Monday Morning in the HMC meetings is not only unjustified but also redundant due to the fact that capable elected bodies are there to have the voice of the boarders heard. Monday Morning was questioned for the same along with an allegation on the lines of violating work ethics. However, the previous Ex-Chief Warden, Prof. R.k. Patel, was of the opinion that a separate meeting consisting of Monday Morning members including its faculty advisor and the HMC should be held to discuss its role during the HMC meeting. Chief Warden agreed to have a separate meeting with MM team prior to finalising agenda for every HMC meeting so that MM team need not have to attend HMC meeting.