A freshman's guide to the ISDC/DisCo: The Disciplinary Committee

A freshman's guide to the ISDC/DisCo: The Disciplinary Committee

In an institute of such high repute where a batch of around a thousand students enters every year after combating with the sore grail of JEE to strive for making their careers and live their dreams, maintaining discipline becomes imperative for sustaining a scholastic atmosphere for education. The campus diversity is instrumental in painting the picture of a miniature India (and/or a mini world) right inside it. Students have varying perceptions of their rights and responsibilities, do’s and don’ts.

Though quite minimal, there is still a chance that some students deviate from the rules and regulations, which may have implications on the student’s life and/or the reputation of the institute, amongst other ripples. With that regard, since extensive academic and extra-academic events have shifted online, recent nuisances and infringement (especially at a point when a fresh batch of students have joined in) have heated up discussions in larger and more responsible official circles of the institute. In such a case, it lies upon institute administration to take appropriate steps to punish the person and, more importantly, prevent such happenings in the future by taking suo moto cognizance of larger disciplinary issues and recommending corrective measures.

According to Article 17(2) of the NIT Act 2007, maintaining discipline in our institute is bestowed on the shoulders of the Director. To effectuate this, he is assisted by the Senate, faculty, and student representatives.

The Institute Standing Disciplinary Committee (ISDC) to NIT Rourkela, commonly also known as "DisCo," is an eminent administrative body with which a student wouldn't dare to get associated till graduation! ISDC plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the institute's conduct is to the point. The Institute Standing Disciplinary Committee (ISDC) of the Senate is responsible for the investigation of reported complaints and offering valuable advice to the administration regarding policy issues and how they affect students' behaviour on campus.

Staying informed

As the freshers haven't visited the campus yet, not many are aware of the complete rule set that is to be followed when one becomes a part of the NITR ecosystem.

It's quite true that stated a change to the online mode of education, certain amendments are required to stop the nuisance created in the online platforms. Since the institute has decided to conduct exams offline, no changes have been made in the existing laws yet as far as the disciplinary manual is concerned. The student representatives stated that they had intimated plans for the same to the authorities. But carrying out the whole procedure of amendment is quite a lengthy task and needs time.

During the orientation programme, the freshers were intimidated about the ISDC and its rules in a brief but many did not give much attention to it. Also, the entire manual could not be presented due to time bounds. Recently, the ICS mentors were asked to just remind them of the conduct they needed to follow while attending online classes. However, those engaged in in-person activities on campus are expected to follow the SOP.

The students are requested to go through the disciplinary manual available on the official website of NIT Rourkela or click on the link provided in this article.

Structure of ISDC

The ISDC consists of the following ex-officio and members:

  1. Dean (Student Welfare) - Chairman

  2. Chief Warden of Halls of Residence - Member

  3. Two faculty members, nominated by the Senate for two years.

  4. Three student members (one UG, one PG, and one female student) were nominated by the Director for a one-year tenure.

  5.  Assistant Registrar (Academic) - Member Secretary

Message from Student Representative, Jasmin Nayak:

Hey freshers. This is your very own student representative, Jasmin Nayak from the ISDC. Though the ISDC might be popularly known as  " DISCO ", it is the last place you want to see yourself in. On or off campus, discipline is an integral part of your college life, besides academics. Having your name associated with it can really destroy your college memories. The punishments can vary from having deregistered papers or sem back to getting rusticated from the Institute.

Message from student representative, Subham Ranjan Sahoo:

Dear freshers, as you move from home to a college, you are getting unlimited freedom and there is no one to put a check on your activities. But remember and rethink before you misuse thisfreedom to create any sort of harm to the institute or its students. If you are the victim/ sufferer in any case, please come forward to us without any hesitation and we as student nomineewill try to make sure that justice gets delivered impartially. Lastly, stay informed, don't cross the lines and have a pleasant stay here.

Message from student representative, Bellana Avinash Naidu:

Hey freshers, This is Avinash Bellana, your ISDC student representative. Welcome to the NITR fam. We don't know you all, but we'll surely love to know. The academic year has begun in the right earnest and we are well into the business in online mode. The vast campus of NITRKL is a country in itself. After two years of struggle to crack JEE, students become complacent once they enter their dream institute. They have mixed perceptions of their rights and responsibilities. 


At times, deeds of indiscipline are bound to happen. The sole grail of ISDC is to curb such acts of indiscipline. ISDC is compelled to punish the malefactor but it is not an act of vengeance but an attempt to make sure it is not repeated by any other student. NITR is an ocean of opportunities, get yourself involved in the activities that interest you while maintaining decorum, and contribute to making NITR a better place to study and live. Remember we are all ears in your difficult times, open up and express. I wish you all the best of luck in your future.

Here are some key points that you should always remember and abide by, amidst other rules:

1. Sexual harassment is not tolerable irrespective of gender. If someone is harassing you directly report it to ISDC.
2. Don't ever get tempted to resort to malpractice during exams. Your career will be destroyed because you can end up with a whole semester back.
3. Don't ever try to hack into the administration's ID or try to circulate fake orders. If we find you, you will have to leave the Institute.
4. Harassing the professor on teams is a crime. We are well aware of what is going on in your classes. Kindly don't force us to find you.

However, if you are falsely charged, remember that we are always there to help you. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. ISDC is just a court where the student representatives are the defense lawyers. Rest assured, enjoy your college life and carry on with whatever interests you.

How does an ISDC case come about?

In case of any critical matter of indiscipline, ISDC first discusses the issue and then takes a decision based on the collective opinions of the members of the committee, after following a systematic procedure described in the Manual of Student Discipline. 

The student committing an in-disciplinary act is first reported to the ISDC by a student or a professor and the accused is then summoned by the ISDC for a hearing. During the hearing, both the victim and the accused are given a fair chance to put forth their cases in detail. After multiple hearings and discussions, a final decision is meted out. If the accused remain dissatisfied with the decision, they can appeal to the Senate, whose decision would be the final verdict.

Discussing offences, categorically

Ragging

Ragging includes-

1.Any act of physical or mental pressurization of junior students, individually or in a group

2. Forcing junior students to meet seniors outside institute premises or places where a student has no valid reason to be present, asking irrelevant questions, or using abusive language. 

What To Do

 Any student who has witnessed an incident of ragging inside or outside the campus must act promptly. The incident must be reported to a Warden, the Chief Warden, or a designated faculty member Failure to do so will be considered a serious offence, even if one is not personally involved in it. 

Disciplinary Action

 The law bans ragging in any form to anybody. Here are some of the disciplinary actions that might be taken against the perpetrators-

  1. The Placement Facility for the convicted students will be withdrawn till the mid-semester exam of the pre-final Semester or for the remaining period of pre-final and final semesters for final year students with one job offer. The institute might withdraw the facility completely if the offence is grave and cancel all placement offers.

  2.  The publication of the final year results will be delayed by one to six months.

  3. One or more steps might be reduced from the grades in one or more courses of a semester.

  4. The convicted students might be forced to repeat a year with the mention of "Bad Conduct" on their conduct certificate.

  5. Outright Expulsion from the Institute.

For various offences that will be recognized as ragging and specific punishments attached with them, please visit the following link- 

https://www.nitrkl.ac.in/docs/AcademicRegulation/08032017102846436.pdf

Academic Offences

The following shall hold, irrespective of the mode of conduction of classes:

  1. Creating disturbance in class, library, laboratory or seminar etc.
  2. Misbehaving with a professor in a class, laboratory, library etc.
  3. Submission of the same piece of one‟s own work for assessment and award of credit in two (or more) instances.
  4. Manipulating attendance or other ordinary academic records by electronic or physical means.

Examination Related Offences

The following are a few of the Examination related offences that might lead to disciplinary action, irrespective of the mode of conduction of exams.

  1. Keeping an extra mobile phone or a similar communication device during an examination.

  2. Possession of a chit in any form with relevant material.

  3. Found carrying suitable material by writing on one's body or clothing to examination.

  4. Consulting a paper, book, or a person.

  5. Impersonating another candidate in Examination, or allowing oneself to be emulated.

Consequences

Some disciplinary actions subject to the severity of violations:

  1. The student could be forced to repeat an entire semester or a full year based on how severe the offence is.

  2. Debarment from medals & prizes linked to academic performance.

  3. Awarding F grade in all theory papers of a semester ( For examination related offences only ).

  4. Outright expulsion from the Institute.

Special message for freshers:

It was very disappointing to witness students getting involved in such disturbing acts. Based on our investigation, it is likely that those who created the disturbance are not from our institute. We also heard from some freshers that they are facing a similar disturbance in their online classes. As a transient solution to this, we request students to give complete control over their online class to the respective professor. We are writing to authorities and constantly in touch in this regard.

However...

However, a few important points that the students should note are:

1.  A complaint by a victim should be seen only as one of the channels of information before the ISDC and the ISDC can employ methods to investigate the issue as per the rules.

 2.   There may be suggestions for a lax penalty on grounds of (a) the complainant or the accused is a fresher and unaware of the rules, (b) the complainant or the accused is on the verge of completing the studies, (c) the accused may lose a good job offer, (d) the accused does not have a job offer, (e) the accused is from a rich and respected family (f) the accused is from a poor family, and so on. In such a case, the ISDC must look at the welfare of the larger student community ignoring such considerations.

 3.  Admission of guilt at an early stage of investigation is to be rewarded with a lighter punishment. People should be sensitized to the above fact and realize that an early action against a friend protects him/her against aggravated penalties in future.

 4. The penalty for a mala fide complaint being high, one should not make a false complaint or hide relevant facts during the enquiry, which would be treated as a serious offence.

The sole purpose of a manual of discipline is to ensure that every student of NIT Rourkela is law-abiding. It is in fact true that the regulations consider certain offences to be more serious than others. They include offences done using a computer or comparable communication device (because with less effort one can do much harm using a computer), offences against female students (because they are less likely to retaliate) and those tampering with examination and grading system (because the future of the entire student community rests on the sanctity of the Institute’s grading system). However, the best scenario would be if it is not required to use it at all!

 

Team MM wishes the freshers the very best and hopes that they(in fact, all students of NIT Rourkela) keep the above-mentioned points in mind at all times to make their time at NIT Rourkela a memorable one, free of disciplinary problems.

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