Know Your Representatives: Senate and ISDC

Know Your Representatives: Senate and ISDC

The Institute Standing Disciplinary Committee (ISDC) and the Senate are two of our Institute's most critical administrative bodies. Knowing the implication of its steps, the Institute chooses six student representatives (three for Senate and three for ISDC) every year to act as a link between the student fraternity and the administration.

The recently concluded online Academic Session 2020-21 demanded the presence of Student representatives more than ever, considering a range of issues students wanted to raise like the semester fees, assessment and examination mode, functioning of online classes, etc. Student nominees were finally disclosed on 4th October to the nominated students for the ensuing academic year. Arka Ghosh, Sreemoyee Sensharma, and Aditya Tripathi are the senate representatives while Aditi Chakrabarty, Vinit Malik, and Vishal Agarwal are nominees for the ISDC for the academic year 2021-22.

Team Monday Morning interviewed the student representatives(ISDC and Senate) for the current session. Read on to know more about them.

Senate Representatives:

Monday Morning(MM): Tell us something about a student representative's role in the Senate.

Sreemoyee Sensharma (PG Representative)- A student representative's role in the Senate is to ensure effective communication between the student community and the Senate. It assures that a situation is assessed from the Senate member's perspective and a student's point of view and is solved accordingly.

MM: Why did you want to apply for this position?

Sreemoyee Sensharma- The raging pandemic has led to substantial communication gaps and has created a state of confusion and chaos among students. As the CR(Class Representative) of my branch, I am in regular contact with students, the CR's of other departments and  Professors. Thus, I felt that joining the Senate as a student nominee would communicate effectively between the students and the Senate.

Arka Ghosh (Ph.D. Representative)- The M.Tech students have handled their problems previously, but they didn't understand the Ph.D. students' problems during research work. As a result on behalf of Ph.D. scholars, I decided to try for the post of senate representative. As for me, I decided to nominate myself because previously, I was working in a polytechnic college in Maharashtra, as a nodal officer in that college in the scheme PMKVY (Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vigyan yojana) under the ministry of skill development. As a nodal officer, I functioned as a bridge between the student and the government.

The government is providing many skill programs, but the students weren’t aware of the programs they were providing; my job was to collect funds from the government to help with the current projects to develop the students’ skills. I was also nominated for the prestigious post of Placement Coordinator when I came to campus. I had the capability to become the bridge between the students and the authority, so I decided to apply for the post of  senate representative.

MM: What was your experience with the selection procedure?

Aditya Tripathi (UG Representative)- The selection procedure was pretty simple. There was an application form where we had to brief our experience and a Statement of Purpose. Subsequently, there was a short Interview conducted by Dean Student Welfare, SAC President, Chief Warden, and Associate Dean Academics where there was a brief discussion on a few recent developments.

Sreemoyee Sensharma- The selection procedure was very smooth and quite enjoyable. After initially filling out a questionnaire form, a few professors from the Senate arranged an online interview, which was the basis of selection. The result was announced after a few days via mail.

Arka Ghosh: The application process was simple, in which we had to share our experience and SOP, followed by a short interview which was taken by Dean Student Welfare, SAC President, Chief Warden, and Associate Dean Academics.

MM: Many issues were faced last academic year due to the communication gap between the students and the senate representatives. So, how do you plan on using your abilities to make the best out of your tenure to tackle such issues?

Aditya Tripathi- Any student who feels that they have an issue relevant for the Senate can feel free to reach out to me, and I will indeed be taking up the matter to the best of my abilities.

Unless the voices reach the representatives clearly and profoundly, you cannot expect the representatives to sort it out.

Sreemoyee Sensharma- To make the best of my tenure and bridge communication gaps between the students and the senate representatives, my priority would be to enable a smooth flow of information to keep everyone on the same page. Also, I plan to actively work with teachers and students to promote a better learning environment in this pandemic situation.

Arka Ghosh- Firstly, collectively going to the administration and raising issues is not the best way to have your voices heard. If you communicate via proper channels, using the required documentation will make it easier to convey grievances.

For the first phase, you may talk to the respective authority. Next, you may go for the documentation, letters, or take signatures of students who are facing the same issue and doing so.

We, as Ph.D. students, have a lot more maturity. We do have problems, however, approaching authorities in a vast number isn't a proper way to represent yourself. Going via channels, supervisors, HoDs, and the Dean is better than going in hordes. Because rudely approaching the administration will create a negative impression. They might question how we might deal with similar issues later. My approach would be to discuss the students' issues and present our problem with the required documentation. I think that it would be enough, as following this we will be able to resolve most of the issues.

MM: What issues (short-term and long-term) do you plan to put forth in the Senate to benefit the student fraternity?

Sreemoyee Sensharma- The short-term issue I plan to address is the lack of effective communication between the Senate and the Students.

That would also include the problems faced by the students regarding returning to the campus in the pandemic situation, online education, fee structure, etc.

The long-term issues I plan to put forward include ensuring that a student's point of view is always considered before making any final decision. It also includes implementing measures that will help to make the existing system perform even better and the environment student-friendly.

Arka Ghosh- I will put forward the issue related to CIF (Central Instrument Facilities) because the issue has become more problematic in the last two years. The instruments without which research is impossible are missing. This issue needs to be solved as soon as possible. There needs to be an instalment of new machines.

For the last 3 months, the physics XRD machine hasn’t been working so the metallurgy XRD machines are getting overwhelmed. The students who have to send their synopsis or their defense are facing a lot of problems right now, they have to wait hours for testing and it wastes a lot of their time. Because of the lack of machines, we are facing a lot of problems in our seminars, presentations, etc .

These things have to be clarified, and we have to add new machines. My main focus is to handle the CIF issue now.

MM: What is the first set of issues that you'll raise in the senate meetings?

Aditya Tripathi- The first issue that I will be taking forward is the provision for six-month internships. The six-Month Internship provision for M. Tech students at our Institute is the worst form of this policy in any of our competing institutes. Every day that passes without improvement in this policy, our students miss out on great opportunities that students from other Institutes are easily availing. Secondly, even the six-Month Internship provision for B. Tech students (through fast pace program) is far from reality and lacks practicality for many reasons. As soon as our Institute starts acknowledging the present context of the industry, we will start seeing much better career prospects for students at our Institute.

Sreemoyee Sensharma- The first set of issues I'd like to raise in the Senate is to bridge the communication gap between the Senate and the students. I would also review and provide suggestions about new policies undertaken by the Senate that can impact the students. I will also put forward several problems the students face to the Senate to redress their grievances adequately.

Arka Ghosh- I'd like to raise the problems related to CIF(Central Instrument Facilities). Secondly, I would raise the issues related to the stipend.

MM: What would be your message to the students who aspire to be a senate representative in the future?

Sreemoyee Sensharma- Holding a position in the Senate is always a matter of pride for any student. However, once you become a member, you have to respect your work. Never should you do anything that brings down the esteem of this prestigious post.

You have to be clear about the changes you want to bring to the existing system to make it better. If you have a clear perception and a strong desire to do well, you’ll surely succeed in making it to the Senate and will end up doing a fantastic job as a student nominee.

Arka Ghosh- You should try to take up responsibilities that are offered to you.

Focus on your curriculum, but also develop skills because it’s very essential to know things other than just your academics. You need to have the ability to do something for your organization. Hopefully, the students will apply so that apart from being good at academics, involving yourself in extracurriculars will help you deal with any situation possible in your workplace.

Mode of Contact:

Aditya Tripathi- WhatsApp (Contact No: +91 78739 33061)

Sreemoyee Sensharma- WhatsApp (Contact No: +919830552444)

Arka Ghosh- Whatsapp (Contact No: 8208042495) or Gmail (Gmail ID: arkaiaf@gmail.com)

ISDC Representatives:

MM: Can you please enlighten us about the role of student representatives in ISDC?

Aditi Chakrabarty (Ph.D. Representative)- Every Institute has a specified set of regulations and expectations from the students. Any violation of such rules should be discouraged at an early stage to prevent the dishonour of the Institute. At the same time, there may arise circumstances within the student community, for example, when one student humiliates the other or causes mental/physical harm. Student representatives are the channels for communicating such disciplinary matters to the premier so that an action can be taken as and when necessary, keeping in mind the foremost motive to provide fairness while maintaining neutrality. On fewer occasions, there might be breaching of the rules by any other individual of the Institute harming the students. Such might also be taken into account and reported immediately. Thus, a student representative is how such matters are first looked into before being communicated. Afterwards, corrective measures are taken to punish the wrongdoer.

MM: Why did you want to apply for this prestigious position?

Vishal Agarwal (UG Representative)- This pandemic has made me realize the importance of discipline in one's personal life. I wanted to get the essence and importance of discipline to a comprehension audience on a substantial scale. Being a student representative of ISDC would be an excellent platform to do that. The position of ISDC coordinator is eminent in NITR; these factors made me apply and go ahead with it.

Vinit Malik (PG Representative)- Discipline is the key that creates the central gap between success and failure. Everyone gives their innumerable efforts according to their capabilities to fulfil their dreams. Still, they didn't achieve their final goal due to a lack of discipline. So I applied for this position only to reduce this gap by which all of us can see our dreams come true.

Aditi Chakrabarty- Every discipline begins with self-discipline, and I believe that the combination of discipline and truthfulness is that magic wand that can resolve almost all problems. When any unruly situation occurs, the foremost thing that arises is the need to dig out the truth effectively. That requires someone who can unbiasedly listen to the one offended and the sinner. I have always been against the outlaws, which has inspired me to apply for the Ph.D. student representative in ISDC.

MM: What was your experience with the selection procedure?

Vishal Agarwal- Firstly, Prof. Siddharth Jena (Dean Student Welfare) sent us an email with an application form attached to it. The application form had questions like- Why am I best suited for this position? What previous post of responsibility have I handled? etc. We also required recommendations from Faculty Advisor and HOD. After 10-15 days, I received a mail regarding the personal interview. Around 20 people were shortlisted from UG, PG, and Ph.D. courses for Senate and ISDC Representatives. Dean Student Welfare, SAC President, Chief Warden, Assistant Dean Academics were there in the PI round. The interview went for around 15-20 minutes.

Vinit Malik- My experience with the selection procedure is incredible. Not everyone can enter this committee; only those who excel at academics and leadership qualities can join this committee. There are many procedures like CGPA should be more than 8.5, interview with expertise, etc.

Aditi Chakraborty- I was a little reluctant at first. But as I had been handling these positions since my school days, my friends and seniors persisted, and I realized that I always wanted this.

It was the last date when I dropped the form in the SAC office (at the previous hour). Regarding the interview, I was pretty anxious at first because it has only been a year since I joined NITR, and everything has been online (except my daily visit to the lab). So I knew only one Professor on the interview committee, and that's what made me panic. However, with His grace, it went well, and I got selected.

MM: Tell us something about your SOP (Statement of Purpose) that made you stand out.

Vishal Agarwal- When I learned that this position was opened and we were asked to apply, I went to Monday Morning's website and searched for articles related to ISDC, which were published last year(Article Link). I read up the ISDC representative's interviews.

I contacted Jasmin Nayak, my branch senior and a former student representative of ISDC. I asked her about the application process and what made her stand out; I got to know the responsibilities of an ISDC representative. Its the responsibility of ISDC is to get the facts straight so that the actions taken remain valid. 

I also mentioned that we need to make sure the NITR Junta is aware of the rules and regulations; I also told them that I wanted to show the importance of discipline to a larger audience. That's how I went about writing my SOP.

Vinit Malik- Students bag a seat at NIT Rourkela after a long struggle and with big dreams. Still, when they find no restriction, they deviate from their target due to their indisciplined life. So this made me stand out for ISDC because I can help a student who initially was focused but deviated from his goal due to some in-disciplined life.

Aditi Chakrabarty- The first thing that makes you distinguished from others is your honesty in it. The SOP was clear, up to a point, that made no fake promises to either side. The only promise I made was to be unprejudiced, even if the matter were to be related to my close one. To top it, I think I had prior experience and better communication skills that made me stand out.

MM: The rules of the ISDC are not very well known to everyone; So, how do you plan to make the NITR Junta more aware of the same?

Vishal Agarwal- ICS(Institute Counselling Services) had conducted a compelling session regarding ISDC rules and regulations last academic year.

As ICS has a reach to most of NITR, especially the freshers, I think that by using ICS as a platform, we can conduct a general session so that everyone gets educated about the functioning and rules of ISDC.

Vinit Malik- We plan to introduce them to the disciplinary rules through ICS. So that they are aware of the repercussions of being caught, and a well-documented disciplinary manual is available on the website. Still, students don't bother to go through it owing to its length.

I feel providing a short compilation mentioning some of the critical rules that they should be aware of will help them avoid unwanted situations knowingly or unknowingly. Also, during the orientation ceremony for freshers, a short presentation can help make them come across these rules.

Aditi Chakrabarty- Indeed, the rules are unknown to everyone as the Institute does not specify them explicitly. However, there's a disciplinary manual available on the Institute's website that anyone can go through if desired.

The rules are basically the ones that everyone should know, for example, ragging/misbehaving is an offense, cheating during exams is prohibited, and so on. You can look into the manual and be aware of the level of punishment that can be imposed for such wrongdoings.

MM: How do you plan to improve the functionality of the ISDC committee in the online mode?

Vishal Agarwal- Apart from the webinars and the interactive sessions along with ICS, we always have to take permission from the professors because they are in charge of the committee; we haven't had any meetings until now.

Before deciding or voting towards something, I also need to know how ISDC functions, like the criteria we have in mind. Maybe when the three representatives get to know about this properly we can plan something out, which will require a team effort. We will decide on something once we interact and figure out the workings of ISDC.

Vinit Malik- In online mode, most of the students are not attending classes properly, and at the time of the test, they are using unethical means.

This type of indiscipline controls the growth of the innovative mind because they are not giving stress to their brains, so new ideas won’t generate. As a representative of ISDC, I will try to take the necessary steps in this direction.

Aditi Chakrabarty- The functionality of such things, like the ISDC committee online, might be a little challenging initially because, as previously opined, I still hold on to the most important thing, communication with the countering sides. However, with online meetings being more straightforward nowadays, I believe the same can be effectively carried out in online mode. This has an obvious advantage. One can now do the necessary at the earliest when they could not have been available for physical meetings.

I have planned to hold some sort of an awareness program so that the rules are much more transparent to the student community, but that requires the interest and participation of students. 


Message to students:

Vishal Agarwal-You do not have to do anything extra; be sincere. There is nothing much that ISDC demands from students. Be sure that we are following discipline in our personal space.

Be aware of when to do, what to do, and how much to do. If we all are self-aware, I don't think there will be any such conditions where somebody is punished or penalized.

Vinit Malik- Everybody is doing their best, but only a few achieve their dreams because they follow a disciplined life.

As you move from home to college, you are getting unlimited freedom, and there is no one to put a check on your activities. Remember to rethink before you misuse this freedom to cause harm to the Institute or its students. Lastly, don't cross the lines and always be disciplined, have a pleasant stay here.

Aditi Chakrabarty- As a student, it's our primary requisite and responsibility to uphold the fame of our Institute. I assure you for justice, even if I have to plead with the highest authorities (in case of dissent and discordance) to ensure that any infringement shall be punished as per the rules and requirements.

It's my request to you to please bring to the notice of the ISDC committee any wrongdoings. I reassure you that you can reach out to me at any point you need communication, even if you're the witness to any such incident. I earnestly need your help in making this Institute and the residents on the campus free from misconducts and malpractices, because as brought up in the manual, "The best use of the disciplinary manual is its no use at all".

Mode of Contact:

Vishal Agarwal- WhatsApp (Contact No: +91 94379 52047)

Vinit Malik- Gmail- vinitmalik873@gmail.com

Aditi Chakrabarty- aditichakrabarty030@gmail.com / 520ph2002@nitrkl.ac.in

Team Monday Morning wishes all the Student Representatives the best for performing their duties with sincerity and dignity.

Designs by Harshavardhan Reddy

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