Q)The biggest challenge of your tenure would probably start during and after the on-boarding. What measures will the hostels and BHM team take to ensure smooth and safe onboarding of students? What are the plans for ensuring safety after the onboarding?
A) The director has set up a committee to brainstorm the measures to ensure the smooth onboarding. Until now, no student body is included in that committee.
BHM still doesn't have the clarity of when the college will reopen, but the real challenge would obviously start after that. We will have to follow both the guidelines laid by the government and the institute policy. As of now, the infected patients are first taken to the Gulmohar apartments and then after 7-8 days, they are transferred to the government Covid centres. What BHM can ensure is that all the staff members take all the precautionary measures and safety protocols while working and undergo regular testing as well. A 7 days quarantine for all the staff members would be a compulsion.
Q) You mentioned in your resume that there is a dire need for orientation sessions for the incoming reps and secys of BHM. What do you plan to include in these sessions and why are these more important than they were in previous years?
A) This year the hierarchy of BHM has changed and some new positions have been included which were not offered in the previous years. The BHM reps and BHM secys are the new positions and they have no idea of what kind of work is expected from them and what are their liabilities regarding the same. Regular orientation sessions with the BHM Dean and Gsec are thus important this year. We already have conducted around three orientation sessions with the incoming reps and secys. In a couple of weeks, we will also have the orientation session with Deepti ma'am who is the associate dean of the management currently.
Q)You talked about reducing wastage of food, through surveying the number of people eating in mess daily. What I have commonly observed is that many students eat in the mess and keep throwing away a lot of food regularly. How are you planning to reduce wastage from this source?
A) Last year BHM was working on the RFID system, and in this tenure, we are planning to implement the card system. This would be used to take attendance and conclude how many students are eating in mess, each day of the week. The food would thus be cooked, keeping these figures in mind.
Coming to the other point, a lot of people do waste a lot of food in the mess. For that, we are planning to run some initiatives wherein we make students aware of the large amount of wastage. Like last year, we started the Zomato campaign for the proper management of the leftover food, a couple of more such initiatives would work this year as well.
Q) Talking about the point of enhancing the aesthetics of hostels, what are your plans regarding the same? Do you have some ideas right now?
A) The idea of enhancing the aesthetic was thought upon 2 years ago when BHM started awarding the Garden Trophy. This year, I plan to beautify the hostels both from the outside and inside. There will be 2-3 pilot projects running for the same. We are planning to introduce more honours like the garden trophy. We already have 5-6 great ideas and suggestions. But this won't be the priority project for BHM right now, and can only be implemented when the campus re-opens.
Q) In your manifesto, there was a point about increasing the incentives of the support staff and ensuring their well being during the pandemic. What are your plans regarding this?
A) We have already started working on this for the past two weeks. We have divided the projects under BHM, into two parts. Firstly, the priority projects which would be run entirely online and secondly the non-priority projects which would start after the onboarding. One of the main priority projects is the fundraising campaign we are organizing for the BHM support staff. Because of the lockdown, BHM doesn't have proper funds to give salary to all the BHM staff, many of whom are not even working right now. We are planning to raise funds for them under this campaign. Almost 70% of the work is done for the same. Even after this campaign, my aim would be to increase the incentives for the staff, once the college reopens.
Q) You plan on setting up an online complaint portal, would it be an app or a website and how will you ensure that the complaints are solved at a faster pace?
A) The difference between the previous method and the method I am planning is that this portal would be directly accessed by the students using their Kerberos ID, where they can register their problems, rather than going to the caretaker and explaining to him the problem and the inconvenience because of it. SAC and BHM are collectively working on this project and we plan to finish this project in a couple of months. The portal would also allow the student to check the status of his/her complaint.
Q) What is the idea behind the installation of automatic coffee vending machines? Mostly, the hostels have some shops nearby which serve coffee during the day, the mess also offers it during tea time, why do you think there is a need for an automatic coffee machine? Who would be responsible for the regular maintenance of the machine?
A) The true need for an automatic coffee machine arises when you need coffee at 1 in the night and you find it too tiresome to walk to some night mess or coffee shop, especially during winters. The automatic coffee machine would work for 24 hours and will provide you with hot coffee, cold coffee and some of the other beverages that NesC offers. The best part about it is that it requires minimal manpower. For its installation, we'll have to mail the student affairs office and convince them to release a tender for the same. The vendor will then establish the machine and would be responsible for its maintenance that includes filling the machine every morning and evening. The estimated price of the coffee would not exceed 12 rupees.
With the help of BHM’s changing hierarchy this year, Prabhat aims at improving the current inefficient methods for good. The division of projects on the basis of their priority and available resources is a realistic move. Though the real challenge for BHM will start after the onboarding, Prabhat has ensured proper utilization of time while the board ‘works from home’
Organizing the fundraising campaign for the BHM staff is a laudable move. He seems determined to increase staff incentives after the college reopens.
Setting up the online Complaint Portal is a bright ray of hope for replacing the age-old complaint method which involves approaching the caretaker repeatedly to get the issue resolved.
Food wastage is a big concern for all the hostels. The attendance system and starting of new awareness initiatives is a good move but it would be interesting to see how well these are implemented.
Introducing competitions and honours for hostel aesthetics is a clever move aiming towards the beautification of hostels by using the competitive spirits between hostels.
Conducting regular orientations of his juniors and keeping a check on their works reflects the qualities of a good leader.
He seems a little unclear about his plans to ensure smooth onboarding. The task of ensuring social distancing in hostels is a big one and it would be interesting to see his approach towards the same.
Link to Manifesto:
Interview by Ritika Jain