BSP GSec - Muskaan Jain
Updated: Sep 9, 2021
How did your First-Year as a fresher at IIT Delhi look like, and how was the first impression you had about BSP? In my First Year at IIT Delhi, I explored as many opportunities as I could. I participated in competitions arranged by various clubs, and I was also into debating for a couple of months at the start. When I came across BSP, the first stance was via the Fresher’s Magazine, ‘Inception.’ I wasn’t much involved in BSP as a fresher, but I read the articles published by the board online.
What was your motivation behind joining BSP? I have always been an avid reader, and I believe that writing has been in conjunction with reading for me. I used to write in my school days, but this hobby was lost amid the busy study schedules of JEE preparations. I joined BSP as a journalist at the start of my second year to pursue my love for writing again. Besides that, before joining BSP, I was a socially awkward person, and most of the interactions for me seemed fraught with potential embarrassment. I had to get out of my small comfortable space and push myself to establish good communication with new people. Working as a journalist was an excellent opportunity for me, wherein I could interview people involved in or having knowledge of a particular subject, decipher the information gained and talk about issues that mattered for all of us as a community.
How has your journey with BSP been so far? I joined BSP at the start of my Sophomore year as a Journo, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to work as a Journo in an Offline mode. Being able to work with the entire team and conducting interviews offline is something I am grateful for. I was involved in the discussions and interviews for the ‘Intern Series’ and ‘My Experiments with IIT Delhi.’ One of my favourite experiences I’ve had as a journo is working on the article ‘Casual Sexism’ for the Inquirer. It took us almost three months to write that complete article, as at that time, Inquirer used to be an A3-sized printed newsletter per semester, unlike now where we have it bimonthly. In the online semester, we decided to make Inquirer a bi-monthly newsletter to make it easier for the readers to read it in a single go. I also worked on another article in Inquirer about Casteism, but we were not able to publish it due to some internal issues. In my Junior year, when I was a Chief Editor at BSP, I was involved in Inquirer, Manifesto Review, and also the G.Sec Miles. In this way, most of my work has been journalistically driven. My tenure as Chief Editor had been entirely online. But since all the chief eds had worked offline together as journos, we had a perfect understanding and rapport amongst us. We were highly enthusiastic about working, having many ideas and plans ahead of us throughout.
You had been an Integral Part of BSP when we all underwent the sudden switch from offline to online. How did the changes look for you? I feel that it was easier for BSP to transition our work from offline mode to an online one compared to other clubs that involve on-site participation like sports or dance. This is because a significant part of our work is in writing, collecting, and deciphering data via surveys and interviews and using the findings to prepare clean, concise, and factual articles. A major challenge for BSP working online was establishing a good team bonding with the new team members. At BSP, all the team members bond together like a family, which is something we value the most. We were afraid that wouldn’t happen in an online semester, but we were lucky enough that even the new team members were communicative and more than willing to be involved in all the activities within the team!
You plan on including first-year UG Students as freelancers focusing more on vernacular creative writing. What is the reason behind planning this? Are there any other measures you would undertake to include freshers’ participation at BSP? There are two reasons behind the plan about including freshers in more vernacular creative writings. Firstly, Many of us would agree that there is very little freshers’ participation in BSP activities. One of the primary reasons behind this could be a lack of awareness about BSP among freshers, and including them as freelancers at BSP would boost their participation. In addition to that, BSP has already done great in including Vernacular languages to some extent, like in our series ‘Kacchi Dhoop’. Still, I believe we could include more vernacular creative writings across all our publications to promote inclusivity. We already have freelancers focusing on vernacular creative writings both from UG and PG sections, but they often tend to have less time, and we cannot generate enough content in time due to the same. On the contrary, freshers would have more time in their hands that they can dedicate to the team, which would also increase their participation. Further, we would try to include more events for freshers in ‘Literati’.
You also had brought up the idea of creating the Online IITD Internal Portal to cover the sensitive issues in an unbiased way. Why do you feel the need for such a platform, and how do you plan to turn this idea into reality? The idea of creating an Online IITD internal portal has been in the talks for over a year now, and that is something that I would be working towards throughout my tenure as a General Secretary. There is a need for such a platform wherein everyone has the liberty to share their opinions and get engaged in discussions about sensitive issues on the campus. Moreover, it would be a platform that could be accessed only by our IITD Community, creating a safer place for discussions. One of the significant steps in generating the portal would be making an editorial policy and getting it approved by the institute administration. Once that is done, it would be easier for us to take further steps. On the technical side, we already have some web developers on board with us. The creation and approval of a concrete editorial policy would be a green signal for further technical work.
Increasing PG participation has been common in all manifestos across all boards. You had mentioned increasing the number of PG issues covered in the Inquirer. How do you think that this would help in PG participation in BSP? BSP has always promoted PG participation in the board by taking in PG students as freelancers. Last year we even had a PG student as a Journalist at the Board. But, Most of the issues we cover are UG-centric; increasing the number of PG issues in Inquirer would promote their interest in the board and lead to more participation. Furthermore, I believe that there are specific topics on which PG students can provide more educated opinions based on their better experience and knowledge; taking their inputs could help us in generating better content.
If you were to change any one thing in the Board presently, what would that be? I cannot say that it is something to change, but rather something I want should happen. I wish that there shouldn’t be any hesitance in covering the sensitive issues. I believe sensitive issues are something that should be talked about even more. Everybody knows about them, and at the end of the day, they remain the elephant in the room, but we don’t have much freedom in addressing those issues. This would have to be done in collaboration with the administration and by creating much better policies.
Lastly, is there something you would like to say to our readers?
The one message for our readers from me would be, at BSP, we try to cover as many issues as we can, but there could be a chance where we may miss on some. I would request all our readers and the entire IITD community as a whole to feel completely free to reach out to us if they think that some particular issue needs to be covered.
Take care and Stay Safe! :)
You can find her manifesto here
Interview by Yamini Vijay Khajekar