For all of us, whether on campus or at home, there is a persistent uncertainty hanging over our heads - Is it the right time to come to campus? Has Covid changed campus life permanently? Will we be on campus next semester? Will that be truer to what we remember - or, for many, what we were told to expect? We won’t claim to have answered all these questions, but the survey we floated two months ago did help us understand how people feel about their academic and social lives on campus. Conversations with various authorities and POR holders also gave us some insight into the future of IITD’s institutions - the classrooms, the sports, the clubs, the hostels. We invite you to read these analyses, quotes and conversations in our main article, The Shifting Status Quo, and form your own idea of how life on campus will be.
Our latest addition to Elemental, Inquirer’s sister publication, attempts to explain a very current topic - vaccines. In The Covid Vac-scene, we answer several questions about their types, mechanisms, boosters, and more via an interview with Prof Manidipa Banerjee of IIT Delhi, and delve into some fascinating research that she and her students are doing. It’s an interesting, easy read that will satisfy your scientific curiosity and hopefully lay to rest any anti-vaxxer sentiments you ever had.
Finally, we must talk of the story fallen by the wayside. We write Inquirer, a publication that takes two or three months out of us every time, to answer questions being asked by IITD. We also write Inquirer to help IITD look unbiasedly at issues that are upsetting, unfair or otherwise controversial.
With this goal in mind, and internship season just gone past, we set out to answer: what is the extent to which companies practise undisclosed equity hiring with respect to gender? (Equity hiring refers to the principle of giving extra opportunities to people who have traditionally been treated unfairly.) What repercussions does this have on the culture of IITD? What is the rationale behind such hiring practices and are they fair or sustainable? However, we had underestimated the hurdles that would come with such a sensitive issue - the traditionally secretive OCS refused to release any data, and every company we reached out to either ignored us or sent us down a bureaucratic rabbit hole. The only people who seemed willing to speak up were students - victims, benefactors and bystanders. This experience impressed upon us how necessary it was to have an open conversation about internships, placements, and gender, and how difficult it would be to start one. It was disheartening and frustrating, but we’re more determined than ever to keep at it and get that article to your screens.
This Inquirer, the first of the term, was conceived with great curiosity and ambition. Although some of our hopes were dashed, many of them were fulfilled beyond expectation. We hope you enjoy our work and take away a better understanding of the new normal in IITD today. Happy reading!
Suhani, Mariya and Anoushka