It is a common thing for students to lose their id cards. And it takes time to get a new id card made. When the RFID based messing system starts working, how will the SAC deal with this issue? Also, would there be any provision of blocking the card if the card gets lost so that nobody else can misuse the card?
Yes, we have talked at length about the first issue. We would provide a provision for attendance through the Kerberos id as well in case the id card gets lost. Also, the mess supervisors/ caretakers of each hostel would have a Mastercard through which they can admit such students. As far as blocking of the card is concerned, the process would be pretty tricky and we would not be implementing such a thing in the beginning. We expect the students to be responsible and honest in the first place. Also, through our experience, we all have seen that mess workers are generally pretty thorough in their knowledge of the residents of the hostels. Any stranger is generally asked to produce id cards. Also, the software would be expandable and in future, we may reconsider this option as and when the need arises.
How much work of the student query redressal system has been done and when is it
expected to start?
Before launching the query redressal portal on the website, we have planned to put a temporary query redressal system in place which would work through facebook and MS forms. We would observe it for about 3 months to collect data and figure out how exactly the online portal needs to be built.
The temporary system has started functioning. Forms have been floated to collect the various queries of students and a form has also been floated to know the number of students being affected by a particular problem.
If the pay per meal system is implemented, would a student have to pay absolutely zero for a meal they miss or would there be some pre-decided amount that has to be still paid?
The original plan is to have a system in which an individual pays just for what they eat. But, a lot of the things would be dependent on the data that would be collected once the RFID system gets in place. All the policies related to the tariff would be decided once the system has been successfully deployed. At this stage, it is too early to comment on anything, but we would try our best to get the original plan to be in place.
What suitable security measures would the SAC take to prevent any accident that would occur due to the introduction of e-bikes on the campus?
The only difference between the e-bikes and the cycles we currently use would be that the former would be automatic and not manual. The speed, acceleration etc would all be similar to the manual cycles and it would be ensured that no one can run them at high speeds. They would not really pose any safety issue, as there would virtually be no difference between the two.
What specifically has the SAC planned to do if both the semesters go in an online mode? Right now, the main goal of the SAC is to complete all the pending projects. We are trying to complete all the ongoing projects to the stage that you cannot go any further without going to the campus. Example, our aim is to get the RFID messing system up and running before the campus reopens so that it gets implemented as soon as possible.
Also, these are unprecedented times. There are a lot of issues the students are facing that they would not face in an ordinary semester. We wish to solve these problems. For knowing these problems, we have floated forms. A lot of our new projects and undertakings would be based on the responses we receive from the students. Also, one of our major goals right now is to get the query redressal system in place, so that everyone can reach us easily.
Also, the entire structure of SAC has been revamped. The SAC secretaries of hostels have been divided into three groups- one for assisting CAIC in academic-related issues, a coordination group to coordinate with the other boards and an execution team which will be responsible for executing the tasks of the SAC.
What has the SAC planned to curb cheating in this online semester?
SAC is majorly responsible for the administrative part. The teaching and cheating related issues comes directly under the purview of the CAIC. People facing these issues should coordinate with the CAIC to raise these issues. Also, a lot of things are solely in the hands of the course coordinator, and SAC isn’t specifically involved in these matters. But if lots of students raise queries regarding this matter, SAC would coordinate and ask CAIC to take up this matter appropriately.
Siddharth shows a clear understanding of the pandemic times and how varied problems can be faced by students in these times and attempts to take these issues up. He plans to collect the issues faced by the students in these times and plan out the new projects based on them. He also understands the need of having a proper system through which anyone could raise queries and receive regular feedback regarding the steps taken to tackle them and so he aims to set up a proper query redressal portal as soon as possible. He aims to increase more inter-board cooperation and bring a proper structure between SAC and its constituent boards.
He seems to have thought thoroughly of the intricacies involved with implementing this system. The issue of people losing their id card was taken up. I buy his point that implementing a card blocking system might be a bit too far-fetched and that students are expected to be responsible enough.
A tangible difference is already visible. Forms have already been floated in the hostel WhatsApp groups by the respective SAC Secys, which is a good start. Issues affecting a large segment have already been picked up and a form has been floated to know the proportion of students being affected by each issue.
The whole idea to introduce and promote subscription to e-bikes to reduce the problem of cycle accumulation in the campus seems a bit over ambitious seeing that people used the Greenolution cycles rarely. But if it is executed well, it would solve a major problem. Also, even with ordinary cycles, accidents have occurred and I feel a little less has been thought about this issue.
He realises that these are unprecedented times and not all the projects can be completed now. So, he plans to bring them to a stage after which things could only be done after returning to the campus. I buy this point as certainly many projects like implementing the RFID system need the campus to be reopened and messes to be fully reopened first. Nevertheless he realises that this time can still be used to complete all the execution and paper work so that things run as quickly in the future as possible. He seems to be very pragmatic in his approach. Also, I buy his point that these are unprecedented times and people would be going through lots of new exceptional problems. So the best thing would be to know their problems and focus our future undertaking to tackle these problems.
It is a fair point that this does not directly come under the purview of the SAC. But, his willingness to take up the matter with the CAIC if a lot of queries in this matter are received is a good sign.
It is good to know that he realises the importance of hygiene in the post COVID times and we expect him to take suitable measures to maintain hygiene once the campus fully reopens.
The idea to generate an impact number to determine which problems are impacting people the most also seems to be nice. Let's see how well it is implemented.
The structure of SAC has been changed and the SAC secys have been divided into 3 groups to make the functioning of SAC more cohesive and efficient. Also, the inter-board dependency and cooperation have indeed increased which is a good sign.
The manifesto seems to be promising and so does his thinking and approach. Let's see how well the manifesto lives up to its words.
Link to the manifesto:
Interview by Shashwat Saxena