On the 29th of march, a student researcher fractured his arm while surrounded by campus dogs. Outrage regarding such incidents came about once again in the form of an email chain where alternatives such as adopting the dogs, throwing them out of campus, and the like were discussed. However, as stated by the General Secretary of Parliament, it had been decided in a 2015 FSIS that dislocating stray dogs is illegal. Some further discussion was attempted at but none materialized.
On reaching out to Campus Canine Cell volunteers, we learnt that they are assisting the institute in this matter. For starters, they are attempting to discipline the dogs through the use of collars and cages.
A dog acquaintance session had been scheduled for this week and in light of recent events, those concerned may attend to feel more at ease.
Recently, the institute announced that it would not issue temporary ID cards to students during examination days, which meant that any person who does not possess their permanent ID card cannot enter the examination hall and will have to forfeit writing the exam. The decision was made over administration’s concern about alleged “negligent” and “casual attitudes” students displayed towards maintaining their ID cards during Mid and End exams.
The decision raised outburst from the student community, as it he meant that any student who lost their ID card the day of the first examination would not be allowed to sit in any examination, which could potentially lead to them having to repeat an entire semester because of this rule. As people argued in replies to the Dean’s mail, it is naturally understandable that someone might lose their card on a bad day, and the idea that they’d have to retake an entire semester for accidentally losing a card raised anger among the student community. The Dean of academics responded by informing students that in the rare case the following did happen, students would be allowed to give the examination after giving their biometric in the exam cell located in the Himalaya block. How this procedure will work remains to be seen, as the complete details are still not very clear and this does not differ from the current system in place, where a student would go to exam cell and get a temporary ID card issued.
An Unwilling Electorate
Shantanu Das, Zubair Abid
Editor’s note: this article was update on 15th April, 2019 to reflect new information.
An unexpectedly low number of students nominated themselves for Members of Parliament in this year’s elections, forcing the Election Commission to call for a Second Phase of Elections across four constituencies: UG2k17, UG2k16, UG2k15 Dual Degrees, and Research. As such, the freshers’ batch (UG2k18) was the only one with more nominations than available seats. All other people who had applied were declared elected unanimously.
The EC had announced the date of election as 8th April. Aspiring candidates from each batch (or constituency, as the body calls them) were asked to fill and submit manifestos and other documents. Evidently, it didn’t pan out too well: the ‘Research’ constituency in particular comprising MS, PhD, and DD6+ students, had 5 vacancies. Considering there were 6 seats from the constituency*, outlook is not very good. Interestingly, none of the incumbent MPs from the UG2k17 batch, two of whom have been in office for two years now, stood for elections this time round.
In a mail, the EC announced that, “The Students’ Parliament is an important democratic institution dealing with numerous issues faced by the Students Community and they have to remain in full strength”, calling for a second phase of elections to fill out the remaining vacancies after first try. It faced a similar fate, especially for the UG2k17 constituency which had only one candidate registered in the second phase barely filling up the required vacancies. As such, only the freshers got to choose their representatives to Parliament – not that it mattered for other batches; given the participation figures it is more than likely that electorate quorum would not have been met.
This is a concerning situation for the Students’ Parliament in IIIT. The vacancies are in themselves rather worrisome as it leads to a nominated parliament and not a directly elected one. The Election Commission seems to have recognised that, and the Second Phase offered an attempt at rectifying the issue. Yet, few seem to care even after all of the efforts.
The incident raises many questions: Why is nobody standing for elections? Is working as a Parliament member not prestigious enough? Is this linked to claims that the Parliament doesn’t really do anything? Does the parliament even function as an active democratic body, or is it just bad PR? Is it just general apathy towards the college and their functioning within it?
And why are people so apathetic?
The sentence previously said “Considering there were 5 seats from the constituency in the last Parliament”. It has since come to our notice that there were in fact 7, but 1 member was inactive early on and another left midway, which is why the document shared publicly on the Life@IIIT-H group listed only 5 members.
Bakul TT-Television Blues
At 11 AM on April 1, the residents of Bakul received an email announcing the immediate removal of the Table Tennis Table and the TV.
“In the following afternoon, the TT Table and the TV were removed from their respective locations.”
The email stated that these facilities were withdrawn because of the loud ruckus that it caused. Many students living on the 3rd and 4th floor found it difficult to concentrate on their studies or sleep with the loud noise created in these public spaces. The email went on to say that the students playing Table Tennis and watching TV had continued to make noise despite the requests of the security guards.
Investigating the matter further the issue further, we spoke to a representative of the ‘18-19 Students’ Parliament. We learnt that this issue was raised many times in the past year. To resolve the issue a time restriction of 11:30 PM had been imposed to prevent the students from disturbing the sleeping students. The restriction succeeded only for a small duration; students continued to use the facilities until late in the night. We also learnt from the representative that there were periods when there were complaints every day regarding this issue.
From the interview, we also gathered that the TT table and TV were installed using the Bakul hostel funds to provide for recreation to the studying students, but as per complaints, it has ended up disturbing many students more than benefiting them, as these students had no other place to go to sleep or concentrate at night.
“The past history of the facility paired with the current situation called for dire actions as many complaints from the residents of Bakul had reached the SLC. “
We were also informed that talks are currently taking place to reinstate the facilities, but that may take time due to its tainted history.
Students still have access to the NBH gym where they can play table tennis till late. A Student Activity Center is also in the works in order to provide students a place to gather, play and discuss fruitfully.
[This article has temporarily been redacted due to certain basic factual inaccuracies pointed out by our readers. We shall re-upload it after corrections]
Club Reports: Meltdown – the hottest music fest in campus
Akshaya K, Music Club
Every year, people witness the biggest music fest of the campus light up the atmosphere with tunes from various genres. The fest switched names- October Flake, November Jam, March Meltdown… but one aspect remained constant, the love to perform and melt the audience with music. This year, The Music Club settled with a month-independent title that signifies that constant, “Meltdown”.
In the evening of April 2nd, the amphitheatre had a big trippy banner that read “Meltdown 2k19” next to a picture of Jimmy Page. The stage was colourfully lit, instruments were plugged in and the audience gathered.
The first act started at around 8pm with the UG-1 band “Herbal Days” playing few groovy pieces. It was followed by catchy pop music performances from newly created groups. After a series of fun western music, the Mtech band mesmerized the audience with hindi songs. The ambience was serene when Prof. Vinoo and other musicians entered the stage. They radiated captivating rhythms as her violin leads captured everyone’s hearts. Just when the crowd got comfortable in their seats, the metal band “Apophenia” walked in. Two songs in, and the band members’ insane skills got everyone jumping infront of the stage. The growls, the notes, the beats- people couldn’t stop headbanging.
Afterwards, everyone returned to their seats and the second act commenced. The next set of talented musicians offered exactly what the exhausted crowd was looking for, beautiful and soothing hindi melodies. Then, the band “Pink Lemonade” pumped the audience with rock music. This was followed by the band “1.5 Step Down” that shook the stage with songs in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Next, “Freedom” was terrifically played by the band “Rageguru against the machine”, whose vocalist entertained the audience with both his voice and emo hairstyle. The last band of the show was equipped with many hot rock songs to end the fest with a BANG. With amazing vocals, chic guitar styles and rad drum beats, their songs glued everyone to their seats till the very end. It was a perfect finish to the grand event.
Thus, Meltdown 2k19 came to an end. The bright lights went off, the instruments were unplugged and the audience scattered. Every listener and performer was moved and exhilarated by all the different styles of music. Meltdown 2k19 killed it, now we await Meltdown 2k20.
Club Reports is a section where clubs and other student bodies of IIIT can write about their club activities in recent times. If you want your club’s activities to be featured in the column, reach out to us at Facebook, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to our editors.