Annual Report 2017
Here's wishing a lot of fun and interactions to everyone who is attending the 2nd IISER-K Alumni Meet.
Here is the President's Address towards the Annual Report for all alumni who have been unable to make it there.
"Hello everyone. On behalf of the present alumni core committee, I would like to extend all of you a warm welcome. On behalf of the whole alumni association, at the very outset I would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr Sourav Pal, the present director of IISER-Kolkata and extend our support towards a new era of happiness, wellbeing and success of our beloved institute.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Debasish Haldar and Dr Kathakali Bhattacharya for taking up the responsibility for the formation of the alumni association and the organisation of regular alumni meets on behalf of the institute, we are very grateful to you respected sir and ma'am.
We are also grateful to the faculty of IISER-Kolkata who have been very supportive during the whole process, the DOSA, DOFA, other departmental heads as well as the SAC. Since the election of the alumni core committee during the 1st alumni meet of IISER-Kolkata, held during December 2016, the alumni committee has taken up the task of the formation of a proper legal alumni body seriously and various milestones have already been achieved. Here, I would like to report a few of those milestones along with future proposals and plans to look back over the achievements of a year and plan the next one armed with better information.
Without further ado, let me present a list of works which have been undertaken and completed.
- The setting up of a alumni Facebook page to enable notices and highlight alumni achievements.
- The setting up of a tentative alumni advisory board with members who reached out and volunteered their expertise.
- The drafting of a constitution and a seal in order to register the association has already been done and will soon be sent around to all alumni members and the institute for their inputs. An alumni sub committee headed by Rajashik Tarafadar is overseeing this particular aspect.
- The setting up of the official website of the IISER-K AA is almost complete. This is being overseen by a committee headed by Shubham Dipt, Dibyajyoti Maiti and Debanjan Basu and will be set up and hosted by IISER-Kolkata with the help of the SAC.
- Efforts have already been undertaken towards the formation of a platform for anonymous/non-anonymous current student and alumni interaction which will be helpful towards providing guidance and support at critical junctures.
The previous year has seen IISER-Kolkata ravaged by issues which have been big and highlighted in the media. The Alumni association in turn has formed subcommittees and Project heads who have taken up the mantel of looking into these issues and have reported back to the SAC or to the director of IISER-Kolkata proposing action plans. Two of the groups which have been especially active are:
- IISER-Kolkata AA Sexual Harassment Target Group headed by Narendra Mukherjee: This target group has reached out to present students and alumni alike and has drafted its response and demands as a letter to the director of IISER-Kolkata forwarded by the president, Alumni Association regarding the charges of Sexual Harassment faced by certain faculty. It is to remind everyone present that the IISER-K AA takes these charges very seriously and will strive to provide support to any victim who wishes to take legal action. The AA led by this target group would also like the institute to install introductory courses regarding the definitions of sexual harassment and abuse at the workplace, student-faculty interactions and student-student interactions. To that end, the committee will put forth a list of online modules that faculty and students must undertake when entering an institute of national repute such as ours. In this year of the #MeToo campaign and #TimesUp and the coming out of women all over the world regarding painful personal stories, let us remember that we all have been accomplices in hiding and protecting sexual abusers and harassers sometimes consciously and othertimes, subconsciously and that this must immediately stop. Consent is easy to understand. A “no” means a “no” and asking at every stage goes a long way. There is no room for argument.
- IISER Kolkata AA target group regarding hiking up fees: This group headed by Aniket Patra, and Juhi Rajhans rendezvoused with Sachin Pandey of the SAC and came up with studies and research as to the reasons that have led to the present sad case of affairs and are making an effort towards hashing out a long term solution for the same.
- IISER K AA Mental Health Target Group: Following the sad case of a student suicide, this target group aims to set up a list of research backed guidelines which an institute of national repute such as IISER-Kolkata must follow in order to safe guard the mental health of students and faculty and any complications that might arise in relation to such sensitive issues. Again, the Alumni Association believes that basic mental health and gender sensitivity modules must be undertaken by all new incoming members of the IISER-Kolkata family. We must, at all costs, stop harassment, victim blaming, slut shaming and gender inequalities on campus if we aim to send our students far and wide into the world aiming towards building the future leaders of tomorrow. As they say, charity starts at home and let us make this our priority.
Following the previous mentioned points, there have also been a few efforts which are on the process and a few proposals which have been sent to the alumni association from present students which must be taken up by the next elected committee.
- Funding and sponsorship for INQUIVESTA, the letter regarding which would be sent out to all alumni as soon as possible. Thank you Estuti Shukla.
- A proposal has been sent towards the recording of certain lectures and making an online video library which the alumni association supports whole heartedly, seeing that we boast world class lecturers who can put a lot of international lecturers to shame. We, as an institute, must strive for the career development of both our faculty and students, one of which is to help each of them build up a strong web presence in today’s tech savvy world highlighting their strengths.
- A proposal has been sent to the IISER-Kolkata administration regarding setting up of an alumni room which would be accessed by alumni visiting IISER-Kolkata.
- An Alumni bank account depositing the alumni fees paid by all IISER-K students is on the process of being set up.
- The Institute would be presenting each graduating student with an alumni ID card.
- An IISER-Kolkata alumni data base and highlighting of alumni achievements and current status is being worked on.
- Institution of an Alumni Funded Scholarship for current students.
With this, I would like to end the annual report and wish all of you present here a very happy new year and a successful year ahead. Hope you all enjoy the alumni meet immensely and take a more active role in the same. It has definitely been a tad difficult and a challenge to have undertaken such a huge responsibility with few volunteers as is normal the very first year but here's a toast to a swiftly growing future for the association and a strong alumni-institute relationship! Cheers!
Thank you all for coming and I am so grateful to the internet for having made this video meet possible from another continent and a busted knee. hehe. Let the fun begin!!
Regards, Sonali Mohapatra President IISER-K AA