The rush to reach at least the second class in time. The arduous hours spent in lab and the relief of going to the countless treats at the Dhabhas. The late nights at CCD and the thrill of the various activities of clubs and fests really make our college life a truly enjoyable experience for us. This haven is a community made up of UG students, faculty and PG students. Out of the 5000 students in campus, over one thousand students are enrolled for PG and doctorate courses. This 20% of the population, however, walk their own separate ways, and the interaction between the UG and PG students in campus is incredibly minimal. This setting has been there since time immemorial, and hasn’t changed much. Much about the life of a PG student is unknown to the larger section of college. Through this issue, we at Feeds aim to bring to light their activities, duties, events and problems.
NITT isn’t just a B.tech assemblage, but a full-fledged collegiate community.
The life of an undergraduate in NIT Trichy is strikingly different from that of a post graduate. The interaction between UG and PG students is also highly restricted; sometimes to just the formal student teacher relationship in our lab work, sometimes to the extra friendly help during lab examinations. The daily life, coursework, non academic activities and the way of life in college of a postgraduate student vary to a large extent from their undergraduate counterparts further causing rifts between the groups. To understand the life of a PG student, let us first unravel their academic work and schedule.
Our college offers the M.S, M.Sc, M.B.A, M.C.A and M.Tech degrees in various departments. The students secure admission to NIT Trichy through the GATE, NIMCET (for MCA) or CAT (for MBA) examinations. ‘Direct Admission for Students Abroad’ (DASA) seats are also allotted.
All courses except M.C.A are for a period of two years. The academic schedule for the first two semesters (first year) is similar to that of a B. Tech student, with cycle tests and semester examinations held after lectures, labs and classes. The second academic year, however, is fully devoted to their individual projects and teaching assistantship (TA).
For MCA students, the course is divided into 6 semesters (three years).
The second year of the course is spent working on individual projects which carry a heavy value with regards to the completion of their requirements. Apart from this, the students are expected to assist their faculty in-charge with their laboratories, and handling of undergraduate courses. The students are paid a stipend each month by the college for the same.
Most of the PG male students stay in the single roomed hostels of Jasper, Lapis, Ruby. The first years stay in Aquamarine. Girl students stay in Opal D, E and B.
Conceptualized and created in 2015, the PG students organized a cultural evening at the Barn hall for all departments. As the first of its kind, it was a welcome change to the students from their set schedule. The evening witnessed various events such as Fashion Show, Dance, Drama and Music competitions, ending with a DJ night.
Pupil for Pupil Committee:
The PPC comprises of all the PG students of NIT Trichy. The club aims at helping out the needy and is primarily a social service committee. Founded by the PG students of the batch of 2005, it conducts various events through the year and works on the same lines as ‘Apeksha’, a social service club the UG students will be familiar with.
Stipends and Placements:
All PG students who take up teaching assistantship are allotted a monthly stipend by the institution. This stipend was increased from Rs 8800 to Rs 12400 in the recent times. The procedure for delivery of the amount however, is quite lengthy. Students opine that the stipend is delivered late a number of times. Representatives have approached the administration about the same and the Director has promised a speedy solution.
Similar to the selection of UG CIC representatives, the PG students select their representative. However, while each undergraduate department has a CIC rep, the entire PG student population is handled by one person.
On nearing the completion of their course, much like UG students, the PG students (mostly M.Tech and MCA) sit for their CPC exams. The procedure is similar to the sixth semester CPCs of UGs in all respects. With regards to placements, some companies open up for both PG and UG students. However, the profiles are generally different. Management profiles are often reserved for UG students only.
When asked about their satisfaction with placements on campus, the result wasn’t very gladdening. The CIC rep tells us that although the rate is not comparable to UG placements, NIT Trichy boasts of one of the highest placement rates with respect to PG students.
Festember, Pragyan, and NITTFEST not only provide four days of entertainment, knowledge, and fun; they also prove to be a platform to gain valuable organizational skills and improve teamwork. However, when inductions open up for these organizer positions they open up only for UG 2nd and 3rd years. PG students are invariably left out of the picture. Feeds contacted heads of the fests regarding the same issue:
PG students have a much more different schedule than us since they have to work on their research projects. So comparatively, they have much less free time than us and it’ll be tedious to assign work to them. PG students are no doubt a vital part of our college. They have attended inductions before, but we unfortunately had to tell them that it was open only to UG students. There are some plans about introducing Malayalam and Telugu Lits events in Festember. If implemented, we are planning to involve PG students in the organizing of these events.
– Chandrashekhar (Overall Coordinator, Festember 2015) and Kaushal (Head, Events, Festember 2015)
I guess it all comes down to their schedule. Their hectic schedule makes it a bit difficult to give them organizing related work. We do, however, take in PG students as event managers. About 30 to 40 of Pragyan’s event managers are PG students. We don’t see a lot of participation from PG students, since Pragyan is a fest that mostly targets the B.Tech crowd. A lot of the events might be simple for PG students. That said however, PG students do participate in some events. The coding events attract students from the Department of Computer Applications, and events like Manigma see a good participation from MBA students. PG students are an important part of NITT’s student community. There are some ideas in the pipeline about taking in more PG students into the organizing of Pragyan. It is still only in the initial stages.
-Keerthi Vasan (Chairman, Pragyan 2016)
Participation in NITTFEST is mostly from undergrads. PG students, owing to a low number of students and hectic schedules have limited participation. However, departments like Computer Applications and Management Studies do take part in the stage events. We have tried to reach out to the Departments of Physics and Chemistry for participation, but we didn’t get a positive response.
– Vishal Asokan (Overall Coordinator, NITTFEST 2015)
Since we are here only for two years, it is difficult for us to help in organizing the events. By the time we learn to handle the ropes, we enter our extremely academically hectic second year. For most of us, these fests are times to relax and watch some events that happen. Participation and organizing is quite difficult.
– Pranav (PG Representative, 2015-16)
Fests, Stipends and clubs.
Feeds conducted a survey for all the PG students of NITT, including the alumni. The results are shown below:
The survey also asked the students to state any other problems they face in college. The popular answer to that question was that the campus seems to be ‘UG oriented’. PG students add that the campus isn’t inclusive of the post graduates and they are often left out of the happenings in campus. Other issues stated include the library not being functional 24×7 and poor lab facilities in some departments.
Suggestions of methods to integrate the lives of the two sections of college:
NITT Calendar page is a one stop source for information regarding all activities in college, be it lost cycles or holidays announcements. Imagine you weren’t a part of the Facebook page. Now imagine none of your friends are, either. A year back, that was the situation of most PG students which resulted in them missing out on food coupon distributions, news and events. Today, most of them are a part of the Facebook page!
1) The survey revealed that NITTFest is the event most number of PG students take part in. That said, even this number is low in comparison to those who do not take part in any event. While the difficulty of involving a PG student in an event to organize is understandable, steps should be taken in order to include them in participation.
2) Interest clubs can look to induct PG students into their teams while not compromising on the number of undergraduates. This would help students involve themselves in what they are passionate about while the club doesn’t lose out when the PG students are held up with academic pressure.
3) Just as information regarding college events are circulated within UG students via various social media and networking applications, some representatives of PG students should also be contacted. Volunteers from the PG departments to pass on the information and form the middle ground between the two sections of college would help in this regard.
When questioned how they like NIT Trichy better than their previous institutions a student responded saying, “My previous institution gave me a degree. NIT Trichy is my alma mater.” Despite the various degree biased restrictions they face, these scholars continue to have a firm belief that NITT will provide them with opportunities and exposure that cannot be obtained anywhere else. For them to make the best out of our college, a more inclusive campus should be provided and steps should be taken to involve them in fests, events and clubs.