Student Elections Are Nothing But A Farce In IIT Guwahati’s Authoritarian Structure

Recently IIT Guwahati conducted its Gymkhana election. However not more that 50% of the students turned up for vote. Also, not all the posts in the student council had a candidate. The statistics clearly showed that the students are not interested in the election. What can be the reason behind this?

To begin with, the president of student Gymkhana Council is actually a professor who holds the position of the ‘Dean of Student Affairs’ along with two more associate deans who are professors too. The members of student council are hence insignificant here, as they won’t be able to make a demand from the student side when the head is a professor.

Whenever the students wrote to them for a particular problem, they have simply showed their ignorance. They have never bothered to reply to the mails of the students. Neither did the Dean of Student Welfare show any interest. However, it is not that the institute is devoid of problems.

Firstly, the price of food each student has to pay is ₹115 per day which comprises ₹72 for the cost of food, ₹4 as GST and ₹39 as the labour charge. In most of the other IITs this labour charge is taken care of by the institute. But here it is paid by the students.

Besides, compared to other IITs, IIT Guwahati does not provide the required quality of food. In spite of taking ₹14000 for four months, IIT Guwahati charges for milk and egg and even for a cup of tea in the breakfast.

Secondly, the institute which boasts itself of national excellence delays the MHRD fellowship of the PhD scholars. The time period of scholarship is taken to be from the 21st of a month to the 20th of the preceding month, instead of 1st to 30th/31st. However, when other IITs are punctual enough to provide the scholars the fellowship within the first five days of every month, IIT Guwahati delays it for 18 days at least, in general. Sometimes, it takes more than 20 days, like it has happened this month.

Thirdly, be it about a small thing like getting a room in the institute guest house, a student has to make a number of visits to get an approval from the authority.

Besides, there are many issues related to the delay of campus bus services, inefficient administration, etc. However, the deans who hold the power positions in the institute probably find it irritating to reply to the students’ demands. In such a campus, election is a gimmick which tries to cover up the authoritarian structure in IIT Guwahati, while the students remain as the victims.

According to the NIRF 2019 ranking, IIT Guwahati ranks 7th. Is it not the responsibility of the institute which is known for its research in the field of science, to cater to the needs of its students?

Note: We contacted IIT Guwahati for a comment on the above realities and have received no response. This post will be updated once we receive a response.

Featured image source: Giridhar Appaji Nag Y/Flickr.
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