Mohonpur (Nadia), May 14: The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata (IISER-K) authorities have decided to review its basic ‘internal counselling systems’ and to upgrade it soon to make the institute more “students’ friendly”. With an aim to access the state of mind of the students, the internal committees of the institute would likely to begin review sessions and take experts’ opinions on different issues from similar institutes from May 15 when most of the students would go home on summer vacation.
The new “updated guidelines” are expected to come into effect from July 26 when normal functioning would resume after summer vacation.
The institute, however, at the same time, would be eagerly waiting for the findings of police investigation of its student Sagar Mandal’s alleged murder case to decide if it at all required to implement any “immediate” step as a precautionary measure in the wake of the death.
IISER-K’s existing guidelines for the internal counselling and students management systems were adopted in 2015. In 2016 some modifications were made after a discussion during summer vacation. “But this time it will be an overall review to make a comprehensive guideline where all faculty heads, deans, members of board of directors and other associates would take part”, said an official.
The issue of reviewing the existing “students management” system came up following second year BS-MS student Sagar Mandal committed suicide on May 1. After the incident many teachers raised fingers on the management for absence of internal counseling systems for the students. But, the IISER-K authorities always refuted the allegations. But in its report to the Ministry of HRD, it proposed to examine the deficiencies in the present system.
Dean of students’ affair professor Arindam Kundagrami said: “There has been a students counselling system always. But, now we would review the entire internal counselling system. We actually framed our systems earlier following the IITs and other IISERs. Now we would check what new steps they have adopted during the past one year. We would go through their entire policies and update us accordingly, not just considering the present situation, rather as a general requirement for the better management in future”
“However, as an unfortunate incident has recently occurred in the campus, our aim would be to find out the reason behind it through such review to avoid recurrence of such incident”, the dean of students affair added.
To suit the requirement in the changing time, the IISER authorities, however, would not take any individual ‘expert’s’ opinion.
“We consider similar educational institutes like IITs and other IISERs as our experts. We always keep watching on institutes like IITs Kharagpur, Kanpur and IISER Bhopal and also often talk to them. We also go through their web sites for any ready references and new ideas on multiple issues and take notes. We have found that they have also similar problems. But they are big institutions. It is not necessary to follow them in all aspects, but we can consider implementing their philosophy here. This time we would see how these institutes do involve counsellors, psychiatrists with the students, how they involve faculties and deans as well as how they involve the parents and family members in the system. Our aim is to develop a comprehensive policy for welfare of the students”, Kundagrami said.
However, the authorities are not in favour to involve the parents in the systems at the initial stage.
Dean of students affairs said: “Parents will be definitely involved but not at the initial stage. It will be on specific requirement on the advice of the counselor. If we involve the parents at the initial stage of any problem, it may be construed that we are trying to wash off our hands.