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The 2nd IIT SPAN Meeting

March 12, 2018
- Agrim Patodia, Uday Shinghal, Nikhil Arora

The IIT SPAN, or Indian Institutes of Technology Students’ Presence Across Nation, is a self governed body composed of the elected student representatives of the respective IITs, with the intent to serve as an advisory body and as a platform to hear and address the various grievances of its members. The IIT SPAN constitution was adopted in April 2016, citing its various responsibilities, sub-committees and bylaws. The second IIT SPAN meet of 2017-18 session was held at IIT Roorkee on 2nd-3rd March 2018 which was attended by the student senate representatives of IIT Roorkee, Bilai, BHU, Delhi, Indore, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Palakkad, Patna, and Ropar. Watch Out covered the events that unfolded at the same.

The agendas for the second IIT SPAN meet were decided beforehand and submitted by the member IITs’ representatives. The first few agendas looked at confirming and ratifying the resolutions passed in the first meet held at IIT Kanpur. These included resolutions passed for IIT BHU and IIT Indore after the IIT Kanpur SPAN meet vide proper channels. In IIT Indore, the Student Gymkhana was dissolved and disciplinary action taken against protesting students. In IIT BHU, several students faced harassment and threats. It was suggested that the IIT SPAN would forward a letter to the MHRD through the directors of the respective institutes, to address the issues.

Another decision was made regarding the Inter IIT Cultural Meet. IIT Kanpur, the host of the 2017 Cultural Meet briefly summarised the happenings, the expenses incurred and suggestions for the future. This was followed by the house initiating a bid for deciding the next host. IIT Roorkee proposed holding the next Cultural Meet. According to Prajwal Bhatt (General Secretary: Cultural Affairs), since IIT Roorkee is trying to reduce its closed group culture, this will be a wonderful opportunity to encourage the students to participate in cultural activities. Moreover, with the construction of the new Students’ Activity Center, IITR has the required venues for hosting the events.

The penultimate agenda of the meet aimed at getting official recognition for the IIT SPAN organisation. Currently, it is not officially recognised by the MHRD or the IIT Council. Thus, it was suggested that the they send a letter to the MHRD and a short document on the functioning and scope of IIT SPAN through the directors of the respective institutes. It is important that the organisation receives formal recognition if its decisions are to be recognised across the pan IIT community.

In conclusion, it was decided that IIT Delhi will host the next IIT SPAN meet, with an overall consensus to increase the frequency of meetings to at least twice a year.

As we go forward, an increased interaction between the student communities of various IITs shall certainly go a long way. The IIT SPAN serves as an important platform to bring the issues of the student community forwards in a formal, democratically elected way.

The detailed minutes of the meeting, as compiled by Watch Out, can be found on this link. You can also find the constitution of IIT SPAN here.