My hall seniors and batchmates encouraged me to stand for election since I was a bit popular in the field of social and culture from my first year. I’ve been fascinated by dancing. When I discovered that dancing was included in the position of dramatics secretary, I went for it. I had always wanted to organize an event and push myself; this was the major motive that prompted me to apply for the secretary position. Further, I wanted to hold a position in the gymkhana and was motivated for the secretary position.
We used to have subcommittee meetings, and as a secretary, we had to go to them, but it was doable. During the event, I had to perform many things, such as going to the main building and reserve rooms, contacting the judges, etc. Being a dramatics secretary is more loaded than other positions because the GC event (Stageplay) goes on for around a week. But it was still manageable if well planned.
This was a very beneficial experience for me since it taught me how to deal with pressure. I must say that I am now able to manage several tasks at the same time. In addition, I had the opportunity to interact with many people, and relationships are quite valuable.
Advice for Juniors: The first thing I would like to mention is that you shouldn’t become a secretary only for the sake of the POR. Contest for the position if you are truly interested in the work because it might be stressful at times, and if you are not interested, it will be futile.
When you come to college, everyone tells you to explore KGP, explore your interest, explore yourself. I have always been motivated to manage such posts since school. Two years of JEE life ruins our interests, and IIT gives us a choice to pursue them. My main motivation was to improve my communication skills, get rid of public fear, and make good connections in KGP. So, I planned to contest for the post of Gymkhana Secretary.
Being a secretary was very fancy at first. I became more recognized in the batch and enjoyed the meetings with the Gymkhana officials and the subcommittee. I came to know more about how the different sections in the administration work. This post puts you in the sole responsibility of your event. But as time went by, I learned from your mistakes. During the General Championship, things became difficult when there were back-to-back events, but it made me value time more. I have a very good experience being a Gymkhana Secretary, and it brought me an improved version of myself.
A secretary is mainly responsible for conducting and ensuring the smooth functioning of every aspect of the events of his subcommittee. It includes room bookings, taking care of the judges, booking AV Cell / Sikander Sound, managing budget, documentation and approval of the expenses, and attending the subcommittee meetings. There are some side responsibilities at the time of Inter IIT. It is not very difficult to manage with academics. My department is relatively chill, so I didn’t face much of a challenge in maintaining a decent CGPA. Apart from event dates, I had enough time for classes, studies, and other activities.
It plays a major role in my life. It helped me gain self-confidence and build good relations with seniors and officials. I learned the ability to take up challenges and manage my time efficiently. I won’t say the post matters much in my career, but the learnings I had during the tenure and the changes it instilled inside me matter a lot. Overall it had impacted my life in a productive way, and it made me a true KGPian.
Advice for Juniors: There is a reason for saying it an extra-curricular activity as it comes after the curriculum. So, before contesting, you should ask your department seniors about it. If you have a decent CGPA and interests in managing things, then contest and fight for it. Make as many connections and friends as possible and fight for the position.
I used to work at Eastern India’s best newspaper, The Telegraph in Schools, and I wanted to expand the field of journalism in IITs as well. My main purpose of contesting for this post was to start an inter IIT newspaper. I always wanted to be an influential person wherever I went. Most students here are intellectually smart, but they lack effective communication skills. This is an opportunity the first years can grab to improve it. I told my seniors about my views and proposals; they were very supportive and guided me. I successfully brought the illumination magazine – the first magazine created at IIT Kharagpur; it went globally across the alumni, and everyone loved it.
Social and Cultural secretaries are slightly more loaded. I had a good bond with the President and my PTIs. Instead of leaving my tasks for the last minute, I used to pre-plan my events and just write a few emails as the day approached. Since everything used to be planned, it didn’t affect my academics.
This experience plays a very significant role. There were times when people were diplomatic and took me for granted. One has to face a lot of diplomacies everywhere, and I learned to handle them at this age. Also, the POR is something that distinguishes me, as I know how to handle situations that no one can foresee easily. As you proceed higher in your career, you will gradually be in the position to lead. Leading is another thing that this position teaches, and it helps make influential decisions right from this level.
Advice for Juniors: It’s a great opportunity. You should go ahead with it without thinking about winning or losing. This position brings about a lot of learning, and the companion that you make throughout the journey is much more cherishable than any other thing. Networking is very essential, and this post gives hands-on experience with forming networks while resolving conflicts. The destination is not that important, the journey is something that is way more valuable.
The usual steps to take when you think you’re interested in contesting for a TSG post are to speak to relevant seniors in your hall and previous position holders. It’s important to speak to the previous post-holders in particular because they have the best insights when it comes to every detail of the position, both the good and the not-so-good parts. I was a part of TLS in my first year and given my affinity for literary arts, the post appealed to me more than the other secretary positions that students can contest.
The responsibilities of the literary secretary are mainly to conduct Open IIT and GC events, and coordinate with the literary societies (TLS and Debating Society) when required. I definitely appreciate the experience I had – although it may be stressful at times, it can also be fulfilling to work with a great team and see the events end on a high note – especially GC events, which tend to be very competitive. The position also provides the student with an opportunity to contribute to the KGP community by not only completing their duties but also by potentially taking new initiatives that are deemed to be implementable. Balancing responsibilities with academic work depends on how well the student is able to manage time, being organized, and staying on the same page as your team members should help with the same.
Any position of responsibility, not just TSG posts, tends to inculcate a sense of accountability. Being accountable and responsible for something helps you, as an individual, in the long run, because you learn to build a diverse set of qualities – whether it’s managing multiple commitments, learning how to organize an event, or even if it’s something more personal, like learning to be more confident. As for the literary secretary post, they’re expected to interact with a wide range of people as a part of their responsibilities – whether it’s a batchmate, junior, senior, professor, or a TSG staff member. Moreover, GC events are a very important part of KGP culture and a lot of students take it very seriously, so there’s quite a bit of pressure to get the details right while organizing events – so being detail-oriented is another quality you might pick up on the way. My experiences as the literary secretary paved the way for my experiences as the Officiating General Secretary, Social & Cultural. Both of these experiences definitely taught me many things, which I can’t guarantee will be universal for everyone. It’s natural to learn from your personal experiences, and everyone’s tenure has its own challenges and difficulties.
Advice for Juniors: First understand what the expectations are from the position-holder, talk to the previous secretaries and even the GSecs for more insights. Do your research, check the relevant Facebook pages, the website, and the TSG constitution. If the post seems like a good fit for you, then please apply! Stay in touch with hall seniors for guidance regarding election procedures. Lastly, the online semester secretary tenure will be quite different compared to the offline semester secretary tenure, so you can be creative and think of new proposals or new ideas that you’d like to see implemented. Secretary applicants may have the right perspective of what it’s like to be a fresher in the online semester, so reflect on that and think of what you’d like to do in the next academic session, to make Social & Cultural activities more accessible and enjoyable for the incoming students (especially if the online situation continues). All the best!
Tankala Ratan Raj
Films & Photography Subcommittee
I got to know about Gymkhana secretary positions from my society. The governors held a meeting and explained the various positions. I felt that I should contest for films & photography secretary, and just went with my gut feeling.
One of my major responsibilities was to look after the Technology Film Society (TFS), where I was the only student representative, and others were faculty members. I had to manage the interests of various sections of the KGP community and decide which movie to screen. In my tenure, we installed Dolby Atmos in the Netaji Auditorium. There is one Open IIT event and one General Championship event that comes under the responsibility of the film secretary. You also have to be the support of other so-cult secretaries. Balancing time as a secretary is similar to balancing time in society. Efficient time management comes with experience. You learn as you face the situations.
I gained self-confidence from this experience and made really great friends too. You learn time management and how to talk to people. You also learn how the world works, and when something doesn’t happen how it is supposed to, you learn how to overcome the challenge.
Advice for Juniors: You will definitely learn a lot if you become the secretary and manage events. The major work related to TFS can only be done when you reach the campus, though.
Fine, Allies Art and Modelling Subcommittee
When I was in my first year, I was excited to explore all domains, and I found KGP to be a perfect platform where students can explore other fields along with the core. I always loved to take responsibilities. I’ve always enjoyed taking on tasks. So, when I learned about the secretary’s responsibilities during election time, I thought it was a great chance that I should take advantage of. Leadership and management work has always motivated me, so I decided to apply for the post of secretary.
My responsibilities include organizing events, including every small task like attending all the subcommittee meetings, discussing the dates and rules of the event, finding judges for the event, and talking to PTI for reimbursement.
It is not difficult to manage two tasks simultaneously, but you must create a perfect plan based on your priorities at the time. I had the habit of doing my tasks ahead of schedule, which helped my time management. I also enjoyed the thrill of completing challenging tasks when I have multiple things to do.
Sometimes we don’t realize but whatever actions we do, have an impact on our life. This post helped me in prioritizing my work, improving my convincing skills, teamwork, and time management skills. You will also learn how to be a good team player because as a secretary you have to help other secretaries with their work.
Advice for Juniors: Just give your best, don’t worry about the end result, and enjoy the whole process. You might go through the phase where you have a lot of doubts and will ask yourself or your friends whether you should contest or not. But do what you really want, and don’t base your decision on the advice of others who don’t have to deal with the situation. I am sure you will learn something from it. All the best!