In a bid to guide freshers and discourage ragging, senior students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) have started a forum and a mentorship programme wherein seniors will help freshers settle into the institute and solve their problems while on campus.
According to some seniors, the initiative is also aimed at keeping track of disturbed and distressed freshers and stop them from taking extreme steps owing to academic pressure.
Elaborating on the initiative, Shrey Singh, a fourth-year student of the metallurgy department who is also a part of this Students Mentorship Programme (SMP), said the initiative will prove to be very useful to both freshers and seniors.
“According to the students of IIT-B, one of the biggest dilemmas they have faced in their lives is what branch and which IIT they should choose after clearing the JEE. Students generally blindly follow status quo and choose a branch based on unreliable information or even worse, on their JEE ranks,” said Singh.
To address this issue, the Mentorship team SMP has come up with a website – http://sites.google.com/site/iitbinfo/– to disseminate information to students that will help them choose their branch, he added. This website has been updated with the relevance, curriculum and general job portfolios of every department to help students make a better and more informed choice.”
“The forum and programme have dual benefits. On one hand, it will enable the institute to solve problems faced by new students who find it difficult to adjust and acclimatise to the new environment, and secondly, it will enable seniors like us to learn troubleshooting and problem-solving techniques,” said Singh.
According to members of the SMP, some of the problems new students face in the institute are minor, but their inability to address them over a long period of time can lead to frustration and depression, which can result in students taking drastic measures.
“Through SMP the institute will get feedback from students, faculty and officials on a regular basis. Freshers can ask anything or share anything they want with their mentors and it will be addressed,” said an official from the student relations department.
“SMP is the ideal platform for freshers to interact among themselves and with seniors. All doubts regarding admission procedures, infrastructure and anything the freshers can possibly think of are asked without hesitation, and cleared with pleasure. Exposure to such activities will help us make campus life easy and comfortable for all the new students who have put in immense efforts to get into the institute,” said Singh.