IIT Bombay General Elections 2022: Crowning the Winners of the General Secretary, Hostel Affairs (GSHA), and General Secretary, Cultural Affairs (GSCA) Positions

IIT Bombay General Elections 2022 were held on campus in March 2022. Kartik Bachhav won a very competitive election for the position of General Secretary, Hostel Affairs (GSHA), and Divya Mrinal won the election for General Secretary, Cultural Affairs (GSCA).

Here, both of them take us through the thrill of winning this election, what their new positions mean to them and how they plan to fulfil the mission they laid out in their respective manifestos.

Read on for more on Kartik and Divya’s journeys.

Kartik Bachhav - General Secretary, Hostel Affairs, 2022-23 (GSHA)

Thank you for your wishes. I am grateful to all the students of IIT Bombay for believing in me. Previously, I served as Institute Secretary, Hostel Affairs, in my 3rd year. I was also part of the maintenance and mess councils during my freshman and sophomore years. The knowledgeable and enriching experiences I got from these tenures gave me the impetus to run for the post of GSHA.

Working for the department of Hostel Affairs has intrigued me since my freshman year and continues to excite me. Hostels are where students spend most of their lives at the institute. I had a specific vision for the GSHA position and came up with many initiatives for the betterment of the student community. The GSHA position is a highly responsible and impact-making post. All this aligned with my previous experiences on campus and motivated me to contest for the position of General Secretary, Hostel Affairs.

Absolutely. The whole journey was filled with ups and downs and was very stressful. My coursework and the electioneering campaign occurred simultaneously. I had to file nomination papers, do a lot of groundwork, prepare my manifesto, and campaign for the elections, along with studying for my degree. But it was also very exciting. Campaigning for the GSHA position gave me an insight into the diverse mindset and expectations of various students from different departments. In terms of handling stress, the lion’s share of the credit goes to my dear friends. They were with me during every phase of the elections and shared my worries and concerns. Also, talking to my family and my seniors helped me relax.

As GSHA, I’m a member of various committees on campus that deal with issues related to our hostels and make decisions for the welfare of the hostels. GSHA is a member of the Security Advisory Committee, Hospital and Health Advisory Committee, Gender Cell, etc. and these committees make important decisions across all Institute-based guidelines.

The GSHA also chairs the Hostel General Secretaries Committee, Maintenance Committee, and Mess Committee. Apart from these, the position of the GSHA is very dynamic and ongoing and I have to handle situations that change daily.

We have already started working on the manifesto. The formation of the Hostel Affairs Council will be completed in a couple of weeks and I will then distribute the work among the council members. We have already started the transportation project which will be extremely beneficial to our students. We are setting up new juice centres across campus. We are also working on some digitisation projects. The plan is to distribute the work efficiently among the council members and follow up with them regularly. I’m certain that the Hostel Affairs Council will run smoothly and we will deliver the results as expected by the students.

Divya Mrinal – General Secretary, Cultural Affairs, 2022-23 (GSCA)

Thank you for your wishes! It feels great! This is the first time that I’ve contested an election and the journey was marvellous! I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the students in our institute and provide them with a platform to develop, nurture and hone their skills in various cultural activities during their stay at IIT Bombay.

Anni Albers said that “Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.” I believe in this wholeheartedly. I am an enthusiastic artist and have participated in a variety of cultural activities during my school days. I learnt the classical dance form Bharatanatyam. I have won first prize in singing competitions, debating competitions, and on-the-spot elocution competitions. I have passed the Elementary and Intermediate Drawing Grade examinations with an ‘A’ grade. I write articles, quotes, and poems. I also enjoy making greeting cards, origami art, mandala, Madhubani, and Warli art.

I have also taken an active part in Culturals, IIT Bombay, right from my first year. All of these memorable artistic experiences led me to run for the GSCA position during the Student Elections.

Some of the key responsibilities of the GSCA are:

  • - Ensuring planning and conducting of cultural events and GCs by the Institute Cultural Council
  • - Working on collaborative cultural events and encouraging active participation of IIT Bombay students in inter-college cultural events and competitions

One of my plans is to introduce the culinary arts on campus this year and provide food enthusiasts the chance to experiment and explore making new dishes. I also want to encourage students to produce original video mini-series on various cultural genres and activities on campus.

My election journey was a unique experience for me and my team. It was filled with learning, interacting, growing, exploring, and taking risks. It was the first time I saw all the hostels on campus inside and out. It was a great experience interacting with so many people and listening to their suggestions and ideas.

One of my most cherished memories is going out of campus with my campaign managers on the day of the election and spending the entire day with them.

What a wonderful experience Karthik and Mrinal had during their elections to the Student Council. Both of them have a clear vision for their positions and the energy and enthusiasm to make sure they bring their vision to fruition. We wish them both the very best moving forward.