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Appointment of Students' Ombudsman

December 12, 2017

Among the many problems faced by any student in the institute, one particularly sensitive issue is that of student-faculty conflicts. In an attempt to resolve these issues, the Institute has appointed Dr. Pradeep Kumar of the Civil Engineering Department as the first ‘Ombudsman’ of the institute.

Why was there a need for an Ombudsman?

It came to the notice of the administration that students were wary of taking issues with the teaching faculty to higher authorities out of the fear of being the focus of undue repercussions. This was aggravated in the case of PhD students, whose life at the institute, and probably, after, hinges on cooperation from his/her advisor. Furthermore, those issues that did make their way up the chain were often lost in the complicate and often time consuming procedures of the Main Building, with issues getting resolved long after when they could have been said to have any relevance.

What powers does an Ombudsman have?

The Ombudsman is authorized to conduct inquiries as he deems appropriate. A directive has been issued asking all departments and faculty to cooperate with him. However, he only has advisory powers. Based on his inquiries, he submits a report to the Director, suggesting appropriate actions and/or policy changes, who then takes it into consideration.


How is this post different from already existing bodies like Dean of Students’ Welfare or Counselling Cell?

The Ombudsman despite being a formal point of contact, will not be subjected to the bureaucratic formalities by undertaking the grievance through informal channels and thereby, would increase the pace of the resolution. Also, he will confine himself to faculty-centric students’ problems only and not interfere in other issues. Wherever possible, it will be ensured that the identity of the student remains anonymous.

You can find the official Ombudsman document here.