Cover Story on Careers
Director Dr. Mini Shaji Thomas
Dean (Students’ Welfare) Dr.Samson Mathew
Dr.V.Sathyaraj Dr.V.Vinod Balakrishnan Content Developers: Ashwath, Parasuraman, Akaash P, Abhilasha, Shwetha, Sai Sudhir, Seshasayi, Kavya V, Chinmayi, Venkat, Anirudh, Rigved, Santhosh, Tejas, Rakshit Harish, Mathirush, Adhithya S, Adhithya N, Adityan, Kaushik, Ashwin, Nived, Srishyam, Saif, Harshini, Keshore, Ashwin S, Trisha, Tania, Sai Prashant, Deeksha, Shruthi, Yuvan, Arvindmani, Gautham, Kavya B, Anupama, Snigdha, Suriya, Neveditha, Advait. Cover Story: Trisha, Tania, Parasuraman, Anirudh, Shwetha, Abhilasha, Rakshit, Sarath, Porvika, Abhinav, Gautham, Shruthi, Ashwin K. Cover: Revankumar. Creative Writers: Akaash P, Parasuraman, Kavya V, Santhosh, Harish, Rakshit, Sarath. Illustrators: Ayush, Sivaprakash, Pradeeksha, Komal, Venkataramana. Designers: Mukesh, Arunagiri, Devashish, Akash, Sai Charan, Dinesh, Arun Kumar, Abhinaya, Abhijjith, Swarthika, Revan Kumar. Photographer: Kamala Kannan.
Srishyam Raghavan Ashwin Krishnan
Administrative Head Sriram Raghavan
Online Presence Head Gautham Mahadevan
Karthik Selva and Deepak Valagam ( ICE 2012)
Printed at Safire Oﬀset printers, Sivakasi. © Feeds NITT 2018. All rights reserved.
Shruthi Srinivasan Editor Growing up is awkward. While the entire process is lifelong, the realisation is sudden and fierce. It comes unexpectedly, at the strangest of places and times. For me, the moment first arrived while writing a semester exam. Suddenly, I felt empty and heavy; I felt a strange calmness accompanied by a dull panic, ‘What am I doing in this world? What am I going to do in life? I’m twenty, I have little control over my life, and I’m clueless. I hate myself.’ But then, I got back to solving the problem and by the time I completed the exam, the moment had passed. I didn’t pay much heed to it until it happened again, at home while watching King Kong for some inexplicable reasons. This time, after the movie ended( I had to finish watching it), I penned down my strengths, flaws, expectations, career goals and interests. Sadly, this exercise didn’t give me enough clarity; my life looked like a jigsaw puzzle with some missing pieces of the future and some mismatched pieces from the past. While the whole exercise aﬀected me, it made me focus on things that mattered. From then, I started reading more, I spoke and listened to diﬀerent people, weighed issues on a diﬀerent scale and even tried to be more empathetic, and appreciate everything around me. I studied people’s behaviour- learning to accept them for what they are and not, and tried figuring out who resonated with me. This eventually lead me to ascertain the meaning of certain values like professionalism, honesty, ambition, and hope. I realised that the world is beautiful and inviting, but it requires you to take responsibility for yourself and your close ones. It presents a complex element called society which gives unlimited freedom, all the same, expects you to commit on a couple of grounds. You’ll have to endure some hardships and overcome obstacles caused by the bigger evils - hypocrisy, ego, and fear. In this web you weave around yourself, you’ll also be searching for the right balance between satisfaction, passion, and perfection. This is where I would like to quote late Paul Kalanithi from his memoir, ‘You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving’. I believe life is about how well you handle your disappointments. The sooner you learn to weave in and out of your web, life seems less chaotic and presents a purpose. It becomes easier to prioritise, grow up, and make good decisions. With the plenitude of opportunities, there is, it’s also easy to be misled and choose the wrong path. Thus, it’s pivotal for young adults to make the right decisions and at the right time. One such important decision is choosing a career. Although selfassessment will help, due guidance is indispensable and honest answers to your career choice are necessary. In this issue of Feeds, our cover story on Careers attempts to resolve these umpteen doubts and answer questions people have before deciding on their careers. The story is a combined eﬀort of the team and our alumni, who were more than happy to guide their alma mater. This issue also contains news on OIR NITT, creative spaces, interesting features, word games, cartoons and more. Hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we loved working on it.
WINTER SPORTS AND OLYMPICS Winter is the season of transition and purity, where everything is covered in a pure white sheet of snow. It is the time for laziness and hibernation, but for the enthusiasts, â€˜tis the season to be jolly, Falalalala lalalala - doing skiing, skating etc. Thus, winter sports evolved in various countries above the Tropic of Cancer, giving rise to various championship events for those sports, and even a dedicated Olympics. Interestingly, what is considered to be a winter sport today was a means of transportation in the past. Skiing and skateboarding were used for transportation in snowy areas and soon became activities of leisure. As the competitiveness rose, such activities were turned into sports with rules and regulations to govern them. Later in the 20th century, the Winter Olympics (officially Olympic Winter Games) was declared, and has seen its popularity grow with each passing Olympics, with more events being added in each session of the Games. As more people have started watching, the popularity gap between the Summer and Winter Olympics has slowly narrowed. Today, winter sports comprises of more than just skiing, skating, snowboarding and other sports that attribute their origins to transport on snow. Sports like curling, ice hockey, figure skating are becoming increasingly popular and have been included in the modern Winter Olympics. The total number of winter sports in the Winter Olympics currently stands at 15. However, the popularity of other team sports which have not yet been included in the Winter Olympics, like ice sledge hockey, snow rugby, and Ringette has been steadily increasing. 02
Our country India, as a vast peninsular region with water bodies surrounding it from three sides, has always shone in all fields under the sun - be it science, sports or even entrepreneurship. However, due to the country being too much under the sun, the country does not get to excel in Winter Sports. Winter sports can happen in very few parts of the country consistently, and therefore, costs are high and participation is low. So far, India has made 9 Olympic appearances since 1964, but has not brought home a medal even once. However, the future of Indian winter sports is not all bleak. The government has launched initiatives like skiing championships in cooler regions like Jammu and Kashmir to promote tourism. If the government focuses on building good facilities for winter sports, then participation, especially of the local people, in major winter sports competitions will increase with the added benefit of an assured profit in tourism. This will improve Indiaâ€™s chances in the future Winter Olympic events. In the 2018 Winter Olympics, which was held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, India did not win any medals. Two competitors represented India in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Shiva Keshavan, a veteran of six Winter Olympics, took part in Luge (a type of sled sport), and Jagdish Singh competed in the cross country skiing event. Hopefully in the future, with encouragement from the government, India will have a stronger presence in the other events too.
Sai Sudhir, Venkat, Parasuraman
The Office of International Relations, NIT Trichy was successfully inaugurated on 18 January 2018. The office aims to open semester exchange programs for B.Tech and M.Tech students currently. The committee is headed by Dr. Nagamani and our Director is the patron. Dr. Samson Mathew functions as the Director’s nominee for OIR while administrative operations are overseen by Dr. T Ramesh. A year and a half ago, Suriya, Snigdha and Abinesh started researching about student exchange programs for a story in Feeds. While working on the story they realised the importance of such programs on campus and decided to approach the administration in this regard, which eventually lead to the establishment of the Office of International Relations. Initially, Suriya and Snigdha, the current General secretaries of OIR NITT, drafted a viable proposal and presented it to the administration. In the process, they unofficially partnered with the OIR of IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras and are currently being mentored by these bodies. Working on models there, they have drafted similar exchange programs in our college called STEP – Single Term Exchange Program. An online portal will be created for informing students about the programs OIR offers to students and the criteria (adaptability, GPA, personality etc) for enrolling in the programs. On the same portal, students will have to upload their applications, which will be first reviewed and then cleared by the department committee. Once cleared, it will be reviewed by the OIR committee and shortlisted candidates will be interviewed. Finally, once the director approves of the candidates, the
chosen students will be able to study abroad for one semester. Following the selection and completion of VISA formalities , a credit transfer system will come in place where the selected students will get to attend classes abroad but will have to pay the fee entitled at for the semester at NITT. However, accommodation and other expenses need to be borne by the students themselves. Currently, the Wayne State University, Detroit has signed a commitment for an MOU. OIR NITT will be signing an MOU for semester exchange for UG students and a single year exchange program for PG students. The single year exchange program would allow students who are doing their Masters here to complete one year in NIT trichy and their second year at Wayne State University. OIR NITT is currently in the process of partnering with AIT Thailand with the help of TIDES, a Indo-Thailand association which is facilitating the MOU to be signed. AIT Thailand has a great global ranking and it is more useful for the PG students. Two NITT professors
from the Mechanical department – Dr. S Suresh and Dr. V. Mariappan have already established partnerships with them and have conducted research with AIT Thailand. Discussions with NTU, Singapore are also in process. Apart from this, the committee is working on inbound exchanges, where students from other countries can immerse in academic and cultural exchange through a semester of study at NIT Trichy. However, mentoring students and acclimatizing them to our education system needs to be well planned, and will take time. OIR NITT will be working on a lot more like helping with graduate and Masters’ applications, research internships abroad, semester exchanges, research collaborations, and faculty collaborations. Information about the office is available on The Office of International Relations, NIT Trichy Facebook page. Students can contact the General Secretaries and Program Coordinators for further information.
Signing of the commitment for memorandum between Wayne State University, Michigan USA and NIT Trichy on 18 January, 2018.
Sripradha, Kavya V
India - Starting Up or Closing Down? The Indian government’s initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment took on a renewed zest when the Startup India campaign was launched in the beginning of 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The concept of startups has been around in the Indian biz ecosystem for quite some time. Startups enable youth to become ‘job-givers’ rather than ‘job-seekers’. They also help in the introduction of new products or services which were not identified earlier. Household names like Flipkart, Ola and Paytm started out as startups which then went on to establish a strong foothold. In a recent survey conducted by Delhi-based research firm Xeler8, it has been found that over 40% of all startups set up after June 2014 have already closed down. Lack of funding, lack of innovation and overcrowding of many companies within a single sector were identified as the main reasons for their closure. The average age of the founders of these failed startups was around 27. Although 75% of these founders gave up their interest in entrepreneurship, the rest were ready to venture again.
about the pace with which the benefits of Startup India campaign have been claimed. A declining startup culture is extremely worrying for India’s economy. We not only lose the benefits of increased jobs, we also lose potential employees. The trust that people have had in startups will lose sheen if they cannot promise stability. The success of a startup depends on the founders and the leadership team. This initial team is responsible to reach out to investors, collect funds and develop a strong business model. The decline in startup culture will make building this leadership team a difficult task in itself.
More than the entrepreneurs themselves, the ones most hard-hit by this are the employees who were laid off. Most startups in the initial stages receive hefty funding from venture capitalists and angel investors. These are external companies or individuals willing to invest in a startup expecting a return on investments in a period of few years. Young startups are then willing to hire (or in most cases, over-hire) fresh graduates by promising high packages and fancy designations. The workplaces are more often than not excessively swanky. A few years down the line when the funding dries up, the vibrant paint peels off to reveal the ugly plaster underneath. Employees are laid off, sometimes even without warning or compensation of any kind. The designations held by them earlier and the nature of work are not recognised outside their parent company. Finding a new job according to the expected job profile becomes very difficult.
Age-wise break up of failed startups in the last two years
IIT Bombay’s Placement Cell famously blacklisted nine startup companies. They were barred from appearing in the upcoming placement season for a variety of reasons including revoking offers and delaying the joining dates of the selected candidates. The e-commerce firm AskMe fired 4000 employees in mid-2016, in addition to not paying their salaries for the previous couple of months. The indicators point strongly at the slow death of India’s startup culture. The government too is worried
The key to a healthy startup environment would be to invest in innovative thinking rather than infrastructure. Focus must be on building a durable and resilient plan, rather than on short-term fixes to boost popularity. Moreover, startups need to have the support of other founders which will help each other grow mutually. It is also important to not give in to the pressure of the investors who push to over-hire in the race to earn early returns.
Share of failed startups in last two years split industry-wise
PLIGHT OF THE STATELESS
n our not so wonderful planet, where does anyone belong? As much as this statement may sound like an existential crisis, it isn’t about that. It is about a technicality involved - citizenship. Formally defined as position or status of being a citizen of a particular country, it originated four centuries ago in the Greek empire. It was used to separate the population that lived in the different cities that encompassed it and was deeply ingrained in the concept of society. Over time it has come to represent a very important form of political involvement by the citizen, who has rights provided to him by the government. And there are people who are not recognized by any nation under its law, the stateless. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are around 10 million such people. These people have no rights or laws protecting them. They can’t access education, medical health-care or even get a legal job. Any employment they receive is undocumented and they are often exploited. On paper, they don’t exist. A third of these 10 million are childrendevoid of basic rights and other opportunities; they are robbed of their future, for no fault of theirs. They also have nowhere else to go as they can’t get travel documents without having citizenship. Statelessness occurs due to numerous reasons but is majorly a consequence of the ambiguity in nationality laws. In some states where nationality is passed through parentage, having stateless parents or unknown parentage puts one in a fix. A few states don’t allow women to pass on nationality and others rescind nationality if the citizen has lived abroad for a long period of time.
LITY A N O NATI NOWn UNK
against certain races or communities. These often lead to civil conflicts and a resulting exodus of refugees. Though there is a demarcation between the stateless and refugees, in most cases where return is impossible, they are effectively stateless in the nation offering them asylum. There are about 22.5 million refugees with over 50% of them coming from Afghanistan, South Sudan and Syria. The 1951 refugee convention is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines refugees and sets out their rights and the responsibilities of the nation granting them asylum. They are to be treated as nationals in relation to freedom of religion, elementary education, relief and security. In domains of voting and buying land, they are treated as non-nationals. Ratified by 145 countries, India is a non-signatory. During the partition, many of the people who moved into India from Pakistan, were left stateless. The East Pakistan partition and the subsequent independence of Bangladesh brought in a further influx of persecuted minorities. A similar situation is that of the Sri Lankan Tamils who fled to Tamil Nadu during the Sri Lankan civil war. India is home to refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Rohingya (the government doesn’t consider the Rohingya as refugees), but much hasn’t been done to rehabilitate them and integrate them into society, albeit as refugees. They are stuck in relief camps with poor conditions and generations are born into poverty and neglect. Millions of people will never be integrated into society and never belong, just because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Other causes include the formation of new countries or when a regime practices discriminatory policies
23rd November, 2016 In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. He had never talked to me about it and I had always accepted in acquiescence that I would get to know at the right time. However, it had always been difficult for me to live my life without the presence of a motherly figure. Moreover, father told me the same thing over and over again when I asked him about what had happened. Something hadn’t been right for the past few months and Alicia felt the same way too. I believed it was just one of the many phases in the seasons of life and that we’d weather through it just like any other couple. I was wrong. When she called it quits this morning, I stood there in disbelief. The hues of the sunset marked the inception of a colourless night. I told father about what had happened and he handed me a piece of paper from his diary. It read:
Evanescence There came a change, like a winter storm, Unannounced, and more than what I could take, Everything that was me disappeared with the breeze, The pieces afloat, upon a starry lake. The whispers hushed of the pain of a heart-break, The cold froze the ruins of the palace which I tried to make. Soon enough the darkness spread, Into my life and into the woods, It crept upon my soul, Like only darkness could. The sky was falling Claustrophobic, ‘twas a struggle to breathe, The words which were suppressed Tore away my sheath. The stories weren’t true, The worlds I lived within, My ink was blood, The pain felt in my skin. To find my peace I wrote on and on, As if searching for that magic Something that was long gone. As light as a feather, yet as heavy as my heart, The weight of the words that the paper couldn’t bear, But the paper never understood that last glance,
Oh! that empty stare. Beauty is a burden All of us have a price to pay, To gaze at the stars at night And wonder if everything will stay. Then the first showers came by Like a divine embrace, Like the reunion of two lovers Who finally meet in an esoteric place. My past slowly drowned beside In the puddles of that magnificent rain, I stared into the reflection To realize that would never be me again. Sorrow is just an echo in time Reverberating forevermore, To find the chaos within the calm Like the kisses of the stormy seas at the shore. Time slowly sunk Into the void, and I was alive, Maybe we leave With as much as we have when we arrive. This too shall pass.
I finally understood the advice. That last line – it was as if I knew what father had meant all along; yet, only now had I felt it. My curiosity about mother had satiated; I didn’t want to know anything at all. This is my afterglow. Rakshit
Akaash P, Kavya V, Santhosh, Harish
PSYCHOLOGY OF CULTS A
“cult” typically refers to a social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the general population considers to be outside the mainstream. Among the most intriguing aspects about the mystery surrounding cults is their origin and continued existence. What convinces people to join these groups and change their beliefs, despite the very public demise of several well known cults? What most of these groups have in common is a charismatic leader, devotion to a particular hypothesis and a belief that they are the chosen ones. In 1900, Cyrus Teed started a cult called Koreshanity, which had over 250 followers. He theorised that the Earth is hollow and that we all live on the inside surface of it. In 1955, Jim Jones started the Peoples Temple cult which preached elements of christianity with communist and socialist ideas. This culminated with the mass suicide of 918 people by drinking kool-aid. This is not a generalisation. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems ridiculous to us that people join these cults of their own free will. The most obvious conclusion that most of us reach is that something must be “wrong” with them. But research indicates that approximately two-thirds of the cult members are psychologically healthy. The other one-third are likely to have depressive symptoms, usually related to a personal loss--perhaps a death in the family, a failed romantic relationship, or career troubles. This makes sense as cults would prefer intelligent, productive individuals who have the capacity to contribute meaningfully to the “Cause”, whatever it may be. The question then is, why do psychologically sound individuals get involved with cults? The answer lies in the fact that behaviour is not only a function of a person’s personality but also his/her environment. Discoveries in social psychology have led to the conclusion that environment has an immense influence on behaviour, making personality a minor variable. Therefore, when given a powerful and engaging situation, people often
react to it in a uniformly similar fashion, regardless of personality diﬀerences. This has been demonstrated ex tensively not only in social experiments, but also in real life (Nazism, Bolshevism, Jim Jones etc). The answer also lies in what these cults have to oﬀera sense of belonging, identity and security. They oﬀer a worldview, a way of discerning good from bad, right from wrong. They provide answers to the big questions like- what it all means. According to psychologist and cult expert Margaret Thaler Singer, cults flourish during periods of social and political turbulence and “during breakdowns in the structure and rules of the prevailing society.” It is hence unsurprising that cults were prevalent after the fall of Rome, during the French revolution and industrial revolution, in Japan after WW2 and in Eastern Europe after the fall of USSR. Hence, there is no reliable personality factor that predicts cult membership. It is therefore important to keep ourselves grounded, lest we find ourselves being carried away with grandiose ideas and drinking kool-aid in a shady town in Africa!
Trisha, Saif, Adithya N
Tania, Harshini, Gautham,Yuvan
(Black , 0 GB) 4.9
Can be used as a brick to build Can be thrown at others
The hyping of seemingly worthless unconventional entities has been a distinctive feature of the 21st century. Be it a person or a product, there has been a surge in people’s inexplicable obsession with such entities. The surfacing of infamous artists of the ‘cringe-pop’ genre such as Dhinchak Pooja and Vennu Mallesh stands as a testimony to the assertion. However, this article focuses not on such people but on an outwardly useless product that has gained a great market in the recent years. Quite a lot of companies have names that are quite unrelated to their product / service: Apple and Amazon, to name a couple. But not NoPhone. NoPhone is exactly what its name suggests. In its essence, the NoPhone is a smartphone that literally does nothing. Priced at $12, it is a rectangular plastic box (not a very good description but that’s all there is to describe it) with fixed buttons, a matte black finish and the name NoPhone inscribed on it. With no buttons, no screen, no camera, no operating system and no battery, it truly is a NoPhone. But hey, it has a silver lining; it is toilet bowl resistant, thanks to its revolutionary design. Starting as a satirical venture that aimed at showcasing our society’s dependence on handheld devices, NoPhone ended up featuring on SharkTank, the most coveted platform for entrepreneurs and businesses, having already sold 3100 units. It also raised around $18,000 on its Kickstarter campaign that helped commence its successful run. While none of the sharks invested in it, its public appeal shot through the roof, and people are still buying the NoPhone as gags or as solutions to excessive usage, one year after its SharkTank appearance. In a similar vein exists the Substitute Phone, designed by Klemens Schillinger, a product and furniture company based in Vienna, for the Vienna Design Week. Similar to the NoPhone, it additionally consists of a set of plastic spherical beads in various directions in diﬀerent models to simulate the feeling of scrolling in smartphones. Spurred by the success of the NoPhone, the NoPhone team went a step further and released the NoPhone Air, a not so subtle dig at Apple and its Air products, the NoPhone Selfie, and the NoPhone Zero. NoPhone Air is air encased in an attractive retail packaging, while the Selfie is a mirror appended to one side of the original NoPhone and the Zero is just a perfectly plain rectangular plastic piece.
One Instruction Book
Santhosh, Akaash P
Photo gallery by Suyog Waghmode, M.Tech NITT
Published on Mar 9, 2018