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5 February 2012 . Volume 2 Issue 3 . 14 Pages

feature 04 feature .For internal circulation only.

Our always-online correspondent details the impact SOPA and PIPA can have on you and why you should worry!

Since Last Issue

A compilation of events over the past 3 months

Official Students’ Newspaper

Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology

more more

Kolaveri After their debut in the last issue, the 03 duo from the first-year provide a humorous take on their lives

World News A section where you get the all-you10 should-know dose of information in one place

s & m's food guide Our in house culinary enthusiasts re12 view the handful of eateries in this city Chetta po of the month 13 Snap No Argumentaaa, V for Venkata!

Valiamala: A lot has happened in and around the campus since the last issue. Firstly, the road from ISRO junction underwent a much needed repair. The road was completed till IIST in about two days in the second week of December, coincidentally right before our Chancellor Dr Kalam’s visit. Why did Dr Kalam visit the campus when no one was here? Well, wrong question. IIST hosted a national level Research Scholar’s Day on 17-18 December last year, in which research scholars from various IITs, NITs, IISERs and other institutes participated.

A workshop on soft and evolutionary computing was organised by the department of avionics which is being regarded as one of the best ever held in IIST. Apart from the lecture, the resources and interaction provided made the workshop unique. The general, simple and robust nature of the algorithms discussed made the workshop useful for everyone who wants to use computing in their respective fields of work. In the first week of this semester, ASTROSAT workshop was conducted by ISAC. The satellite, slotted for launch later this year, was explained to the participants against other astronomy satellites launched by other space agencies. Participants were introduced to various payloads aboard the satellite and the science involved. After over eight months of the initial team formation, and a delay of about two months after the Tech-

nical Council embarked upon the task, the team of coordinators for Conscientia 2012 was altered without considering the opinions or asking for suggestions from coordinators of previous versions of the fest. A “final” list was published in the second week of this semester but no selection procedure for the new additions (who were clueless about the fest) was disclosed. A few new members are reportedly about to resign from the team. However, the institute has shown a lot of enthusiasm and liveliness in the promotion of clubs recently. Conscientia too has got the green signal from the authorities and will be backed strongly by the institute, leaving its success only to the students now. The formalisation of clubs has taken place at a good pace this week and initiation of new clubs like Dance club and Dramatics club is being considered. The Student Activity Board is looking for interested student volunteers who will run these new clubs, and firstly, help in the formation of the same. The Student Activity Board will also be funding TSR from this issue onwards, which is good news for all of us. Read more about this in the editorial. Despite the holidays, a lot has happened since the last issue, both inside and outside the campus. And as you read this, you realise we did not have a suitable cover story and summed it up with this. We hope you find the rest of the newspaper a good read.


News news

02 02

echoes Convocation?

The Student Activities Board meeting, which was held recently, clarified that the convocation is being delayed by the non-availability of dates from the Prime Minister and the President. So, instead of waiting, there is talk of inviting a technocrat as the chief guest. Watch this space for more updates.

Awards galore

IIST has been in the limelight with its top people receiving the top awards. Our Director, Dr. K.S. Dasgupta and our emeritus professor, Dr. K.N. Ninan, were recently presented with the ISRO performance excellance awards by the President when she visited SHAR. The Sounding Rocket sends it heartiest congratualtions to them, after all we did get the sweets.

New dishes in canteen

The canteen has added new dishes making its menu look more like a restaurant menu. Pizza and pasta(appraised to be better than the one served in the mess) are the eyecatchers. Chicken Biryani is a special on some days and at Rs.60 a plate, connoisseurs of it (read Hyderabadis) have labelled it value for money, although the minimum order of 10 is still a deterrent.

Conscientia 2012

After lots of delays, the fest has finally taken off. But, some veterans have said that the excitement is not palpable yet. Other than a small amount of controversy generated by the first event launch (rand(x)), the fest seems to be in a good shape.

Flying SR to be launched soon This headline has been a constant in our echoes section since day one. With the Indian Express coverage of this project putting the "project heads" on cloud nine, they are now marching through to have a launch by March 2012.

Change of guard

The Registrar of IIST's office now lacks the lustrous board proclaiming "N.Vasudevan, IFS". Shri N.Vasudevan was appointed as Chief Conservator of Forests (Mangroves), Mumbai and he has taken charge on December 29. A farewell ceremony was organised on 19th December. A new registrar is yet to be appointed and until then, K.Sasikumar, Controller, LPSC is the registrar on additional charge.


The Dean of Academics, Dr. R. Krishnan, has retired. We wish him a happy retired life

Editorial Board

The Sounding Rocket Shashank S Tanveer Ali Ankesh Mishra Navjot Singh Siddharth Srivastava Prabodh Katti Sourajit Debnath

Sports Day

After being postponed due to reasons yet unknown, the sports day will be held on March 10th 2012. The dream of having a sports day in our own campus is not likely to be fulfilled this year too.

Republic Day

The Republic Day was celebrated with much fanfare in IIST. The event was well-attended by students and faculty alike. A spell-bounding speech by the director left the audience in awe.

Swimming classes

A notice inviting registrations for swimming classes was recently spotted in the Dhruva hostel. It came as a surprise to many and people were left wondering why only Dhruva?

Not so Fresh Why dis kolaveri di?

A couple of first-years kvetch about their life in IIST “Beta, what kind of work do you do at a space institute?” “We print ABCD, aunty.” We are not kidding. And the icing on the cake is that it takes 2 hours to print (read, write and then fervently hope it looks like ‘print’) to cover all variations of the English alphabet. A non-engineer (that vanishing species) might wonder why a UGC-recognised Institute of National Importance and Asia’s only space institute is making the “best brains of India” write A B C D1234... Speaking of UGC, school memories cropped up of the times when inspection days suddenly bring about a transformation across the school. Walls got painted, plants got watered, charts got hung, teachers started teaching (we mean responsibly) and overnight, you are like “Whoa, we could do with more of these things”. Here, thankfully, nothing was that phony, except for those new posters with golden borders (you can’t, and won’t, miss them) propped outside the labs. An interesting pattern emerged, the students from the first year “handpicked” for the panel discussion with UGC were two departmental toppers, one boy, one girl (except for Aerospace, which is a no-girl zone) and a third guy, who’s normal. Those who can come up with the logic behind this are welcome to contact us, or paste it on any of the infinite IIST related Facebook groups. Ah, Facebook groups. Even if the admin is a not so close friend of yours, you’re added anyway, the guy’s losing sleep getting members, go on the page, see vacuously boring statements

and pointless arguments, get out, get in again, teeter on the sidelines like a stalker, even like a ‘Rage Comic’ on the page (pic was unrelated) and lose interest. Then one day a member of the opposite sex with a nice picture and carefully manicured profile appears and you try impressing her with your learned opinions, only to realise how the vacuously boring statements you found originally were created in the first place, get bashed around by everyone else there leading to the arguments (see, it’s the circle of life), and then get kicked for being too nasty. The end. We recently had someone come up with a page for H10. In a few days, we may even have a page called “All those who hang out at Room 103” or “Those who ate Maggi made by the guy in 408”. OK, now back to where we were. Engineering Graphics (guess it sounds better than plain old Drawing). The Universal Language of engineers will piss you off so much that Chinese will begin to seem easier in comparison. Why does it matter whether the gap between the two intersecting lines in “A” is 7 mm, the ratio of the length and the width of arrowhead is 3:1 or that the gap between two dimension lines must be 8 mm? Seriously, we are going to use AutoCAD for the rest of our lives (Or not?). Drawing desks are the beds of the future. Hmmm, AutoCAD. Have you ever used that on your laptops? We don’t have time for THAT on laptops. The greatest invention of our age, long ago replaced dogs as man’s best friends,

03 by

SOURAJIT DEBNATH PRABODH KATTI now all the inmates of H10 and H12 seemed to have been married to it. Looks like we are in what is called the ‘Honeymoon period’ with the new laptops. Inseparable. With almost everybody having a laptop and appreciable internet speeds, the only place where we do get to see live breathing people is the Mess, lectures (oh wait, strike that out, that’s for sleeping) and Conscientia meetings. So here we are, half a month after coming back from the comfort of our homes, where you get the world’s best food, mom-made (love this cliche because its true), where the internet is painfully slow (probably the only thing that the students miss), where we die of boredom and where we don’t have to do our laundry. Oh wait, laundry! The Great IIST Washing Machine Saga. All the damaged washing machines have been dumped near the drinking water filter at Ashwini since last semester. Different proposals have been put forward and subsequently trashed. All we can say that till then, if you dont want to pay for the laundry service at H12, then “Apna Haath Jagannath”. There is so much that’s happening, the new badminton court at D2, the pseudo-improved mess (still no good fish) and the library that seems to be growing taller and taller but nowhere near completion. That’s all on our mind right now, but we really have to go back to finish that Engineering Graphics assignment, which is still going to take a long, long time. Happy February folks! y

DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions expressed in the above article belong to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of The Sounding Rocket and its editors.



SOPA, PIPA, how about NOPA? A well-researched opinion on the hottest topic on the planet

The attempt to wholesale remove a certain type of content from the Internet via legislation would ultimately fail due to the many technical complexities which legislators are not trained to grasp.  -Adrian Lamo SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act (Not to be confused with the much awaited Stop Online Protests ActTM), is a United States Bill proposed to prevent theft of intellectual property which is being marketed in various digital forms viz., software, games, music, movies, ebooks, etc. It is predominantly directed against sites based in other countries. File sharing sites make money in two ways- Advertising revenue and charging users for secure data storage. So this bill along with its Senate counterpart PIPA aims to take down these so-called “rogue sites” (as opposed to rogue nations) by cutting down their financial sources (Ad agencies) and asking financial processors (Paypal, MasterCard etc) to freeze payments via court orders. If the said website has evidence of not infringing copyright violations, then they can file a counter-suit in the US court challenging the aforementioned piracy claims. Proponents: Most media companies, proprietary software companies, news agencies, the RIAA, the MPAA…The Hollywood in general. Opponents: IT companies, Wikipedia, Bloggers, MessageBoards, RageMakers, Independent Artists, Hackers, Free Man, Hitler…The Internet in general. A lot of money had been spent on bribing lobbying for and against the bills by both sides. To spread awareness on this, websites decided to black out their pages on January 18 and urged the country’s citizens to call/email their representatives showing their dissent on the proposed bill. Over 9000 websites have participated on this errand and millions signed Google’s online petition against the bill. There was a hartal in Kerala but

that’s a story for another day. As a result, the bills started losing support from legislators in both houses and were shelved indefinitely or that’s what we’re made to think. As of now the sponsors (people who introduced

This is too much power Morgan Free Man on SOPA the bill) are working some changes in the bill hoping to present it at an appointed time (see Patriot Act). Meanwhile in Europe, the EU has introduced ACTA on similar lines but at a larger stretch. The arguments put forth by its supporters being • US losing billions of dollars every year due to widespread piracy leading to content providers paying lesser salaries…also lesser jobs • Current laws such as AHRA and DMCA not effective on curbing piracy • Foreign sites don’t come under US jurisdiction



The main problem with the bill is that it allows companies to have the offending sites removed from the Domain Name System regardless of whether or not there was evidence of actual infringement to begin with. This means when one types www. it won’t show up. The same bill has provisions which outlaw circumvention measures that allow users to gain access. This would mean that any website that links to the aforementioned website can also be banned. Web-proxies and VPN servers will have to be blocked too. One should note that citizens living in suppressive regimes (China, North Korea etc) use proxies and VPN servers to communicate with the outside world and this have been instrumental in the recent uprisings in the Middle East and Africa. The language used in the bill is so vague that a media company can single-handedly take down thousands of websites just because some users posted copyrighted content or even linked the content in the sites. The sites challenging the closure should provide evidence against the claims at a US court and that’d mean thousands of dollars of lawyer money. Startup companies with low capitals get the most damage and hence shareholders would not choose to invest in them. Any site could be shut down and pronounced guilty until proven innocent and the plaintiffs aren’t the good kind of people who strictly verify whether actual infringement has been committed or not. So why are lawmakers companies resorting to such ‘guerilla tactics’? To answer that one must have an idea about how Capitalism works. Com-

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Opinion Continued from Page 04

petition is very crucial in capitalism. So is acquisition and mergers. Acquisition of smaller companies not only waivers the prospects of royalties to patents but also usually gives lesser competition. Although absolute monopoly is not allowed by law in most economies, it is possible for companies to form cartels. Cartels allow them to control the supply and price of products. So even if a particular product does not provide value for money, the company can still be able to market it at higher prices if competition is eliminated. It is to be noted that companies have only one motive, being profit. So it is imperative for them to maximize profits however possible. History: When CD recording systems for household use were introduced in the late 80’s the Recording Industry Association of America felt that this could lead to widespread piracy of music that was previously made in Professional Studios. The Home and Audio Recording Act was made in their favour in 1992 requiring all digital recorders to include Serial Copy Management System. This allows people to be able to make only first generation copies. Also for each blank CD sold to the public a part of the revenue goes to the recording industry. Conveniently, this didn’t go really well with amateur artists who wanted to record their music at home. The internet became popular in the 90’s with computers evolving in storage and power. So had the need to get a hold on digital content. The US introduced Digital Millennium Copyright Act in ’98 which mandated the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) which prevented copying of digital content between machines. Measures to get around the DRM are outlawed. However, the law had a lot

05 of exemptions provided for Fair Use. One can take portions of a movie for his work/review/criticism or educational purposes etc. User submitted infringing content is not the site’s liability but can be removed upon notice from the copyright holder. Sites linking to pirated content were not liable for action. Did it Help? Not a bit. Sites quickly found a way to get around the laws and piracy was more rampant than ever. File-sharing sites decided to cash in on this by charging users for data storage and downloads offering premium pack-

ages etc. What’s more amusing was that there were other sites offering free premium accounts to the said filesharing sites which would also gain some revenues through advertising. Even if SOPA gets through there are many ways a pirate can do his business and infringe on copyright. The main reason why piracy still exists because the media companies have failed to conform their marketing effectively on par with technology. The other one is them being apprehensive about selling their products to 2nd and 3rd world countries. For example, let’s say a new TV series has been aired in the US. If the response to the Pilot is good enough, the series will be aired simultaneously in only select countries viz., Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand etc. Other countries will

have to rely on the success of the first season, and then wait for the DVD’s to come out the following year. That’s not really fair because we deserve to have the fair share of entertainment, even at a reasonable price. Moreover, the episodes are freely streamed on the network websites in case they couldn’t watch it on TV. But they are viewable in their country only. Why would someone wait a whole year just to watch a series which might or not be good when there’s a Good Guy Greg out there providing it fast and for free? Just because it does not fit your business model does not mean that you should seek to ban other providers. This argument can be extended for all ‘intellectual properties’. It all comes down to this- People will always buy from those who provide a better service. Piracy is wrong for sure but if you can’t attract people in buying legitimate products by providing quality support, obstructing pirates being committed to the same will help in no small measure towards increasing their profits. Companies must reach out to foreign countries rather than cut off services provided by third-parties. This approach might not be enough to bring balance to the force but will sure give a moral boost to customers trying to buy legit goods. While we’re still on the topic… The demand for a law that prohibits proliferation of copyright over the internet by people in foreign countries looks to be inevitable. But the same law allows companies to censor/block sites at their will (till proven innocent). Such vague language on the bill could give the government an opportunity to control the flow of information over the internet, thus control over the internet self. Meaning which, it could be apparent that, certain people within the government might have had a hidden

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06 Continued from Page 05 agenda on their own.

The advent of Wikileaks forced the government to draw a sharp line between journalistic freedom and censorship. Not that wikileaks has caused a serious damage to the US foreign policy but there arrived a need to prevent future disclosures which could have a threat to the National Security. In layman words, they needed to get a hold on the internet so that any damage could be dealt with in a short time. 2011 had been a year of protests en masse. It was almost everywhere. There was Occupy Wall Street in America which spread to Europe and other countries. The Arab Spring Revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Yemen etc. Not to mention the anti-corruption movement in India and the recent protests in Russia. The success of these movements in getting the attention of both the public and the respective governments is that they were all co-ordinated through so-

Watch man!

cial networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. There were thousands of blogs

Even the Greeks had a really bad year reporting and detailing on the events to help make the people aware. Citizens with sites blocked had to go through Web-proxies and VPN services. Government agencies usually conduct surveillance on sites having user-generated content looking for terrorist threats.

Learning from what had happened over the past year, governments are assumed to be in the process of being prepared for future mass protests. If a revolutionary movement threatening the political stability of a country is on the cards, a government might want to undermine it by crippling the communications between protesters. What one can expect in future are bills that can empower governments to filter out ‘objectionable content’ as they please while its citizens continue to live in the dark. The fight against piracy should undoubtedly be an international effort but it should not threaten the very existence of the internet as we know it. It is supposed to be a vast network of infinite human knowledge, expression and creativity. SOPA is a cure worse than the disease. The world has bigger problems than just being unable to pay the entertainment industry. y

-With inputs from Navjot Singh

A couple of movie recommendations from Bruce Wayne himself 2012 is set to be a crazy movie year. I’m sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to The Hobbit and The Dark Knight Rises. But there are others I’d like to put out there. These are a few of the titles I am looking forward to:

Snow White and the Huntsman

Stars: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron “In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.” (IMDb) Reason: Kristen Stewart This is me giving her a second chance.

I saw one Twilight movie total and, like almost every other self-respecting straight adult, I got so emotional at the stupidity of it all I just don’t have any words left for it. In any case, if you’re putting her with Thor and Stella Bridger in something that promises to be at least vaguely Grimm Brotherly, I am so in. She’s really a nice girl, that Kristen. Just some bad career choices. SEE ALSO: Mirror Mirror. Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen in another Snow White adaptation. Sounds great. Prometheus. Saving the human race with Charlize Theron. Perfect formula. The Avengers. I’m a DC fan when it



comes to comics, but I have to hand it to Marvel for the live-action movies. Green Lantern was unbearably terrible. What do Marvel have that’s so great? Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, X-Men, Nick Fury, Punisher. I’m talking Famke Jannsen and Scarlett Johannson and Hugh Jackman and Samuel L Jackson. Even though the Batman Nolanverse is the pinnacle of DC live-action, I positively hate Chris for Maggie Gyllenhall. I suppose he’s making up for it with Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises. No, I did not forget Robert Downey Jr. Yes, he is the boss.

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Opinion/News Continued from Page 06 The Vow

Stars: Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams “A car accident puts Paige (McAdams) in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo (Tatum) works to win her heart again.” (IMDb) Reason: Rachel McAdams I’m a sucker for love stories. Beneath my hardened, care-free, rude exterior there’s a little pussy cat who has this huge innocent thing for genuine sappiness. Not the Titanic kind, the Priceless kind. Also, I’ve been in love with Rachel McAdams since Mean Girls. I’ve seen Time Traveler’s Wife and The Notebook eleventy-seven times and I always cry. I found the original book of The Notebook to be a bit too much though. I suppose it’s Rachel that makes the difference. (I’m still reading Time Traveler’s Wife.) Channing Tatum is that dude from G.I. Joe (whose sequel I sincerely hope is not overdone, like so many these days. Guy Ritchie, I’m talking to you!) and Step Up 2 (If you’re into that sort of thing.) SEE ALSO: The Words. Olivia Wilde. Enough said. Celeste and Jesse Forever. Because Emma Roberts is the bomb. Hors de Prix. I swear by Audrey Tautou and that awkward French guy.

The Perks of being a Wallflower

Stars: Logan Lerman, Nina Dobrev, Emma Watson

“An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.” (IMDb) Reason: Emma Watson Like I’ve said before (though not here), Emma Watson is filthy rich, has amazing legs and a British accent. And she’s older than me. It’s like we’re meant to happen. And as I’ve watched her grow into the tease that she’s become (yes, I take the Emma part of Harry Potter very seriously) I feel she just owes a decent non-HP movie to me. Don’t disappoint me, love. SEE ALSO: The Amazing Spider-Man. Emma Stone is Gwen Stacy, which I think is brilliant because Kirsten Dunst really wasn’t working for me. Plus if you’ve read Spiderman: Blue, which you should because it’s a beautiful novel, you’ll know that Mary Jane was just half the picture, if that. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (as long as we’re discussing Emmas). Because Emma Roberts is the bomb. And Zach Galafianakis (that bearded guy from The Hangover) is brilliant. You might wanna YouTube “Between Two Ferns” while you’re at it.

Total Recall

Stars: Colin Farrell “As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Farrell) begins to suspect that he's a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he's on.” (IMDb) Reason: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckin-

07 sale Colin Farrell is the man. There’s just something about his demeanor and unsymmetrical eyebrows that puts him up there with Mark Wahlberg and Brad Pitt for me. Sometimes I think he was the only thing that was left out from The Departed. I read somewhere that Chinese companies paid for their country to be depicted as a future superpower in this movie. I’d love to see how that plays out. Apart from the fact that Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel are part of the credited cast. SEE ALSO: Serendipity. Kate Beautiful Beckinsale in the perfect Shakespearean love quest. Underworld: Awakening. 7.2 on IMDb, plus vampires don’t sparkle here. Infernal Affairs. The original Chinese thriller that inspired Scorsese’s The Departed. Insane movie. Red Lights. Robert deNiro. 8.6 on IMDb.

Iron Sky

Stars: Julia Dietze, Christopher Kirby and Götz Otto “The Nazis set up a secret base on the moon in 1945 where they hide out and plan to return to power in 2018.” (IMDb) Reason: The Nazis set up a secret base on the moon in 1945 where they hide out and plan to return to power in 2018.  y

ISAT 2012

Facts compiled by TSR about the entrance exam

Valiamala: The ISAT examination for the 2012 batch is slated to be held on 21st April 2012. The exam clashes with the VITEE, the entrance exam for Vellore Institute of Technology. It will be conducted in 22 centres all

over India. The IIST team will conduct the examination.

A total of 1,55,000 students registered online for the exam, of which 1,22,000 have paid the registration fees. This is the highest number of registra-

tions for ISAT till date. The maximum number of registrations are from the Delhi, Hyderabad, Thiruvanathapuram and Jaipur. There are also a number of global registrations.  y

Information Courtesy: Prof. Kuruvilla Joseph

Editorial/News news

08 08

The TSR story

The editors views on your college newspaper

“How will TSR survive?” is a question that has plagued this newspaper ever since its inception. And like everything which requires funding, the “first resort” was the institute. But for the institute, after wasting money on things which have rarely been utilized (read hobby labs), a newspaper sounded too good to be true. So, to show our “initiative” we conducted what has got to be the most successful public donation drive with the ATF buckets. It has so far funded three issues of the newspaper and just like your end-of-month bank balance, ours too has dried up. After countless headed-for-failure business plans proposed by our biz-crazy editor, we decided to follow up on the promise given by our former registrar. And here’s where we struck gold. The Student Activities Board in a meeting has primafacie approved funding. So what does this mean for TSR? Well, for one, it will become more

Innovation centre

regular. We hope to concentrate more on editing and less on where those elusive 10 rupees were spent.

still an independent entity and the content will be as usual screened by a member of the publication council. Our mission still remains to showcase students’ creativity and to keep every IISTian well-informed. To make sure that TSR does not become a headless chicken after a year or so when the senior editors retire, we have recruited two junior editors.

EDITORIAL Secondly, you, the reader, won’t have to strain your eyes to read the print on the computer as we will have enough of hard copies to distribute. Will this arrangement compromise the integrity of content in TSR? Absolutely not. The editorial board is

In other news, TSR is going online. We will be launching our website shortly. It will provide you in-depth analysis of how awesome your life in IIST is while also balancing it with news from around the world. So, why an editorial to explain all this? Because we have nothing else left to whine about. We have the funding, we have the news and we have the heirs. y

SAB Snippets Alumni Cell

Open House

A dream of the former director, An alumni cell has been The mentoring system is Dr.B.N.Suresh, the innovation centre proposed to be set up. It back though with some was started last semester. Ideas were will provide a forum to modifications. Rememinvited for it then. It is infact a sad af- discuss the experiences ber the class teacher you fair that not even a single good quality of alumni in different used to have while you idea has been proposed. While other centres of ISRO. Semi- were in school. The institutes of national importance have nars and interactions can open house is such a come up with wonderful innovations, be arranged so as to fa- thing. For each class, a IIST is yet to come out of the robocar cilitate a better under- faculty member will be fad. The chairman has asked the stu- standing of the working assigned and the students to come up with original new environment for the stu- dents can discuss acaideas be it from the social or techno- dents. This will enable demic as well as other logical field. Only when the institute them to become produc- issues with them. starts to surge ahead in the innova- tive right from day one. tion front will it become world-class. Student reps: Parth Sharma, Neha Chohan, Anand Shankar, Devesh Lakhotia, Sourajit Debnath


IIST is well-known for the formation and later demise of a number of clubs. Inorder to curb this as well as to maintain clubs to nurture talent, the Student Activity Board has called for the formation of official clubs. All clubs, which until now, had no record for their existence are required to register themselves with the respective councils so that all official help can be provided.

news Op-ed

09 Pune Sports Fest

Siddarth Krishna provides a brief overview of IISTians' performance in Pune

Pune: IIST was taking part in Zest 2012, the annual sports fest of College of Engineering Pune (COEP) which was held from the 11th to 14th of January. Events were plenty but we participated in Cricket, Football, Basketball and Volleyball. We came to the campus a week before re-opening and underwent strenuous training which included jogging all around the campus and numerous practice matches. We left for Pune on the 9th of Jan and after a 40 hour grueling journey, we reached there at 1 am on the 11th. It was quite cold, a welcome change from the weather of Trivandrum. We were accommodated in the hostels of COEP .

Our cricket team faced a local side in their first and only match, we failed to chase down a target of 161

in 20 overs and ended up with 148 with Syed Moosa Ali scoring 66.

Football team faced the eventual winners, D.J Sanghavi College of Engineering from Bombay. We lost 1-0, with their goal coming from a corner. It turned out to be a disappointing performance by the team. However there was some respite offered by the Volleyball team. Unlike cricket, football or basketball, volleyball was of a league format. We won two out three matches and were through to knockouts, where we lost after an inspired performance. Basketball suffered the same fate as Cricket and Football and we were out in the first round. The team was relatively new after the passing out of 2007 batch.

We managed to progress in Futsal and gully cricket (which comes as no surprise as we have to suffice with playing on the basketball court on the campus), but lost eventually. All in all it was a welcome experience and it was IIST football and volleyball’s first foray into tournaments. The non-availability of reserved tickets while returning turned out to be a rude shock and students had to run to the station at 5a.m to book tickets on their own. On a concluding note, we hope a proper ground is made available before most of the batches graduate and also we are thankful to the authorities for granting us the opportunity to participate in the tournament. y

The author blogs at

Padmashri awarded to Dr. V. Adimurthy Valiamala: Dr. V. Adimurthy, Dean (Research & Development), IIST has been awarded the Padmashri, the fourth highest civilian award. He has been with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre since 1973 and has contributed immensely in the areas of aerodynamics and space dynamics. Dr. Adimurthy received the 1997 Astronautical Society of India Award for his Contributions to Rocket Technology. He has published more

ences. Dr. Adimurthy is also an expert in the field of space debris. He has served as the Chairman of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), the body of space faring nations addressing the issues of Space Debris during 2002-2003.

than 100 research papers in reputed archival journals and national and international confer-

Other than his scientific achievements, he is also known for his avid love for cycling.y

World News


Around the World

Things happening around the world while you were tucked away at our green campus at Valiamala, 18 kms from Thiruvananthapuram city, on the way to the famous hill resort of Ponmudi. Yes, part of the last line is from the institute website. RT, the Russian equivalent of BBC will premiere a chat show in March this year hosted by none other Julian Assange, the founder of United States secrets busting site Wikileaks. The first season is expected to host ten “"iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders" as quoted by the RT website and Wikileaks.

Assange is currently under house arrest in Norfolk, England from where he will be hosting the show. Last heard, he was planning to buy a boat and settle in international waters. Now for the funny part, RT or Russia Today is funded by the Kremlin (also know as the Russian Government) and many people are questioning Assange’s move to host the TV show with them. As you people must be knowing that Kremlin Putin has been facing huge pro-

tests against allegedly rigged elections and the usual stuff that goes with it (Refer below story), the same thing that Assange says he is fighting. Hence, his move to host the TV show with a Kremlin funded channel has raised some eyebrows. RT has also long faced allegations of being a channel for state propaganda targeted at the western population. However, I have been watching RT for quite some time and beg to differ. Yes, RT is Russia centric but their reporting style is unique and to the point. And I guess we Indians always love channels that take a stance against US policy. Those interested in watching the “most awaited news show of the year” can tune into RT in March on Dish TV and other DTH operators in India or just download the show off the internet. y

Photo by Adam Feuer

Julian Assange to host chat show, promises more controversy

"Am I not the TV darling?"

Speaking of Russia, we come to our next story about a Russian UFO. December saw waves of protesters on the streets of Moscow furious over the alleged election fraud committed by the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. What separated one such protest from the hundreds that have been taking place all over the world this spring/winter is the fact that it had an UFO hovering above it. Western media immediately jumped up on this and soon conspiracy theories were being thrown around which thankfully did not include any aliens hatch-

Photo Courtesy: Dmitriy Christoprudov

UFO spotted over Russian Protesters, Putin prime suspect

ing grand plans to takeover earth while distracting Russian protesters. As with most UFO sightings the quality of images and videos were extremely poor leading one to wonder where all the smartphone HD cameras go during such occasions. However, soon it was found out that the UFO was in fact a device launched by some Russian citizen journalists from the Russian news agency, Ridus. So much for Russian UFOs and Putin colluding with aliens. y

Yes we can make this UFO in IIST too

Continued on page 11

World News


Around the world... Speaking of Drones, looks like the Iranians have got their hands on something American at last after Barbie dolls were banned in Iran citing vague reasons like “Western cultural influence and the usual balderdash” A Lockheed Martin RQ 170 Sentinel unmanned reconnaissance aircraft has been allegedly shot down by Iranian forces while Americans were doing the stuff that they do over Iranian airspace. The RQ 170 is a stealth drone and is shrouded in secrecy with few details know to the outside world. It is designed like a flying wing and has an classified, probably General Electric Turbofan engine. Americans claim that the drone has not been shot down and had encountered some technical difficulties which caused it to

land in enemy territory. They have also requested Iran to return what they believe to be US property. The funny thing is that Iran in reply has decided to send a Pink coloured toy model of the aircraft to the US via the Swiss embassy in Tehran. Meanwhile, Iran has promised to reverse engineer the technology from the downed drone and mass produce it. My guess is that it will probably end up with the Chinese. See the pictures to your right for the drone and the the pink toy version Obama will receive in mail. Meanwhile, American ships have been arriving near Iran in what will be another Iraq like scenario alleging that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon. We will be the first to inform you when World War III starts. y

"Are you sure you want to open this up?"

A gift for your daughter, Mr.President

the cheaper of the two. It also comes with Leather seats, touchscreen input and HMD (Helmet Mounted Displays) It has a delta wing design and active forward canard (tail at front) to maximize manoeuvrability. The Rafale carries, for the first time in aviation history, an integrated electronic survival system named SPECTRA which features a software-based virtual stealth technology. y

Photo Courtesy: Dassault

Dassault Rafale wins the Indian Air Force MMRCA Deal. No free CATIA licenses.

Talking about flying things, the French aircraft Rafale has won the IAF’s MMRCA Deal, the largest such open tender aircraft deal in the world. 18 jets will come directly in “fly away condition” from France by 2015 and the rest will be built by HAL under a Technology Transfer agreement. It is said that only the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale were compliant with the stringent requirements of the IAF and the Rafale was

Photo Courtesy:

Continued from page 10 American drone-RQ170 Sentinel ‘lands’ in Iran’s hands. Future uncertain

Le French beauty

-Compiled by Tanveer Ali

Food & Fun


Siddarth & Mohsin’s Restaurant Reviews Episode-4 In our endeavour to provide you with information about food choices in and around Trivandrum city, we will present you with what we feel is the best way to spend your money and gastric juices.


All numerical ratings are on a scale of 10(10 being impossibly impressive, seeing as we are difficult to please). In this episode, Navjot has been replaced by Siddarth as the former's tongue still tastes of the cake from his birthday and hence was deemed unfit.



Ratings M:S Quality of food 

7:7 7.5:7

Ambience5:5.5 Cost6:6.5

Fairly wide range of burgers, sandwich-


es, beverages and pastries. A definitive go-to for birthday cakes. 'Ambience' gets extra brownie points for the "view" Suggestions: Tuna salad Dream burger(for the dressing) Devil's cake(pretty overpriced now, though) and certain pastries on offer.

Pretty limited options, and pretty much a no-go for vegetarians. Has its off days, yet arguably the best fried chicken in town. Suggestions: The classic chicken burger Fried chicken

Avoid: Most burgers All pizzas A few of the floats


2 3


Value for money 

Avoid: Chicken poppers Nuggets

First Prize Confucius say: Man who forget history prone to repeat it. Man who remember history known to delete it. Second Prize wonder why men and women are paid the same prize money!

(After the Australian Open 6-hr long Finals)

Bakery Junction





M:S Value for money  7:5 Quality of food  6:6 Ambience8:8 Cost7:6

STATUS simble

Third Prize IIST ke har ek gali mein ek club hai

(When one too many clubs were proposed)

Quotable Quotes

Quotes that brought a smile :) 1. "Conscientia kab hain?" -An IISTian who missed all the glaring posters 2. "If you want to finish me at 11.30, tell me. I will finish " -(Over)heard during a lecture 3. "ISAT will start on 21st April this time" - A faux pas on Republic Day

Chetta po


This photograph was taken by Shakun Yawatkar while at home Camera: Canon EOS 1000D F-stop: f/5.6

Exposure time: 1/125 sec. ISO: 400

Mail in your photographs to The best of the lot will be printed in the next issue.

The cartoons displayed are a work of fiction. Resemblance to any person(s), living, dead or IISTian is purely coincidental



Good engineer


YOU? NOT Good en gineer


If your life does not exist offline, go to our official page: Online events have already started. For the Flipkart sponsored event where you can win prizes daily, go to the album rand(x).

IIST’s annual astronomy and technology festival

TSR Volume 2 Issue 3  

The January Issue of The Sounding Rocket

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