Student Journalism Body of IIT Kanpur
Been there? Page 2
Campus Lingo 101 Page 4
SnT Teams Page 5
Inter IIT Page 6
Scholarships Page 6
Nostalgia Page 8
IIT Kanpur: A Glorious Journey by Krutika Kalkal, Pratyush Garg & Siddhartha Saxena
A leading light of Indian education, a pioneer, a flag bearer. These are often the words used to describe IIT Kanpur (IITK). Y16, you are entering a new phase of your lives and you are heirs to this rich heritage of IITK. Unlike this new journey of your lives which has just begun in an emphatic fashion, this institute has had a very humble beginning. It was in 1960 when that historic day arrived. The classes of the first batch of 100 students comprising toppers of their respective states commenced. There was an air of uncertainty around this place instead of the aura you see today. It was the time when IITK was run from a small building in HBTI Kanpur, it was a time when there was nothing but villages and forests in place of our beautiful campus. These were the times when people were sceptical, asking whether IITs could come close to the standards set by the institutes built during the British reign, let alone eclipsing them. But even then there was one man certain of realizing his vision, a man who shared his dream with all the students on that very day. That man was none other than Dr. PK Kelkar, the first director of IITK. As recalled by Mr. Abhay Bhu-
shan, a member of that pioneer batch, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a great building starts with a mound of dirt.” were the words of that visionary. Dr. P.K Kelkar reminisced, “When I came to Kanpur first to join as the Director of the Institute, almost everybody I met in Kanpur asked me if I had wanted to commit professional suicide, I did not at all worry about this because I was no longer myself but an instrument of a historical process” and a historic process it certainly was. The foremost barrier on this path was to establish a campus capable of sustaining one of the best institutes of the country, housing some of the finest minds. This began in 1959 when the U.P. Government acquired 1055 acres of land from three villages of Purwa Nankari, Barasirohi and Naramau Bangor (which is the reason why we are blessed with so many mango trees inside the campus). The biggest step since the inception of IITK was taken in 1961 when Dr. P.K Kelkar persuaded Professor Dahl, Louis Smullin and Brueckner from MIT to provide USA’s technical expertise to help nurture the growth and development of IITK. Impressed with the open-mindedness
of Dr. Kelkar, Professor Smullin once said “He prays to the same Gods we do.”, highlighting the resonance in their ideologies. This led to a consortium being set up through the Kanpur Indo-American Program (KIAP) which comprised 9 world renowned universities including MIT, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley and Princeton. These universities proved to be excellent models to develop our institute around. They also provided their invaluable experience to the young faculty and helped in equipping them with world class research facilities. But the most important of all was the vision of giving immense freedom to students which is still the essence of IITK. The American influence can still be seen in our campus, from the numbering of floors in our buildings to the system of Senate itself. 1963 was a landmark year for IITK. In late July, an american military DC-7 aircraft flew into the airport at Chakeri in Kanpur. Inside it was the beginning of a new era. It was carrying the IBM 1620. The computer was mounted on top of a bullock cart which captured something iconic, it showed what our aspirations were in the face of our limitations. This computer became the
IIT Kanpur: A Glorious Journey first one in India that ran on FORTRAN which could be programmed. The Computer Center (CC), housing this mammoth computer became nothing less than a temple, attracting pilgrims from all over the country including the then prime minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
Since then it has been constituted at many other institutes as well. Nevertheless, ours remains unique due to the system of baapus and ammas. This helps in creating a much better rapport between seniors and juniors which lasts for many years, sometimes even a lifetime.
By the time all these major changes came, the class of 1965 had graduated. But before they left, there was another interesting development in this period. IITK got its very own logo. It’s something that describes everything about IITK with it’s elegance. Often confused with a lotus, the logo actually represents a trishul. The third eye in it is a powerful metaphor for the “Inner Perception” of Lord Shiva and surrounding it is a 24 teeth gear. The 24 teeth in the gear represents working throughout the 24 hours of the day which is something you would have realized by now.
Coming to the present, there are innumerable avenues for entertainment on campus. The New Students’ Activity Centre (SAC) caters to a variety of passions. From painting, singing, dancing to playing all kinds of sports, even board games! There is no curfew time. There is nobody to send you back to your room. Spending the night out of your room is no uncommon pleasure and it becomes almost unavoidable during fests such as Antaragni and Techkriti.
Throughout the years IITK has been a pioneer in several aspects of education and student lives. Examples of the same can be seen in our education system. A notable example is Cumulative grading i.e. CPI and use of letter grades in place of percentages which were a norm that time. The effectiveness of this system has been recognised across institutes with time. The Counselling Service, first of its kind in the country, was established way back in 1962.
Where girls in other institutions have to bear with illogical restrictions, at IITK, they are free from those shackles. Here, boys and girls are allowed in each other’s hostels at all times except 12 midnight to 6 a.m. and girls need not return to their hostel at night. There is also a dedicated Women Cell that looks after all the concerns of the female fraternity. At IITK, each and every student is free to contact the concerned Dean for any problem he faces directly, instead of going through the tedious bureaucratic procedure. The professors
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themselves are given unprecedented power over the course structure that they desire. The weightage of quizzes, exams and even attendance has been left up to them. This does not mean that there are no procedures that guard the interests of the student community in this matter. The Students’ Senate is a body having members elected from every (current) batch of the institute, charged with representing the interests of the people. The suggestions of the Students’ Senate regarding matters are taken very seriously in the Academic Senate. In fact, attendance in first year courses was abolished as a result of a Senate resolution. IITK is one of its kind. The rich heritage and the freedom we have inherited is unparalleled. The approachability of the Deans, the Students’ Senate and autonomy in all spheres from fests to Hall management or the Counselling Service are testament to this independence. All of this has been possible because of the sound foundations of this Institute. Now it’s our responsibility to carry the torch for the years to come. References for the above article have been taken from “An Eye For Excellence” by Dr Subbarao
Been There? by Raghav Mittal and Rohit Sonker
By now you all know that our campus boasts of a lush green campus covering an area that most other college students cannot even fathom. Most of you have a fair idea about the basic map and the main buildings here. Unfortunately, most freshers do not go beyond their usual routine to explore this gigantic campus. There is more to IITK than just the OAT and academic area. To give you some fodder to brag in front of your non IITK friends, we bring to you a list of cool places to visit and experiences to cherish. As you spend more time on this campus we implore you to seize them, explore them and celebrate them. However, bear in mind that the list is not exhaustive. Who knows, perhaps your expeditions might introduce you to the unfamiliar. Places to visit Airstrip Observatory: Drop by the observatory at the airstrip with aid from the Astronomy club. The view of the sky at night is an unforgettable experience. There’s barely any vision pollution nearby so it’s a treat for stargazers. You get to catch sight of the distant horizon too. The semi-automated astronomical setup boasts of a 14-inch Celestron telescope with CCD (charge coupled device) enabled imaging facilities-the ultimate delight
just slow down, kickback and relax. Airstrip Observatory
Skywalk Sunrise Hall 1 Park of ‘67 for any budding Galileo. But yes, beware of foxes, yes you heard it, foxes! Environmental Science Building It’s one of the most beautiful one on campus with fountains at the back. A brilliant place to
Hall 1 Drop round to see what it’s really like in there - either it’ll be a great night or, god forbid, your worst one. Think about it this way - there is nothing more satanic that can happen; at least on campus. You survive there, you get the bragging rights! There are chances you might end up busting ‘the myth’ that pervades. Oxidation Pond Isolated in one corner of the campus, this serene place offers a sight that is aesthetically pleasing; ideal for hearing nature’s neglected whispers and letting time dilate. Skywalk sunrise Perhaps the most underrated, this experience is one of the personal favourites among couples. They say, “As the nascent star emerges from the horizon and grows in its grandeur it leaves you introspecting…and of course romantically adrift too.” (Trust them...it is too good to miss!) Park of ‘67 You would be surprised how a park in a campus so green can feel this good. The batch of ‘67 surely knew!
Don’t Let the Clock Stop Ticking by Abhay Jain, Y9, Preside
Can achievement or failure be described as ephemeral? I don’t reckon that the iPod was the last or final product by Apple. Nor do I believe that Thomas Edison locked himself in his room forever because his teacher told him that he was “too stupid to learn anything”. I’ll reiterate what has been said a million times and ignored a billion times, success is a continuous effort where you learn from your failures and get motivated by the rewards you receive on the way. The journey in IIT starts as such a reward. People around us are full of praises for our efforts. Life looks easy and many of us mistake this start as the destination. At best, it is just a new turn in the journey of life, one that comes with a lot of opportunities to explore. Take this from me – these four years will just fly by, as was the case for many of us. However, in my four years over here, I learned that each second spent in vain was a second not spent at all. Everyone has different priorities, different ambitions and different skill sets. So the duty of realizing these rests on one’s own shoulders only. Don’t beat your head if you don’t know the answer to the classic question, “What do you want to do 10 years from now?” or “What do you want to do in life?”. For many people, the answer to that question might not be clear. But what is absolutely imperative is that one puts in the best efforts to figure these answers out or try to get a sense of what one wants to do in the future. One simple way is to start off by eliminating the things that you don’t want to do and you might just stumble upon what you want to do in the end. And while doing this, you would have learnt and experienced hundreds of things on your way. Even if you look at it from a resume/profile building perspective, you are in a win-win situation. Let me narrow down a little bit more and converge towards what is required to be done and what we are doing. Let’s start with your daily life. An average day can be spent by sleeping for 8 hours; attending lectures (labs) and/or studying for 7 hours; eating, shower and other daily work for 3 hours and lastly let’s assume 3 hours for any extracurricular activities. This will leave you with 3 hours for yourself. I would consider this a day well spent. But what do most of us really do? I would say 8 hours sleep, 3 hours lectures, 2 hours daily activities and 1
hour extra-curricular. Leaving 10 hours at your discretion which are spent very effectively answering the “Which harry potter character you are?” quiz on Facebook and / or diligently surfing through some practical knowledge bank reliving the days when reproduction chapter was taught in class 10th. Obviously, the timelines or activities can differ to a great extent depending on the person; however, the idea remains essentially same. This is the time when the clock stops ticking for you but time continues to pass by. Once that phase is gone and we are standing at the edge of the mountain named career, we start thinking to ourselves whether what we have done is enough or not. And mostly the answer is not in our favour. So now this leaves us with only two options, learn from what all others have gone through or go through it all by yourself to draw similar conclusions. For those who wish to choose the former, I would like to give some pointers which might interest some of you. •
Use websites such as Coursera, Edx and Udemy. These websites offer courses and specializations in a lot of fields that might interest you. The certifications (not necessary to achieve but definitely a proof of your authentic efforts) can also be acquired at reasonable rates or even for free. Learn MS excel (It is one tool used by every company nowadays). Start by getting informed about various functions (inbuilt programs termed as “function” in MS excel) and getting acquainted with developer mode in it, which is linked to macros. Not knowing excel won’t hurt you. But knowing it will definitely give you a big edge because all companies rely heavily on excel programs. Those who wish to become the corporate players in future, learn the so-called “corporate sports” such as tennis, snowboarding, skiing, golf or billiards (or any of its form). These are the basic social links in the corporate world. Try to learn a foreign language. Use foreign language classes held in IIT. A bilingual (or in our case trilingual, i.e. English, a local Indian language, and the new one) person is considered a very big asset in the current global market and also, it helps you to learn about a new culture which broadens your general perspective.
Try to visit a foreign university for a conference or an exchange program. It will not only increase your technical knowledge but also provide you good exposure. Invent something. It can be anything such as business idea, software, material, or a new product solving any problem. This option will not be so readily available once the daily routine of a five days a week job starts. Give back to the society. As responsible citizens we should always help those in need. This help can be anything such as donating the extra food in your mess or spreading awareness about environmental causes. Lastly, Build memories. You will never find such wonderful and immensely talented people so easily around you outside campus. Friendships nurtured here will go a long way and it does not require much.
Don’t take this as a prescription. One could define his life in terms of different priorities and hence different activities. This extract that I have shared is with a bit of a pragmatic touch. It is in my view a productive way of spending time. I agree, It is easier said than done but in past many have managed to do just a part of it and still achieve great heights. Before I end, I will re-emphasise something for I have seen people go miserably wrong. Your CPI might not be the correct judge for what calibre you hold but it definitely says whether you were able to do the single job that you were entrusted to do in IIT. There have been cases when a person with low CPI (CGPA) has landed in some premium job. Having said that please be very clear that these are exceptions and if everyone could have done the same then there won’t be any exceptions. Genuine and continuous efforts inevitably will translate into a good CPI (CGPA) or higher skill level for which the concerned company will want to have you. Nothing can compensate your efforts. So please do not while away your time lazing around, it will prove to be very expensive later on. Abhay Jain was the President, Students’ Gymkhana, 2012-13. He is currently working at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan.
Done That? by Raghav Mittal and Rohit Sonker
Pre-Galaxy Hall 3 GBM*: Held on Skype (that’s right SKYPE!), this adrenaline charged event witnesses the assembly of die-hard-incontrovertibly-loyal Hall-3 jihadis who come from across batches (graduated folks included!). This is certainly the most maddening pep talk delivered on campus. Wonder what would happen if something similar is conducted by our professors...for academics!
All nighter @ PK Kelkar: You don’t have to be a ‘maggod’ to imagine how awesome this is going to be. Though it may seem spooky, you’ll have the whole building to yourself. Just few pointers, the toilets might be locked so your bladder skills could be put to the test. You’ll have to figure out the journey for yourself. And yeah, don’t blame Vox if you get caught/thrashed by the SIS Guards.
Footie at the skating rink: With Futsal becoming a sensational offspring of football, the skating rink is bound to heat up. Both literally and figuratively, there are no boundaries here. This little stretch of land is a shrine for the Ozils and Neymars it has bred/ nurtured. Chances are you might find it occupied by the veterans but how about challenging them for a round?
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Perform on stage: This is a must and you’ll have more than enough opportunities to do so. Be it music, dance, dramatics or just anything that provides you an excuse. Get the better of your fears. The adrenaline rush that leaves you ‘chilled’, especially if you’ve never done it before, is certainly worth it.
Treasure Hunt: Organised by the Cultural Council, this event provides the best excuse to break ice amongst your batchmates. Perhaps your first night out with friends, it’s an absolute thrill to roam around like nomads solving cool cryptic riddles. The campus is larger than you think; map out every area, building, and end it with a classic breakfast at MT.
Campus Lingo 101 by Iffat Siddiqui (Y11) and Rachit Rastogi (Y7) By now, you must have realized that IIT Kanpur has a very vibrant culture spanning multiple facets, one of which is the typical IITK lingo. You would have been inundated with a wave of linguistic epicness that forms the very soul of the language used here in the past month or so. Some of these words you will take an instant liking to and some you will think absurd to a frivolous degree. But after a few years here you would loathe to substitute these words with any other, for none other can describe how you feel as succinctly as the ones this campus teaches you. You must have picked up quite a bit in these few days and will learn all of them in due time. So lo and behold, here we present a list to get you started on the plethora of linguistic expressions on campus!
for your seniors alone. For maggus – These species shall arrive at your doorstep seeking academic advice and books. They shall consider themselves lucky to return with anything as much as pencil shavings. For others – Proceed with caution. Nowadays these things have DP written all over them. Derivatives – bachhe/bachchas(plu.), bachchi(fem.) 2. maggu – (noun/adj) Nocturnal entity. Spends days in lecture halls, spends nights in room/lib studying. Can be spotted either eating in the mess or tip-toeing to the water cooler at 2:00 am in the night. Generally tends to avoid all social/human contact. For freshmen – They are your idols if you want a high C.P.I. but don’t wanna have a life. For maggus – This is what normal people call you, so next time, please respond For others – Contact for info on topics ranging from endsem syllabus to average hair density on professor-moustaches, they know it all. Derivatives: magai(noun) – favorite pastime of maggus
bakait 4. chaapu – (adj) Similar to bakait but has C.P.I. of maggu. Highly rare and endangered species. For freshmen – They are individuals who go down in folklore. Nice to know them. For maggus – Don’t worry, the only difference between you and them is that they are famous personalities on campus whereas you’re at you probably don’t care for attention anyway. For others – You have 2 options – Befriend or Befriend. Derivatives – chaapna(verb) – what a chaapu does 5. baap(m)/amma(f) – (noun) Minions of the Counselling Service (not to be confused with the beloved C.S. as in Counter Strike). They are the first acquaintances that individuals make here and also the first acquaintances they usuAbridged Abbreviations: ally deny making. • Lib – The Den of Maggus, lots of books For freshmen – During interaction, they’ll be and free air-conditioning on summer afyour guardian angels. ternoons. For maggus – Just check your trash folder in • C.C. – Computer Centre, don’t be surfing the mail, you might’ve been one! any dirty stuff here lest your id card be For others – Forget and forgive. confiscated. Derivatives – bhais, chachas, dadas, the • FB – One of the tallest buildings on camoccasional amma(nouns) – The ‘Extended Chaapu! pus , for some reason it is believed to be Family’ haunted for a long time 5. bajar (adj) – This one’s for keeps. Implies • C.S. – Computer Science, Counselling Maggu! low intellectual capacity or the complete Service, Counter Strike, the most ambiglack of it. Bajar is a versatile term used to uous of the lot, ask for context. describe anything and everything that trigBakait gers an instant dislike for itself. • Midsems/Endsems – Mid semester/End semester exams, bane of life at IITK, Also For freshmen– No this word should not be dubbed as Maggu Springtime. used to describe your seniors, at least not in • Audi – Auditorium, large enough to hold front of them. around 2000 people. We aren’t exaggeratFor the rest of us – Don’t you think this ing, it happened once during T-20 World word is a little overused? $&%**# Cup finals. Derivatives – Bajraap (noun) • ShopC – For once and for all, it is a mar6. bulla (noun) – Pretty handy time-wasting ket not a Shopping Centre. techniques, particularly during the mid• Acads – Academics, no matter how short sems and endsems. In simple terms, bulla or sweet a nick you might give them, they sessions are an embodiment of the pure, shall remain as harrowing as ever. unadulterated joy of talking/discussing in • AP & DP – Academic and Disciplinary a group. Probation, nothing to fear. No probes For freshmen – This is the seasoning that have been used in their proceedings, up to 3. bakait – (adj) Multifaceted personality. Gen- you must have to add flavor to your exams. now that is. erally active in one or more of the clubs on For maggus – Oh, don’t bother! • Termi – It would’ve been great to campus. Carefree and fun loving. C.P.I. may or Twisted Terminology: Some expressions that have a pet insti-termite with the same may not be stable or respectable. find place only in the wing: name but that’s not the case, is it? For freshmen – Will ask you to ‘work’ for Hall GPL – Strengthens the philosophy, ‘There’s Fests and Clubs. Also will lay stress on resume more joy in giving than in receiving’ Legitimate Lingo: building. Listen to individual only if treat is Gaddar – Masterpiece, as in the movie, hand1. bachcha – (noun) Term generally used by an promised under a signed contract. pump and all individual to address another individual lower For maggus – Don’t bother, they’re not going to So that’s all for a first lecture folks. Hope this in the power hierarchy (read lower batch) talk to you. You are not going to talk to them. equips you to discern the mood of conversaFor freshmen – Do not address anyone with For others – hang around them for a good time. tions better. the above label. That divine right is reserved Derivatives – bakaiti(noun) – quality of being
SnT Teams: Are you game?
by Aditya Sharma, Rishabh Tamhane and Shruti Joshi Just a few weeks into the campus of IITK, one puter Vision. In spite of how hard you work, can find themselves comfortably unsettled by there was always another team member workthe various options present here, be it cultur- ing harder than you which always kept you al, technical, athletic or academic. Being a top motivated. Going to Pune for a week for the notch technological institute, one can expect competition was one of the most memorable the students here to make good use of all the journeys of my life. Never had I thought that I resources that abound the place to come up would get to represent my institute in the First with creations that not only challenge the ex- Year itself. Robocon provides you with a great isting limitations, but also create new ones. platform to develop your technical skills as well as open your mind to new and innovative So, here we explore some of the SnT teams of ideas, which is what studying in a technical inIITK that represent the institute at national stitute is about.”- Abhibhav Garg and international levels and provide a good platform for one to set their feet on for a take- Team AUV off in the fields of innovation, optimisation, or- A team of nearly twenty undergraduates aimganisation and collective production. ing to achieve excellence in Underwater Robotics, with a constant check on their performance Team ROBOCON through participation in various competitions A team of around thirty robotics enthusiasts and presentations; slated to participate in the who work diligently on the problem statement NIOT-SAVe at Chennai this October, and of ABU Robocon, an international level robot- hopefully in RoboSub 2017 to be held in San ics competition held every year in South East Diego, California. Asia – Pacific countries. To get a taste of the work done, some of their An interesting start! past projects include Badminton Playing Ro- The first AUV(Autonomous Underwater Vebots, Pole climbing bots, etc. hicle) was made as a summer project in 2013 Their most recent achievements by the Y12 batch. It used a ballast system for 2nd Runners Up, Robocon India 2016 the vertical motion while using two thrusters 5th Place in Robocon India 2014 for motion on a plane. The robot is kept in the Most Innovative Design Award in Robocon In- Robotics Club and marks an important step dia 2014. towards forming of the AUV Team eventually. What all can I learn? The team encourages one to learn the three facets of robotics in their first year, namely designing(using industry grade softwares like AutoDesk Inventor or SolidWorks for design and analysis before manufacturing), electronics(working on Altium to design PCBs), coding and embedded systems(working on microcontrollers like Arduino, Odroid, etc. that act as the brain of the bot). Also, working under Prof. Bhaskar Dasgupta(Centre for Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering Department), the team has full access to many facilities in the 4i lab, giving one face on exposure to Laser Cutting, Abrasive Water Jet Cutting, 3D Printing, Vertical Drilling Machine and so on. What does it feel like? “Students always wonder what to do with all the free time they get in the first year here at IIT-K, and we were not much different. Enter Robocon. Having cleared the written test and the interview, we were given small projects to put into perspective how much effort goes into building a working robot. That is where our journey began, one that was filled with hardship, but one that taught us more than we could have ever hope for. I had never before even heard of an Odroid or Arduino and before I knew it, I was implementing complex line following algorithms coupled with Com-
What is the working environment like? Working from Robotics Club, Hall 2, the team uses the 4i and the tinkering labs as well as the institute swimming pool for testing purposes. It is funded by the DoRD and mentored by Prof. Sachin Y. Shinde, Dept. of M.E. The current team budget is around seven lakh rupees. And, what do I learn? In a team that believes in inter-disciplinary knowledge and has members skilled in the various unifying areas of robotics, one can get hands on experience of working on a competent bot and find themselves operating ranges of instruments, designing circuits and optimising the existing ones on Varun(the AUV bot), critically analyzing different machines and components and manufacturing them and working on vision(developing better algorithms to extract data from images) and motion control(doing object-oriented programming and integrating using ROS). Joining AUV was one of my best decisions, and I’ll tell you why! “I joined AUV-IITK in December, 2015. At first, the targets were overwhelming and the work was frustrating. But my seniors helped me a lot and pushed my limits. They taught what it is like to never quit. I worked under their guidance and learned a lot related to elec-
tronics. Now, I enjoy working in AUV-IITK the most and the circuits which were boring and irritating have now become my drug.” - Rithvik Patibandla Team SAE IITK Motorsports is the automotive chapter of the institute. They Design, Build and Race! Having started their journey in 2011, they have constantly innovated, surpassed expectations and brought laurels to the institute. Their achievements include - bagging the position of the Second Best Indian team overall in Formula SAE Italy, winning the award for the Best Incoming Team in BAJA-SAE India 2015, and designing India’s Lightest car in Formula Student India 2016. The start SAE(Society of Automotive Engineers), IIT Kanpur had started off with over a hundred and fifty student members with a belief to provide a platform for students to share and increase their engineering know-how through increased interaction between themselves at all levels via group activities, lectures, workshops, brainstorming sessions and many institute level competitions. SAE IIT Kanpur hopes to act as a strong unifying force amongst Industry, Institute and above all, students. Meet our newest member! B16 is among India’s lightest Baja vehicle, weighing 161.7kg. It has 10HP Briggs and Stratton Engine, and Front Double Wishbone and Rear Semi-Trailing Arm Suspensions. It has continuously variable transmission coupled with self-designed single reduction gearbox. The gearbox is India’s first transparent gearbox. B16 has an excellent gradeability of 45deg. for Hill Climb and can pull up to a 3 ton vehicle in Sledge Pull. With this, they participated in Baja Student India ‘16 (held at Buddh International Circuit) and achieved 6th position in Engineering Design, and 4th position in acceleration. Other vehicles developed by them include the F13, B15 and F16. Drop by to know more about them! Welcome! To quote the former head of SpaceX, “If your school has an FSAE team, join it. If it doesn’t, try to start one! “ With so much to explore and only some to devour, we hope we have given you a difficult time in deciding where to go. Recruitment in these teams starts sometime soon. So, prep your skills and channelise your enthusiasm, for being a contribution to such technologically revolutionising chapters of the institute is an experience of its own.
Inter IIT Comes to Kanpur by Harshit Bhalla and Trishank Singh Baghel
The Inter IIT meet is an annual sports event in which the students of IITs compete for glory. It was started in 1961 with an objective to encourage sportsmanship and promote interaction among the students. Inter IIT is held in three parts. The first one is the aquatics meet which is held in the month of October. Events of swimming and water polo are conducted during this event. The main meet is held in the month of December where students participate in sports like athletics, basketball, volleyball, cricket, tennis, squash, hockey, etc. Finally, there is also a staff meet during which one might spot some of the profs or staff members on the grounds. The points of the Aquatics and Main Meet are added to decide the winner of the Student’s General Championship. The Inter IIT meet is hosted by one of the participating IITs in rotation.
The preparations for the event are going on in full flow. The planning and execution is being carried out by a committee comprising the Director, DoSA, SPEC chairman and a core team of students. For upgrading the sporting facilities, a new volleyball court is being constructed. The cricket practice area will be revamped with a new layer of astro-turf. All the indoor sports facilities will be renovated. The pro-nite ground will be converted to football field for Inter IIT matches. Lighting will be increased in all indoor venues, athletics stadium and cricket practice side. The core team is planning to launch an app for the event to give live results. It will also have profiles of the players.
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The Inter IIT team, in association with Raktarpan organized a blood donation and mini health checkup camp. They had also started campaigns, #road2rio and #IamTeamIndia to boost the morale of the Indian contingent to Olympics 2016.
This year, the 51st Inter IIT sports meet is being hosted by IIT Kanpur between 12th and 19th December and the staff meet commences the next day, ending on 25th December. The four day long aquatics meet will also be hosted by IIT Kanpur, starting 2nd October. IIT Kanpur’s contingent emerged as the winners in Inter IIT 2013 held in Guwahati and then again in Bombay, in the 2014 edition. All eyes will be on IIT Kanpur to see whether we will be able to win the General Championship for a third consecutive time.
ing in nature, the combined general championship trophy will be permanently retained by the champions. IIT Kanpur is sparing no effort whatsoever, be it in manpower or monetary terms.
The Inter IIT meet has witnessed famous personalities like Sachin Tendulkar and MC Mary Kom as invitees in the past. The chief guest for this year’s Inter IIT is yet to be decided and is an eagerly awaited announcement. This edition onwards along with the boys and girls championship a new combined general championship has also been introduced. And unlike all the other trophies which are roll-
Previous year’s edition which was supposed to be organised in IIT Madras last December was called off due to the unexpected floods in Chennai. There was a round of debate on who will conduct the Inter IIT this year. Some people believed that it would be unfair for IITM to miss their turn but by mutual consensus it was decided that IITK shall go on to conduct it this year and the 2017 meet will be held in IITM. The rotation policy shall be resumed after that. The Inter IIT meet is the holy grail of sporting achievement among the premier technological institutes in the country and the level of competition is intense. This year our contingent has home support and we need to make sure that they are able to leverage it as much as possible. So let’s cheer them on for #3BaarLagataar
Undergrad Scholarships by Ayush Anurag and Manuj Narang With the increase in fees to more than twice the initial amount, more and more students are turning towards loans and scholarships to support them. While loans are indispensable, scholarships are undoubtedly better. Besides giving a warm fuzzy feeling of achievement, they provide you with cash which need not be returned. Thankfully, here in the IIT’s, we have a long list of possible scholarships one can apply for, some of which are mentioned below.
All of IITK.’s scholarship applications come under the purview of the Senate Scholarships and Prizes Committee(SSPC), administering the applications and the logistics of the process. Awarded on a yearly basis, only one scholarship can be held by a student for an academic year. Once accepted in a particular scholarship program, he/she cannot apply for another program or get it changed for that academic year. Most scholarships require a form to be filled and furnished with documents that may be required and then submitted to the SSPC office. Some scholarships, eg. the Student’s Benevolence Fund, require the applicant to appear for an interview to judge the merit of his/her application. But these procedures vary depending on the particular scholarship. Some common scholarship programs have been mentioned below:
• Merit cum Means scholarship (MCM): Undergraduate students having a parental income less than 6 lakhs, C.P.I greater than or equal to 6.5 and graded above F in all the courses of 2 previous semesters are eligible for the scholarship. Parental income certificate (which may be any proof of income, tax return file, etc.) and a form (available at the SSPC office) would suffice for applying. A full tuition waiver and a pocket allowance of Rs.1000 per
month is rewarded, however if C.P.I. of the applicant falls below 6.5 and is still above 6, the pocket allowance is withdrawn. • INSPIRE scholarship: Students standing among the top 1% in the respective 12th standard examinations or having a JEE rank under 10,000 and studying under the department of Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics and having a C.P.I>=6.0 are eligible for the scholarship. Only a form available at the SSPC office is required to be submitted for the scholarship. Rewarding Rs.30,000 per semester and an additional research grant of Rs. 20,000 if any research project is undertaken by the applicant.
• Basic Mess and Pocket allowance: Students having parental income less than 4.5 lakhs and belonging to SC/ST category are eligible for the scholarship. The reward is a complete waiver of the basic daily mess bill and a pocket allowance of Rs. 250 per month. A form (available at the SSPC office) and parental income certificate (same as mentioned above) are required in order to apply for the scholarship. • Aditya Birla Scholarship: Top 20 students (with respect to JEE ranks) are eligible for the scholarship. Specific details regarding the application and procedure is mailed separately. A sum of Rs.65,000 is awarded to the students selected for the scholarship. • Student’s Benevolence Fund(SBF): SBF offered by Counselling service, SBF has no eligibility criteria and the selection is done on the basis of an interview. A mail containing the application doc. And containing other details is sent by the Counselling service. Other than the ones mentioned above, some alumni funded scholarships could also be availed by the students. Mails regarding these are sent to the students by SSPC, containing the necessary details.
by Harshit Bhalla and Kumar Kshitij Patel
In the curiously clinquant smoke of their first month at IIT Kanpur, freshers often ponder upon what they call “interaction”. Every year a baapu/amma would wittingly remark upon how the levels of interaction have declined as compared to their time, to which the hushed and the curious bachha would listen with gleamy eyes and a memory of the day not so supportive of this assertion. To have a wider perspective, we present the opinions of some students who have spent some time on campus now to record the archetypes on this “interaction”. What is the objective of interaction according to you? Samarth Bansal, a Y11 passout says,“Interaction for me is a two-way process. From the senior’s side, it is to get to know the perspective of the junior, how he/she looks at stuff and possibly share their two cents about what they think they know. From a junior’s perspective, it is about getting to know the people of this new community, understand more about what happens in the insti, find some mentors and friends in seniors”. To this Shashank Bhandari, Y12 adds,“Why would I invest my time to answer the doubts of people I don’t even know. In a two way interaction we get some entertainment and a reason to connect with the first year.” What is ragging, how are they different? Is the term interaction sometimes used as a substitution for ragging? Vijeta Anand, Y13 says,“Ragging is an extreme situation where the person ragged is abused physically or psychologically and he/she is made to feel uncomfortable deliberately. As far as I have seen interaction sessions for the past 4 years in my hall it is nowhere close to ragging.” Samarth adds,“Things which don’t add any value in terms of interaction, the ones which under the barge of ‘getting someone out of their comfort zone’ essentially means seniors having fun at the expense of junior, which makes the person feel humiliated is what I would call ragging. There is a difference in being uncomfortable and being humiliated.” Why is it that the things considered taboo are enforced to become normal in IITK and especially during interaction? Sanjana Gopalakrishnan, Y12, remarks,“I guess in theory, it’s great to promote a greater acceptance about things that are considered taboo. However, I don’t think that seniors in the sessions fully understand how they can impact the students. I have heard a lot of nice things about people’s experience post such sessions, wing unity being one of the many things. However, I do believe some students may be positively scarred after such sessions.” In the context of girls hostels Vijeta adds,“This is something that does not occur in girls hostels, but such things supposedly should come under the purview of ragging.”
“I don’t participate in interaction with an objective in mind...I interact, just to interact. Period.” - Shubham
a positive change and the quad sessions were doing more harm than good.” -Sanjana
“Anything apart from conversing with juniors during interaction is ragging. I feel making freshers do pole dance should be considered as ragging!” - Rajat
“All I can say is that as a fresher we come here with many insecurities, but the interaction sessions help us to shred those insecurities to a great extent. This is what happened to me and I am thankful about it.” -Vijeta
“There is no form of what we call ragging present today, simpleng and fun is interaction.” -Shubham
“Extremely ultimate , I was changed in just in a month. What i am today, for everything I thank seniors. Experience with seniors would always remain one of the most important part of my life.” -Shubham
“Young people talk like that all over the country.”- Rutvij “It’s part of the culture.”-Shubham “IITK lingo minus gaali is fine” -Rutvij “It is the vicious saas-bhi-kabhi-bahu-thicycle, seniors-bhi-kabhi-freshers-the.” -Samarth “To comment upon that one should have tasted the culture once. If done repeatedly it is surely mental abuse.” - Shashank “I think the gymkhana orientations are What should be the general lingo followed while interacting for the first time? “Senior should be polite and start with a normal introduction. The senior should try to refrain from verbal abuse. I think kholna is okay. It is a set of things which a senior would like to know else it would be very difficult for the senior to ask those things to multiple freshers and it may act as a hindrance to healthy interaction” -says Rajat Nagar, Y14. What is your opinion about the GBM interaction and behaviour of HEC members in GBMs? “GBM interaction is pretty harmless as entire batch is facing it together. The problem starts when people are singled out. HEC interacting to entire hall is desirable.”, says Sayash Kapoor, Y15. On contrary Rutvij remarks “It’s not interaction, infact the name is misleading. It’s targeted towards first year and not something exactly justifiable.” While Shubham Chauhan, Y15 feels, “If seniors will not be harsh towards participation, guys will simply exclude themselves from activities. Trend must be continued, so second yearites behaviour is better than expected.” Is enforcing the view of a culture not mental abuse? “Not necessarily, it depends on the culture and the intentions behind having the culture while propagating it. To bring order in any society, there must exist a culture which the members follow. Further through the generation if it
“Had a Bad experience during treasure hunt. They scolded me. But five minutes later we were dancing. But this is how I knew a lot of seniors in my second week. It might be a negative experience, but for me it was a positive one. I learnt how not to be a complete jerk.”-Shashank “Quite varied; some helpful, much fun, like mentor, some cruel and disgusting, many were misguided themselves. The most troublesome lot in the campus are second year students. Freshers should beware of them!”-Samarth is felt that the current system is not fulfilling the right purposes, then the culture should be questioned and brought to change. That is true for any culture.” -Vijeta. S feels mental abuse is a very strong word. She further adds that there are certain institutions like the HEC that try to enforce a culture. But there are many other institutions that encourage free thinking and questioning, like the Students’ Senate. The students have opportunities to subscribe to any ideology they want to but for some reason one isn’t as popular as the other. She thinks that’s a more individualistic problem. What is your opinion on the changes in interaction system this year? Vijeta says “The interaction reduced considerably for the girls hostel in particular. And in general, it is more fruitful if the interaction sessions are not gymkhana specific because there are far more things that the students should be made aware of other than only gymkhana.” Supporting this Sayash said “This year I feel quads were not as they should have been. Orientation did not have club presentation! We didn’t get to know the clubs. DoSA came to our hall and he said long tradition of kholna is ragging. I completely disagree with that. This is the standardised way in which seniors approach the juniors. Having said so, it’s the responsibility of both the parties to know where the lines are.”
The Nostalgic Pangs of Kalyanpur by Ishan Mahajan
Just a touch over six years ago, I was where you are now. Wait, it would be ten years in the case of you fresh entrants. Damn, time flies like an arrow! So, by sheer virtue of being born into this world a couple of years earlier (and little else), I will deem myself fit to dole out some well-meaning advice, by dipping into my pensieve. A lot of this will not make much sense to you now, but I am sure most of it will, in the next couple of years. Much like your experiences inside the place that was once home for me.
Celebrate. Even the smallest of things. Like the time when you stay awake through an entire day of classes. Or when your sidey goes for a shower after a week or more. And also when that cute boy/ girl in your section smiles back at you. Tell your friend to treat you with a snack in the Hall-7 canteen, and then raid the munchies once you are there. Trust me, by the 2nd-3rd year, this lavish Hall treat will seem cheap fare. If you land up at the Campus restaurant, tip the server, or exit hastily. He can dish out some cold stares.
You have done well to come here. Back home, everyone thinks you are one in a million. Everyone including your ego. Yes, I hope you left it back home. Each day spent here will reassert how vast the sea of knowledge is, and introduce you to an ever increasing tribe of people who have drank more than you can imagine, err, from the sea of knowledge I mean. You are, most likely, not the smartest person you will know. Live with it.
In your four years, you will meet people from regions, cultures, backgrounds that are nothing like yours. Yet, you will have so much to talk about. Take out time and do that. Tell them that silly joke that made you laugh all day. Ask them of their troubles when you see they are low. Walk the longer route back from the Academic area. Share a cup of tea at midnight. No
Take the courses you really want to. No one can tell you to not love humanities because you are a mechanical engineer, or not to love discrete maths because you are from Bio-engineering. I walked into an MBA admission interview and told an amazed panel that my favourite courses from my B.Tech were the ones in Psychology and Philosophy. If I may add, it only brightened up the conversation. You all have that fire within you. Just find the wind that flames it and who knows it might turn into an inferno. And needless to say, this may not necessarily come from one of your academic courses.
amount of idle web surfing/gaming will ever come close to the joy that *bulla sessions* bring. This time you will spend together, the stories you will share will forge friendships that will last a lifetime. The umbilical cord that binds us to this place remains. Always. Looking back at those years is a heady feeling, and before emotion gets the better of me, I will wrap up with a few other pointers: - Peacocks run fast. Remember. - Standing in the middle of the Library fountain isn’t as happy as that music video makes it out to be. - No, that’s not a crow. Period. - Avoid wearing shorts, esp. in the first year. You never know when they want someone to go to put up posters in GH! (Does that rule still exist?) - Your hall copier knows which part of the notes is important way better than you will ever know. - Techkriti can be more fun than Antaragni. If the prof-show in the former is better. Jeez, what did you think? - And lastly, Galaxy to Hall 3 hi jeetega! Welcome to the best days of your lives, folks! About the author: Ishan Mahajan (B.Tech., MME, Batch of ’10) was the editor of Vox for the 2009-10 session. After completing his Graduation, he did a PGDM at IIM Calcutta. He worked with Credit Suisse for over two years and is currently working for Zomato. So as to quote him, he’s “an avid blogger, self-proclaimed musician and part-time joke maker.”
Hi Freshers! We know you’ve been asked to introduce yourselves countless number of times by now. For a change, here’s us introducing ourselves to you! Vox Populi is Latin for “voice of the people”. We’re the student journalism body of IITK and strive to be the voice of this amazing and exciting campus. We do a lot of things: print edition, online stories, campus dialogues, Quora meetups, insight videos being some of them. Found what we do interesting? Join us! Nominations coming soon. Chief Editors:
Karandeep Sharma Rishabh Anand Editors: Naman Kumar Gupta Simrat Singh Special Thanks: Manuj Narang Design Lead: Debangana Roy