Monthly Archives: December 2010

“Corruption is a disease” says the Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde

This October, at a management seminar, Mr. Justice N. Santosh Hegde addressed the causes, implications and consequences of corruption in India. It was his view that a democratic society apathetic to rampant corruption is unacceptable. The hour long talk which was elegantly delivered with myriads of personal anecdotes and historical accounts concluded with an emphatic message to the society.

The Lokayukta of Karnataka claimed that corruption is a grimy epidemic that is sweeping the country from sixty years. He said “The society does not bother to distinguish between the people who are legitimately rich and illegitimately rich”. He pointed out that it takes around 8 to 10 years to bring a person to trial in our country. An accused official, whose slimy deeds are forgotten over such a large span of time, mingles with the society to gain acceptance. He claimed that far too many such misfits are lurking around in the country and that he refuses to share a diaz with such people! He said that the laws that help to deal with corruption are useless unless the society actively participates in an endeavor to reduce corruption. He encouraged the society to develop an anti-corruption attitude and boycott corrupt officials without waiting for judgment. When justice will be served to such unscrupulous officials time and again, Justice Hegde proclaimed that, fear of punishment towards graft will eventually percolate into all strata of our society. He said that the fear will not only serve as a lesson to the individual but also to his entire family. He explained this with a story of a boy who refused to fill his exposed, corrupt fathers’ shoes for a religious occasion and wanted to be disassociated from his family due to humiliation.

The former Solicitor General of India claimed that the main causes for corruption are greed and available opportunity. He grieved that the laws meant to protect the society and its’ people are perceived, by the people, as an impediment to fulfilling one’s rapacious desires. This introduces an opportunity for graft and thus it is people’s undue avarice that has led to the country’s deplorable state. He touched a chord when he asked the audience if they wanted their children to live in such a wretched society. He urged the people of the society to question the integrity of the politicians. He said that a democratic country enjoys the freedom of speech and more importantly the right to ask questions. He reminded the society that our constitution has endowed the power of decision making to the bureaucrats rather than the politicians. However, he said, the politicians often misuse their powers to banish honest officers and the actual point of democracy is lost. He reminisced about the time Dr. B. R. Ambedkar envisioned a government of the people and the scintillating discussions of the yore at the parliament. He contrasted this with the present day netas who mainly indulge in vehement name-calling and squabble over frivolous issues.

He raised an interesting point about our GDP growth. He pointed out that ambitious political parties claim that the GDP growth has increased during their tenure. “I am talking about the 39 billionaires whose natural growth is contributing to the country’s GDP. What is the GDP of the rural areas? Is that the development of rural India?” he asked. He painted a melancholic image of rural India by vividly describing the commiserable state of the villages in the country without water supply, good drainage facilities and proper means of education. He informed the audience that lakhs of crores of rupees were issued for a scheme that outlined the development of rural India in the year 2007. He claimed that he has no clue where the money is now.

He concluded the speech by saying that every upstanding citizen of the country must be transparent and has no reason to expect anything less from any officials. He remarked that the government officials should realize that they are country’s workers and not its’ bosses. He said that the officials and politicians should encourage honest workers and punish the corrupt. “We have to solve the problem; not get rid of the problem!” he asserted in view of the present scenario.

The splendid talk ended with an amusing tête-à-tête that entertained the audience. The following are select dialogue reproduced almost verbatim from the talk:

Q. Will corruption slow down growth or will growth slow down corruption?
A: Growth will not slow down any corruption. In fact, corruption is high even in developed countries. But the converse is possible.

Q: People say you are the Sri Krishna of Karnataka …
A: Sorry, I am not that romantic.

Q. Do you think our legal system is inadequate?
A: Yes, there’s a need to invest in better legal infrastructure. Salary wise, all of us are well paid, but some archaic laws need serious re-thinking.

Rajkumar (ECE)
Srikanth Pai(ECE)

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Degrees vs. Cricket

Test Match

PhD

5 days or less

More or less 5 years

Toss

Advisor assigned

Fielding

Course work

Leather hunt (first 2 days)

Literature survey and search for thesis problem (first 2 years)

Opposition declares

Advisor takes pity and chooses thesis problem for you

Openers face shiny new ball and bouncers

Comprehensive exam

Wickets fall

Years go by

Nightwatchman

Hobby to prevent depression

Pitch crumbles

Equipment breaks down

Spinners spin a web

Googly from experimental results

Follow on

Night out

Unfair decision

Paper rejected

Last session. No. 11 batsman trying to save his stumps from reverse swinging yorker at 150kmph

Thesis Defence

T20

MBA

20 overs

2 years

Minimal need for technique

Minimal need for technical stuff

Pyrotechnics – Brute force, Big shots

Pyrotechnics – Marketing Ability

Cheerleaders

Gets a girl that looks like a cheerleader

IPL Auction

Placement Season

Arjun Shetty (ECE)
Illustration: Jithin, K. S. (ECE)

Christmas – When love came down



The IISc Bible Study Forum, organized their annual Christmas program on Saturday, 27th November, 2010 at SAC. The theme for this years event was “Christmas – When love came down”. The program consisted of songs by the ‘Laudant’ choir and skits and songs by the IISc students and a talk by Prof. Sudhakar M from Hyderabad. The event was well attended and appreciated by the audience.

Bible Study Forum
Photo credits: Bible Study Forum

Louder than a thousand words


Rupesh Nasre (CSA)

“Oh God! Let me there again”

Need the knowledge to regain,
Tough so tough, reside in vain,
Soul suffering severing pain,
Oh God! Let me there again.
Since then I’ll never bargain,
Oh God! Let me there again…

Fruitful efforts in this federation,
Never come to end as a serration,
Mild winds, flowered ways,
My wills, treasured always,
Greenery splashed terrain,
Zealous sky washing rain,
Oh God! Let me there again….

Flute voice of the dawn,
Arousing me from divan,
Pixels of the blue and clouds,
Casement creating applauds,
When awaken, found transition,
When slept, dreamt acquisition,
When walked, got entertain,
Oh God! Let me there again…

Charming walks about green,
Red flowers scenting preen,
Rest at the statue front of the tower,
Test a blue sky, placing birds’ hover,
Pose for peace, pride and evolution,
A Nation’s intellectual institution,
Cannot stay alive, never stain
Oh God! Let me there again….

Fighting amid computing machines,
Was really an adventurous marine,
Indeed, I was withheld of night,
Going alone, in a search of light,
A hunt of truth, seek for reality,
Exploring space to accrue clarity,
Call to reshape previous gain,
Oh God! Let me there again…

King of light Guiding track,
Stint of fight growing knack,
Ocean of journals, team of books,
A Scene of jungle, street of fruits,
Shrine of Hanu, temple of Mother,
Gift of Ganesha, heart of weather,
The eternal wish, crying gain,
Oh God! Let me there again…

Freedom to air, wisdom to fly,
Greed for love, a reason to cry,
East to west, north and south,
Taste the food, ploy the mouth,
Pretty natives wanna obtain,
Oh God! Let me there again…
Since then I’ll never bargain,
Oh God! Let me there again…

Ajay Kumar Tamrakar (Alumnus, Aero)

Festivities and Celebrations

‘The Festive Spirit’
There’s something great about it!
It brings together everybody
And brightens each one’s life

Words seem inadequate to pen
The marvelous spirit, IIScians showcase within
The togetherness makes every heart sing
A song, that takes the mind off everything.

Celebrations may be as simple as they can get
But the happiness accompanied, one can never forget
Each festivity has its unique expression
That’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

Bhavana Sekhar (ECE)

Insanity Unlimited 5

The class was about to be over. I and one of my friends were slow in packing ourselves out of the lecture hall. Realisation dawns at the strangest of occasions and in the weirdest of hours. It occurred to me that this was not going to stay. Someday very soon we would be out of these premises, out of our cocooned secure existence , out of our nocturnal waking hours, out there into a more conforming lifestyle. A lifestyle which obeys the societal norms. A few more months down the line and we will be facing the nation and be industry ready. We will be required to walk the walk and talk the talk of the corporate world. My job is not to enlighten ourselves about these facts and figures. Most of these are things thatwe already know; but what I consider many of us may know but might not have had the time to reflect upon is the quietude that accompanies the end of a process, in this case the completion of a class. Suddenly we find ourselves a few more summers older than we wished we actually were.

When we were teenagers not so long ago we did many inexplicable things in the name of our first crush. Let’s get back a farther few years and Ifondly recollect the “S +R” and stuff like that which many of us did at schools . The very fact that the girl sitting in the class beside me had asked for the eraser was enough to send us into a tailspin and a dream land and fantasy world where we the boys were the proverbial knights in shining armours and the girlsour lady love. Then came the age of writing innuendos and sharp one liners and strategically dropping them at places where the girl alone would pick it up . That job actually taught all of us how to write things to- the- point without beating around the bush. Then we got ambitious and we decided that we deservedmore .A few of the enterprising individuals just stopped short of hand holding which a decade or so ago was considered to be adventurous but which in today’s world will be dismissed for being nothing more than oriental obsoleteness.

Movies were a big source of entertainment those days as they still are. A fact that kept us thoroughly perplexed in our childhood were the songs and their source in movies. We knew who Amitabh Bachchan was and we never doubted his capabilities.We knew that he fought well and could demolish any one in a matter of minutes . We were also comfortable with the belief that he sang really well with heroines in forests till someday someone introduced an element of doubt in our young minds by saying that there is some hapless soul called Kishore Kumar who does all the singing and our hero simply lip sings. That left many of us heart broken. A wise head amongst us finally came up with a solution to all our woes. He observed that if anyone amongst us boys could manage/arrange for a girlfriend who would do the dancing around the trees with us then the song part can be taken care of. We need not bother about that because the very fact that a boy and a girl are dancing is enough for a song to be emanated from the background automatically. We all agreed to the concept and on that day when realization dawned on us, we the delegates sort of passed a resolution rubbishing the theory of lip singing.

Let us now cascade in time to adulthood.Talking about time and it’s passage, let me relate to you about a routine affair that I used to indulge myself in.In the place where I was before , I would very often go for an evening jog behind a dilapidated old school building. I could very easily associate myself with the ambience that prevailed there, especially after tropical afternoon rains. The smell of earth and vegetation would attract me to the place and the icing on the cake was that the place was deserted most of the time. This provided me with the opportunity to talk to myself, to gather myself and regain composure in case I felt drained and exhausted. Many a days passed by and I followed my routine evening sortie with a few aberrations. All this while my parents would be back at home and they would be spending the evening discussing about my future; till I discovered one day that in the quagmire, their present was lost somewhere.

So it’s all about time you see. Our ancestors used to watch the night sky and predict about celestial events I am told. One of my cousins, who stays near Kolkata airport, does something slightly different.In the neighbourhood where he stays (in Barasat) there aren’t many highrisers and he has a mouthful of night sky for himself.He religiously goes to the rooftop almost everynight and watches the stars and tries to recognise an Alpha Centauri from I do not know what.Long years of practice has also made him adept at recognising the type of aircraft ,that takes off from the airport nearby and which flies past by his home, just by it’s sound. He is right in almost 95% of the occasions and we the adjudicators rush out of the interiors after his prediction about the type of aircraft is once made, only to find that he was right this time too!!

Resuming our discussion on time ,generally it is the afternoon that is static in contrast to the dynamic mornings and sedate evenings. Mornings are characterised by extreme animation that in some places starts off with the local vegetable vendors shouting their vocal chords off to attract your attention to their wares whereas in the afternoon things seem to have come to a standstill.Other than the school returning kid who is accompanied by his mother back to home nothing else really moves in the afternoons. Even the kid seems to betray a feeling of resignation partially because now he has to do his homework.There is a unique smell and colour that one can associate with theafternoons. A famous author once wrote that he watched a grey cat climb over a grey fence in a grey afternoon. Such was the ennui he felt that everything in the statement for him was grey. In other words, life becomes colourless at the stroke of noon and thereafter till the evanescent rays of the setting sun brings forth the hues and shades out of the for our visual comfort and tranquillity.

Talking about time I enjoy it the most to just stand and stare at emptiness or nothingness .For all your money’s worth this act of subconscious hibernation is in fact the most precious pastime of many a IIScian. Though some men may call you a blinking idiot, I can assure you that by doing this you can actually get back to your bearings very fast and concentrate on the job at hand.Sometimes it is best to withdraw yourself .Hold back . Look for the shaded unheard of area of the field. The situation is comparable to an examination hall when you are very near to the final answer but something is preventing you from reaching there which means that you are not quite there though you are almost there. The invigilator has gone for a stroll and you are pretty sure that the guy sitting ahead of you has got it right. Something in you rings a bell and you decide against holding a discreet conference with him. Instead you sit back and resign yourself. Already you are a veteran – a thousand exams old. Your psyche is riddled with battle scars .A few marks less or more would mean nothing to you. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody .

Coming back to the aspect of time let me take this opportunity to remind you that it is now or never. If you feel that your expressions should find a vent then you ought to do better. Be brave and bold and here I am exhorting you to speak your mind .Everyone deserves his moment under the sun. All of us are special in some way or the other. Nothing should prevent us from showcasing our talents . We should neither lead an existence of self denial nor deprive ourselves from the best that life has to offer to us. At the same time I am sure that many of you might have felt by now that there is dignity and grace in leading a muted existence. Sometimes it feels satisfying to know that you have lost it and if you are graceful at the face of defeat then that itself is fodder for your self to be at unison with your soul. Sounds sheepish for a go getter. But believe me there is a strange satisfaction in being just an ordinary person who lives a mundane existence. The intoxication can be heady and very few people have understood the proper import or essence of this aspect.

On the same lines there is no reason for you not to be yourself and pretend that you were a something which in fact you are not. This will wear you and tire you. Any conversation loaded with such abstractions will die a natural death because once again it’s only a matter of time before your true colours are exposed. Or for that matter why should you even bother to do any sort of grandstanding? Is it to win over or woe your lady love? Then sit back and think twice. Realisation will dawn on you when you will understand that most of these inklings are far removed from reality and the object of desire in itself may be undeserving of your time and energy.

At his juncture we shall dig deep and try and exhume substances that lies buried and buttressed underneath. Let us look at aspects other than time that are more appalling though there is some inbuilt timeliness in them as well and they too deserve and demand a bit of our attention. Descriptions on tenderness ,softness, subtleness –all combined into one should be taught in all institutions. Add to this artistic expressions and expressions of love , intimacy and interest and the list becomes complete in all respects. To talk to you something about all the above subjects would need a qualified individual, ages. The intricacies involved are endless. There are numerous bends and curves to negotiate. Limitless knowledge to be gained. You will be justified to accuse me if by now you are left wondering why so much of valuable print space is wasted without any meaningful addition to what we already know . Hence let’s hit the brass tacks. The reason I say what I say is because the prospect of coming back to a homely person after a hard day at office is extremely enticing and alluring and cannot be overstated.You recline in your chair and can only see long tresses dropping majestically like a waterfall down her shoulder as seen from behind seemingly punctuating her visage. It seems to be so real and yet out of this world at the same time. You feel that her gait is full of grace and her movements betrays feminism and something about her seems to suggest that she has boundless warmth within her. And hence she seems to be the ideal women to come home to after a rough day at office .I can sincerely hope that time will answer your prayers and your fantasies will soon turn into reality because you deserve the best of times.

I can relate to you the experience that I had with a dentist back home a few years back in time. The anecdote will help dispel doubts that you might have on the subject though I do not state with authority that I am the be all and end all on all such issues. I had a bad tooth ache that time and I had to see a dentist. I went to a clinic near home early in the morning. I was shown the semi sleeper chair where I reclinedmyself . The young svelte lady doctor took a good look at the source of my discomfort and gave me a reassuring look. Then she took out her instruments and drilled through my enamels. I felt a tingling sensation and would clasp her free hand firmly whenever I was driven to my wit’s end. This I did a few times before she decided to take control. She had to bend to take a look at my cavity which was on the jaw on the opposite side of my mouth from where she was approaching. I lay motionless and still. As she drilled deep into my mouth her nose pressed against mine and I was literally inhaling her breath. It smelt wonderfulcomparable to the smell of fresh milk from what she might have had for breakfast. I was systematically but gradually being devoured and consumed by her moist and warmbreath . I was basking in the warmth of her breath.I was fully encapsulated by her and I surrendered to her tenderness .So you can see that in situations such as these you would wish that time stood still.

Of late there’s been news about women in IISc learning Kalaripayattu and Kungfu-soon the tenderness , warmth and care that we used to associate women with are going to be a blast from the past. At this moment I am reminded of a poster of a popular Telegu movie put up in the last semester in front of all the mess wherein the main protagonist , the heroine , was shown holding weapons of mass destruction(WMD) and she seemed out to avenge some wrong done on her or her next of kin sometime I guess very early in the movie. It was apparent that our heroine was made of sterner stuff but why she had to be dressed provocatively for accomplishment of her mission is something yet unanswered.You have to be commended if you have noticed that this write up is slowly inching towards hitherto unchartered territory .Let me remind you that this is purely in response to the Editor-in-chief’s appeal to all of us to come up with something different. Chances or odds against this write-up making sense is 67:1- yet being in IISC ,as I said , we ought to do better and therefore the onus of deciphering the text rests solely with the reader.

Before signing off I would like to share with you an incident that marked a handful of my academic travails in the first semester here at IISC. I watched our potential topper from close quarters and concluded that he barely talks .I considered a piece of advice from one of my seniors back home who had said that to be a topper you have to think and act like a topper. I decided to follow his advice in toto. I slashed my conversation budget and became very abstemious with words to the extent I became reticent and a social outcast. Things started taking ugly turns when close friends started inquiring about my health .This time too- time came to my relief when I discovered that the potential topper himself had become garrulous and so now I could afford to breathe easy. So the solution to all ills lie basically embedded in the womb of time.

I am OK, I am alright. Though you have gone from my life .

They said that now everything should be all right.

If I leave this world behind , the madness that I feel will subside;

And once again I cannot sleep. l look at the stars beneath my feet;

And look down the door at another street;

My heart is heavy and my mind occupied;

And so I send some men to fight;

And one came back at thedead of night;

He said he’s seen my enemy ,And that he looked like me;

In between the cradle and the grave lies a few haircuts and some close shaves.

With a promise to flood your life with more nonsensical outpourings in forthcoming issues –Seeya!!

SubrataChakrabarti (MechEngg)

SC Update on Increase in Students Aid Fund

Students Aid Fund which is interest fee loan meant for the academic purpose has been enhanced from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. Here is some more information about SAF.

Student Aid Fund:- It is an interest free loan that students can avail from the Academic section, Office of the Deputy Registrar (academic), towards meeting their academic expenses. You need to fill an application form available in the academic section, get the necessary signatures and submit it and rest will be done quickly. The loan is recovered from the students’ scholarship amount.

Earlier the maximum loan amount was Rs 15,000. It has been brought to the notice of administration and an increase in the same was requested by SC. The decision for its revision to Rs. 25000 was taken immediately. We sincerely thank the authorities for helping the students in this regard.

Preventative security measures in hostel

Dear friends,
Recently, there was a case of a thief being caught red-handed with a laptop while trying to run away after stealing it from a room in new hostel block. After primary investigation, it was found that the thief had taken it from the boarder’s room while he was asleep and the door was not latched from inside. The police later confirmed that the thief did neither belong to or related to the institute community. This is the second case of such kind in past three months where a laptop was taken from a room while the boarder was in deep sleep in the morning hours. Fortunately, the thief was caught this time and the laptop could be recovered courtesy the heroics of one of our friends, Sudarshan Iyengar and some of the attentive IISc security personnel. Many would know, Sudarshan(PhD scholar, CSA department) was general secretary of Students Council 2008-2009 and had raised concerns about the loopholes in the IISc security system during his tenure as GS. This time he has made is point clear by almost single handedly catching the thief. There have also been reports that some stranger was trying to cut the lock of a door while most of the students were not present in N block. Although we believe that whatever might be the case our belongings are safe-guarded by the security people, but they have their own limitations, since it is a herculean task to monitor each room in a hostel block of capacity 300-400 rooms. Hence, it requires our attention to avoid loss of our valuables. We need to be agile and report to the security personnel if we find something suspicious. It is even better to intervene personally if we see such a thing. Here are some guidelines, which should be followed to avoid the recent unfortunate theft cases.

1. Please do not forget to latch your room from inside while you are going to sleep.
2. If you are staying in a double-seater room or entertaining a guest, then make sure that while one of you goes out he wakes up the other person and alerts him or tell him to latch it from inside.
3. Please don’t forget to lock your room even if you are going out for a short duration (E.g. to toilet/bathroom). 2-3 minutes are enough to take out a laptop from a room. If the thief observes the rooms from a corner and infers that a student is going out for toilet, it makes his job easier.
4. If somebody whom you do not recognize as a boarder, wandering aimlessly in the hostel corridors or you find something unusual with him, you can always speak to him and report to the security if you find something suspicious.

Sometimes, more than money, it’s the vital research data which would be there in a laptop which would be so valuable that it can result in the student being compelled to put enormous amount of time and effort to get back the data. In severe cases, it might even result in a permanent loss of data.

The hostel committee is suggesting the administration to use better technology to help the security and provide best possible service to ensure the safety of our belongings. However, as seen by the recent incidents, even with all possible measures, there is possibility of a thief sneaking into the hostel premises. Hence, let us be alert from our side to stop such incidents happening in future.

Coordinator,
Hostel Committee
Students Council
(hostel.iisc@gmail.com)

SC update on the Scholarship hike

It was gratifying to see lots of happy faces on Oct 29th 2010. The scholarship hike was implemented and the arrears were given to students whose scholarships are given through the Institute fellowship program. Those who are getting scholarship from funding agencies like CSIR, UGC etc need not worry. It will be implemented soon. We thank the institute administration for supporting us in presenting the case before the honourable MHRD minister Shri Kapil Sibal and also getting it implemented from the institute end in the shortest possible time. We students should understand that it is not an easy task to do and they have done it just for us. We also extend our thanks to the student community who has cooperated with us in whatever initiative by the student’s council, be it online survey or be it any drive. The administration was also considerate in increasing the related student fee nominally and was not retrospective.

The implementation of scholarship hike provides big relief to the Students’ Council. Students’ council is here not just for pursuing scholarship issues. As a community we can help ourselves a lot. All we need is proper inputs from students and a little enthusiasm from the students in solving their own issues with our help. We are fortunate to have a good team. Students’ Council members are very approachable and willing to serve the student community. Any issue related to students will be addressed by the relevant committee Coordinators. Students’ council office is open between 6.00 PM -6.30 PM on all working days. Students’ Council members will be eager and willing to listen to you and take the issue to the appropriate level and resolve it for its worth.

Students’ Council