Tag Archives: nitt

Dear teachers …

Politics, good or bad, has infiltrated almost every institution in our country. But when it invades educational institutions, what it leaves is such a filthy sludge that it sucks in one victim after another and it leaves the entire organisation in shambles. What is more? It has swelled enough to directly affect the student community.

Adding fuel to the fire is corruption. It is one field where there is no dearth of innovation. It has a variety of faces like embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, contracts given to friends and relatives, personal expenses charged to university accounts, hidden records, destruction of records and a number of activities that you wouldn’t normally associate with universities. The lack of personal honour and integrity is widespread.

What makes to the news and public domain is only a minuscule part of the ground reality. Here are some of those news:

  • Illegal appointment of faculty – MANIT [Link]
  • Corruption in NIT Warangal – Director forced to resign  [Link]
  • Corruption and Bribery – MCI Chief Arrested [Link]

Imperfections in students, have gone to know no limits these days either. They even tend to lack the basic etiquette of respect and morality. But, let us set aside all the imperfections, that are by and large associated with the student community, for now.

“A teacher affects eternity. He can never say where his influence stops.”

Before continuing this article, I find it necessary to tell that I am what I am, because I have been fortunate enough to have certain devoted teachers. To some people you feel like giving respect, some others command respect, some you hold in awe but there are really a few who make you feel incomplete if you don’t respect and you choose to hold them in awe and reverence. And such good, respectable people, and who are passionate about teaching are everywhere. They are the guiding stars for the students. They add to the divinity of the profession. I am leaving out this subset from the rest of this article. We shall always stay indebted to them.

Teachers should have fear. Not fear of students. Not the fear of senior teachers. Not the fear of administration. But fear of themselves and their conscience. Not everyone is perfect. Not everyone is expected to know everything. But it is necessary to realize one’s incompetencies, and also act upon those realizations. The problem at hand is not that teachers do not realize. The problem is that they ‘refuse’ to act upon them. They refuse to realize students should be taught not to cut flowers, but to grow their own plants.

One of the most respected and adored faculty of my institute once exclaimed, “Teachers here get full pension before retirement and half pension after”. The humour in this statement, cannot make the glaring truth, oblivious. Along the teaching curve, it is said that teachers learn as well. The preparation a staff puts in, before coming to a class, reflects in the way they teach. The level of dedication invariably has a profound influence on the student. But looking at the path the education system is taking, I don’t find any light at the end of the tunnel.

What is more shocking is the fact that teachers sometimes resort to extremely unethical and wrong means to try and coerce students into doing deeds favourable for them. It ranges from relatively trivial deeds like asking students to run errands for them, buy breakfast for the morning, get quotations for lab instruments and many more – to more serious issues like forcing students to do projects under them which would eventually help the lecturers get their own degrees. Suggestions and guidance are accepted as necessities. But force is not. And truly, these accusations are not from my imaginative mind.

Let us move one step further. Will the students yield to the coercion? Oh, yes. Because, coercion goes hand-in-hand with “threat”. Threatening students with their marks and grades. Threatening to ruin a students life if he does not yield to the commands. Threatening students if he dares to formally object to the atrocities. Are students are meant to “obey” however iniquitous the command might be? Are students meant to live an overly subdued life?

How about one more step further? Not only students suffer this plight but also the junior teachers who are newly recruited. They are forced to take sides, and remain a virtual servant to some dominating senior members among the faculty. They are curtailed from taking their own decisions and acting based on their discretion.

Regarding students being threatened, I would like to tell this. Times are changing. Students can no longer be expected to remain silent and oblivious to the situation around. Threats will not have any effect. And when students voice their concerns in a proper way, they should get themselves ready to substantiate their actions.

I would not be talking about all these issues if they do not directly affect the students. With politics on one side and corruption on the other, students are sandwiched in between, and remain as dumb coins on a carom board.

The negative influences of teachers who are more interested in the politics of power than in shaping up a student’s career, go a long way. Teachers teach much more by what they are, than what they say. Students pay fees for dedicated teaching, high academic standards, good industry exposure and decent infrastructure. If an institute cannot provide these, then why make false promises and try to attract budding intellectuals holding high expectations ?

Lecturers must grade themselves – neither by their age nor by their position; neither by their qualification nor by the number of publications; neither by the kindness they show nor by the respect they command (or sometimes, demand). They must grade themselves by the number of students who come back 1, 2, 5 or 10 years after graduation and say, “Thank you”. Good teachers will never be forgotten.

It is time to realize that corruption and politics are diseases. Contagious ones. And it is high time they are cured. otherwise, we will be facing a pandemic very soon. So, please start cleaning up the mess. Make the institution a healthier place, and enrich our lives with a brighter shine.

P.S. Special thanks to Abinaya for helping me with editing and perfecting my article

My REM Entry

At NITT, final years release a book, “REMINISCENCE”, which compiles the memories of four long years in college, the friends we met and the experiences we shared… The book contains a short article about every student of the batch, along with his/her interesting traits, characteristic features and contact details. We affectionately call it the “REM” book.

My friends wrote rem entries for me, and they were compiled by my friend and room-mate, Saurabh:

Karthik a.k.a Eskay is a GOLDen MAN with a tinge of SACcHarine that makes him an exponent of several disciplines and an extremely sweet and cordial person at heart. Perennially misinterpreted as a geek, Eskay is probably the best way “FUNDOO” can be defined. Someone who is glued to the Laptop “all night long” watching sitcoms but scores a 9 plus in every freaking semester. Give him the violin and you would feel the Gods around you for his hands on the violin are synonymous to MAGIC. A living proof of the saying “the pen is mightier than the sword” a touchdown of Eskay’s pen on paper has produced exquisite works of poetry and a demonstration of his love for detail and correlation. A flipside though are his PJs. A faint tingling of his PJ (mokkai) generating nerves sends gushes of laughter from this PJ-Centre. Beware, you might be found laughing on the floor after a discourse from this magnetic human being. Manufactured with a rare quality of charming people effortlessly, Eskay has a place in everyone’s heart. He is DESIGNed to be a hardworking and diligent worker, so much so that even SUNdays are LABorious with Eskay, though this frequently puts Mr. Perfectionist in some inexorable dilemma when it comes to relationships. All in all an all-rounder who is all set to strike it rich in Life!!!

Too much exaggeration, but still, I like it a lot !!

Thyagaraja Aradhana ’10 @ NIT Trichy

Thyagaraja Aradhana was back with a bang at NIT Trichy. The festival was celebrated on Sunday, 7th March at Barn Hall in our college.

Every year, the Thyagaraja Aradhana is organized by Amruthavarshini, The Carnatic Music Club of NIT Trichy. Various professional musicians from Trichy and Sri Rangam participate in the Aradhana, along with students and faculty of the college. The Pancharatna kritis are sung in the same style as is done at Tiruvaiyaru. This year, the entire programme was organized in a flawless manner, with complete dedication and devotion.

The event started at around 9 am. Initially, the students rendered kritis composed by Saint Thyagaraja. We then proceeded with the recital of the vedas. The artistes, led by Shri T.K.V. Ramanujacharyulu, arrived at around 10 am. We then proceeded with the rendition of the songs.

The first song was SriGanapathini [Sourashtram - Adi]. This song was followed by Gurulekha Etuvanti [Gowrimanohari - Adi]. Then we rendered the five Pancharatna Kritis in order:

  1. Jagadanandakaraka (Naatai)
  2. Dudukugala Nanne (Goulai)
  3. Saadhinchane (Arabhi)
  4. Kanakanaruchira (Varali)
  5. Endaro Mahanubhavulu ( SriRaagam)

After the rendition, Sulochana Madam, faculty advisor of Amruthavarshini, honoured the guests. Then, lunch was served for the artistes. After lunch, the rendition of Thyagaraja kritis continued, this time, rendered by the artistes.

Amruthavarshini’s flagship event – Thyagaraja Aradhana ’10 was a grand success.

Thyagaraja Aradhana ’09 @ NIT Trichy

The Thyagaraja Aradhana is celebrated every year at saint – composer Thyagaraja’s samadhi at Thiruvaiyaru. Hundreds of Carnatic musicians pay their homage to the saint composer by rendering his `pancharathna kritis’ (five jewels of his renderings) in chorus on the banks of the Cauvery at Thiruvaiyaru.

In NITT, the Thyagaraja Aradhana is organized by Amruthavarshini, the Carnatic Music Club of NITT. Various professional musicians from Trichy and SriRangam participate in the Aradhana, along with students and faculty of the college. The Pancharatna kritis are sung in the same style as is done at Tiruvaiyaru, followed by rendering of Thyagaraja kritis by the artistes and students.

This year’s Aradhana was conducted on March 1st, in A23 hall. On the previous day, Ganamrutham, the music competition for school students, was conducted by the club. The prize winners were given a chance to perform on the day of the Aradhana. The children sang really well. They were accompanied on percussion and violin by the club members.

The artistes arrived by van at around 5: 30. After a brief introduction by Satish, the President of the club, the rendering of the kritis started.

The first song was Sri Ganapathini in Sourashtram. This song was followed by Gurulekha Etuvanti song. Then the five pancharatna kritis – Jagadanandakaaraka, Dudukugala, Saadinchane, Kanakanaruchira and Entharo mahanu bhavulu were rendered, under the guidance of Shri T.K.V.Ramanujacharyulu.

After the rendering of the pancharatna kritis, the winners of the Ganamrutham competitions received their prizes from the artistes. The programme concluded with a ‘banana leaf’ dinner.

It was a memorable evening, with loads of music to the ears and peace to the heart.

Sun Club of NITT

And finally, the Sun Club of NITT is formed with 20 enthusiastic students interested in learning and developing open source technologies. The club has been formed with the support of Sun Microsystems. I am presiding over the club as President with Aswin assisting me as Vice President. Prof. N. Ramasubramanian, HOD, Dept. Of CSE is the Faculty Advisor.

Sun Club of NIT Trichy

The Club Logo was designed by Sharadh. It has an ‘O’ in green and an ‘S’ in black. They represent ‘Open Source’. The empty block in the centre also denotes that it is really open, for the community to explore, innovate and develop.

Students were inducted into the club based on a written test. The question paper was set by me and Aswin. It had four sections – aptitude, basic computers, algorithms and java. Most questions were picked from good sources including CAT papers, SCJP sample papers, etc. The test duration was 90 minutes.

The inductions went on very well. Room CSE301 was arranged to conduct the test. 75 students registered for the written test –a very good number considering the fact that the club is a newly formed one.

And then came the huge task of paper evaluation. I learnt a lot of new ideas while evaluating the papers. Innovative ideas and ingenious solutions to questions which I had previously considered to be having only a single approach to a solution. The marks were tabulated and 18 students were selected.

The first formal meeting was held. The students were divided into 5 teams:

  • Core Java
  • Java ME
  • Netbeans and MySQL
  • Opensolaris
  • Web designing

Each team is now working on a separate project apart from assisting during workshops and other events.
It is great to see a new club emerging in NIT Trichy. A community of members interested in learning and developing open source technologies…

Human knowledge belongs to the world”