Friday, December 30, 2005

Madras Bulls near War Memorial.

Madras Day ride

Madras Day ride. Near Santhome.

War Memorial in Chennai

Madras Bulls assemble near LeMeridian before starting ride on occasion of Madras Day/

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Research at Vadaloor Zoo

Social service by taxi driver!


Journey together

Water sports

Stop that!


Photographer caught. (Abhijeet at Vedanthangal)

Photgrapher on the road to Mayasabha!!

Road to Mayasabha

I don't know the name of this creature.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005




Snail shell

Rain drops

Some photographs in the campus taken during recent rainy season on 3rd December 2005.

A few moments spent with Gazal Maestro Ghulam Ali in Kamraj Arengam in Chennai.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Photography session in the campus.

Photography session in the campus with Arunendra and Gyan.

My another hobby which I could never persue

This car I sketched at the time of its launch. Although I lost the original sketch I could locate this scanned image from my home page on rediff...

Starting journey from Cauvery, IIT Madas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Security in Hostel Sector

I finished the work I had planned to do about the message board and left the lab at 4 a. m. As I was on the way to Cauvery, I found some of security guards were in deep sleep when on duty. This led me to check security in some hostels and Office of Hostel Management. As a fall-out of this action, I found seven security guards in deep sleep and one in suspicious condition. Watching on-duty security guards deep in sleep was funny on one side and equally alarming on the other. It’s most undesired situation as far as the security of the institute is concerned.

Most of the guards, when awakened, could not judge what they were up to. One guard, rubbing his eyes, asked me to write my name in visitor’s register, one guard gave ten thousand excuses for sleeping and finally begged pardon. At one place the intercom receiver was put down from instrument and as per the guard’s statement, he had done so to avoid disturbing phone calls.

This whole exercise of checking the security arrangement was unplanned but I decided to go ahead with checking the places after seeing. It's is mainly because I am concerned and being a representative I need to be concerned about the security in the hostels. This is especially in the context of various construction activities going in the hostel sector and presence of numerous workers due to construction. In saying that I don't want to show the workers in bad light but it's my sincere feeling that if we overlook these lapses in security, we may have face unexpected consequences. A stitch in time will save nine.

I have given a detailed report to the authority. They have promised me to take severe action. But considering conditions in which these security guards are recruited, considering the meager salary they are paid by this private security service, and considering the duty officer also is caught in this, I have requested the authorities not to impose a monetary fine on the individuals. I have asked them to summon these people and issue a memo to the security agency with a stern warning of action in case there personnel are again found failing in performing the duty.

Students Board Ready for Operation

The Students Board is ready for operation and can be accessed at Testing is in progress and the board will be available for usage by students from 25th December.

The logins are created as per the roll numbers. The passwords are generated and will be sent on 24th Dec morning to individual smail account. An email account is being created which will be operated by student administrator, Arun Kumar. Guests to this forum can view some key forums but can not participate in discussion and also can not read the topics of some sub-forums.

Key forums are created and can be seen on the notice boards. Essential moderation settings are done for these forums. There are forums for Exec Wing members, SAC members, and Dean Students under Open Forums. There is one Lost and Found Section also created. This will certainly reduce spamming through mailing lists. New forums can be created as and when they will be requested for, or when need will arise.

There will be three Root Administrators: Arun Kumar, Shantibhushan Sale and myself. Apart from them there will be moderators for different forums. e.g. Each Hostel General Secretary will be the moderator for the separate forum for his hostel.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Message Board Installation Completed

A few minutes back I was informed by Bhushan and Arun that message board installation was completed. I have started testing the installation and has suggested them to create some forums. We will have a detailed discussion today evenings in Office of DoS. Configuring and testing of this board will be done in the coming week.

Library Needs to be Kept Open Round-the-clock

To DoAC,

There is some feedback about closing the library earlier during the week
at the year-ending.

Since a good reading room and discussion room facility is made available
to students, more and more number of students have started using these
places for studying, not only during examination period but also rest of
the year. Now students feel that earlier closing of library during
year-ending will cause a great inconvenience. Good thing is many have
formed habit of studying that environment which is certainly good sign as
far as their academic progress is concerned and I am sure that you will
certainly appreciate that the students should be encouraged by all
possible means to study as much as possible with full focus. Keeping
library open round the clock will be an important measure towards this.

I am forwarding a representative email from Ashok, a post-graduate student of Chemical Engg. There are many more students, including myself, who echo with Ashok's views.

May I humbly request to reconsider your decision and keep library open to students for the whole day. Albeit, there may be put a time constraint on the book transactions.

With best regards
Member of Library Advisery Committee

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Photography Session

Rare occasion.. Photographer photographed.
With Arunendra.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

EFSI Endowment Lecture by Shree Venkatramani

In the morning I received a call from office of DoAC asking me to be present for the lecture as I will be presenting the speaker, Shree Venkatramani, a bouquet. In any case I was going to attend the lecture. This was EFSI Endowment Lecture arranged every year in our institute. Shree Venkatramani is the Managing Director of India Pistons Ltd, a major supplier of pistons and piston rings to almost all the automobile manufacturers. He was given welcome in the Board Room with high tea. Somehow they thought it alright to invite me also for joining them for high tea. It turned out to be quite interesting interaction.

The lecture itself was quite a revealation. He spoke on “Changing face of Industrial Relations from the context of Globalization”. The speaker has seen his organisation going through various phases since globalization started in 1984. All the experience of the distinguished speaker was visible throughout the lecture.

After the lecture, I had a brief chat with him. The mention of Tata Motors was obvious when he asked about my background. It was quite a good feeling when talking about 407 and Spacio, BS2 emission development of these two vehicles.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hike in Cable Connection fees

Executive Committee of the Staff Club has DECIDED to increase the amount of subscription to Rs 75 per semester per students (from Rs 50). Thus any hostel with @225 inmateswill end up paying ~ Rs 3125 per month which is certainly a huge amount.Bigger hostels like Cauvery, Krishna are already paying ~ Rs 5000 whichwill increase to Rs 7500 with this hike as they use two connectios. This is especially uneconomic when a much cheaper alternative is available inmarket that is DTH. DTH connection can reduce these expenses to ~10% ofthis and also the equipment will be owned by the hostel.

There are DTH services provided by Dish TV and one by Star-ESPN network.Please study their packages. You can get information on internet.

In fact, General Secretaries of Cauvery, Krishna, Sarayu had decided tochange over to DTH in June/July itself. But as some popolar music channelsand sports channels were not available so we cancelled the plan.

May be this is time for us to seriously think about continuing staff club cable connection. DTH is working very well in Sindhu. Other hostels can follow this route.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Students evaluate performance of Campus Cafe

There is a mixed reaction to the running of canteen by institute staff that was previously outsourced canteen known as Nandhinee. Most of the comments/complaints were oral. So I decided to conduct a brief survey. I would like to present the outcome of this survey to you. I have found that all the respondents (100.00%) have stated clearly in their feedback that the performance of Campus Café is not up to the mark.

After compiling the feedbacks, I have interpreted the feedback in the following way.* When the comments of respondents are categorized on the basis of quality, quantity, service and hygiene, it can be noticed that except for quality, Campus Café even fails to open account for other criterions. There are some respondents (9%) who have said that they are satisfied with quality, where they mean the taste of the items served is good. But then there are 74% who report that the quality is bad. 17% respondents have not commented about quality of the items served in the café.

Not all respondents have mentioned their opinion about all the criterions. Their opinion is counted as neutral. Perhaps if they were asked categorically to evaluate the café on these criterions, we would have had smaller percentage under Neutral.

There are more respondents who have not commented upon the service provided in the café. It is understandable as the café works on the self service by the customers.

One thing worth mentioning here is that many of the respondents have strongly appreciated the special tea served in the Campus Café. Also there are comments which say that the rates of items are less as compared to outsourced canteen. But the question is at what cost this low prices can be set?

It is a fact that the largest number of customers for the Campus Café is student community and, surprisingly, their representation on the Canteen Committee has been nil. It is a point that need to be noted by the authorities and should include a student member in the committee as it is done in practically every committee related to facilities in the campus.

Consolidated Results:

Parameter (Percentage of total respondents)

Quality (9,74,17)
Variety (0,74,26)
Service (0,65,35)
Hygiene (0,78,22)
Overall (0,100,0)

* As the feedback was invited, technically, it is not a survey that is based on usual random sampling. The percentages presented above are based on the interpretation of the comments/observations willingly given by students on a particular criterion.

I hope the Canteen Committee will take enough corrective actions to ensure better functioning of the Campus Cafe.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Email Accounts for getting Feedback about Facilities

Email accounts for feedback about facilities:

Some email accounts can be created to get feedback from the students about various facilities, transport, alumni affairs involving students and external enquiries. It may be appreciated that these accounts are easy to remember and they will eliminate the need of knowing name/contact of the person accountable for a particular facility. Thus feedback can be given by students pretty quickly and the feedback will be documented properly. To elaborate this point further, I will explain how these accounts can be used as the link between a particular portfolio and the general student body.
Students can give their feedback about the transport facility. They can also register complaint about the facility. or
Students will report the complaints about facilities in Students Facility Centre, power laundry, eateries (not hostel dining halls) etc. They can also suggest any new addition to the present facilities.
Students can write their problems/suggestions about the internet and intranet access to this account. The problems can be forwarded to the newly proposed Campus Network Users Committee for the further action. will be used by the Alumni Affairs In-Charge who is the link between Alumni Associations, Office of Alumni Affairs and current student body.

These accounts can be displayed appropriately so that they strike students’ attention. They can be displayed at respective facilities also. These accounts can be operated by the respective in-charges in General Secretary’s Council.

Email accounts for Hostel General Secretaries:

There are email accounts created by hostel names. There is ambiguity in minds of most Hostel General Secretaries upon who operates these accounts. Perhaps the wardens are operating these email accounts. In order to facilitate a better communication from secretaries to students and from students to secretaries I suggest creating email accounts for General Secretaries of all hostels. The Ids can be,,,,,,,,,,,,,

To take this point further, all other hostel council members can also be given email ids using a combination of abbreviation of the post and the hostel name as given above.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bus Route Modified and Other Points

Minutes of Transportation Committee Meeting held in Office of DR-Admin on 12th Sept 2005 at 1645h

  1. I briefed about the feedback given by student community about transportation service. Based upon these inputs and also upon inputs by other members, the committee has taken the following decisions.
  2. A new route will be introduced from 13th Sept 2005 in hostel zone during the time period when students go to classes. The route is as follows: Jamuna – Tapti – Taramani Guest House – Cauvery – NCC – MSB – Gajendra Circle.
  3. The electravans will operate on this route will run at 0740h, 0750h, 1240h, 1250h.
  4. A diesel bus will operate from hostel zone to the academic zone (without going to Tapti for the time being) at 0745h and 1245h. Transportation Cell will study the route via Tapti keeping running of diesel buses on this route and will come up with recommendations in a week. Administration will take necessary action based upon these recommendations.
  5. In order to keep a check on the running of buses on scheduled time, timing ledgers will be kept at Main Gate Security and at Jamuna Hostel Security desks. Committee will review the provision of timing ledgers after one week (on or ofter 20th Sept 2005). Random checks of these timing ledgers will be carried out by the committee members.
  6. Transport Cell will display the time table of bus services in all the hostels, all terminuses and at key bus stops to enable the campus residents and also visitors to know the bus timings. It will also make arrangements to put permanent time table at all terminuses (bus stops at Gajendra Circle, Jamuna Hostel and Main Gate). This display will be updated as and when time table is changed.
  7. Use of Smart Card for billing of travel by students was reviewed by committee. Committee felt that such provision will significantly reduce the load on bus conductor (driver in case of electravans) arising from giving tickets to students. The committee will work out the details of such a provision in due course of time.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Telecon with DoP About Problem in Internet Access

After reading the mail that I sent yesterday night and the mail that I sent today morning at around 11 am, DoP called me and we had a very elaborate discussion on phone. One might guess what it was about. I am sure most of you must have guessed correctly. Our talk was about the painfully slow internet access in hostel zone. He said that Prof TAG is fully upon it. One of the prominent reason for the sluggishness in internet access, as per their investigation, is the net servers which are run from many computers in the hostel zone. But he said that there could be other reasons also and they are being checked. DoP has assured that the problem will be solved and also we will be getting 34 Mb/s connection but... it will take some time. Hopefully this time will be counted in days not weeks or months!

Anyway now a Campus Network Users Committee will be constituted and I am asked by Prof TAG to nominate somebody as students representative. I have nominated Abhiram (Internet Incharge, General Secretary's Council) for the job. This committee will form a much-needed feedback control loop. For satisfactory performance of the system this loop is the most essential component which is missing at presence.

Our first meeting will be on Monday, 4th Sept, to finalize the details of working of this committee.

Ambassador of USA Visits the Campus

Dr Robert Mulford, Ambassador of USA, wanted to interact with students and thus officials US Cosulate in Chennai felt that our institute could be one place he might be interested in. And thus his visit to our campus was decided.

Today evening he was here after visiting a school in Teyanampet. He was accompanied by other officials in Consulate those included Dr David Hopper, US Consul General of South India and his deputy. Dr Robert Mulford talked mainly about the developing US-India relationship and said that he was optimistic about India's position of great strength after twenty years if, in his opinion, India continues with its plans and policy of open economy.

It was a quite good experience as far as arrangements and coordination was concerned. Also there were security concerns. The hall and surrounding area was thoroughly checked using metal detector and also by a sniffer dog.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

DC Meeting Over

Doctoral Committee was meeting to review my progress after two years. So there was a lot of thigs to be shared. I tried to make the presentation as concise as possible. It was quite well received by committee members. They have given advised me to wind up my work by July 2006. Looking at the things I want to do it seems pretty difficult. But they say that one can not do too many things and I may even continue with research after getting degree. Their appreciation of the work is quite encouraging.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Dr Syam Sunder's EML

It was an extraordinary EML. We had the chief of investigation team for WTC attack. It was a great learning experience. The brief talk with him before the lecture in the guest house also was quite pleasant. Like most of the people to who I am introduced as SGS, he also asked me in which year I was studying. My patent answer was "the fourth year!". But this time I went ahead and informed him that it was fourth year of my doctoral research! We had a pretty well interaction.. and a pretty long time.. as we want to delay our entry to CLT as late as possible as CLT had not even 100 students!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Progress Report Submitted

Progress report copies are given to all Doctoral Committee members except one. That job I can do tomorrow. The review is on the day after tomorrow. I have to work on the presentation now.

Naresh Gets His Wheelchair

After waiting for long three weeks finally Naresh got his wheelchair today. It must be a very happy day today. We requested Hon'ble Director to hand over the chair to Naresh. It was a very low profile function that took place near Admin Block. It was over within 10 minutes. DoS, DoP and some students also were present there. The chair is funded from Students Welfare Fund.

We have made 75% advance payment and in a day or two should pay the balance. That means I still have some more work to do.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Green Peace Exhibition on 2nd and 3rd Sept

Most of us know about Green Peace. If some body does not he or she can do a search on net. They will be in the campus on 2nd and 3rd Sept for an exhibition about there history of their evolution as an international organisation. We will provide them mostly HSB113/114 and CLT.

Doctoral Commitee Meets on 31st August

Doctoral Committee (DC) meeting is scheduled on 31st of August. It is an annual review of my reserch. I need to write a report and give copies to six DC members and departmental office. So mostly I will not be convening any meeting from today as I need to concentrate on analysis of the results, report and presentation preparation. Eventhough I will take care of EMLs scheduled during this period. I will try to attend some meetings if necessary.

But naturally, I will complete my responsibility over this weekend in the Tsunami Challenge BPlan Competition.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

First EML Videographed

We had the first EML of the season. It went exceedingly well. I am completely impressed by politeness and simplicity of Prof Krishnan Balasubramanian. All the arrangements were made well. I must congratulate Harshit and all members of EML team for their excellent job.

This lecture was unique in one aspect. EML team started videographying the lecture series by its own camera which is just twenty six hours old as of now. These lectures will be put in library and also on a streaming server for future use.

First extramural lecture of the year

Today evening we will have the first extramural lecture of this year. We have invited Prof K Balasubramanian of University of California Davis, Livermore for the talk. He will talk on Computational and Mathematical Methods in Arts and Science.

Servers for Message Board and websites of Shaastra/Saarang

I again gave the desired specifications for the computers to DoS. One computer will be used for the Institute Students Message Board and the other will be used to host the websites of Shaastra and Saarang. The approval for these computers is already taken. Also the software for the message board is already purchased.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Action Taken and Action to be Taken for Improved Internet Access

I received email from Prof TAG just sometime back. The mail goes like this.

Earlier, 3 proxies were being used for the Academic Zone and only one for the Hostel Zone. Sreekumar (with help from Dinil of DONlab) discovered that part of the problem was that the Hostel Proxy was overloaded and hence delaying/losing requests. This caused access to even local websites and smail to be slow. He then reconfigured the proxies so that the Hostel zone shares 2-3 proxies. This would have caused the improvement that you experienced.

In the next day or two, Sreekumar will configure the proxies to change the Internet bandwidth allocation as follows:

Academic zone:
7 a.m. - midnight: 3x2 Mb/s
midnight - 7 a.m: 1x2 Mb/s + 2x2Mb/s shared
Hostel zone:
7 a.m. - midnight: 1x2 Mb/s
midnight - 7 a.m: 1x2 Mb/s + 2x2Mb/s shared

This should further improve the download speed for external websites during the late night hours. One of the Shastra coords from EE Department had met me last week regarding their website access. If he is still having a problem after these changes, ask him to meet me again.


Internet access in the hostel zone improves today

Today morning I experienced improvement in internet access in hostel zone. I have asked for the information from Prof TAG about the action taken for the same.

Some days back I had informed DoP about the clogging in the hostel zone. This report was well received by him. He asked Prof TAG to look into the matter. After studying the situatition for a day Prof TAG made some observations and shared with me. It seems that some action must have been taken. It's good thing for all of us.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tsnunami Challenge BPlan Competition - First Leg

Second day of the competition concludes. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were completely busy with the competition. This was some thing that I consider myself fortunate for being involved in my capacity both as the students representative and as an individual. Total 128 teams from varius collages in Tamil Nadu had registered. This itself talks about the kind of response the competition recieved. From our institute 21 teams had registered but after screening only six were allowed to participate. I think there was no alternative for us other than this.

There are so many things to write about the experiences during the time organising this event. I will certainly do that if time permits.

The finals for this competition are scheduled on the next weekend. Only 8 teams will make to the finals. Results of screening will be announced at 6 pm tomorrow.

Many thanks to the volunteer who were exemplary in their contribution.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Meeting of Members of All Hostel Councils and EW

We had a meeting with members of all hostel councils, executive wing, GCU, Council of Wardons and DoS. The purpose was to take a proactive action in order to curb ragging. Overall it was a very essential step towards addressing this problem.

As a followup of that I have started visiting hostels. After dinner I had a round of Godavari and Ganga hostels.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Check for advance payment for wheel chair handed over to Naga Naresh

I handed over the cheque to Naga Naresh for paying 75% advance to Callidai Motors to buy the electric wheelchair. At that time Harshit, Bhushan and some other secretaries and also some students from Sarayu were present. This amount is sanctioned by DoS from the Students Welfare Fund. Tommorow we will make actual payment to the Callidai.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Microsoft Exchange Server as a platform to the email for students

At around 1045h I received phone call from DoP about Microsoft Exchange Server as a platform to the email account for students. He also informed that the interface was same as the Hotmail interface. He wanted my opinion about its usefulness. I told him that if the interface was going to be same as Hotmail then usefulness wise MES would be welcome. The price for the required number of licenses was being negotiated and DoP had found that the proposed price was ‘not bad’. Already 2000 licenses are given free for faculty accounts.

Estimate of expeses for availing Educational Loan for students

Some new girls from MSc class have applied for educational loan. They wanted to get an estimate of academic expenses from the institute in order to submit it to the bank. AR-Acad has clarified saying that this estimate can be sent by academic section directly to the concerned bank. The bank has to contact the Acad Section.

General Secretary’s Address - Welcome to 1st Year Students of MSc, MBA, MTech, MS and PhD Programme

Good morning to all. I am Prasad Dudhgaonkar, the General Secretary of student body of IIT Madras. On behalf of all students, I welcome all new students of MSc, MBA, MTech, MS and PhD.

I will briefly tell about myself. I’ve done Bachelor of Engineering from Shivaji Vidyapeeth Kolhapur in Maharastra, then Masters from IIT Bombay, then have worked in engines R&D of an automotive manufacturing company. And in last three years I am persuing here at IIT Madras, my doctorate in the area of spray atomization and its application in the aviation gas turbine engines.

Having said that I would like to mention one thing, which is like any other world class institution IIT Madras also demands academic excellence. At the same time we should take enough care of ourselves so that we stay fit, both physically and mentally. To help us do that life in IIT Madras has a lot to offer you. Here I will mention briefly a few things in the student life at this campus.
We will have extramural lectures by eminent personalities from all corners of the world, encompassing various aspects of life, which include science and technology, sports, social work, politics, business and entrepreneurship, culture and entertainment. These lectures provide us excellent opportunities to interact with great persons and to draw inspiration to become one like them. We will also have intra-hostel and inter-hostel events, departmental technical festivals, national level annual technical festival, which is popularly known as Shaastra, annual cultural festival - Saarang, many exhibitions, seminars, conferences and what not!

I should not forget to mention the Hobby Club and its activities. Here you get opportunity not only to pursue your current hobby but also to develop interest in new hobbies. We have here a photography club, robotics club, astronomy club, aero-modeling and some more clubs. You may also come with suggestions of other hobbies. Your suggestions will be certainly appreciated. Being a member of Hobby Club will not cost you a single rupee.

It is essential here to mention that all these activities are conducted by students, under able guidance of honorable Director, Dean of Student Activities and faculty advisers for sports, co-curricular and cultural activities. I look forward for your enthusiastic participation in these activities.

Another information… sports talent search will begin immediately. So start practicing your favorite games. In our campus, you can practically play every game except golf and formula one racing… Don’t forget this is only university campus which is situated in a beautiful reserved area of a national park. So please appreciate this identity. You can do it by participating in various activities of Prakriti. Prakriti is and organization for conservation of environment in our campus. Dr Manu Santhanam will talk in detail about Prakriti at a later stage.

I would like to conclude by wishing you a very pleasant, healthy and a successful stay at IIT Madras.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

PG Chief Coordinator for GCU

We selected Jignesh Sutaria (MS – Aero) as the Chief Coordinator (PG). Selection of his deputy will take place soon.

Monday, August 01, 2005

General Secretary's Address - Welcome Function for 1st Students of BTech/DualDegree Programme

A very good morning to all. I am Prasad Dudhgaonkar, the General Secretary of student body of IIT Madras. Basically I am a PhD Research Scholar from Department of Mechanical Engineering.

I welcome all new students of BTech and Dual Degree programme and their parents on behalf student community of IIT Madras. We also congratulate new students for making into IIT Madras through a tough competition.

You may already have become aware of the life in our institute through the wep-portal and earlier speeches... not to forget the beautiful brochure made by Guidance and Counselling Unit.

Like every other world class institution, our institution also demands academic excellence. Thus our first priority should be academics. At the same time, we should never forget to take enough care of our own development as a good person with an excellent character and also our development as a good citizen of the nation.

To help us achieve this goal, student life in this institute will provide you many many opportunities in various forms. We will have extramural lectures by eminent personalities from all corners of the world encompassing various aspects of life which include arts, culture, science and technology, business and entrepreneurship, entertainment, social work and also politics... and remember your attendance for these lectures is compulsory!

We also will have intra-hostel and inter-hostel sports events and cultural events, departmental technical festivals, national level annual technical festival, popularly known as Shaastra, annual cultural festival Saarang and many more events. These all events will be conducted by students under able guidance of honourable Director, Dean of Student Activities and Faculty Advisers for Sports, Co-curricular and Cultural activities. So prepare yourself to conduct at least one of the modules of these events some day... of course, without compromising academics.

Finally a word about ragging. Most of you know using internet and many of you use cellphones. If you face ragging or notice ragging, you should immediately report to your hostel warden, or to me, or to any student secretary. You should note our cellular phone numbers from the telephone directory. These directories are kept in all hostels, departments and also on internet. But I appeal you not to be oversensitive as it is quite likely that the other guy may be trying honestly to introduce himself to you.

I conclude by wishing you a very pleasant and a fruitful stay at IIT Madras/

Thank you.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Convocation Day

The 142nd Convocation will start at 4 pm sharp at Students Activity Centre. Live webcast of the ceremony is also arranged. All the student volunteers will meet at 1:45 pm at Taramani Guest House. They will be again briefed about their work. They should be at their designated places in SAC at 2:30 pm.

On request of DR-ACAD I had nominated ten students as members of various committees. Apart from them there are some fifty student volunteers. Each of them is doing a wonderful job thus leaving me almost jobless. So what I have to do is just to hang around there and see if everything is at its place. So simple… isn’t it?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Advance payment

There has been a notice put up in hostels saying all students have to pay in advance the dining charges of Rs 8000 per semester in the beginning of the semester. We are told that this is decided bring administrative convenience and to recur the deficits in accounts arisen due to the delay of around two months for the bill amount collected from students. Considering cost of Rs 2000 per month per student the figure of 8000 is arrived at.

When this was informed during the senate meeting, I had asked the Director and Deans if this change was really necessary. They confirmed its necessity citing reasons mentioned earlier. I also had asked about the possibility of making first payments in installments which was straight way ruled out. Then I expressed my apprehension of the very short notice given to students and told that it is going to be impossible for even myself to pay this amount in lump sum at the end of this month. Then Director answered saying individual cases will be considered certainly. But I could not have any more headway in this matter.

Now this sudden announcement has aroused considerable panic amongst the student body. This is largely due a very short period given to the students for the first payment. This prominently came up in a meeting with students’ secretaries where most of them expressed that the present system of monthly payment should be continued. After this meeting, I met DoS where RAS also had joined me. We again discussed the matter and presented the concern of student body. In reply, DoS has said that he has to discuss this matter with other authorities and he will come back to us soon.

In a separate meeting this afternoon, DoS has stated that he has understood the problem of the bulk payment. Since this matter is so much troublesome to students he is going to discuss it with Director for a way out. Let’s hope for a better situation.

Friday, July 08, 2005

We attend first Senate Meeting

Senate Meeting was attended by RAS and AAS along with me.

  • Whereever felt we shared our comments.
  • In the reporting of MoMs of Prize Distributin Committee one point was missing. I had suggested constituting some kind of award/prize for MS students as there is no provision at present. It was well received and committee had decided to recommend it to Senate. I brought this omission to Senate's notice. The Director and DoAR replied saying such awards can be thought of. I take it as a verbal commitment.
  • There has been increases in various fees in the proposal of a committee constitued for revision of fees. One of them happens to be the advance payment of Rs 8000 per semister as dining charges. This decision falls inline with some other IITs. I have expressed our difficulty in this onetime payment as the notice period for the payment, most likely beginning of new semister, is too small. I have mentioned in my speach that one time payment is going to be a big problem to all of us including myself. Director has assured that individual cases will certainly be given due consideration.
  • The same committe has proposed fees hike to Rs 500 from existing Rs 100 for making duplicate ID card. DoS has clarified that as Smart Cards will be introduced this fees has to be increased and the proposed amount is the cost of the card. This is quite reasonable explaination.

Still there remain a few things to be addressed. One of them is the lab contingency fees. It is increased to Rs 2500 per semister. This fee is renamed to the fees for internet and computational facilities.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

New Insurance Plan for Students with Less Annual Premium

During the negotiations with the insurance company the following changes in the exsting plan were finalised.
  • The annual premium will reduce to Rs 528. Previously it was Rs 541. The excess amount collected through fees of next semister will be adjusted with next semister fees.
  • Insurance coverage of Rs 3,00,000 to the student in case of loss of earning parents.
  • Provision of special contingency of Rs 30,00,000 in case of illness of student with a limit of Rs 1,25,000.
  • Upper limit of Rs 25,000 in case of hospitalization of student in place of Rs 35,000. This decision was taken in the lieu of the statistics of insurance claims submitted last year which shows most cases were below Rs 25,000. If the cost of hospitalization and treatment increases above this limit the special contingency fund mentined earlier will take care of the additional expenses. This single has reduced the annual premium significantly.

The accident coverage under RAK remains unaltered.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Director visits Sarayu and Sharavati

I met DoS in the morning. He explained his proposal for about the Sarayu where he suggests to divide the building in two by mere partitining. Girl will stay in the front portion and the boys will stay in the rear portion. A proper access path will be built for the rear portion. Rest Sarayu boys will be shifted to new block (3 floors will be ready by monthend). This arrangement will exist for one month and then rest of the boys will be shifted to new block where work for rest blocks will be over by that time and Sarayu will become another girls' residence. Director visited Sarayu with DoS, Wardens, Registrar and Chairman Engg Unit. I too was present there. After some inspection he approved DoS's proposal.

During the visit to Sarayu, it was found that the toilets were smelling. The contractor was called and asked about the reason. He has informed that he is not supplied with the cleaning material. This material supply is done by Council of Warden Office. From that I suggested, though lighheartedly, that we should arrange visit of Director to every hostel once in a while. Whithout delay of a second the Director graciously accepted and proposed to have it once in a month to each hostel. I appreciated him and thanked him.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Report Prepared

Ultimately I could get simulation results upto time 3 ms from the fuel injection started. On Thursday, 30th June, I presented the results to my investigator. He asked me to make a report on this by 4th July. As I wanted to go to Mumbai to attend Parag's wedding, I had to finish the report on 1st July itself which I did. It was a 16 page report discussing the excercise undertaken for tuning of model constant and the simulation of actual combustor. I emailed it to my investigator and left the lab. The whole work of analysing results, preparing presentation and the report took some seventy hours with two breaks of three-four hours each. But then I was free to enjoy my Mumbai visit.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Read Something About My Reseach This Time!

One will certainly think (if at all anybody has gone through my blog) from my posting last couple of months that this guy writes that he is a doctoral student but shows no signs of being one; does he do some thing for his research project! The other may feel that is he really doing doctorate! Even when I read through

Anyway now I am decided to write at least a few lines about what I have been doing and just yesterday what I have achieved. The word achieved sounds to be quite a big word. May be I should say I should share the results I have obtained yesterday.

Two months back I arrived at some values of model constants in droplet breakup models. Two weeks back we set a case simulating a complete gas turbine combustor for aircraft cruising conditions. We used the methodology which I have made myself familiar with and the constants I had found out. After some fine tuning we have realised that the simulation has started returning some encouraging results like SMD of 65 micron at the atomiser exit which is close to the experimental value of 60 micron. This is a real time simulation. By saying that I mean, we simulate the the flow when we start injecting fuel at time = zero microsecond and then at interval of every 25 microsecond we find the situation inside the combustor. This we study by taking snapshots of various properties of mixture like fuel species concentration, mixture temperature, concentration of species created after burning starts etc.

As the memory requirement and computations involved is huge, such simulation excercise takes a lot of time to do the calculations. In my case simulate a time step of 25 micro second our computer takes around 45 minutes. At present we have reached to 3.125 mili second. We had a break to take a stock of the situation and to see whether we confirm to the measured SMD at atomiser exit. My guide needs to present these results before a project review committee at Bangalore. Thus since last two days we are extracting the data from the result files stored at a particular interval. Data extraction is over just at five am this morning. Presently I am analysing the data.

Somebody has said, 'Research is all about patience and positive thinking without loosing the sight from the ground reality.'

Anyway why to say somebody has said that.. it's only me who just brought out that brilliant quote from my mind. Again... somebody has said that you are never to tell others that your quote is yours; saying 'somebody has said' makes it more impressive.

Interesting enough!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

First Gymkhana Meeting

Gymkhana Management Committe meeting was held at the Office of DoS. This committee overviews functioning of the all organisations instituted to take care of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities of students and also staff and their families. These activities include sports, cultural and hobby club events. This also governs technical festival Shaastra and cultural festival Saarang. Few noteworthy points disussed/informed were
  • Installation of BOSE sound system in SAC this month
  • Proposed partitioning and installing air conditioner in bowl area of SAC
  • Introduction of Squash as a demo event in Sports Calender and proposal to build Squash Room
  • Reorganising Hobby Club by encompassing discrete but well functioning groups like Scrabble Club, HAM Club (this dormant), Astronomy Club

DoS mentioned about the scoreboard that was build by our students. It is not functioning well at present. I need to look into what has gone wrong. Anyway I know the students who were involved in this work.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dish TV installation differed due to unavailability of popular channels

In my visit to Annamalai Ent just some time back it is revealed that Dish TV does not provide ESPN, Start TV channels, Channel V and MTV. These channels being most viewed channels can not be kept away from consideration. Thus I have decided to differ installation of Dish TV in hostels. I have informed all concerned hostel secretaries, CCW and DoS about this. It is known that some other companies also are entering into this spree. We will consider those options as and when they are available.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Bhushan meets GS for message board and website

Bhushan and Arun met GS and disussed many points we decided. GS has approved the IPB message board. He has suggested me to write to new DP about individual webpages which I will do ASAP.

First BAR meeting of academic year

I requested RAS to meet fifteen minutes before Board of Academic Research (BAR) meeting in order to discuss about any issue to be raised. In this meeting nothing much was there for agenda with students participation. I anyway saught some clarification from DoAR about student exchange programs and MoU with other universities and research institutes.
  • I was told that DAAD funds students completely making it an unique program.
  • I talked about participation of MS and PhS scholars in such program as it is very mearge at present.
  • DoAR said that some content from MoUs can be put up on the website and he will soon hand over the details to us. RAS has to collect from him.
  • I was told that MS scholarship can not be revised as it is decided by MHRD.
  • I was also told that PhD scholarship is continued for one year beyond stipulated four years but amount is only half of the regular scholarship. It was told that this decision has been taken two - three months back. But in my knowledge no any official announcement is made by Academic Office.

Anyway after we came out Arun said that he wanted to talk about new placement wing for research scholars. I tested him by asking some questions which he answered reasonably. Anyway it was a good idea which I too had conceived since long. For reasons best known to him he did not raise it in the meeting. I have asked him to make a write his proposal clearly on paper so that this idea can be discussed further. Hope he will do it soon.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Letters from two hostels recommending DTH connection are ready

The letters about DTH connection from Hostel Councils of Kaverie and Sharayu are with me. I am trying to contact CCW continuously from yesterday afternoon with no success. I even have sent him an email mentioning the same. Now it is clear that there will not be any development on this front during this weekend.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Award for bright MS scholars suggested

Prize Distribution Committee met today morning. I noticed in the list of prizes/awards given for the discussion that the prizes for PhDs were very less in number and MS degree did not even have mention. This meant, there was no consideration from institute for rewarding a bright MS scholar. MS scholars are more than 650 in number and I strongly feel that they should not be left out when institute appreciates its students' achivements. Case of PhD scholars is a little better considering that at least five prizes are given to the best dissertation or best paper. Interestingly they form a large population of 950. As compared to MS/PhD scholars the number of prizes given to other programs are appreciable. The committee appreciated my suggestion agreed to recommend it to the senate.

A brief information about this committee: This committee decides the prizes to be given to the students and faculty in convocation, Institute Day and at departmental level. The prizes for coming convocation are almost decided. Decision about prizes to students who have come back from Germany is pending since in case of most students the grades are not finalized by concerned departments or Acad Section has not received them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

DAAD returnees submit the letter

At last DAAD returnees submitted their letter to Office of DoAC after a daily followup by me. Along with an unexplainable delay they even did not care to show draft to me. They give a reason of their business. Of course they must be very busy!

This delay got reflected when I talked to DoAC after the meeting of Board of AC. He said that he has forwarded the letter to DR Acad and students would have to meet DR the next day. He was prompt enough to say that if students can delay writing a simple letter by ten days then they should not expect a very immediate action from him either. I say what's wrong in his argument!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ultrasonic Testing Facility in the Insititute Hosptital

There will be a great relief to the patients who at present end up in paying Rs 600 to Rs 1000 per test if they have to get ultrasonic test done from outside facility and travel cost in addition to the test charges. Patients will not face this problem now onwards. An ultrasonic testing facility is installed in the hospital. Patients will pay Rs 200 per test. This is less than one third of the present cost. This was decided in the first meeting of Hospital Advisory Committee.

There was a proposal of putting 20% of the drug cost on the patients in order to reduce the total drug bill. The last month it was little over one lakh rupees for students and over four lakh rupees for employees. The proposal would have affected students apparently for no significant reason as bill for students constituted only ~ 20% of the total drug bill. I opposed the proposal and supported a suggestion of putting a restriction on doctors in prescribing costly drug if it is not going to compromise on the health of the patient. I have also suggested that if putting restriction does not reduce the total drug bill, an annual limit can be put on the drug bill for every patient. Other members also favored such provision.

Catering in Central Dining Facilities

The central dining facility will be functional from Janaury 2006. The present Mega Dining Hall 2 will also work parallely and will share some hostels. The catering work will be split between worthy private caterers and Hostel Mgmt Staff. Institute will call for tender for catering service soon. In this context CCW has asked me to prepare two things
  1. A common menu for all hostels
  2. Assessment of catering service
Myself and HAS has to have discussion with hostel mess secretaries and come up with these things as soon as possible so that they can be put as a part of the terms and conditions of the agreement between caterers and the institute.

The demand for a vegetarian mess is also under consideration. The discussions are going on.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Fate of a new canteen (An Old Story)

The ventilation system in Nandhinee Canteen has a lot to be desired. I am even not sure if we should call it as a ventilation system. Mere fitting of four five exhaust fans has not served the purpose of providing proper ventilation. The hall is mostly hot throughout the day. The workers are most suffered by the heat. One can easily make out from how they look gloomy and sweaty. The life of guys making and serving tea must be like hell. They spend almost twelve hours surrounded by at least four burners boiling milk, water and tea. The temperature at that place must be close to 45 deg C. One need not take thermometer to the place to counter this guess of temperature but he is just required to go and have a tea from the place!

The canteen is the most happening place in the campus after Central Dining Facility. But over the years there is no improvement in its infrastructure. It wears the same old look as it used to have twenty years back. I’m told that some time back there was a talk of building a new canteen. But alas! Engineering Unit estimated the cost of over Rs 70 lakh and the idea was discarded for the high cost involved.

It will be quite interesting to check which five-star facility was kept in mind by our able engineers in the Engineering Office while making that estimate. Even more interesting will be to find out the existence of any other factor which made our able engineers to give an extravagant estimate!

Dish TV for hostels on 1st July... Quite possible!

We are in position to use DTH connection from 1st July itself at least in three hostels. CCW has gone a step ahead and said that as soon as individual hostel council comes up with a letter mentioning their decision for the change from cable connection to DTH connection he will release funds for Dish TV installation.

Cauvery Hostel Council is ready with the letter. Vishwas has acted very quickly to prepare the letter and get signatures of hostel secretaries. Dhanasekaran of Krishna will come up with letter in two days. Sarath of Brahmaputra also is acting quickly. I have told Sarayu guys and they also are willing. I am told that Sharav GenSec has gone on the vacation. Same case with most other GenSecs.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Street illumination report

After breakfast I thought of meeting CSO. He was there. Main purpose of meeting him was to remind him about the copy of their survey for street illumination. He anyway remembered my purpose. He has informed that already tendering process is started by Engineering Unit. He would send the copy to me on Monday. I also wanted to know if he was informed about an accident that took place near the main gate. A Maruti Omni van driver lost control and hit the tree on the first corner. I was passing by within a minute or two. Fortunately no one was injured. The damage to the car was considerable. A security personnel arrived at the accident spot and handled the situation. He informed CSO duely.

Apart from these we talked about some other points including people talking on mobile when riding bicycle/motorcycle, rash driving of bus drivers, bus driver talking on phone while driving, green bicycles etc. We talked for about half an hour. Quite a nice meeting it was.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Vegetarian mess

In the same meeting we (DoS, CCW and myself) talked about the possibility of a seperate vegetarian mess. DoS seems to be inclined to it. To address some reservations from CCW we may have to take up a survey amongst students to show that there is a large number of students who want a seperate vegetarian mess.

Central Dining Facility

I raised issues in the Dining Facility kitchen (breakdown of cold storage, ventilation system) with DoS and CCW in a meeting today afternoon. While answering it CCW informed about the action being taken. DoS has suggested him to enter into AMC for maintenance wotk of these types.

CCW also has asked me to come up with a common menu and a quality assessment procedure, both to be attached with the request for quotations from caterers. The former should be decided by mess secretaries in consultation with myself and HAS and the later should be prepared by myself and HAS after inviting suggestions from secretaries.

I decided to visit DoS's office casually. But the visit turned out to be fruitful. I really wonder why this was not discussed earlier. The comment from CCW if I had gone on a vacation sounded bizzare. I had to tell him that I met DoS almost every other day! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Visit to kitchen of Dining Facility

Today afternoon tea was followed by visit to kitchen in the Dining Facility. We've found that ventilation system needs a complete servicing. It must be a tough time for the workers during the peak hours as temperature must be reaching well above the bearable limit. We are told that the system is out of order since a month.

Cold storage needs immediate attention in order to eliminate present frequent repairs. Also one of the lifts doesn't have doors on both floors. It makes it unsafe for the workers especially in darkness. Bhushan has informed that the insect flashers also are not put on since a long time.

I also have noticed that the Nandhinee Canteen hall also is not properly ventilated. Especially the persons serving tea suffer most. On an average the temperature in the hall is high due to improper ventilation.

Introducing DTH in the campus

As mentioned earlier, we are planning to replace cable connection from Staff Club by DTH connection (Dish TV) . Yesterday Gyan, Gen Sec of Brahmaputra appriciated the idea and asked me to talk to AW of his hostel. Just some time back I talked to AW of Brahmaputra about DTH for hostels. He will be talking to the Warden soon.

This completes the initial talks with Gen Secs Vikas, Dhanasekaran and Gyan of Kaverie, Krishna and Brahmaputra hostels. Vikas wants a meeting with myself and Kaverie's Warden which we can have any time. Can we bring this to reality from 1st of July? Sounds possible.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Trip to Thirukkulkundram and Vedanthangal

Finally I am sharing something. This is regarding my visit to some places near Chennai.

Nitin and myself had decided to go on outing on 12th June. We were joined by Amit and Vinay. We started from the campus at 7:00 am in the morning. Headed straight towards ECR in a car and stopped at Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corp Resorts for breakfast. It is nice place to spend time. Very calm! It is covered with many trees. There we decided to go directly to Thirukkulkundram, popularly known as Pakshi Teerth. The road was known partially. We had no trouble in reaching the place. Anyway we did not decide to go to the hill temple. There is an ancient but well built pond at some 200 m from the foot of the hill.

It took us almost 12:30 am to reach Chengulupetu. This is on NH45. We braked for lunch in one of the restaurents. Ironically we had to pay 95 Rupees for lunch of four as against 120 Rupees paid at TTDC Resort for breakfast in morning.

After some traveling a little back-n-forth on the highway we found way to Vedanthangal. It’s a nice bird sanctuary. This is not an ideal time to go there. Anyway it wouldn’t matter as we were out to just to be there at the places in our mind. This time we spent a longer time in the Sanctuary compared to my last trip there with my lab-mates. This time there was less crowd and less birds also. Still I would say all of us enjoyed the two hours we spent there. After some refreshment at the gate of the Sanctuary, we started journey back to Mahabalipuram.

We did not enter the town. We reached to Tiger Caves in the outskirts. The place was looking shabby with two guys reclining at the cave with cigarettes in hand. Anyway we headed directly to the seashore. Had some great time there!

It was pretty early than expectation that we reached the campus. It was a very less tiring visit and so was a different visit.

Visit of Malayala Manorama Journalists

Yesterday DoS called and asked me to meet journalists from Malayala Manorama. I was away from the campus then so the meeting was fixed to take place on Tuesday morning. He had also asked me to get one Malayalie UG along with me for the meeting. He was not able to get anybody.

This Malayalie daily wants to create some awareness in State of Kerala potential upgradation of Kochin University in coming future. So journalists want to get information and they wanted to talk to our students.

Today we had that meeting. Earlier I had contacted many Malayalie UGs for the same but found that suddenly all of them who ever was in the campus were preoccupied. After I reached the Office with Harshit somehow we got Zuloo (an UG) and Suma (a PG) both Malayalie for the discussion. Anyway it was a informal and nice discussion. They took some photographs around. Then we took them for lunch and then bid them good bye.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Message Board Trial Version under Evaluation

It’s really good feeling that the things related to this are moving at a good pace. Website-ICE I/C has already given his green signal. Arun has started working on students’ ICE. He will champion this work.

Bhushan has searched some alternate email programs which can substitute present SMAIL. He is going to conduct an audit of utility of SMAIL vis-à-vis these professional programs. This will end up either in modifying SMAIL or replacing SMAIL by a better program.

Guru and Bhushan will work on the updating the institute website. In this regard, Makarand and Shashank has volunteered for checking the website for updates and pointing them out to INW I/Cs. They already have sent separate first set suggestions.

Arun has spotted a couple of good message board software programs and he recommends one of them (IPB) for our future use. He has installed IPB’s trial version on his PC. I too have registered there and we both have used this message board for testing purpose. We are happy about its features. We will install this trial version on ICE server on Monday after seeking permission from GS. We will conclude this evaluation trial within a week. After that we will take decision about recommending this software to DoS or DoP.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

No Grills on the New Hostel Balconies

There is interesting news for the student community. It is decided not to fit close the balconies of new hostel by fitting steel grills. DoS agreed to this in when I met him on Thursday morning. I had suggested earlier that in place of grill on the balconies, there can be an inwardly projected steel railing pipe fitted. This suggestion is accepted. You may like to visit my earlier posting about the same.

Step towards Getting Rid of Cable TV

Immediately after the meeting with DAAD returnees was over DoS wanted to talk to me. It was regarding the cable connection in the hostel TV rooms. He has suggested that we can install newly introduced Dish TV in the hostels. Presently we have to pay Rs 50 per semester per student for the cable if the hostel has one TV set. If the hostel has two TVs then this amount is Rs 75. This way Kaverie ends up in paying around Rs 5000 per month as cable connection fees.

The same evening I visited the main dealer of Dish TV in a nearby suburb to enquire about the equipment. We will spend around Rs 10000 for buying/commissioning the equipment (two in number) and later we will have to pay around Rs 400 per month per set if we avail all the channel packages. This means we will have breakeven in the 9th week itself. And we will be saving some Rs 4200 per month. This will reduce the burden on the students or the saved money can be used for some other hostel work by the hostel council.

We have decided to go ahead with Kaverie and Krishna for installing Dish TV first. Other hostel will follow this a little later.

Meeting with DAAD returnees finally takes place

Overall it appears to be a good meeting. DoAC and DoS were present. The students appreciated the experience they sought in Germany. All were happy about it. Students have also given feedback about some problems they have faced after they have returned to our institute. It's quite strange that these students have hardly any problem in whole stay of nine months in Germany and they have to face problems one after another as soon as they return back to our institute. For example;
  • Nobody in institute knows about their arrival (except me and their other friends). There is no single person in the institute is responsible for keeping contact with these students during their stay.
  • There is no arrangement for hostel rooms after they return. They have to make rounds of OoHM, wardens' office and guides' office. One student still has not got any room to stay.
  • They are asked to pay fees for the fourth semester even though they have paid fees in Germany.
  • Not only that, they are asked fees as a hostelier pays Rs 8000. Reason... they have been staying in the hostel room from last three days. That means they are hosteliers! The AR of Acads comments, "You have brought so much from Germany then what's harm in paying some extra to Institute!!"
  • Grade conversion... Who will do it?
  • Placement Office never knew that a sizeable group has left for Germany. A very few companies may come for campus recruitment of these students. Note that most of these students have missed their campus placements.

One may feel that all these complaints are petty. But then aren't they are fair demands. I feel that this all can be avoided if there will be a single person from the institute is made a contact point. It is matter of this person informing all the sections to make necessary provision for receiving them well in the institute. I don't think that it a difficult task. The positive aspect of this meeting is DoAC has asked these students to give their problems such as fees payment in writing so that he would study and come back to the students again.
Hopefully for the next batch these "petty" problems will be addressed well in time. Let's hope for the best.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Meeting with DAAD returnees postponed

The meeting with DAAD returnees is postponed to Thursday morning 9 O'clock. It is done on the request of DoS as he will have meeting with Director on Tuesday afternoon. It may be in connection of the visit of the new Chairman of Board of Governors on Wednesday.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Back to Campus

Came back from Bangalore today morning. Could have a nice sleep in the bus but it seems that it was not enough. The journey was very brief, only five and half hours. Reached hostel at 5:15 am and in fifteen minutes again I was fast asleep. Visit my private blog to read about my Bangalore trip.

Received reply from DoS to have meeting with DAAD returnees at 3 pm tomorrow. I have passed the message to the concerned students.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bangalore visit on cards

When went on the dinner Kulkarni Sir asked me if I was free I could come to Bangalore with them in car. It could be helpful for them also. I never decline such offers. I promptly said, "Yes! But on weekend. I will come to Bangalore in your car and come back by bus or train." Thus the visit is fixed. I just visited his home and has confirmed also. We will start at 6 am tomorrow.

Weekend trip to Bangalore

It is going to be quite a good weekend. I will be driving to Bangalore. Tomorrow we will start at 6 am from the campus. We expect to reach there in after noon. I will come back the next day, Sunday.

In short I will be away from campus for two days. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Appointment of PG CC-GCU

We need to appoint a PG student as the Chief Coordinator (PG) for Guiding and Counselling Unit (GCU). In one of the meetings when CC was being appointed I had suggested appointing a separate CCGCU for PG students as there problems are different and are usually difficult to comprehend for a UG CCGCU. The point was well taken by DoS and the Chairman GCU.

Yesterday Chairman GCU and myself had a discussion and we decided to go ahead with the process of appointing CCGCU and Counselors for PG students. I will have to suggest some names for this. I have already communicated this to the PG students. I would like to complete this process by mid-June (17th June).

Students arrive from Germany

Yesterday all students (exchange) returned from Germany after stay of almost ten months. They arrived here by Lufthansa flight no 758. Viraj got down at Mumbai. Rest including Sameer, Sachin, Rohit came to Chennai. I reached airport at 11 pm. After some time found Ravi and Arora also. They were there to receive Rohit. We hired two Temp Travellers to reach the campus. It was about 2 in the morning that all got settled down at various places as no hostel rooms were arranged for the poor guys. They all had to knock their friends' doors at midnight. It was not a very good welcome that institute could have given if it had a better academic section.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

No contact with other manufacturers

So far no wheel chair manufacturer, except Calladai, has resplonded to my querry. In fact I keep getting calls from Calladai once in a while. Today morning also I received a call. The student concerned is out on vacation and it is possible to take any decision only after he tries his hands and find it satisfactory. Any way I have told this to Calladai today.

Yesterday I had a word with DoS about this. I informed him that Calladai has employed some 38 handicapped persons out of total some 45 persons. It is managed, surprisingly well, by a person who walks with artificial legs. Both of us have certainly inclined towards Calladai. Still I feel that I should get some information about the prices offered by some other manufacturer. I will the information hopefully this week itself.

Dinner at Shriram's house

Shriram called and asked if I could join him for the dinner at his home. For me there can not be any better invitation. I readily accepted it. Makarand also was to join us. Then I called Makarand and we decided to go together. We reached Shriram's home at eight pm. Didn't have much difficulty in getting there. It seems that I am getting well familier with roads in Chennai. Mr Gadgil of L&T also was invited for dinner. It was indeed a previledge to have dinner with him. The menu contained Aamras-PoLie... and there were other items also but for me this was what I would long for. Shriram's parents are very much hospitable and lovely. We had a very good time.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Visiting cards

Received an email from Office of DoS saying that my visiting cards are ready.

Then in the afternoon, Prof Ganesan introduced me to Mr Venu Gopal, Sr Mgr of an event management company. Mr Venu Gopal had come to check the possibility of getting some venue for the Ford India's event comprising of test drive with rally drivers (one of them is Mr Nanjappa), exhibition of its cars/SUVs and a music show. Considering the endangered animals residing in our campus, I thought it was never going to be a good idea to give venue for them. Again considering the brand value associated with the institute's name it would not be wise idea. He anyway during discussion mentioned about partial sponsership for some of our events. I requested Prof Ganesan to forward his letter to DoS. I called DoS and informed him about Mr Venu and later directed Mr Venu to DoS.

Then met Cocurricular Adviser to submit bills and decided to reach Office of DoS. Collected the visiting cards and had word with DoS both about Calladai Motors and about Mr Venu's proposal. His views concurred with those of mine.

Submitted bill for repairs of Pentax Cameras

As decided, I had called Cocurricular Adviser but he did not lift the phone. Any way it was difficult for me too to meet him Saturday morning. Then I called him in the afternoon and took appointment of 4 pm.

His first sentence was, "I didn't know that, like BTechs, PhD Scholars are also irresponsible!" I replied, "You have the right to say that". Then he said in a changed tone, "Good... that you don't deny it.. good." :)

Anyway coming to the point; I submitted the cash reciept of Rs 4050 for camera repairs to him. He has said that it would take three weeks to pay additional Rs 550 back to me as he will be away for two weeks and can pay me only after he comes back. It is anyway all right to me.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Pentax Camera Repairs

Cocurricular Adviser called and asked me to submit the bills or return the cash. I promptly replied saying I would prefer to submit the bills. He has asked me to give a call on Saturday Morning. These bills are about the repairs of two Pentax cameras. We spent Rs 4050. I just could not find time to call him and submit the bill.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Suggestions received

Antony has asked why SBI doesn't give checkbook to students getting stipend. This matter should be discussed with SBI Branch Manager. I can imagine that he is going to say that as per the guidelines of the bank a student can not open a regular/salary account even if he gets stipend in thousands. But to begin with the followup I should start from this Manager only.

Another point suggested by a resident of Sharavati is that during the examination time boys and girls may want to study together in nights; more so UG students as MS and PhD students have their laboratories to study. The library is closed at twelve in the night and so they are seen studying in front of hostel, especially Sharavati. This can be avoided if a study hall is provided and kept open overnight. This sounds fair. I should discuss this with DoS.

In the afternoon I found a piece of egg shell in veg biryani. Unfortunately it was the dish that I had ordered. When I reported this the superviser he said that this happens and a little can be done about it and he would ask the cooks to take care in future. I know that he was trying to fool me. He said that he had fired the cook. But his statements "this is not a five star hotel and there a a huge crowd to handle and this can not be avoided" were totally unacceptable. I had to warned him against his attitude. Let's hope that theydon't repeat these type of mistakes.

When coming from a dinner at Gujarati Mandal in Savakar Peth we missed the last bus at ten and we had to walk from the main gate upto GC. On the way, Rajani asked about the recent activities of SCAI. It was really a thought provoking discussion. I should discuss this again with Satheesh and Parikshit. Possibly should call for a meeting and discuss how this activity can be kept alive.

While walking, I found many of the street lights were not switched on. It gives rise to the doubt if there is any mechanism for maintenance of street lights or not. The whole stretch of Delhi Avenue was in dark upto the stadium. Incidently all the stretch from stadium upto GC eventhough poorly but was illuminated. If the Director from the entrance of his official residence looks to the left and then to the right, he will find everything all right!

There are many other places which are poorly illuminated and are neglected. According to CSO, Security Section has conducted a survey and has submitted the report to the Estate Office. I have asked a copy of the report more thant two weeks back and have reminded about the same many times. So far I am not successfull in getting that copy. Anyway I have planned to conduct a survey for street illumination by myself soon.

Case with Rosin Rammler distribution

When the SMD variation at various planes is plotted, it can be noted that for ID 60 micron and B1 values of 25 and 35, one can not get any particular trend. For ID 45 micron and B1 15 SMD reduces from around 166 micron to 55 micron. Rest of the combinations do not show any significant variation in SMD. It is also observed that, for a particular ID, SMD reduces with reducing value of B1.

Presently a case with Rosin-Rammler diameter distribution is used for specifying initial diameters. The case is started on tuesday afternoon. As the number of particles injected in one timestep is very large compared to cases with constant ID, the solution is very slow. Prediction upto 6 ms is expected to be over by friday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Lectures by eminent speakers for the next year

India Today people visited our campus in the morning. DoS had passed the message to me but it seems that it did not reach to me. Any way came to know from somebody else. It's quite strange that India Today people wanted to take pictures of students entering the class, attending lectures, reading in library, and what not. This is vacation time. Most students have gone home. No classes going. Still they wanted us to arrange some students so that they can take photos. Never the less their purpose was noble. They were collecting information about academics and students' life in order to publish some article. Today morning some students were gathered in the job was accomplished.

My VC sample was sent. It looks alright. I have okayed it with some minor changes it it. Mostly I will get it on Monday. Rajesh's VC sample also is ready. I called him to have look. He will call the printer if he wants any change.

In the evening, after waiting for almost two hours EML team had the first meeting with DoS. DoS has suggested many names and also has informed that already three speakers have agreed to come in next semister and we have to fix the schedule for two as one speaker's lecture is already decided on 18th August. The fourth is also fixed in form of Mrs Padmasree Warrior but we have to see that she schedules her India visit cosidering our academic calender. It should not happen that she comes here in December when we will have vacation. This year onwards we will videograph all EMLs and we are given permission to get a handicam for this job. So far so good! The meeting has helped in a long way in increasing morale of EML team members right in the beginning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Visit to Mylapore

At around 4:30 pm, Shree Padmanabhan called me about my visit to his office in Mylapore. This was regarding my enquiry of wheel chair. I told me that I would reach his office at 6:30 pm.

At 5 pm. EML team assembled at Nandhinee for discussion. It was the first meeting. I gave them an idea about the proposed meeting with DoS. They will work out the list of the speakers the team would like to invite for lecture. At 5:45 pm I asked them to continue the discussion and I left for Mylapore.

Mr Padmanabhan greeted me and briefly told about their product range. Later he demonstrated the operation of the joystick controlled wheel chair. He asked me to get a feel of that. The joystick controls the direction and speed. Acceleration and maximum speed can be set as per the need even during operation. When the hand is removed from the joystick, the vehicle motion is braked. The chair has a limit rod on the rear side for the maximum incline the wheel chair can climb which is 10:1 (horizontal distance travelled : elevation). The joystick operation is smooth and precise. The control panel with joystick is fitted at the front end of right arm-rest. The control panel can also be fitted to the left side as per requirement. The control panel has battery charge indicator of three stages. It has maximum speed indicator of five stages. The panel has a touchpad and has three buttons. The horn can be operated by the top button and bottom two buttons are for increasing and increasing the maximum speed. The chair has a battery pack below the seat. It provides energy to two DC motors, one for each rear wheel, through the controller. The operation is effortless. The wheel chair is certainly good as a product.

Overall it was a nice experience to operate the vehicle. Now I am waiting for the quotes and chair details from other manufacturers.

On the way back to hostel, I met some PhD Research Scholars who are here on an orientation program. Some are from Pune Vidyapeeth and UDCT. Actually I stopped after hearing them speaking Marathi. It was a nice meeting. They are staying in Alakananda and will be here upto 4th June.

I have to stop as I will have to reach Krishna. We have a brief gathering of MMM at ten.

Visit to Office of DoS

Visited Office of DoS to know about the info-brochure from Tata. I found that it was posted on the DoS notice board not HSB. Rajesh also wanted to print VCs, a part of preparation for his visit to MIT next month. Rajendran was kind to make arrangements for that. We appreciated his gesture very much. Any was Rajesh will bear the expenses involved in printing his VC. There itself we prepared layout and gave to Rajendran.

Former GS was to return the cellphone yesterday, but so far he has not done. He must be still busy in his BTP. Office of DoS will give him a reminder for the phone and also for the camera.

From the office, I spoke to CSO and requested him to send a copy of Street Illumination Report to me. He has assured to arrange it tomorrow. He will deliver the copy to the office.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Vinay and AparNaa visit lab

Just some time back. Vinay and AparNaa came to my lab to pick a couple of books. They were on way to their home. Had a nice chat with them. They had not had dinner so they decided to pack dinner from Quark and go back to home. Amit, back at home, has not yet had dinner. I guess he is fasting... he only knows why so.

Vinay and AparNaa visit lab

Just some time back. Vinay and AparNaa came to my lab to pick a couple of books. They were on way to their home. Had a nice chat with them. They had not had dinner so they decided to pack dinner from Quark and go back to home. Amit, back at home, has not yet had dinner. I guess he is fasting... he only knows why so.

Case running

It seems that my prediction is not matching with experimental values. So far I have changed the model constant in all of its range. I should change the initial droplet diamter and then see what difference it is going to make.

Visit to new hostel under construction

We visited a couple of rooms in the new hostel on 11th May. Our immediate reaction was that size of the room was very less especially the breadth. What surprised us more was the layout of toilet and distribution of floorarea. A lot of space was provided for wash basin (6 nos), urinals (3 nos)but two of three Water Closets were provided with extremely inadequatewidth. It is a very poor plan. We gave many suggestions to the supervisers present there and also to the Dean of Students. I will not mention all suggestions here as they are many in number.

After this I was called for a meeting with the architects and Chairman of planning committe. There again the suggestions were discussed and changes were made. Toilet layout was changed completely. It was decided that I would visit hostel rooms again. Which I did along with Harshit in the morning of 21st May. We suggested changes in the height of rack in the closed cupboard to accomodate a full size notebook. It was well taken.

On the way, I was informed that the balconies, which are open from inside, were going to be fitted with steel grills. This was strange.

I have informed the site manager about this but he can do very little about it. I have then spoken to Dean of Students. I have appreciated the concern behind the decision to fit grills. But in my opinion it is an unnecessary action. I am sure that if at all somebody wants to jump over the parapet of the balcony, then he has many more open balconies in the other (taller) buildings in the campus. This also gives rise to a thought about the terrace. Are they going to keep terrace closed all the time? I think with closed terrace, closed balconies and a couple of watchment at the entrance, it is going to be more like a jail than a students' residence.

Why should I blog?

I should answer one question for myself and that is why I have created this blog. The answer can be somewhat like this. I wanted to record the happenings and thoughts in the day. A place where I can go and open the page and start writing. I wanted to do this such that from anywhere I could add to it.

I think this is going to be a pretty good way and a very right place to document and share the day. I will be posting here my views, experiences, observations, comments and incidents I will come across playing various roles here in my Insititute. Basic role of a citizen, role of a research scholar and role of the Students' General Secretary.


Something about INW and NEWS

On 20th May Guru had gone to donate plates, if plates is the right work I want to use. 2 and a half litre blood was taken out of his body and later injected back after extracting RBC or WBC. He came to lab but started feeling weak. So he retired to his room. Thus could not make it for the meeting with GS. Anyway before reaching GS's office we had called his lab and knew these details.

Only today I could see him in the dining hall. After dinner I briefed him about all the four points (SMAIL audit, website audit, individual webpages and ICE). Now he should contact Arun and decide the plan of action.

After this I thought about visiting Ganga. At the entrance found Mama and Pritam. Took Mama with me in the hostel. Had a look at the food being served. Then on the way of return, informed Mama about the idea of transcribing the students' constitution. He as the NEWS I/C will get it done in two weeks. This transcribed copy will be given to DoS for attestation and then will be published on institute's website. Making the constitution available to students will be the first step in its revision.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Electric wheelchair

After the meeting for new hostel was over DoS suggested that if students buy an electric wheel chair for one student from Sarayu, it will be a good gesture. This student needs it very much. Being from a very humble background he can not afford buying one for himself. I sincerely felt that it was a very right thing to do. I immediately agreed and decided to act quickly.

We are from a premier technology institute. So it's quite obvious that we should that we apply technology for our day-to-day life. Carrying the same thought, we felt that the electric wheel chair should have a good electronic control and preferably should be operated through a joy-stick. Now I have started appealing other students to contribute for this noble cause.

I have sent requests for quotations to manufacturers in Delhi, Indore and Chennai. There is one in Mumbai and I will try sending request today. Manufacturer from Chennai has replied back giving the specifications of the vehicle and pricing details. I should be able to visit his place in Mylapore in a day or two.

Webpages for students and Message Boards

At around 4:30 pm we had a meeting with Prof GS, website I/C. Student INW I/C, Arun accompanied me. Actually I wanted Guru also to be present during the discussion but he could not make it to the meeting.

GS took us quickly through the ICE site. We discussed about the possible changes in the Institute website and also Smail. I found GS very open for any good suggestion. It's a very good sign. We should start updating the website as soon as possible. Arun will start writing some programs required for making ICE useful for students also. He will also search a suitable software for message boards for various student communities. He with other I/Cs will also look into modality of providing individul webpages for every student. There is no problem from availability of hardware. I have suggested that a student should be able to read his emails, to post messages on Message Boards, to modify his webpages and to access ICE through a single login and password.

It was a quite long but quite fruitful discussion. After arrival of Bhushan this team of three will accelerate this work. Let's see how these things work out!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Message given to applicants about interviews for EML Team Selection

Subject: Interviews for EML Team Selection

Tue, May 10, 2005 8:32 pm

Dear friends,

Inform me immediately with a return mail if you are currently in thecampus. Whoever is present here will be interviewed. Those who have leftfor home/internship are requested to inform their vacation plan. Theyare also requested to contact me as soon as they visit the campus.The nominations will be finalised only after all are interviewed.

Warm regards

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Information to Website Incharge (Faculty)

Subject: Student wepages and message boards

Wed, May 4, 2005 3:52 pm

Dear Sir,

Dean Planning and Dean Students has supported the idea of individual webpages for students and message boards. Dean Planning has given an oralconsent to provide two server level machines for this purpose.

Kindly guide me in how we should proceed with the work. I have presentlyappointed three technically sound students as in-charge of theseactivities and am looking for one more. We can have a meeting withtogether so that further you can direct the further course of action.

With best regards

Friday, May 06, 2005

Followup mail to Registrar about allotment of quarters

Subject: Seniority list [Fwd: Allotment of quarters to students]

Wed, May 4, 2005 1:10 pm

When I have enquired with the concerned research scholars they have toldme that F, X and Z type quarters are already being allotted to studentsafter their joining. Then they become eligible for senior grade quarters.And they have complaint about allotment of these quartes. I am told thatE1 and E type quarters are meant for employees and they remain vacantafter many notices and still they are not allotted to the students. Kindly study the matter and take necessary action.

During our conversation this afternoon you mentioned for some names ofresearch scholars. These names can be taken from the seniority listprepared by the Estate Office.

With best regards

Monday, May 02, 2005

Students' Wishlist for Internet Usage

A few days back I had a discussion with Dean Planning. During the discussion he asked me to prepare a wishlist for the internet users. This would become the foundation for the future internet users' policy. Today I have sent him the draft of the wishlist. I have mentioned the following points in the wishlist.

We want access to:
  • Sites relevant to academics e. g. online libraries, journals, institutes/universities, government information sites etc.
  • Search engines
  • Personal communication: Email and messaging facilities for private purpose. Messaging may include chat sessions, IRC, newsgroups, electronic conferences.
  • E-banking and e-trading sites approved by RBI.
  • Online newspapers available worldwide.
  • Official portals of engineering and software companies.

We would like to have access to:

  • Sites related to legal affairs, finance, web-directories, online encyclopedias, job search, travel, photography and other hobbies, wildlife, art, religion, literature, e-shopping, maps and geographical information, history, movies/theatre/entertainment, health and fitness, online contests, etc.
  • Sites facilitating personal communication e. g. for email and egroups, blogspots, online greeting cards, online diary etc. (IF NOT PROVIDED BY THE INSTITUTE).
  • Sports news sites.

We also would like to have access to:

  • Live updates of scores of Cricket and other sports.
  • Live telecast from News and Sports channels through internet.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Mail to Registrar about the allotment of quarters to students

Subject: Allotment of quarters to students

Fri, April 29, 2005 2:51 pm

After I spoke to you two days back, I spoke to Shri Somsekhara (Research Affairs Secretary for 2004-05). He informed me that in the meeting held on 15th April it was decided that vacant quarters would be allotted to Research Scholars. He was not specific which quarters were considered under this. Anyway from this time onwards Shri Arun Prasad (PhD Scholar from DoMS) will be attending these meetings in his capacity of Research Affairs Secretary for 2005-06).

I am informed that the last date for the applications by employees is extended to this month-end. Research Scholars have started feeling that if Estate Office really wants to allot the quarters under consideration to Students (Research Scholars) as this is happening over and again.

Sincere request to look into the matter.

Best regards

Dear Arun (RAS)

Kindly study the matter to check whether the claim by Research Scolars, to get these quarters in case they remain vacant after last date of notice, is appropriate or not. You may please ask Somasekhara for the minutes of previous meetings. In case the students are entitled to get vacant quarters then please do the followup as it will solve problem of at least a few students who stay with their family.

With best regards

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Allotment quarters for students

Tue, April 26, 2005 11:23 am

Some research scholars have approached me regarding the allottment of quarters for senior category. There are some blocks which are made open to employees of the Institute. Many of these blocks are usually left unoccupied as less number of employees apply for that. In such case these blocks are allotted to the students from the seniority list prepared by Estate Section.

I am told that many of these blocks are left unoccupied as, despite many notices, employees have not applied for them and they are not allotted to the students also (in past more than one year). Last date of the latest notice given to employees in the same relation was yesterday, 25th April 2005.

Kindly look into the matter so that students can be allotted these vacant blocks.

With best regards

Monday, January 17, 2005

Myself in laboratory

This was photo taken by HoL from new lab camera.