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.