Sunday, February 28, 2010
The last few months have seen the DPT campus virtually turn into a construction site, with the most prominent work being the building behind the Academic Block. InDePTh did some research into the new building and the results are exciting to say the least. Here’s what we have:
The building is named, as of now, the Technical Building of IIT Roorkee, Saharanpur Campus. Classic Engineers Ltd., Delhi has been assigned the task of building it by NBCC, which was given IITR’s original contract. The eight storied building will be completed in about a year and a half from the day construction began (Nov. 21, 2009). At the end, the building will be a magnificent, fully glazed building costing between Rs. 18-20 crores with a plinth area of 1150 sq m. About 200-250 labourers will work to build it.
Classic Engineers has built several prestigious projects before, such as Rohtak Technical Institute, Haryana and the Maruti Plant in Gurgaon.
Floor by floor
The first floor will mostly be devoted to administrative affairs, with an administration and accounts section, the Office of the Dean, Saharanpur Campus and a room for his PA. In addition, a chemistry lab and the first computer lab will be on this floor. The terminals to three elevators and three staircases will also be visible here. Lastly, there will be a conference hall.
The second floor will be connected to the existing building (much like what we see today with the existing technical block). The second and third computer labs as well as two research labs will be located here.
The third floor will have a new Physics lab, two more research labs, faculty rooms and a hall for research scholars. The fourth floor will house a new Electronics and Instrumentation Lab, a new Electrical Engineering Lab and four faculty rooms.
The fifth floor will have a faculty lab and, for the first time in DPT, an Audio/Visual Lab as well as a virtual classroom for management students. The sixth floor will play a crucial role in expanding the campus, with two new, state-of-the-art Polymer Science and Technology labs, more research labs and faculty rooms.
Lastly, the top floor will house the Central Instrumentation Facility, a chemistry lab, research labs and faculty rooms.
The building is also expected to contain a new library.
With the campus slated to take in a lot more students and scholars (the strength is expected to rise to 800), the new building will be ideal to meet the increased requirement. The capacity of each lecture hall, which will be equipped with modern facilities, will be around 150 students, with a few larger halls expected to hold a whopping 300 students. There will also be smaller classrooms with a capacity of sixty students each.
The new technical building signals exciting times ahead for DPT. More students, bigger and better labs and more faculty members will change the face of the campus. The new building will dwarf all others and become the new face of the Saharanpur Campus. Now, it’s up to the students to shape the new spirit of a new campus.
(This is the original article published in In DePTh, co-authored by me, Shubham and Sreedhar)
Dr. Manmohan Singh was born in modern-day Pakistan. He often describes himself as an 'accidental politician' and is regarded as an 'incorruptible' individual with his personal standards.
Dr. Singh became Prime Minister, it seems, by a sheer twist of fate as Sonia Gandhi denounced the position in 2004. Since then, the former Union Finance Minister and former Delhi School of Economics Professor, has been leading the world's largest democracy toward its ultimate goal of becoming a superpower.
Dr. Singh, who has a scholarship at Cambridge named after him, has been the first Prime Minister since Nehru to irreversible change India's destiny. From a small, indebted agrarian nation to a massive, trillion-dollar plus economy that is an engine of world growth, Dr. Singh has overseen the transformation of the Indian economy.
Described as a soft-spoken, gentle individual who is a 'good listener,' Dr. Singh's persona makes him highly popular amongst the masses, so much so that the 'Advani for PM' campaign backfired completely because it made personal comments against him.
His six years and counting as Prime Minister of India have seen him change from a quiet person to a strong, serious politician and an impeccable administrator. And as he changed, so did the nation.
Indian of the Year
Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India
For being the first Prime Minister to be re-elected for a second consecutive term and changing the face of India as we know it.
For making history by becoming the first Indian to win two Oscars and, in the process, giving hope to a new generation of musicians.
Troublemaker of the Year
K Chandrashekhar Rao, President of the TRS
For plunging a stable state into turmoil and encouraging rioting and arson.
Politician of the Year
Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment and Forests
For leading the developing world during COP15, Copenhangen and setting a green agenda for India.
Memorable visit of the Year
Prime Minister's visit to the US
For enhancing Indo-US ties with the Obama administration.
Best State of the Year
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (shared)
For engaging in 'statue diplomacy' and showing the way in cultural understanding and tolerance amongst Indian states.
City of the Year
For impressive gains made in infrastructure and public awareness over the past few years ahead of the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010.
Best Talk Show
The Big Fight, NDTV 24x7
For the episode on 'Hindi as a National language,' which questioned the sagacity in making Hindi a national language even though a good proportion of India does not speak it.
Best Entertainment Channel
For coming out with a slew of innovative reality shows.
Best News Channel
For excellent, unparalleled election coverage.
For creating public awareness about a rare genetic disorder while also entertaining the masses.
For his emotive, eye-catching acting in Wake Up Sid!
Documentary of the Year
The Story of Maths, BBC World
An engaging, insightful understanding into the world of Maths which, unlike most others in this area, did not ignore the contribution of Eastern mathematicians.
Ad of the Year
For bringing innovation to the world of advertising and eliminating the need for animals in ads.
Sportsperson of the Year
Saina Nehwal (Badminton)
For taking Indian badminton to new heights and in the process, popularising another sport.
India becoming Cricket Test No. 1.
Businessman of the Year
Subir Raha, Chairman, ONGC Ltd.
For pushing the company forward to becoming a gloabl oil and gas player.
Company of th Year
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL)
For taking strategic steps in ensuring India's energy security througth atomic power
New Car of the Year
For bringing the dream of travelling with the family in a car closer to the common man and raising India's status in the global auto heirarchy.
Label of the Year
For diseminating views about topical events and keeping the beacon of debate and discussion alive.
Documentary of the Year
The Cursed Generation
For studying the pehnomenon of junior colleges in Hyderabad and bringing skeletons out of the closet of one of India's most brutal and exploitative systems.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
It all started when we - Aniket, Dubra, Naveen, Shruti, Ipsita and I - assembled at the DPT gate. Now, we had hoped to do this at 7:30 AM, but we magaed to do it only by 8:00 AM. We got an auto really fast and sped our way towards SRE station. Now, this is a very stupid station, in which Platforms 3 and 4 are just two extremes of the same physical platform! To pass the time, I bought a copy of The Lost Symbol from the station.
Finally, 10 minutes late, Jalandhar Express came in. We seated ourselves and so began a long and very boring journey. I read my book on and off and also listened to a lot of music on my mobile phone. When I was hungry, I had some cutlets from the train. I don't know why the others weren't eating though! On the train, we head that two ladies had come to teach BT-101 instead of the usual professor.
Once we reached NDLS, we once again confused ourselves with the Paharganj Gate and the Ajmeri Gate. Once we cleared the doubt, I got out of the station and took a cab to IGI. According to the local taxi drivers, it's called 'Domestic Airport' and not 'IGI Airport,' because the latter is on the Indo-pak Border and recently 'moved' to New Delhi!
Well anyway, IGI was the easiest place to get through. Security Guard (commented that the pic on my ID card is old!), Jet Airways check-in, security check and a long wait. Now, IGI is actually smaller and not as well-equipped as Hyderabad's RGIA. Nonetheless, it's still pretty good. A comfortable flight (Jet Airways is truly the best: excellent cabin crew, comfortable seats and punctuality to boot!) and a bus ride on the comfortable AeroExpress buses, followed by a car ride home, ended a really long trip back home.
And that was also my first experience travelling alone!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
MY NAME IS KHAN (2009)
Produced by: Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment
Director: Karan Johar
Starring: Kajol, Sharrukh Khan, Christopher B Duncan, Tanay Chheda, and others
Rating: *** (3 of 5)
Happy Muslim in America. 9/11. Islamophobia. That just about summarises the plot of My Name is Khan. It would have been nice if not for the fact that we have had a series of movies recently on the very same topic. But, true to any of KJ’s movies, this one is seasoned the romantic love story as well.
Rizwan Khan is a talented boy born in India to a poor, lower-middle class family with a rare genetic disease that made it difficult for him to express his emotions. After his mother dies, he moves to America in the footsteps of his younger brother. There, he discovers Mandira and her son. Then comes the same old story of courtship, marriage and winning over the kid. But after 9/11, everything changes for the worse and things can only improve with (hold your breath) a meeting with the President of America!
Highly unbelievable, I know. In fact, it would be very hard for anybody to watch this movie if they were looking for a hint of realism in it. Although, one has to admit that the Obama-on-film was quite realistic!
I have to admit, I disliked the movie greatly. While the acting was excellent, as expected from the tried-and-tested pair of Kajol and SRK, the music wasn’t memorable and the storyline was extremely weak. Johar tries to touch upon far too many issues: genetic disorders, black emancipation, Hurricane Katrina, Islamophobia and plenty more. Only two facets of the movie caught my attention. First, the way the director used true incidents (Hurricane Katrina, Obama’s election etc.) and wound a story around it. It makes one wonder about the many little stories hidden in a crowd. Second, the symbolism in a Muslim man finding love from another community that faces discrimination: Blacks. Comrades in crisis, truly.
The costumes were quite good and the child actors put up a splendid performance. However, none of this could support the weak and often over-simplistic storyline. My Name is Khan is worth watching only if you have about two hours to waste. Otherwise, skip it (and don’t worry much about the Shiv Sena!). (OTFS)
It all started with a bearded man gazing up at the night sky through a self-invented telescope. He went on to propose the heliocentric centric model of the Universe (which, sadly, got him a death penalty from the Church). But this is the generally accepted ‘starting point’ of Physics. The new-born child then reached its adolescence during the Newtonian period. During this ‘Age of Enlightenment,’ Newton, Maxwell, Bernoulli, Leibnitz, Ampere and many others made great contributions to Physics. But the greatest ideas were yet to come...
‘God does not play dice’ Einstein once said. How wrong he was! Quantum Physics is a subject that has not only used up all the signs/letters/alphabets/symbols ever invented but also the time and mind of top-notch Physicists. The Special Theory of Relativity brought about new discoveries as well as new questions: How did the universe start? Can we create universes? Physicists today believe that there is a Grand Unified Theory that can explain everything. From Stephen Hawking to the late RP Feynman and others, everybody was looking for that ‘one master equation.’
However, in the year 1919, a virtually unknown German mathematician named Theodore Kaluza, felt that since Einstein has used gravitational force to explain time as a dimension (introducing the new concept of space-time), the only other known force at that time (the electromagnetic force) might reveal something new. From his works arose the idea of a multidimensional universe and the complex Super String Theory. This suggests that the known universe is made of 10 spatial dimension and one time dimension – eleven in all. Bizarre, isn’t it? But it’s true beyond a doubt because the twenty known universal constants are verified to a high degree of precision by the theory.
The exciting new field of quantum physics has seem some of the most awesome engineering wonders ever made. The LHC on the Franco-Swiss border is by far the most famous of them all, but lesser-known ones like the Super Kamiokande Solar Neutrino Detector and the Tokamak are equally important. To witness a few proton-proton collisions a day, the SKSND was built with 32,000 tonnes of filtered water and 11,200 photomultiplier tubes!
Although I am no Nobel Laureate (although that’s my prized dream), I hope you too shared the enthusiasm with which I wrote this.
(Edited by OTFS)
Akshit Kumar, 1st Yr Pulp & Paper student at IITR, is an avid lover of modern Physics and wants to join CERN in the future.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Try it on this link.
I feel really confident in EC-101A and HS-102. These subjects (C++ and Behavioural Science respectively) are really interesting, particularly EC-101A, whose logic has a charm of its own (unlike its illogical Sem-1 counterpart!). HS-102 is very easy and mostly common-sense. BT-101 lacks common sense but is easy all the same. MA-102 is a very challenging subject but not impossible to do. EE-101 is a subject that I can do but get paranoid of. Luckily, Theraja has loads of examples to get me some confidence. Then, we have MI-102, the most hellish subject of all, with over 100 slides to by-heart. Will we get some "external help?" Lastly, we have PH-101, another monstrously complicated subject, but there are plenty of examples in Sadiku to help. All-in-all, I feel better about this MTE than about the one is the last sem.
Next post will probably be after the MTE. We have a quiz that we want to conduct then, and Ren will release after the mid-sem break. Oh, and do watch out for The Opinions 24x7 Indian of the Year 2009 later this month!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
In typical style, the US and Britain, along with its NATO allies, have decided to buy their way out of the Afghan mess.
The conclusion from the London Conference was to create a fund to literally bribe Taliban moderates to join the Afghan mainstream. It is typical Anglo-American behavior to assume that you can solve any problem by throwing money at it.
However, it will not work. The Taliban are not a class of people, the Taliban is a movement. The very word Taliban means 'student.' How can they simply assume that warlords who run the Taliban will simply take some money and leave?
The correct way to solve the problem would be to do the reverse of what the Taliban was meant to do. The Americans, in connivance with Pakistan's ISI, created the Taliban to weaken the USSR-run administration in Afghanistan to such an extent that the Soviets would be forced out. On those lines, the solution lies in rebuilding the Afghan state, training police and military personnel, improving democracy and human rights etc.
In this context, India's stance that nation-building must be part of the solution is perfectly correct. But the Pakistanis disagree and look at Afghanistan as a means to further their strategic interests. And, like always, the Americans have made the mistake of following the latter's line. Unless the West stops fooling itself and shuns its unending Al Qaeda-focus, the Taliban will never disappear.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court's recent judgment, quashing Act 26 of 2007 of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, is highly commendable and well-thought.
The Act gave 4% reservation to backward communities amongst Muslims, the communities having been decided by a silly commission that made so many errors that its conclusions lacked any semblance of credibility.
The Act faced several hurdles: it was quashed twice before, both times on the grounds that the academic research for identifying the communities lacked scientific backing. For example, the Commission that decided which Muslim communities would be included in the BC 'E' category only surveyed houses which were 'nearby' and could not even give the number of people in the communities! Furthermore, the Government had to walk a tightrope by lowering the reservation from 5% to 4% so as to just touch the Supreme Court's 50% ceiling on reservations.
The Court rightly noted that the Act favours a particular religion and even promotes religious conversions. IT also goes against the Executive order that reservations be given to classes that have been historically deprived of social equality (which is true in the case of the Hindu caste system; but Islam has no such thing!). Thus, the Act was simply meant to fulfill an unsustainable election promise and cheat the people.
As Janata Party President Subramaniam Swamy once pointed out, the increasing reservations is simply taking away more and more seats and opportunities from the so-called 'General category' while doing nothing realistic for those who need help. We need a serious debate about how long this system is going to stay. In sixty years, not a single caste has been removed from the so-called Backward List but castes have been added regularly, particularly around elections. Is anybody paying attention?
Monday, February 8, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Consider this: I have just four classes on Monday, while I have a full set of eight hours' of classes (including three of my four practical labs; EC-101A is on Tuesday) on Thursday. Now, you'd think that I should get two free hours, since EE-101 practical is A/W (alternate week). However, our professor is a genius (*sarcasm*) so he wants us to come every week.
In a way, the double EE practical is a good thing, because once we finish the experiments (we're already halfway through) is a good thing because we can finish off with them quickly. There's no exam, just a PRS quiz at the end, so it's better done away woth. The Physics lab is a different story: the lab is from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, which means that the lab people (even the gossipy PhD Scholar) want us to finish quick so that they can leave too. However, each practical takes quite some time (except Frank-Hertz Experiement and some others), so rushing us ensures that we get erroneous values. Not that it matters, since our values will be erroneous anyway as none of the instruments works properly. I suppose this is where the refrain comes from: 'For an engineer, getting the answer is important, not how you do it!' Plus, the 'dark room' is hellish since we need to greatly strain our eyes to take the readings. I get a headache everytime.
On the other hand, Mondays are a breeze and most of my blogposts would be uploaded on either Monday or Tuesday, which is also very free.
The new timetable is probably so haphazard because they lost the 8:00 AM slot to the cold. I's a pretty big price to pay, but I suppose we couldn't have possibly attended a class that early in the morning in this cold. Sometimes, you just have to endure hardship...
OTFS presents a documentary series that will, over the next year, take you through the process of building an 8-storey behemoth that will become the new monolith on Saharanpur's skyline.
THE MAKING OF A MONUMENT
A Documentary Series
All through this year on OTFS
This March, Opinions 24x7 presents Chernobyl: Nuclear Death, the sotry of the world's greatest nuclear disaster re-told.