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“I may be an IITian, but my mom is the real GENIUS!!”:)
goes a saying on a mug at the IIT-R souvenir shop…:) Now, that IITs themselves recognize moms, let us dive into more of this mom’s IIT-R tales!!
With the son living in IIT-R for almost a month now, it is time to recollect some more of my experiences at IIT-R and the small things that I really loved about my short stint there!! 🙂
- Most first year students have a set of common subjects(as in most Engineering colleges – Math, Communication skills)
- The lovely part is they have a paper on ‘psychology’ (yes, engineering students have to study ‘psychology’ 🙂 ) After all, most of us know that work life is not only about technical skills – there are people skills and relationship skills that are needed to manage the work space too – so in my opinion good to study psychology!! 🙂 though the students themselves might not be too happy studying it!!)
- Remember the IIT entrance exams do not test you on English? Well, the English testing is done once you join college and eventually there is a paper that is ‘Communication skills(basic)’ or ‘Communication skills'(advanced) in the first semester
- In addition, they are compulsorily expected to take one extra curricular activity( either a sport, Taek-wondo or NSS) which is also something that I liked. It is good to keep the students busy with sporting activities so that no one remains idle and gets into mischief! 🙂 Making it compulsory is even better according to me!! 🙂
- Mental health was seriously talked about in the orientation. If anybody was depressed or stressed they were urged to talk to the health counsellors right away!!(very nice!!)
IIT-R lingo!! 🙂
I remember we had so many words and code words for so many things in my engineering college and hostel too!! It was easy and fun to use them as well…
Now, coming to the lingo that is used at IIT-R, some of it has English and Hindi mix which is easier to understand. The other totally slang Hindi ones are totally beyond us!! Anyways, I am confident that the son will learn it all and enlighten me too, by the end of his degree…:)
At the beginning of the semester, all students got a ‘Campus dictionary'(forwarded) pdf file which listed all the code words used in IIT-R(which might be common to all IITs as well) Many of my North Indian friends might be able to decipher most or all of them… can you see which ones you can understand?
There are still more… can you find the answers to these?! 🙂
Scroll down to understand these IITian words …..
- ‘Kholu’ is the person whose AIR opens the branch(“Branch ka kholu kaun hai?” is a popular question 🙂 :))
- ‘Gaaon'(village) – is the area of ‘bhawans’ that is supposedly far from the main campus area and characterized by less interference with major campus affairs
- Bakchodi – Gossips with no conclusion, apparently!! 🙂
- Chapo – shortened form of “Chai Pakoda” which means a treat or party
- Ghissu – are students with high CGPA and no social life!!
- Dulla – are dual degree students
- Chaggi – are students with light minded approach and a CGPA around 6
- Despo – obviously meaning, desperate!!
- Fachche – is an enthusiastic fresher!!
- Haddu – Delhiites calling people from Hyderabad or South India!!
I have learnt a lot today – reading this and writing about this.. did you? I almost feel I am in college again… 🙂
In our IIT saga, based on the feedback and our own research, we were looking to get our son into one of the older IITs + IIT Hyderabad. For the uninitiated, the older IITs are IIT-Madras, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, IIT – Roorkee, IIT – Guwahati, IIT- Kharagpur and IIT – Kanpur. In addition we also considered IIT – Hyderabad which is a newer IIT but since it was getting a lot of positive feedback, we considered that as well.
After the son got admitted into one of the oldest IIT(IIT-R), travelling and visiting the son to that part of India has been a pleasure! Roorkee is a little place in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is known for IIT, the army, the pure air and generous water! The river Ganga flows and flows…all over… Actually, it was quite amazing to see so much of free flowing water. The southern states of India almost always gasp for water(before all the current floods) Water tankers are a common sight in cities like Bengaluru and Chennai. And it was a pleasure to see that there was no necessity of water tankers in IIT Roorkee!
The Hindi language also flows and flows…The son had actually never heard so much of Hindi even though our place in Bengaluru is also predominantly Hindi speaking.
Life seems to be slow paced in Roorkee and it is nice to know that nobody is rushing anywhere to catch anything!! (The driver driving at 60 kmph on an empty road was really puzzling to me – why not go at a 100 kmph on an empty road was my Bengaluruean thought ;)) In a city like Bengaluru we try to do the reverse – we try to do 100 kmph in a totally jammed and crammed zone!!
IIT – Roorkee is one of oldest engineering institutions in India. It was established in 1847(yes!) by Sir James Thomason and it was originally known as ‘University of Roorkee and Thomason College of Civil Engineering’. The main building in IIT -Roorkee is known as ‘The James Thomason building” and still hosts many Professors rooms. The James Thomason building is the single most important building in IIT Roorkee. It has been maintained excellently and the architecture still looks amazing. The tiles in the James Thomason building reminded me of the tiles in my maternal grandparents place.
The green lawn in front of the building is manually maintained very well. The foyer has high ceilings and the entry way displays proficiency certificates in both academic and sports fields dating back to 1858!!
IIT – Roorkee has 21 departments covering Engineering, Applied sciences, Humanities, Management and more. The campus area sprawls over 365 acres which is huge. The infrastructure is awesome and all the faculty have adequate educational qualifications( Ph.Ds) to teach students. All faculty information is up online and we can see all their qualifications and experience.
Students use bicycles to move from building to building and there are a lot of them! All students are toppers in their own school/zone and it is a battle of the brightest of the brightest minds in the country!
In addition, to bicycles, there are also e-rickshaws that ply within the campus. These e-rickshaws take up to 5 passengers per trip and all it costs is 10 Rs/person to travel from any location to any other location within the campus!! (just imagine!!)
Another thing that actually struck me was the cost of living in IIT Roorkee or Roorkee for that matter. The cost of living in IIT-Roorkee or outside the campus is extremely cheap compared to a city like Bengaluru(40 Rs/haircut , ‘Coffee day’ stuff available for half the price in Bengaluru)
Two banks operate within the campus for the benefit of students. Barber shops, stationary shops, juice shops all pepper the bhawans. The campus is kept immaculately clean.
There are no power problems – if at all – they are extremely minimal.
There is also very nice Saraswathi temple, mosque and a church within the campus.
The campus also boasts of badminton courts, a good gym, a mega swimming pool, table tennis courts, tennis courts and more sporting activities. Since IIT Roorkee is in foothills of the Himalayas – there is also a ‘Himalayan explorers club’ for the adventurous(sounds fascinating isn’t it?)
It was also nice to see mental health being spoken openly at the orientation and students are always asked to come up and talk if they feel stressed or depressed(after all, most 1st year students are staying away from their cozy home for the first time in their lives)
The hostels in IIT-R are known as “bhawans”. Each bhawan feels like a separate apartment complex! The rooms are old but decently maintained. Washing machines, geysers are also present to enable the transition from home to hostel easier(again, this is the first time that most students are doing the washing and other stuff on their own)
There are 2 students in a room or some get single rooms too. ‘Coffee Day’, ‘Subway’ are two new additions to keep the hostelites taste buds happy.
First year students get allotted rooms based on their AIR rank(yes!) and that is the only talk of JEE advanced rank. After that it is open competition for all.
As a mother, the college is awesome and the faculty have amazing experience and educational qualifications and the whole IIT experience is easily affordable too. Now it is up to the son to adjust and figure the whole thing out!! 🙂
Before my son entered IIT, we were doing a lot of research on the various IITs and their branches. While the choice of IITs was relatively simpler, the selection of the branch in the different IITs was a whole lot harder. Each IIT had a slightly different set of branches and we had lots and lots of homework to do to understand the whole process better.
We as parents understood the traditional Engineering branches like:
- Electronics and communication
- Electrical and Electronics
- Computer Science and Engineering
But the IITs boasted of some new branches along with the traditional ones to keep up with the changing trends in technologies. These were the new branches that really made us research more:
- Engineering Physics
- Data Science engineering
- Mathematics and computing
- Agricultural and food engineering
- Mining engineering
- Manufacturing science and engineering
- Ocean engineering and Naval architecture
- Engineering science
- Artificial intelligence
- Biological sciences and Bioengineering
- Material science and engineering
- Polymer science and engineering
- Mineral engineering
- Petroleum engineering
- Ceramic engineering
- Pharmaceutical engineering and technology
Note, that – not all branches are available in all the IITs. For example, as of today, ‘Data science’ is offered only in IIT, Mandi and ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is available only in IIT Hyderabad.
It is also important to note that these are all 4 year B.Tech programs. There are 5 year dual degree and 4 year BS programs as well.
I am sure you are also stumped by the other branches such as “Ceramic engineering”, “Polymer engineering”, ‘Engineering Physics’, ‘Mathematics and Computing’ and many others. Yes, these branches do exist in some of the IITs!! While I haven’t researched the scope of all the branches – we did have to research two branches (‘Engineering Physics’ and ‘Mathematics and Computing’ )since they were close to my son’s line of interest(after Computer Science and other heavily fought traditional branches, which we couldn’t get our hands on)
What were they taught? And what was their scope in the future?
What is Engineering Physics?
From the IIT Bombay website, ‘Engineering Physics’ is “an amalgam of physics, mathematics and electrical engineering courses”. The core courses cover basic areas such as classical and quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory, photonics, relativity, and thermodynamics along with introductory courses to the various fields.The courses include Mathematical physics, nuclear physics, Quantum physics, laser physics and more.
So, it is Physics, Physics all the way… 🙂
It is offered by IIT – B(Bombay), IIT-M(Madras), IIT-D(Delhi), IIT-R(Roorkee), IIT -G(Guwahati), IIT – H(Hyderabad), IIT – M(Mandi) and IIT – Dhanbad
With so much of Physics in their curriculum, what is the scope of Engineering Physics students in the future? These are a few of my findings:
- Students can get placed in industries such as telecom, microelectronics, lasers and micro devices etc. with amazing salaries
- They can also get involved in research and development activities in future
- They can opt for higher studies in the same line or
- They can also choose an entirely new line of interest
What is ‘Mathematics and computing’?
While I was mulling ‘Mathematics and Computing’ branch I found that it is very,very difficult to get into ‘Mathematics and Computing’ branch in the traditional old IITs.
The ‘Mathematics and Computing’ branch is described by IIT Guwahati website as follows:
“The curriculum for this program is designed to meet the need of sophisticated mathematics in modern scientific investigations and technological innovations. The programme has three components: mathematics, computing and financial engineering which are perfectly blended so that the strong mathematical and analytical components that are in-built in the curriculum form the basis on which the technological aspects of computing and finance are developed”.
The MnC(Mathematics and Computing) branch syllabus however is also supposedly different for each IIT. While many IITs focus on Math – some focus on Computer Science concepts too.
MnC is offered by IIT-D, IIT-G, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT – Dhanbad, IIT – Hyderabad, IIT-BHU – Varanasi, IIT – Ropar and IIT Goa.
Scope of Mathematics and computing:
- These students have a bright future in computational careers which involve data science, statistics, machine learning, Artificial intelligence
- They can also opt for higher studies
- Many of these students have also been hired by companies such as Microsoft, Netapp, Zynga and more
Hope you liked the details of various branches in the IITs and the extra detail about the ‘Engineering physics’ branch and ‘Mathematics and Computing’ branch.
Stay tuned for more of my personal musings! 🙂
Read my take on ‘Faceapp’ the viral app:
Even as my son is planning to leave for IIT to join the 2019-2020 academic session , I feel like I have to recite the whole journey to the whole world!! 🙂 Also, the whole IIT preparation drama ceases to exist once the lad enters the hallowed grounds of the precious institution! Here are a few(or a lot of!) of my thoughts on the whole process:
What are the IITs anyways?
India and IITs are synonymous with each other. Ask any parent whose child is in grade five or six in India and their aim is always to get into an IIT. For the uninitiated, IIT is ‘Indian Institute of Technology’ for securing an undergraduate or post-graduate degree in engineering and there are a total of 23 IITs in India today. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are autonomous public institutes of higher education(Wikipedia)
There are roughly about 13,376 seats up for grabs in various streams of engineering like Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and more. India’s young students and their parents are always allured by this institution. Competition is fierce and this year about 9.35 lakh candidates competed to get one of the 13,000 seats. The IITs though cannot accomodate everyone, can they? So, what do they do? Have entrance exams that will definitely the raise the stakes and make the students to prepare harder…
The JEE entrance exams:
The JEE or ‘Joint Entrance exams’ are the gateway to the esteemed institution. The JEE(Joint Entrance Exam) has two parts to it. They are the ‘Mains’ and the ‘Advanced’. The JEE tests you only in Math, Physics and Chemistry(which is actually a huge relief for my son – as he is not too fond of any sort of English testing!! ;)) Only once you clear the ‘Mains’ exam – will you be allowed to participate in the advanced exam. As of this year(2019), the ‘Mains’ exam itself was conducted two times – once in January and once in April( and he took the exam both the times!!) There were a few students who scored 100% percentile in the Mains exam! (hats off to them!! :))
The ‘advanced’ exam is probably one of the toughest exams in India today. This year, the ‘advanced’ exam was held in late May. Students start preparing for the JEE exams right from fifth or sixth grade!!(unbelievable, right?)
We started our earnest preparation for the JEE exam only in 11th grade – even though he attended some sort of coaching in 7th and 8th grade too.
JEE Main and advanced exams:
The JEE Main exam was reasonably easy this year and my son scored an excellent percentile 99.4 percentile but with an AIR of 5922(can you imagine?!!) The JEE advanced exam though was an entirely different matter. It was set by IIT Roorkee and almost everyone was shaken by the paper.
Except for me!! 🙂
Why? My son always prefers harder papers and loves the challenge rather than the easier paper. I knew he would do well in a hard paper and he had brighter chance of entering the IITs! (how odd, know?!!) Finally, the results were declared on June 14th and true to my thinking he had scored very well in his advanced exam with an AIR of 2588.
Once the advanced marks and ranks are in, the counselling process with JoSAA(Joint Seat Allocation Authority) starts. The whole process is entirely streamlined. Seat allotments for the different branches and colleges happens entirely online and with amazing precision. The rules are laid out beautifully and the movement happens perfectly. After going back and forth and dilly dallying on our choice of colleges and branches between the 23 IITs we finally accepted one IIT on Sunday, 7th July 2019.
The IITs give reservation only to the Scheduled castes(SC), Scheduled Tribe(ST), OBC(Other backward classes), EwS(economically weaker sections), physically handicapped and girl candidates. Since the ratio of boys to girls in IITs is very low, there has been extra reservation allotted for girls to enter the prestigious institution(which is a wonderful move, I would say!) IIT Delhi, even had open house exclusively for girls to attract girl talent into the institution.
What is so special about the IIT?
1.First and foremost, the students get to interact with a lot of like minded students which will definitely enhance one’s growth.
2. Next, obviously is going to be the money part. The students from the best and top IITs get placement offers from international and national companies such as Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Shell, Honeywell, Google and… you name it and they will be there! The students can get placed at an offer of about 13 lakhs or more.
But of course, not all are going to be placed at that amount and a lot depends on your GPA and other factors.
3. An IIT degree has international recognition.
I am sure there are plenty of other factors but I could think of this only for now…
How much does it cost to study in an IIT?
This is something you will love to hear – it costs roughly about 3 lakhs per year! Now, 3 lakhs/year is actually mind bogglingly cheap from our standpoint(considering that we are in the most expensive part of India!!) This type of education from most international colleges and universities will definitely leave you with a standing student loan…or you would need to figure some other amazing ways to pay for it.
And finally from my son’s own words, the answer to
“What sets the JEE Advanced apart from other engineering entrance exams?”
- Most other engineering entrance exams consist of only a single paper. But as for JEE Advanced, it consists of two papers, each of 3 hours duration!
- The format of the JEE Advanced is not fixed, it varies from year to year.
- Questions in the JEE Advanced can be of many types, such as multiple choice (single/multiple correct answers), match the following, integer answer type, comprehension (or ‘paragraph’) type, and numerical answer type (correct to two decimal places). Most other entrance exams usually have all questions in the ‘multiple choice single correct’ format.
- The questions in JEE Advanced generally require a very deep and proper understanding of the topics, and some may test you on multiple concepts. They also generally take more time to solve.
- Because of the difficulty level of the questions, the number of questions in each paper is very small when compared to other entrance exams of similar duration. (For example, each of the two papers in this year’s JEE Advanced had only 54 questions!)
- The ‘multiple choice questions with multiple correct answers’ often have a different marking scheme compared to the rest of the questions. For example, in this year’s JEE Advanced, the marking scheme for such questions was as follows:
- If ALL the correct answers for a question are selected, and no incorrect answer is selected, 4 marks are awarded.
- If some (but not all) correct answers are selected, and no incorrect answers are selected, 1 mark is awarded for EACH correct answer that is selected.
- If no answer is selected, no marks are awarded.
- If any INCORRECT answer is selected, 1 mark is deducted from the total score.
- Example: If the correct answers for a question are A, C and D, then marking A, C, D will result in +4 marks, marking only A results in +1, marking A, C results in +2, but marking A, B, C results in -1.
This is the reason why most Professors and academicians throughout the world take JEE exam paper and analyze it and re-analyze it…
After IIT – life is smooth and easy?
Many of you might remember my IIT/IIM post from a few years back. ‘IIT’ is neither a beginning nor an ending but a great milestone for those who have achieved it.
The life at IIT or the degree obtained from an IIT can only get you up and running initially and have a nice tag behind your name throughout your life – but it cannot immunize you against life’s ups and downs.
Life’s curves can only be handled by a lot of positivity, calmness and divine belief!!
Stay tuned for more on our IIT saga…:)
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