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					APRIL 2009                                                                                                                                                                1




                                                                  Child Labour. Humour. Snaps.
                                                                  Pages 4,5                                       Pages 3,6                      Page 2


                                                            Poems.                         Picture Puzzle. Featured Blog.
                                                             Pages 7,8                      Page 2                                            Page 7


     Benchmarking 2009.                      the various services available to the stu-   public to the Centenary Celebrations in   locations across campus, encouraging
 Hello and welcome to this year’s edition    dents on campus on various parameters,       the Institute.                            people to participate in the survey. 197
 of Benchmarking! For those of you who       the notable ones being satisfaction and          Hosted by www.kwiksurveys.com,        people participated in the survey, which
 tuned in late, Benchmarking was a con-      frequency of utilization. Various ser-       the survey was opened to the public       at a rough estimate is approximately
 cept that the Voices Team set rolling al-   vices were grouped based on similarity       for a week from 6th to 13th March,        10% − 20% of the Institute’s student
 most an year ago, the aim being to rate     of nature and with additional questions      2009. Broadcasts were sent out and        population.
                                             designed to gauge the reaction of the        posters were put up at the most visible




           Star Ratings of All Services.                    Participants’ Profile: Among the student respondents, as we saw last year, the greatest number
                                       None       *****     of people were from among the Ph.D. candidates enrolled in the engineering faculties with 31%
                          Tata Book House         ****      of the participants coming from this group. These were closely followed by the Ph.D. candidates
              Campus Xerox centre (TMC)           ****      from the science faculties, the exact percentage being 24%. These are then followed by the M.E.
              Campus Xerox centre (TBH)           ****      students, the M.Sc. students, the Integrated Ph.D. students, the M.Tech. students and the M.Des.
                        State Bank of India       ****      students in decreasing order of number of participants with the M.B.A. students bringing up the
                                 Gymkhana         ****      rear with 4% of the respondents.
                              Health Centre       ****
               JRD Tata Memorial Library          ****      Services Overall: One of the queries in the survey asked the respondents to rate the qual-
               SERC (Computing Facility)          ****      ity of services in IISc in general on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the worst rating while 5 represented
                                Hostel Mess       ****      the highest. The average answer to this question was an ’Average’ rating with the mean numerical
                               Juice Centre       ****      rating turning out to be 2.964.
                              Medical Store       ****
                            Stationary store      ****      Highly Accessed Services: Interestingly, food appears to be the one thing that’s topmost
                      Jaybee Travel Agency        ****      on every research student’s mind since the top 5 spots in the most accessed list were bagged by the
                        Watch Repair Shop         ****      various cafeterias on campus with the Hostel Messes coming out on top with an Access Index in
                                 Tailor shop      ***       excess of 94 points, followed closely by the Tea-and-Coffee-Kiosk. The two services are the only ones
              Thomas Cook Travel Agency           ***       which have been rated as being visited Highly Frequently by the respondents. The ones making up
                             Varsha Travels       ***       the rest of the top 5 are the Juice centre, Kabini canteen and Gym Cafe. What is interesting is that
                               Faculty Club       ***       Nesara makes an appearance only at number 10; apparently the attractions of better hygiene and
                                  Gym Cafe        ***       ambience have not been able to offset the higher prices. The F&H coffee-shop and the CEDT can-
                             Kabini canteen       ***       teen appear much lower down the scale, being used only ’When Necessary’, going by the rating-scale.
                             CEDT canteen         ***
                                      Nesara      ***       Star Ratings: The data from the survey was converted into numerical ratings based on
                          Cycle repair shop       ***       the answers to the questions by a simple algorithm. We gave a numerical value (E.g. 4 for Excellent,
                              Grocery shop        ***       0 for Very Poor and so on) to all the options in the survey questionnaire. Thereafter, using this
                                Hair Saloon       ***       index we computed a weighted average for each of the services. The computation did not include
                             Janata Bazaar        ***       the people who did not evaluate that particular service. Then, we scaled the number to 100 to
                            Laundry service       ***       get the rating which has been used as the metric to evaluate services. To present the results in a
                               Canara Bank        ***       more readable form, we resort to a star-based system with each service being awarded stars on the
                          Academic Section        ***       basis of the numerical ratings, comparisons being made meaningfully within each group of services
                         Admission section        ***       (***** means Excellent). As observed from the table, no service has been rated as 5-star or
                       Alumni Association         ***       1-star. We refrained from using percentile ranks in order to let the service providers of 4-star rating
                            Complaints cell       ***       know that there is scope for improvement.
                Foreign travel grant section      ***
                        Scholarship Section       ***       Quality of Services: Tata Book House and the Juice Centre came out on top, with nei-
            Hostel Accomodation (regular)         ***       ther getting an ’Excellent’ score however but being ’Good’ nonetheless. Next was the General
                       Guest Accomodation         ***       Computing Facility in SERC which also scored almost as well the former two. Near the end of
                             Placement Cell       ***       the list are the Guest accommodation, Schemes section, the Cycle Repair Shop, Varsha Travels,
                           Schemes Section        ***       the Campus Development Centre (Estate Office) and the F&H coffee shop. Firmly in the ’Poor’
                           Security Services      ***       category as rated by us, is Tea-board; which ranks almost at the top in terms of number of footfalls.
                          Students’ Council       ***       Incidentally, last year’s results show that Tea-board was the highest ranked service in all of IISc on
  Campus Development Centre (Estate office)         **        the basis of Satisfaction levels.
                          Fresh and Honest        **
                                  Tea Board       **           Check out more detailed and interesting results regarding reasons behind slow PhD
                                       None       *                            and how to improve services, at http://www.iisc.ernet.in/voices/.

Mukta (BIOCHEM), Sudhira (Alumnus, CES), Arun (CSA), Maneesh (MECHENG), Deepti (MRDG) with support from Voices Team.

                 Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by authors in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect opinions, beliefs
                 and viewpoints of the Voices or official policies of Voices. However, this does not apply to articles contributed by the Voices Team.
APRIL 2009                                                                                                                                                     2


        Secret Feelings.                Sorry!!                                 interpreted in another manner; again     tion. People don’t realize that they
                                                                                the beautiful or rather powerful word    are not using it for apologizing but
                                        Language is a mode of communica- comes into the picture and you say “I           as a habit. It has come to the state
                                        tion, which provides you with a means am sorry, I didn’t mean it that way.”      where you hit someone in an accident
                                        to express yourself (your thinking/         Aah!! Single word, multitasking.     (for instance, broke his leg) and say
                                        feelings). Use of language is defi- The word “sorry” literally refers to          “sorry” sweetly and move on. What
                                        nitely an art. However presently, apologizing or feeling regret.                 an easy way to run away from the
                                        where a combination or rather a             Somebody has defined it beauti-       troubles caused by our mistakes!
                                        mixture of different languages are in fully as:-                                      To conclude, learning is better
                                        use, we heavily depend upon some S- Sincerely                                    than committing mistakes deliber-
                                        words without which life appears a O- Offering apology                            ately. If you accept your mistake,
                                        bit difficult.                            R- Right from my heart                   nothing is better than that. The eter-
                                            Imagine a scenario when you are in R- Realizing my mistake and truly         nal feeling and realization of your mis-
                                        your dream world thinking of some- apologizing to                                take can actually make the change
                                        body, making plans for the future Y- You, with a promise to try not to           rather than simple bland usage of
                                        and you suddenly realize that you commit that mistake again.                     words. It is not bad to say sorry
                                        are lying on the ground surrounded                                               but there should be a sense of hon-
 “What is your feeling from this        by a bunch of people because you            The idea is that now it has become   esty about it. If, even after saying
 picture?” is a picture puzzle by       have banged into a cycle coming from the easiest and cheapest way to save        “sorry” you repeat your mistake (cau-
 Vinod E. M. (PHY). Do convey           the opposite side. Now what would your skin. Even if most of the times           tiously or incautiously) the whole pur-
 your thoughts to Vinod. Psychol-       your reaction be? The first word you really meant it but because we               pose is lost. “Remember, an apology
 ogists use such pictures to extract    which comes to your mind is “sorry” are using it so often that it has lost       is a good way to have the last word”.
 internal feelings of patients, which   and then the series of explanations to its meaning and essence.                      So , the next time when you say
 often even the patients are not        move out.                                   Just think for a moment, in a com-   sorry, look at that person in the eye
 aware of.                                  Okay, let us visualize another sce- plete day how often you came across      and say it with a ring of sincerity and
                                        nario when you were talking to your this word or have actually used it.          conviction.
 His    other    picture    puzzles     best friend and suddenly by a differ- Secondly, of these instances how many
 can be enjoyed at his blog             ential usage of words to explain, you times is it actually meaningful instead
 http://vinodasala.blogspot.com/.       realized that what you said is being of just avoiding a troublesome situa-                Deepti Abbey (MRDG).



Featured Snaps.                                                                                                                      CPDM Featured.
                                                                                                                                  (Source: Anaska (CPDM).)
The photos are from IISc Gallery.         One is by Sravanth Kumar H                                                         Bangalore Mirror of Mar 11, 2009
Voices thank the owners for sharing       (MBU), Two by Mahua Das                                                            featured various gadgets devel-
those with us. The theme                  (Alumnus, MRC), and                                                                oped by CPDM professors Amaresh
is One To(o) Many. One signifies           Many by Vishwanathan A.                                                            Chakrabarti, B. GuruMoorthy, and
Solitude, Two signifies a Couple and       (IPC).                                                   Compiled by               Saleem Ahmed along with their stu-
Many signifies a Group.                                                                  Vinay Shirhatti (CEDT).              dents Surbhi Pratap, Lalit Singhal,
                                                                                                                             Jaspreet Singh, Pulin Raje and oth-
                                                                                                                             ers. The gadgets included Rickshaw
                                                                                                                             Car, Wrinkle Smoothener, Cell for
                                                                                                                             Women and Mobile Washing Ma-
                                                                                                                             chine.

                                                                                                                                        IISc to study
                                                                                                                                 safety of railway bridges.
                                                                                                                                (Source: TOI, Mar 15, 2009.)
                                                                                                                             IISc will study the condition of rail-
                                                                                                                             way bridges in the South Western
                                                                                                                             division to help the Railway decide
                                                                                                                             whether bridges can take additional
                                                                                                                             load. A sample of 10 bridges has
                                                                                                                             been selected and it would cover
                                                                                                                             Hubli-Arasikere, Tumkur and Man-
                                                                                                                             galore region.

                                                                                                                               Research, to beat recession.
                                                                                                                                (Source: DNA, Mar 15, 2009.)
                                                                                                                             Addressing students at a Distinc-
                                                                                                                             tion Award Ceremony at PES Insti-
                                                                                                                             tute of Technology, Bangalore, the
                                                                                                                             Director, Prof Balaram said, “It
                                                                                                                             is tough to find placements these
                                                                                                                             days. To overcome this, students
                                                                                                                             should go for further studies. We
                                                                                                                             must convert recession to an oppor-
                                                                                                                             tunity.” Many problems in the area
                                                                                                                             of transport, power and water could
                                                                                                                             only be solved with Technology, he
                                                                                                                             said.

                                                                                                                                 GATE not necessary for
                                                                                                                                      PhD admission.
                                                                                                                             Candidates with BE/BTech/MSc
                                                                                                                             or equivalent degree who may not
                                                                                                                             have qualified in the National En-
                                                                                                                             trance Tests will also be considered
                                                                                                                             for PhD(Engg). Short listing for in-
                                                                                                                             terview of such candidates is based
                                                                                                                             on their academic performance in
                                                                                                                             the qualifying degree (upto 3rd year
                                                                                                                             in BE/BTech, or 1st year in MSc),
                                                                                                                             and their performance in 10th and
                                                                                                                             12th/PUC examinations.
APRIL 2009                                                                                                                                                               3


    Game called Football.                  your rescue even before you rise from      tive ideas are necessary to improve the     but never get a chance to kick the
Twenty-two players — in red and yel-       your quiescence.                           quality of the game, needed to shrink       ball. Not only was I solely in control
low shirts, running on a green field,            I, however, was hurt. I was going     such alarming possibilities that a per-     of the ball for some brief moments, I
under an open blue sky after a black       to show these blokes what stuff I was       son spends a whole lifetime playing         had scored a goal. I had scored my
and white ball — with the only goal        made of. I was going to be the first        football, but never managing to kick        maiden goal in my debut match. I
of their life to flail a poor ball with     player to be chosen for a team next        the ball.                                   was a hero ! I was the next captain of
all their might, while trying to yerk      week— no, I was going to be one of              I had enough of the game by now.       the team!
it into one of the two netted grot-        the captains picking the other play-       Huffing and puffing, my dream of be-                Something was wrong. Was it
toes at either end of the field. You        ers for my team; the insult of being       ing the next captain of the team com-       cheering that I heard from my team-
got it right, my friends, I am talking     amongst the last ones to be picked         pletely shattered, I sat down near one      mates, possibly... but it sounded more
about... a game called Football.           was masticating me. Still dreaming         of the goals. I understood that our         like abuses. I looked back at the goal-
    When I joined my new school, I         my exploits in my maiden football          chunky goalkeeper had seen enough of        keeper... a tubby fellow, still chew-
was informed that football was a very      game, I was boisterously startled by a     life to know that it is better to happily   ing at his packet of imli. I realized
popular game here. Good schools al-        herd of wild angry bulls rushing past      spend your time under the tranquiliz-       my blunder. In my excitement, I had
ways believe in balanced development       me... sorry... they were a just a herd     ing cover of the goal, than face the        pushed the ball in the very goal I was
of the students; hence, we were enti-      of maniacal boys going berserk at the      harsh realities of life chasing the ball.   supposed to defend !
tled to one ”Sports” class per week to     football. It was time for action. I        I saw in myself the making of a great           My team-mates were running af-
go with eight classes of English, eight    darted after the ball, desperate for my    future goalkeeper.                          ter me, and, I supposed, not for any
of Hindi, ten of Science, ten of Math-     share of kicks. I ran from one end to           The game went on while I awaited       angelic beneficence. I decided to run
ematics, twelve of Social Studies, to      the other end of the field for fifteen       the end of this eagerly awaited             for it. I was fresh from my recent
add to one even on General Knowl-          minutes, following the ball (or rather     ”Sports” class. Occasionally, I would       repose, much faster than those tired
edge.                                      following the players in control of the    hear some excited shouts when a goal        souls who had been chasing the ball
                                           ball); but, never even once did I come     was scored: the players would con-          for the last forty minutes. It was
    I eagerly awaited my ”Sports”
                                           within ten yards of it. And kick I did,    gregate to congratulate each other, or      the school bell that finally came to
class, and in due time my patience
                                           but only got angry glares in return;       frown at their goalkeeper; and then,        my rescue, signaling an end to this
was rewarded. I was thrilled to know
                                           that was understandable, it is not a       the game would resume.                      ”Sports” class.
that we were going to play Foot-
                                           nice feeling if a player decides to kick        I had got very bored of all this
ball — a sport I had only heard of.                                                                                                   Even football has its advantages:
                                           you instead of the football. The ball      and decided to take a nap. I dreamed
We lined up while the two suppos-                                                                                                 in which other game can just a tat-
                                           was a mirage... more I tried to reach      of myself playing Cricket; I was in a
edly best players unanimously elected                                                                                             tered old ball keep twenty-two fami-
                                           it, farther it went....                    fielding position at mid-wicket. The
themselves the captains of the com-                                                                                               lies at peace for hours at end, their
                                                This is what I hate most about        batsman taps the ball at me and runs
peting teams. The teams started                                                                                                   mischievous kids busy pounding the
                                           football: one ball and too many play-      for a single, the ball speeding towards
forming as the two captains alter-                                                                                                ball out of shape. However, such illog-
                                           ers. Tennis and Badminton have             me. If I field it properly I can score
nately selected players from the rest                                                                                             ical rules are uncalled for: If I score a
                                           much better ball-to-player ratios. In      a run-out... everybody is shouting at
of the class. Eagerly awaiting to be                                                                                              goal, how can it be added to the tally
                                           Cricket, the ratio turns out to be the     me, encouraging me, cheering me, and
inducted into a team, I was made to                                                                                               of the adversarial team? In Cricket,
                                           same as Football, but at least it al-      the ball is shooting at me. The ball,
wait till the very end. Finally, one of                                                                                           does a hit to the square-leg bound-
                                           lows only the bowler to bowl the ball,     however, looks bigger than a cricket
the captains called out my name, and                                                                                              ary fetch runs for the bowling side be-
                                           and only the batsman to hit the ball;      ball... oh no! It is a football.
I was transformed from a mere mortal                                                                                              cause hits to long-on and to the mid-
                                           and everyone gets a chance to be at             I was affrighted out of my dream
to a preternatural being — a Football                                                                                             wicket fetch runs for the batsman’s
                                           least one of them — a time when they       to a football coming straight at me.
Player.                                                                                                                           team? What matters is the player
                                           take control of the ball. Think of it: a   I remembered the football match.
    ”Ignorance of raw talent”, I felt                                                                                             who scores, not where the ball goes!
                                           player can spend his whole life playing    The football was actually speeding to-
insulted at not being picked early.        Football, while never getting a chance     wards me, away from all other players           As I was compulsorily made to en-
But, to clear any doubts, I was not        to kick the ball ! It is surely not so     running after it. Now, this was my          dure the ”Sports” class every week for
the last one to be picked; I, in fact,     difficult to imagine; I had been p-l-        moment. Now, I was to be in control         my all round development, I decided
beat two of my classmates — one, a         a-y-i-n-g football for the past fifteen     of the ball. Now, I can show my abil-       to follow the footsteps of my stout
plump lad, who looked more inter-          minutes, not having come within ten        ity. The dream of becoming the next         friend in the goal rather than rough-
ested in chewing away at a packet          yards of the ball — let alone kick it      captain floated back...                      ing out in the open field. Since he
of imli (tamarind) that he had just        — and, I had already abandoned any              I surveyed the scene; I searched for   was not ready to vacate his ”official”
bought, and the other a thin, pesky,       such hope even if the match continued      the goal; I made some rough calcula-        goalkeeper position (and I must ac-
bespectacled dude, who looked more         for the rest of my life. If appointed      tions. I could see the goalkeeper wake      cept his size was an obvious asset as
suited with a fat book than a fat ball.    the chairman of FIFA, I would surely       up from his slumber and stare at me         a goalkeeper), I appointed myself the
    The referee blew his whistle and       work towards improving this ball-to-       with wide-eyes. I could see him search      official “assistant goalkeeper”. And I
the game began. The portly chap            player ratio; maybe initiate football      for help, but help was far. He tried to     did turn out to be quite a success —
had finally joined my team, and had         games with four balls, every group         block the ball, but I was too cunning       somehow, the players had more suc-
been given a very important position;      of five players having their own ball       for him. I faked to kick the ball left,     cess hitting me rather than the goal,
I could see him sitting content inside a   (the goalkeepers don’t need a share        but neatly pushed it right, sliding it      though every single time, the sole ob-
goal readying himself for a small nap      of the balls; they are content angels      past him into the goal. Yeeeesssss...       jective of my every single dive, had
— he was our ”official” goalkeeper —         — happy taking a small nap, or nib-        I jumped in ecstasy. I was not go-          been to evade the ball.
the ball seldom comes to you, and          bling away at their imli, rather than      ing to be among those people who
even if it does, other players come to     increasing the competition). Innova-       spend their lifetime playing football                     Subhajit Roy (CSA).



 Ghonchu travels by train.                               them and developed a fierce liking for the com-      replied yes causing Ghonchu to switch loyalties
Ghonchu had traveled by train many times in the          partmentalization concept. After getting rid of     again.
past. Having seen the movie ‘Jab We Met’, he was         the undesirables, he sat back trying to decide          However after this ‘breaking-of-ice’ conversa-
always hopeful of meeting a ‘Kareena’ to whom he         which one he liked the most. After some thought,    tion the three of them studiously ignored him.
could be a ‘Shahid’. But as luck would have it, he       he chose the middle ‘Kareena’. But then sud-        Ghonchu wasn’t perturbed; he felt 24 hours was
had drawn a total blank in all his previous jour-        denly the left ‘Kareena’ smiled and the right ‘Ka-  a long enough time for a person of his capabili-
neys. On prior occasions the closest he had come         reena’ laughed in quick succession causing Ghonchu  ties.
to a ‘Kareena’ was the girl in the next compart-         to become dizzy and murmur “left, no right”.            The train now started moving. Suddenly,
ment who had refused to talk to him since he was in         Suddenly, he realized the three were looking at  three ‘Shahids’ entered their compartment and
another compartment. Ghonchu resented compart-                                                               sat down pushing Ghonchu to the corner. The
mentalization. Why was it that only people from                                                           six of them chatted freely while Ghonchu looked at
the same compartment could talk to each other?                                                            them with a sinking heart. Suddenly one ‘Shahid’
    However, another opportunity had presented it-                                                        (looked more like Amrish Puri to Ghonchu) turned
self. This time he was going from Bangalore to                                                            to him and asked, “Hey, we are a group but my
Bombay and back. Being an incurable optimist,                                                             seat is two compartments away. Would you mind
he went to Yeswantpur station with a smile on his                                                         switching seats with me?” Ghonchu, even though
face humming the tune ‘hum jo chalne lage’. He                                                            an incurable optimist knew that he was beaten.
reached the station fifteen minutes before depar-                                                          “Too many ‘Shahids’ spoil the broth”. He accepted
ture. On entering his coach and after finding his                                                          defeat and said yes to Amrish Puri. After all, there
seat, Ghonchu was pleasantly taken aback. There                                                           was still the return journey to come.
were not one, but three Kareenas’ sitting there and                                                           PS: During the return journey, his compartment
gossiping. No one else was there. Ghonchu kept                                                            consisted of an elderly couple and three fat men in
his luggage and thought to himself, “jab Bhagwan           him maybe because he had been staring at them their forties who kept chewing paan.
deta hai, to koi kanjoosi nahi karta”.                     for too long. To avert embarrassment, Ghonchu                              Arun R. (ME, CSA).
    After sitting opposite to them, he observed            showed great presence of mind and asked, “Are
some other people passing by and lingering in              you all going to Bombay?” The middle ‘Kareena’
front of their compartment. Ghonchu glared at
APRIL 2009                                                                                                                                                      4


            Editorial.                    Black, White and                       such a certification would hold any       the wheat come from if we stand on
                                                                                 value to anyone would be to get more     moralistic principles? A classic opti-
 What are dreams made of?                 Everything in Between...               of them - more degrees, more titles,     mization problem - the morally right
 Floating thoughts, snippets of           Black and white, dark and light, more fellowships, more alphabets on            solution vs. the best possible outcome
 courage, cartloads of intuition,         and a whole range of greys in be- your visiting card, more publications,        for the greatest possible number?
 palette of colors, day and night         tween. Cloudy shadows that stand more whatever... Our system is such                Closer home, most of us spend a
 of hard work, blank pages of             neither here nor there. Try to pin that it gives a better chance only to        significant part of our scholarships at
 creativity, brush of technology;         them down and they’ve switched those who spend longer times within              tea-board and other similar places on
 graphs, pie charts and bars; and         allegiances before you can blink. it. But, and this is the most critical        campus. The prices here are as low as
 a sprinkle of reality!                   Stand wherever you like on the point, it is the only one we have.               they are purely because of cheap and
 Voices found a new tune, trav-           scale, some issues never fall in line,
                                                                                      How many of us understand what      loyal labour that children, who don’t
 eled a new musical note to mark          they’re always on the other side,
                                                                                 money is really about? And how           get about so much, provide. Do we
 another noteworthy year gone             eluding capture and definition and
                                                                                 many of us have really known what        realize that the average darshini out-
 by. We do not want the ideas             solution.
                                                                                 it is to have none and not have a way    side campus is about twice as expen-
 to stagnate, we do not want the              Elsewhere in this issue you will
                                                                                 out when you need it the most? I read    sive as our canteens and still employs
 pages to lose color, we do not           read articles on the fate of child
                                                                                 this on a blog, that it takes one or     children. Do we realize how much
 want the virtual world to wrap           labourers within the institute and
                                                                                 two dreams given up for want of re-      more things would cost if we asked
 our divergent thinking, we do not        the wrongness of the situation.
                                                                                 sources to realize the true importance   canteen owners to take complete re-
 want to set easy benchmarks, we          That there are children who have
                                                                                 of money. Every one of us has asked      sponsibility for the education and up-
 do not want to get complacent,        never known a childhood, existing
                                                                                 for freedom and independence at some     keep of the children and employ oth-
 we do not want to be consistent,      alongside and serving a generation
                                                                                 point in our adolescences but what if    ers to take their place? And would
 we want to work harder, do bet-       of researchers who will go on to try
                                                                                 the same independence was your one       we be responsible enough to deal with
 ter, strive higher!                   and pull our country out of imprison-
                                                                                 shot at breaking out of a sordid exis-   that? A price hike of 1 Re. on Coffee-
 The result is for you all to see.     ment by standing, above all, for the
                                                                                 tence, your one chance at something      board coffee due to obvious economic
 This is a journey that will tell      prevalence of knowledge and modern
                                                                                 maybe only a little more tolerable but   concerns at all their outlets across the
 you how students have rated the       thought over every regressive thought
                                                                                 more tolerable nevertheless. Further,    city saw protests on campus with peo-
 various services on campus, the       and action, is positively laughable. A
                                                                                 what if that little nest-egg was your    ple going as far as smashing cutlery
 2nd edition of the benchmark-         reminder that lays bare the hollow-
                                                                                 only route of escape from a fate that    just to make a point. And how do we
 ing exercise carried out by new       ness of all our attempts to make the
                                                                                 only gave its worst to you every time,   expect these same people to behave
 Voice-ians with lan. Thank you        world a better place, a slap in the
                                                                                 an escape for you and a loved one from   when everything suddenly turns twice
 IISc-ians for your valuable re-       face of every sign that says that we
                                                                                 sure destruction to a slower route to    or thrice as expensive? How many of
 sponses! Child labor is an is-        are shedding our third-world origins
                                                                                 oblivion? Would the issue still be as    us can afford the economic outcomes
 sue of concern world wide. Every      and moving on. One of life’s crueler
                                                                                 clean and cut and dried still?           of moral decisions? A Pyrrhic victory
 story has its shades and Voices       ironies then. But are things as sim-                                               then?
 attempts to uncover those sepia       ple as they appear? Are there fac-             The previous lines may sound a          The only feasible way out then
 tones. Taking no stance or judg-      tors under the surface that we miss       little emotional and something that      must be to provide a child with educa-
 ment, we provide reflective pieces     through a vision conditioned by a life someone fresh from a viewing of Slum-       tion ALONGSIDE his/ her job (with
 on this issue.                        of comfort? I of course go on record dog Millionaire might say but I at-           considerate timings of course) in order
 IISc in its’ oxymoron duality is      saying that child labour is WRONG. tempt to make a more coldly logical             to give the child a reasonable chance
 presented through a conversa-         I do not plead the case for such a de- argument here. Of what use is an ed-        of survival in a school. Again, I make
 tion! Talk on football, the holi      fendant. I’m in no hurry to be ac- ucation that asks a person to spend             it very clear that child labour ought
 celebration and the debut per-        costed and lynched by an irate mob a minimum of 14 years before he can             not to be encouraged at all, in any
 formance of IISc Dance Club -         of human rights activists. All I’m pass a matriculation exam that will             form. But the issue at hand is a del-
 ‘Thirkan’ that inspired more IIS-     trying to do is try and understand teach him nothing of what it takes to           icate one, a double-edged sword per-
 cians to pose the question,”Shall     a phenomenon that against all odds get a job immediately? Less melodra-            haps. It will take infinite wisdom for
 we dance?!” Humor is a satire         and in the presence of all possible ad- matically, what I mean is that while       a person to take a stand and a deci-
 on reality; reality is a satire       vancements, continues to survive, nay it is indeed a noble thought to get a        sion on the issue, there are lives and
 on existence. Our Bhondoo in-         thrive, and shows no signs of slowing child out of a job and into a school,        futures at stake, after all. Morals
 spired a Bhondoo tale from an         down. Surely there must be forces at we must do so only under the realiza-         aside, one must be extremely cautious
 ex- Voice-ian; while one spoke        work stronger than public opinion and tion that for education to really em-        and aware of the implications, steep
 with J. N Tata, the other did         moral arguments?                          power a person, it must be allowed to    though laudable, in deciding to take
 salsa. Ghonchu is from Bhon-              I see the children every morning. run it’s full course; that is 14 years of    a child out of a job and put him in
 doo’s lab and has made his initial    I miss mess every morning and stand schooling and maybe a basic degree             a school on the promise of a better
 footmarks in Voices with his ro-      in the queue at tea-board with my from a college. There is nothing as              future and a midday meal. There
 mance on wheels tale. Insomnia        blue tokens and grumble and whine dangerous as a good intention with-              are, after all, others in the background
 and a verse on coconut tree add       at the wicked system that punishes out commitment and we must know                 of this picture who are dependent on
 the punch of poetry.Lesson on         me and holds me to ransom for wak- that when we say financial support               the same child’s earnings for not only
 etiquette, anagram to wrack the       ing 15 minutes too late. I realize we mean support for a span of time              their midday meals but every meal of
 brain and some picture(s) perfect     this child will never know the feeling as long as 20 years or so. Else, all        theirs...
 complete this issue. The regular      of waking up late, taking a holiday, we’ll have here is a system that offers
 aspects like featured blog, letters                                                                                       Maneesh Kunte (MECHENG).
                                       etc. But such is life. Inequities ex- a child two choices : a. study geome-
 to the editor find their space too     ist. An inhabitant of Pandora’s box try and optics and organic chemistry
 in this Pandora’s box. So open it                                                                                         According to www.childlabor.in,
                                       possibly, but it appears all men were and geography at his/ her own cost            the term ‘child labor’ means ‘work-
 and re-discover Voices!               certainly not created equal, irrespec- after giving up a job with a regular
 We present to you our new look!                                                                                           ing child’ or ‘employed child’. Child
                                       tive of what any faith asks us to be- pay, however exploitative and meagre,         labor is any work done by child
 First ever tabloid version promis-    lieve. The differences between people on the promise of a better future. b.
 ing more pictures, varied writ-                                                                                           for profit. Child labor is a deroga-
                                       are often too large to ford and like I continue working at a job that atleast       tory term which translates into
 ings, a dash of color and whiff of     read recently, a half-hearted or mis- brings home the bacon everyday, how-
 gossip! While we paint the cam-                                                                                           child exploitation and inhumanity
                                       calculated attempt to bridge the gap ever insufficient. The lure of a secure          according to sociologists, develop-
 pus red, we await your reactions      by glossing over differences only high- present is often much stronger than a
 and look forward to many of you                                                                                           ment workers, medical professionals
                                       lights them at times. But since this future that has never been seen...             and educationists. They have iden-
 joining Voices!                       is not really the point of this article,       Looking at the macroscopic pic-      tified child labor as harmful and
                                       I return to the theme now.                ture, a large part of the forex coming
   One amongst us...                                                                                                       hazardous to the child’s develop-
                                           Children must be in school. There into the country is from the outsourc-        ment needs, both mental and phys-
                                       is no doubt about that at all. Calcu- ing brigade. Which is a fickle source.         ical. According to the statistics
                                       lus will definitely not feed a mouth or The smallest drop in costs elsewhere         given by Indian government there
                                       save a life but the only point of edu- in the world sends contracts flying           are 20 million child laborers in the
                                       cation often is to convince a potential there. What option does an indus-           country, while other agencies claim
                                       employer that someone else has done trialist living at the mercy of such a          that it is 50 million. Children em-
                                       the groundwork in screening a can- system have but to look for the cheap-           ployed in part time work like
                                       didate; education acts like some sort est possible labour, i.e. children? Lest      learning craft or other skills
                                       of a clearance stamp on a passport people burn me at the stake for this,            of a hereditary nature are not
                                       that proclaims to everyone concerned may I remind everyone that the same            called child labors. The same
                                       that the person in question has been forex and the taxes on the said capi-          work translates into child labor if
                                       vetted by another body of authority talist’s tainted income go into running         a child is thrown into weaving car-
                                       and is deemed fit to do whatever is the welfare system we have, however              pets, working into factories or some
                                       asked of him. Done. Signed. You’re ineffective it may be. A newspaper                other employment to earn money to
                                       through. But what of a system that headline screamed recently, ”26 lakh             sustain self, or family - without be-
                                       has so many countless people passing people in state to get wheat at Rs.            ing given school education.
                                       through its portals that the only way 2/kg”. Where does the money for
APRIL 2009                                                                                                                                                               5


A puzzle on an IIScian.                   a problem can easily be verified to be     Hard, meaning it is as hard as solving     All this would take a maximum of 10-
An easy puzzle to solve. First 3 clues:   correct or wrong in a known amount        B.                                         15 years time with the current state-
                                          of time (call this polynomial time).          Another implied meaning is that if     of-the-art technology. Then take the
  1. I am (relatively) new to IISc, I     (iii) If the particular problem under     we can solve A in a known amount of        child back into IISc as a child laborer.
     am not the IBM Blue Gene.            question can be solved quickly (in        time, then we could easily solve B by          So, I can transform the NP-
  2. I can be found at atleast three      polynomial time), then every other        using the reduction step above. How-       Complete problem of Poverty into the
     places inside IISc, I am not the     NP-Complete problem can also be           ever we know that B is NP-Complete.        problem Child Labor at IISc in a
     Artocarpus Heterophyllus.            solved quickly.                           Hence we cannot solve A easily.            known amount of time. Hence, if I
  3. I can see, smell and produce              However the fact is that though          Now I extend this definition to         could solve Child Labor at IISc easily,
     sound, I am not the Canis fa-        the candidate solution can be verified     another well-known social problem          I could easily solve Poverty by using
     miliaris.                            quickly, finding such a solution is not    Child Labor at IISc. I have a way          the reduction step above. However we
                                          easy in the first place. Indeed such       to show that this problem cannot in-       have known since ages that Poverty
Found the answer? if not, try the next    problems (of sufficiently large size)       deed be solved as quickly as we think.     cannot ever be solved in India . So
3 ..                                      take millions or trillions of years to    Taking cues from NP-Hard problems          this implies Child Labor at IISc in-
  4. I look bright in the morning and     get solved with the present day super-    of Computational Science, I can prove      deed is NP-Hard social problem. So,
     dull in the evening, I am not the    computers. Any standard text book         that I can reduce the well known NP-       people should leave it to the hands of
     sky.                                 on Computer Algorithms talks about        Complete social problem of Poverty         the Almighty and go do their work in-
  5. I am assumed to be never tired,      these problems and the reader can         to the unknown problem of Child            stead of wasting time on such a hard
                                          browse through such books for more        Labour at IISc in a known amount of        problem. Shall we?
     I am not the heart.
                                          intuition.                                time. But how?
  6. I am young, I am not the newly
                                               I thought of extending this defini-       Consider our country which suf-                  P. Balamurugan (CSA).
     constructed Hostel Block.
                                          tion to Social Problems. Similar to       fers from the NP-Complete problem
Got it? ok, i give u 3 more..             the above definition, for these social     of Poverty. Now, take a small sample
                                          problems:                                 of population Q which is BPL (Below
  7. I can clean, I am not the broom-          (i) There are only finitely many      Poverty Line).
     stick.                                                                                                                        Letters to the editor.
                                          solutions. (ii) A solution can eas-           (i) If the population Q contains an
  8. I along with my likes can be cat-    ily be tested if it works or not. (iii)   eligible child below 14 years of age,       Dear Voices Members,
     egorized into a family, the fam-     If such a social problem gets solved      waste no time in bringing him/her to
     ily is not part of the Darwin’s      quickly, all other NP-Complete prob-      IISc and employ the child in one of         I could see the Feb.       2009 is-
     family tree.                         lems faced by the society could be        the various places like the Juice Cen-      sue of voices only today and it has
  9. I don’t belong to IISc, but          solved quickly.                           ter, Tea Board, Kabini Canteen, Xe-         come out very well. I would like
     (alas!!) I am at IISc.                    However finding such a solution is    rox Shop or the various ”unnamed”           to appreciate the effort made in
                                          the toughest thing on earth and one       construction contracts happening in-        it. If I am not wrong I think as a
Ok, now for the last one: People do       would take a very long time to find a      side IISc. (ii) If the population Q does    regular issue it is the biggest one,
raise Voices for me, but the Voices       solution.                                 not contain any eligible child, then        content wise. Surely it is spirit of
are never heard, atleast at IISc.              When I thought of such social        check if Q has a recently married cou-      team members to make it better in
                                          problems, particularly in our country,    ple. If one exists, we need to wait for     every new issue. A request which I
Answer: The Unfortunate Child             I thought Poverty could be classified      some 4-5 yrs from now to find an eli-        have, if you people can look at the
Labourer(s) in IISc.                      into such NP-Complete problem. You        gible child laborer. Again this is finite    different amenities/ refreshment
                                          can easily see why I say that.            time and we can indeed wait for that,       centers of IISc, so many kids are
          P. Balamurugan (CSA).
                                               Now we can see another class of      because IISc will exist after that many     working even at school timings and
                                          problems, NP-Hard problems in Com-        years and commercial establishments         from what I know, they don’t go
                                          putational Complexity Theory. These       inside the campus will exist at that        to schools. They might be happy
Child Labor Problem                       problems have the following charac-       time and there would be no problem          after getting a few rupees after the
in IISc is NP-Hard.                       teristics. Consider the problem at        in finding the child a suitable job in-      day but my worry is about their
Computational Complexity Theory           hand as A for which we do not know        side IISc even at that time. (iii) If       growth. if you people can make a
deals with the measurement of time        if we can find a solution easily in a      you don’t find any such couple, i.e.,        report on it then I will be able to
and space for solving problems us-        known amount of time.                     the sample only contains aged people,       put some effort to place them at
ing a computer. A class of problems            (i) Take a known NP-Complete         then through the stem-cell (or other        appropriate and better places.
are labelled NP-Complete. For such        problem B and transform it into A in      related) research going on in mak-
problems, the following properties        a known amount of time (again poly-       ing an embryo through external tech-        Thanking you
hold:                                     nomial time). This is called Reduc-       niques, make an embryo in IISc from
    (i) The solution to the problem       tion. This step is often done cleverly    the life cells of some people in Q and      Brijesh N Bhatt
comes from a finite set of possibili-      and carefully. (ii) If such a reduction   grow the embryo by some means until         Co-chairman
ties. (ii) A candidate solution to such   can be done, then A can be called NP-     it reaches an eligible age of 5-6 years.    Students’ Council



 Discussion: Child Labour. food. 4. Most important, this should Any direct financial help will mostly
                                          be continued and promoted by our          go to the parents! Even in the pres-         It’s all mixed up at IISc.
 Following are the excerpts of the                                                                                              A frustrated friend says to me, “Had
                                          juniors who join the institute until      ence of hostels and free stay, educa-
 discussion on Child Labour in IISc                                                                                             a bad rotting time!”
                                          these unfortunate kids complete their     tion etc, many parents are unwilling
 from IISc Students’ Council Ya-                                                                                                I advise him the following, “Midnight
                                          education or training. 5. A policy        to let go of an ’earning member’, or
 hoo Group.       We thank S. Su-                                                                                               at tea board!”
                                          needs to be carved out in IISc’s books    someone to take care of the endless
 darshan (CSA), P. Balamurugan
                                          that no child (below the age of 18 yrs)   kids being born. On average there are       My friend reminds me, “Hey,
 (CSA), Arnab China (MCBL) and
                                          be employed by anyone within IISc         atleast 3-4 kids even in the poor fam-      You forgot a Slack meal at the C
 R. Saraswathi (MBU) for allowing
                                          in the future. 6. Adopt and strictly      ilies. And condoms are NOT expen-           mess?”
 us to use it here.
                                          enforce the policy forever. [...]         sive. So the onus is on the parents         I respond in style, “Oh Yeah Mate!
                                                                                    according to me. [...] Helping them         Gym Cafe’s all set to rock us!”
                                                    P. Balamurugan (CSA).           straight off may lead to more depen-
[...] It is not that nobody cares.
                                                                                    dence and a vicious cycle. Finally,         An old friend comments, “Gee!
People who indeed care don’t know
                                                                                    one can give extra tuitions to kids         Artistic thesis!”
what to do next or are too busy           [...] a year ago I wrote a mail to the                                                I reveal the secret, “IISc is the
with their work to concentrate on         director and registrar regarding this     who ARE from the street or are poor
                                                                                                                                greatest!”
such issues. I have personally come       and specifically mentioned the usage       and assist them in learning, and teach
across kids working in Tea Board,         of under 14 children in the canteens      them to become independent. There           Somebody criticizes me, “You –
Kabini Canteen and in the main li-        and also in some construction work        are many schools that do that.One           YOU!, why is that you are still a so
brary. I have even seen a small boy       which was going on that time in the       can join them and take some classes.        bored and wise achiever ”?
who carries coffee to people in the        Biochemistry department. But I have       Some examples for these are Orphan-         And I hear the ’words’, “’Raise your
campus. [...] 1. Make them join a         never received any reply nor did they     age schools DonBosco and i-volunteer.       voice - You’ll be heard !’ - and this is
school (if they wish) or a vocational     take any measures, as we can all see      Teach India program. According to           what we say to you.”
training institute where they can be      even today. [...]                         me this is the solution.
                                                                                                                                I can hear you shouting, “What on
trained for things (other than remov-                                                    For the starters, one has to en-
                                                     Arnab China (MCBL).                                                        earth does all this mean?” There is a
ing plates, lending coffee,etc.,) which                                              force the law on the shopkeepers who        supposedly interesting pattern hidden
will really be useful for their future.   [...]  One sure has to blame the          are using cheap labour from vulnera-        in the sentences that you just read. If
2. If money is the biggest problem for    employers for taking ’cheap labour’.      ble kids. [...]                             you haven’t noticed it yet, it is the fol-
them, then I think we could provide       Helping these kids with financial help                                                 lowing. ’In each pair of sentences in
necessary financial help to sustain        might not work, as it is usually the                                                  italics , the second sentence happens
their educational growth. 3. If food                                                            R. Saraswathi (MBU).            to be an anagram of the first!!’
                                          parents of these kids who drink away
is the cause for their employment, I      the family earnings and beat them up                                                  Now you know why it is titled this way,
guess we can afford to pay for their       or force them to work or worse, beg.                                                  don’t you?

                                                                                                                                             Arun R. (MSc, CSA).
APRIL 2009                                                                                                                                                           6


bhOndOO goes to salsa.                    trayed bhOndOO. He feared that the         heard a gruff voice, which he hated        on Shami’s shoulder and hold Shami’s
bhOndOO entered the premises of           monitor on his face could have done        the most, which belonged to his Team      right hand with his left. bhOndOO
Advanced Computing Ltd and headed         irreparable damage to his spectacles       Lead. “Oh yes, just now bhOndOO           started shivering. No, I won’t let this
straight for his cubicle in the Per-      which could be absolutely fatal to his     was demonstrating to us some results      opportunity to go, he told himself and
formance Analysis section. Like any       salsa plans.                               he had got!”, Gullu grabbed another       pulled himself together in a moment.
geek, the first thing he did was to            “How did you manage this!!”, he        opportunity. bhOndOO cursed Gullu             “Ok, take a step ahead with
open the mailbox. There were new          heard Shami’s voice. “Oh, at least         as a “dangling pointer”, he had no        your left foot...” “Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!”,
mails, most of those were technical       he managed something!”, he heard           new results. “Ahem, Thats interest-       bhOndOO’s cry penetrated the sur-
support forum mails which he never        Gullu’s voice. With the help of office       ing! Let us have a look and”, bhOn-       roundings. “Oh no, no, that was for
read and the remaining from his Team      boy, bhOndOO got disentangled from         dOO’s TL stopped short noticing the       boys, not for girls”. The instruc-
Lead which he never wanted to read        the web. Meekly smiling, he could say      mess of wires, monitor and mouse be-      tor was telling Shami. The high-
but was forced to do so. Scrolling        “h..h..hi” to Shami. He tried hard to      hind bhOndOO’s back. “Ok we will          heels had served their hidden pur-
the mailbox with chagrin he stumbled      ignore somebody-help-this-geek smile       meet tomorrow. I hope this time your      pose and bhOndOO was barely able
upon a non-techie non-geeky word.         on Shami’s face.                           simulations would match our analyti-      to walk. How could she do this,
“Salsa classes beginning from today!          “I h.. hear that we are having         cal results.” Damn ! So non-stop sim-     she always moves like like a feather...
First session at 5 p.m.”                  s.. salsa classes t.. today”, he was       ulations today till salsa classes! He     aaahhhhhh”, more than the pain, it
                                          yet to recover from the shock of be-       thanked god for the mess of wires.        was the thought of Gullu dancing
    He looked at Shami’s cubicle in       ing found in monitor-on-face situation     It had avoided telling hundred-and-       the rest of the evening with Shami,
the HR section. There was no Gullu        but could manage saying this. “Oh          sixty-ninth excuse to his boss that he    that made it unbearable. The in-
(Damn him!) floating around her cu-        I know... My boss told me yester-          had deleted the plots by mistake.         structor helped him to his cubicle.
bicle. It meant Shami hadn’t come         day.. See I am wearing new high-               bhOndOO didn’t have lunch. He         “Three-hundred-and-ninety-sixth op-
so far. bhOndOO calculated that           heels today.. How do I look?” Shami        wanted to complete simulations as         portunity wasted”, bhOndOO whim-
it was his three-hundred-and-ninety-      asked adjusting a dangling fringe of       well as look at the videos. He didn’t     pered and started applying the balm
sixth opportunity to impress Shami        hairdo. bhOndOO gulped. His best           go to Shami’s cubicle even once. He       from first-aid box.
since he had joined company. Thomas       friend in graduate school had told him     was all determination now! Let Gullu          “What! You are talking numbers
Edison was one of his role models,        the geekometer law. According to the       have his time with Shami till the         even when you are injured !! Oh, you
though the number of 9999 failed at-      law, the attraction between a geek         evening but later it would be me, me      are so.. so.. so.. what-to-say, so .. so
tempts sent shivers down his spine.       male and a female was directly pro-        and only me. He sniggered.                a geek !!”. Shami was standing beside
   Quickly bhOndOO went to                portional to non-geekiness-quotient of         Linux panel showed 17:00:00.          bhOndOO. “How could I dance when
Youtube, typed salsa and down-            the female and “How do I look?” ques-      bhOndOO rushed to the company ter-        you got injured because of me? Sooo
loaded first five videos logging into a     tion denoted infinity in non-geekiness-     race. He was late. The girls had          sorry”, she was saying. Everything
proxy server. He didn’t want today’s      quotient. bhOndOO was no excep-            formed inner circle and the boys had      is fair in love and war, bhOndOO
opprtunity to go wasted. He started       tion. With sudden urge, he started         formed the outer circle, the pairs were   thought, and Shami was too fair for a
watching the first video. It looked        grappling with english to find the best     exact, on top of everything Gullu was     war. “Give me the balm, and say that
quite easy to him. He quicky grasped      word to describe Shami. “Oh, you           standing with Shami. With a sud-          you forgive me”. bhOndOO gulped.
that it was a “modulo 8 beat. Just a      look so fabulous!”, Gullu had seized       den rush of inspiration, bhOndOO          “Say na...... You geeky pie!!”. bhOn-
simple rhythmic movement of hands         the opportunity. He had to, bhOn-          rushed to Gullu’s boss’s cabin, whom      dOO managed “yy..y.. yes”. Shami
and feet... And hands in hands...         dOO thought, bhOndOO’s mother-             he had just seen leaving and gave a       snatched the balm.
with Shami... He closed his eyes,         tongue being C. “Awww, you are a           missed call on Gullu’s mobile. He saw         Geeky pie.. Ah, that sounded bet-
put his right hand behind the LCD         so cutie pie!”, Shami slapped Gullu        Gullu making move for the cabin ap-       ter than everything else in the world,
monitor imagining Shami’s shoulder        lightly on his cheeks. bhOndOO al-         parently with killing instinct. bhOn-     even than the level-3-optimized-C-
and held the speaker in the left hand     ways converted his lost chances into       dOO quickly managed to exit from          code, bhOndOO could feel the feath-
and started moving his feet under the     learning. He decided to google-search      the cabin, he was expert at this,         ers moving on his foot.
table. Wham-Bam !! The intricate          “fabulous” and “cutie-pie”.                thanks to seminars in his graduation
mess of wires of speakers, mouse,             “I hear the some interesting con-      days and took Gullu’s place. The in-                         Onkar Bhardwaj
webcam, monitor and UPS had be-           versation is going on!”, bhOndOO           structor told him to put his right hand                     (Alumnus, ECE).



Tete a tete with J.N. Tata. alive? I mean... you can talk? No... met those of J N Tata, he tried to in solving the biggest problems in the
It was 3rd March. bhOndOO went            Sorry.”                              reason, “We don’t have enough facil- country like poverty, corruption and
through the nostalgic letters and pho-    “Of course, I can. If I could lay theities. We have problems of poverty, unemployment?”
tos of the history of IISc arranged by    foundation of this institute, do you corruption and unemployment in In-
the Archives and Publications Cell at     think talking would be difficult for   dia.”                                   bhOndOO laughed, mockingly at
the Reception Hall. He was feeling        me!”                                                                         the question, “No Tataji. They are
wonderful to read Raman’s words           “No, of course not”, bhOndOO looked  “I see. Can you tell me what all not at all related. Pointer analysis
about the Nobel Prize distribution        unconvinced.                         research is done here?”                 is a mechanism for enabling certain
ceremony. He, at once, realized the       “What is your name?”                 “We do research in all kinds of things, optimizations in compilers. This is
importance of celebrating Science         “My name?... I am ... Sorry, I...    Tataji, from DNAs to Aeroplanes.”       related to Computer Science.”
Day on Feb 28, and hated the Rhyth-       forgot... Ya, my name is bhOndOO.”   “Hmmm... I do not understand these
mica performer for funnily declaring      “Hello bhOndOO.”                     terms. What is a DNA?”                  “I think I understand Science a bit.
“I don’t know what that means” in         “Hi... Hello...”                     “DNA stands for Deoxyribo Nucleic But what is a Computer?”
the Rhythmica program arranged on         “So, tell me. What year is this?”    Acid. It contains the genetic instruc- “It is a computing machine that can
the same day.                             “It is... 2009, Sir.”                tions used in the development and be programmed by a human.”
                                          “Oh! It’s been 105 years!”           functioning of all known living organ- “That’s excellent. But how does your
He came down to the open area             “No, Sir. It’s been only 100 years.” isms.”                                  research help India?”
in front of the Main Building and         “For what?”                          “Well, that sounds impressive. Can “Well, Ummm, ... it doesn’t really.”
saw it unusually colorful. He sud-        “For the institute.”                 you explain it to me in a layman’s
denly realized that it was the floral                                           terms?
                                          “I see. I was talking about my death.”          You understand that my J N Tata kept looking at bhOn-
decoration done on the occasion of        “Oh! Sorry, Sir.”                    knowledge dates back to 1904.”          dOO, then replied, “You mean you
the Founder’s Day. bhOndOO looked         “Never mind. But I am glad this      “Well, ... Tataji, actually I don’t are working on something that does
at the steady statue of J N Tata,                                              know much about it. I don’t work in not add any value to the country?”
                                          institute still exists after 100 years.”
the founder, erected opposite to the                                           this area.”
Main Building. Already amused with        bhOndOO smiled and relaxed.          “So, what area do you work in?”         “No... I mean, ... it may. But I
Raman’s spectroscope kept at the                                               “I work in pointer analysis.”           don’t know how.”
Reception Hall, bhOndOO felt like         “Tell me, what flag is that at the “And what is ...”                          “That’s interesting. Are you alone of
bowing down and touching the feet         top of this building?”                                                       this kind in the institute or are there
of this another great visionary. He       “It is our Indian Tricolor, Tataji.” bhOndOO answered without any other souls who do not know whether
came near the statue and exclaimed,       “Oh! We got independence?”           pauses, before J N Tata completed and how their work helps India?”
“Tataji, you are great!”                  bhOndOO looked puzzled, but then the question, “It is a static analysis “Well, ... I... don’t know...”
                                          realized, “Yes, Tataji, in 1947.”    using which we can find out which “Alright.”
“Thank you.”                              “That’s wonderful.”                  pointer points to what variables.”
                                          bhOndOO got excited. He proudly                                              There was a silence for a few sec-
bhOndOO’s smiling face turned fear-       added, “Tataji, this is the best re- “Okay. I understood nothing. Let onds and J N Tata continued, “Tell
ful and his legs stumbled to move         search institute in India.”          me try to understand it this way: me, some days ago I saw students
back. With wide open eyes, he kept        “Oh! So not yet the best in the How does your pointer analysis help protesting in here? What was it?”
looking at the statue that had sud-       world?”                              in eradicating poverty, corruption
denly started speaking.                                                        and unemployment in India?”             “That! That was a protest against
                                          bhOndOO kept silent, looking down. “What? Sorry?”                            some issues that students had.”
“Tataji, ... Sir, ... you... you are...   When he raised his head and his eyes “How does your pointer analysis help “Like?”
APRIL 2009                                                                                                                                                           7


 “Like not getting hot water in hos-              Featured Blog.                    ing the fancy flight simulator packages     another, the more likely he is to abuse
tels, not getting water at all, more                                                installed on the machines.                 it. (If the observation has not been
number of years to finish PhD, schol-       In this issue, we feature Jost A             Another ground rule was to con-        made, I’d like to stake claim to it.)
arship after 5th year of PhD, etc.”        Mon by Murali Menon, a CSA               serve printing paper. There were           The student sys-admins were one ex-
“This matter was internal to the in-       alumnus. The blog is accessible          heavy duty line-printers chugging          emplar of this adage. The security
stitute, right?”                           at http://jostamon.blogspot.com/.        away at all hours of day and night,        guards at SERC were another.
“It came in newspapers along with          Murali writes about SERC in his          spewing outputs for intricate models.          For some reason, when entering
photos.”                                   post titled Sercked.                     Each sheet of paper, we were told,         SERC, we were all expected to go
“I see. It tarnished the image of the     Around 1991 or thereabouts, a mas-        cost 25 paise, so it was not too dif-      through a metal detector, sign our
institute or is it a regular theme for    sive new building came up in the IISc     ficult to estimate that a few lakhs         names at the entry roster, show our
readers?”                                 campus, and there was widespread          worth of paper was being used up on        badges for identify ourselves, and sign
bhOndOO kept quiet.                       anticipation among us computer            a monthly basis. Much of the output,       out when we left. In no other depart-
“And this happened during the 100th       geeks about the impending arrival         it was clear, was white space because      ment building (except possibly the
year of the institute?”                   of a Cray supercomputer. The Cray         the programmers hadn’t bothered to         library) on campus were there such
bhOndOO still kept quiet looking          was to be housed in the building,         print laterally. Instead, there would      controls. Invariably, the guards would
down.                                     which was named the Supercomputer         be a column of numbers about 8 dig-        refuse to allow in a student who had
“Alright. Lets discuss something pos-     Education and Research Centre.            its wide on the left margin - perhaps      forgotten his or her badge. Often, the
itive.”                                       A few months later, the anticipa-     60 or 70 numbers per sheet - and a         roster was so crammed with students’
bhOndOO looked up with hope.              tion was ground underfoot when it         large expanse of nothingness to right      signatures that it became difficult to
“What is the biggest award in science     became apparent that the Americans        of each sheet. Many sheets were not        locate one’s entry in it when one
in the world today?”                      were putting all sorts of conditions on   even picked up from the printer, so        wanted to sign out. This meant that
“It is called the Nobel prize, Tataji”,   the sale of the Cray. The powers-         the SERC big-wigs organised shelves        dozens of students would be milling
bhOndOO said enthusiastically.            that-be then decided that the money       by department, and arranged for a          about the security desk trying to sign
“Ah! I recollect. How many Nobel          would be better spent on buying a         minion (or a research assistant) to col-   in or out. At meal-times, the problem
prizes have the students of our insti-    bunch of Silicon Graphics and Sun So-     late the outputs and place them into       was particularly acute. Did I want to
tute won so far?”                         laris workstations and CDC and VAX        the appropriate pigeonholes. Still,        stick around to locate my signature,
                                          mainframes, arrange them as a dis-        one found that many printouts re-          or did I want to hurry to the mess
bhOndOO’s smile vanished and si-          tributed computing network, and wire      mained abandoned. About this time,         hall to stuff my face? One day, see-
lence prevailed on his face.              up the campus so that all depart-         some stingy students decided that          ing the crowd at the security desk, I
                                          ments would be able to avail of the       they could save big bucks by not buy-      decided to leave without signing out.
“Your silence tells me that it is not     power of SERC. When we heard of the       ing notebooks, and using the line-         One of the security guards ran after
a big number. Never mind. How             two American engineers who were re-       printer sheets instead. They lovingly      me. ”Hey!” he shouted, ”You didn’t
many?”                                    puted to be always on site at the Cray    bound them up into scrapbooks, and         sign.”
“None, Tataji.”                           installation in the Meteorological cen-   toted them around proudly.                     ”I’m in a hurry,” I replied.
                                          tre in Delhi to vet any applications          The more corrupt among the stu-            Furiously, he stamped the ground.
There was a silence for a few more        that might be run on it (in case they     dents would write dummy programs               ”You must sign!” he thundered.
minutes. bhOndOO continued look-          were simulations for a missile nose-      that would print white space - several         ”No,” I said, and walked away.
ing down, he was representing the         cone, say, or a fighter wing), we flat-     pages of it - and take away the result-        Later in the evening, going to-
institute. Then Tataji spoke.             tered ourselves that we were well out     ing output for use as notepaper. They      wards SERC I realised that I had left
                                          of all that needless headache.            didn’t want to appear dishonest by         my badge in my room. Had I contin-
“When I died, I was sure that I was           When the centre opened, certain       opening up the printers and stealing       ued to the centre, the guard would be
creating an institution that would        ground rules were quickly established.    paper directly, so they consoled them-     sure to remember me from lunchtime
help our nation progress. I had a         General users were to restrict them-      selves with the thought that they were     and refuse to let me in. So I went back
dream and it came into existence.         selves to the monochrome VT100 ter-       only taking their own (blank) print-       to the room, picked up the badge, and
Of course, my dream was not to            minals. These could only display          outs with them.                            returned to SERC. The guard - the
make this institute the number one        characters in columns of 132 or 80.           Meanwhile, some students became        same fellow from before - stuck his
in the world. But the account of this     Not the fanciest gadgets, then. The       system administrators of the CD4360        hand out to stop me.
campus you gave me was not very           graphics workstations were open to        machines. These were the general               ”Badge,” he said.
hopeful. Students are the building        all, but if molecular biologists or       purpose mainframes with VT100 ter-             I pretended to look for it. A
blocks of this institute and it is them   physicists wanted them, people from       minals connected up to them from           look of triumph spread across his face.
who are going to make or break it. If     other departments had to relinquish       all over campus. Hack, that great          Malice followed triumph in quick suc-
you spend your energy in protesting,      their place. This was because some        (and possibly unsurpassed) precursor       cession. Just as he was about to throw
cribbing, and shouting, I am sure we      high-falutin’ modelling software that     of role-playing computer games, be-        me out, I plucked my ID card out of
will have zero Nobel prizes even after    these worthies used was available only    came a campus addiction. Some sys-         my wallet, and, waving it graciously
a thousand years have passed.”            on the IRIS powerhorses. When en-         admin students, in an afflatus of au-        in front of the guard, signed myself in.
                                          gineering majors started doing Com-       thority, would decide that too many        He choked in baffled fury. I smiled be-
bhOndOO felt sad, but did not dare        puter Graphics, of course, they insin-    games sessions were going on in the        nignly upon the fellow. I patted him
to speak.                                 uated themselves into the second line     mainframe and - without warning to         on the shoulder.
                                          of priority behind the molecbios and      the legitimate users - reboot it. I lost       ”Next time lucky, eh?” I said.
“Thanks bhOndOO for your time.            the phizzes. But soon thereafter all      several running sessions of simulations        Ah, these minor victories. What
I think I am better off as a statue.”      the casual visitor saw in the worksta-    in this manner, much to my fury.           would life be without them?
                                          tion lab was geeky attempts at land-          It has been wisely observed that
            Rupesh Nasre (CSA).           ing jumbo jets at various airports us-    the smaller a person’s authority over      Murali Menon (Alumnus, CSA).



                                    Insomniac called eyes.
                                                                                                                               Holi Celebrations in IISc.
                                                                                                                      Like every year, holi was celebrated in the cam-
                                                                                                                      pus in its full swing. Even the shortage of wa-
The passion the desire I don’t know who you are,                                                                      ter in the campus doesn’t let the colorful spirit go
To get to have my heart just tries                     To feel your air, for a glimpse of yours                       down. Various events like Creative Rangoli Com-
That leaves me insane runs me cold                     I dig so many restless strides.                                petition, Murkhawali and Matka-Phod were orga-
And leaves in me something insomniac called eyes.      That leave me insane, runs me cold                             nized to spread the colorful and joyous message
                                                       And leaves in me something insomniac called eyes.              all around. Unfortunately, two students got in-
I may call you a dream, to fulfill which                                                                               jured during the events. This reminds us about the
I wish, I would always wake,                           Tryst with destiny, or a promise to my soul                    safety precautions that should be taken well in ad-
I may call you a drop, the drop of rain                Confluence with you, I feel is a must                           vance. Let’s not learn safety rules by accidents.
That shines with a vibgyor, like a jewel on a lake.    Like at the far end of my sight when sky as a whole
                                                       Meets the earth as if quenching its thirst
It’s just your thought that fills in me,
Fills in me a fragrance so nice                        The meeting you thought makes me
That leaves me insane, runs me cold                    Anxious and my soul then just flies
And leaves in me something insomniac called eyes.      That leaves me insane runs me cold
                                                       And leaves in me something insomniac called eyes.
They say time is punctual, I call it whimsical
For it seems to me walking like a snail
Having concord with solitary, miles from you
                                                                       Gaurav Singh (MATERIALS).
In an ocean so wide when I go for a sail




                                                                                                                                               Deepti Abbey (MRDG).
APRIL 2009                                                                                                                                                          8


                                                      It hit me with a thud, then dented the mud               I can rest no more, on the pillow of my palms
Me, My Tree,                                          And left me in a daze, looking like a dud                And see no more, across the coconuts and palms
                                                      The content smile, now replaced by a grimace             And then, the coconut comes down without a notice
Our Coconut and We.
                                                      Plays on my mind and stays on my face                    When I happen to waver and I happen to miss
                                                      It never happened before, never felt so sore
                                                      Never was so heavy, never hurt more                      You see,
                                                                                                               The coconut falls
                                                      And then, how and why,                                   from the tree without a notice...
                                                      the coconut fell
                                                      from the tree without a notice?                          Peace is now estranged, sleep’s not like of old
                                                                                                               Old times seem untrue, the times that were of gold
                                                      I grew with this very coconut tree                       I shudder without reason, huddle out of fear
                                                      Or should say, it’s the tree, that grew with me          And cuddle up to myself with no one else near
                                                      I was not me, he was not he,
                                                      In fact all along, all was about ’we’                    No breeze rustles me nor the comb of leaves
                                                                                                               Shadow doesn’t soothe, as my stricken heart heaves
                                                      I have rested by it’s side on all the days               Everything’s still and still the stillness doesn’t stay
                                                      Thru the rains in the Junes or the sun in the Mays       It’s the fear, I say, that’s taken the calm away
                                                      However sparse the shadow, however wet the bed
                                                      And even hit by coconuts, naughty in their ways          You never know, I tell you,
                                                                                                               The coconut falls
                                                      Why now, then, do I realise,                             from the tree without a notice...
The coconut falls
                                                      The coconut falls from the tree without a notice?        But it’s my coconut tree, mine so much
from the tree without a notice...
                                                      But, then it used to be different                         You see, I just can’t stop loving it
                                                      The coconuts used to be small                            I still caress it and fondle with my touch
Quiet and peaceful, it was everywhere
                                                      And every one that was sent                              I say, ”I won’t cry, even if you hit!”
With not an inkling of wind or a storm
                                                      Would be used as a ball                                  I know, it knows my pining for it
The coolness of the shadow rented the air
                                                      Not bothered as it went                                  And hence fills the coconuts with nectar for me
Under the coconut, on that noon so warm
                                                      As long as I recall                                      ”You must try, and have the coconut, split,
                                                      Infact, with one spent                                   And then you would see my love for thee!”
I rested with no worries, plaguing my mind
                                                      Waited for another to fall
With my head resting easy, on my palms behind
                                                                                                               ”As for the coconut”, it continues,
Dreams all nice and sundry, each of happy kind
                                                      Even then, I realise,                                    ”It shall continue to fall
My heart melting in gratitude for the tree so kind
                                                      The coconuts fell                                        from me without a notice!”
                                                      from the tree without a notice...
And that’s when this occured,
                                                                                                               Yes, it does, it really does,
The coconut fell
                                                      The tree’s taller and it’s coconuts bigger               The coconut falls
from the tree without a notice...
                                                      Which one would fall, is not easy to figure               from the tree without a notice...
                                                      I keep looking above, waiting for one to come
I was caught unawares, unable to duck
                                                      Keeping my hands ready, to try to catch some                        Poem, Painting and Experience by
Bewildered and stunned, cursing my luck
                                                                                                                                  Vinay Shirhatti (CEDT).




                   Thirkan.                                       Gymkhana corner.                             Rapid-fire event. In the ladies event Lalita V.
The institute witnessed Thirkan, the first             The past few weeks saw a string of sports events         snapped the first position.
ever dance show presented by the Dance                hosted by the Gymkhana. With the semester still              In Table Tennis, Supratim Banerjee from
Club of IISc on the 15th of March.                    in its initial half, many students participated in the   OC won the Mens Singles title and then partnered
   It was a glittering performance with the actors    events with lots of enthusiasm. The Gymkhana and         Saunik Saha from IPC to pouch the Doubles title.
                                                      the adjacent grounds bustled with sports activity        Velmathi G. from the Department of Instrumen-
                                                      with a large student community engaged in them.          tation was the winner in the Ladies Singles event,
                                                          The late winter and the early summer of Ben-         whereas Sushil Kumar and Mansi Gupta sur-
                                                      galuru made it a perfect time and weather to stage       passed all in the Mixed Doubles event.
                                                      the inter-departmental cricket tournament. 29                On the cultural front, the February Concert by
                                                      teams from various departments, faculty and staff         Rhythmica, the music group, was a big hit. They
                                                      registered and played in the tournament. After two       performed for the first time in the spacious and
                                                      initial knock-out phases 8 teams were selected in        grand J N Tata Auditorium. Their beautiful ren-
                                                      two pools and a league phase played between them.        dition of a blend of popular Bollywood numbers,
                                                      Two teams each from the two pools formed the             a few regional melodies and a few rock numbers
                                                      semifinal line up with teams from Materials Engi-         had the appreciative audience rooting for more and
                                                      neering, Instrumentation, CGPL and SSCU filling           more.
                                                      up these slots. Two well contested semifinals saw
                                                      Instrumentation and Materials Engineering emerg-                                Vinay Shirhatti (CEDT).

   showcasing many types of Ballroom Dances like      ing as the prime contenders for the winners tro-
   Salsa and Tango, Classical Fusion Dances and       phy. The Department of Instrumentation fi-
   Bollywood Dances. The audience was dazzled         nally pulled through and won the tournament in an
   by the superb team work in group dances and        emphatic fashion bringing to a close the enthralling                     Join Voices.
   the footwork in individual ones. A commend-        two month long event.
   able fact is that all of the above dances were        Elsewhere, in the chess tournament Mrityun-                   If you wish to join Voices, or
   taught by the Dance Club, with most of the per-    jay Pandey, from the Civil Department, emerged                   wish to contribute an article,
   formers having no apriori dancing experience.      the joint winner in both the Classic event and                       or have any comments,
    Photo Credit: Vivek Chawda (EE).                  the Rapid-fire event. Tamal Banerjee from the
                                                      Mathematics Department shared the honours with
                                                                                                                                write to us at
                                                      him in the Classic event, whereas Prabhu Chan-                    voices.iisc@gmail.com.
                          Arun R. (ME, CSA).
                                                      dran from Electrical Engineering did so in the




                                                         VOICES Team
                                    Madhurima(MGMT) Editor-in-Chief, Arun(CSA) Working Editor,
        Deepti(MRDG), Madhusudan(CHEMENG), Maneesh(MECHENG), Mukta(BIOCHEM), Rupesh(CSA), Shyam(MGMT), Smrithi(MRDG),
                                                   Sudhira(CES), Vinay(CEDT).
                                                   Illustrations: Srishti(ECE).

                                          Publisher: Archives and Publications Cell, Indian Institute of Science.
                       Printed by Navbharath Press, Bangalore on behalf of Editor-in-Chief, VOICES, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.