Thursday, March 31, 2011


In the elections in Tamilnadu, If you vote for the DMK, you will get a mixer, grinder and a washing machine; If you vote for the AIADMK, you will get a mixer, grinder and a fan. Therefore, the choice is between a fan and a washing machine. I called my friend in my village and asked him what he wants. His answer was simple, "Electricity"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No laptops

The Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur has decided to scrap the controversial proposal to provide laptops to its faculty under a government scheme. The Cumulative Performance Development Allowance (CPDA) scheme provides Rs 3 lakh to each faculty member for the period of September 2008 to September 2011. In IISc, I think this money can not be used to buy a computer or laptop and can be used only for travel or consumables. Most of the experimentalists like me find this money useful when they run out of project money for a short while.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Admissions in IISc

I have been receiving several queries on admissions to IISc. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer all emails individually because I simply do not have the data. For example, I have no idea on the cutoffs of GATE for various categories in different disciplines of study. All I can say that the cutoffs for the M.E. program are usually in the 99th percentile but I have no clue as to how many marks in the particular subject will result in that percentile.

The other set of emails is about admission without GATE. IISc does admit students to its doctorate program in engineering without GATE. The information brochure states,

Candidates with BE / B Tech or equivalent degree, with excellent academic record in the qualifying degree as well as in Standard X and XII examinations will be considered only for admission to a limited number of seats in the Ph D programmes.

However, I do not have any idea on the number of seats or what constitutes as an excellent academic record. Candidates without GATE are not eligible for the master's programs in IISc.

Though many of my colleagues contend that GATE is a stupid exam that should be scrapped, all I can say that the average marks scored by B.E/B.Tech candidates are not likely to be higher than the average marks that can be scored by a class XII student. Whether it is the fault of the exam or the education system in India can be a matter of contention.