Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Research Admissions

I have been receiving several queries on research admissions to IISc. Please note that the admission to the Ph.D and M.Sc (Engg) programs is based on a wide variety of parameters: GATE, CSIR, JEST, IISc entrance test and many more entrance tests. Qualification in one of these exams does not guarantee an interview call. Different departments follow different cutoffs in various exams.

All letters for interviews were dispatched this morning and the research admissions for Ph.D will be held from June 4-5 for the interdisciplinary programs and June 6-10 for the other departments. Please check your application status on the web or wait for the interview letter or call the admission office.

While I have tried to help as many people as I can to know about the results (i.e., whether they have received the interview call), I can not give out the cutoffs for different departments in various exams. I agree with the applicant who felt that such information should be displayed on the web but I do not agree with the other applicant who "threatened" to file a RTI against me for not providing this information!


Life said...

Hello Sir,

Thank you for the informative post. I had applied for the research programme in Management. I have cleared UGC- NET along with JRF and I was told I would be getting a direct interview call. There have been no updated in the online admission portal. I have not received any reply to the mail I sent on May 2nd. And no one answered the phone today. I was starting to get worried.

You mentioned that all the call letters were dispatched today morning. I hope I could wait a day or two before contacting IISc again. Kindly guide.


Giri@iisc said...

Today is a government and Institute holiday because of Buddha purnima. That's why no one answered your phone today. The letters are ready but will be dispatched only tomorrow.



shyam said...


Perhaps the person threatening an RTI has a point. The IIT- JEE admission system has let down a lot of students and it went unchecked till today . Its no longer a sacrosanct system. You are agreeing to the results being displayed on a notice board, but I am sure there are other profs who will be against it. As far as you are concerned -- its all clean, but is this applicable to each and every admit ? I dont know and I suppose even you do not have data to be 100% certain. Only transparency will tell.

Just for a moment, assume you are one of the profs who has managed to find a loop hole and get a non deserving candidate admitted. Would you still agree to anything you have written above?

Giri@iisc said...

All I am saying that you can not file a RTI against me. You can file a RTI only for the institute.

Further, I am only trying to help the student to know the result and it is not my job. If you want the system to be overhauled, take it up elsewhere and not with people who are trying to help.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Madras,

As a colleague of yours in IISc, I must say that I admire your dedication to help the prospective students, in a completely voluntary capacity with nothing expected in return.

As you can see, what you will get for this selfless service, are threats of RTI. I have received a similar "reward" for helping these students out and all I can say is that I don't do it any more. I have realized that if these people have this kind of attitude, they don't deserve any of my personal time any more.

About the person making the comment on non-deserving candidates getting into the system, I would say that 95% of the students I have met in IISc are non-deserving. They have cracked the entrance tests like GATE, but they have no capacity for independent thinking or research. My research productivity is more, when I am not advising any of these students. So, RTI or not, there is nothing in it for me or India, since I don't know how many bridges will collapse and how many rockets will fail to launch once these muddle-heads are on the streets with their degrees.

Let them file their RTIs, after this kind of approach, I have decided that this season, if anyone approaches me for advice, I will send them straight to the academic section. After all, it is not my job to advice external students. Now that they might file an RTI, why should I do anything out of the way?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. The people who come to you for help can not "threaten". Your voluntary service should be commended and I am more shocked that a person like shyam justifies a RTI against you !

Anonymous said...

Prof. Giri and Prof Anon @11 38..

Its indeed shameful that some people are even contemplating such a stupid move to file an RTI for all the help done voluntarily.

An impression that 95% are just muddle heads is quite unfortunate. I just hope that the sample space of this 95% is quite small.

There might be many silent admirers (like me) of the work that you do Sir but I fear few vocal critics dampen the whole spirit behind doing this service.


G Sivalingam said...

To anon @ May 18, 2011 11:38 AM,

It is painful to see the unruly behavior of some of students to threaten to use RTI against selfless and voluntary service.

However, I am deeply surprised with the language used in the comment by a faculty of IISc. The comment is full of negative and abrasive intent from a faculty who is normally worshiped as God in our custom.

I hope this gentleman is not Noble laureate, by now, to claim 95% of the students as muddy. He claimed that his productivity comes down by interacting with students and it clearly indicates he cannot be a good faculty and the interaction indeed should multiply the productivity (Learn from Prof Madras's Group).

Students will be better off not interacting with this gentleman and this at least will not spoil them with the negative energy and unnecessary arrogant ego.

One kind request to you, interestingly you have hidden your identity, you can behave whatever way you would like to (even if it is against basic definition of Guru) and please don't spoil good people like Prof Madras by requesting him not to help any one in public.

Anonymous said...

It is tragic that some of these students 'threaten' the faculty who offer voluntary help. I hope that does not deter people like Prof Giri and others to stop helping prospectives. It will really affect a lot of people.

Abhi said...

Sir, When would they dispatch the M.Sc Engg call letters?

Anonymous said...

I have been following this blog for a long time. Prof. Giridhar's work is commendable but there will always be some irritants. For example, few frustrated souls vented their anger on Prof. Sriram during IIT/IISc faculty pay scale discussion. They are gone now. Therefore, my humble request to you to keep helping many people who don't know where to go for information... And just avoid people with negativity around them.

Giri@iisc said...

The letters for interviews to M.Sc (Engg) have also been dispatched

Abhi said...

do you mean a postal dispatch sir?

I've been waiting for the call.
How else could I know if I got it?

Ujjwal said...

Hello Sir...Nice to read your blog, and I really can feel sorry for arrogant comment made by someone. We shouldn't leave our good morality for other's bad behavior, he may be bad but why should you? You carry on helping student. I found your blog just before 2 days and I love your topics and articles.

Anonymous said...

Dear sir,
I got the interview call letter, I have BE(mech) degree and want to pursue msc(engg) in material science kindly help me in the following matter: 1. whether i should select area of research and research guide before the interview or after the selection? how is the procedure? because in some university research proposal and approval of guide is to be done before applying for it. 2. how to prepare for the interview? 3. who will decide whether one has to go for msc(engg) or phd, applicant or interviewing committee?
Thanking you.

Anonymous said...

@G Sivalingam: You have misunderstood a very important point given by the IISC faculty.Every student should have a minimum capability of doing research independently and at least they should have some interest and original ideas. Simply qualifying a exam like GATE will not do. These exams only tests the memorizing capabilities of students and mastering some "conceptual tricks", and at the end all entrance exams in India is actually mastering tips and tricks.What is really necessary is to adopt a innovative way of quantifying the merit of a student and identifying those students who really have the talent to do independent research. Believe me, there are plenty of Ramanujans in India, who can't make out to any one of the IITs and IISC due to these imperfect Entrance Examinations. We should all learn this from Venkatraman Ramakrishnan.

G Sivalingam said...

To Anon @ May 21, 2011 3:18 AM,
You did not get my opinion correct. I am not commenting about the entrance exams like GATE and some even say JEE is not competitive exam. The blame game can go on and we need to learn to live in a imperfect system (perfect system never exists in the universe). A faculty from IISc is expected to show positive energy and groom students to do so called independent research (undergrad schools normally don't do this in India). I personally share my case: I have done BTech from a non-IIT where concept of research was never cultivated and only in M Tech @ IIT/K, Prof MS & DP Rao guided me to know what it takes to do an independent research and subsequently prof Madras @ IISc for my PhD. Had I joined a faculty like the one we discuss, I don't know what would have happened..
I will end my comment on this subject here.. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I feel there are lot of students like me who got befitted from your involuntary service and so if one student had "threatened" you, he should well have been ignored.

Regarding GATE exam, as a student to have appeared twice in my 3rd year and 4th year and to have got good scores, i feel its just not the exams that have to be blamed. Gate CH paper had some wonderful questions that would really test ones basics. If somebody has sincerely appreciated the concepts and prepared, i am sure that he would do good in IISC.

A student being able to think independently depends on two main factors

1. his natural ability. (like most of the professors wont be able to run like Usain Bolt even if they are intensively trained)

2. Training given to him.
if the student has not had proper schooling, it would affect his overall personality
Coaching institutes basically prepares a student for an examination and not really make a student get exited about science

I support G Sivalingam sir's comments.

Anonymous said...

Sivalingam says:

Had I joined a faculty like the one we discuss, I don't know what would have happened..

I think both of you would have been happy. You, for leaving a research group that demanded more from you, and the faculty member for what he would perceive to be "good riddance".

No one can be taught how to be a good researcher. To a certain extent, it is a natural trait. GATE and similar exams do not evaluate this trait, the still look at rote learning, which is why the professor thinks 95% of the students don't have the right skills.

How we would choose good researchers still remains a puzzle to me...

Giri@iisc said...

Anon above:

I would not have commented on this thread but for your comment to Sivalingam.
"You, for leaving a research group that demanded more from you,"

Sivalingam published 26 papers with more than 600 citations and finished his Ph.D with me in 22 months. He also won the award for the best thesis in IISc. How can you say that our research group does not demand more from the student?

It is easy to bash competetive exams without telling an alternative. In case of IISc, admission to Ph.D in engineering is solely by interview and not through GATE or other competitive exams. So, if you consistently select 95% bad students, maybe the problem lies with the interview panel consisting of faculty.

If 95% of students in IISc are undeserving, then a student can also say that 95% of faculty in IISc are undeserving because the majority of Ph.D students go on to become faculty in IISc/IIX.

For a few faculty like the one who commented, his/her research productivity may be more if he/she does not guide students. For the majority of faculty including me, the productivity would be nearly zero without students.

It should also be argued that the main aim of an educational institute is training students, not doing research independently. For the latter, one can join the national labs or organizations that do not graduate students.

This is certainly not where this thread of discussion should be going. Let us close this discussion.



Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
am a chemical engineer, 2011 passed out. I am passionate about research career. I have been through the iisc entrance test and been called for interview in mathematics dept. I would like to know if it is worth doing integrated phd in maths, being from chemical background. I am interested in modeling and so i have applied to mathematics dept. I applied even to nano science and engg dept for which i got the interview call for research programme. Should i be equipped with nano concepts even though i dont have a background in it.
Please suggest me in this regard. Thanks in advance..

tarun said...

Hello Sir
I got the call to attend the interview for MSc(Research)in Material Engineering Dept. I have BE(mech) degree.Kindly help me in the following matter:
1. on which subject and how to prepare for the interview?
2. who will decide whether one has to go for msc(engg) or phd, applicant or interviewing committee?
3. what will be the probable interview pattern?
Thanking you

Mahidhar said...


me too same question but the only difference is i have applied to EC, Instrumentation and Nano programs and am from Electronics background.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
When will the results for M.Sc admission be declared? Thanks in advance.