A Journey Through the Life of An IITian

This write up is the experience which every engineering student must be a part of atleast once in their lifetime.My journey to IIT and the background didn’t start in a day or two it took me three months to get my steps at this great institution.Everything started in the month of February when IITs started rolling out applications calling out for summer interns.It was hit and trial sort of process I started applying with my resume to all the IITs , got help from my teachers in the department making a Statement of Purpose(SOP) which played a crucial role in my selection for the internship.

Then started the days of filling forms for bonafide getting permissions checking out the notifications daily meeting the deadlines in uploading the documents.Soon the days  passed by it was end semester time it had been three months since the application was submitted,I probably get a mail from the coordinator of the summer internship department of EEE,IIT Guwahati asking to confirm my willingness for the summer internship program.Now was the beginning of my problems so thinking about IIT Guwahati located in the north-east part of the country ,one of the instituions of national importance,was giving me an offer and on the other side were the distance it was roughly 48-50 hrs from Bangalore and the availability of tickets is always a problem, then the next thing which came to my mind was the about the extremist tensions by the ULFA which used to be in the news.I had a very short span of 5 days to take my decision and all these happenings were during the study holidays,you find yourself in a very busy schedule.

Atlast I decide to give my positive consent and my name was published on the list and was assigned to Dr.M.K.Bhuyan Associate Professor Dept of EEE IITG.Usually IIT professors are so busy that its hard to get an email reply from a professor.So I decided to do a research about my professors profile,initially I couldn’t find anything much on IITG website, then I googled him and there it was revealing that he was one of the elite professor at IIT to be awarded National Innovation Award from the Honourable President of India for his funded project by Govt. of India Dept. of ICT and Department for disabled. This boosted up my eagerness to reach out and work at IITG.

Soon the days passed by with heat of the exams,Now I had five days at home before boarding my flight to Guwahati. But this week had more surprises waiting,I had to undergo a dental surgery and my doctor put a question straight forward can this trip to IITG be postponed to next year or could it be dropped out?This was unexpected and my answer was this was an opportunity which I could get like only in third year of Engineering and requested to get the surgery to be done in 4 days and to my luck it so happened that doc agreed to do the procedure in four days and fifth day I was at the Bengaluru domestic Airport waiting for my flight.

A new dawn ready looking forward for a whole new and different experience ahead I board the Indigo 6E flight and take off exactly at 7a.m. we covered the distance in a time of 2 hrs 50 mins around 10:30 the Hungarian captain announced the descend and while the aircraft was lining up with the runway I could get a glimpse of the city with a mighty river flowing through its heart ,I got the guess that it would be the sorrow of Bengal the mighty Brahmaputra,within 10 minutes we touched down the aircraft doors opened up and the  view was something different from what I saw at Bengaluru airport.Bengaluru had well furnished lounges with wifi connectivity.Here I gotdown through the ladders attached and I the first thing I saw was that a Royal Bhutan Air taxing to the runway,I noticed that  the airport was so small and underdeveloped.

Some of the local family friends who lived in Guwahati had terrified me with news only to catch prepaid taxies and had warned me against the robbery and the fraud ,so I decided to take a prepaid taxi to IIT G.I got out and a driver escorted me to vehicle parking at a distance there was a bright sunshine the vehicle were not that clean nor maintained I got in and started my way from airport to campus.I had great realization that the traffic rule in Guwahati are for name sake and neither the traffic police nor the drivers gave attention to it.The were a lack of signals on the road all I could find were traffic police men in white dress trying to control the traffic with hand signals.My cab driver was just speeding up above 60 on the city roads without seat belt.This time I decided to take a look at the view outside the window I could find lush greenery with single storeyed buildings the roads were broad eventhough the sides of the roads were underdeveloped the roads were so well maintained.The geographic location of IIT itself is so serene located away from the commotion of the city on the banks of Branhmaputra,to reach the campus we had to cross a bridge while crossing the bridge you get to know the stretch of the river it is so mighty and flows at intense speeds,within another 20 minutes I was at the main gate of IIT guwhati.The first view I saw three pillars in between the gates were the name IITG was inscribed in three languages-Hindi,Assamese,English.The security stopped us at the security point and after verifing the documents allowed the cab inside,the cab entered through the Suryamukhi path now I was entering one of the most beautiful IIT campuses the campus is spread over acres of land it took my cab another 5 minutes to reach Dihing hostel.When I got down at Dihing hostel there was no warden there were security personel who guided me through towards the allotted room.This way I made my way to room 152 single seater room this was gona be my place, the room had a table ,chair,cot and an almara.

I was too hungry since I boarded flight in morning it had been afternoon so I decided to make my way into the Brahmaputra hostel mess ,the mess food was too good with affordable rates it looked more as a restaurant,this was the first day at IITG  it was tiring just got hold of the bed.The second was my first day at campus I had lots of job to do.I got my first schok at morning 4 o clock.I woke by the sunlight penetrating through the windoe as if it was 8 o clock,then I realised that I ws practically experiencing the theory that Sun rises first in the East.All set got ready had breakfast thought to take a walk I didn’t know the distance from hostel to Academic I could see all the people roaming around in cycles there were lot of cycle there were majority of cycles than motorised vehicles on road.I had to walk around 30 minutes to reach the department met my professor and he handed over me a printed instruction manual and gave me an internet userid and password.Thats it I was assigned a lab which is open from 9:00 a.m to 5:30 pm.

This was a challenge I was supposed to learn a new subject called Image processing on my own  and and implement different algorithms on MATLAB.The contact with the professor for queries was only through prior email appointments.Here I was at my own foot with all the best infrastructure around ,there was a library building with attached net centre which opened up at 8:00 in the morning till 12:00 midnight,I had never seen such a massive dedicated building the library had 3 floors with a basdement fully centrally airconditioned.The steps lead to the library and as you climb up you can see CCD on the right corner of the library.

The days passed by each day on an average I used to walk 6 k.m to 12 k.m.The first week I went through the basics of the course to my luck I had Coursera to save  me there were courses run by the NorthWestern University.As the weeks passed I started implementing programs on MATLB.The atmosphere at IIT is way too different than any other place you can see people moving out in shorts and tshirts inside the academic block and you are free to work till anytime even till the next morning in the labs.The thing which sets IITs apart from other colleges is the amount of freedom and open mind-set of the IITians.they have the best infrastructures and the self exploration is one of the key success of these instituions.The place is pretty safe you can encounter atleast one security guarg patrolling on cycles in every 5 mins.

I got a couple of friends at IITG Rijaz,Aswin,Ishaan,Taslish,Jayakrishnan,Jijo,Harish ,Rishi & many more who were framing the new circles of friendship.I had a pretty good support from these guys.Now it eas time to explore the beauty of Northeast so we 6 people rented a cab and set out our journey targeting Meghalaya,Shillong,Cherapunji.Meghalaya was a different state with the Khalsi range of hills and you could see the police men dressed up in Navy blue uniforms.The language spoken in this region is khalsi and you could see even these people tried to print their language in English eg. State bank of India was printed as State bank ka Ra.Meghalaya and Shillong are beautiful places with climates changing in seconds,this is the place where mountains,waterafalls and clouds meet together.We had a visit to the mighty Elephant falls ,Waha kaba falls,old Caves were a person could barely move in through the passage.We also had an adventureous trekking of about 11.5kms(14599 steps) to the double decker living bridge.indeed it was a changing experience through the souvenirs of the north-east. The way beack you could see army trucks moving out from the headquarters of Assam rifles with the tagline the first contact in Dhaka reminding of the historic win of Indian army retaliating against the formation of East Pakistan,we also found the head quarters of the Eastern Air Command.

Everthing comes to an end after the rigrous day and night 24X7 work for 4 weeks at the end of which I go back with a recommendation from my professor and lot of new experiences that I would imbibe from the life of an IITian.The experience gave me many new qualities greatest learning was that you don’t need a teacher to learn a subject when you have the best infrastructure.

Student Entrepreneurs

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There is a talk among the present generations that the most of the successful entrepreneurs are either successful dropouts or either had a tragedic academic background. Is this true ?Let us explore.

While we think of the word “Entrepreneurs “ the first thing that comes tour mind are people who think out of the box .An entrepreneur has certain qualities which makes him different from others such as thinking creatively to solve a problem, taking the initiative, being personally and socially responsible. The past year holds a remarkable milestone in the extension of the business incubation and entrepreneurship to the Indian student community .In western countries this concept has started 8-9 years ago .The past year we saw the rising up of many startups in our country.

The government is also providing support to these activities funding to develop incubation centre’s in the Indian universities as well providing the creative and innovative minds to ignite. Many private universities like Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham had developed Business Technology Incubation centre’s with around 7 patents and more than 25 projects for the up liftment of the rural community providing solutions.

Some of the successful student startups include paperless receipts from the winners of the Barcelona mobile app challenge which is owned by CEO and co Founder Prashant R a fifth semester ECE student from Bangalore. The paper less receipts received a lot of appreciation from the incubation contests and also bagged many medals but the major problems they faced was the issues getting investors which led to the fall of the company.

Student Entrepreneurs face a lot of problems in the present world. The present world has become so blind that when a child is born he/she is being labeled as doctors or engineers .They don’t care what the child’s deeper mind thinks ,what is his/her creative qualities, the innovative path he would like to lead inorder to bring about a social and technological change in the society may be using any of his aesthetic senses it may either through particular innovation of technology, or may be through musical fusion skills etc.A majority of the present generation of youth are travelling in the path of engineering tons and tons of engineering graduates pass out each day. Actually what do graduates gain after the rat race for CGPA craving books day and night forgetting them after the exam again mugging new books ,they don’t think how beautifully the can change the world with a slight variation in the way they think .This case is true with 99.0% of the engineering graduates which ever branch they belong a majority of them  get into it and destroy their creativity ending up non creative jobs in front of the computers in the IT sector where they survive up to early forty’s in which majority are thrown  out and rest who manage to stay tight regret for the decisions throughout their life.

The talents of Student Entrepreneurs are buried in the life race to get a decent income to uphold a good economic status in their early twenties and to lead a good family life from these non creative jobs which squeeze them for each penny given which would change the country’s vision of a generation of steel nerves to a generation of old men and women at early forties.

But there are extraordinary people like Steve jobs ,Mark Zukerberg ,Bill Gates who manage to think differently whose views are not just what syllabus prescribes but they do learn things not for the C.G.P.A due to their passion towards the subjected their dedication to make lives simpler with their knowledge and present knowledge for a better tomorrow.

These people undergo many ups and downs in their lives but they never leave their dreams. The undergo heavy pressure in their student life they live on a belief that once their dream would come true and once they would reach the place they dreamt .Thomas Elva Edison was a very influential Entrepreneur, before discovering or the invention of bulb he had 99 failures but he never gave up his experiments but he told that each time his experiments failed he learned about a new mistake which he wouldn’t repeat.

The present education system has greater role in suppressing Student Entrepreneurs. The extent of pressure they undergo is very huge.

Now let us move on what the present Entrepreneurs have to say about the problems they faced

“I was not a good academic student in my college .I was always behind the things that fascinated me the most. I was an ECE student I was actually very fascinated by the various programs in computer science engineering I always went on learning new computer languages. I loved coding and started developing apps and one of my apps got selected in the incubation contests and now here I am a successful Student Entrepreneur but in this journey I suffered a lot and still after affects are persisting .Actually I didn’t find any interests in my electronic subjects which awarded me an year back and you know the situation when your parents know about this  I really went through a very hard time still know when I see people of my college taking pride in my works I lost certain things in my life.”

Says Rahul a successful Student Entrepreneur.

We could get an interview of Ishank Joshi CEO of BidTech, App bags who gave the pleasure of sharing his journey Entrepreneurship which he started in his college days. He was a person like many who was forced to join engineering due to a huge pressure from his parents’ side. He actually discovered that more than a techy, his aspirations and talent was towards marketing. He nurtured these skills and started as an intern for National geographic channel.

“I was put into a group of people with a task of publicizing the Junior Science Talent Hunt where I got a lot of opportunities to learn, go to schools spread the message, do talks related to science. The event was a success and we got around 4 lakh participations around the country. At this point of time I was entering my journey of Entrepreneurship started my journey visiting Entrepreneurship summits where I got a chance to meet big shot entrepreneurs where I met the founder of a job consultancy startup. I had an interaction with him and I put a word with him that in two years I would create a campus job consultancy service which would transform into such a height that he would call him to merge with the successful startup. I didn’t know this single sentence could change my life forever. I stared my campus job consultancy and within 6 months I lost an amount of three lakhs  which I had earned through interns and also combining my college fees now I had literally come to the verge of devastation. But I didn’t stop from this failure I always thought that each time you fail you learn something new . I am a big fan of Steve Jobs his theories always guided me through my life. One of his most influential theories which I always speak wherever I go “STAY HUNGRY STAY FOOLISH”. This theory has a very deep meaning.”

Says Ishank joshi

Now Mr. Joshi is the founder of 3 successful startup companies  as well as he has trained over 15,000 Entrepreneurs in the past two years .People never know how a small spark of idea can change their lives.

India is a land of opportunities and more and more packages have been allotted by the government in order to bring out startups and encourage native ventures also adding to make in India initiatives. This present time is the apt time for young Entrepreneurs to come up who constitute the pillars of progress of the nation.