Archive for the ‘IISc’ Category

* innovative designs in newer hostel block in iisc

Posted on December 4th, 2011 by Alex. Filed under IISc.

The scarcity of hostel rooms in IISc seems to be over. Slowly the “newer hostel complex” whose name is not yet known, is becoming operational and the first students moved into it. That gave me a chance to wander around in the block and to find some interesting and innovative designs.

For instance the latch which is suppose to lock the cabinet doors.

Key lost? No problem, screwdriver will help and even without damaging the lock.

In case you loose your keys, any screwdriver will do without damaging the lock. The latch is mounted in a way that if it is latched, it does not cover the plate with the screws. That would usually not be a problem since I do not know anybody using that latch anyway. However students are asked not to look the doors, since the furniture such as cots and desks, are not built up yet. So all personal belongings are in the cabinet and the room door is left open. On the contrary the security asks students to lock the doors even in case of a mother nature calls due to thefts. 1000 rooms and 1000 times the latch wrongly mounted. Dear carpenter, is it so difficult to use the brain to think for a second?

Have a look at the two images below. Find the 10 mistakes. 🙂

These rooms are just opposite. However you might have noticed that the space above the cabinet in the second room is just a rock solid wall. The problem is here that the room is something like 30 to 40 cm to long. Means the wall with the room door does not fall in line with the girder supporting the structure. Instead the space between girder and door is used to built in a larger window towards the hallway. But due to the girder no additional light nor fresh air will find their way into the room.

Since the gap above the cabinet and the girder would be very small (around 15 to 20cm in height), the additional space that is in the first room has been conveniently walled sealing something like 1 cubic meter of air behind the wall. Was this the intention of the architect (then why differently designed rooms and not all the same?) or did the planner wrongly estimated the lengths? That brings me to another thought: For the structural integrity of the building, should not girders always fall in line with walls for support? Maybe someone who is familiar with the subject, can shed some light on it?

But in the end, no one will care as usual. At least a major issue that was bothering people for years, has been solved and students finally get rooms on campus.


* iisc tmc election boardings

Posted on June 2nd, 2011 by Alex. Filed under IISc.

Currently if an unaware person enters the campus of IISc, he/she might wondering, if he/she missed news about an election phase to be held in Karnataka. Almost everywhere, lamp posts, notice boards and streets are plastered with boardings trying to collect votes for the “clock”, “car” or “bicycle”. That the IISc is primarily a place of research and education and not a political stage does not count these days and the daily routine is disturbed by candidates and their followers barging into the offices and labs.

It is interesting to note, that if elections are going on for the Student Council, the prospective candidates are explicit forbidden to put up boards and posters or visit the labs and offices during daytime (prior to 6PM). Hangouts, if any, are only allowed at places of student’s interest such as the messes and hostels ONLY.
Many lamp posts and streets are plastered with posters trying to collect votes for the TMC elections.

These imbalances of rights and duties among the Student Council and other institutions (such as the TMC) combined with an omnipresent lethargy of the students results in a lost of interest in the Student Council itself. Barely someone is standing for elections and many times candidates are elected unanimously. It seems that the Student Council is considered to be a disturbance within the IISc community and its power has been reduced to begging to the IISc authorities to e.g. get rid of the street dog menace, since almost daily people are bitten by dogs these days. Even after years almost nothing happened and if, it was never a permanent solution. But this is another topic…


* shortage of water in b-mess?

Posted on May 11th, 2011 by Alex. Filed under IISc.

Another open tap in B-MessIt is interesting to see that in India many people do not even have access to clean and unpolluted drinking water. The wells in Bangalore used to be in the newspaper due to the delivery of contaminated water that people drank and as a result fell sick. Members of the Indian Institute of Science are truly privileged: They do not even drink water from one of the best sources available in Bangalore (Kaveri River), but also bath in it.

In general it seems that B-Mess boarders do not have nor heard about these problems at all. In fact no matter the season, B-Mess is so well supplied with the valuable wet liquid that taps are regularly left open by senseless students who are too lazy to close the tap after use. This photo has not been set up. It was like this, when I entered the wash room of B-Mess after taking pictures during the Notebook Drive. I never observed this kind of behavior in other messes. It seems that some people are so proud to study and solve problems in their highly scientific field that they forget that there is a world outside their four walls facing real life problems right now. The suffering of ordinary people outside is the price for our luxury. So we are privileged in what again?


* iisc me power nahi (no power in iisc)

Posted on March 22nd, 2011 by Alex. Filed under IISc.

Currently the Indian Institute of Science suffers from a power outage heavily. For the whole day there was no power for 2 hours followed by one hour, in which power was provided. Since mail facilities are down and the life of research came to a halt for many departments, nobody knows the exact cause for the power problems. It ranges from the start of summer till the damage of a cable during digging work. Since there are so many digging sites in Bangalore (it seems, digging came into vogue) I would assume that the latter one is correct. It is expected that the situation will be the same for the next few days. Till then I can finally study from the books or enjoy the unexpected holidays.

Mast majja, maaDi 😀


* onam in iisc

Posted on September 21st, 2010 by Alex. Filed under IISc.

Last Saturday the Malayali Community celebrated Onam in IISc. Earlier in the evening a band came and their only instruments were different kind of drums. They played for around 1.5h to 2h continuously without any break and the music was audible far beyond the boundaries of Gymkhana. After that the dinner started in old D-Mess (near P block). Of all south Indian dishes, you can get in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the food of Kerala is very special. Of course there are regional differences, but the food from Kerala sticks out very much. One reason is the use of coconut oil instead of ground nut and sun flower oil for frying. The second reason might be the use of different vegetables such as Tapioca (Kappa) which tastes somewhat similar to potato.

For Onam around different curries are served on a banana leaf (photos in this post). And each dish has a completely different taste: from sweet to salty to spicy everything is included. So depending on what curry is taken, the experience is totally different. I never celebrated Onam, since I was never in India during that event (e.g. last year I went to a conference). But next time I will definitely go to Kerala to celebrate Onam there and to see the boat races.


* overcrowded iisc

Posted on July 22nd, 2010 by Alex. Filed under IISc.

Last year more students got admitted to IISc than the capacity allowed. So the E-Block that was marked for demolition and partly F-Block got reactivated and some single rooms in those blocks got converted into double rooms. I even heard that the director said during the welcome ceremony that he was thankful that some students dropped out.

This year the situation is worse. The hostel administration booked even guest houses to accommodate the new students. However they still fall short of around 200 beds (150 boys, 50 girls). Again zero learn effect and always others are blamed. This time it is the government and its raised quota. However a quota is given in percentage. To explain the mathematical effect, I will give an example:

Let’s say, the current quota is 0% (i.e. non-existent) and 1000 students get admitted. Now a quota of 30% is introduced. So 700 students that do not belong to the quota and 300 students to whom the quota applies get admitted. But the number is the same. This would be too simple and would not raise the number of admissions in total which is the effect the institute is aiming for. However in a bucket that can hold 10 liters of water, no one would get even the idea to put 12 liters of water inside.

Now in the despair, the administration asks for volunteers who are willing to share their single room with a newly arriving student. If someone does so, his hostel rent of Rs.4000 is waived, but the guest pays double the original fee. So here no losses are made for the hostel office. In addition since an additional table, chair and/or cod is not provided, they expect the volunteer to share a single bed with an unknown person. Honestly, the cods are not king sized and not everybody is slim. Oh, choosing the candidate is also not an option, since the allotment is based on lottery. As an alternative, two seniors can share a room and the free room is then alloted to new students. If you do not believe it, what I am saying here, have a look at these notes from the notice board.

Honestly, who is willing to give up one of the last places where someone can have some privacy (the bathroom is the other place) for Rs.4000? So there are some questions that came up intro my mind:

  • How will the situation improve over one semester only? How many students are expected to pass out? More than 200? The early batches are not THAT strong. So next year the situation worsens even more.
  • Why do not the members of the faculty (allow the students to be admitted) nor the administration (allow the faculty to do so) take some of the new students into their big houses/apartments?
  • I expect that tents will come up (already suggested) or that the 2 big rooms above the A and B messes get converted into dormitories. One for boys and one for girls. Rudimentary sinks and toilets are already available.

Welcome to IISc! See, not even arrived and already in trouble. Let’s have some tasty marshmallows grilled over a cosy camp fire, located between tents, and let’s sing some old country songs.


* how to reach iisc?

Posted on May 9th, 2010 by Alex. Filed under IISc.

Arrival by train/bus

If you arrive at the Bangalore Central Train station (SBC) or by bus at the City Bus Stand (this area is also called Majestic), go to the local bus stand. Take a bus to Malleshwaram or Yeshwantpur. Ask the driver or conductor for TATA Institute. IISc is not commonly known. Hop off the bus near the main gate. The standard rate for the bus would be Rs.7/- per head. If you want to take a auto, the rate is usually around Rs.60/-.
If you arrive at Yeshwantpur train station (YPR) take an auto. Usually the drivers charge very high rates. A normal rate would be between Rs.15/- and Rs.20/-. It is less than 2km to IISc and also walkable. Please refer to the map below.

If you require transportation from one of the train station mentioned above to IISc, do not forget to send your train details (the date you are arriving, the train you are boarding and its arrival timing) to . It would be helpful, if you also mention your phone number (ensure some balance in case you come from a different state) and carry a list of important phone number along with you in case you get lost. Please note that senior students are there to help and pick you up, not to carry your luggage. I strongly recommend to travel lightly, since usual things like mattresses, buckets, etc. can be bought directly on campus. Every year I have seen at least some people carrying half a library with them and additionally a computer including a 17 inches CRT monitor. This also causes discomfort to others, since the space in the bus bringing you to IISc, is not infinite and everybody else has also luggage. So, whatever you cannot carry by yourself, leave it at home and pick it up later.


Some lodges, hostels and hotels ranging from around Rs.350/- (lodge, single room) and Rs.4500/- (luxury 3 star hotel), are located around IISc. Please have a look at the map below to find more information. All accommodations are within a walkable distance to and from IISc. Please be advised that IISc does not provide accommodation for your parents in case they accompany you. You have to take a room outside for them. There is a chance that the same applies also to you in case you decide to arrive earlier.

Some details about the residencies:

  • iReal Residency Lodge
    • 29/2, 4th Main Road, near Ramaiah College Bus Stop, Mathikere
    • Phone Number: 08041275500
    • Prices: Double room Rs.450, Single room Rs.350, extra person: Rs.100 (all prices excluding tax)
  • Krishinton Suites (3 star hotel with restaurant on the roof)
    • MS Ramaiah Main Road opposite of D-Gate [where all the new departments are constructed])
    • Phone Number: 08042595959
    • Prices: 3 different price categories ranging from Rs.3000 to Rs.4500 depending on the luxury and comfort (excluding tax).


Red markers point out important locations. Blue ones depict the locations of accommodations nearby. Please click on the markers to see additional information.


* pigeon problem in hostel

Posted on May 7th, 2010 by Alex. Filed under IISc.

There are a few pigeons flying around the hostel. Usually I would not bother, but it seems, they like to take a shit just above freshly laundered clothes hanging on the balcony to dry. So by the end of the day you can do the whole batch of laundry again. What to do against these flying rats? Scaring them off by making some banging sound has a good effect for the next 10 minutes. After they return happily resuming their activities.

Finally I found a solution: I got a new friend, helping me to keep pigeons away.
My new friend who keeps pigeons away.

outline of a sparrow hawk
Since my friend is busy hunting all day, there is no time to stay on my balcony throughout the whole time. Hence a more permanent solution was required. Another trick to keep any bird away from the balcony is putting the silhouette of a bird of prey on the balcony door. For birds it does not matter, if the outline of the bird of prey is in the sky or attached to a balcony door. They stay away from the live threatening danger. A nice source of outlines is available on the Mr. Welz’ web pages. Download the file, choose an outline and print it out. In my case, I enlarged the sparrow hawk to fit on a DIN A3 sheet, printed it and put it on my balcony door (from the outside obviously). Since then I am almost 100% pigeon free.


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