Campus buzz Society

It’s not all rocket science

(From left) Third year students of IIST Gautham Sivaraman, Mariya Ratlami, Aswin Jacob Thomas, Siddharth Subramayan, Vishnu T.S. and Jiljo K. Moncy Photo: Nita Sathyendran   | Photo Credit: Nita Sathyendran



Hangouts

Be it undergraduate students or post-graduate students most of the 800-odd students on campus (almost all of them are boarders) seem to love hanging out by the main cafeteria. “We enjoy it because it’s got lots of seating in the shade and a good juice bar. You can find people there all throughout the day and it’s a good place to socialise with people from different batches,” say first year students Moon Bakaya Hazarika, Bhavana D. and Ansuman Palo. Third year student Mariya Ratlami and her friends and batch-mates, also enjoy catching up with each other on the sloping lawns near the hostels. “There’s plenty of green cover there, including dwarf coconut trees, so even if it’s the middle of the day, it’s nice and cool there,” explains Mariya. The institution’s top-notch, air-conditioned library with its five-floors of literature is another favourite hangout, especially when the heat gets to be too much. The common rooms in all the 11 hostels on campus, where students can also play a variety of indoor games such as table tennis and caroms also find many takers, especially the M.Tech students. “Actually, we have free run of the campus until curfew time – 10.30 p.m. Since the entire campus is so verdant and secure, pretty much everywhere is a hangout!” explain Ankita Hudedaggadi and Swetha Sakunthala, both second year students, who are hanging out with third years Netra Pillai and Akriti Kulshrestha.

What’s trending?

“Consentia!” It’s the college’s annual astronomy and technology festival, the eighth edition of which just got over a couple of weeks ago. “What sets it apart is ‘Aparimit,’ its one-of-a-kind astronomy-related events such as night sky watching and quiz on astronomy,” explain Kiran Mohan and Tinkesh Vekaria, M.Tech students.

Some of the undergraduate students have now turned their attention on the Model United Nations that the college’s hosting this weekend. “It’s the sixth edition of the contest and some 84 students from colleges across India are participating in the event, where they will simulate negotiations of specific committees and organs of the United Nations. For instance, the ‘General Assembly’ will be debating on ways to stop cyber espionage and the ‘UN Human Rights Commission’ will discuss topics like protection of child rights in war-torn areas,” says ‘Under Secretary General’ Ankita.

All the students are also looking forward to the college’s first ever food festival, next week. “It’s a cook off for which we have divided students into several teams with a dozen or so members each,” says third year students Gautham Sivaraman and Siddharth Subbaramanyan. “The rumour is that the winning dish will be featured on the canteen menu for the year!” they add, with glee.

In conversations

“We talk about geeky stuff...” says Vishnu T.S., eliciting laughs from several other third years. Well, obviously! “Right now, for instance, we’re talking about open source software and short cuts to use it. Thankfully, we have free wi-fi on campus so we can experiment with it to our heart’s content,” adds his friend Aswin Jacob Thomas. The campus is abuzz with the news that IIST is officially one of the top 10 universities in the country. In only its eighth year of existence, it’s been placed eighth in National Institutions Ranking Framework (NIRF), unveiled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development a few of days ago, as thrilled students keep reminding us again and again. “IIST, for long known only as ISRO’s college, has got what it has always deserved. The quality of education and the facilities on campus here is superb and we are glad it’s finally been recognised,” says M. Tech students Madan Kumar Rapuru and Rajeswari Balasubramaniam. Moon, Bhavana and Ansuman believe that the ranking has opened the door to opportunities.

Now, that’s entertainment

For a campus that’s quite far away from the city, there seems to be no dearth of entertainment thanks to its many students clubs. The astronomy club (they insist it comes under entertainment) is a hot favourite as is the aero club and the cinema club. Many are still discussing perplexing sci-fi films Interstellar and The Martian. “The best part of it was that there are people here who are experts on the science behind the plots and it was easy to clear doubts!” says Kiran. However, the entertainment evening that they all never miss is Konchord. “It’s four-five hours of letting loose. Students can get up on stage and do anything, the wackier the better. It’s tradition that the first years have to dance to a comedy routine set by their seniors and you can imagine how fun that is!” says Mariya and Co.

Pet peeves

The students are too much in love with their campus and life on campus to talk anything negative about anything, really. Prod them a bit and reluctantly they’ll tell you that the city is a tad “stagnant” and “conservative.” “But then, that’s its charm. We love the fact that when we do go to the city (weekends and Wednesday afternoons are free) we don’t get stuck in traffic like in the metros,” says Swetha. Meanwhile, the only thing Mariya and her friends don’t like about life in the city is “too much politics and strikes. Then again, it is the capital city.”

(A monthly column on views from the campus)


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 11:51:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/students-of-indian-institute-of-space-science-and-technology-talk-about-their-campus-life/article8446527.ece

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