The House of Bricks

By Harsh Parikh

It took me immense courage and energy to walk into this building and accepting it as my home for next four years. But since that moment, it has always been my place to rest, my place to live, my place to eat and my place to cheer. It brings tears to my eyes when I foresee the day when I will have to leave this beautiful House of Bricks.
Yes! I am talking about the Hostel at IIT Delhi.

Ever witness the India’s world-cup final match. Ever experienced that feeling when you cheered for it. Ever felt the spring of nationhood at that moment. So is the hostel-hood at IIT. Love, Affection, Attachment and Emotions make a hostel. A spirit of “Do anything for the Best” defines the hostel life in IIT Delhi.

Let me introduce with the walls of the house.
The dreams of being ragged and the dreams of me eating inedible mess food always haunted me post my selection to IIT Delhi. I started losing my sleep because of this issue. But finally, it was inevitable, and I had to walk across the wall which I feared and eat the food that I was presuming to be inedible. But that was the moment of truth, and it was then I really felt the peace amidst those walls.
The hostels of IITD are not merely buildings of non-living bricks but are rather thriving families of bonding, love and care.

IITD hostel life is more like a humongous family, Where you share your table with your mates for lunch and dinner, Where you share the moments of joy, sadness, anxiety, love, care and affection, Where you dream about fortunes with your kin and kith.

~The First Sight~
Like your nationhood is prealloted when you are born, so are the hostels prealloted when you hop into IITD. Like you don’t have choice on who will be your brothers and sisters, you too don’t have choice on who will be your room-mates in first year.

When you first come to IITD, technically, you are alloted either a twin sitter or triple sitter room, but believe me you never ever practically live in a twin or triple sitter room. You live in an ‘n’ sitter room where ‘n’ is a large number. At the end of the day, all of you just hop in a room and do all kind of random things, and you will just enjoy doing all random arbitrary moments that you share in that ‘n’ sitter room. Movies, Games, “Bakaiti”, etc.

~Mending You~
Hostels in IIT are equipped with basic amenities, for sports, cultural activities and chronicle life. Hostels do have a phenomenal mess which becomes mundane as the time passes but no worries it is still edible.

Coming to the most important part of the Hostel culture which is like the beginning knot which ties you to life of the hostel. It is referred by different names in different hostels, somewhere it is mess meeting, somewhere it is common room meeting while others call it freshers’ meeting. It might sound daunting on first hand but there is no need to be afraid of it, infact it is the point when you will meet the seniors esp. the ones who are representatives or secretary of some or the other clubs. They make you know each other and familiarize with the culture of the hostel. It is like how parents, relatives and elders make you and your being, so are the seniors to you, building you up, teaching you how to tackle the first wave of the IIT life. Some might be rude, like a grumpy aunt while others might be calm and polite like caring parents, but all they wish is your good. The very first moment, you learn the hostel moto and cheer in the loudest of your volumes. That moment marks the beginning of the bond that you will share for ages

~I want to live for the House~
Remember that moment of The Taj attack, Bombay. Most us felt that I want to live for the Nation. The zealous moment, the gust that gave you goosebumps.
You are going to feel exactly same feeling, during each competition, during each event and during it moment of your IIT life. Well, unlike the Taj incident when you felt anger on Pakistan Government, the feeling would be quite positive and healthy. The best part of Hostel life that I feel is the unity that you feel and the motivation of doing better than the best. It helps you to push the limits far beyond your parochial imagination. But at the same time you have phenomenally good friends across the hostels, across the departments which makes the life in IIT even stronger.

~The Exam Moment~
If there is no one left in the world who can save you from the wrath of the the examination, you surely have hostel-mates to empathize with you. Every hostel, no exception has the exam chronicles: where one of your mates teaches you all you have skipped in the class because of last night lack of sleep, where you have Night-out because it is exam but you study absolutely nothing, where you have the best food of your life at night mess and where you learn the philosophy of life. Had you been studying in your home, IITD majors and minors would be another series of school exams but believe me IITD hostel makes all the difference, when you feel the moment of disaster is so near that you can do nothing but fight! You never studied this way nor will you ever study this way ever in life except in IIT.

~The ‘Host’el~
Hostel is your home, your house, your throne, your castle and your blanket shielding you from all the seasons of  IIT life and providing you the sword to fight and win the life!

You are more than just a student of IITD. You are resident of a hostel, a dept mate, a room mate, performance partner, lab partner, a think tank, the future of the Nation.
Hostel life is the most wonderful part of the IIT life which you will miss throughout your life !!!

Like in a Nation you have no choice but follow rules, no choice but bear the evilness of the system and of the condition, no choice but keep fighting.
But the only choice that you get is:
A) You enjoy every bit of IIT life
B) Sit and complain about pathetic life

And I am pretty certain that through your time in IIT Delhi, you will all choose option A.

Wish you a great IIT Life! Meet you all soon!

An attachee gets himself a room

– Arpit Singh

Perhaps the thing I was most excited about before coming to IIT was the hostel life. So its natural that I was upset on knowing that I was attached to Shivalik hostel. The Dean’s letter had stated that Delhites living beyond 15km would be considered for hostel rooms after the orientation. For once I thought I would miss out. My house was about 12-13 km away. It was unfair. I talked to people on the freshers group and I was reassured that if my problem was genuine, I should get a room.

So I talked to the caretaker. He said yes one person can be accommodated, but not without the Dean’s permission. So I wrote an application to the Dean. Sure my house was 13 km away, but commuting daily takes time.

For me the problem was that there was direct metro or bus route. And you could never rely on the bus timings, especially in the evenings. Plus, I found the dhakka mukki as a passenger very tiring. And if ever there was a late night event here, either it was miss the event or reach home around 12 or later.

I included these reasons in my letter. It included a few trips to the Dean’s office, sometimes he was busy sometimes he wasn’t there but I finally got the associate dean’s sign. Oh yeah, I almost forgot there is a small form you need to submit too available just outside his office.
Now in my case, the problems were genuine. Of course, there were others with even greater issues and still others who could just easily manage without a room.

I got the room three weeks after the classes started. If you really have issues in not having a room, you eventually should get a room. It may take time depending on circumstances. Just be perseverant. And if you really live close by, well, there is a genuine space crunch and it’s only fair that those who can’t manage without a room get it first.

IITD College Fests

– Arneish Prateek

– Co-authored by Soham Roy

The highlight of every year is our very own cult fest – Rendezvous! We are pretty sure you would have heard of the awe associated with Rdv and its sheer scale if you are from the north. After all it is north India’s biggest cultural fest! Rdv nights are the craziest nights to say the least – moments during those four days are some of the most cherished memories. Many spectacular things happen: so many breath-taking performances from students of colleges all over India, so many random activities to participate in, the awesome musical nights! Practically, all of IIT is up all-night socialising with visitors from other colleges – the WindT is packed with junta sitting around in circles playing random games with friends, folks roaming around the campus aimlessly – enjoying and taking in every moment lest it should not last long, the good-food-starved IITians devouring at everything they can get their hands on, selfie-obsessed junta tapping away happily with new friends they made on campus…we can go on and on. One very interesting feature observed during Rdv is that the sex-ratio at IIT gets inverted. We often joked that the number of girls on campus during Rdv made it seem like it was a fest at a girl’s college. The most awaited event at Rdv is the concert on the closing night, by some of the most well-known faces in the music industry. In Rdv’14, it was Arijit Singh and KK among other artists who thrilled us with their performance! Many of the guest lectures we mentioned before take place during these days. Trust the BRCA secys to make Rdv the fun-filled and memorable event it is.

Apart from Rendezvous, IITD students organise other literary, technical and sports fests like Literati, Tryst, Speranza, and Sportech during the year. Every fest has something new and different to offer. The common feature is that they all witness some tough contests – from RoboWars during Tryst to Book-contests during Literati to inter-college games during Sportech.

The literary and youth fests, Literati and Speranza respectively are held simultaneously in campus. There are events like word games, literature quizzes and photography workshops during Literati. Celebrated authors deliver lectures and interact with students. Speranza (‘Hope’ in Italian) is a fest by the youth, for the youth and of the youth. It comprises events like film festival, talk-shows, interactive sessions on youth issues and cultural activities like plays. This fest fills up every student with a lot of spirit, passion and zeal – three words embossed in the motto of Speranza. .

Sportech and Tryst, the sports and technical fests respectively are organised simultaneously. Sportech comprises numerous events like Athletics, Cricket, Football, Tennis, Mini Marathon as well as informal ones like Futsal, Tennis ball Cricket. Tryst encompasses a vast range of activities – from youth parliament to aeromodelling, from LAN gaming to monopoly, from RoboWars to technical quizzes – it is a delight to watch enthusiastic participants fight it out. Tryst is also famous for its lecture series which sees some well-known personalities from the world-over. This year, the organisers invited the IgNobel prize winner, and the architect of Burj Khalifa among others.The IITD Parliametary Debate is also organised during Tryst; it witnesses some fierce debating among talented folks from all prominent Delhi colleges!.

Campus and city-life

– Arneish Prateek

– Co-authored by Soham Roy


One of our friends during our JEE days, once so accurately (and so eloquently) described studying in Delhi, and especially at IITD as an engineering aspirant’s wet dream. (That he himself is presently in IIT-Madras is a separate issue). There’s good reason why everyone loves Delhi. For the national capital is a city like no other. Its charm captivates one and all. Its sheer awesomeness and the plethora of opportunities it offers for one’s growth is unique and unmatched. Therefore, it often is a powerful motivation for so many students whilst choosing a campus. From our own first-year experiences at IITD, we can assure you that you will be offered the best exposure here, which would have significantly added to your value by the time you graduate, over and above what you gain from classrooms.

Guest lectures by eminent personalities are a regular feature here: from Nobel prize winners to successful entrepreneurs, from well-known politicos to passionate DRDO & Navy engineers, from the awe-inspiring IITD alumni to leading astrophysicists and scientists from the world over, from Bollywood actors to social entrepreneurs cum activists, from the most creative innovators to stars in the sporting world, from technocrats to world-renowned authors, from top bureaucrats and foreign secretaries of states to presidents of multinationals (who are more often than not ex-IITians themselves) – you will get opportunities to listen to what these incredibly successful people have to say. You will learn so much from them, gain much more inspiration; you will hear of newer ideas and modern technical advancements, gain insights into scientific discoveries and social issues you weren’t aware of before, and as a result of all this, you will grow. You will stand more informed of the infinite possibilities out there. You will realise that IITD is so much more than just about engineering!

The exposure we are talking of is not just limited to the seminars at IITD. You see, Delhi is home to some of the country’s most prestigious universities, colleges and research centres. That’s an added advantage, for you will get opportunities to participate in inter-college events and other college fests and gain new experience. College fests in Delhi are also quite a lot of fun! Moreover, Delhi & NCR, being a business hub, is the birthplace of so many startups (many by IITD grads), which means no dearth of internship opportunities for interested students in NCR with these or even in other research institutes.

The IITD campus is located in the heart of Delhi. It enjoys close proximity to some of the most exciting and happening places in the city, especially the Hauz Khas village, the most popular hangout spot among the IIT junta. Though the smallest campus amongst all the older IITs, you get an idea of how vast IITD is when you realise it takes close to fifteen minutes to reach insti from the boys’ hostel gate on foot. And also from the fact that girls’ hostel is situated no less than two kilometres from the boys’! (No…! We know exactly what you’re thinking. But really, when did that EVER come in the way of, err… “mingling”…with the other-end junta, we ask!). Within the campus, the most popular rendezvous point is the WindT, a passage right under the main building. It’s the adda for IIT junta and the favourite place for midnight birthday celebrations (and of course, the dreaded GPLs! And the real (-ly painful) birthday surprise is when you see random junta take out their chappals! Just kidding.) You will find a few eating outlets in the insti area. Truth be heard, they aren’t that great except perhaps CCD – another popular students’ adda. However, the SDA Market right outside the campus offers some pretty good choices for foodies!
It goes without saying that IITD provides for its students the best of sports facilities – from exclusive grounds and courts for all outdoor activities ever conceived, to an Olympic-size pool and a gym in the Students’ Activity Centre (SAC) with professional coaches to train students. Not only sports, IITD has numerous Recreational, Academic, Technical, Business and Social-service Clubs headed by passionate secretaries and comprising equally motivated students – like the infamous Robotics Club, Coding Club, axlr8r – IITD’s very own (and highly popular) FormulaOne Racing team, IGeM (International Genetically-engineered Machine), the extremely talented Dance and Music societies, the formidable Debating Society, the Entrepreneurship Development Cell (eDC) and ENACTUS-IITD to name just a few. Before long, many students discover a passion for one or more of these activities and find themselves devoting all their free time to this cause! We aren’t exaggerating (much) when we say that these clubs are going to play the most significant role in shaping you!
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Department Change (DepC) fundae

– Arneish Prateek

– Co-authored by Soham Roy


So we reach the most common questions fachche ask: is it easy to get your department changed at IITD? Is change from DD to BTech allowed? How many students are allowed from each department? How does this work? What’s the CG criterion? Can it be relied upon? This must be bothering some of you if you didn’t meet the cutoffs for branches of your choice at your rank. IITD gives you one more chance to prove your merit and earn your desired stream.

At the end of freshman year, students with a Cumulative Grade Point above 8.0 (7.0 for those from reserved categories) are given the chance for a change of programme, allowing upto 15 percent category-wise (that is general, OBC etc) increase (or decrease) in the strength of each department. For example, if you are in Department X which has 40 students of your category, say general, then the strength of general students in X cannot fall below 34 and cannot exceed 46 after the conclusion of the DepC process. If you consider BTech in Chemical Engineering(ChemE) for a case-study, it has a sanctioned strength of 75 (37 general plus 38 reserved). 15% comes out to be 11 seats, that is 6 for general and 5 category-wise reserved. Also, say 3 general-cat students are changing from ChemE, so in effect, there are 9 seats up for grabs for general students from other departments allotted, quoting the Dean, “strictly in the order of merit”. Additionally, many departments also require students to score a minimum B grade in a basic science/engineering course related to that department. So for instance, to be able to change to ChemE, a student must meet this requirement in the MTL course ‘Linear Algebra and Differential Equations’ (We told you ChemE was not chemistry).

Also, in case of two applicants having the same CG (not that common), preference is decided on the basis of your JEE rank. Many students have a misconception that securing top rank in their department would automatically entitle them to DepC – understand that your department at the time of application has little relevance to deciding the order of merit, it’s only the CG that counts; only relevance is that your initial department’s strength should not fall below 85% post DepC. So, in Biotechnology(Dual Degree) (BB5) for example, only 1 student will be allowed the chance to change department because if they allow 2 exits, the strength falls below 85%. However, they will allow 2 exits, if say, a textile student wishes to change to BB5 so that strength constraint is maintained.

Also, if you wish to change to a department that was available to you at your JEE rank, they won’t insist on the B-grade and the minimum 8.0-CG criteria. However, allotment to the desired department will still be done in the order of merit, decided by your CG. So if you want to change to Electrical from CS, you must meet the “good-enough CG” requirement. An EP guy with a higher CG would be preferred over you, a CS guy, for this same seat.
So, well – we tried to explain all the IITD-DepC rules. Now the next question is: can you rely upon it? A disclaimer: the following is very subjective. We both concur on this – you cannot rely on DepC to land you your dream branch – not at IITD, at least. Many of you might feel too motivated to fight for it now, but it’s possible you’ll lose this motivation a few weeks into college. Also understand that people you would be competing against are as formidable as you. This is not your school; at IITD, even scoring average requires effort. And then the hustle-bustle and fun of college-life catches up with you, you explore so many new avenues in ECA and there are just so many good things to do that studies often get sidetracked. Of course, everything is possible with good time management – you can excel in so many activities, manage projects, have fun with friends – at the same time perform spectacularly in exams – we personally know of many such people here. It requires will to open up books after classes of your own accord, trust us. So, it is up to you. Moreover, grading in some courses is so unexpected, you can never know. Like a couple of courses last year made us wonder if they assigned a random number generator to grade us. In some other courses, you will miss out on a higher grade by half a mark, and sometimes you will end up being the last student to secure a dassi or a nehli (Soham here has again begun grinning shamelessly).
The logical and safe choice is always to go ahead with a department which offers courses you can like, rather than take this risk. We won’t tell you if you should go ahead with it or not – only thing is that we feel it’s not reliable.
PS: Just so you know, IITD Academic Policy provides for a Minor degree and a specialisation. So an EP student interested in CS can always go ahead and opt for a Minor degree in CS and/or specialise in a particular subject in their own department, by opting for extra courses pertaining to that field.
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