IIT Thesis cheating and Satyam …

Ok, this is something that took me back by surprise. Really shocked me. All around, there is always talk about the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) being the most premiere institute in the country. And today in the VLSI conference, it seems Prof. Vishweswaran said:

Too often, he said, candidates get pulled into industry before completing their studies and, more tellingly, too many submit a thesis stuffed with content copied from the Web, indicating a lack of commitment. “We need to get research as a matter of the heart,” he said. For that, he also called for more and better-qualified teachers to keep the momentum going and the passion alive.

Source:  eetimes

Wow. That is disparaging. Shocking from two angles — (a) Did not think the IITs could do something like this. (b) How could someone do that to research? Like the professor says, research should be from the heart. It is just wrong trying to steal ideas. Research in itself means (according to Merrian-Webster) studious inquiry or examination ; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws

Anyway, that is just my rant, after revelation that, no one is exempt from malpractices. 

On a side-rant, what is happening to Satyam Computers is also sad. Again, going against the etymology. Satyam means truth. And it looks like what their Chairman, Ramalinga Raju has been doing until now, is ASatyam (untruth). It is said because, I hate to think of what is going to happen to the 50K employees. 

Educated Morons

I hate to use this term, but there is no other way to describe some people. I work in ITPL, and I take the ITPL bus to work. In recent days, there has been hieghtened security, after the Bombay blasts. So there is a security guard who climbs up into the bus a little before the main gate, and checks our ID cards (company ID), before the bus enters the ITPL complex itself. And the usual practise is, after the bus stops inside the ITPL complex, in the bus bay, as and when we get down, we show our bus passes. If someone does not have a pass, he buys a ticket. I do not see anything wrong with this. 

Today morning, an E.M (educated moron) gets down from the bus, and when the security guard asks for the pass, he shouts “What the hell man! How many times should I show ID man. I just showed it to the guy outside the gate man.” He then mutters “Saale” and a couple of other expletives and walks away. 

If you want to be so arrogant and not co-operate with the authorities, you also do not have any business at all, to then go on TV after every terrorist attack (NDTV/TimesNow/…) and talk about the lack of arrangements and how India is lacking, and how terror is there everywhere in India. I hate these guys. 

And all this, for just a meek looking security guard asking him for his bus pass. Guys like these should get the following treatment:

Guys gets down and does the above obscene act.

Bouncers recognize act of disobedience, run towards him, shouting, “Offender, remove, Move Move Move ..”. Three bouncers close in on the guy, two lift him using the shoulders, the third stuns him with a stun gun. They move him to a special security area, frisk him, strip-search him etc etc. They then call the E.M’s office, ask to speak to the MD/CEO/…, and ask to send their security guards to pick up the stunned guy.

{Above act is completely fictional and no relevance to any real life incident,but I do hope some of these arrogant EMs get this treatment. I also hope such Bouncer crews operate in places like railway booking counters, electricity bill paying counters, etc, and treat queue-jumpers the same way.}

SweetPotato-Potato Cutlets


SweetPotato-Potato cutlets made by R yesterday came out Yumm. Recipe is same as that for Potato for cutlets, except mix some cooked/mashed SweetPotato with it. (SweetPotato = Chakaravallikazhangu in tamil). R had put in a tinge extra red chilly in it. So the slight sweetness of the yam and the spice of the chilly perfectly complemented each other. No deep frying. Powdered bread crumbs did the trick for the crust.

Update: I had originally thought Yam was Chakkaravalli-kazhangu. Looks like it is not. Looks like Yam is Senaikizhangu. Not that it really matters to me. I just fall for any kizhangu. Thanks J for point this out to me ! (J is the culinary expert in the family!). 

Update2: I know I know, Yam-potato sounds much better … much better than sweetpotato-potato-cutlets, quite a tongue-twister!

Road-trip report: Masinagudi, Ooty, Coonoor.

Writing this report hoping that parts of it would be useful for people making the same trip.

25th Dec Christmas morning 6:30AM:  Crisp december Bangalore weather. Roads were pretty much empty – except for the religious Christian crowd going to church. Reached the Bansankari pretty soon. I always hate the stretch between Bansankari and the Mysore road. There are road bumps at all the wrong places – infact my opinion, they dont even need to be there, the road is not that good, that you can pull any decent speed.

8:00AM: Kamat Loka ruchi, Ramanagara for some awesome Mangalorean breakfast of Dosa, Kadubu, Vada, and super coffee.

Kamat Lokaruchi, Ramanagara
Kamat Lokaruchi, Ramanagara

Right from the Raja rajeshwari arch, the road is just beautiful. 4 lane. Good road quality. I was on a comfortable 0-90kmph on my Zen Estilo.

Dodda Mallur - Navaneetha Krishna
Dodda Mallur - Navaneetha Krishna (doddamallurtemple.net)

10:00AM: Dodda mallur – Navaneetha Krishna Temple. Very nice temple with baby krishna crawling with butter in hand. Had a great dharshan here.

The highway is just awesome. You can cruise at a steady 90kmph – except for some very unexpected road bumps. No idea, why these are there in the first place. Each city also has a nice name given to it and an arch indicating the city. Silk city Ramanagara, Sugar city Mandya, Temple city Srirangapatna, Heritage city Mysore etc. Adds a nice touch. Gives a proud feeling to every Indian.

Rangantha swamy temple, Srirangapatna

11:30 AM: Srirangapatna. Directions to the temple are very nicely marked. Temple was a bit crowded – an ITDC package tour bus had just landed. But had a great dharshan of Palli Konda Ranganathar (lying down Ranganathar). Left immediately after dharshan. For a more scenic route back to the highway, I recommend backtracing the way you came (dont take the exit route from the temple parking directly). While retracing back the way, the last stretch will be a one-way. Do not curse yourself. Go straight in that circle (ask anyone). This alternate route is not

Road through the fort
Road through the fort

frequented by anyone but locals. The road goes through the Tipu fort. Its awesome. Gives you a Jaipur feeling. You drive through ramparts, old stone arches etc.

12:30PM: We reach Mysore – good time considering, we had stopped for breakfast, and two temples. We have breakfast at Hotel Siddhartha, which has OK passable food – nothing spectacular.

1:15PM: Leave Mysore for Masinagudi. The route is through Nanjangud, Gundlupet, Bandipur (KA), Mudumalai (TN), Theppakaadu, Masinagudi. Road until Nanjangud is very good. There is no semblance of a road between

Bandipur national park
Bandipur national park

Gundlupet and Bandipur. Seriously, no road at all. The worst road I have ever seen. For about 45 mins, you drive on a dirt road ; and then all of a sudden, the beautiful asphalted forest road of Bandipur appears. And from then on, it is a pleasure. Almost gives you a feeling, that you are driving through some world-renowned national park (like Yellowstone, or Great Smoky Mountains). Beautiful. I dont have any more words to describe.

4:00PM: Reach Secret Ivory Resort. I highly recommend this place in Masinagudi. If you are planning to go, leave a comment, and I will give you the owners mobile number. The rooms are brilliantly spartan and clean. The cottage faces the forest. Food is good and homely, and cooked right there. Click on the photos below for a glimpse.

masinagudi-ooty-coonoor We took a night safari, which started at 7:30PM. A truly exciting experience. My wife and me in an open jeep in the dark dark jungle, with just the owner and an assistant in the front. The sounds of the jungle, the dense forest, makes the journey more like a scene out of the movie Kaal.We spotted a herd of wild elephants with 2 baby elephants. It was amazing to see how the bigger elephants protected their calves as soon as they

Wild elephants
Wild elephants

saw us. In all a truly memorable experience.

We did an early morning trek (6:30AM) the next day. We spotted a few groups of wild spotted deer  – some with huge antlers. Deer are probably one of the most graceful animals. We also some bones – remains of a feast of a cheetah – as per

Deer in morning trek
Deer in morning trek

our guide. I am not surprised, since Mudumali is a tiger sanctuary. The 2.5 hour trek was good exercise, to say none the least.

After the trek, we headed back to the resort, had a sumptous breakfast, and packed our bags to Ooty, our next destination. From Theppakaadu, you have two choices – (1) The long route through Gudalur. Great road. National highway. 60 km to Ooty. Most buses and heavy traffic take this route – and hence a very busy road. (2) The short route through Masinagudi – only 28 km – through desnse jungle. The road is pretty steep, and relatively narrow (one and half lane at most places). The hairpin bends are wide, so no issues there. There is almost no traffic in this road. The highlight of this road is the set of 36 hair pin bends in 18 km – thats right – one in every half km. 🙂 I took this route and decided, I will take only this route from now on. You reach Ooty in about 1 hour flat – slightly lesser in fact. We headed straight for Sterling Elk Hill.

To be continued … [part 2]