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YUGMA-2014

YUGMA-2014

FROM THE FOUNDERs TEAM


National Institute of Technology Innovation Alumni Network
(NITIAN) celebrates its first year into action. Through NITIAN we aim
at building a network of Alumni, Students and Faculties from all NITs to pool
resources and create opportunities and platforms for development of NITs in
terms of academic, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and career growth.
We have three major verticals - Innovation, Branding and Networking.
Under Innovation, we are developing Innovation and Research labs and startupecosystem. Under Branding, we are launching a Pan-NIT magazine Yugma and
a online video portal for NIT Talks. Under Networking, we are building a platform
for students and alumni for bridging the gap between campus
and corporate world i.e. BridgeNIT
With these agendas in mind, we are honored to present our first issue of PanNIT Magazine, YUGMA. We have carefully curated the brightest up and coming
talent of NITs including start-up stories, best projects, achievements etc. We
want to support the NIT fraternity and also invite every NITian to be the part of
this endeavor.
If interested in contributing to our second issue of YUGMA, mail your articles
at yugma@bridgenit.com

YUGMA-2014

FROM THE EDITORS DESK


-Shruti Maheshwari, nit silchar
Finally after a lot of hard work and delays I along with my team cherish this opportunity at hand of
enjoying the very first PAN NIT magazine - YUGMA.
How often has it happened that we walk into a company for internship or training or job and find
people from the same family as we belong to- the NIT family, but know nothing about which NIT
they come from! Its like walking into family function and not being able to chat with cousins flying
down from different cities, because we dont know them all. Thats what we are, one big fat family!!
Be it the Kashmirs pride Nit Srinagar or Southern tip NIT Trichy. The Northeastern arm NIT Silchar
or the dry land NIT Jaipur. We all belong to one common family. But yet when we meet we hardly
know anything or anyone from the other NITs.
We strive to bridge this huge gap among the fellow NITians and also with our alumnus. Just
because someone is from NIT Surathkal does not mean that they cannot get help or get to know
someone from NIT Nagpur. Hence we came up with the idea of an Interactive PAN-NIT forum
yugma.bridgenit.com and also a yearly Magazine- YUGMA. We cover all the important events
and happenings across all the NITs in our online forum yugma.bridgenit.com on a regular basis.
And YUGMA puts us in touch with our alumnis - their success stories, struggles of recent
entrepreneurs, civil servants, writers and tech geeks; directly from their mouths. It also covers
picture gallery of recent developments in NIT campuses, best projects by the final year students and
a section for editorials open to all to showcase their thoughts in their own way.
We value all our readers opinion and hence will be posting questions in form of Google forms,
which will be evaluated and spun into scintillating articles by experts on that matter. Open quizzes
in form of Google forms will be shared for all and the winners will get a chance to be featured in our
next issues with an interesting interview of theirs! An open forum will be provided for anyone to put
up a question to any student or alumnus from any NIT and we will make sure that the query is
answered (Provided its nothing personal or offensive. You definitely cant ask people about their
relationship status here: p).
We Endeavour to bridge the gap among all NITs and its alumni. Through Yugma, we envision to
develop a bond through a common platform which aims to cover the entire ecosystem of NIT. Join
us, take a step forward and expand your network. From being a member of NIT xyz to a proud
member of the PAN NIT Fraternity!

YUGMA: Build Networks. Make Connections.


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YUGMA-2014

In Talks With...

r. Katyal is an alumnus of NIT Silchar,


89 batch. A true entrepreneur at heart
and has been involved with many startups
from the very beginning of his career. He
started off his career with a startup Silicon
Valley Technology India Limited, which later
became the 3rd largest hardware exporter of
India. He was involved in crucial takeovers of
this firm and later went on to start off with his
own company- VARITE Inc, a technical consulting and staffing company.
Recently I was fortunate enough and got a
chance to catch up with him over the phone.
Mr. Adarsh Katyal
So here are the excerpts of what the man
himself shared with us.
-NIT Silchar alumni, Founder and CEO of
Varite Inc
Could you please share with us the experience of your first job?
States of America, I was entrusted with its
global product management.
Well, I have not always wanted to be an entrepreneur from my days at college itself. I Sir, how would you describe your journey
wanted to get into the hardware designing. from acollege graduate to founder of VARHence although I got offer from WiproI did ITE INC?
not take it and instead went ahead to work for
a very recent startup in in NOIDA Export Pro- Like I have already discussed how I got the
cessing Zone by the name of Silicon Valley opportunity to experiment with multiple roles
Technology India Limited, which grew to be in in my first job. I was picking up every opthe 3rd larges hardware exporter from India in portunity that came my way to widen my horiearly 90s. This company kick started my ca- zon and skill sets by making the best out of
reer as I got to excel in the field of my dream, the available options. I worked with the comi.e. hardware designing. I worked on design- pany for 6 years and gathered all the experiing Intel x86 processor based motherboards ence in order to start, build and run an organand peripheral systems. The company was ization. I later on encashed this experience
setting up a first fully automated Surface and cofounded INTIRE INC, in partnership
Mount Technology (SMT) based manufactur- with a friend in 1998. We ran the company for
ing unit in India and I was involved in setting two years but later due to some differences
up of the entire infrastructure, implementing with my partners we parted our ways. The
and running numerous quality and manufac- lesson learned was that business and friendturing processes including ISO 9000, Total ship dont always gel well. Then finally in
Quality Management (TQM), Kanban, Just In 2000 I founded VARITE Inc.
Time (JIT) and Six Sigma. I also received the
opportunity to attend the training conducted So its been a long and eventful journey
by Hewlett Packard in Hongkong on the before you got VARITE up and running. At
Board Test Systems. Later on, I moved on to the time when Entrepreneurship wasnt a
setup the Indian sales and business develop- thing in India how did you manage to
ment for the companys products from keep yourself motivated?
scratch.
PERSEVERANCE. This is all one need to
So apart from designing you had other achieve what they want. Our vision needs to
be clear and heart must burn with the desire
roles in the company too?
to succeed and make your own mark. Fixate
Yes, I have been very fortunate in this case on one goal and find your way to it. While
as I got the chance to explore myself and ac- building and running VARITE for 14 years
cumulate wide spectrum of skills. I may have now, I had to face two very big downturns in
started off with designing but went on to be a the history: the internet bubble burst of 2000
part of the manufacturing and marketing and and the US financial industry meltdown in
sales teams as well. In fact when we pro- 2007-09. But I did not give up. I just had faith
cured a multi-media company in the United in my abilities, experience and team.
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YUGMA-2014
You did not have to undergo any family pressure? have your worst case scenarios planned out. It is one
In India parents usually want their kids to settle thing to follow the hype but ensure the financial viability of the venture at all times. Understanding and redown as soon as they graduate.
specting the financial nature of the business is someOnce again, I have been very fortunate in this regard, times not very intuitive to engineers, so ensure that
my wife and son had always been a big support and you or someone in your team has strong grasp on the
patient with my relentless pursuit of my goals, and my financial and legal aspects of the operations.
parents also always gave me blessings for my quests.
Even a failure as an entrepreneur will teach you a lot
Today in India every third person dreams of being in real life that many MBA and Engineering schools
an entrepreneur and every fifth person already wont be able to. I would advice go for it and live out
has a start up of their own; big or small. What your dreams.
would be your advice to todays youth who are
now blindly following this trend irrespective of Could you please list some important guidelines
what lays ahead of them?
every aspiring entrepreneur should keep in his
checklist ?
I believe it is a great trend, where people are taking
the chances to follow their dreams, and create their I believe there are three core components that need
own destiny. I talk to so many people, friends and to be constantly nurtured and managed: products/
family, who always wished to start something of their services, finances, and the team. These are the only
own but always feared the risks and chose the well things on my check list and I invest most of my time in
built paths of life. I would encourage them to carve these crucial elements of the business.
their own paths and be prepared to fall and always
-Interview conducted and compiled by Shruti Maheshwari, Managing editor-YUGMA, NIT Silchar.

YUGMA-2014

Words of Wisdom.

-Shashikant Chaudhary, SVP and Managing Director,India, Globallogic

n 1987, I started a consulting business and


also began teaching at
the Y C College of Engineering in Nagpur, the
geographical center of
India. But I had always
wanted to do something
on my own. But where to
start? And more importantly, where would the
startup
capital
come
from?
Fast forward to 2006. My company was acquired by IndusLogic (now GlobalLogic) after
10 years of growth and success.
Looking back, I see four key factors that entrepreneurs should follow when they start to
develop a software company on a shoestring
budget.
Crucial keys to success
In 1996-97, I developed an idea for starting a
mainstream outsourcing business. I knew it
would be a difficult venture; at the time, there
was no precedent for delivering services
from Nagpur to companies in countries outside of India.
The first problem was how to start. I realized
that all potential stakeholders (employees,
investors and customers) would be skeptical
as to how the company would shape up and
if it could survive.

factors:

Create a solid, talented team to back you


up

Create a bigger-picture plan for your


team to get involved in and generate
their loyalty

Your company cant succeed as a generalist; identify the niche area you want to
play in

The CEO or owner must do the business


development and be the foremost salesperson; dont depend on others for this
crucial activity

Acquiring and grooming the right talent


Getting the right talent became a doubleedged challenge. First I had to find people
who could be groomed for the job of solving
problems for eventual customers.
While teaching at the college of engineering,
I had observed that the normal distribution
curve with respect to graduate talent from a
class of 80 students was: 8-10 were really
good, 20 were average and 40-50 would not
count as talent. For two years, I experimented with a project that would groom the really
good students from several classes at several colleges. I found they had tremendous
raw talent in computer programming and
could really perform if given some exposure.
The other edge of the challenge was that
since they were, indeed, talented and would
be in demand, how could I inspire their loyalty to a company that had no infrastructure or
roadmap?

The second problem was financing. There


would be no venture capital funding since it
would be a services company. I had only
US$4,000 to invest in the venture. Together
with investments from friends, I ended up
My strategy: I told them we didnt have a
with a total of US$25,000 for the start-up.
stock plan yet but I would issue stock to
But that was enough. I learned a lot growing them at the outset along with the option to
my company, Lambent Technologies, to suc- sell the stock every six months at an incess as a standalone company and eventual creased value. This bigger picture of the
acquisition. My advice to other entrepre- company grabbed their interest and aligned
neurs looking to start a software services them with working toward the companys
company on a tight budget focuses on these future success. As it turned out, until we
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merged with GlobalLogic six years later, none of them
ever sold the stock. But I needed to remain prepared
for the chance that they would sell it and kept investment funds on hand for liquidity if they did.

Since the employees had not sold their stock and I


didnt need to keep the investment funds on hand for
that, I used some of the remainder of the investment
money to buy space and a facility for the business.

Im pleased that all of the students in my initial two- Capitalizing on opportunity and competing with
year grooming project are still in our company today. giants
The next part of my strategy was figuring where the
business opportunity or market would happen. My
analysis was that we would hit a glass ceiling very
fast because we were a small company in 2002. I
wondered: could we remain a niche player? Could we
work in a small technical area and build services
around that? It was risky, but I believed there was at
least a chance.

Taking on the challenge of finding customers

When we launched Lambnt Technologies in 2000, we


had no brand, were a niche player and had just 10-15
people in the company. And we could handle only
one job at a time. Our dilemma was not just how to
find potential customers but also how to get the message across to them that our company would do a
good job for them and would be very responsive and In 2002, mobile technology was emerging, but we
were outsiders. We decided we needed to enter that
flexible.
area but in a virgin space. We came across QualI determined that the best strategy for finding custom- comms BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for
ers was to locate people who met the criterion of hav- Wireless) technology in handsets. We debated whething a connection to Nagpur, the United States, and to er that technology would have traction in the marketIT. It turned out that from the 12 colleges of graduates place and, if so, for how long. If Qualcomm were bein India, there was a pool of around 15,000-30,000 hind it, could we get 10 customers?
Our most critical step for going forward occurred at
people who met that criterion.
that point. I determined we should look at the adI then set a goal for me to contact 1,000 of the people dressable market rather than thinking about how big
from that pool, then qualify 150-200 people who could the market would be. We developed samples and
probably give us business, be influencers for giving proof of concept applications. I went to the United
us business or would probably hold C-level positions States to track whether people wanted those applicalater. I figured that five to ten of the 150-200 people tions, and it became very evident that there would be
might have a level of opportunity that I could grasp.
traction.
I selected seven U.S. cities in which to market our
services: New York, Boston, Chicago, San Diego,
San Jose, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. I visited each city three days out of a month and aimed for
five meetings per day. I never used e-mail or phone
contacts; I did only personal networking. My goal was
to move the people I visited from a formal to an informal relationship. I wanted to meet them often and be
in their lowest orbit.

However, that also meant other companies would


compete against us for this business opportunity. At
that time, I was reading Marketing Warfare, by Al Ries
and Jack Trout. One statement in the book was that if
youre a small company and want to fight a big company, choose your battlefield and attack the weakest
point with your strongest force. You cant win a war
against a big company, but you can win battles.

My shoestring budget for marketing was only


US$10,000 annually, from which I allocated $750 per
month for the meetings in the seven cities. I scrimped
on all expenses and even rode the bus instead of taking taxis to the meetings. I also used part of the marketing budget to attend technical conferences so I
could get into the circuits of professional technical
people.

I applied this concept to our situation. I figured out


that there were at least 170 emerging technologies in
a sector. I thought Infosys and other big companies
could not go full blown with 1,000 people on all the
new technologies and would only explore with maybe
10-20 people. At that size, we could compete against
them with 100 of our people.

By the time I reached my target of having met with


1,000 people, I had also identified influencers, people
with business needs that my company could solve
and also people who would probably be at the C-level
later.

I then took another chance. I realized our employees


might feel threatened that we were switching from Java and .NET to BREW. So I used my academic background and created a training program in the colleges. In one year, I had a team of 75-100 people trained
on mobile technology.

YUGMA-2014
We declared to Qualcomm that we were the biggest
team on BREW technology and we were willing to
invest in it. They introduced us to tier-one companies
such as Jamdat (now EA) and Sony Digital, and we
started working with them. Because Qualcomm introduced us, we ended up not having to market ourselves to the tier-one companies. So Plan A was
working, but it still came down to crucial timing at
that time, the big companies really wanted to go to
BREW.
Successful at that point, I began working on Plan B
developing the business for the long term. How could
we take our work in mobile technology to the next level? That would require access to capital. We set
goals for working with location-based technologies
and started servicing mobile and location-based apps
in order to move into strategic growth areas
Beware of pitfalls
My advice to entrepreneurs about avoiding pitfalls
that can cause a start-up venture to fail includes:

When trying to play the game of being a services


start-up, make sure youre not too late or too early
for the market wanting your services
You need a strategy for sustaining the business
once you get it started, and you need at least one
back-up strategy
Retention of key people will become a big problem as the company grows. You will need a landscape for providing your employees with careergrowth opportunities-not just more money but bigger and better technical opportunities
At the time I began working on Plan B how to take
Lambent Technologies to the next level and develop
the business for the long term I also considered the
risks or pitfalls. I found the pitfalls going forward
would be the same four factors (above) as they had
been during the start-up years. And taking the business of mobile technology services to the next level
would require access to capital and to the professional market.
We then merged with Induslogic (now GlobalLogic,
Inc.) in 2006. It was the perfect solution for long-term
business-growth strategies, as it gave us access to
capital and gave my employees better career opportunities.

Dont become a limitation for your companys


growth (considering everything based
on your knowledge, your background, your perspective); you must be willing to
take risks

-Tarit Pal, NIT Rourkela, Author- Power of thoughts

In my early professional
days, whenever I was unsuccessful in achieving a
desired objective, I used to
think that I was a victim of
either bad luck or external
influences. Those thoughts
often caused me to go
through cycles of depressions. With time, when
horizon of my work periphery started expanding, professionally and personally, I came across people from
various age groups with diverse interests, backgrounds and perceptions about life. During those periods, especially while in association with some of the
outstanding personalities in Steel Authority of India
Limited, I was awestruck by their visualization of rays
of hope even in adverse circumstances, clarity of
thought processes while analyzing situations before
decision making and firmness in sticking to a goal regardless of inner and outer resistances, discomforts
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and difficulties. The experience I gained had positive


influence on my thought process. I started feeling
more relaxed with enhanced confidence while dealing
with even complicated situations in life. Realization
started sinking in me that :
(1) One needs to look at every aspects of life from
broader perspectives and
(2) Optimism, enthusiasm and ever readiness to walk
extra miles is the key to make things happen.
Subsequently, on retrospection, I was able to reason out within myself that most of the failures and
period of depressions that I had gone through in
the past were caused by my own thoughts and
beliefs at that point in time, nothing external.
I had gone through successes, failures as well as setbacks in my life. But whenever rough weather pushed
me back to the wall, the above experiences along
with inspiring stories and events always reminded me
of my strengths and stimulated my motivation to face

YUGMA-2014
the reality with rejuvenated spirit.

(f) Life offers plenty of options to every individual.

After retirement from service, while recapitulating the When the idea of communicating my realizations to
events I had gone through, the following realizations the budding youngsters started playing in my mind, I
was not sure about how to go ahead. The following
spontaneously surfaced in my mind:
anecdote finally gave me the confidence and inspired
(a) Thoughts play important roles in determining suc- me to put pen to paper and complete the documentacesses, failures and levels of human performances.
tion in the form of the book POWER OF
THOUGHTS.
(b) Thought accepted as truth is belief. It makes one
feel that whatever he/she hopes for will actually hap- When Swami Vivekananda was delivering a specific
pen and drives him/her to face the realities of life with lecture in a hall, someone from the audience stood up
confidence, enthusiasm and optimism.
and said, All these are mere words which have no
effects. Vivekananda reacted and called that man a
(c) Nothing happens of its own. One has to make fool and uttered few strong words towards him. The
things happen with clear thinking, hard work, focus, man got excited and was about to hit Vivekananda.
follow up actions and perseverance.
Physically stopping him, Vivekananda said, Look,
this is the effect of words. So, words have effects if
(d) Learning builds confidence and ensures growth.
listened carefully and understood well. I am sure the
For continuous learning, unlearning the obsolete and
words of this book will benefit the youngsters in their
relearning the new are equally important and essensearch for a meaningful life, if they read it with contial.
centration to understand the messages within.
(e) A wrong decision does not ruin a person for ever;
on the contrary it makes him wiser.

Breaking the Conventional Norms...

YUGMA-2014

-A start up by Shubham Maheshwari. MNIT Jaipur, 2013 Batch


Mr. Shubham Maheshwari is a graduate from NIT Jaipur, presently the
founder and CEO
of a cooking advisory firm, Being
Chef. Most of us,
even after joining
graduation
institutes, have no idea
what interests us
and who we really
want to be. But
very few of these
confused
minds
choose to explore every possible field and
end up mastering one which suits them
perfect. Such is the brain of Mr. Maheshwari. Initially he worked in the technical field, starting with robotics in the first
year of his graduation, went on to work on
a car for an international competition in
second year and published a research paper on management in third year. He also
explored the fields of fashion and dramatics. He did as many as seven internships
during the four years of his graduation in
various fields ranging from technical to
management. The monotony of his technical internship at one of the leading automobile production firms helped him finally
decide to go for management.
The whole idea of Being Chef was born
because he missed his mothers food, like
we all do when away from our homes. Its
concept is to facilitate cooking. There are
a lot of issues we face while we cook.
What we generally do is decide what to
cook and dive into the world of internet to
figure out the ingredients and the recipe.
Some dont understand the recipe as there
are a few foreign exotic ingredients that
are not very common in our country . Being chef takes care of all these issues. For
any specific recipe, It gives filtered ingredients in precise quantity in separate packets followed with a recipe card that guides
the user to prepare a meal in just 8 simplified steps

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Initially funded by his parents, both business personnel, he now, single handedly
takes care of the whole firm. When asked
about his marketing strategies, he simply
denies the existence of any in his idea. For
him, marketing is all about networking with
people, interacting with them and most
importantly, being true to his concept to
facilitate cooking. In his words, its all
about how we present ourselves, so that
people are ready to buy our ideas, convincing comes automatically. He headed
the marketing section of his institute for
four years, where he earned most of his
contacts. He never went for certificates
and appreciations, he merely went to the
people, with whom he shared a warm relationship over the years.
When he started off with the idea, it was
not really the cake walk it seems to be
now. He mentions how difficult it is to implement the whole idea practically. Only
30-40% of the whole plan actually gets
implemented. Also, he started at an age
very tender for the business world; obviously he was not taken seriously by the
society that took pleasure in bugging him
and trying to bring him down. The huge
initial cost was also a problem. With Gods
blessing and his supportive parents, he
conquered all of them. He is firm, organized and has acted professionally
throughout. He has always been a risktaker and suggests all the young buds to
be one. He suggests that especially for the
engineering graduates, who he believes
have nothing to lose and can always risk it
to discover who they are and who they
want to be, while the management graduates are more of pessimists, though better
organized and calculated, they hardly go
on to risk their career for the joy of it. He
suggests that if someone feels strongly for
something, believes in his idea deeply, he
must go for it, just give it a shot. The pros
and cons would become clear in no time
and determination will find its way through
the hurdles and finally well have a well
cooked idea served with honor.
Cooking for the world, is easy now!
Thanks to Mr. Maheshwari

YUGMA-2014

-Mr. Sarib Sahran, NIT Srinagar, 2008 Batch.


Mr. Sarib Sahran, a
KAS Officer and an
alumnus of National
Institute of Technology
Srinagar, 2008 batch
shared his success story with the YUGMA
team. He is currently
posted in the Home Department of the Government of J&K. He believes its not just the
engineering
subjects
but also the various
management related subjects that we study during
our BTech tenure that helps us understand and work
in the domain of civil services. He drew motivation
from his parents, who were already into administrative
field. So, this shift had a lot to do with growing up in
that environment. Furthermore, in the administrative
services, you get to work with so many various departments with each posting, which according to him
is very exciting and has been a driving force for this
choice. Here one actually gets a lot of opportunities to
help people and the glimpse of happiness on their
faces is one thing in the world that gives one the satisfaction he urges for. Though he did qualify various
exams for Mtech and also got selected in the prestigious PSU i.e., NTPC, his ultimate aim was to go for
civil services. He started preparing for it right from his

8th semester and continued his preparation whole


heartedly while working in NTPC as well. According to
him, coaching is prudent as it doesnt only train you
but acts as a guiding light and gives you an idea of
what to study, where to start from, the entire algorithm
of preparation, how to write the answers and all the
related stuff. For the interview part, his one final
source on which he could count on was the national
newspaper The Hindu. He had been in constant
touch with history, geography and the related subjects
from the very beginning to put the weight of these
subjects off his shoulders. There is no fun of taking
pressure and preparing everything in a jiffy at the
eleventh hour. He advises that its very important to
be extremely active during college days, getting involved with all the co-curricular activities and taking
part in various events, debates, quizzes just to gain
that confidence. Finally just sit in front of a mirror,
start by asking questions to yourself, see how to look
straight into the eyes while answering, all in all just try
to feel the aura of the interview and you are done.
He suggests two things that need to be kept in mind.
First, always choose your subject wisely after going
through the entire syllabus and never ask anyone
elses help for this thing and you will never bark up
the wrong tree. Second, be self-assured and have
patience. Thats all you need. Just being fervent for
your aim is the whole mantra for cracking it.

-Both interviews conducted and compiled by Aishwarya Datt, NIT Srinagar, 2016 Batch.

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GALLERIA...!!
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,
MEGHALAYA.
Picture courtesy Abu Bakker Siddik, NIT Meghalaya,
2016 Batch

VISVESVARAYA NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF


TECHNOLOGY, NAGPUR
Picture Courtesy Nitish Naik, VNIT Nagpur,

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF
TECHNOLOGY, JALANDHAR
Picture Courtesy Mitul Chopra, NIT Jalandhar,
2015 Batch

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OP-EDs!!

-Shivanshu Kumar Singh, NIT Agartala,


Way back I remember being involved in a
discussion centered about the fact that
whether the Ramayana existed. It had
started on a skeptic note. The person raising this doubt had his reasons. Given that
we move forward in technology with time
how could we have flying-vehicles in that
era and then had to wait for eternity to invent airplanes and hot-air balloons. How
do you explain scientifically the flying of a
person having simian appearance? Yeah,
he sounded blasphemous and could have
invited trouble had there been present
some extremist people but fortunately for
him the people there were more interested
in driving home the necessary point rather
than showing him the way to hospital.

fine as it could possibly be, existed; that


there indeed was a Maryada Purushottam
the embodiment of truth, morality and
valor who set for the generations to come
the model behavior and conduct to be followed as a ruler, as a son, as a brother
and as a husband. The different types of
situations found in the Ramayana are very
similar to the commonplace occurrences
in our life and we are expected to assimilate in us the threefold Dharma (code of
conduct) pertaining to the individual, the
family and the society. You are supposed
to believe that there existed an ardent disciple, a devotee (Hanuman) whose every
action was motivated by his love for his
master highlighting the concept of Bhakti
(pure, selfless and adoring devotion) raSo, is the Ramayana only about all those ther than being concerned with his supflying vimans and those seemingly impos- posed long jump over the sea.
sible miracles? And when have science
come up with plausible explanations to all So, the debate was sort of being disthe phenomena occurring around the missed due to the vagueness the topic
world? Well, the very essence of Ramaya- itself had incorporated with it. But it did
na transcends all these and should not be bring into light how the perception have
veiled under their attractive magnificence. changed over the years; quite palpable
Facts and information never remain the from the sorry state of affairs we find oursame as they travel across generations selves right now in. Despite all the global
and places and no doubt we have differ- developments we have had in all walks of
ent versions of Ramayana at different life, there still waits a challenge for us.
places. A line from the Rigveda echoes And that challenge is at an individual level
this- Ekum sat vipraha bahudha vadanti, how to distinguish between Dharma (right)
that is, there is only one truth, only men and Adharma (wrong) and then follow
describe it in different ways. And interest- Dharma.
ingly they often get too spiced up over the
generations to seem real. But the core
essentially remains same.
What believing in the Ramayana implies is
to believe that a person of a character as

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YUGMA-2014

-Siddha Ganju, NIT Hamirpur, 2015 Batch


ly 8.6 millions questions. Yahoo! Answers has 300
million. Just imagine how much data we have out
there. Now, what does the data scientist do with all
that data. He tries to find structure in it, process it,
learn from it and so many more things.
Take online shopping for example. Recommendation
systems are a huge YES for this industry. As Steve
Jobs says "People don't know what they want until
you show it to them." They provide you with diverse
options based on your selection and recommend
what you might like. Based on the items bought in the
past, they find the similarity between you and other
people. Now, if that other person has bought something and liked it/rated it, you might get a recommenThe newspaper reads "Data Scientist: The Sexiest dation to try it out as well.
Job of the 21st Century". For a minute you are like "I
thought medical and engineering were the only two Remember Google's Page Ranking algorithm. Its
domains". Then you smirk "Does it even pay?". Then based on similar ideas. Why is it that the moment you
somehow you start to read the article. "Best paid job type "F" on your keyboard Facebook is the first link
of the century". Ahem Ahem. You close the news pa- that appears. Because millions of people typed "F",
and then clicked on Facebook, certifying the fact that
per, and realize you know nothing.
they were actually searching for Facebook. Hence, its
Who's a data scientist you ask? This image (source: rank increases. Another connotation is, while searchWikipedia) explains it quite well. A data scientist is a ing for an error, you get Stack Overflow, Cross Valiblend of math's and statistics, hacking skills and sub- dated, Ubuntu Forums and other such sites, because
people who searched for the same error before you
stantive expertise.
clicked these sites thus increasing ranks. This is just
So what does a data scientist do? He sees zetta the basic idea, in reality its a lot more complicated
bytes of data and goes "Zetta, play no vendetta". But that than.
wait, where did you get zetta bytes of data? Let's see,
how many photos have you uploaded to Facebook till Coming back to the question at hand, processing the
date? How many answers have you submitted to data. Since the data is titanic, it will take time, enorQuora? How many code patches have you contribut- mous amount of time. You might want to try to proed? Online shopping: how much or what items do you cess the data one by one, or parallel. You will probabuy? Do you know what all that is, primarily? Its all bly agree that the parallel task is much, much faster.
data. Bytes making up photos, which is basically an That's why they use Hadoop. It is a framework for
array of RGB values. <Data?> Text in the ASCII for- storage and large-scale processing petabytes of data.
mat. <Data, again!> Online shopping records your Pretty name, eh? Doug Cutting named it after his
preference for items. <So much data> So, data and a son's toy elephant. Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella
lot of data. "As for Facebook proper, it gets 208,300 created Hadoop. Its implementation is based on
photos uploaded every minute. Facebook has always Google File System and Google Map Reduce. Since
been a bit vague about exactly how many photos they it is Java-based, Hadoop runs on all the platforms.
get over a period of time, but they've gone on record Hadoop entails the Hadoop Distributed File System
to say that it's over six billion photos per month. It's and MapReduce. There are many new alternatives to
likely even more than that now.", quoted from sources Hadoop like Spark and Cassandra. The documentaon the Internet. I am sure we all agree that a picture tion provided by Yahoo! is great for understanding the
speaks a thousand words and consumes a thousand architecture and working of Hadoop.
times more memory. Quora till date has approximate-

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YUGMA-2014

-Elisha George, NIT Surathkal, 2016 Batch


Sentimentality holds little place in a college of logic
driven individuals. The subtle precision of lines and
nuances of colours seem trivial in a world of defined
assumptions, probabilities and structure; where art is
thought of as being an expression of the abstract. Its
regarded as something separate from the science that
forms the basis of our learning and education. Naturally, opinions and their intensity differ amongst individuals but lets consider a sample of clichs they
are what a society is characterized by.

something extra is love or anger or passion or depression. Its one very specific, highly concentrated emotion that he is desperate to convey. And it is rarely, if
ever vague already in his sub-conscious mind.

Something as seemingly simple as choosing a shade


of blue can pitch him into an overwhelming wave of
paranoia. The blue cant be too bright, or too light
(and yes, theyre very different), neither can it be a
dark shade that verges on dull. No, the blue has to
perfectly embody the essence of the artist. And it is up
The scientific method urges one to extrapolate from a to him to find that blue. Not once, not twice, but for
known body of facts in order to come to substantial every brush stroke that he executes.
conclusions. It follows a certain procedure the question, the hypothesis, the prediction, the experiment, And while the process doesnt have half the structure
and finally, the analysis that has proved to be a reli- of a mathematical derivation, it can boast the same
able way of going about the business in the research level of complexity. To pacify all those bespectacled
community. This structured and systematic approach individuals who took a break from their pages of delto a problem or situation is adapted to various de- tas and epsilons to gasp at the atrocity of these stategrees in a horde of fields forming a list that the Arts ments, I will agree that higher stages of science and
math can only be tackled by a brain that is as astute
rarely feature in.
in its intuition as it is creative in its logic. Given no priOur sample group doesnt associate Art with struc- or rules and formulas, the greater portion of this poputure. To them an artist can be a pseudo-talent who lation would be wallowing in innocent befuddlement
glorifies the freedom of his work and advertises its while failing to ever see more than the superficialities
ambiguity. Technical analysis of his subject matter of the phenomena they should chance to witness.
can come across as pretentious and it verges on im- People who open a book and see those connections
possible to ever define what the artist was trying to and logically transform them from just occurrences to
say with the discrete shapes strewn across a blank relations and correlations and beautiful paths of dericanvas. And theyre not wrong.
vation are exceptional. And whats more, theyre artists.
The charm in artistic product is its ability to morph into
something that the viewer identifies with. As much as Our sample of clichs sees art as ambiguous and sciwe take pride in the clarity of our thought process, our ence as definitive. But neither is either. Art begins resubconscious doesnt work on the same overtly hu- lying heavily on precision and Goldilocks figures (no
man wave length. The form and finesse of art bypass- approximations allowed) whereas scientists cut to the
es the realm of awareness we know so well and chase and make all the assumptions they can possicreeps gently through to a quieter place where it set- bly get away with in their model. And while the former
tles down, ready to surface in a fleeting spurt of nos- concludes with the ability to result in an overwhelming
variety of responses from anyone who participates in
talgia or dj vu.
it, the latter ends in one exact deduction.
But theres another side to the process that they never
see. This inverse approach is daunting in a way you Its important to understand that art and science are
cannot understand until youre in that moment of com- not discrete. Nowhere were they meant to be mutually
plete doubt. When theres a block of stone, an ex- exclusive. Instead, they embody principles that are
panse of canvas or even something as small as a bar markedly similar. And to truly understand either, we
of soap, and youre expected to breathe life into your must break away from our sample group because it
work. All that freedom associated with the product is was never logic that vied with creativity, or vice versa.
rarely there in its production.
Its always been close minded bigotry raging against
progress and solutions. Theyre not two sides of the
On the contrary, when a piece is developed, the artist same coin; theyre not even the same currency. And
has a painfully specific message in mind. To invoke its about time we took a good, hard look into our walany kind of response from a viewer, he must put lets.
something extra into his work. And I cant say if this
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YUGMA-2014

-Saumitra Khanwalker, VNIT Nagpur


At another of his immensely entertaining standup
comedy performances, Mr.Vipul Goyal from the organization Humorously Yours, made a statement that
left the audience in fits of laughter- Deep down all Facebook users have a past, a dark past which they are
not proud of; its called Orkut.
Its true. At some point, we all migrated from the
Google endeavor, thereby contributing in its downfall,
etching the records of the worlds largest virtual migration, in the pages of history. Facebook was a fresh
option, alive with vibrant colors and scores of new features. Apart from that, something was unique to Facebook, something we know but never talk about.
Orkut was built on the theme of simplicity, elegance
through straightforwardness, so much so that at
times, it could be brutally honest to you. For example,
Orkut notified you when someone declined your friend
request, or when someone visited your page but left
no message. Facebook, on the other hand, kept a
subtle balance between openness and abstraction,
between honesty and diplomacy, and thats exactly
what people wanted. The point to notice here is that,
the basic idea in both these cases was identical- a
platform for social interaction and networking, a front
to express yourself and share interests. What differed
in the end product was the development of that basic
idea. Facebook came out as the winner because it
conformed better to the world we live in.
The latest addition to the competition in the social networking business came with the arrival of Whatsapp.
The theme, again, is the very same-social networking,
grouping and sharing, but the crucial observation
made by the creators of this service is that going
online, typing out your mail id and password, finding
your friends and then adding them is a useless exercise. Why cant we connect directly with the people
who are in our phonebook? This observation is
groundbreaking. If Facebook reflected social behavior
better, Whatsapp went a step further and brought
ones world on ones mobile sets, without extravagant
data expenses.

anyone else but you. As has been observed, implementation is the benchmark that determines the success or failure of a fresh idea.
In 1995, two young Stanford computer science grad
students began building something that they wanted
to organize the web by: a search engine. The development took 5 years with both young men making
simple observations and applying it in their work, to
tame an enormous beast called the web. The result
was something simple yet elegant, obvious yet technical, uncomplicated yet immensely powerful. Its the
website we all go to, to check our internet connections
but its also a website that we go to when we want to
look for something, its a website which we can entertain ourselves with, but its also a website that we can
get ourselves up to date with. It is a masterpiece, a
virtual embodiment of everything we see around us,
neatly wrapped under the cloak of that simple interface. It is none other than Google.
The question which comes bustling through is how to
get that insight, how to know what could work and
what wouldnt. The answer, it seems, is all around us.
As Sherlock Holmes has become symbolic of, observation is a very powerful weapon. It solves criminal
cases, it helps devising great strategies and concerning our subject, it creates great services and products.
It was observation that gave birth to RedBus, OLX,
Flipkart, StumbleUpon, Tastykhaana even tech giant
like Apple. Apples observation was that design was
important, perfection was attainable and this theme
set their products apart from the myriad companies
lined up in competition.
Xerox was a company with the basic prototypes of
many of the computer related products we use today.
What they didnt have was a vision, the ability to fit
their innovations into the frame of real life. Theres
where Apples Steve Jobs came and integrated those
very products into a fundamental part of our lives.
This is a powerful example of the importance of that
development phase of an idea.

As Malcolm Gladwell pointed out, an idea is much like


a mountain top and the view one gets of it depends on
the side from which one looks. To one, an idea could
be a boring scientific observation and to someone
else, that same idea would appear to be a million dollar jackpot. So, the next time you judge what your
friend is claiming to be a million dollar idea, you might
On one hand is the importance of implementation of want to sit back, contemplate and analyze before
an idea not so novel, and on the other hand is an idea jumping to conclusions.
completely fresh, something that never occurred to
If the idea phase challenges ones imaginative prowess, ones vision outside the box, the development
phase is all about fitting the idea into the box. Its
about reflecting on the constraints that control our
everyday lives and observing the tides of change and
then molding the product/service into something that
everyone would pay to get.

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YUGMA-2014

-Abhijit Majumder , NIT Agartala

I am a young man of 21 years who pokes his nose


more in Modis speech than solid Mechanics, is more
interested in any foreign leaders visit to India than
his semester exams.
From 1993 to 1997, the years from my birth till the
point which I cant recapitulate in terms of social
awareness. But since 1998 I am a journalist of my
own realm who is not bothered about salary or any
recognition, but I am the journalist of my own mind. I
have the fresh memories of Bill Clinton scandal to
Tsunami, kargil to Pokhran. Within these few years I
feel that my country from exclusive Hindutva to
macho Nationalism, is going through effectual changes. I am accustomed to the politicians long boring
lectures. I remember that day when Barack Obama
was delivering his extempore in our parliaments central hall, I was very upset thinking about our leaders.
But this time in I-Day from the ramparts of Red-Fort,
an extempore of a PM made me feel like India is
changing. The whole world has seen the country
standing united against the gang rape of Delhi Braveheart. A young political party has shown it is possible
to sweep to power with a unique political model that is
designed to break the traditional party system. Decisive mandate in the history of Indian politics is a drastic change I believe which I never expected. In my
eyes I have seen so many Supreme Court activists to
nudge the system to change, be positive or negative.
But this time the judicial intervention in electoral laws

that prevent convicted MPs from contesting elections


an example of the Changed face of the country.
The whole world has witnessed the Chandrayan,
MOM etc. The epitome of Centralised policies, the
planning Commission is now on the way of abolishing, whereas Raghuram Rajan gets more importanceshows an unexpected change in the countrys economy. Once we were satisfied with our cricket team
drawing a series. But from that crisis situation to India
becoming the boss of cricket world, more and more
medal quest in Olympics a positive change in the
sports scenario. The thrillers of never ending Bollywood are also changing its attire as it is becoming
aged. Though Anurag Kashyap had quite bitter experiences of unreleased movies in early days, but now
you see he has at least 30 released films in his bucket. While politics throws up these positive signals, so
is civil society. The candlelight vigils are giving way to
more meaningful attempts at social change. Activists
are now working to influence policy, engaging with
the system rather than rejecting it. This is not to suggest that we live in a completely new India. Every
now and then, the old order creeps through. There
are still enough sleazebag politicians and crony capitalists, corrupted judges and compromised media
who will continue to preserve their self-interests and
perpetuate an unequal society. And yet, every time
you are pushed to the edge of despair, the sunshine
of hope filters through.

17

Best final year projects from across all NITs

Cause our Ideas lead the next Gen..

YUGMA-2014

-Ikbal Choudhury, Abhinav Mathur, Writuparna Nath, Aniruddha Phukan


Mechanical Engineering, NIT Silchar
Whenever I tell people about my project,
the very first response that I get is Oh Wait
a minute!.. What? Self-healing composites?
sounds like a Science fiction. The concept
of abiotic, lifeless materials capable of healing themselves autonomously intrigues
most of us. Yes, we are talking of a technology that enables regular materials
around us to mimic biological organisms
and requires minimal human intervention
for maintenance. In the following paragraphs, I shall try to explain the technicalities of this project in plain English ignoring
scientific jargons as far as I can.
Irrespective of our educational background,
we all know that failure in any material
starts in the form of a micro or nano crack
somewhere inside it. Finding such a crack
is difficult and curing it is rather impossible.
From now on whenever I used the term
materials, I wish you to take into consideration all sorts of materials around us that
go through the natural process of wear and
tear. It may be the frame of our spectacles,
a tennis racket, coatings, prosthetic limbs,
pacemakers or any part of an airplane or
even a satellite. So, coming back to failure,
these miniature cracks when left unchecked gradually grow into a larger crack
and ultimately the material fails or collapses. So, the million dollar question is how do
we inhibit the growth of these micro or nano
cracks at the very first place. Thats where
the idea of self-healing materials comes
where the damage event itself triggers the
healing mechanism.
The material is made up of numerous of
nano reservoirs (called capsules) filled with
liquid healing agent and are dispersed uniformly all over the system. Whenever a
crack is generated in the material, it starts
to propagate. The crack while propagating
encounters the tiny capsules in its path
(Fig. a). As a result the capsules get ruptured due to the progress of the crack. The
liquid healing agent that is stored in the
capsules comes out into the crack plane
18

and solidifies thereby bridging the crack


(Fig.b). The solidified healing agent fills the
crack and stops further

propagation (Fig.c). To keep it simple I


shall not elaborate on what is the material
made up of? or which type of healing agent
is used? so on and so forth.
We have characterized the capsules by
FESEM, FTIR, TGA, DTA analysis to study
their size, shape and morphology. The capsules were dispersed in a polymer resin to
prepare composite samples. The strength
of the composite was analyzed using tensile tests and fracture toughness was calculated by 3-point bending tests. The composites showed an average healing efficiency of 80%.
This technology will completely change the
way our materials behave around us. The
future materials will be full of polymer composites due to their high level of performance compared to traditional materials
like steel, aluminum etc. Boeing has used
50% composite materials in their new 787
Dreamliner series in order to reduce its
weight and increase efficiency. Think of the
numerous accidents that we can avoid by
making use this technology. However, it will
take some time to take this technology from
lab setup to industries.

YUGMA-2014

Wireless communication has announced its arrival on


big stage and the world is going mobile. We wish to
control everything without moving an inch. This remote control of appliances is possible through Embedded Systems. The use of Embedded System in Communication has given rise to many interesting applications that ensures comfort and safety for human life.
The main aim of this project will be to design an SMS
driven automatic display board which can replace the
currently used programmable electronic display. It is
proposed to design receiver cum display board which
can be programmed from an authorized mobile phone.
The message to be displayed is sent through a SMS
from an authorized transmitter. The microcontroller
receives the SMS, validates the sender and displays
the desired information. Started off as an instantaneous NEWS display unit, we have improved upon it
and tried to take advantage of the computing capabilities of microcontroller. Looking into current trend of
information transfer in the campus, it is seen that important notices take time to be displayed on the notice
boards. This latency is not expected in most of the cases and must be avoided. It is proposed to implement
this project at the institute level. It is proposed to place
display boards in major access points.
The electronic displays which are currently used are
programmable displays which need to be reprogrammed every time. This makes it inefficient for immediate information transfer, and thus the display
board loses its importance. The GSM based display
board can be used as an add-on to these display boards
and make it truly wireless. GSM Stands for Global
Network for Mobile Communication. A GSM modem
is a wireless modem that works with a GSM wireless
network. GSM Modem accepts a SIM card and operates over subscription to other users connected to the
Network. The display board, programs itself with the
help of the incoming SMS with proper validation.
Such a system proves to be helpful for immediate information transfer. The system required for the purpose is just a Microcontroller based SMS box. The
main components of the kit include microcontroller,
GSM modem. These components are integrated with
the display board and thus incorporate the wireless
features. The GSM modem receives the SMS. The AT
commands are serially transferred to the modem
through serial transmit and receive connection (AT
commands are instructions used to control a modem.

AT stands for Attention). In return the modem transmits the stored message through the same serial port.
The microcontroller validates the SMS and then displays the message on the LED display board. Various
time division multiplexing techniques have been suggested to make the display boards function efficiently.
The data will be displayed only after entering the
unique pass key. In addition to that address matching
is done and data can be received only by the dedicated
receiver, and this data is displayed on LED display.
The main focus of the thesis is on displaying information on a dedicated LED display from the any part
of world using GSM network, which facilitates to control any message board globally from any location.
Every unit needs to be connected to power supply
which is a prerequisite for its operation To save system form the attacks we need to add something more
owing to the Security of message. So, not only the
message but a short code also needs to be sent as a
prefix to the message. Thus, even though GSM Modem may receive the message but the controller will
display only if the prefix code matches to the one in
the Controller. In this way, unauthorized access can be
avoided.
This project has capability to be used at school, colleges and various public places including bus stand, airport and railway station for displaying notices. Besides
this the project can be used along the roads to convey
and control the traffic movement

19

YUGMA-2014

THE YUGMA TEAM


EXECUTIVE

DESIGN TEAM

PUBLICITY TEAM

SUPPORT TEAM

*
*

P.S: Special Thanks to Amruta Muthal for proof reading the whole magazine and correcting about a zillion errors! :p
Also, Shubham Agarwal for being the chief Facility Manager
Team Collage Courtesy: Neel Biswas
20

YUGMA-2014

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