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  Vol 2 Issue 2 September ‘10    ping@iiith ~]$  ls Suraksha 010 Campus Celebrations 010 Cultural Activities 011 Ping! Recommends 011 Pun Unintended 011 Our experience at Model United Nations 100 Freshers 100 Change in syllabus of Computer Prog. 101 Agony Aunt 101 Alumni Interview 110 Pen Stand: Human Values 111   Editorial Ragging as a concept isn’t new to the world. As early as in 1626; in his novel, Francisco de Quevedo included scenes of stu- dents “hacking”, as it is known in America. In 1684 Joseph Webb was expelled from Harvard for hazing. From the hostels of Indian universities, to the Greek-letter societies of Ivy League, it has made its presence felt everywhere. The omnis- cient Wikipedia describes hazing as “a term used to describe various ritual and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group”. Initiating, really? Why do we do it behind closed doors then? Of course the freshmen need to be initiated. It is the first time for them away from family and surrounded by strangers. Trust me, we would be doing them a great service by “interacting” with them, sharing a few laughs, sometimes at their expense, sometimes at ours; helping them come to terms with the drastic lifestyle change they have just undergone. But don’t we all forget the difference between “having fun” and “jeering”? It is curious how that happens, especially since the demarcation is pretty hard to miss. It certainly isn’t an honest mistake. How else does one explain all the stealth and precau-tions that go into making the incidents inconspicuous? Don’t get me wrong, a majority of freshmen actually look forward to meeting their seniors. And this is in spite of them being fully aware of the high probability that such meetings will be laced with hazing. Many of them actually enjoy it, untill we pull out the humiliation card. Says an alumnus in this issue, “one of the most memorable moments of my college life is when I was made to sell black tickets… during my ragging”.   Given the events of the past few days, I ask myself, “is it that hard to be considerate”? Just because I felt the brunt of ragging doesn’t mean that they have to too. Taking the high road isn’t very difficult in this case; I just got to stop being sadis-tic. And the last time I checked, it wasn’t a trait, so I think I will be well rid of it. Don’t you?  Nitish Tripathi nitish.tripathiug08@students.iiit.ac.in ping@students.iiit.ac.in http://ping.iiit.ac.in    Suraksha Striving for Shining India Suraksha is a concept that we, a small team of about 5 students from the UG2K7 batch came up with. This idea was motivated from Goonj  's initiative of Vastra Samman  which is a national wide awareness program along with collection campaign. Suraksha aims at organising a collec-tion drive within the institute, so as to lend a helping hand to Goonj  . So our team began with our first collection drive that was held from 4th to 15th April 2010. It had an overwhelming response from the students. About two thousand shirts/t-shirts, a thousand jeans/trousers, five hundred suits, hundred pairs of foot wear and other mate-rials like bags, bed sheets, stationery, etc. were collected. With an aim to inspire and involve a diverse group of students from different walks of life, our group, which had started with its roots in IIIT-Hyderabad has now begun to spread to many other institutes in Hyderabad. Recently, the team of Suraksha successfully celebrated the Joy Of Giving Week (September 27th to October 3rd) by conducting some activi-ties. One of the activities was Vastrasamman , which is a collection drive. Another activity taken up by our team was a visit to two orphanages and spending time with the kids. We believe that by taking out some time from our lives and spending with them makes their day a special one. About fifty students from the college participated in this visit to the orphanages. Similar visits to orphan-ages had been conducted last year too during Rakshabandhan and Diwali  . Our next plan is to conduct a career workshop in government schools to motivate the youngsters to continue with their education and expose them to various future prospects, like the options they have, the various scholarships programmes that can help fund their studies, etc. We are working on a mechanism to set up a small processing center in our college itself, by which the collection that we have, can be used to meet the needs of the people in our neighbour-hood. Since this concept is just at its initial stage, we hope that with the co-operation of more peo-ple, we would be able to fulfill our aim to make a better nation, a shining India. Links and photos containing more informa-tion about Suraksha can be found in the online copy of this article, which can be found at: http://ping.iiit.ac.in/ Campus Celebrations Janmashtami and Ganesh Puja “The festivals are like a map charting our spiritual progress in God .  The saying held true, as the festive season in IIIT got a kick start with the arrival of  Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi  . The enthusiasm was very evident in such an atmos-phere of spirituality and gaiety, as the entire IIIT family came together to celebrate these two aus-picious events. Krishna Janmashtami  , the festival com-memorating the birth of Lord Krishna, was cele-brated in our college on the 2nd of September with religious fervor. A special Sri Krishna pooja was held a day before at midnight, when Lord Krishna is said to have made his divine appear-ance in this world. A well-designed frame with a picture of Radhakrishna was decorated with flow-ers and a series of lamps were placed in front of it. Many bhajans and kritis of Lord Sri Krishna were performed and sung with cheers. Some of the hymns with rhythmic taalams and claps were also recited as a part of the celebration. Many slo-gans were raised in the praise of Lord Krishna. bhajans like Choti choti gaiya .. and many others were sung and the celebration of the first day came to an end with the aarti to Lord and distri-bution of  prasaad  . The most eagerly awaited ac- tivity was the grand “ Matkiphod  ” or the Dahi Handi ceremony, which took place in the volley-ball court near cafeteria as a part of the second day celebration of  Janmashtami  . It was jovially and skillfully executed by a group of excited stu-dents in front of an equally excited audience, where students climbed upon each other in the form of a human pyramid and broke the Dahi Matkas which were tied to a rope at different heights. The entire ceremony of Dahi handi as well as popular Gopalkala ensured that everyone enjoyed in midst of a light drizzle that late night and made this event much more arresting than what anybody had srcinally thought of. To add to this, the previous month also saw the arrival of our beloved “ Ganpati Bappa ” as his beautiful idol was placed in the Guest house on 11th September. Daily prayers and bhajans were organised for the next 9 days in the guest house itself. Students, faculty and alumni came in to join these prayers to pay their respect to their deity and seek his blessings. The biggest spectacle took place on the 19th of September, when the visar- jan was scheduled. The programme started with the usual bhajans and kritis of Lord Ganesha and an aarti was performed at the end. The idol of Ganpati was taken all round the campus with en-ergetic singing and dancing accompanied with loud yells of ” Ganpati Bappa Moriya ”. And we fi- nally bid our farewell to Ganpati as his idol was finally immersed in the Osman Sagar lake with the hope of his early arrival next year. Our next plan is to conduct a career workshop in government schools to motivate the youngsters to continue with their educa-tion... 010    Cultural Activities Dumb-C The Dumb-Charades competition popularly known as 'Dumb-C' was held on 17th September, 2010 in the Nilgiri building. There were a total of 60 participants comprising of 20 teams (5 from each house). The enthusiasm and excitement of the participants as well as the visitors was worth seeing. The event proceeded in 3 rounds. In the first round, 5 movies were given to each team of 3 members, one of whom acted and the other two guessed. Sixty seconds were allotted to each team for this task. There was loud hooting and cheering in the room all through the evening and it could be heard from the main gate of the campus too. After the first round, the top 8 teams moved for-ward to the second round, in which each team was assigned the name of a famous personality, a book and a brand. Each team was given 90 sec-onds for completing the task. It was fun watching the participants trying hard with their acting. The final round consisted of only three teams. In the final round, four movies (to be guessed in 60 sec-onds) were given to each team. It was a lot of en- joyment for the players as well as the audience. The first and second position went to Prithvi house and the third place was captured by a group belonging to Vayu house. It was a fantastic night for everyone present. Sketching After a lot of postponements , the sketching competition finally took place on the 30th of Sep-tember. There were a lot of entries from each house, so much so that short listing was required in some houses. The theme was Conversations, an interest-ing topic, and a lot of unique sketches were made. Besides the participants, it was fun work for the 'stay-backs' too who got the privilege of going through the variety of sketches after the competi-tion. Some of the memorable sketches were one depicting a conversation between a mother and her son, a typical 'gmail' conversation and others. The competition proved that the creative minds of IIIT could think to infinity and beyond! The re-sults are awaited, and you will be updated soon. :) Collage If you can make sense out of scattered, ir-relevant pieces of information and pictures, col-lage is just the thing for you. Last week IIIT stu-dents got the opportunity to do the same. The participants were asked to depict ‘Heritage’ using the newspaper cuttings provided. Despite the lim-iting constraints of time and pictures the teams depicted the idea in numerous ways, spanning from 'Heritage of India' to the 'World’s Heritage' and its importance. The teams were very enthusi-astic and worked with immense concentration. The collages are still under evaluation as the col-lege moves ahead with more cultural and sports events this month. Ping! Recommends Food:  For those with midnight food cravings, there is a person who sells samosas and bread-omelet opposite DLF main gate from 12-2:30 am (Mon-Fri). The food seems more than heavenly during night and many IIITians can be seen gorging on it. Book: “ Immortals of Meluha ” by Amish Tripathi   Movies: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps A 2010 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone. It is a sequel to the 1987 film Wall Street  . Set in New York City, the film takes place 23 years after the srcinal and re-volves around the 2008 financial crisis. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole   A 2010 computer-animated fantasy film, directed by Zack Snyder, loosely based on the first three books ( The Capture , The Journey  , and The Rescue ) of the series Guardians of Ga'Hoole  by Kathryn Lasky. Quotes: “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”   —  Barry LePatner Pun Unintended  011    Our Experience at The Model United Nations MUN, Model United Nations, provides a platform to students from various reputed col-leges and schools to address global concerns, through discussions and debates over a period of three days. They don the identity of delegates from various nations in simulations of different United Nations committees. The conference, along with testing public-speaking skills, nudges the participants towards finding fresh solutions for problems faced by the member states. VIT-MUN satisfied the definition of an ideal MUN , with around 180-odd delegates participating in the conference lasting three eventful days. All of us were allotted different countries to represent in different committees. The profes-sionalism involved in conducting the conference is worth mentioning. For everything, from 'making an important point in debate' to ask 'permission to be excused', we had to raise a “point of order” or a “point of personal privilege”. It was as if the code of conduct left a permanent impression on us even as we spoke about other things, way after the adjournment of sessions. It really tested our convincing ability when we had to set aside our personal opinion and stick to our country’s stand. Another thing that we had to keep in mind was that the decisions which were being taken were for the whole country and some for the whole world. It provided us a great learning experience and very good exposure to topics of global importance. We got to interact with people who were both aware of interna-tional affairs and were able to put forth their views in a clean, concise and an unequivocal way. Some of us also got a chance to rub shoulders with people who were great with yielding the pen and, during the three days that we were there, often managed to put the orators in a tight spot. The closing ceremony witnessed the distin-guished chief guests with illustrious careers as na-tion builders, peace-keeping officers etc. sharing their points of view and experiences, one being, “… earlier I thought there were two worlds, the United Nations on one side and the rest, but now I feel there are three worlds, with the Model United Nations as the third world..”.  Meeting interesting people hailing from dif-ferent parts of the country and sharing their ex-periences enabled us to gain a lot of knowledge, insight and confidence. Presenting a multifarious combination of research, presentation skills, con-flict resolution, compromise and cooperation, it proved to be a youthful world council with more energy and creativity than that displayed by many actual political organisations. Freshers Freshers is one night that every IIIT'ian cher-ishes and remembers. It makes every newcomer experience the oft-quoted phrase that college life is not all about studies . After two years of arduous toil and all nighters, this event shows them the life beyond Newton, Gauss, Kekule, Faraday et al. It is also a welcome presage of a long, revelling journey of 4/5 years wherein they make new friends, try out things they’d never tried out, make mistakes and more importantly learn from them. This year the freshers a.k.a. Cultural Show-case was held on 28 August at Felicity Ground. The event commenced with a performance by Agni house, who performed a skit on different cul-tures in India. The skit depicted the ethnic, reli-gious and cultural pluralism of India. Vayu house tried to show the disparity in opportunities be-tween rural and urban India, the chasm between have's and have not's. Prithvi house portrayed the forgotten adage that bags of gold can never buy the hapiness you are hunting for , in today's ma-terialistic world. Finally, Aakash house showed how the coaching system at +2 level is training students and not educating them. It also pre-sented how a student is forced by the society to do things which give the highest ROI (Return on Investment). The performances culminated after a dazzling performance by Venkatesh who got a well-deserved standing ovation. This was followed by Mr. and Ms. Freshers for PG students. The night was a product of hard work and sheer talent of the First-years. Despite assign-ments and mid-sems they were able to put up a huge show. However, this year's freshers set some new precedents, such as it was for the first time that dinner was served before the house performances (in hindsight this is something we should do for all events), the coloured backdrop with bleeding cowboys was also quite unexpected and it was also for the first time that we did not have Mr. and Ms. Freshers for UG1. Mr. Violin Vasu and Mr. Vedant Kidambi who were the judges for the night announced the results. Aakash stood first (second time in a row), Agni second, followed by Prithvi and Vayu for third positions. In nutshell as BEP would have said, That night was a good night . ..a product of hard work and sheer talent of the First-years. Despite assignments and mid-sems they were able to put up a huge show... 100

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