Tuesday, April 14, 2015

B.Tech Courses by University of Delhi

In year 2013, University of Delhi launched five B.Tech courses, in Computer Science, Electronics, Instrumentation, Food Technology and Polymer Science. At that time students from all over India flocked into Delhi to get admission to these courses. The admission was through cut-off based on their class twelfth marks. Most colleges over admitted the number of students, as no one knew the colleges would be so much sort after.

It seemed like a good option, students get to study in University of Delhi colleges, (still one of the good university in India) and the cost too was affordable, only Rs10,000/- per semester. Most teachers, teaching B.Tech students were also happy, because after many years they were getting chance to teach students with marks in 90s. All was well.

But, then as it happens all good things come to end, don't know who was responsible, DUTA, DUSU, or Private Engineering colleges, the government forced DU to roll back and scrap these B.Tech courses. 

Now, the issue was of the sole running B.Tech course.  There were many voices, many opinions, with many asking for AICTE approval for these courses. Despite statement by then MHRD minister in Rajya Sabha:
Again, only God knows why, but the colleges were told to apply for AICTE approval, which all colleges did, despite less time, thinking at-least  our students will get equal opportunity. Colleges had a visit from AICTE Inspection team. Everything seemed fine. 

But, now another twist, the colleges were asked to submit an affidavit within six hours, stating college will provide both AICTE qualified faculty and necessary infrastructure to these students. One issue which has been raised time and again if teachers with M.Sc and PhD are qualified enough for teaching B.Tech or not. 

According to the link here for Government of India jobs M.Sc in Electronics is equivalent to B.Tech in Electronics, so why should it not be applicable to teaching B.Tech students. 

Students are still in dark, colleges still unsure..... Perhaps will know answer in next episode!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Programming is it difficult?

I love to learn, and so go on attending online courses at Coursera (For some strange reason I enjoy Coursera more than Edx!!)
In a course I am doing, there was an essay we were supposed to write, about why programming is difficult? 
Well, I want to give an honest answer! So here it comes.
I was first introduced to programming in the year 1993 during my second year of under-graduate course, and the first language I learned was FORTRAN 77. For me it was love at first sight. I cannot remember a single moment when I felt programming is difficult. Those were the days of sequential programming, DOS operating system and a specialized air-conditioned computer lab in the college. There was no internet, no emails, no android!!
I remember my friends struggling with programming, trying to mug up programs!!! But for me, from day one it was like me and computer understand each other. I know how to tell 'him' to do the work I want, and 'he' always obeys. I always had belief that if a program can be made, just give  me enough time and I can make it. A belief which even now holds true.
Next year, i.e., 1994 I was introduced to the concept of neural networks, and I enjoyed learning about them even more. It was as if neural networks will put life into my little computer and we will be best buddy's. Though it was not necessary, I tried and implemented all neural network models taught to us in class. It was pure fun. Even today, if I get a programming problem, and is able to take out time from my schedule, I stay awake on nights and code it. 
In last many years I learned various other programming languages, even specialized program Applications, but there have been none that I felt I cannot learn. Learning new software skill always gives me the thrill of an adventure game. 
After telling about myself, it is still important for me to try and answer this question, why programming is difficult for many. From my interaction with my friends and students, the reason for this could be:
  1. People tend to forget that computer does not know a thing, we have to tell it everything.
  2. All variables which we are using should be defined before they are used: a common mistake most make.
  3. And to understand if the logic you have written is what computer is understanding, it is best that we run the code manually one statement at a time, comparing results both manually and computationally: a step most forget perhaps due to sheer laziness. This becomes even more important when there are conditional statements or loops.
  4. And yes secret of good programming is always good indentation and proper commenting. Again something which programmers in their early life do not give any importance to.