Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Saturday, March 05, 2005


This is an interesting story to give a glimpse of how things work at my institute. Probably it is so elsewhere too, but I find it very interesting. Various things that happen. And I am fortunate to be in a position to spectate, and in some cases also be a part of the work concerned.

It was sometime ago, one fine morning that I find Dr. Vishal asking my help for writing a script for a film! Yes, I am not lying by any means. The idea was to come up with a promotional film on my Institute,its significance and role in India. There were some "grand" ideas -

-> The film should start setting a picture of the Ancient Past of India that was glorious -
-> Then should talk of the opportunity in the present
-> Then take it to the future.

And then link it up with what happens in the institute and the way in which it works etc. Then he tells me the glitch in the whole thing - the contract for the film was given to a company in Kolkata! [God knows why one would need to go all the way there when locally there are hundreds of film making enterprises] they have come to the Institute and have taken the snapshots of all the things without a script in hand - ideally it should have been the case that the script is made first and then the videos and develop the film - but that could not happen said the Prof.

In order that I get an inspiration to work on the same, I was given this short film that was shown to ex US Prez Mr. Bill Clinton when he came over to Hyderabad by the then CM of AP -Mr. N Chandra Babu Naidu on how the city was developing. It was an interesting video - and to my surprise, it claims of my Institute to Mr Bill Clinton as the next Stanford! How good to be growing with such an institute!

I started thinking for some time, then left it. By the way, the Prof tells about this during my end semester exams in my previous semester [Nov '04]- after the end sems I thought about it and told him clearly that unless I am told what is the Vision of my Institute - which unfortunately is still very unclear to many - it won't be possible to think of projecting anything to people from outside. The catchline for the Institute is "Research that makes a difference" and the film was expected to project the Institute as a Research Institute - with a difference.

The Prof tells me that he doesnot know what it is. And let the Video tell the world including ourselves that this is the spirit, this is the vision of our institute.
And when I said that should be done by the founders and the heads of the Institute - the answer given was - let us take our understandign of the vision to the Director, if he agrees then that is it, or else, we will change it. Strange though it is, there are only very few in the world who are very clear perspective of what they would like to stand for.

So, I made all my rules, and set out to work on the script. I made the assumption that since ours is a University - and not "just" an institute, we need to sound different from an "Institute" - so the script was made after I wasting[spending] a lot of my hours on thinking what would be the best way in which one should look at the Institute. Take a look at the sample: the first few lines -

Mark Twain once remarked:
"India is: the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition."

India was hailed for its pioneering contributions to the world right from ages immemorial for the betterment of the living of the people from all walks of life and all kinds of disciplines.

Her contributions to Human Knowledge through Science and Technology standing the tests of time have left indelible impressions on the world.

Be it Ayurveda or Astronomy, Mathematics or Metallurgy, Physics or Metaphysics, they have all survived the test of time and left us with a great treasure.

!The Wonder that WAS India!

!Clock Ticks quickly to the 1990s!

The creation of the World Wide Web has brought the Internet to every corner of the world.

The world is taken over by a knowledge revolution.

At about same time, India opened her markets to the world. Indians came into direct contact with this revolution - the Information Technology (IT) revolution. A revolution that promises to transform societies in the world to
Knowledge Societies.

[Unlike the societies formed after the Industrial Revolution, the Knowledge Societies are meant for the benefit of all who belong to the society.]

After about a decade, today the world is looking towards India. This is considered the place where IT is happening !'IT' is Happening Here!

Be it in BPO market or in IT Enabled Services, Call Centers and Customer Care Services - India is the preferred destination.
(The distinctions have to be looked at)

Of late, identifying the immense pool of talented Engineering students, companies from all over the world are shifting their Research & Development bases to India.

!The Wonder that India Is!

This is the time to make a mark, this is the time for seeing this phase through to something big, bigger than what we imagine - imagination is the only limit.

(2 minutes)

!Envisioning a Dream for India!

That combines both the positives of the present and the past.

That India would be a nation that leads the world in the forefronts of innovation and discovery.

That in the process, the citizens of India shall represent what India has taught right from the time of the Mohenjo-daro and Harappa.

This sets the tone and I continued saying :

"To turn this dream to reality, India needs leaders, and in huge numbers. "

The Institute answers the ever-growing need for leaders -

"Leaders who are technically brilliant and morally sound to serve the nation in various capacities; leaders who are worthy of representing the great history of the country; leaders with scientific temperament essential for generating progressive thought. " - and this was the vision that I felt the University should have.

And my thoughts were vindicated when our Director said things are going on the right lines.

And I added my own flavor to the Institute's claim for "research" -
"The Institute is producing hundreds of leaders every year with a research-bent of mind if not researchers…"

So that one could ensure that any student who joins get the understanding of research - in fact, my institute also has this "Excitement of Research" Workshops that it started organising since the previous year to bring in that sense of excitement to students from local colleges in my place and create an environment for proper research in India too. Tomorrow, I am going to attend this workshop for the second time since it started.

Just to end things, there were some intermediate discussions over the film and the script was sent to the Kolkata people, they spent 1.0 Lakh rupees and yet the film is to see the light of the day - and whenever the Prof sees me he gets reminded of this Bengali lady who is always out of his reach who is the Producer of the film!


Blogger mythalez said...

1 lakh :-o
Our institute sure knows how to spend money. How do you find time to do everything??

Sunday, March 06, 2005 2:17:00 AM  
Blogger agastyabhrata said...

Hey, wait for my post titled
" Frustration plays a key-role in motivating people" that will tell you about the same - how you make time and not find time...knowing you - you must have guessed what I am saying

Sunday, March 06, 2005 3:14:00 AM  

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