Freshers' Newsletter 8.3



Table of Contents

01 Off Screen Insti 05 Life of an Online TA
02 Hits and Misses 06 Support Systems
03 Digital Socialisation 07 Clubs in Online mode
04 Lost Insti Culture 08 Message from the Editors


INDEX INDEX

Off-Screen Institute

Contributors:: Ameya Mittal, Navjit Debnath, Shaswat Gupta, Nandisha Vyas, Sanya Arora, Shreya Makkar, Sujas Jain, Utkarsh Bhardwaj




Five laptops. Five freshers. Five lives that have meandered into an online semester at IIT Bombay. Read on to see the laptops talk about their owners’ lesser-known offscreen lives.

The Magnanimous Macbook

         It was a beautiful morning, and the rising sun shone softly into the room. 'A' lay on his bed, and I was on the study table, headphones and cables attached to me in a tangled mess. Printouts lay scattered haphazardly around me, even though books and registers kept overloading my database. Ugh, how I wished for all this to get over. I couldn't remember the last time I was in my bag. The dust on me had added to the weight of my miseries. These days, it felt like my memory was packed with cables, and monotonous voices kept tiring my speakers.

Just then, the clock struck seven, alarms beeped and A rose off his bed. I wasn't done reminiscing, but he reached out and switched me on with a bang. A chill ran through my hard disk, and soon, revision lectures started playing. How I wished for the voice to stop! Then came WhatsApp, and the only groups he checked were discussion groups - all No-Spam groups - I relished going through the chats. His revision was over, and he went for a bath; he left me open, as always, so uncared-for nowadays. My motherboard felt a little sad and sincerely wanted him to catch up with friends, listen to music, go on a trek or maybe rekindle a long-lost hobby.

But alas, he was back, and my sensors knew what was going to happen. Live classes started with breakfast in hand, and I couldn't remember him breaking eye contact with me since. After all, he was probably the most studious college student. There was no Spotify, no nap break. My owner was one of his kind; his lavish studying was not a problem, but I felt concerned that his mornings went into lectures and the nights into right-before-deadline submissions.

'A' occasionally tried to evade lectures and peacock his sense of humor in discussion groups. That made me swell with pride. Yeah! My owner got some chills. But then some failed get-together plans would make me feel melancholic. I wanted classes to get over soon, and him out of all this. The language of his expressive eyes is not for things and objects like me, A's friends were the ones it was for.

As these thoughts streamed past my processors, the sun reached its peak. The windows were closed, and the curtains were left open. I just wished for not another 'lazy' afternoon.

The Indolent Ideapad

         My owner 'C' is a tad lackadaisical. He consistently strives to push the boundaries of his sleep cycle, knowing well he will squander the entire morning and wake up in the sweltering afternoon heat, adding 3 more lectures to his ever-growing repertoire of recorded lectures.

It is afternoon. As he slides his thumb in the sculpted notch between my screen and main body, my hard drives start whirring as the operating system loads to consciousness. As I reload and try to make sense of all the chrome tabs from cached memory, MS Teams and Kaspersky make renewed attempts to overwhelm my RAM. Random YouTube videos occupy C’s next few hours to compensate for the lost hours of the morning. (Haha)

In the past few months, C has raised his procrastination to unimaginable levels. Unfinished assignments lie dormant till right before the deadline. I share the thrill of submitting assignments seconds before deadlines and my owner misses no opportunity to relish this experience.


I am a dead laptop running when the mid-term and end-term exams approach. Navigating from pdf to pdf, I lose track of the endless number of lectures being downloaded in the background. I can sense his growing stress and urgency. I can see his eyes get weary as the night becomes one long marathon perusal of slides and tutorial solutions. For someone who studies as recklessly as C, he performs well.

These days, I cherish every opportunity to rest. My fans hardly get any downtime amid a taxing barrage of lectures, Netflix, emails, and gaming, sometimes simultaneously. As I power through with an erratic charging schedule, I marvel at the parallels in our lives and wonder: What charges C?


An Introspective Inspiron


Friday:

The morning light seeped through the blinds, and I knew he’d wake up soon. While the nightlife in college held some of his most cherished memories, the early morning serenity had been a solace his entire life.

“Beep-beep, beep-bee-”, he rolled over and walked towards the window, pushing it open. The rising sun cast a rosy hue across the morning sky. Another day had dawned, bringing with it new hopes. Ah, I forgot to introduce myself; I’m the Laptop. My friend, N, is a college fresher, and this is a day in his life.

Desk to bed, bed to desk; this was all the traveling I had been doing in a day. N's college resided in me now; the entirety of that vast world - I held within. I then saw him writing in his diary while eating his breakfast in silence. Soon his arms reached out to me, and I knew my day had begun. Opening multiple apps and tabs, he skimmed through a sea of chats and announcements.The real battle, however, was always the lectures. One lecture after the other, N kept fighting till noon with a majority of the time away from me. That time away was spent with my friend, the Phone. The Phone keeps him busy with never-ending chats that curiously blew up during lectures.

It was noon when he set the Phone down and stared at the sky. I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of the sky too. I could tell now was the time. I heard gentle strumming and soft singing as he sang through the afternoon. Then his eyes drooped and the lazy afternoon haze took over

I continued to rest in sleep mode as N woke up and went out. He came back drenched in water and dirt, from an evening of football it seemed. The weekend was here! Soon enough, the Phone rang and a video call was arranged. They started off as a small group. As the moon rose higher in the sky, his friends kept joining and by midnight, it was a full house! N always liked to be a part of it from the start and witness the awkward small talk turn into deep midnight conversations.

Saturday:

This morning, N slept in. When the sun reached the top of the sky, he finally pulled the curtains open and stretched his arms above him. His lips curved into a smile and his eyes gleamed in the bright light of a new day full of new possibilities.

The Overcooked Omen

As twilight settles in and the hectic hustle-bustle of the evening replaces the sleepy calm of the afternoon, I prepped to go through another slew of VCs and movies. I bet this is every laptop’s Ghar Ghar ki Kahaani now. Quiz prep nights alone offer some respite from the grueling routine of bouncing in and out of meets. While my owner talks to her heart’s content and always forgets to charge me, I have come to fear this online semester. But wait, another dozen notifications from Discord, WhatsApp, and whatnot have just popped up and I must tell her.

Popup: “Heyy S, not coming to the meet kya? Don’t tell me you’re done for the day, inter-department VC hai. Join na, it’ll be fun”

It’s time for yet another movie. I wish I could simply ‘mute’ their disruptive giggling and watch the movie in peace. As always, S must take pictures of my screen to find one fit for Instagram. Does nobody care about how self-conscious I get with cameras pointed at me?

I’ve seen S try it all: imitating master chefs from YouTube videos (only to get a very humble result) to trying to learn German after getting impressed by Martha’s accent in Dark. A second online semester has meant that S literally feeds off the social interaction and her worst nightmare now is a dull weekend alone with her devices.

And wait, another notification, a new group has been created! The total group tally is about 90!? How S keeps up with the numerous groups is beyond me. Before the pandemic, I lay neglected in some dusty corner of the house, stacked between cranky notebooks and unfriendly binders. It feels good to finally be the center of attention; I suppose S is rubbing off on me.

As I notice S hasn’t eaten for three hours, I wonder why she wouldn’t end her gossip session if they have a trek planned the next morning. She needs to wake up early tomorrow, but may barely get any sleep through the night.

Despite all my complaints, I still admire her for taking the online semester in her stride. I will miss the chaos of this online semester, trying to control my laughter listening to a professor burbling about quantum physics at 2.5x, reminding her that her screen recording from the quiz is still in progress when she proceeds to have a candid call with her friends and listening to her introduction when she’s on mute.

While this situation isn’t ideal, S has really taught me how to make the best of it!

The Speculative Spectre


heart not so heavy as mine,
wending late home

It’s late noon, and the room is lit only by faint sunlight. M’s head rests against the windowpane, lost in a flurry of thoughts. As I emit the abominable blue light, I wonder why it is so hard for her to follow the 20-20-20 rule. She could easily program her source code to look 20 feet away, every 20 minutes, just for 20 seconds. In this online semester, where neither of us gets a chance to shut down and rewind, I believe it is the least she could do to preserve her sanity. But who am I to dictate what humans should do? Besides complaints of M not getting enough sleep, I love how there are always good songs playing, be it classical, alternative, or even pop (for when M is in a mood to disco).

as it passed my window,
whistled itself a tune

The melancholy is here to stay after today's terrible quiz, where the nuisance of online proctoring made my fan compete with an airplane's rotor.

M is a dreamer. It's amusing to see her face transition from that of pessimism to wishful thinking as she turns her eyes away from me. It starts off with 1984's dystopia, then juggles between imagining herself in a Jane Austen novel where her biggest worry would be to just find a rich man, a Virginia Woolf one in which she is a rich man, then wishing to be metamorphosed into a Kafkaesque bug to finally just wanting to share a cookie with a cat.

a careless snatch, a ballad,
a ditty of the street

M is trying to draw something in her journal, it's wrong to peek but I think I see a ship, rather, just the deck, it's a navy-blue night, water sways underneath while she lays on the wood. M is completely unaware of the million WhatsApp groups with a trillion texts (half of which is polt). Humans sure do have a talent for escaping reality.

I’ve begun to notice that her ‘hobbies’ have become more spontaneous and abstract, so much so that she dreads the “what hobbies do you have” question. The answer is supposed to set you apart from others, yet rarely do you find some eccentric “I actively follow American politics” type of person. But there is nothing wrong with having common hobbies - hobbies are supposed to be fun and not performative.

It’s around 3:30 pm and M picks up a call, which is rare. Turns out it’s T! I gaze at her as she talks about Book Fairs and soon the conversation ends at admiring Clifford the Big Red Dog. The rest of the afternoon is spent taking a nap, which is broken by the melody of the kettle whistling in the living room, signaling the chai is ready.

yet to my irritated ears,
an anodyne so sweet



Hits and Misses of Online Semesters

Contributors: Anagha Savit, Samyak Jain, Shyam Iyer, Almaas Ummu Salma, Priyanshu Tamta, Sahil Nair, Ojasvi Kathuria, Vedika Gupta


Misses

It’s been well over a year since the pandemic started pirouetting around the globe, and after a quick trip around the sun, I find myself back in the same situation as I had been in a year ago. Finally, however, the uncertainty of where I’ll be spending my college life seems diminishing. Or does it?

I am studying in the college that I dreamt of, but the things I yearned to experience remain orphaned in the pages of my bucket list. I wonder if I could strike off items from it soon. When you are in the middle of the jam-packed two years of JEE preparation, you remind yourself of the perks of campus life to keep going. When you watch your friends chilling out while you are stuck on a complex system of bodies or exceptions in inorganic chemistry, you dream of the good years ahead and your jealousy over their freedom seems to fade away.

Now, we’re IITB 'junta' - as the 'insti' lingo goes. But we're not on campus; we’re at home, alone, and it sucks.

I miss being present. The aura, the crowd, the sheer satisfaction of straining my vocal cords and cheering for my hostel. But the online semester has left me in a state of limbo. My department has become my hostel. My classmates have become my wingies, and we're becoming a batch utterly clueless about what defines IITB. The very few interactions with seniors have openly revealed the many experiences that I am missing out on. The jargon makes the conversations exotic yet somewhat inaccessible, and the smiles that the stories induce seldom compensate for missing out on the fun we could have had.

“You live a college life entirely different from what we have,” said one senior to me, and I can't say I haven't thought of borrowing their eyes for a second and seeing the life I long to have. To see the ambience of the OAT or Gymkhana ground as they have; to experience more than just building up imaginary visuals of their perceptions; to see the dancers jumping to the beats our hearts would synchronize to; to hum along with the crooners working their magic on stage. All these are nothing but mirages that I shake off with the tone of a notification.

“Polt, speaking of which, elections went by in a blink. Especially for those who realized that their screen time was flying over 14 hours and retreated from the playgrounds of Instagram and WhatsApp for a while, they went by with a few Web mails. Attending the soapboxes left me questioning my decisions. My limited knowledge of the structure and functioning of the insti made the words they spoke felt like a random collection of syllables. I wonder how it would have been in the hostels and what would have happened in the middle wing”

On a good day, as one scrolls through their feed, they see Instagram stories of the few who have freed themselves to enjoy small and sometimes great pleasures in life. Unfortunately, department trips and post-mid-sem Marine Drive trips remain a distant yet close image, a make-shift version of which only a lucky few have had.

You dream about walking on the roads inside because that's all one can do now. As these futile musings engulf you, you swim about calm in the soothing fantasy. And then, in a blink, you are looking at a screen again, dark circles forming around your eyes and the mundane consumes you again. You stretch your hands and close your eyes, letting out a long sigh and take a moment to yourself. What happened? How did the first year pass so soon? Where were the all-nighters I had imagined with my wingies - in the same room, on my third cup of coffee? Why is it just me, face illuminated by the screen light, sipping my fifth cup of coffee? An all-nighter nonetheless.


Hits


There have been quite a few “hits'' that have brought smiles to our faces and slight twinkles to our eyes. Our favourite acts of tomfoolery include texting friends in the middle of lectures, spamming the chatbox when the lecture gets boring, muting a lecture, and going back to sleep in our cozy blankets. Of course, this complete section could be about home-cooked food and the familiar comfort of our own beds, but let’s look past the glaringly obvious.

Truthfully, what made this online semester better were the people we found. Chats on WhatsApp groups started with formal introductions, awkward interactions but soon, these groups started transforming with every late-night (or early morning!) conversation. From political debates to suggesting hilarious pickup lines, to recounting JEE memories and deep philosophical discussions - we somehow bonded with people who used to be strangers.

Soon enough, we shifted from chatting to video calls. To quote Dumbledore - “we can find happiness in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light.” And just like Ron’s Deluminator, the light of our laptop cameras took us to our friends. It didn’t end the dark times, but they instantly became a lot easier to live in.

We keep hearing that college friends are your buddies for life, the ones who will stand by you till death do you part - the ones who would know you better than you know yourself. In this chaos of online lectures, SAFE issues and Google Forms, we have found our friends. It is true that this hardly resembles the dream life that motivated us during all those moments when we wondered whether spending hours rote-learning formulae would be worth it. But we did find our silver lining.

“Maybe bad things lead to some pleasurable experiences too, since most of us went on quick trips and brief excursions with our friends post endsems (which we might not have gotten permission for in normal times). Enjoying those crazy moments with the people we’d been craving to meet for months, stress-free, no assignments, no due dates is definitely something to be grateful for“

When the going gets tough, people put forth the best in themselves, which shone in the Weekend Trauma event - an initiative undertaken by freshies to give their peers something to look forward to. It is quite the necessity when every day seems like a repetition of the previous one. Be it a game of poker, a tinge of drama, the medicine of laughter, the bling of awards, or lots of hard work, the weekend had everything that we could want.

Introverts all around enjoyed extroverts reminiscing over old times, wistful eyes reflecting their wish to go back to days when 20 people crowded up in a room, as they type out well-thought-out replies effortlessly. And yes, the most challenging part of leaving a gathering has now become the simplest thing in the world. Bored? Sleepy? Drained after a long day? Press the little red button, and return to your bubble.

Extroverts had their own share of luck as they made their way into the inner circles of multiple friend groups, navigating between chats from one group to another. They met so many amazing people out there simply because switching through VCs is easier than sprinting from one end of the insti to the other.

Speaking of strangers, how often have you wondered what other people listen to when they go about their day - sitting somewhere working, walking, gazing at the sky, or dancing? Now you can find out through a simple click! Join the voice channel where they’re listening to music and ta-da; even though you’re miles apart, it feels like you’re sharing earphones. And the joy you experience when you find someone with a similar taste in music is unparalleled!

When we come to campus, it will be like Asia’s largest online meetup, and that's not something you would get to experience elsewhere. Our hostel life won’t start with unknown faces and homesickness, but with friends with whom we have already talked, laughed, and made months’ worth of memories.

A lot about the online sem sucked dear life out of us, but it gave us things worth holding on to as well. As go the wise words borrowed from Tumblr, “This problem will have its place in your life,” and so I am grateful to the online semester for beautifully fitting into the jigsaw of my life.

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Well, that’s all about the article, and here are some brilliant answers we received for the survey that we conducted. Responses are on a scale of 1 (least likely) to 5 (most likely).







Digital Socialisation

Contributors - Jaydeep Sharma, Shubhneet Soni, Muskaan Chandra, Nandisha Vyaas, Sahil P Nair, Ammar Barbhaiwala, Anmol K Bhatwalkar

Freshie year has been different this time. In a world where it’s almost impossible to run into someone as we usually would on campus, finding and maintaining a social group isn’t easy. Every relationship needs to be actively cultivated, or else it vanishes. So on top of a towering pile of assignments, socializing becomes an exhausting chore rather than a recreational activity. Surviving the painful awkwardness of zoom calls and pushing yourself to make the most of what seniors believe to be “the best year of college life” has been difficult. However, people rise and cope in every dark time across history — more than cope, really. They demonstrate resilience, creativity and an ability to innovate. This article talks about the new normal, the year of “digital socialization”.


NO SPAMMING ALLOWED 😤❌✋🏻

WhatsApp groups, WhatsApp groups, WhatsApp groups. Whether they are the most fun part of your day, something you dread scrolling through, or just a near non-existent unread chat at the bottom of your list-- they are undeniably an essential part of social life at IIT Bombay. Before dawn sets in the following day, we have a trail of stickers from the events of the video calls travelling from one group to another, thousands throughout the week. The sticker masters get to work, capturing the beauty of human expressions, and the cycle repeats endlessly because we at IITB can never have enough stickers. The story of groups doesn’t have a start or an end. Any fateful morning, you can open your eyes to be welcomed by 150 groups which were formed overnight in a spree to lovingly accommodate students of all interests; ranging from ‘garlic fans’ to ‘Britannia cake supremacy’, or a set of groups for height and blood group categories, as well as a group for the people who make the said groups! It is a fact, institutionally acknowledged, that no group can go without a spam battle in its holy existence. Hence, after being inaugurated by shagun ka spam, these groups are forgotten until another fateful day comes around, and sticker spams revive these groups again.


A Weekend Without Trauma


The freshies didn’t limit themselves to just WhatsApp groups and video calls, and they knew that no freshie year is complete without lukkha nights, activities by clubs you’ll probably never end up joining and trying every new thing because enthu. As clubs and IBs adjusted to the semester, freshies decided to take matters into their own hands and organise *drumroll* Weekend Trauma!

The CRs who worked beyond their designated roles were the leading architects of this event. The toll taken by the online sem inspired the name, as they picked the one free weekend to provide the newbies with much-needed relief. More than a hundred freshies joined in to test their luck in the Poker night, saw a few hits and misses in the inter-department drama competition. Still, everyone had the chance to loosen up with the improv games organised by Comedy Cons.

The most impressive thing about this event was that in the online era, without hostels and posters in the mess or even seniors to guide, this event was not just well organised but was extremely popular. It all started with a short teaser video that went viral thanks to the hundreds of freshie WhatsApp groups and pages on other social media sites. Soon everyone realised that the “Hype was real”. The fact that the background music was catchy somehow turned into a hashtag of sorts. People started spamming “BGM is lit” everywhere, and a batch of 1200 kids soon caught on that something real was about to occur. They ended the weekend with awards like ‘Maggu God”, “Social Butterfly” to acknowledge those who stood out and made their “contributions” memorable.

Various clubs and IBs also organised lukkha sessions and informal meets on zoom or game nights on discord to increase freshie interaction. Interactions with seniors like the campus tours on GatherTown, also made freshies realise that they’re a part of an institute with a rich culture and heritage. It was this assurance that made their semester more interesting than just online courses.


Acads Par Charcha


As much fun as these events were, another integral part of learning is the social circle that turns into a study group for that one week before exams. Learning isn’t just an intellectual activity but a social one as well.

In the online setting, where even seniors who had “offline” friendships in the institute were struggling with the academic load of the hectic semester, freshies came up with unprecedented ways to sail through this educational ordeal. During the semesters, they tried their best to collectivize all the help they could get to make the academic curriculum easier and bearable. The volunteering responsibilities of the CRs included having a list of machau seniors for each subject so that the comrades don't have to go through random witch hunts to get their trivial doubts solved. As end-semesters approached, numerous meets were organized just by the CRs. These meets included informal TSC's for each department, taken by the helpful seniors, and other sessions taken by the maggu gods for the entire division. The academic interactions of the students weren't limited to these significant events but also included closed group VCs among friends where people studied by themselves while remaining on the Zoom calls. Throughout the semester, CR's were quick and responsible for passing on all sorts of academic information to their fellow batchmates via crucial department WhatsApp and Discord groups while ensuring healthy coordination between students and professors.


The Mute-ation


This type of day-to-day socialization does have its perks, though. One can join and leave conversations solely as per their convenience, which would be very hard to do in real life. Since most groups have a large number of participants, there is no pressure to generate topics to talk about either, and conversations flow smoothly.

In personal chats, since there is no compulsion to reply immediately, it is easier to think of a reply and ultimately prolong the conversation.

However, this has clear downsides as well. A large number of students have little to no phone usage while preparing for JEE. Suddenly going from such an environment to online college life- wherein screen time increases drastically, making friends depends on how good you are at texting. The passing of all sorts of information that happens through these WhatsApp groups- has been a massive struggle for most. Moreover, getting lost in a WhatsApp group has become a much-too-common experience. Navigating through these groups, figuring out which ones you want to be active on (if any), and which ones you want to mute immediately is now an unspoken essential skill.

Although WhatsApp groups usually help in getting to know people, the one-on-one interaction suffered. Conversations die out quickly because, unlike in groups, it is harder to think of topics to discuss. It is even harder to re-initiate or get back to a conversation with the same person. Aside from this, since it is unlikely for two people to be free to talk simultaneously, it is simply more convenient to send the same text to a group and get a faster reply.

The definition of friendship itself has been altered, emphasising carrying out conversations and less on hanging out with each other or having shared activities. A lack of proximity to other students, i.e. absence of wing culture and sitting next to each other in lectures, has led to another interesting aspect of online socialisation. There is no compulsion of interacting with a specific person for a prolonged time, which means that friendships are forming based solely on who you enjoy speaking to and spending time with, rather than as a result of your roll number or which room is allotted to you. For some, this greater freedom in the social sphere is undoubtedly something to savour, although others might miss the feeling of having someone you initially had nothing in common with growing on you over time.


The New Normal?


Over the past year, all of these issues, along with screen time fatigue and finding the ‘social energy’ to endlessly scroll through and reply to texts while simultaneously attending lectures and institute events in an online format, have taken an enormous toll on the lives of freshers. Forming and maintaining friendships requires more effort than ever before.

The role of seniors here, especially ISMP mentors, must not be disregarded. They have the power to bring about interaction among wingies right from the beginning, easing them into the process of online socialisation and making sure even the quieter students feel included at all points of time. Informal VCs with seniors helped break the ice since there are automatically many conversation topics as every senior enjoys giving endless fundae, albeit unasked for.

Finally, the key thing to remember here is that everyone is going through similar struggles. While a lucky few have managed to come out of this with batchmates they can count on, several are still navigating their way through socialising online and trying to develop friendships, so do not hesitate to reach out to others. There is a long insti life waiting ahead, and we could all use a bit of empathy in these trying times.



Lost Insti Culture


Contributors:: Indrayani, Alakh Agarwal, Athul CD, Aryan Khanna, Kshitij Sovanee, Sanidhya Anand


For the past few months, we have been part of one of the most prestigious institutes, yet all we seem to know about our ‘insti’ - as we call it in the lingo, is Moodle, SAFE, BodhiTree, MSTeams and ASC. Our insti culture, which gives us our identity as instizens, is relatively unknown to us freshies even after having pulled through a year. Yes, culture is dynamic; it evolves with time. But when a pandemic suddenly takes away the very lifeline of culture, the irreplaceable aspects of it face the peril of being lost forever.

Most people would come to insti for the first time on their JoSAA counselling day, with eyes eager to take in every bit of this place; a dream come true for many. The first thing that would hit you about the campus was the lush greenery, the rain-soaked roads and the surprisingly large number of cows blocking them. At least that’s what we’ve heard. The initial few days would pass by in shuttling from your hostel to the convocation hall - where freshies would be seated department-wise for the orientations. ASC registrations would take place in labs. However, the various clubs would soon have their orientations at LT PCSA, with a seating capacity of just 250. People would swarm to the entrance, only to be denied entry because the auditorium would be packed in no time. A lucky few would stand on the aisles, sit on the floor, or even sit on their friends' laps. All this to catch a glimpse of some celebrity promoting their latest film or web series.

Getting started with hostel life is another thing - right from bargaining in marts while buying necessary, day-to-day stuff to the MI/TF leaflets slid into your room from under your door. But the most important thing that makes this insti life amazing are the friends we make here. Ranging from studying together the night before the quiz to staying up all night for MoodI’s Lucky Ali concert, friends are the ones that get us going.

One such group, and the most important, I must say, are your Wingies. Yes, the ‘people next door’ are the first confidantes you will meet in your insti life. It wouldn’t be very late before you'd start knocking on every wingie’s door to have dinner in the mess together. Various clubs would organise loads of events where you could enjoy yourself with your friends; informal discussions, quizzes, crypt hunts, gaming nights (everything from CS: GO to poker to DnD), music jams, and hands-on filmmaking experiences. These have, unfortunately, not been very easy to replicate online. The hushed conversations with your team-mates in the last round of a quiz, cultural performances in the open-air theatre at SAC, overnight scripting and shooting at different places for films, getting your hands on high-tech gear in insti and, above all, bonding with fellow students over shared interests- all of this is amiss in the online mode.

Another significant loss is being unable to study with friends before a quiz or mid/end sems. Group studies are always a saviour. Learning foreign concepts from the ‘maggu’ in your wing a night before the exams, being able to clear any doubt through friends and taking the ‘tastier than dessert’ midnight snack from the mess is always fun. Even the lecture halls and the library are open to enable all-nighters during the exam weeks. But when your wingies are just as stumped as you, where do you go? The TSCs then served as the last hope- one final attempt at peer learning, but this time from an experienced TA :)

The phase after exams would be celebration time for most. You could see the relaxed faces of each instizen waiting to get out of insti to let go of the stress and worries that were built up for the past week. These are the times when you could just ask some random faces for a trip to Marine Drive, and the next thing you know, you are staring out at the sea, fellow exhausted junta by your side, almost like a ritual for your first year.

If this is already overwhelming (or nostalgic), wait up; we got more stuff for you! How can we not mention one of the instrumental pillars of our extracurricular life- the Gymkhana, a wonderland for sports fanatics. Gymkhana grounds and sports facilities have always provided the much-needed refreshment from acads, be it playing sports with your friends or just going for a run by yourself. They provide you with the luxury of picking up a sport that you haven’t played before {flashback to the JEE days :’( } and become a pro at it -so much so- as to even represent IITB at the Inter IIT Meet, which is absolutely riveting during the offline times. Furthermore, offline sem would provide you with an opportunity to bond with your peers and seniors over countless events such as Department Treks, Kurta Day, Insti Tours, Movie Nights being a few.

Now to talk about Insti Elections. Although we have been part of one of these competitive and contentious, yet empowering and democratic elections, this in no sense provided us with the feel of offline elections and the unique experiences that came with it. Meeting similar people while campaigning for the same candidate and vibing with them via poster making and celebrations, convincing other freshies and numerous others to at least vote in these elections are the activities that (in an offline sem, of course) seem appealing to politics enthusiasts. While we are on the topic of elections, there must be a reference to the iconic ‘blackout period’, which is the day before the general elections when none of the candidates are allowed to be seen or even spotted on campus grounds.

In conclusion, online semesters (yes, it hurts to write that in plural) might not be half as fun and happening as offline ones. But while we’re sick of hearing that “These are unprecedented times”, we can’t deny the fact that we have to make the best out of the cards we’ve been dealt. The sole fact that we are acquainted with most of the activities above is in itself a testimony to the hard work and effort put in by our seniors to replicate their freshie year experiences for us in this online COVID-affected world. It is through such efforts that our institute's culture survives in these dark times. It’s on us to keep it alive till the clouds give way and the institute resumes normal functioning, with all students back on campus after an almost eternal wait. Till then, let’s all come together (metaphorically, of course :P) to add in our little inputs and keep our culture vibrant and fresh for the love of the insti that we’re all pining for.


Life of an Online TA

Contributors:: Harshvardhan Nigam, Tanisha Khandelwal, Harshit Agarwal, Preethi Malyala, Aditya Sanghavi, Swasti Pahuja, Sarthak Jain, Sanskriti Agrawal, Aryan Gupta, Tejas Amritkar


Sir Michael Morpurgo had once said, “It’s the teacher that makes the difference and not the classroom.” The definition of a classical classroom has been put to the test with online classes. Is your laptop a classroom or just a makeshift headrest?

If you think that the online semester has taken a toll on you, we would argue it has been even tougher for your TAs. Most TAs sit with a laptop, assuming that 40 people are listening to them, and more often than not, the assumption is false - oh wait, is it the damn network again?

While you struggle to solve a single tut sheet, your TAs are not only solving theirs but yours too, at the same time. The person on the other end of your MS Teams window has a whole different story.

Monitoring students

“I am staring at a screen and yearning for someone to respond or ask a question” — a TA

When screens are all that is connecting two people, communication is bound to take a hit. Almost all TAs agree that the offline semester outperforms the online one in this respect. With every student’s video and audio off, the facial cues that TAs often rely on to gauge if the student is following or not were missing.

This was a clear notion among the TAs; most of them felt helpless about it and could not find a concrete method to help them bridge the divide between them and the students.

It was observed that many students were shy of unmuting themselves to put forth their opinion in fear of judgment. Many TAs made active efforts to make their tutorials as interactive as possible.

Harshvardhan, a TA for CH105, asked his students to read the question first for others and then tell their thoughts about it. It led to a more active discussion among students, and Google jamboard was used to let students write their solutions as well.

Krushnakant, a TA for MA109, employed an exciting strategy to deliberately make mistakes in the tutorial slides and encouraged students to think over them.

Shaurya, a TA for PH107, would write emails to students who missed 4-5 tutorials in a row, checking if they were facing an issue. After the tutorial, he would stick around to talk to his tutees, nothing related to the course, just banter and bonding.

While the onus lies on the student to pay attention during the lectures and tutorials, the online setting definitely added an advantage, as they could refer to recorded videos at their convenience. Most TAs were understanding and did not employ harsh methods to ensure attendance.

WhatsApp groups proved to be quite a way to connect with students- several TAs formed separate groups to share memes and sticker spam, and we all know how sticker spam goes. This not only increased the interaction between the TA and the students but also between students of the same tutorial batch who may be feeling disconnected; it encouraged even the shy ones to come out and talk. It is worthy to note that a lot of academic discussions were also carried out in these groups.

Managing Acads with TA duty


“It is not a hindrance if you enjoy it, and also the only requirement is better time-management skills.”

We noticed that managing time while taking tutorial sessions and acing their academics wasn’t discomforting for most TAs as the skewed timeline allowed them to stay productive during their winter breaks. Some TAs did mention that their duties were a bit hectic but still manageable. Shaurya, now in his fourth year, observed, “In the fourth year, I’m comparatively free. I mostly have electives, and I am enjoying this, what I feel is deserved freedom.”

Besides, this unusual semester ended up giving TAs more time to focus on their tutorial batches. Most of the TAs we interacted with had a passion for teaching and were often the “unofficial TA'' in their first year for their wingies, and hence decided to take up TAship.
It's worth noting that the TA selection procedure in itself is pretty rigorous and measures the student’s interest and knowledge in that course before selecting them. In general, the TAs do not face an extra academic load because of the TAship, which was reflected in our discussions with them.

Online Exams & Grading


“Generally, correction with Co-TAs is a delightful process, and one doesn't realize how time flies by. This time we were all alone, so I tried to set up a meet with my friend Co-TA, and we sat for 5 hours straight and finished correcting”

TAs had a mix of opinions regarding the grading system in an online semester.

Most TAs believed that conducting online exams was tougher as compared to the corrections. This was primarily due to proctoring issues, network inconsistencies, technical glitches, and of course, the tainted souls of some, aka attempts at cheating! :P

Many believe that the SAFE application made the grading less painful (even though answering on SAFE was a bigger pain). It was convenient due to its rubrics feature, making the process faster and efficient. However, in many courses, objective papers were conducted. Hence, grading was scaled down to some extent contrary to an offline semester. Students scored marks that were much higher compared to an offline semester, and consequently, the grade cut-offs reached new heights.

We also asked TAs to compare the TA duty to the offline scenario. The majority agreed that the online case was considerably more involving and time-consuming but was greatly aided by the skewed timeline of freshers’ semesters.




Atten-dance


Tutorials are one of the most important aspects of any course. They allow you to clarify your doubts and get a knack for solving questions related to the topic by seeing your TA solve them.

For some, attendance is the sole reason for attending a lecture; for others, it is just a mere obligation. Irrespective of which side you belong to, most of us would agree that attendance in tutorials has been very high!

TAs regularly encouraged students to attend tutorials. In fact, some TAs believe that tutorials were more helpful to students than lectures (Yes, your TAs and your participation in tuts had an important role to play in your grades. Now you know how to get that elusive AA 😉).

TAs were also impressed by the attendance this sem. Aryaman, the popular maths TA, attributes this increase to the convenience in an online sem, where you do not have to walk all the way to the classroom in the hot sun right after having lunch. (Yes, online sem ke bhi fayde hain :P) To bolster the attendance and get us lazy people out of our blankets, the TAs had to resort to carrot and stick methods: some of them baited the curious among us by including new theorems while others got us a tut pal who could keep track of our progress :)

However, none of the TAs enforced strict attendance. So, you could attend the classes or dance behind your screen with your video off (no Shweta moments, please) without anyone realizing. In any case, we hope it’s the former because your TAs were heavily invested in your learning, to the extent that some of them specially bought writing tablets to clear your doubts (There goes the TA stipend :/). Not only this, like true engineers of India, they resorted to immensely creative methods (read: jugaad). A TA for MA207 created a makeshift stand to capture himself while writing and then mirroring the video to his laptop!

The TAs have done their part. Now it is up to us to ensure that their efforts don’t go in vain. So stop dancing and attend your tuts religiously!



Behind the scenes of Being a TA


A candid observation from Shaurya - we thank him for this invaluable piece.

“One thing is: we are not as smart as you think we are. We are also students, our only achievement being, we were born 2-3 years before you. I had this perception in my first year that TAs are some sort of a divine entity, and they know everything. But the truth is, we don’t use them in our daily lives, so even we need to go back, read the slides, watch some videos, and oil the gears of our rusty memory, to remember what those concepts are. Often, we face problems with the same topics that students do, but the only thing is, having learned the stuff before, it comes back to us quickly.

For example, if there is a relatively challenging problem in a tut sheet, it’s not that I see it, and I immediately get the solution; that doesn’t happen. I have to go ask the professor or my co-TAs who are more invested in those topics. There are certain topics that I still face problems with.”

TA’s bhi kabhi freshies the ;)

2 Cents from TAs


We hope our enthu freshers probably got a glimpse of what the TAs on the other side of MS Teams think and go through during the tutorial and otherwise. But what is the takeaway message? (Apart from campus kholo?). Well, initiative works on both sides; the more you engage in a session, the more your TA will enjoy it, and the more you learn. TAs have taken all different approaches to tackle our problems and doubts; maybe we should play a part too.

Feel free to reach out to your TAs with your concerns; it is likely they might have faced the troubles you might be going through. And, please, if you don't mind, for the sake of your poor old TA, attend the tutorials and ask your doubts.

We would like to thank the TAs for patiently answering our questions and taking the time from their busy schedules to fill out the forms.


Support Systems

Contributors: Akshata Jain, Ashita Yedida, B. Malavika, Akshata Koshti, Peri Sai Teja, Vemparala Lakshmi Pravallika


Introduction

Senior Support Systems are both an organised and an informal framework of IIT Bombay, meant for UG and PG students to serve their academic and non-academic needs. It serves a diverse range of purposes— conducting tutorials, providing counselling and mentorship, improving faculty-student relations, tackling learning issues, cultivating personality development and emotional well being, helping students adapt to an online learning mode, and much more. In this article, we will explore in detail the kind of support systems that a student at IITB can avail.


Official SS:

Stepping in, first, and arguably the most important support system in place for UG freshies are the mentors from the Institute Student Mentorship Program. This program is closely monitored by different Deans and the Gender Cell with inputs from the Student Wellness Centre; this program assigns every first-year student a third, fourth or fifth-year mentor. Each mentor works to facilitate a smooth transition and provides guidance when required on every facet of campus life - be it academics, student clubs, safety, administrative issues, or simply lending a sympathetic ear.

The next most visible support system is the Student Support Services Council, which runs the Tutorial Service Centre, among other programs. The TSC conducts sessions to explain concepts and clear doubts before major tests. They also conduct various sessions to give students insight into real-life applications of the knowledge gained in various courses

While less involved in the first year, support systems in the institute extend beyond the teething troubles of settling into college life. Among these are the Department Academic Mentorship Program (DAMP) mentors that guide sophomores in academics and the Alumni-Student Mentorship Program (ASMP) program run by the Student Alumni Relations Cell that organises many events to provide students with career advice from alumni.

When it comes to senior support systems for the postgraduate community, there are as many flavours of it as there are departments. However, given the short time of stay and nature of their coursework, the PG support systems are not as well documented or developed as the UG system. This might be because most PG students have had the experience of their UG years, and hence, issues such as culture shock or homesickness do not figure big in their insti life. However, seniors play a constructive role in adapting to the coursework and insti life and provide guidance in matters such as placements and research activities. This has become all the more important during this year when all teaching activities shifted online, with students connecting remotely and often having varying infrastructural issues.

The most common form of senior support system one comes across in PG, especially masters students, is Student Companions or Buddies (they are also called campus ambassadors in some departments). Here, a senior student from the same department is assigned to a group of 4-5 students. Their support is usually in the initial days to get the new students acquainted with things such as Moodle. This year they also helped in getting people acquainted with various platforms such as Teams, Zoom or Webex and helped to get the students facing infrastructural constraints or lab work back to campus on a priority basis. In some newer departments like Education Technology (currently in its second batch), the faculty has donned an active role due to a lack of a senior community. They help with all possible issues, such as providing laptops for resource-constrained students and tapping into their contacts in the industry to help during placements. On top of this, the department council members and the General Secretaries act as a bridge between faculty and students.

Informal SS:

Of course, support systems extend beyond formal mentorship programs. Catering to the cultural activities are the Cultural Mentors from each club, responsible for introducing freshies to the many clubs and events on campus. Apart from acting as the first point of contact for anyone looking to dip their toes into the cult scene, Cult Mentors organised Freshiezza and the virtual Insti Tour this year for the first-year UG students. And finally, stepping in to round up their introduction to insti-life is the Roll Maa or the Roll Baap, the immediate senior sharing one’s roll number. From pitching in with PDFs of textbooks to often being among the first to sponsor a treat for their Roll Beti/Beta (if they take their job seriously, that is), these sophomores pass on the legacy of their Roll family.

The PG side of things sees a slight variation with a Buddy System in some departments and fun activities to facilitate a close bond among buddies. For instance, new entrants in the School of Management were divided into virtual wings to replicate hostel wings and assigned buddies to act as the PoC for one another in case of any issues. They then had an induction two whole weeks before classes kicked off, complete with treasure hunts, talent showcases, and an introduction to the various domains of the MBA world as operations, finance, marketing, and HR. And more often than not, somewhere between the ice-breaking events and sleepless nights spent together (and the harried waking up of each other minutes before class), buddies turned into best friends, and wings, into their very own virtual gangs.

SS, hits and misses:

When one enters IIT Bombay for the first time, they are overwhelmed by the variety of activities that IIT Bombay offers. MI, TechFest, Cult activities and Tech club activities gleam invitingly, and soon enough, acads are forgotten. Add to this the ease of skipping online classes for a few hours of sleep, and by the time quizzes and midsems roll around, most people are in deep trouble. Here is where TSCs come to the rescue. Many doubts and concepts are cleared in the last few days before an exam in the help sessions, and for most freshers, the TAs seem like heaven-sent angels. Apart from TSC TAs, people like ISMP and DAMP mentors are integral to solving most of our general problems. From learning how to navigate the ASC to obtaining tips on how to snag a good PoR, these mentors are a one-stop-shop for the way out of most difficulties that freshies and sophies face.

Unsurprisingly (read: unfortunately) ISMP and DAMP mentors are not the only people who are enthusiastic about giving advice. Most sophies feel that it is their holy duty to unload all of their knowledge upon any freshie that comes their way. In any meeting, all it takes is one innocent freshman to ask the famous time-management question, and the rest of the meeting turns into a long sermon, lasting until even after the inquirer leaves the meeting. Most club activities and lukkha nights, thus, turn into counselling sessions sooner or later.

Conclusion

First-year students always find it especially tough to navigate through the diverse and eventful world that is the campus at IITB. This is why we have multiple senior support systems to help the students find their place here. A crucial part of this support comes in informal interactions with seniors, something that has not been easy in the online mode. The writers of this article remain hopeful that the online mode will soon come to an end and that the juniors will be inducted into the campus and will begin to ask different questions, such as how to get extra ice cream coupons in the mess :P



Contributors:: Abhishek Acharya, Soham Purohit, Harshvardhan Jakher, Tanisha Jain, Yashasvi Bhatt

With students’ entire college lives now shifted to a series of lectures through Teams, Zoom or Google Meets, there came a need for clubs to improvise, adapt and overcome, in these unprecedented times. The clubs are not only an integral part of the institute culture but also determine the way in which the activity they represent is perceived by everyone in the institute, especially the freshers, the future of the clubs. Through this article, we wish to portray how some of the clubs fared in their tussle to stay relevant and to engage the freshers in spite of all the difficulties.


Cultural Clubs


We first take a look at all things cultural - a blend of performing, literary and speaking arts.

Literati: Writing and quizzing are enjoyable in every rendition. Staying true to its roots, the club conducted multiple workshops on writing and poetry alongside their Quiz Club and Writers’ Club meets. Quizzes consisted of both social media shoutout quizzes and more formal ones as well. The highlight of the year was Literarium, the month-long literary arts flagship fest that consisted of quizzing, writing, and slam poetry workshops and performances, and an author discussion webinar attended by students across the nation.


FourthWall: The online nature of this semester showed that the drama club of the institute could do well without a stage and a physical audience. The club conducted workshops and webinars with national and international artists, to gain different perspectives on the craft. Alongside this, Improv sessions were conducted on Zoom. One of the most beautiful creations from this effort was the reconstruction of a street play made by stitching together individual clips. “Keep them occupied” was the club motto, for engagement and interaction through various competitions such as vine making, mime acts, and cross-over conundrums. The pinnacle of this journey was the Radio Plays, a new art form wherein a play was enacted through dialogue, music, and sound effects. Imagine theatre sans the visuals. Sounds fun, right?



WeSpeak: The speaking arts club that focuses primarily on debating saw the art of argumentation, conviction, and analysis shift to Discord and Zoom. The first initiative was an interactive lecture series beginning from the basics of debating to the specifics of debating certain topics such as Feminism and International Relations taken by various seniors.

These lectures were followed by rigorous practice of the aforementioned topics, resulting in real-time applications of the same. FDO (Freshie Debate Open) was conducted where freshers got their first experience of competitive debating. Following this, all enthusiastic freshers got a chance to participate in various intercollegiate debate tournaments, opening up the world of competitive debating to them.


ComedyCons: Another club in the speaking arts genre, the way in which they continued to maintain the enthusiasm of freshmen in comedy was no joke. Through workshops, stand-up open mics, a Meme Fest, they touched all bases to crack a joke. Opportunities were plenty, with freshmen having a chance to perform alongside eminent personalities in the field of comedy, such as Shashwat Maheshwari. The Annual Standup Showcase, a comic battle between teams and arguably ComicCons’ largest event, witnessed the presence of Zalak Dave, Nathan Gomes, and Pooja Path as judges of the competition.


SiverScreen: A club for all things filmy was successful in converting real to reel, even in this online setting. The freshers were introduced to this club through the “Freshers Introduction Music Video'' which featured on YouTube. A more formal introduction was carried out through the cultural orientations, which were followed by numerous workshops on virtual filmmaking, and one on VFX After Effects. A competitive spirit was invoked in the masses through several competitions such as the Music Video making competition (Freshiezza) and the Advertisement Making Competition (in collaboration with the Consult Club).


Tech Teams and Tech Clubs

Next in line, we have the technical clubs and teams, places where you get your hands dirty and apply theoretical knowledge to make/do something. Shifting to an online setting was more difficult for them and they had to be innovative in coming up with something that would keep the freshers engaged. We first look at a few tech teams, and how they fared with their goal of excelling in national and international competitions:

IITB Racing: The online mode of recruitment saw the freshers submitting a subjective paper online, similar to the exams in IITB (without CodeTantra and Safe :p). After this, they were divided into subsystems based on their preference, such as Cooling, Aerodynamics, Drivetrain, Chassis, etc, and their trainee phase began. This involved a two-week-long period where they got to understand the details of their subsystem through the Junior design engineers, and finally, a presentation of what they had learned. They were finally given a project based on software that is needed in the team.


UMIC: Umesh Mashruwala Innovation Cell, UMIC conducted its recruitment test through a take-home assignment involving questions from logical reasoning to ideating and designing bots. The recruited freshies were divided majorly into Aerove, ASME and Sedrica, and enjoyed learning and improving their skills. The pandemic seemed to cause no bar in bringing laurels, as they achieved the 4th position globally in the ASME Student Design Challenge 2021, and were crowned the Global Champions in the IARC Simulation Challenge.


Team Shunya: Famous for making zero carbon footprint houses, this tech team was left with only a handful of people due to an exodus based on the uncertainty of the Solar Decathlon being held when the online shift began. The Solar Decathlon involves making environmentally friendly houses from scratch. However, this did not dampen their spirits as they recruited freshers via interviews. Fortunately, the competition too was able to shift to an online setting and Shunya participated with full force. They ended up securing the 2nd position in the “Attached Housing Design” challenge. The team now has 46 students along with 7 faculty advisors working towards the next Solar Decathlon.


We’ll now take a look at the tech clubs, which aim to promote activities they represent, among the institute populace, as a hobby.


WnCC: The club primarily focused on creating public resources through workshops in order to aid interested students who wished to start coding during the lockdown. Several knowledge databases like - Code In Quarantine, Learners' Space, SoC DIY Winter Projects, Algorithms Simplified, Hello FOSS, and of course, InstiWiki were created for people as distance should not affect learning. Longer hackathons and more basic workshops than usual were organized.


ERC: This being a hardware-intensive club, witnessed a lot of restrictions while carrying out hands-on sessions in the online mode. XLR8, the flagship event of the club, was found to be difficult to conduct initially. However, the club came up with innovative sessions, workshops, and competitions throughout the year. ER101 provided an introductory series to the world of electronics and robotics. The club shifted towards simulation-based approaches via various online tools and software. For example, the Arduino workshop was conducted through a website called Tinkercad. A GC was hosted on a virtual IITB campus through Gather Town, which was a great initiative.


Krittika: Periodic stargazing sessions were replaced by engaging events targeting social media outreach through the club’s Instagram page. Some of the initiatives were quizzes, trivia posts, educational infographics, and fun games with incentives. A series of lectures (Krittika Lecture Series) and a hands-on workshop in collaboration with TechFest, gave some exposure to incoming freshers to the kind of work Krittika was involved in. The final cherry on the cake was Astromania, the general astronomy quiz and the flagship event conducted completely online, which saw large participation. Finally, this online semester saw the birth of a tech team, Team ANYmations, based on the work done during Krittika Summer Projects, which aims at scripting and animating various astronomical and astrophysical phenomena using Blender.


MnP: Being one of the least affected clubs, MnP carried out its activities in full swing throughout the tenure. The flagship quizzes, Bazinga! Math and Bazinga! Physics saw wide participation along with innovative rounds, such as the ones based on Snakes and Ladders and Pictionary. The freshers also got to participate in Group Discussions on Information Theory, Game theory, and Quantum measurement.


ChemistryClub: In spite of being the inaugural year, the club fared pretty well. A nationwide chemistry competition was organized, with various thought-provoking and puzzle-like Olympiad level questions integrated into the quiz. Even though the club faced various challenges like infeasibility for practical or live display type events, the club sailed through pretty well by investing more time into exploring online media and building a community through interactive content and blogs, which were well received and fostered a strong foundational base for the club.


Sports

The Sports Clubs, often the most sought after clubs in the institute by the freshmen, were severely affected since not only was the distance a bar but because lockdown meant that one could not step outside much.

This paved the way for a plethora of events such as workshops on fitness and nutrition, and talks, panel discussions, and a lecture series organized by Aavhan, the annual sports fest of IIT Bombay. Interesting topics such as AI in chess, Indian Boxing, and Racing were covered through these talks. Online fitness sessions for the Inter IIT Teams as well as for the freshers who took NSO as their compulsory course ensured that students stayed active in these testing times.

This also led to the rise of Chess, as a multitude of competitions such as Quarantine Chess battles, Chess960 Fiesta, Freshers Chess Open, as well as training workshops (Queen’s Gambit) were conducted, pushing it into the limelight.

A notable achievement in sports was the Tennis Club conducting on-field events while strictly following COVID protocols for all those who were staying on campus. The events were:

An on-Campus Tennis Tournament, with a participation of 20 students held from 15th to 19th March, and a PG beginner's training camp with a limit of 44 PG students (girls + boys). The camp was scheduled for 4 days a week with 11 people playing each day. Starting from 22nd March, the camp took place for 3 weeks but eventually had to be stopped due to increasing covid cases inside the campus.

All of the clubs appear to have successfully adapted to the online context; however, for a complete campus experience, we hope that COVID abates soon so that enthusiastic freshers are able to witness how fun clubs actually are!






Message from the Editors

Dear freshers,

We hope you had a great first year here at IIT Bombay!

While not what you expected, the past year must have been quite a journey for you as you traversed the treacherous landscape of the online semesters. We hope, regardless, that you had an experience you will look back on fondly.

This newsletter is an attempt to look back and document some of what you guys uniquely experienced, to give some perspective to all the readers, whether they be freshers or seniors. Although it was initially aimed at only the fresher batch, the final content has turned out to be relatable to every student that faced the online semesters and will stand as a fine testament to what all our batches faced in these trying times.

We are incredibly happy with the quality of content created by the FN team and hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Cheers!
Chaitanya and Shaunak
Chief Editors, Insight 2021-22

P.S. If there is something you feel should have been covered differently, or if there are issues you think need to be pursued, do reach out to us. We welcome your ideas and feedback and would love to discuss them.


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Sarthak Rao, Saloni Shetye (Design Managers)
Hiral Agarwal, Bhawna Bharti, Nidhi Shaw, Tanisha Gupta, Snehal Naik
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Hiral Agarwal

Website Credits - Eshu , Tanmay Hiremath, Hem Kanwar
Chief Editors: Chaitanya Johari, Shaunak Natarajan