Friday, 23 May 2014

Save Congress!

General Election 2014 results were declared last week. Though not even BJP had expected that they would win with such a clear majority, the poll debacle for the UPA was sure to come. UPA-II has failed the people of India. The scams, 'gates', policy paralysis, 'mute' MMS, RSVP gang all contributed immensely to this excruciating defeat. Modi was successful in creating his own space in minds of the people, such that even stalwarts like Nitish Kumar had to face the ire of the people, for breaking away from the NDA. While, some shrewd politicians, like Chandrababu Naidu, took advantage of the Modi wave by contriving an alliance with the NDA at the last minute, which ultimately put him back into the political equation in Andra Pradesh.

With a person like Rahul Gandhi at the helm, Congress has touched new low. Everybody knows it, but I am just saying it. RaGa has to resign. He may be the great-grandson/grandson/son of previous Prime Ministers of India. But that does not make him capable enough to lead the Grand Old Party, founded by the our freedom-fighters, which led India to the Independence and has seen India through each and every milestone in the history of Independent India. But now, Congress has dwindled to a party even without a National Party status.

RaGa needs an introspection. He needs to understand his place and space. I wonder why there is nobody in Congress to talk boldly against him. Till now, the allegations have only reached Rahul Gandhi's 'advisers' and has successfully avoided him. Who were these advisers? Would somebody in the Congress party care to name at least a few of them? Praful Patel even went to the extend of blaming MMS, the Accidental Prime Minister.

Assembly elections in states like Delhi, Maharashtra are fast approaching and another string of defeats is looming over the party. 'It's now or never' situation for the Congress. The solution? Let Priyanka Gandhi step in, as being clamoured by some Congressmen. Her credentials? Well, for one, she is the great-granddaughter/granddaughter/daughter of previous Prime Ministers of India. She even looks like Indira Gandhi. As for me, the only potential I found in her is that she is at least better than her 'chotta bhai'. While RaGa always talks nonsense, Priyanka talks some sense sometimes. Let Pappu roam around with chocolates in his mouth, clutching the hands of his mother.

Nitish Kumar took responsibility for the defeat of JD(U) in Bihar and resigned his post the next day. Let this be an inspiration to RaGa, and may he leave the control of Congress party to someone with good credentials, experience and passion.

A funny message I received in Watsapp says, ' Forget Tigers, Save Congress, Only 44 of them left.' Yes, it is time to save Congress.

Save Congress!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

GATE CS/IT Notes

Please use this only as a reference. I would recommend all aspiring GATE candidates to create their own notes, which I am sure, would help you in the long run.

GATE CS/IT Notes

Please let me know of any error or typo you encounter in the notes. Since I am no Donald Knuth, it is not feasible for me to send you any checks or monetary rewards in that respect.

General Elections 2014

This was an election where social media played a greater role. All the candidates used all forms of social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google Hangouts, for connecting with the constituency. This was more than necessary because a reasonable portion of the electorate were under 25 years of age. 

Developments and policies took front in this election kicking aside all caste equations, thanks to the AAP effect. No wonder why Modi won with 'Bha-Ja-Pa' getting a clear majority in the Parliament. Policy paralysis, scams of UPA-II, ineffective top leadership of the Congress, Gujarat model all created the 'Modi wave' in the country. It was painful to see even successful ministers Nitish Kumar saw the wrath of the people for splitting from the NDA, leading to his resignation as Bihar CM.

The people of India were fed up with the UPA rule and Modi could successfully create a hope in the minds of the people for a better tomorrow. He reiterated the same in Twitter after the election results were declared, which within minutes became the most retweeted message. The Gujarat model was the perfect testimony to his ability and strength as a leader, which unfortunately was absent in 'The Accidental Prime Minister'. MMS is the best economist India has ever seen, thanks to abolishment of the License Raj and opening the Indian economy for foreign investments catapulting growth of India in the early 1990s. But he was a not good leader, and was mute on many occasions, when he was expected to speak out his mind. 

The attacks on the BJP, by Raga and party, as being detrimental to the communal harmony of India failed to create any edge in the elections. The Grand Old Party failed to understand the needs of the people. What India needs now is good business, jobs, growth, zero inflation and world-class education facilities. Modi was careful in being mum of issues related to RSS, Hindutva and 2002 riots and set his focus of policies and developments plans in his speeches.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Post-GATE experience

My GATE credentials are GATE-CS/IT 2014, AIR 626, Score 713, Marks 51.95 and General category.
     
IIT Hyderabad, 06/05/2014 - Here, I went to attend the test/interview for Ph.D in Computer Science. It was a not-to-easy task to reach the IIT from Kacheguda railway station. It was, in fact, a multimodal transportation - local train, express train and share auto. IIT is currently in a temporary campus. Some departments have already shifted to the permanent campus, which is expected to be complete in an year or two. The primary reason I went there to interact with the candidates since most of them had already completed their M.Tech. Also, since this is Ph.D, I will get TA. Again, since my subsequent test/interview is in Madras, I thought I would get a head-start by attending test/interview somewhere else. Considering the proximity to Madras, Hyderabad was the perfect choice.

All information regarding the test pattern is given here - http://cse.iith.ac.in/phdadmission/phdadmission_info.html. The objective section was pretty easy. For the theoretical section, I had chosen TCS. It was very difficult for me and some of the questions were above B.Tech/GATE level. After the test I felt have very less chance to get shortlisted. But finally I was shortlisted for interview. It seems IITs are interested in direct Ph.D candidates and we got an edge because of that. My suggestion is that if your aim is to take a Ph.D in Computer Science, then consider taking the option of a direct Ph.D, instead of going for Masters and then trying for Ph.D. It saves you lot of time and energy. My interview didn't go well. I was not prepared about my research areas or interests. The interviewer asked about my B.Tech mini/main projects. There was one question from Algorithms - "What is the time-complexity of an algorithm, when nothing specifically is asked like best-case, average-case or worst-case." My answer was average-case time complexity because the other two cases are extreme cases and less likely to occur compared to the average-case. The result came after about a week and I was not selected. They had shortlisted about 25 for interview and then they selected 9 from them.

Next stop, IIT Madras, 12/05/2014 - Here, I had test/interview for M.S. (By Research) in Computer Science. This is research-oriented programme and is not a substitute for M.Tech, which is course-oriented. The details are given here - http://www.cse.iitm.ac.in/admissions. They had shortlisted about 380 candidates for written test. The test had both objective and subjective section. The paper was pretty easy. I was feeling confident, yet tensed, this time. Confident because I had cleared the same written test 6 months back during the Spring semester admission. Tensed because I wanted to prove myself that my clearing the test 6 months back was not a fluke as I could not clear the interview then. Finally, the results were announced and I was shortlisted among 45 others.

The interview was 'okay-okay' for me. The panel was friendly and asked me my favourite subject. I said Algorithms. The questions were pretty simple. I feel I took more time to arrive at the solution. Were they expecting a quick answer or were they simply looking at the method in which you arrive at the solution? No idea. The interview results are not yet announced. Usually they select about 15-20 candidates for each semester. So I have a 0.5 probability of getting selected.

Next halt, IIT Delhi, 15/05/2014-16/05/2014 - Here, I came for an interdisciplinary programme called VDTT. There were only interviews and no written test - http://vdtt.iitd.ac.in/Admissions.html. VDTT is jointly run by CS, EE department and CARE in IIT Delhi. The first round of interview was good and went on for about 40-45 minutes. The interviewer asked questions from almost all CS subjects. I could answer most of them, except for some in Digital Logic - "How to create a latch using a 2x1 multiplexer." The interviewer was very friendly to me and I asked him some general question regarding the VDTT programme, which he explained. I was shortlisted for the second round of interviews, which are conducted by R&D projects@IIT Delhi and sponsoring companies like Texas Instruments, Cypress Technologies. I had three interviews that day. They interviewer is only checking your aptitude towards the area he is working on. Be attentive to the project/industry presentations. I was too lazy that in one interview I was asked to explain the project. I had no clue and I was shown the door immediately, after which I felt depressed. Since the other two interviews went well, I was hoping of getting selected here.

The results came the next day and I was selected for an R&D project. TADA!!! Now I was really happy that I'm gonna study in an IIT. I had few more test/interviews in queue and I decided to go on and attend them as well.

Pit stop, IIT Bombay, 19/05/2014 - Here, I had test/interview for M.Tech in CS(Research Assistantship). They had shortlisted about 300 for written test. The selection process is available here - http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/page33. The written test was good and it was both objective and subjective. Since this was IIT Bombay, for which there will be cut-throat competition and due to large number of candidates, I was not confident this time. But in about 3 hours, the results were announced and I was also one of the 60 candidates who were selected for interview. Next part was similar to that of the VDTT programme wherein you are interviewed by research projects within the CSE department. There were 10 projects and I gave preferences for four of them. There was no interview for my first preference and they declared selection would be on the basis of your score in the written test. I had one interview which did not go well. It was both HR and technical. Since I had 2.5 years working experience, I was asked about the nature of work I did, which I explained very well. After seeing IIT Bombay CSE department, the lively atmosphere, I felt I need to study here.

As of now, 20/05/2014, I am waiting for my interview results of IIT Madras and IIT Bombay. I have interview calls for SERC and CSA departments in IISc, Bangalore on 02/06/2014, 03/06/2014. I am planning to prepare and attend them as well.

The result of IIT Madras was declared on 27/05/2014 and I was one of the 12 students who were selected for admission. After about a week, IIT Bombay results were also announced, but my name was not there in the list.

Final destination, IISc, 02/06/2014 - I attended interviews in three departments, namely Electrical Engg., SERC and CSA. There was no written test in EE department. But, I cleared written tests in the other two. All interviews, except the SERC interview, were not good for me. All I want to tell wannabe IISc-ians is that if you have a good foundation in mathematics, then any IISc interview is just a piece of cake. When the results were declared after a week's time, I was not in the list. It did not come as a surprise for me because I had not done proper preparation for the interviews, which I now regret. Always try for the best. Ample opportunities are there in life. It is up to you as to how you make use of them.

Finally, I decided to join IIT Madras for MS (by research) programme in CSE department. Listen, my brethren, it is nothing but sheer determination and passion that leads you to the gateway of success.