Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In Pursuit of Science Kishore Vaiygnanik Prothsahan Yojana at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

I am a creative person. I like creating things. Stories, arts, crafts, science, data, food, pretty much everything around me gets me interested. 

Unfortunately for me, I had a alcoholic father, and an uneducated mother. The only goal that I had in my mind was that I was to grow up an independent person with no obligations towards anyone.

It was way too much dillydallying about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be, and I worried way too much about it. 

For me, I believe that even art is a way of science, and science is a way of art. I do not discriminate knowledge. That holds true for both basic science and applied science. For a long time, I was considering both of them, basic science and applied science trying to see which was more worthy of pursuing. It took a while for me to realize that both of them are dependent on each other.

But the way I chose, I took the one that gave me money because I needed money to survive. I was ready to accept basic science as well as applied science that gave me the creative space. 

Let me tell what I did.

I got into bachelors for engineering since I wanted to earn huge money in shorter span of time, doing it the right way. But then, the urge to research and get into the creative space of my mind, it kept pulling me.

I was doing my first year of engineering when Kishore Vaignanik Prothsahan Yojana(KVPY) advertisement appeared in newspapers at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in the year 2000.

I spoke to my mathematics teacher at University Visvesvaraiah College of Engineering, Bangalore, Ms. Hamsapriya if she could suggest me what I could do for my application that I do some research at the college itself. She said she did not know of anything that she could do to help me. 

I then spoke to my professor V. Keshava Murthy, electrical engineering department of University Visvesvaraiah College of Engineering did not have anything to suggest to me. 

The interesting world of information with all its wonders did not exist for me then. Whatever I knew was what I knew from people all around me, what appeared in the newspapers, and what I heard from my parents, friends, and other people.

I met Dr. Prakash A S, a PhD student in the year 2001 from Solid State Chemistry Unit of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and spoke to him about my application. He was happy to have me work under him. But the condition that he imposed was that, his professor Prof. M. S. Hegde would not acknowledge my application. Naive as I was, I believed what Dr. Prakash told me. The closest I came to my application was what Dr. Prakash had given me. I was alright with Prof. M. S Hegde not acknowledging my application. But I just met Prof. M. S. Hegde to seek permission to use his laboratory for my experiments, to which Prof. M. S. Hegde agreed.

It was the year that I was doing well in studies at college, and I was indulging in research, research if my application was successful would actually make money and give me some recognition as well, and alleviate my otherwise no money condition. 

I did submit my report to the scholarship application. I have no idea what happened to it. There must be some feedback mechanism to tell me what went wrong, or what was that my application was missing.

As hard as it was, there is nothing that I could do to find out what was happening. I still don't know how the application process is judged.

The milieu was totally different from what it is today. There is access to so much information that I do not need anyone to teach me something. A computer is so much more of a beautiful world. I learn, I write, and then I have the satisfaction of doing my work, and being recognized for my work.

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