Life as an undergrad

There is a right time and a right place for `everything'; it's called college.

The Delhi College of Engineering is one of India's premier engineering colleges; after the IITs, it stands in the same echelon as BITS, Pilani and a few others.

The new sprawling DCE campus is located in Rohini, near the outskirts of Delhi. While certain departments are still under construction, it is mostly complete. The Institutional block, in the shape of a large arc, comprises of various departments, such as the Electrical engg., the Civil engg. and the Mechanical engg. departments along with their associated laboratories. The Administrative block, an impressive building and often referred to as a hotel is where the administrative offices are located. The Residence or the mens' hostel comprises of six buildings named after famous indian scientists, such as C.V. Raman, is a fifteen minute walk from the institutional area. The womens' hostel (often referred to as 'The Fortress', for very obvious reasons) is much closer to the insitutional block. The academic block is further south from the womens' hostel. It is currently the premises for the Principal's office, and a nursery school. The transit hostel, and the guest house are to the east of the academic block while the staff quarters are sprinkled around, in the south side of the DCE campus. A very central road in the campus is "Mall Road", called so for reasons not immediately obvious to the visitor, but firmly understood by the students. It connects several sections of the campus, and amongst others, the womens' hostel to the institutional area. The old DCE campus, while much smaller boasted of a more central location in Kashmere Gate, near the Delhi University campus.

I would strongly recommend visitors to stay over or visit the campus during night time. The entire campus is well lit, and is perfect for those who enjoy late night strolls. The Rohini sky boasts of very little cloud ceiling, and is perfect for star-gazers; for, visibility is much higher, in contrast to the sky in most parts of Delhi. Also, I would recommend visitors to visit few of the several parks within the campus, as they are very well maintained, and great place to chill out after dinner. For those of you who like to party, try hanging out near the hostels, or the quarters near midnight, chances are you'll get invited to a late-night party underway. However, if you're a student and it isn't Friday, go easy with the booze; remember, you have class at 0900 hours tomorrow.

If all the above isn't you're kind of stuff, and you just like to, well, annoy people... try ringing all the doorbells of people at about one in the morning. I used to do that at first, when I moved in, with several other accomplices. The way I figured, one o'clock is about the time when most people go into their first cycle of REM (no, not the band), so that should be the best time to wake them up. We even ended up jamming several doorbells, but I like to think that I've outgrown that kind of stuff. Now we're into bigger things, ... but all that's another story.

Final year in the C.V. Raman hostel was also pretty neat. You'd be surprised how much fun exams could be, especially when you have the whole course to cover the night before the exam, and still find time to play pranks on one another. Yes, I've been on the receiving end more than my fair share of times but I've slugged a few ones too with Nitish (Mote), Nishant (Tilli), Rahul (Tau), Nikhil (Sama), Rohit (Mallik), Pradeep (Rocky) and many other friends. Serious discussions on politics, university apping, promiscuity (read Mallik and Rocky vs Sama) and several others that ensued (seemingly) a long time ago, were never quite resolved. Kambal pittai's and water fights also made up a large component of our stay in CVR. Details of exactly why we dressed Mallik as a ghost and paraded him around on the eve of the uP exam also escape me. The lousy mess food, and urgent trips to the dhaba's nearby (especially when we knew we'd end up with bad stomachs the next day) were also part of our hostel life. I like to think that I've learnt something from all this, but am not sure I can put a finger on it.

Any turn-offs to watch out for? well, I can think of only one right away; I'd say keep away from most shady merchandising like T-shirts, they're usually inscribed with what I can only describe as very sorry humour. E.g. the very infamous top ten reasons for being an engineer, I frankly don't get four of those reasons. The other six I don't care for much. Oh, and beware of the DCE attitude t-shirts... chances are you might get stoned alive if worn in the DU campus. However, there are a few T-shirt designs which I would personally endorse: more about this later.

Jokes apart, we did do some pretty serious work there. We had to appear for four exams, each year; that's one mid-sem (minors) and one end-sem (majors) per semester. Inevitably, minors were a last-night slog, and majors were a last-'two'-nights slog. In addition, we had lotsa assignments, lectures, tutorials, laboratory practicals, electives, projects, and seminars. Easy?


links to other related pages:

My undergrad syllabus~
Nikhil's homepage
Nitish's homepage
Nishant's homepage
Pradeep's homepage