Western Times News

Gujarati News

“I did whatever I wanted to do. I have no regrets”: IITGN Student 

As the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar welcomes its upcoming cohort, Varad Sardeshpande, a student from the class of 2024, reflects on his four-year journey at the institute.

Q – You enrolled during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, missing out on typical campus life at IIT. How was that experience for you?

A- Starting at IIT during the first wave of COVID-19 was challenging. I have seen the IIT life since childhood, with my father being a professor at IIT Bombay. It was surreal not to experience the bustling campus life immediately. However, as they gradually started opening the campus on a special case basis, some of us jumped in right away and came here, though our interactions were limited compared to previous batches.

Q – How did IITGN support the transition from online to offline classes?

A- It was during our second year when everyone was called to campus. Infact, we consider our second year to be our first year because that was the time when we physically saw each other for the first time. IITGN’s trademark ‘Foundation Program’ was instrumental in fostering a sense of community within us. It gave us all an opportunity to interact with everyone at a very large scale and instantly made us feel at home.

Q – Many teachers have noted that COVID-era students are less inclined to interact in general. Did you observe something similar around you as well?

A- Absolutely. Initially, students were hesitant to engage with each other, which was a contrast to the lively campus stories I had heard from seniors. When I was in my first year, I couldn’t interact with my own batchmates. By the time the second year came, we were so busy interacting with each other that we could not impart more on the first years that came along. That set a trend that “seniors don’t interact with us”. While this died down substantially with the batches that joined later, this was a complaint that I heard a lot during my tenure as Cultural Secretary too.

Q- Did you do something to consciously address this?

A- As Cultural Secretary, I focused on conducting events that required less skill but more interaction. We organized several open mics, participated in many competitions, and posted about our activities on social media, solely to let everyone know that there existed a team that was consciously putting efforts to bring everyone together. Infact, I took on the role because I believed cultural activities could bridge the gaps exacerbated by the pandemic, fostering a more connected campus community.

Q- Any specific day/event that left a lasting impression on you?

A- We organized over 60 events as a team throughout the year, but for me Diwali stood out. Despite limited resources and few of us on campus, we were determined to make it unforgettable. Typically, vendors decorate our hostels, but this time we initiated an inter-hostel decoration competition, involving students directly. We also decorated the Panchayat Circle with rangoli and lights, and the community rallied around us. Even those just passing by would pitch in, asking how they could help. It was a remarkable atmosphere where everyone, beyond the cultural council, spontaneously came together and made Diwali memorable.

Q- What according to you is the best part about this institute?

A- There are many things actually. IITGN is a very liberal place to be in. Moreover, the faculty is extremely supportive of everything you do. The academic flexibility you get here is unparalleled. It enables you to do things outside academia too and helps in building your self-confidence.

Q- Anything that you would like to say to the aspirants/current students?

A- You should not feel any regrets at the end of the four years. Your sole purpose should not be about finding the best job or the most valued academic degree, but to really feel satisfied with your journey.

Read News In Hindi

Read News in English

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Developed by Aneri Developers.