How’s life in IISER Bhopal?

I guess you can see from the title itself that this blog is a bit different from the other ones. Well, we all at some point or the other come across this question “How’s life in college?”. So, we decided to do something different. We asked some of our friends and seniors of IISERB about how they see their college life!

                                                       (Lecture Hall Complex)

Well, to start with a general overview, a typical day in IISER Bhopal would consist of classes and lab work from morning till evening followed by other activities. Of course, the classes aren’t continuous and depends on the courses you take. Classes can begin from as early as 8 AM and go on till 6 PM in the evening. The practical classes are generally in the post lunch half, at least during the first 2 years.

“A typical day at IISERB can begin with listening the sounds of peacock or chirping of birds or the alarm clock. If you are a night owl then you are going to miss the breakfasts at the mess very often due to hectic schedule of classes all day but if you can keep up the enthusiasm to learn new things then you don’t want to miss the classes. Because Professors of IISER Bhopal are really very good at their particular field and you can gain a lot of knowledge from them. ” – Arghya Das, BS MS 2017.

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                                                            (Central Library)

Of course, if you have those 8 AM lectures, you may have to choose between breakfast and the lecture on certain days! Night owls like Arghya do prefer giving the breakfast a miss on some days while for some like Soumyanil, it’s FOOOD before anything else! IISER bhopal has a sprawling 200–250 acre campus which is beautiful to say the least and it is a delight for many students. You can always spot some people moving around the campus with their smartphones and cameras trying to capture whatever they find interesting.

“If you are a bird watcher then you must not miss the dawn. Varieties of birds are present in the campus and if you get lucky you can see peacocks! The hill will not upset you as most of the birds are likely to be found on the hill. The sunset at iiserb is also strikingly beautiful and it’s personally my most favourite moment in my daily life at IISERB.” – Soumyanil Adhikary, BS MS 2017.

                                                        (Campus at IISER Bhopal)

Academics at IISERB is hectic and fun at the same time. Like any other place you will find people of all sorts. There will be people who would occupy the front benches in every class without fail while some faces emerge only during exams. (Perhaps, this will change now that we have an attendance system in place!)

“As a student of this institute I’m convinced that each and every day we have to work thinking logically and we should plan our daily life scientifically. We don’t have any idea when a professor will announce in the class that today you will have a quiz. You won’t have too much time or just like as study leave for your exam.” – Shubhankar Kundu, BS MS 2017.

People interested in sports play during the evening and their practice sessions can go on till 8.30–9.00 PM. The evenings are also filled with club activities depending on the day. There are a number of clubs and students attend the clubs they’re interested in. There are good places to meet and interact with people with similar interests.

“I believe one should at least attend one club of his/her choice! The quiz club is a pretty active one and every quiz full of quizzing enthusiasts no matter what the topic is and trust me, it’s always a great experience. Also, the movie club screens movies on some Fridays and the movie buffs have their Friday evenings sorted. The bibliophiles have the book club. So, there is something for everyone in the club department! “- Raibat Sarker, BS MS 2017.

At night, you can find people hanging out at the Ideation Hut which remains open till 1–2AM. Some prefer being in the library till late night. The library is open till 1AM(during exam it remains opened till 2AM) .

“IISER is well known for sports meet IISM where different iisers niser iisc participate to show their sport’s spirit.In our college intra games are also conducted. I always wait for this days. You can show your sport spirit. And for our training we have good trainer. The practice session are little hard,but at the time of glory we forgot everything.For this only we became the champion of IISM.”-Sriya Malik,BS MS 2017

                                                          (Evening at IISER Bhopal)

I guess you have some familiarity with the life in IISERB now. But obviously, you will have multiple question marks in your mind. Here is something to keep in mind- IISER Bhopal is a place where after completing your degree you will have many good memories to cherish. IISER Bhopal is not a place where you would be doing science day and night, you will also have some special days which will provide you the opportunities to meet with world famous scientists like Prof. C.N.R. Rao as well as people from the non academic world.

“The cultural life was given a much needed boost by the annual cultural fest “Enthuzia”, which included an alumni funded concert by the international band Zoe Simpson ( French) , tickling our earbuds during the comedy presented by Zakir Khan, the night of madness and dance to the beats of DJ Julia Bliss, Dance and music competition, flash mob, fashion show and much more along with accompts food and drinks.”- Asmita Dutta,BS MS 2018.

Various events throughout the academic year won’t let you sit bored. You can’t imagine how beautifully your friend will make you believe something awkward does exist in an event named “Bad-Ad-Hoc Hypothesis”. For one day you can wake the Sherlock Holmes or James Bond in you up (which might be sleeping inside you like Vesuvius) and look for a treasure or you can prove yourself as a modern version of Pablo Picasso using bacteria to paint. You can be a business man for one day if you want or you can be a good cook You can enchant people with the food made by you in some events .”Singularity”,the annual science fest and Hukuna Matata will gift you something different from monotonous college life.

“Once you are over from your happening tedious monotonous school life, all you want is a college that provides you with all the exciting, varied an enjoyable social and cultural life along the academies. Being a residential college IISER Bhopal caters to most of your demands of an active social life and you’ll definitely find something among the huge range of events to keep yourself busy probably even when you don’t want to ( Yes, IISERB curriculum can get hectic at times !!).IISERB is not at all about nerds and books, you will find a hell lot of activities to keep you engaged and the rest can only be experienced once you be a part of this family.”-Anirban Sardar,BS MS 2018.

Of course, it is not all roses and there are a lot of problems to deal with. There will be bad days when things won’t go the way you want them to. It may be a bad day in the lab, you may get a bad grade, screw an experiment or a quiz, etc. Life in IISER is definitely not a cake walk but one enjoys it once one is accustomed with the system!

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P.C. Pranab Paul(PhD,Dept of Biology) and Astronomy Club,IISER Bhopal

Since we didn’t have much idea about the I-PhD students, we asked a senior for his feedback. This is what he had to say,

“A typical day at IISER B for an I-PhD student of Physics is not too much different from BS MS students during their first two year. You do have to attend classes and Labs. You’ve to get up in the morning, take breakfast in the mess and go to the the Lecture Hall Complex (LHC) to attend the lectures. Earlier you could bunk the classes but from this time you won’t have that much flexibility due to 75 perfect attendance. As the number of students is not much in IPhD batches, the unity is very much strong. During the free time in between lectures, you can drink tea or coffee and gossip about any topic with friends. Forgot to mention, there is a CCD ( Cafe Coffee Day) in the campus and you can also chill out there and have a discussion about the lectures and different research topics.
The lectures will be from Morning to Evening and obviously there is a lunch break when you’ll come to mess for lunch. And you should attend the classes because in IISERB advanced research topics are taught along with core topics. From the advanced topics, you’ll get the idea of what kind of research is going in IISERB and it’ll help you to do interaction with faculties and you can join their group for the project or to do PhD. After the classes get over, you can go outside the get to have nice tea made by ‘Bharat Bhaia’ (One of the Best tea I’ve drunk till) or you can also go to Shopping Complex or Canteen to take some delicious food to remove all your stress.After the relaxation part gets over, you should give yourself some time for self study. Meantime you can also play video games, watch movies, go for a walk with friends. You can also play indoor and outdoor games as sports facility in IISER B is just awesome. Now it’s dinner time. So go to mess and have your dinner before 9pm. If you can’t make it, don’t worry. There are night canteens and Ideation Hut ( Chintan Choupal) in the hostel area and you can fill your tummy. After that you can do different stuffs according to your priority as there is no time bound to enter in the hostel. Also during the weekend and vacation, you guys can go to DB city mall and different touristb places of Madhya Pradesh like Sanchi, Bhimbetka, Khajuraho, Gwalior Fort, Raisen Fort. And please don’t forget to go Panchmarhi hill station with friends. Join in Iiser Bhopal and you’ll get to know about cutting edge research topics, you’ll improve your communication skills and get to know about different cultures of India and you’ll enjoy a happy life apart from studies and research.” Dipankar Sen I-PhD(Dept. of physics),IISER Bhopal. PhD student,Univ of Texas A & M(USA)


I guess this will be it for this blog. I hope we could highlight some aspects of the life in IISER Bhopal. It is very difficult to have a generalized thing since the student population of IISERB is so varied! (Which again is a great aspect)

Last but not the least, thanks a lot to each and every student who provided us with their valuable feedback.

Adieu

The Qrius Rhino

Picture Credits:

1.  Soumyanil Adhikary

2. Shubhankar Kundu

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