The most dominant species of IITR (after dogs, trees and matkas) is homo sapiens. It is observed that the needs and wants of this species range from basic necessities (of food, sleep, territory, gaming and porn etc.) to a desire of social recognition and acceptance by the members of the same species. Contrary to Maslow’s need hierarchy theory (thanks to the Mess food of RJB), newly admitted members of these species give up the basic physiological needs quite early for acceptance into the established social order. This effect becomes obvious during the time of some events (recruitment for cultural society and posts for Cognizance Organizing team, for example).
Time has divided the humans living on IITR campus into several such groups, tribes and clans. Each one of them has its own traditions and values which differentiate it from other groups. The Freshman’s Guide attempts to mention some major groups and clubs that exist in IITR and their impact on a freshman’s life.
The cultural society (CultSoc) is one of the most diverse and happening groups of IITR, and provides the best (and perhaps the only) way to interact with girls whose profiles you stalk at unspecified times of the night. The only catch here is that most groups of the CultSoc have a recruitment process. Yes that’s right. So, if at all you are one of those shiny eyed freshmen who wishes to learn something and try out anything that mildly interests him, here’s the news: you can’t. Unless you are judged by a godly senior of that group who, in turn, was judged by this other godly senior who in turn was judged by god himself, you can’t be a part of that group. That is one of the sad realities of life at IITR and you’ll have to make peace with it. Though on the upside, this does increase the exclusivity of these groups- which might come in handy on your resume facebook profile.
The cultural society includes the following sections:
The broadway of IIT-R, you can easily identify the members of dramatics section by their insanely loud voices and a deep, almost incomprehensible devotion to their scripts. Known for their religious practice routines and a fierce perfection in plays and that make people laugh, cry, angry and, in a few cases, scared (we are talking about Badal Sarkar’s Baaki Itihaas here), the dramatics section performs 3 stage plays and one street play every academic year.
Recruitment Cracker: The Dramatics section is perhaps one of the toughest Cultural Society groups to get into. Loud voice is a must. Rest are mere details.
Choreography and Dance
If you are a typical Indian dancer who reluctantly dances in baraat, this section is just not for you. Although, saying that it requires prodigious dancing skills (that make Mithun da go Kya baat, 3 times) won’t be totally correct either. Choreo (in IITR lingo) trains part-time dancer IITians into complete performers. Their shows are generally filled with power-packed performances, with the dance forms ranging from Jazz, Western and Contemporary to typical Bollywood, Punjabi and South Indian. You get to glimpse their year-long hard-work in the cultural week, their performances in Footloose (Thomso event) and flash mob(s) they organize in Thomso and Cogni.
Recruitment Cracker: Being a good dancer (in others’ opinion) is more than enough.
Music is a way of life in IITR. After being classified on the basis of gender, year, branch, group, societies and number of Bun Samosas you can eat in a day, you can be classified on the basis of the kind of Music you listen. Music Section of IITR consists of some very remarkable artists of the campus who showcase their talents and semester-long hard work at shows like Prelude, Dhun and Swaranjali. The diversity of artists in this section is quite unique. From Indian classical to western hard rock, this group has all kinds of musicians, each with a distinct taste in Music. Selection in this group is based purely on skill.
Recruitment Cracker: Less chances of selection if you are just another aspiring IITian with 2.5 months of practice on acoustic guitar (there are more than plenty).
CineSec (in IITR lingo) is dedicated to film and video-making on campus. Equipped with professional cameras and instruments, CineSec is responsible for creating short movies, campus news and trends, interviews, animations, info-videos, event-coverages and feedbacks on events in IITR campus. This section deals in various aspects of movie making such as scripting, editing, direction and production. Their works can be found on their official youtube channel. Though it’s not always true, their work can be a little too abstract at times.
Recruitment Cracker: A knowledge of filmmaking is not necessary. You just need to be a film-
enthusiast and show an understanding of what elements are required.
Warning: making a film/video is a very menial job and requires a lot of patience.
LitSec or Litta, comprises of two sections: the Debating Society (DebSoc) and Quizzing Section. Unlike other sections this is an open group where anyone interested can participate without any restriction. DebSoc and Quizzing organize the freshman debate and quiz respectively. Apart from organizing frequent quizzes and debates throughout the year, they also send teams to compete in other colleges. If at all you feel inspired after watching The Great Debaters or 12 Angry Men, we would advise you to give these two groups a try.
Under the aegis of cultural society, there are 2 magazines: WatchOut! and Kshitij.
Watch Out! is the official news body of IIT Roorkee. As the name suggests, WoNA covers the happenings and ongoings of life at IITR along with the issues that surround the administration, placements, academics, cultural council and bhawans. The frequency of publishing is the same as Kshitij. The verticals in this magazine are: Editorial, News, Design, Finance and Web-Design.
Kshitij is the official literary magazine of IIT Roorkee. They publish stories and poems written by the students who are part of it and also host open editorials (in both Hindi and English). The frequency of publishing varies from 3-4 magazines per year. There are verticals in a magazine: Editorial (Hindi & English), Finance, Web-Design and Design.
Both the magazines are self-financed, i.e. the funds are raised through external financing from the market. The finance sections in the magazines do this job.
Recruitment Cracker: Different cells require different characteristics: Writing for Editorial/News; familiarity with modern designing tools and web -development in designing and webD; a knack of convincing people and selling stuff for Finance.
Audio & Lights Section
These two sections form the backbone of any event in the convocation hall, especially during the cultural week. The audio section manages the surround sound and the microphones, while the lights section does an amazing job of lighting up the convocation for the events. Apart from this, the Audio Section also hosts a radio show on the evening of Valentine’s Day. The show is a probably the only time when the radio is heard by entities other than night guards and insomniac souls. Students can dedicate songs to their paramours in this event.
Recruitment Cracker: Nothing in particular. However, a preliminary knowledge of surround sound and circuitry would give you an edge in Audio. A past experience of having set up diwali lights at home might come in handy while applying for lights.
This section is famous for
a) Helping in the organization of cultural events (mostly hosting, anchoring, designing and other relevant stuff)
b) An extremely friendly sex -ratio in the group.
The tales of PM recruitment interviews are famous in the institute, as the group mainly focuses on taking people who are right fun at the parties. Although the exact details of the work done by this section remain unknown (except from distant stories of spectacular chapos), this section plays is vital for the smooth progression of events and shows in the campus.
Recruitment Cracker: Ability to talk, shamelessness and a frank attitude towards life, in general would help. Convincing ability is an added advantage, although the writers of the guide can’t figure out why that would be required.
Other Campus Groups
SDSLabs is perhaps one of the most iconic groups of IITR. Its initiation in 2010 acted as a symbol of hope for the geek community who were tired of being branded as uncool nerds and banished from the happening places in the campus. SDSLabs is the group that manages SDS, an open for all hobbies club section. SDS also includes various other sub-sections like Mobile Developement Group, Linux User Group and PAG. There’s however a dispute over the origin of SDSLabs. Some say it that it was established the same time as that of AT&T’s Bell Labs and helped in the development of Unix. We don’t believe them, as after all, Unix was made by God himself. Apart from releasing the much popular JEE counselling results on the internet, members of this section are responsible for the following activities:
a) Winning arbitrary coding competitions and making the most media friendly stories for IITR (unlike the ones involving youtube clips and makeup products).
b) Developing really cool apps like Muzi, Study Portal and Filepanda and rendering life-saving services of DC++. (check them out on: https://sdslabs.co/)
Programming and Algorithm Group is yet another extension of SDS. After Cricket, CS, DOTA and Ludo, Competitive Algorithmic Coding is one of the most famous sports of IITR. The International Collegiate Programming Contest organised by ACM society (ACM -ICPC) is an international coding competition. It acts as a qualifier for the Inter Galactic reality show called ‘So You Think You Can Code?’, organized on planet Betelgeuse 7. Apart from being active on such inter- galactic platforms, PAG frequently organizes coding lectures and contests for lesser beings too. A typical member of PAG looks like an ordinary humanoid with unusually high activity in the cerebral cortex of brain. We don’t know what that is but it makes the person in question extremely smart and totally unfit for social gatherings and parties.
Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth, is an international organization and its chapter in IIT Roorkee organizes a plethora of cultural events throughout the year. The events, as the name of the group dictates, consist of Indian classical music concerts, folk dance groups, traditional drama, movie-screenings and other shows where there’s a possibility of you running into your Profs. Contrary to popular belief, the members of this section are probably the most active members of any campus group- as seen by the sheer number of events they organize during the academic year.
FSAE - Formula Society of Automotive Engineers
Brains whose neuron-transmitted electrochemical signals are so mechanical that they manage to fabricate a Formula Style Race car in a span of 365 days (which may appear the same they made last year but still different somehow), come into this group. The Formula Style Race car is engineered for an international collegiate Design competition called Formulae Student, organised by IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers). The Race cars have already flown worldwide, from Australia in 2011 to UK in 2013, and have managed to secure positions as high as 2 out of 149. The group is aiming at producing an electric vehicle for Formula Student-UK 2015.
Recruitment Cracker: Some knowledge of car parts and interests in Cars will do the trick. If you are in Mech. Engg., then surely this group will be your extended family.
Downside: A lot of books are required to be read, which becomes quite difficult if you have engaged yourself in other cheerful activities.
This rather innocent group of ambitious students of IITR came into headlines the previous academic year, after their spectacular performance in the Robotic Contests (Robocons) organised by Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and its member countries. Robocon is the biggest international robotics competition in Asia- Pacific region. The magnitude of the competition can be judged from the fact that only one team from a country is allowed to participate, with the host being allowed to field two teams. Participation in it requires the application from all field of robotics with the emphasis on concept design, Robot programming, etc to achieve a predefined goal based on a theme declared by host country.
Team Robocon of IITR finished 5th in the national stage and won the award for Best Aesthetic Robot.
Entrepreneurship Development Cell, IIT Roorkee is a student group which aims to promote entrepreneurship in campus. IIT-R, being a placement centric institute (by that we mean people killing for jobs), has witnessed a very slow increase in the enthusiasm of students towards entrepreneurship. The members of this group, when not busy with their own startups and garnering crores of turnover for their companies, help in organizing talks, meetups and other events that aim to support other entrepreneurs of the campus.
The Roorkee chapter of the non-profit organization Sharing Analysis of Regional Economies (ShARE IITR), was established in 2007. The aim of this society, in their words, is to understand the complexities of local socio-economic issues through presentations, conferences and projects.
The other less popular aim, like any other campus group, is to have fun in the parties. The members of this group work on projects that aim at studying some global economic, business and social issues. They also organize quizzes, seminars and group discussions on the current strategies and research in real world.
Started 6 years ago as a technology oriented magazine, Geek Gazette functions under the aegis of the ACM IIT Roorkee Chapter. Growing out of their original aim, GG has expanded to include topics even obliquely related with technology. The functioning is similar to other magazines in the campus, with the magazine being divided into four verticals: Editorial, Finance, Design and Web Development. They come out with a self-financed semesterly issue which opines about topics that are covered in extensive detail in the boundless abyss famous around the world as the internet.
In ancient days, the students of IIT Roorkee used to hold movie screenings for the R-junta every weekend where everyone, from professors to students, had a great time. Somewhere down the line (we think after the release of movies like Jai Santoshi Maa, we guess) the tradition was discontinued. The Cinema Club was restarted this year by some brave souls. After two really fantastic screenings of newly released movies, it is exactly what stands between the students and mass- suicides here in IIT-R. It organizes the special screenings of movies- partly because there is no other cinema hall within 15 kms of the campus, and partly because the members don’t have much else to do. These screenings (which are free of cost, by the way) are met with much fanfare in a Convo bottled down to its full capacity.