Winds Of Change

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dc tf 2015-16
Change is the only constant, they say. With sweeping changes in the past couple of years in Institute rules, we’ve noticed some great changes in the way Insti operates. The infiltration of social media and dedicated fresher hostels have seen lifestyle changes in the Insti microcosm. We look at these changes and the possible reasons behind them. Small piece of advice to some of our newer readers – if you do not understand what we’re talking about, take this opportunity to walk over to the senior next door, and do ask them!

An adverse effect of Insti’s growing dependence on social media has been the decline of social structures like the wing and the hostel. With students preferring to communicate online, the custom of evening lukkha in the wing is long gone. Seniors confess that they do not have any idea who the newbies in the wing are. The infamous sophie treats, for long the ice-breaking event between wing veterans and sophomores, is dying a slow painful death. Students blame the negativity attached to ‘intros’ as one reason why senior-junior interaction in hostels is dying.
The past couple of years have also seen Hostel Secretary posts go uncontested. The Soc Secy post, for long considered the Holy Grail of Hostel senti among sophomores, now sees actual elections based on Manifesto points and Soapboxes, instead of being based on who can wax eloquent the most about Hostel 4’s ancestors at the top of his voice. Some of the older members on this panel visibly shuddered when notified of this fact
With changing times, the DC++ culture has been dying a slow death. Until 3 years back, more than 10 hubs being simultaneously online wouldn’t have been an anomaly; but having more than 4 hubs online is a phenomenon rarely seen today. In wings that proudly maintained hubs, seniors would pass on information about maintaining DC++ hubs to tech-enthusiastic sophies and thirdies. People often maintained separate hard-drive partitions and external HDD filled with exclusive and assorted content for sharing on DC++. This would be accompanied by an equally active request-andshare Facebook group – DC++@IITB.
The hubs that remain online today don’t live up to the quality of yesteryears, with fewer people online, dispersed among the various hubs, and a higher minimum upload quota. Online streaming of the same material has surged, consuming more internet bandwidth available to us, and lower download speeds as compared to DC++.


One can only marvel at the variety of content DC++ used to have – comics, films, TV serials, bhajans, complete course content – previous exam papers, ebooks and solution manuals, assorted exam and placement preparation materials, and recordings of institute events. Files are data. Data is information. Information is knowledge. And knowledge increases with sharing.
DC++ is a collective social resource for the residents of institute – one that becomes more valuable with more participation. Revival of this invaluable resource requires us to take some small steps for the greater good of the institute as a collective unit, and us, individually, in turn.
What books? With pretty much all content being available online, and a huge number of professors preferring a Powerpoint presentation over a standard reference text, few students purchase books for courses. Even the library – by definition a place to find and read books – is primarily used as a venue where students can comfortably use laptops.
Facebook has come to be the one most prevalent means of social networking on campus. Facebook newsfeed is the ultimate source of latest campus news – rumor, gossip or otherwise. We even included a link to our Facebook page in this article. In a print newspaper.


Polt and RG are best uses of Facebook for the public good on campus. Facebook has seen over every event of significance, good and bad – from exams to placements, birthdays to Valentine’s Day, and valfis to convocation. The likes, shares and comments on DSLR photos and statuses are a sign of friendship, love and polt on campus. Pages like Illumin-IIT are testament to Facebook’s infiltration on campus. With all departments and most batches having their groups on Facebook; with vital information for the next day’s quiz or assignment, Facebook use is inevitable.
Earlier, Facebook activity wasn’t as high as it is now on campus. Google groups were the norm then, for most interactions. However, with Facebook becoming so widely used on campus, most students would rather sit in their rooms and interact on Facebook rather than get out and develop real
Whatsapp use has also seen an explosive rise in the recent past. Groups on Whatsapp effectively save time, cost and energy and deliver messages instantly. In theory, at least. In practice, it largely seems to be a way to keep in touch with your friends – even those who live only a few doors down. So much so that messaging on Whatsapp seems to have taken the place of actual conversation on phone. WiFi availability in pretty much every area of the institute, while a great convenience at most times, has only encouraged this. *attempts to connect to IITB-Wireless and fails*
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not complaining – we’ll take any excuse to procrastinate studying. But the sheer number of clubs in existence in the institute is overwhelming. While the number has never been particularly small, the last few years have seen an astronomical growth in clubs. Each club organizes a multitude of events in a semester, and it’s a hard task to decide which ones to miss. And with backto-back events activities organized by clubs pretty much every day of the week, we can’t help but get caught in a – er – club sandwich.

We propose a proactive effort to save DC++ on campus. Here are some ways we can all contribute:
· Graduating students can donate old laptops for use as DC++ hubs to the hostel.
· Students with spare and/or nominally damaged laptops/PCs can volunteer for maintaining hubs.
· Computer Secretaries of each hostel should have access to information about maintaining a DC++ hub, passed on as part of
groundwork for the post.
· Department General Secretaries / Computer Secretaries in hostels can be assigned to maintain a laptop/PC in the Computer Room
of the department/ hostel for sustaining a DC++ hub from each department/hostel, along with related material, as part of their
· Share. As much as you can. It’s common courtesy to share at least what you download. Because, sharing is caring.
If you can help us in regards with this, then let us know, with #SaveDC – at, or our Facebook page – www.facebook.
com/insight.IIT Bombay.