Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Red End

Wodehouse says that the British red tape is only pink compared to the french red tape. Compared to the Indian red tape, I am sure the Plum would have termed the British red tape white in comparison with the Indian red tape.

Leaving IIT is not the solemn affair that the previous post seems to make it out to be. It is a hectic affair under a particularly malicious sun. The average student has to ensure that he has no dues in the hostel, the department, the library, the hospital, the computer center, the alumini office (how on earth can anyone have dues at the alumni office?) and what not.

The department no dues certificate requires seven signatures. The signatories often include really busy people - and are often not available. The student has to bear the brunt of all this. There's the head of the department - who is as difficult to sight at tigers in India now-a-days. And then there's the head of the lab, another rather endangered species. The process - just to get the department no dues certificate - requires a couple of days' dedicated work - and a healthy cycle - and a lot of crocins (headaches are quite likely when you shuttle under the sun).

Then the hostel no dues certificate. By no means a piece of cake - especially if your mess bills are not paid that regularly. Fortunately, the ATM revoultion is making life a little easier - the student no longer has to queue up in the bank. After the reciept is shown, a few more forms are to be filled - including a rather crypitc gate pass - which requires the usual gamut of signs - including one from the chief security officer. In my case I had to face some incompetence from an inebriated peon - who forgot the certificate somewhere on the campus. He had to cycle back and get it. But he did in the nick of time, and I was able to submit all of them in the Ad-Block just in time.

A sense of achievement starts to form in your head when you submit all your no dues certificates. The viva was easy. This was the difficult part.

What will our last memories of IIT be? The viva? The thesis work? Or the millions of uncomfortable hours under the sun spent trying to make some sense of the IIT madras red tape? Do we want it to be this way?

Now, what I am coming to is this: why all this? Why all the wasted man hours and paper and printer money. With the all-pervasive lan it would be quite easy to get the whole thing online. I guess our juniors will have it easy.


Silpa said...

Hi Akhilesh,
Btw do you like being corrected on typos?
Also what is red tape?

Akhilesh said...

Red Tape is pointless beauraucracy. All the running around to do something that could be done in a breeze. The tool that officers harass humanity with.

And about typos.... I'm at your mercy. Correct away to glory. I know - there's an embarassment right in the first line... I know!