• This is an email sent by a student recently to the LUG (linuxusers group) of the college.

I'm writing this email to acknowledge how ANDC might actually be the very best option for those choosing to pursue Computer Science in the University of Delhi. When I joined ANDC in 2007, I had a different view about the college than when I completed my course in 2010. I'm actually really glad that we didn't have to actually have a second cut-off for the course, because that means people outside ANDC understand this too. During those three years, where we also attempted to create a small cluster, all of us seem to have learned a little bit more than our peers in other colleges. The best part about our time in college was being given the chance to play around with machines, setting up distributions, having them crash, without being asked any questions.

When our college says we have the best computer infrastructure, we should also mention that we're not locking our students out so that are merely users of closed metal boxes. As much as we used to complain about having to attend workshops forcefully, we can't thank Ms. Sunita Narang and Dr. Savithri Singh enough for that push because each of us left those workshops with something that we would have never bothered to even skim through had our limits been bound to just our curriculum.

Also having worked with amazing seniors like Sudhang Shankar and equally enthusiastic people like Manpreet and Tarun sir, we got great experience setting up servers and services. In any decent post graduate programme, all that knowledge we gained working on our little weekend projects at college is assumed to have been already acquired - so people from ANDC don't waste time when they are asked to do something on Linux/Mac OS X because they are already so familiar with using the terminal and CLI.

ANDC is great, I hope it really is as awesome as I expect it to become.

- Abhishek Nandakumar

 Batch 2010

Debadityo Sinha Graduated from ANDC in 2009. He maintains a blog where he chronicles his various activities. To read more about his conservation activities and see his documentaries, check http://debadityo.blogspot.in

The Legacy of my college

Debadityo Sinha, Banaras Hindu University (South Campus)

[from : http://indiabioscience.org/node/640]

People who know me for the last 6 years also know how indebted and close I feel towards my undergraduate college, Acharya Narendra Dev College. It is hard for many to believe that I am the same person whom they knew before the college transformed me. What people see in me today is a product of Acharya Narendra Dev College.

Swami Vivekananda once said, ‘We want that education by which intellect is developed, strength of mind is increased and by which one can stand on his own feet.’ Acharya Narendra Dev College is up to mark with this great saying.

I still remember the first day of my college when my teacher asked my name during introduction and I couldn’t utter a word. That was the time when I used to feel very low. I suffered from acute stammering and my confidence level was the lowest in my class .… may be in the entire college. Most of my classmates took admission in Zoology because they were either not able to clear the medical entrance examinations or were preparing for it. I never wanted to be doctor or an engineer. My parents wanted me to join the defense sector, but I loved animals and nature.  So I took up Zoology as my major. The general view for education nowadays is as a means to earn money. Hence the popularity for professional courses is increasing and the value for science, the joy of the trials and tribulations with discoveries at the end is diminishing. Added to this was the attitude of people around me, including my relatives who made it clear that only those who failed in Medical Entrance took up B.Sc. Gradually, I was losing interest in studies and began to question my choice and decision to study biology

But...I did get one thing right, I joined ANDC. There, I got the best teachers. All of them were involved in doing some research, writing books, taking workshops. Calling them just teachers would be unjust. In ANDC, I found the teacher-student relationship quite different from that in other colleges where my friends were studying. Here, a teacher doesn’t just give lectures, but they double up as mentors as well. For every small problem we would depend on our teachers. Until a teacher makes a student comfortable and makes himself/herself accessible it is hard for a student to imbibe knowledge. We were never treated as students but more as friends and that’s what made learning much easier. My financial constrains were solved by the college and I did my entire graduation free of cost. The college even provided me with monthly stipends and an opportunity to earn by working in the administration during my free time.

Towards the end of my first year, our principal Dr. Savithri Singh conducted an interview of biology students, to select two, who would then be sent to Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education (HBCSE) TIFR for training. I never considered myself deserving then. But, after 2 interviews Dr. Singh selected me along with another student for the training. I do not know what she saw in me that time. She showed confidence in a student who was not confident about himself! But after I got selected, a thought was common among all my teachers; ‘Dr. Singh has seen something in you.’ It didn’t stop there. I couldn’t afford the conveyance to travel to Mumbai, so the college supported me. I felt overwhelmed by the trust and support the college showed in me. As my exams overlapped with the training, I couldn’t complete it but this experience proved to be a turning point in my life.

In my second year, I came across some prominent faculty members who were doing research in Ecology, which was my favorite subject. I spent all my second year in the Ecology laboratory playing with the zooplankton, photographing and painting them. There were days, when I would just hang around till almost 11 pm and my mentor Dr. Ram Kumar would drop me at my home. It was here that I realized my true passion. It became clear to me that my understanding of scientific theories was much more enhanced than that of my classmates. This gave me confidence and my personality greatly improved. Ecology was my favorite subject and during my research I visited a wetland that the municipality was drying up. I was quick to understand the need of conservation and jumped into saving the wetland. That was another turning point where I was trying to be an activist. During this time I met several eminent people and my knowledge about the environment impressed them. Scientific writing is another culture in our college, one that helped me write articles and blogs for conservation and also aids in my role as an activist.

In my final year, my confidence was at an all time high. I fought the college election and was elected Mayor of student’s council. I played football in the college team. During the last two years of my graduation I was provided with numerous opportunities like organizing workshops, lectures, seminars, festivals etc, all of which polished my personality significantly.

Words are enough to describe the changes that our principal Dr. Savithri Singh has brought about in the college. She is actually a bit crazy about promoting research at every level. She has developed several labs separately for individual teachers who are working on projects. She has only one thing in mind; the college should provide the opportunities for everyone. She is also very keen on open source education and FOSS. Everyone who comes to the college has to learn Linux and wiki writing as a bonus.  I feel very lucky to be in her touch and that has opened the door to an entire new world.

One more thing I would like to add here is, after passing from ANDC, one is prepared for any type of challenge and is confident enough to clear any entrance. All of my classmates are well placed in reputed institutes, for which they didn’t need any special preparation as the college trained them for all type of competitions.

After graduation, I cleared entrance and took admission in M.Sc. (Tech.) Environmental Science and Technology from Banaras Hindu University. It is only after leaving ANDC, I realized the impact of the environment and education that ANDC provided. While other students were struggling to write I had almost completed my dissertation. My work was the best among all. I started the environment club of BHU called Eco One which is now standing strong with more than 200 students as its volunteer and the Vice Chancellor of the University as its patron. We have also formulated the ‘Zero Waste’ policy for BHU’s new south campus in Mirzapur. I have made three documentary films till now, for which I again thank ANDC for the workshops I was involved in during graduation. I also established an organization for conservation of Vindhyan range. I am into several other programs and have worked closely with reputed organizations. Being an environment researcher and activist I talk with many people of different hierarchy. There are many occasions when I have to speak directly to them; the confidence that I acquired during my graduation helps me a lot. At ANDC, we aren’t just taught classroom lessons but are processed and manufactured as leaders and wherever we go we are always a class apart.

I never miss my teachers of ANDC because I share the same bonding with them as before. I still feel a part of the ANDC family and we are always connected. I can call my teachers anytime and they are always eager to help. Whenever someone praises me or appreciates my works, I thank my college. I can never return what the college especially Dr. Savithri Singh has done to me but one thing I must say, ANDC is lucky to have principal like her. Her passion as a teacher is commendable and I always see it growing more and more as if she is on a mission to bring knowledge at a student’s doorstep from any corner of world. You just name a new thing and she will try her best to provide it to student. She can never see talent not being tapped due to lack of opportunities and this idea is seen in the form of the transformation she has brought about to the college. A student has to just approach her with genuine interest and she will try her best to support him. We are really lucky to have her and all the teachers at ANDC who made lots of difference in all of our life. 

The cut off for ANDC during admission is not high and mostly students of mediocre grade take admissions but these students are the ones who always top Delhi University year after year. ANDC proves that providing the right atmosphere and encouragement can bring light to students whom others may find worthless. The teaching methodology matters most in science and as Dr. Savithri Singh used to tell that ‘teacher’s role is not just teaching facts but their responsibilities is more like a facilitator’ and its her hard work and result of the passion she carries with her and the dedicated staff that ANDC has emerged today as a brand in science colleges. My best wishes to my junior batches and hope they tap the maximum being a part of this great institution. I am a proud Alum of the college!