External Students — Please read this before you write

A number of students from other institutions keep writing to me for various reasons. I handled the email load for some time, but now it it becoming unmanageable — so I thought I should write this.

The students may be categorized in the following categories: (a) students interested in joining M.Tech. or Ph.D. program at IIT-Delhi (b) interested in long-term (6 months+) internship (c) interested in 2-3 months summer internship. I have attempted to write a few paragraphs to help you. Please go through the relevant sections and if you still have any questions, feel free to write to me.

Interested in joining M.Tech. or Ph.D. program at IIT-Delhi

If you fall in this category, the chances are that you are also interested in working with me for your PG program at IIT-Delhi. If that is indeed the case, you need to first make sure that you are well-prepared for the entrance examination and interview. You first need to decide which program you wish to join (MSR, M.Tech. or Ph.D.). You also need to decide which department you should apply (Computer Science and Engineering or School of Information Technology). Below are some guidelines:

Our PG program is structured into two departments. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers all the three programs (MSR, M.Tech., Ph.D.) and so is School of Information Technology.  If you are interested in CS-type topics such as Machine Learning or Big Data Analytics then CSE is the right department for you. If you are interested in interdisciplinary research areas such as in Neuroimaging, Yoga, Computational Sanskrit Linguistics then SIT is the right department for you. If you are still in doubt, fee free to send me an email and ask. Besides this, there is a third option too. If you are very interested in doing some socially relevant work related to either the field of slum education or Yoga, you may also consider joining Ph.D. at NRCVEE. I would love to supervise students in this category.

The next step is to prepare for the entrance examination and interview. If you have done UG from centrally funded technical institutions (CIFTI) and have a good GPA then you may not need to appear in GATE examination. Please check the IIT-Delhi prospectus for exact details. However, if you need to clear GATE (or NET), make sure that you appear for it before you apply.

You need to have a good hold on CS fundamentals to successfully clear the interview.  There is no need to join any coaching center. Just do you UG degree diligently. Now a days there is a lot  of very good online course material available. Make sure that go through that well. Here is a very good page for helping with preparations for post graduate studies in CSE at IITD.

Getting selected at IIT does not automatically ensure that you will be able to work with me. For that you need to be very strong in your fundamentals. Your expectation about the projects and the type of work must match with what I have to offer. About half of the students who have tried to work with me are unable to continue for a reasonable period of time. It is highly advisable that you talk to be beforehand and have a very good idea about the research projects I am involved in. It will be a good idea to work with me on an Eklavya project for at least 6 months before you formally start your research work.

Interested in long-term (6 months+) internship

You need to be very clear as to why do you wish to do this internship. If your sole objective of this internship is to add value to your resume and secure a better job, you are probably at the wrong place. The internship will be a waste of time for you as well as for me. Majority of the jobs in the Indian industry require people to do routine outsourcing work. Good execution and presentation skills and basic professional hygiene is all you need to be successful. Any smart and diligent student will be able to pick up the required skills in relatively short period of time. You will not learn anything that can be directly applied in your next job. In this case, you are much better off seeking an internship in a company. If you do well, the chance of a PPO are also very high.

If you are interested in creating a technology-based startup and would like to work for 6 months on an idea and would like to take it to some maturity, then write to me with your idea and see if there are any synergies. If you don’t have any startup idea of your own but are highly enthusiastic and have very good execution skills, feel free to write to me to discuss the possibilities. I have a large numbers of ideas that I would like to be tried. Some of these ideas belong to the domain of socially responsible enterprises. I will be happy to share these with deserving candidates. However, it is important that you prove yourself by exploring my Eklavya projects and contributing to one of them for at least 6 months prior to the internship.

If you are interested in staying in academia in India or abroad and would like to explore research in more detail, plan on a 6 months+ internship. This internship will be especially  important  if you are planning to apply for post graduate program at IIT-Delhi. We are the top department in the country according rankings and it will help to get an early start.

Few things you should be aware of before you decide for long-term internship. Firstly, you will need to register at IIT-Delhi as an external student. This requires some fee to be paid to the institute. You may be able to attend some courses also if you plan your dates carefully (this is very highly recommended). Secondly, getting hostel facilities at IIT-Delhi is very difficult. You must consider yourself lucky if you are able to get a hostel accommodation on campus. However, there are some areas in the vicinity of IIT-Delhi (Ber Sarai, Jiya Sarai, Katwaria Sarai, Sarvapriya Vihar, SDA, Sarvodaya Enclave) which provide paying guest and other kinds of accommodation. You might want to explore these areas further before deciding.

Interested in 2-3 months summer internship

Candidates who are interested and meet all the eligibility requirements for  admission into PG program at IIT-Delhi (e.g., GPA > 8.0 from a CIFTI institution or successfully clearing GATE) and would like to work with me and use the internship as an opportunity to know more about the projects and start early in the process. Do write to me if you fall in this category.

However, if you are not interested in the PG program, it is best to start with a software Eklavya project at the end of your first year. Once you are successful, then in the second year you might wish to take up a research oriented Eklavya project. If you are successful in year two as well, then you might be able to join me for a residential research internship.

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