Why I Teach Science Students About Folk Arts

A faculty member reflects on an unusual course offered to undergraduate students This year, I am teaching the sixth edition of the undergraduate humanities course “Mapping India with the Folk Arts”. In this course, we delve into indigenous knowledge, or common people’s knowledge, focusing on a different form of Indian folk art every year. By […]

Letters From 1936 About the Women’s Hostel

‘We wish to suggest that the Ladies’ Hostel may be permanently located’ Kamala Sohonie (née Bhagvat) studied biochemistry at IISc in the 1930s. She had struggled to gain admission as CV Raman, who was IISc’s Director from 1933-1937, was resistant to allowing women to study at the Institute. But she didn’t seem the kind to […]

How a Village School in Karnataka is Tackling its Wastewater

A unique pilot project helmed by a team of scientists from India and Scotland Berambadi (Photo: Rohini Krishnamurthy) About 200 km southwest of Bengaluru is Berambadi, a village nestled between mountains, swathes of agricultural fields, the Hirikere lake, and the Bandipur National Park. This verdant countryside with tidy roads that borders Karnataka’s neighbours Kerala and […]

Remembering SR Valluri

A tribute to the life and achievements of the IISc alumnus who left his mark on Indian aerospace engineering The name of Dr Sitaram Rao Valluri, who passed away on 23 January 2019, aged 94, will forever be linked with the National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL; now National Aerospace Laboratories). Valluri had many stellar accomplishments in […]

If I Had a Smartphone Then, I Would Have Taken Selfies with CV Raman

  On 8 February 1966, 18-year-old Uma Jagannath began her career as Readers’ Assistant at IISc, even before her results were out. She had just written her Diploma examination in library science at the Government Polytechnic for Women, Bangalore. After getting her results, she was immediately made the Library Assistant. In an interview with Connect, […]

A Student’s Letter of Protest

M Jagannadha Rao’s 1943 missive against having a Common Dining Hall In 1943, construction began on a new dining hall and auditorium designed by Otto Koenigsberger, meant to serve as a common dining hall for all students. It was meant to replace the nine messes on campus in which students ate with their respective communities or […]

‘Neither Indian Nor European, But Something New’

The Common Dining Hall built by Otto Koenigsberger in 1944 was a creative experiment forced upon him by circumstances The Students’ Hostel Office in IISc is located in a unique building. Sandwiched between Nesara and Kabini restaurants, its unusual form is surprisingly well-concealed, even from the discerning eyes of those who walk past it routinely. […]

Strange Encounters of the Kheema Kind

Rations, blunders and too much ragi in the late 1940s When I joined the Institute (specifically, the Department of Electrical Technology) in 1947, the many messes attached to each of the four wings of the hostel had already been closed down and a common mess had started in the newly built auditorium. If there was […]