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 […]

Sumptuous Food in the 1950s

“What struck me was the amount of butter they served during breakfast: a full one-inch cube!” I was in the IISc hostel during 1956-59, when I was a student studying for D.IISc in the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering, and again during 1960-61 when I was a research student under the late Dr BS Ramakrishna, […]

‘They Still Remember Our Food’

When VC Amanan joined IISc in 1980, he was 26 years old. He had wanted to be a scientist, and applied to the Government Arts and Science College near KR Circle for a course in Chemistry, Biology and Zoology. But as luck would have it, he missed the interview for the seat as the letter […]

Meet the Metallurgist Who Champions People’s Science

  YC Subrahmanya studied metallurgy at IISc, during 1948-51. He was taught, among others, by Brahm Prakash, who was later an important member of India’s nuclear and space research programmes. Subrahmanya then joined the Ordnance Factories as an Assistant Works Manager and went on to have a long career, retiring as a Deputy Director-General. Now […]

A Mathematician’s Bond with IISc

Eric Lord, a British-born mathematician, was a visiting scientist at IISc for over two decades. He first came to the Institute in 1972, and later returned to Bangalore, the city he loved, for good. A man of varied interests, Eric has written books about general relativity, mathematics, crystallography, and paranormal phenomena. He has also illustrated […]

Women and the Institute

On the day IISc first opened its doors to students, as the Institute’s Annual Report for 1911 tells us, one hostel block was ready for occupation. What the Annual Report doesn’t mention, however, is that the “students’ hostel” was only meant for men. In 1909, plans had been made for staff quarters, two blocks of […]