By Nilayan Das Gupta, Batch of 2013
Q: How long have you been teaching in NSIT?
A: I have been in the academic field for over 20 years and have taught at SGBT Khalsa college, worked as a scientific officer at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Physics, Pune. Since 2001 I have been an assistant professor at NSIT in the department of Electronics and Communication.
Q: Your name is associated with the word “fablab‟. What exactly is the concept of fablab? And how did you become associated with it?
A: MIT has a concept of Fablabs. A Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop with an array of flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make “almost anything”. This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production. Since my book ―programming and customising the AVR microcontroller‖ was recommended by the founders of fablab, I was approached by MIT to mentor one of their lab start ups in our city, which luckily happened to be in our college.
Q: By what name is this lab better known? And how fruitful has your association with fablabs been?
A: CEDT, the fablab in our college has a set of RPT (Rapid prototyping tools). Thus many innovations including led blowing candles, led marker for photographers including other numerous projects have been taken up and successfully accomplished. For further reference you can look up ―Tiny AVR‖.
Q: How would you describe your work? And what are the basic traits that set you apart from the rest?
A: I am basically an engineer who loves building and creating things. I am extremely passionate about whatever I do, no matter however small it may be.
Q: What are the basic qualities you look for in students before selecting them for projects?
A: I accept all students from any branch who have enough zeal and enthusiasm. They must be keen to learn and build stuff. They needn‘t have any pre requisite advanced knowledge but a sound basic understanding of the subject.
Q: Do you feel our educational system lacks the basic aspect of applying our knowledge practically?
A: Yes and that‘s precisely the main reason why India is so backward in manufacturing goods of high quality and technology. It is such a shame that after having such terrific minds and knowledge base we still have to import technology.
Q: And do you think that due to the lack of opportunities in the manufacturing sectors in the country students tend to drift more towards management field rather than staying in the technical sec-tor?
A: Partly yes. But you can‘t just blame the educational system. The blame also lies with the Indian mentality which wants to play safe and earn easy money. The difference between the students here and abroad is that the selection procedure here is based on rejection and not by examination of a student‘s real interest. This is the main reason why most students tend to fall out of interest with their studies and subdued by peer pressure and subjected to a flock mentality tend to take up M.B.A as a last resort.
FOR MORE INFO ON THE INTERVIEWEE PLEASE REFER
FOR MORE INFO ON FABLABS & LIST OF PROJECTS UNDER-TAKEN