The year is 2020 and the date is 16th December, as Covid-19 still reigns terror over people all around the world, a selected set of about 600 students wake up all excited for it is the first day of their Induction program and the sweet beginning of their college life at IIITD. I still remember the wide grin on my face as I donned the very special t-shirt provided to us for the event.

The program kicked off with a mention of the social media presence of the college and we were encouraged to actively take part in all the events and tag the official handles in all the Induction related posts. This was followed with an event fondly mentioned ‘Creating Memories’ and this is where we were introduced to the ever-awesome Dean of Student Affairs, Ponnurangam Kumaraguru Sir or as we call him PK Sir, and then and there I knew exactly the kind of fun energy we should expect from the Induction.

We were presented with a virtual tour of the college followed by a discussion session with sir. The event concluded with the well-renowned selfie by PK sir and it was by this point I realised I was not shivering with cold anymore but now it was because of all the excitement I couldn’t contain. “Welcome to IIITD” was the next part and included an address by the Director of IIITD Prof. Ranjan Bose and a very good Q&A session.

The next part was the invited talk session delivered by the co-founder of Infosys Mr. Kris Gopalakrisnan who enlightened us about our role in the 4th Industrial Technology Revolution. We had afterwards a brief introduction to the Research Culture in IIITD which was then followed by an awesome Ice breaking session where we got to interact with our seniors and performed a fun activity where we were divided into small groups and each of us shared our Bucket lists which we intended to fulfill in our college years. After a great session of bonding and making friends I went to sleep thinking this day was definitely going to be the best one throughout the event but then came Day 2.

We started the day with a Yoga session which was actually conducted on all the subsequent days, and we then followed through to an informative talk about the Office of Student Affairs and all the different Student councils operating in the college. The invited talk of the day was delivered by Professor Pankaj Jalote who encouraged us to enjoy our first two years and explore as much as possible. He very smartly summarized his point of view with a T-model of learning which basically means learning only our subjects of intrigue in depth. We then had a few factual sessions and afterwards we had an introduction to many of the clubs active in the college.

This was also the day when we noticed the daily changing hoodies and caps of different Universities worn by PK sir which quickly became a fun quiz activity for all of us. The day concluded with an Open Mic Session conducted by LitSoc, the literature club, and as a lover of poetry myself I thoroughly enjoyed the performances by various batch mates and even recited a poem myself. This time when I went to sleep I thought okay maybe this day was the best, no way can it be topped now but boy was I proven wrong each and every day.

Day 3 found us learning even more about how fantastic of a college IIITD is and what all state of the art facilities we have at our disposal via sessions by the ENT and the Facility Management Service. Let me ask you if you have ever heard of a Dean going on an impromptu tour of the college just because students wanted to see the campus, because that actually happened as we all saw PK sir giving us a tour of the college. Acharya Prashant was the invited speaker of the day and he beautifully explained the importance of the Upanishads and inspired us to make spirituality a part of our lives.

The alumni meet session afterwards was very helpful and insightful as we got to know about how the college played an integral part in their respective journeys and got first-hand experience of life after graduating from IIITD. After the particularly engaging alumni meet, we finally got introduced to Competitive Coding in a session conducted by the Foobar club. The event was very inclusive and made sure to divide us depending on our coding experience and gave the problems accordingly. Many students went crazy solving the problems and even woke up the whole night pondering over the solutions.

Day 4 and the enthusiasm was soaring to new heights with students even more excited than the first day, eager to enjoy all the activities planned for the day. We received a brief intro about the Student Mentorship Program after which we had the invited talk of the day by Ms. Ira Singhal. We all felt motivated and inspired as we learned of her journey and the importance of perseverance in whatever we want to achieve in our lives. After that, we had a presentation about all the facilities provided by the Library, and honestly, kindles for borrowing was not something I expected at all. The parent interaction afterwards was a much-needed session as many parents got their doubts cleared and were able to make sure that their children are now in good hands. Various fun activities were planned for the day by many different clubs such as Machaan, Audiobytes, Finnexia, Electroholics and Cyborg. We could only attend one activity at a time but from what I have gathered from my friends, all the activities were full of enjoyment and knowledge. The perfect day was brought to the perfect end with a surprise live performance by Shubham J, who with his melodious tracks carried us through the journey we would go through in the upcoming 4 years.

The next day, a Sunday was a break from the event for all the students and we still were busy interacting on the Discord server made for us, as we played different games together, or simply just listened to music together. Bonding with people in an online format is not easy but with the efforts of IIITD and all the seniors, I would say I am sure to have already made some life-long friends.

Day 5 and we were back on the Zoom call ready for the day. An early morning interaction with the alumni followed by a discussion on the mental well-being of students was very helpful. The invited talk afterwards was enriching and enlightening and was delivered by Professor Dheeraj Sanghi. A live demonstration of self-defense classes was also conducted along with an introduction to the sports culture in IIITD. We also glimpsed all the engaging and amusing events conducted in the college throughout the year by the Cultural Council, such as Odyssey, TedX and Esya. Club activities for the day were conducted by Muse, Evariste, The 65th Square, GirlUp Udaan, ACM, Women in Tech, Madtoes and Trivialis.

Each activity was filled with so much passion and enjoyment, I really felt like joining all the clubs then and there. The most fun part of the day however was the e-Sports Tournament as it saw different students teaming up together to be the winner. I sadly lost the tournament but once again ended up making more friends. In fact, I didn’t even win a single activity throughout the Induction but I still feel like I won, with all the new friends and bonds I have made.

Day 6 saw us learning even more about the college rules and structure as we attended meetings about the IT infrastructure/policies, Academics@IIITD and also a session by the amazing Student Council. It was then time for the jewel of the crown, the TALENT NIGHT. From the first performance till the very last one, everyone couldn’t help but cheer with utmost exuberance as the enthusiasm ran high throughout the event and as for me I was just left in awe of my fellow batch mates.

The last day of the Induction saw us interacting with our respective departments and meeting the ever amazing faculty. An important session about Anti-ragging was also conducted followed by an introduction to the Mess and food available in the college. We wrapped up the event with another quick selfie showcasing our t-shirts and a smile on every face. The Induction concluded with the long-awaited performances by Kuhu Gracia and Rahul Dua. We all hummed along with the euphonious voice of Kuhu Gracia. The zoom call was then lit up with laughter as the final performance was by the ever funny Rahul Dua.

The zoom meeting was then terminated and it finally dawned upon me, the Induction was over. I started feeling a bit nostalgic and I know it’s weird to be missing something that started just a week ago, but I felt as if it had been going on forever, as if I had always been a part of IIITD. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to all the awesome faculty members of IIITD and the seniors who specially took out time for us in the midst of their end-semester exams. The whole event I believe will be forever etched in my memory and it’s safe to say that I can always easily summarize the whole event in just three words – IIITD INDUCTION OP (overpowered)!!

Blog by: Akshat Saini (B.Tech, Class of 2024)
Pictures by: Vishnu Shon, Vishesh Jain & Prof. PK