Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information & Communication Technology (DA-IICT), Gandhinagar
Located on the road that connects the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway and the Gandhinagar bypass road for NH8, the road is itself called the DA-IICT Road. Getting to the college from the Airport or the Railway stations can be a little painful experience as you might end up paying exorbitantly every time you travel. Located right beside the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and the National Institute of Design (NID) on the other side, the campus is pretty much cut-out from the activities of the city and is easy to locate. But being a completely residential course you would never have to worry about daily travel to get to the college.
Starting with the campus; a very well planned and laid out campus, which includes separate blocks for various activities spread throughout. The campus welcomes you with a nice little lotus pond and then you take the road towards your destination. On the left are the Academic blocks i.e. the lecture theatres and the labs. The halls of residence (hostels) for the boys and the cafeteria being close to each other lie in the northern part of the campus. Besides these are the Open-air-theatre and the Sports ground. All the campus is connected by an elliptical kind of a road. Going ahead on the road takes you to the Halls-of-residence for the girls, and the faculty blocks. And the best part about the campus is the green cover. The spaces apart from the roads and the buildings are covered with plantations that include Bamboo, grasses and also some that are medicinal. And don’t be surprised to catch glimpse of beautiful peacocks displaying their feathers and making sweet noises during the monsoons, and also many more birds flock the eco-system created by the institute. A blend of urban infrastructure amidst the natural environment makes the whole experience serene. Only thing you could expect apart from this would be a river flowing through the campus.
The educational blocks include 3 lecture theatres, with a capacity of 260, although is air-conditioned, but is usually very well ventilated and comfortable. The movie club of the college manages showing movies periodically at the open air theatre which people enjoy. For recreation there’s the club house, a gymnasium, footballers have a huge ground at their disposal, with basketball courts at offer too.
There is a separate block called as the Resource Centre (RC) which is basically the library and learning room setup over here, with a separate section for Audio-Video purpose too. Generally the RC takes care of all the educational books the students might need, with very few having to buy from markets. Professor notes, slides, and e-books are easily available on DC sharing over the college intranet. Labs are air conditioned and well equipped, and the better part is that the students find the lab staff very co-operative.
Hostel/Campus Life:Now that the course is completely residential, the hostels would be an important consideration too. The twin sharing rooms are decent in size, not too big, nor does it get cramped up. There’s house-keeping staff always around to clean up rooms, but the occupants generally get it cleaned once a month. There’s a bed, a study table, and a cupboard for both. The hostel warden is not very strict with the boys for timings and they’re allowed to roam around freely 24hrs a day. But the girls’ hostel stay shut from 12am – 6am. The boys are also allowed outside the campus all day, unlike the girls.
When you ask anyone here about a unique feature of the hostel, everyone will certainly speak of the LAN network of the campus. Everyone’s laptops are always hooked on the network, with some gaming or some just surfing the internet at high speeds. The intranet operates at around 10-12Mbps, which could translate to downloading a movie in just about 5 minutes or so. That’s fast!! With regards to making friends here, it’s not hard at all, because students are always roaming around here and there, so find a company and for all you know he/she might be a senior, but you bond over things and become pals. Ragging here is banned anyway, but the students are matured enough themselves to avoid it too. A women’s cell is particularly established to address any gender specific issues. A general store in the hostel enables quick access to public phones and mobile recharges and stationary. An AXIS Bank ATM outside the campus serves the banking needs of students. Respecting the status of Gujarat being a dry state, students camp out to other state borders to quench their thirst once in a while.
Per semester the break-up of the fees would be: Tuition fees - Rs.30,000; Hostel Fees – Rs.7,000; Examination fees – Rs.1,800. Now that’s about Rs.40,000 a semester. Anything apart from that is personal expenses, and generally doesn’t go beyond Rs.3,000 per semester. But students find it all worth.
The students might not be full of praise for their faculties, but very firmly believe that all the professors are very knowledgeable, no denying that. The teachers comprising doctorates from big foreign universities, but not all can “teach”. And here we talk about teaching as in making understand concepts, rather than just superficial completion of syllabuses. Although there is no disagreement among students over the aspect of teachers teaching with full enthusiasm every lecture, every time! The permanent faculties taking Algorithms & Databases is popular, favorite, and motivating as a person too. The mathematics department is also good and teachers, interesting. The department in charge of Humanities is not any behind when it comes to likeability. Those faculties who choose to stay on campus are offered accommodation and an office too, where students can approach them about academics or anything else with ease.
Generally the students pursuing masters or Ph.Ds’ are responsible to conduct the labs and they are not bad at it, also because they are also marked on their performance in the labs.
50% of the seats are strictly for Gujarat students, and the rest are available for students all over the country, with valid AIEEE scores. So now that mainly defines where the crowd comes in from. Students from diverse backgrounds make it here, but a lot of them are from Andhra and of course mostly others from all over the country. There are 5% seats set aside for Non Residential Indians, but there is absolutely no concept of management seats here. Everyone mixes up well; no one feels different or discriminated in anyway. People are nice and helpful, be it at academics or helping you set up an online gaming session. The interaction between girls and guys is good, with no attitude issues on one side, and harassment issues on the other.
Now when it comes to studies, as the system demands, the sincere self-studies happen only during the exam months, but over the period of the course, students come out as good engineers, and have developed a liking or inclination towards an area of their own, which is needed before you take up a job, or would want to pursue post grad studies in.
The academic schedule includes 2 mid-terms and 1 Final exam + Practical exams. 4 pointers are needed to pass and the ratio of students passing is generally very high, over 97-98%.
The food at the mess/canteen is priced reasonably, the place is clean and the food hygienic. Apart from being a very unusual kind of a canteen (which feels like a part of a resort), there are a couple of other small franchisee counters around too. With wood benches ad rounded stones in the floor, it feels no less than a nature resort you would want to visit to take a break from routine.
Friday Nights are what the students look forward to right from Monday mornings; movies shown at the open-air-theatre, musical performances, and other events keep happening. Outside the campus there is Infocity (An IT Hub) where you can find all the franchisee stores, subways, macs, and what not! And apart from that, frankly there is nothing much around in the city where you can hangout. Many Indian festivals are celebrated which would certainly keep you entertained and life enjoyable.
Synapse is the college’s annual cultural festival celebrated every year around February. iFest held in the month of November is a Technical Festival, with both being inter-college, and sees participants from various colleges in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. The sports fest is called “Conquers”. All these festivals are so organized that no student on the campus would be idle, because if not participate there is always some co-ordination or volunteering work that is needed to make the events possible.
Also like the movie club, there are many other clubs which are “active” all throughout the year. Indian Cultural Festivals like Janmashtami and Holi are celebrated with equal enthusiasm at the campus.
With college being established in 2001, and first B.Tech batch passing out in 2005, 8 batches have so far passed out from the institute. Over this period the average salary students say would be nothing less than 4 Lakh a year, with the highest having gone upto 16.5 Lakh a year. A trend observed here is that toppers have generally preferred off-campus placements over on-campus ones. The college has built a good name and reputation rapidly among MNC’s and Indian companies alike. Companies thus keep coming in all through the year. To name a few, directi, facebook, google, amazon would be the big IT names visiting the campus. The college tries to ensure that a student gets more than just a ‘job’, they get a career. Research work and industrial internships also expose students to more than just textbook knowledge. About 25-30% students opt for higher education, which is where the professor recommendations count a lot.
Teaching could be enhanced if the very same Ph.D professors get good at teaching. Also very important is the mindset that you come in with to the institute; you have to be very interested in Information Technology, as the course is designed with strong focus in that area. A very small hitch would be the location and the convenience to reach the campus from railway stations or airports.