We (me and father) went to Kanpur on 18th from home. We went to Kollam railway station and went by Kerala express. We were on RAC and were allotted upper and lower births at window side. The journey through Kerala and Tamil Nadu was pleasant even if there were large number of stops. Andhra Pradesh had only a stop at Vijayawada. The journey was through hot areas and the wind blowing into the train was also hot. The journey through Andhra was almost one day long. Later the train passed through Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and finally reached Uttar Pradesh on third day morning. Jhansi was the first stop. Train reached Jhansi by almost 7 am(20 may). We were not aware at that time Kanpur was nearer to Jhansi. We alighted at Agra Cantonment station by 11.30. Gwalior was only station between Jhansi and Agra. We got a ticket for Toofan express which left station by 1 pm. We reached Kanpur central railway station at 8pm. We went to IIT by hiring a prepaid auto-rickshaw. IIT is almost 15km from railway station. I showed the call centre at security post and obtained a pass to enter. We went to Hall of Residence 2 (boy’s hostel 2 of 5). We were offered a room (room no 107) and we were guided to it. Since it was almost 9:15 pm we were advised to go to Hall of Residence 5 and have food (mess at hall 2 was not running. Hall 2 is almost empty and only those for interview were there). We had food and returned back and took rest.
On 21st may I reported to the BSBE complex at 8 am. The complex comprised of BSBE (Biological Science and Bioengineering) Department building, a lecture hall and Faculty building. We were taken to the lecture hall and were seated there. The written test started exactly at 9am and was for 2 hours. The written test consisted of 51 questions. It was of multiple choice types for first 50 and one essay. Each multiple choice question carried 1 mark and wrong answer -0.5 marks. First 10 questions were to test the verbal ability. Two paragraphs were given and 5 questions followed each. The first paragraph was to find a word which has similar meaning. The next was a normal to answer questions followed. But those questions were a bit difficult for me. The next seven questions were common data questions. Data regarding export of a product for different months were given and it was used to find percentage and related quantities. All those were simple to calculate but time consuming (as calculators were not permitted). But I could answer all those questions properly (Even if all the questions of English section were answered, I was not sure about those answers). Next three questions were all logical reasoning type. A paragraph was given and four choices. We have to select the statement which must be true for the paragraph to be true. Next was chemistry section. There were questions regarding isomers, polymers, organic chemistry, etc. All questions of this section were also easy. There were also questions from physics and biology. These questions were also easy. One of the questions was full form of AIDS. There was an essay question (Q 51). There were four choices. We must write essay on any of the four given questions. One was “How CO2 gas causes global warming?” There was another question, “Biocon is a success story in pharmaceutical sector. But these success stories didn’t spread to other cities like IT industries. What would you do to make your venture a success?” The written test finished at 11 am as scheduled. We were informed that results will be announced at 2 pm. After that we went to the BSBE office and applied for TA. Then I went back to hostel and took rest. By 1 pm we went out to food and reached BSBE office by 1.45pm. The list was already displayed there. I was short listed and my interview time was at 5-6pm. We went back and took rest till 4pm and came back to BSBE lobby after a tea by 4.30 pm.
There were two interview boards A and B. My interview was at board B. By 5:10 I my turn came. There were four persons on board. One of them was Pradeep Sinha, Head of BSBE dept. He is specialized in genetics. There was another from Chemical dept, one specialized in developmental biology and one in evolutionary biology. I was asked my name, degree, college and state. They asked me to list out subjects studied for degree. I do mention almost 20 to 25 subjects. He (chemical one) inferred by asking you are from Kerala na? I replied yes. On January 15th 2010 Kerala witnessed a rare event, annular solar eclipse. How does a solar eclipse occur? I answered; when earth moon and sun comes a straight line eclipse occurs. During solar eclipse the moon is in between earth and sun. This prevents the solar radiation from completely reaching the earth and hence we can see moon’s shadow on the sun. I was asked to draw it. He asked how this can happen, sun is larger than moon na? I replied sun is larger than moon but the distance between earth and moon is smaller than distance between moon and sun. Moon is earth’s satellite and hence it is closer to earth than to sun. He was satisfied and he asked about shape of earth orbit (elliptical), inclination of earth’s angle (240). We have summer and winter seasons in a year due to revolution of earth in its elliptical orbit. Why don’t we have two summers a year even if the path is elliptical? The earth is nearer to sun at two stages due to elliptical path, then what might be the reason for occurrence of one summer only. I replied that sun is not at the center of the elliptical path. So the distance between earth and sun is smallest only once and at that time summer occurs. He said that the answer is correct but there is one more reason, any idea? I replied that earth rotates on its inclined axis. He was satisfied as he said that inclination is also responsible for the occurrence of single summer.
Next question was asked by Pradeep sir about my favourite subject. I said preliminary genetics. Pradeep sir said that genetics is his subject but the developmental biologist said no he said preliminary genetics which is mine. Hence he (developmental biologist) started to ask questions. He asked what meiosis is. I replied that it is the process of gamete formation. A single cell splits up into four different cells. The daughter cells are haploid in nature having only half the number of chromosomes than normal cells. The 2n cells splits to four cells each having n chromosomes. In oogenesis how many egg cells are generated in single meiosis? I replied one. Are all four cells produced by meiosis similar? I replied no, the cells are not similar as the two sets of chromosome in 2n condition are from different parents. Also recombination occurs during crossing over process.
Again Pradeep sir started. He asked me can ampicillin resistance be given to cell which doesn’t have gene for resistance. What is that process called? I replied that the gene can be transferred to the cell by recombinant DNA technology. I then explained the process. He then asked have studied about plates and growing of cells in plates? I said yes. He then said I will draw a picture for you. I am not good at drawing. He drew a plate with cells having ampicillin resistance gene and media with ampicillin and labelled as day one. Then he drew similar plate with colonies surrounding the colonies and labelled as day three. He asked what these are. They were satellite colonies. The interview was over with this.
We started our return journey. We reached Kanpur railway station and got train to Jhansi. The Pushpak express left Kanpur at 9:15 pm and reached Jhansi by 2 am. We waited till 1pm to get a train from Jhansi. At 1pm we got H.Nizamudin-Yashvanthpur express and reached Yashvanthpur by next day 8pm. The we came to Bangalore centre and caught Island express which left by 9.45pm.We reached back next day evening