The Hex

I have been struck by the fact that there are relatively few places where students (or anyone, for that matter) can sit on the UoH campus outside an office, classroom, or seminar hall. I know that there is Gopes or the Shop.Com, or any number of rocks where people congregate… but still.  A campus should have places where people can meet- to discuss, interact, debate… any number of things that one has all the time for in these years, and less time for afterwards… Anyone who has been anywhere near JNU knows of Ganga Dhaba and how it has given aspiring debaters a chance to cut their ideological teeth…

The central hexagon (or is that a depiction of benzene??)  in the garden in front of the Science Complex has been gussied up over the past few days: the garden has been cleared, the stones have got fixed and cemented into a low wall, the access steps have been fixed, etc.  This is mostly to encourage people to use the park,  to hang out. I hope that the space can be used imaginatively- say by the inventive theatre groups that we have on campus.  Or for music.  And if you have suggestions of what else is needed in this regard- either here or elsewhere on the campus, do let me know and hopefully we can make this happen.

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21 thoughts on “The Hex

  1. Sir, I think, to have a good decent hang-out place, one need to have an eatery, a chai stall or something of that sort, or else the place wont be popular,now as this place under consideration is actually a landscape, having a shop is not a good idea, so i dont know, if this can be popular or not.

  2. Sir,

    I think different meeting points must have different settings for different experiences. So, while we do have chai shop settings, we do not have open spaces with tables and chairs where people can play games or sit and read a book or just plain brainstorm except in the depts.

    Something like a concrete table and chair having a chess board(the chess board is ingrained in the table and people can bring their ownpieces), or tables with few permanent chairs would help it becoming a point where people meet for discussions. Maybe benches under trees would also be a good idea. I remember in a university, where they said a famous nobel laureate always used to sit on the bench. Some day, we may have one(touch wood).

  3. 1. Opposite to Dr. S.Radhakrishnan lecture hall complex, across the road, is a nice place to create a small park, with a view of the lake. Good to have some minimal structures/trees within the park to provide protection from sun/rain also. Another possible location for a park is on the right side of the road as we enter the campus through the main gate, somewhat opposite to the Administrative block, but nearer to the substation.

    2. This comment is not about parks, but about our buildings. Hyderabad has a very hot summer, but it appears (to me at least) that many of our buildings are constructed without taking this hot climate into account. It will be good if we can apply some eco-friendly techniques to reduce the heat absorption of our buildings. It is a paradox that we do a lot of scientific research, but forget to apply science in these kind of practical matters.

  4. Thank you for your efforts to improve facilities on campus. Student community also needs a decent and spacious reading room, where students can study. Present reading room is overcrowded and can not serve the growing number of student community. So, please consider of constructing new reading room.

  5. Hello Sir,
    Thanks for this initiative. As you said, arraging some seatings in the shopcom sounds like a good idea. Having more seating in different parts of the campus seems to be desirable. I think, as it is suggested in one of the above comments, the place opposite to Dr.S.Radhakrishnan lecture hall is perhaps a good spot for making some arrangements for people to have discussion with seating arrangements as well as some tea shop(s).
    Apart from these, I think we should have some seating arrangements infront of the hostels, which many of the hostels are lacking. For example, there are no seating arrangements infront of the MH-E (Annex) hostel. I presume that it might be a good idea to have some seating arrangements infront of this hostel, considering the possibility that the research scholars staying in this hostel will have a nice opportunity to have a discussion over there. If I am not wrong, there are no seating arrangements infront of many hostels such as MH-K, MH-J etc. as well (thee could be many other).
    Apart from this, I would like to invite your attention to another matter. The road that is leading to the MH-E(Annex) is in a terrible conditon. It seems that the work of the road is left in half-way which make the journey of the peole who are riding over bicycle on that road.
    Thaks for your initiatives once again and expectin some action regarding this in the near future. Bye Sir.

  6. Echoing the thoughts above, I’d like to pen in the Must-Haves for an intellectual or refreshing discussion in the campus:
    1. Large open spaces
    2. Trees, trees and more trees- We can start a Green Drive in the campus considering the scorching summer almost shoving away whatever this winter has left us with.
    3. Refreshments- Hot beverages-cool lassi’s/buttermilk-snacks etc
    4. Benches/Chairs/Raised Platforms
    5. Absence of Canines
    6. Last but not the least- groups of people!
    Creating a ‘Knowledge-Sharing’ culture is the only way to enhance an individual/university’s status in front of himself/itself and the society and evolve mankind. Hence, let’s strive to be Jack of all trades and Master of many!

    • Why the hostility towards our friendly canine fellow beings?

      A responsible outlook toward a balanced ecology may suggest some sophisticated management rather than deprivation and absence 🙂

      Let’s learn to embrace life in its complete originality.

      • Its not hostility my friend. In fact, its the same sense of a responsible outlook that you have mentioned. A place for ‘human interaction’ simply isn’t a place for unhealthy canines to wander around and scavenge for food. They aren’t ‘life in its complete originality’. Man bred them for his own convenience and as a result, we have tens and thousands of unmanageable so called ‘street dogs’. In fact, how many well mannered canines are there in campus? They give our house keeping staff more trouble and work everyday than we students which is totally unwarranted for. Its their daily struggle to keep the campus clean. What happens to the responsible outlook then? If we let the canines breed here, we equally have to make sure they are healthy and disease free, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Plus nature has more to offer than these domesticated and later abandoned species.The soil itself has thousands of organisms and not to mention the trees that home birds and other insects. So, why be blind and unappreciative to them? 🙂

      • ‘… we equally have to make sure they are healthy and disease free, which doesn’t seem to be the case’… that’s exactly what underlies my statement and there should also be a ‘sophisticated management’ body for maintaining the same as I have already indicated. You have just clarified absolutely what my statement meant. I believe in not shrugging away from it, and it is doable. It’s a target of setting a leading role model rather than following behind.

        Many dogs were also tagged as tested by GHMC if I remember correctly (you might see an aluminum tag on some dogs). Most of them have lost the tags I understand. You may also find out more by simply asking the main-gate security about this process.

        And what I meant by completeness and responsibility… Man bred them, only because they had something to offer (security, safety and hunting solutions I suppose). Now that the breed is all of a sudden rendered useless(?), it is to be eagerly and with all prompt efforts, displaced and destroyed. What a nice environment it would be when we all go ahead with the basic instincts of using up what our friends have to offer and then dump them when they no more can solve our further sophisticated problems. We would seriously develop into a greater civilization indeed, but isn’t this what happens between people too, don’t think it feels cool. It may be a difficult problem to maintain and washing our hands off this problem is not a solution quite cool.

        The capacities of pets, once trained, too can take up immense measures. Not knowing it would be another story.

        best,
        abhijit

  7. Very nice idea,its no wonder that the campus community never used it for the delights that you mention,thanks to that fence with gaps just wide enough to allow only the poor not so nourished malis to be able to negotiate through to enter the ring when asked to work there.Let us first have that fencing removed .There are several locations on campus that can be upgraded to ‘addas’,for instance:
    1.This place right outside School of Social Sciences and LHC1,opposite Sanskrit Studies,just needs a little cleanig-up without felling any trees and arranging for some inexpensive sitting spots.
    2.There is very nice ground between Mgt.school and school of Social Sci.which can also be converted to one such delight with very little expenditure.
    3.Opposite Yoga centre,near the LH bus-stop.
    Really appreciate that you wish to create such spaces,and once there the campus,i’am sure will be really vibrant and alive.Thanks.
    Shobha

  8. 1) While considering benches/tables instead of pre-fabricated cement benches etc. white marble (though little expensive) would be a good idea which will add to the beauty of the campus.

    2) Any place that would be selected for the purpose must be such that it cannot be used for playing sport/games. This can be ensured by not leaving much open space and covering it with tables and chairs etc.

    3) Instead of having “a particular place” in the entire university, it may be good to have a “hangout place” for each school and hostel apart from a “common place” like Gopes, shop com etc. etc.

    4) South Campus community is yet to have a common place, now most of the students depending on the Gopanpally shops/stalls.

    5) Horticulture plays a vital role in making any place pleasant or otherwise, hence needs more attention, supervision and focus, especially to make “common” places more user friendly.

    6) Tables/chairs can be fixed around the boundary of Open Air auditorium with proper lighting arrangements.

    7) On environment and energy front, solar street lights and building plans with natural light and air would be better.

    • A minor addition to this very useful list.

      1. Each table can be designed with a centered mast support which extends up and provides a completely opaque shed (proper fiber or metal sheds supported by radial frames on the mast in a good looking conical shape) sufficiently covering the seating beside and around that table. Rain and scorching sun are no surprising elements.

      2. Each mast should have power support with a few 5-pin sockets to power up laptops. Most discussions and presentations are conducted through power-point solutions. I personally remember our plight when we used to roam around helplessly from library lawn, to humanities; the space near CNF in Science Complex to my NRS room (which definitely can’t accommodate enough) with the eager to learn group of juniors in search of light and power and also a proper board to discuss. Day time is not feasible most of the time due to class timings and other multiple academic engagements and personal requirements.

      3. A basic requirement for any serious discussion is a BOARD. This is the one of best amenities that any discussion group can ever ask for. Chalk boards are a much durable option if the external environment exposure is considered. They can be engraved easily in properly shaped concrete wall like designs. These can be located near the table with proper intervals as the design of the bench layout would indicate. There can be security personals posted for supervising discussion hubs and they should be provided with sufficient supply of white chalks and adequate colored chalks so that students can get them instantly when ever required.

      4. I was trying to start an activity web-page myself when I came across this very productive and output oriented blog at the suggestion of one of my juniors. This website is under construction and would soon be ready. Students would be able to post their required discussion activities and plan places as well as comment on events and activities that they have participated in. I am trying this website as a model and would like to test its efficiency. But at one point (when i may not remain a registered student anymore) the university should soon take up and build its own website to maintain HCU Activity Site.

      Regards and best wishes for all success!
      abhijit

  9. Would it be off-topic to suggest a nicer reading room in the library, sir? It was just my thought that the current reading room, large though it is, simply doesn’t support the huge number of students who need to use it, and can hardly be called comfortable by any standard. It is air conditioned, but stuffy. It has windows that are shut fast against outside air and mosquitoes, so that makes it rather depressing. It doesn’t make reading/studying any better than sitting in a large crowded classroom. Perhaps it could be brightened up a little, or the seating arrangements changed so that everyone gets the benefit of the outside sunlight?
    The lawns outside the library are wonderful. In the summer, when it’s not too hot, they are a real boon to people who need to think/write/study. I also think it’s a good idea to open up that little park thing opposite the science complex; I had no idea people were allowed into that garden, having never seen anyone in there. Also, tiny spots like the Grove outside the Humanities building can be replicated.

  10. Sorry, but I would also like to add that most places on this campus (lakes, rocks, wooded areas, etc.) are beautiful precisely because of the minimal human intervention, and we should try to keep it that way.

  11. It is nice to have beautiful places within the campus where people can gather and discuss but it is equally important to have good hostels with proper living conditions for the students. I was appalled when I recently went with my friend to Hyderabad Central University and saw her daughter sharing a 12 (or more I am not sure) bedded cramped dormitory with literally no space to keep her belongings, let alone study tables and cupboards. The University exists for the students , their welfare and well being is undoubtedly paramount. I may sound a little rude, but I sincerely request that the University first take steps to ensure that the basic requirements of the students in terms of the hostels, messes, laundry, library, hospital are met with.

    • Sure. We are trying to do this, but we would like the public at large to also participate in
      the creation of better spaces for students. There is so little contribution towards creating and
      maintaining these facilities- Universities are just expected to make it all happen… Yes, it is
      the Government’s responsibility, but it is increasingly becoming the responsibility of us all. I am sure
      you mean well, I just hope you also contribute in whatever way you can, and wherever you can. Thanks
      for your comment-

    • HCU is providing fairly good infrastructure and facilities to make the stay of all students comfortable. Yes, critics are good friends for they show us where else we can improve. But, one should also look at many good things that exist in HCU.

      Instead of expecting government/university to do everything on its own, while we stand at the fence watching/commenting may not fetch anything.

      Things will improve further and help one and all when each one of us think “how I can contribute to improve the situation”.

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