28 Nov

Frustration, frustration and frustration – Story of State Colleges in India

Today was our Summer Project viva day and overall it went good for me. Although I was suppose to give viva on Sat, but that just didn’t happened as I was kicked out  and insulted from my respective teachers for “not wearing formal clothes“. That’s very  sad. I am not taking it personally but I am just pointing out the level of education and overall mentality in state college education system. I am not saying quality is low or teachers are poor or something like that. I personally feel we have very good teachers overall but it’s just whole system which is screwed up badly and causing problems for just everyone including teachers too.

 

Today, I gave my viva in so called “formal clothes” and it went good. Now question here is – why really formal clothes?
Or is that’s the only thing which makes one look professional? On sat I was in clothes I own, today I was in clothes taken on “request” from someone.
It’s all about  “system” and mentality of that system. And really funny thing was when my presentation ended, my question to a very good teacher of mine was Sir any questions? His reply was – “No, very good presentation”. I felt happy to hear those words from him – since he’s one of very good teachers in our college and I have lot of respect for him. But next, he called me and pointed out (so called) “mistakes” in my file. Now to clarify – (I attest it with 100% confidence) that there was NO technical glitch or mistake in file but it was all about “Standard ways” Vs “Non-Standard ways“.

 

My file was rejected for following reasons:

  1. I underlined headings (and I was not supposed to be) (why?)
  2. I had bit of free spaces here and there (and no one is humble enough to ignore!) 🙂
  3. I wrote title of images on top, rather then bottom
  4. I wrote title of images but did not name those as image 1.1, 1.2 etc (Does that matters?)

 

Despite of these (so called as) mistakes anyone can read my file well, and can understand it well. And I can also “claim” to be one of probably 3-4 students out of 60 students who created whole file, whole project, whole presentation by hand (rather then copying). He knew that well, still file rejected. Fix fonts, fix underlines and print again.

 

I just wonder why people are seriously looking at things which DOESN’T NOT MATTER and completely ignoring things which matter a LOT. I spent considerable amount of time in looking into whole system and looking at the core issue. I was surprised to find it’s not about any teacher or say group of teachers who are causing problem, but it’s about whole system. Infact one of madam sitting in same lab later agreed to me saying “in our time we did in formal manner, we were forced to that, and same we expect from you“. This reminds me very old thought of Hindu culture where “discipline” is more about living life in uncomfortable hard manner for just nothing but to maintain a system. Like e.g it was discipline not to look into eyes of elders, it was discipline not to ever question judgement of someone senior in family, it was discipline to just keep things like way they are going even if someone has a better solution out to that. It is sad that education system in India carried over that “discipline as stick” rule to impose meaningless things rather then focusing on bringing innovation in young minds.

 

I can technically challenge all these rules like say:

  1. Why wear formal clothes? Any single logical point? We are into “technical education” rather then say MBA or any such stream. I have seen Mr Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho coming in shorts in Office and working. I have seen how people dress up at Google. Overall, about clothes all I can say is – they should be comfortable and next, should look decent. Full stop beyond those points.
  2. What’s the WHOLE point in printed presentation? I am sure here college will claim that it’s a “Kurukshetra University” demand but again WHAT’s THE POINT in having hard copies and wasting more paper? Next, we organize a “Save trees day” and pass message to save trees by making funny paintings ON PAPER. Completely meaningless but no one (in top management) seems bold enough to challenge it and get it fixed. Or may be it’s about economy? 🙂 Well, yeah small computer shops printing these projects are making quite a bit (as I have seen myself). They did asked us for soft copy on CD, which should be enough.
  3. Why so much of negative trashing questions to students? I have myself seen our respective teachers putting SERIOUSLY HARD EFFORT to find “mistakes” in presentation despite of fact it was first presentation at this level for 3rd year students. No one tried to boast moral, no one tried to ignore mistakes, no one tried to just let one “convey” their message. Surely, I can’t deny of fact that many students were poor in preparation but I am saying there were enough cases where student knew 90% of his subject and isn’t that’s a good number? For rest of 10% part, student had no clear idea. Why to dig more and more of 10% and prove him/her as plain dumb when they are not? (Happened to many of my friends)

But alas, this is not teachers problem, it’s just whole system. I myself know many good teachers who get very bad treatment from students and vice versa as in my case! 🙂

 

Clearly chicken-egg game

One or a group of student insult a teacher for some reason or whatever, teacher gets supper irritated with everyone and keeps on trashing everyone. And eventually old students start giving out their frustration on new teachers and cycle continues. No one gains anything from it, but just more and more frustration and loss of time & energy. 🙁

I still don’t have any solution to break this chicken – egg series, just suffering like few other “decent” students. All I can think off right now is – be more respectful and humble even with teachers who are not behaving in good manner and eventually break their anger & frustration with more and more respect & love.

 

Reminds me of this scene from very motivating movie “Accepted“.

 

 

Wish, people around me – not just teachers but students too, and almost everyone becomes more humble, loving, forgiving – and world would be such a nice place.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave your comments below.

26 Nov

Poor DNS setup from Idea ISP

DNS Lesson time!

Today, I was just looking into website – ideaisp.net

This site is overall pretty interesting as it’s showing various upstream links of IDEA Cellular ISP backbone. Seems like they are just using Cable & Wireless for most of International bandwidth although IDEA ISP is not functional yet.

 

Anyways, this post is not about their geeky upstream peers & routing tables but how bad one can setup DNS! 🙂

Looking at DNS servers of domain name ideaisp.net
Check from whois:

   Domain Name: IDEAISP.NET
   Registrar: NET 4 INDIA LIMITED
   Whois Server: whois.net4domains.com
   Referral URL: http://www.net4.in
 Name Server: NS1.IDEAISP.NET Name Server: NS2.IDEAISP.NET
   Status: ok
   Updated Date: 24-jun-2011
   Creation Date: 06-jun-2011
   Expiration Date: 06-jun-2012

All seem pretty much normal but next, check from normal dig (which digs DNS servers):

 

root@server7:~# dig ideaisp.net ns
; <<>> DiG 9.7.1-P2 <<>> ideaisp.net ns
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 26015
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;ideaisp.net.                   IN      NS
;; ANSWER SECTION:
ideaisp.net.            3317    IN      NS      isp-mum-dns1.
;; Query time: 11 msec
;; SERVER: 8.8.4.4#53(8.8.4.4)
;; WHEN: Sat Nov 26 20:48:44 2011
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 55

Only one nameservers and that too isp-mum-dns1. huh?!!
Since I had (very) bad day, I decided to dig further into it to keep myself busy.

 

Here’s the SOA zone file:

 ;; QUESTION SECTION:
 ;ideaisp.net. IN SOA
 ;; ANSWER SECTION:
 ideaisp.net. 3600 IN SOA isp-mum-dns1. hostmaster. 5 900 600 86400 3600

Again – clearly wrong nameserver in SOA too.

 

So how exactly website is working? What’s really wrong?

 

Digging further into two nameservers ns1.ideaisp.net and ns2.ideaisp.net (as shown from whois), here’s what we see:

 

root@server7:~# dig @ns1.ideaisp.net ideaisp.net ns
; <<>> DiG 9.7.1-P2 <<>> @ns1.ideaisp.net ideaisp.net ns
 ; (1 server found)
 ;; global options: +cmd
 ;; Got answer:
 ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 60975
 ;; flags: qr aa rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; QUESTION SECTION:
 ;ideaisp.net. IN NS
;; ANSWER SECTION:
 ideaisp.net. 3600 IN NS isp-mum-dns1.
;; Query time: 127 msec
 ;; SERVER: 223.196.3.235#53(223.196.3.235)
 ;; WHEN: Sat Nov 26 20:57:29 2011
 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 55
root@server7:~# dig @ns2.ideaisp.net ideaisp.net ns
; <<>> DiG 9.7.1-P2 <<>> @ns2.ideaisp.net ideaisp.net ns
 ; (1 server found)
 ;; global options: +cmd
 ;; Got answer:
 ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 20103
 ;; flags: qr aa rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; QUESTION SECTION:
 ;ideaisp.net. IN NS
;; ANSWER SECTION:
 ideaisp.net. 3600 IN NS isp-mum-dns1.
;; Query time: 127 msec
 ;; SERVER: 223.196.3.236#53(223.196.3.236)
 ;; WHEN: Sat Nov 26 20:57:35 2011
 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 55

Clearly there’s no mismatch in records on both servers.

 

Here’s what’s wrong:

  1. Wrong nameserver – rather then isp-mum-dns1. it should be ns1.ideaisp.net
  2. Missing secondary nameservers – ns2.ideaisp.net “NS record” is missing from zone delegation
Let’s hope someone @ IdeaCellular might read this post and considers fixing these issues.
Thanks for reading, have good day ahead!
 
 
 
 

***Updates***

 
Based on recent commentfrom Mr Sumit Menaria, from IDEA Cellular – this issue has been fixed.

Quick check to verify:

 
DNS servers at root: 

Domain Name: IDEAISP.NET
Registrar: NET 4 INDIA LIMITED
Whois Server: whois.net4domains.com
Referral URL: http://www.net4.in 
Name Server: NS1.IDEAISP.NET
Name Server: NS2.IDEAISP.NET
Status: ok
Updated Date: 04-may-2012
Creation Date: 06-jun-2011
Expiration Date: 06-jun-2012

 

 

Next, checking each of them for NS records:

anurag@laptop ~ $ dig ideaisp.net @NS1.IDEAISP.NET ns +short
ns1.ideaisp.net.
ns2.ideaisp.net.

anurag@laptop ~ $ dig ideaisp.net @NS2.IDEAISP.NET ns +short
ns2.ideaisp.net.
ns1.ideaisp.net.

 
 
Looks good. Verifying SOA and finally A record: 

anurag@laptop ~ $ dig ideaisp.net @NS1.IDEAISP.NET soa +short
ns1.ideaisp.net. hostmaster. 8 900 600 86400 3600

anurag@laptop ~ $ dig ideaisp.net @NS2.IDEAISP.NET soa +short
isp-mum-dns2. hostmaster. 8 900 600 86400 3600

anurag@laptop ~ $ dig ideaisp.net @NS1.IDEAISP.NET a +short
223.196.3.234

anurag@laptop ~ $ dig ideaisp.net @NS2.IDEAISP.NET a +short
223.196.3.234

 
All looks good and well. Good job Mr Sumit! 🙂