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The Batch of 2020-22: ONLINE-abians

Harsh Mahawar

For those of you still wondering what is so special about this “MSc” batch, seriously people If you still need an explanation, here goes.

The story begins in the year when people are afraid to be around other people, when mother nature smacked us in our face and actually told us humans who we really are as a species and that she can take back her space if needed. But also, it is the year when we all truly found out where we stand and where we want to be in our lives. When the world slowed down so that we could rediscover ourselves and set our own personal goals. Yes, it’s the year 2020, when I graduated from college with no idea where to go.

Due to the pandemic, almost every major university had postponed its entrance examinations. However, those who did conduct them, couldn't proceed with admissions due to government guidelines. This left us, the final year students, in a very weird situation. It was at this time I came across IBAB, a leading institution excelling in Bioinformatics. Situated in the southern region of the country, it was truly a ray of hope in my life. I started preparing for the examination, but I knew that the interview would be the deciding factor for my admission.

On the day of the interview, I was quite nervous because I had never given an interview in my entire life. However, the faculty conducting the interview were very welcoming. They made me open up very comfortably and I gave my best. It was at this moment that I had a glimpse of the kind of environment they provide at IBAB. In a week or so my provisional letter came, and I was really happy. While universities were still looking for ways to conduct examinations, IBAB had completed their admission procedure. This made me the first person from my batch to get admitted into a Master’s programme. The will to proceed in hard times and the dedication to remain on schedule impressed me and now I cannot wait to explore the world of IBAB.

The whole process was held online and even today we are learning via the online mode. Every morning we wake up to a link in our web mails and we watch some highly educated, experienced, and very humble people interacting with us. They focus more on self-learning rather than traditional education and this helps us develop independent analytical thinking skills. They do not just teach concepts, but they also make us challenge these concepts and develop a habit of asking questions. They encourage us to ask basically anything, the discussions are beyond any limitations and the limits to our knowledge are boundless. Personally, I like the Mathematics faculty the most as he has changed the way I look at the subject. Today, it’s been four weeks and I completely love it (P.S: I used to suck at maths).

While we were brainstorming about all the new ways to learn, our seniors swooped in to show us the fun and lovely campus life. From the library to the canteen, from the TT table to the badminton court, from hostel corridors to working labs, etc, they showed us everything via two screens, one at our end and the other at theirs. Even though we all are separated by long distances, it hasn’t stopped us from getting to know our talented batchmates and seniors who are so easy to get along with.

IBAB has not disappointed me in any aspect. In fact, it's given me more than I expected from. I can’t wait to be there in person and explore the new opportunities the institute and its people are going to provide, to meet the wonderful faculty and seniors, and most importantly, I can’t wait to meet the person it’s going to turn me into.


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