Shravani Joshi IIT Bombay M. Tech AIR-70

When I was young, I wanted to be an astronaut. I clearly remember, a guest lecture was scheduled which portrayed the life of Kalpana Chawla and what she achieved for our country, India. Then I grew up a little and by the time I left school I planned on being a doctor. I remember my teacher asked us this and I announced in front of the entire class I will be a heart surgeon. I was extremely confident at that age. Topping all my school exams, little did I know I was just one among the hordes of people in our country who have this dream of being a doctor/engineer, basically something big. My family background consisted of teachers and engineers which inclined me towards Science. Then came the freedom of Junior college which swayed me away from studies. Boards were the easy part but in the Common Entrance Test my performance was nowhere near the required performance to be a doctor. Hence I “settled” with Engineering during that time. My score took me to second tier engineering college in Mumbai, but I knew this wasn’t what I was truly capable of. Engineering was a initially struggle since Maths which was my strength had become a weakness by the time I reached Engineering but I managed well after the first y¬ear. By this time I had heard the average salary a student bags in my college and decided to take things in my own hands and joined GATE. I thought I had the upper hand in technical subjects since my performance in class was better than rest, again I was naive  I joined VisionGATE for a two-year program which started when I was in my third year of¬ Engineering. Most of the subjects were taken by Prof. Rajesh Singh Vats, better known as RSV among students. Frankly, I did not really understand much of what he said and given the pressure of placements, final year project, etc I couldn’t do well in my first attempt for GATE. But I had seen that there were a few students giving a second attempt in class and literally all of them were now in premier institutes and this inspired me to give another attempt for GATE. I finished my Engineering and joined VisionGATE again in June. I had nine months to prepare for the exam and I decided to give it my best shot! RSV sir In the first year of my GATE training I didn’t really study enough to understand what RSV sir explained in class. I used to crib that sir doesn’t teach well. Sir used to say “Tum apne aap ko upar uthao, mai niche nahi aaunga. Tumhe upar uthna hai.” I understood the meaning of those words in the second year of my GATE training. The first thing I did was attend every lecture. RSV sir was capable of teaching each of the 10 subjects in CS for GATE. I made sure I attended all subjects from him once at least. His methodology consisted of first explaining the concept and then solving problems related to the concept. He put in immense hard work for us, much more than ANY teacher I had seen so far. So we had centres at Thane, Dadar and Nerul and RSV sir is the one who took Tutorial Lectures (advanced lectures which focussed on difficult problem solving) everywhere. I and my friends attended all these lectures with him. Sir says, “I am a resource. How best you utilize this resource is up to you.” Once the course work is done all you do is solve problems and surprisingly the 700+ hours which are alloted for GATE weren’t sufficient to solve all our queries. So sir used to tell us stories of our seniors who used to travel with him in the local and they used to discuss problems on their commute between classes. Yes Sir, being the modest man he is, travels by local train all over. Me and my friends followed suit and travelled with him when we left from one class to another. He must be the only professor I have seen so committed to his students who gave all the time he could to his students, so that we do well. He is the epitome of selfless dedication for his students. He could have easily spent the time for himself doing anything he wanted but he chose to

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