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Date: 15.04.

2013
University of Hyderabad

From
Srinivasulu P
08ETMM02
School of Engineering sciences and Technology
University of Hyderabad
Hyderabad-500046
To
Controller of Examinations
University of Hyderabad
Hyderabad-500046

Sub:

Explanation for the delay in my M.Tech project, with a request to allow the submission
of the same under a new supervisor and to continue PhD with or without RGNF-reg.

Respected Sir,
I, Srinivasulu P, joined Integrated PhD in the year 2008 with registration number
08ETMM02, School of Engineering Sciences & Technology. This letter is an honest and humble
submission of all the circumstances that perceivably, however arguably, hindered the completion
of my M.Tech project. These facts, though some of them are subjective, are presented here to
assist you appraise my helplessness in continuing my PhD under the then prevailed
circumstances, with a request to reconsider my case empathetically and to kindly allow me to
submit my M.Tech projects dissertation and to continue the PhD under a new supervisor.
Sir, our M.Tech batch, admitted in 2008, was the first ever batch of students to
join the newly born department of Material Engineering. Seeing, for an entire semester, the
initial dismal situation of infrastructure and of academic facilities at the department, all of us
students became anxious about the possibility of meeting our Universitys high academic
expectations from us working under such an infrastructure-impaired condition. But back then, in
our second semester, no student except me had actually brought our anxiety and anguish to the
notice of the then authorities. With this unpleasant act of mine, as I later had to presume, the then

authorities behaved vindictively when it came to the crucial juncture of allocating our M.Tech
projects. No student, except me, was given an on-campus project, citing the actual non-existence
of lab-facilities here in our department as the reason for sending out all other students but me, to
reputed Central Govt. laboratories like DMRL, ARCI, and NFTDC. I was also asked to do my
project practically under the guidance of a newly joined faculty member with no previous
experience in research supervision (though on record I was promised but never granted cosupervision by one of the senior most faculty).
When I asked our then Dean, Prof. V Srikant Joshi to reconsider my project
allocation, his words in reply meant to say To be worthy of its name, a department should have
at least one student working here. We tried our best to satisfy every student, but we are left with
you with no off-campus projects left. Anyway, here you will be working with the best of our
senior most faculty viz. Prof. Anil K.Bhatnagar. This is all that we can do for you. Since no
plausible reason was given by the then authorities for this exclusive and unequal treatment meted
out to me, I had to presume that my unpleasant act of raising the issue of poor infrastructure
during my second semester, might had been perceived as an act of disobedience by them. As I
could see, this could be the only probable reason for their inconsiderate decision to allocate my
project here within the department. I thought my performance in theoretical course work of the
initial two semesters, with SGPAs of 7.23 and 7.77, vindicated my presumption of the rationale
behind such an allocation, by ruling out the only possible alternative reason viz. incompetence.
Fearing further ill will from the authorities, also allured by the prospect of working with one of
the senior most faculty, I didnt protest these project allocations. More or less, I had to silently
forfeit my right to equal opportunity only to appease the then authorities by proving my
obedience. Please forgive me, Sir, if I had totally erred in my behavioral judgments and
presumed all wrong reasons; however, this perceived injustice had not only dampened my
academic spirit but also (even if the allocations were assumed to be done with an appeal solely to
objectivity and to pure reason) practically hampered the progress of my project work because of
infrastructural as well as supervisorial lacunae (as the then Deans promise of granting the most
experienced supervision by Prof Anil. K. Bhatnagar did not work out later, due to unavoidable
reasons).

Our project semesters started in May 2009. For the next three months, I was kept
idle in the department, with only one visible reason viz. clueless state of supervision, by Dr.
Koteswara Rao V. Rajulapati, offering no clear objective to work upon. After few months of
literature reviewing and project-planning (including market survey and making purchase of the
necessary lab equipment that was yet to be bought) for the then theme Mechanical Properties
of Rare Earth Oxides, the supervisor had abruptly changed the objective, thereby forcing further
delay and despair into my already systemically handicapped and methodically devitalized
project. After one full project semester, my project theme was changed to Estimation of Beta
Transus Temperature in an Alloy Based on Ti-6Al-4V. The reasons he gave for this sudden
change of objective was that the old one would take much more time than the stipulated one year
period and the theme was not as related to Material Engineering as it was to Physics. As a result
of this lack of foresight in project selection when all my classmates were giving progresspresentation by the end of the first project semester I could present only a literature review for
this new objective.
Throughout the project all my doubts and queries were either being postponed or
left to myself, but were never satisfactorily or sincerely attempted to be answered. Understanding
the functioning and maintenance of the newly installed instruments and lab-equipment, essential
for my project work, were totally left to me alone and no help was offered by my guide with
respect to instrumentation and experimentation in the lab. I was the first student to work upon a
new furnace at our lab which was not yet ready to use unless someone had it already calibrated.
I followed my supervisors words and spent more than three months in furnace-calibration, i.e.
testing the threshold levels of a hitherto unused furnace, which was never to become any part of
my dissertation. Having to find solutions to all my theoretical as well as practical problems at
work by myself, its progress was constrained even further. It had also increased the
communication gap between me and my supervisor.
In 2010 June, when I was almost done with my experiments, all my certificates
and my laptop, which contained all the experimentation data with results till that day, were stolen
on a bus journey. Since we were not allotted any personal computers at our department to store
our experiments results, I had to exclusively rely upon my laptop, losing which I was at total
loss of my precious academic work. I had to repeat all the experiments during an extension

semester which was necessitated not only by my unforeseen loss of experimental results, but also
by already prevalent factors of selective exclusion by the authorities and of indecisiveness of my
supervisor. Meanwhile I had also to pursue my lost certificates and laptop being in touch with
the police officials of Anantapur District.
Forced by this accidental loss of data, I repeated the experiments in quantification
of transformed phase analysis by Metallographic method. My supervisor had always been
summarily approving my results which I thought were unworthy of getting published. Agreeing
with my dissatisfaction with my own results, he had then asked me to redo the same analysis via
XRD method, which too I had already done satisfactorily prior to the loss of my laptop. I thought
it was too late to repeat both the methods; instead, I couldve stuck to the better method alone
had my supervisor prompted me beforehand. But I sincerely appreciated my supervisors
rationale behind his suggestion, however late it came, because the XRD method had indeed
yielded more satisfactory results even before. Even though it took little more time, by the end of
this extension period, I had finished redoing all the experiments, with both the methods, and was
all set to write my dissertation. But, unfortunately my financial conditions at that juncture didnt
allow me to ask for another extension that was much needed to finalize and submit my
dissertation. My RGNF Fellowship was stopped by July 2010 (that is exactly when I lost my
data-laden laptop) and for the first extension I had to muster funds with great difficulty. In
January 2011, to apply for one more extension I had absolutely no money, even after having used
up all my lending sources available.
Two months before my extension came to an end, my lab-going had completely
came to a halt after this episode: One day in October, 2010, I was working on the Olympus
microscope at our lab from 8 a.m. that day to 1 p.m. when I left for a 20 minute lunch-break,
leaving a well visible notice saying I, Srinivasulu P, would come back by 1:20 p.m. and
asking not to disturb the busy apparatus. Though I had already informed my supervisor about my
plan of actions for the day, he did never alarm me that he would need the apparatus to take a labdemo for my juniors batch at 1 p.m. When I was having lunch, at 1:10 p.m., I got a phone-call
from my supervisor to say come immediately to give the lab-demo to juniors. I expressed
concern about my ongoing experiments and requested him to hold the apparatus on to status-quo
for another five minutes within which I said I would reach there. When I promptly reached the

lab, I found my material sample already removed from the apparatus before I could note the
results, my ineffective request-notice lying aside, my log-book entries ignored and later I was
told by my juniors that all this was done even prior to his phone-call to me at 1:10 p.m.
Immediately after such an alienating act my supervisor was remorselessly asking me to teach my
juniors how to operate the lab equipment, as if nobody else in the department knew how to do it
except me.
In the first week of January 2011, just few days after my previous semesterregistration got expired, I went to the department, as usual, and was typing my dissertation on the
PC there. Saying that my registration had expired and that I was no more a student, the then
Dean, Prof. K Bhanushankar Rao had publicly rebuked me, in front of other students, for using
the departments only computer (brought back by me from the Physics department for my own
projects sake, one of the 13 computers owned by our department which were kept there because
of lack of space in our department) and he had strictly warned me not to come to the department
anymore. When I made it a point that my rights as a student cannot just evaporate in just one day
after the extinction of my extension, he took me inside and started consoling me trying to prove
how Dalit-friendly he indeed was, by narrating many case-studies from his career. I never made
any allegation of caste-discrimination on him, or on anybody else, ever before. Then why was he
making my caste identity a point that I must be reminded during every bargain I had to make
with the system, however justifiable my claim may be. He used to call me the Third-year
M.Tech Student, not good for research but good for [Ambedkarite] politics etc. and I had
since then become an object of his jokes and slander. This letter, as it is mentioned in its subject,
is partly an answer to how and why did I become a Third-year M.Tech student. I would also
answer the allegations of any socio-political affiliation of mine on campus by proving that I had
to take off just a single day from my lab work when one of my M.Tech classmates contested the
previous years election (supported by Ambedkarites) and much posterior to this incident I had to
informally associate with the then official students union, [unfortunately to me, a Dalit,] won by
Ambedkarites that year, only to see to it that the mess-reforms I took up in NRS-Hostel became
an unprecedented success.

But the unanswered questions here were:


1. Why couldnt the Dean wait [for at least a week more, after the expiry of my registration]
to see me out of the department when the fact was that the department was solely
dependent on me for both my indispensible expertise and selfless service as an unpaid
Lab Assistant. I had to forcibly take up this post (since the first day of my project as I
was the only project-student to work in our lab), after [and while] my repeated requests to
appoint a professional full-time lab assistant were [and were being] persistently snubbed
only until the time came to show me the exit.
My Answer: personal and/or institutional vendetta and unbearability of my presence in
the department. Why so much hatred? I feel that there is more discrimination of SC/ST
students in our Science-schools, than in Social-sciences /Humanities, while judging the
perceived failures or Bohemianism/disobedience of these students. I guess, its because
of the exclusive preference the scientific community gives to pure academic merit that
they deem the reserved as the undeserved. Hence, naturally for them, we dont have a
moral right, to complain or criticize the system, which a meritorious unreserved
student would naturally have.
2. If the dependence on me at the lab was not true then why did they have to suddenly
appoint not one, but four lab assistants at a time in November/December 2010? Also why
would my supervisor call me even after removing my experiment, on my last day in the
lab, if not for asking me to teach my juniors lab-work?
3. Why didnt they bother to appoint at least one lab assistant until then, all the while when
I was wasting my precious time and energies as a forced and/or self-styled LabAssistant?
4. Even after this lab-episode why did the newly appointed lab-assistants still have to come
to me, as they had been doing since their appointment, if not to learn how to attend and
maintain various lab-apparatus?
5. Before these appointments of lab assistants were made, if there was no one but me who
knew how to do and the do s and dont s of the lab-apparatus even after the end of my
extended project-semesters, who do you think was supervising and guiding my
experiments and who do you think was assisting me at our lab all through my project?

Answer to most of such discomforting questions can simply be one: Its not a
finished department at all; its not only an academic sham packaged incognito inside the branded
color-wraps of an A***** University with Potential for Excellence. Shouldnt theyve run the
department which is boastfully first of its kind in the country, without students for few initial
years, focusing solely on harnessing the facultys teaching and researching prowess first, before
actually experimenting with students careers? Does such an unfinished department have any
right to expect any least level of academic excellence from even the best possible student?
These above two incidents, with the then Dean and with my supervisor, were the
last nails in my coffin as both of them had shown to me my place in the department. I was there
only to serve its ends and my own academic ends had practically come to an end by all means,
with all their meager means too getting methodically immaterialized. I could never show my face
at, nor did I want to see, the department ever after such insulting and incriminating episodes.
At the same time, my elder mother, who stood as the caretaker for my family, was
struck with cancer, which had two-fold impact on my academic future. One, it has ruled out any
possibility for my family to support me financially, even if I get more extensions to finish my
course. Two, I had to frequently attend to her health which demanded my presence at the village.
As she later succumbed to cancer, it had emotionally bogged me down even more, after the
entire unfriendly and/or unprofessional atmosphere I faced all through my course at the
department.
My gravest mistake, after all this, was spending two more years in the university
hostel as a wretched professional, financial and emotional wreck. The only reasons for this
professionally suicidal inactivity were two: failing repeatedly to convincingly communicate my
grievances to the department (because of my impoverished English language and also because
the then Dean lent no ear, humiliated me more over) and fearing to go back to my bankrupt and
disheartened family and to my nagging money-lenders. But, I utilized this forced sabbatical to
acquire a thorough conceptual grounding in my project area and also to write my dissertation
with no academic guidance or financial or infrastructural support. I am glad to inform my
department and also your earnest authority that I have now finished writing my dissertation
during last year, not before I did some selfless service to the institution. To overcome my
humiliation and career-dilemma, and also to justify to myself my meaningless over-stay, I took

up mess reforms in our hostel, as the mess secretary of NRS, during December 2011-January
2012. My modest success in curbing the corruption, spillage etc. and, as a result, also the messbasic, was well recognized and lauded by all the students and the mess-staff as well as by the
media (The Hindu, UoH Dispatch etc.). Being a practical follower of Swami Vivekanandas
ideas for the nations reconstruction, I always believed in selfless service to the collective will
surely make me and also my country a better person and a better place, respectively. Thats the
reason why as a mess-secretary, instead of exploiting the traditionally systematized made-easy
avenues of corruption, I innovated equally systematized counterchecks to all those avenues, even
when I was actually under financial distress and was, moreover, looking for more loans to apply
for another extension. Any amount of my service either to my department (by helping the now
lab-assistants and also my juniors) or to the hostel-community can never justify my over-stay
here, which I knew all through, but I did it only to fill some positivity into my otherwise wrecked
mind that was, back then, hell bent on committing suicide.
Sir, I doubly assure you that now I am no more depressed or, least of all, suicidal
and I am dispassionately looking forward only to an empathetic as well as objective
reconsideration of my case. Thanks to our present Vice-Chancellor and to our Universitys
administration, especially to Prof. Anil K Bhatnagar, for their positive and friendly counsel,
when I started approaching them for the first time since November 2012. It helped me to come
out of my self-destructive long slumber. So, I sincerely urge you to be free of any possible
pressure, owing to my future state of mind, while judging my case. But I hope you may not fail
to understand my alienated situation in the past, in all possible meanings of the word alienation
viz. powerlessness, meaninglessness, normlessness, isolation and self-estrangement. A
department with no academic facilities, either prior to our admissions or even now (after five
years of its being operative), is visibly in violation of UGC norms, my complaining about which
had begged for another violation of the norm (viz. the norm of equality) in project allocations.
This incombatable normlessness had made me realize my powerlessness as a student, added to
my already well realized social and economic powerlessness as a poor Dalit. Untimely changes
in the objective or methodology as well as either absent or untamed infrastructure have rendered
my academic pursuit meaningless. Becoming an exploited but alienated unpaid laborer and also
an object of jokes by the Dean Prof. K Bhanushankar Rao, I became self-estranged, and this loss
of Amor Sui had led to my isolation from the department leading to my vanishing act for the last

two years. I believe that otherwise I would have certainly worked at my best not to let my RGNF
fellowship go waste, only if the system had been a little more accommodating or encouraging.
Now, I have no fellowship, but I have the project work finished, ready for
submission. My project theme has so much relevance, for the contemporary Aerospace and BioMedical industry, on which I had done relatively significant work, I believe, which may be
considered for an M.Tech Degree. I dont know if I am permitted to say it here, but Im saying
this only to show that my work has at least some significance or relevance: An eminent scientist,
Dr. Srikanth Gollapudi, from DMRL placed a small portion of my similar experimental results,
in his paper to an international journal [Material Science and Engineering A 528 (2011) 67946803]. If the learned authorities deem my thesis worthy and if encourage me with an award of
M.Tech, I will gear up, both intellectually and emotionally, to continue the doctoral program,
with another supervisor and with or without RGNF depending on its feasibility.
I humbly implore you, venerable Sir, to consider my plea with utmost sympathy
as I happen to be the first generation literate from a family of agricultural laborers of Scheduled
Caste. My failure as a student will spell the doom for my family which had invested as many
hopes in me as its savings. Please pardon me if I crossed the line in bringing forth to your kind
perusal my grievance in its fullest detail. I hope my case will be dealt by you striking the right
balance between humane empathy and objective reasoning. Whatever the needful and the
necessary actions your learned authority suggests, I welcome positively.

Thank You, Sir.

Yours sincerely

SRINIVASULU P
08ETMM02