This post is about one of the policies that the administration of IITM has introduced to maximise productivity of the engineers that they manufacture. The LAN-cut law was passed in 2009 by the senate of IITM and was signed by Mani A, the chairman of CCW. According to the law, the institute LAN should be made dis-functional in IITM at the stroke of mid-night and should be switched on at two in the afternoon on all weekends. Why did Mani introduce such an arbitrary law in IITM? We will try to find out in this post.
The SNet group of IITM is a student initiative established in June, 2009. According to the site, the immediate task was to save power as this would be appealing to everyone on campus in IITM. A survey and study followed in order to understand the power consumption pattern of the IITM campus. It was found that the peak hour of Internet usage was between 12:00AM and 1:00 AM. Students of IITM are used to completing their home works in that period of time and hence they download their e-books during that hour. The senate of IITM thought it would be a great save of some precious calories by cutting of LAN during that period and hence with no further thought, passed the above mentioned bill. Since some evil students have managed to crack the system and have obtained access to get Internet after 12:00 AM, the IITM senate now plans to cut off the power supply to the rooms as well. This will be implemented next summer according to some reliable sources. The mid-night canteen Olive-Kittchen as it is called now will change its timings to use the day light and will now be renamed 'mid-day express'.
The IITM DOMS made an in depth method study and work measurement on the students and came up with a remarkable discovery that 6 to 7 hours of sleep could boost examination results by around 2%. This was only next to nutritious-tasty food (24%), on the list of things that could boost productivity in IITM. The senate of IITM flipped a coin and chose to make the students sleep between 12:00 AM and 7:00 AM instead of the other alternative. This they planned to achieve by cutting off the IITM LAN.
Piracy is a major issue in the IITM LAN. The policy makers decided to decrease piracy by 20% by introducing LAN cuts in IITM. By cutting off the LAN at 12:00 AM, the administration of IITM has managed to cut the number of movie downloads by around 20% and hence has taken its step to fight piracy. Since students of IITM prefer to watch movies when they are fresh, i.e just after downloading, it is very unlikely that a student downloads a movie at 11:00 PM and watches it at 2:00 AM as the movie would have lost its freshness by then.
The students of IITM love to play games during End-semester examination and end up missing their end-semester examinations. In fact, there have been over 5 such documented cases of students missing exams in IITM in the past decade, which is around 1 every 2 years. To top that, a student from the humanities department of IITM, wrote a paper in which he said he felt that students are more likely to miss an exam because of gaming than because of a night-out studying. Two of the members in the senate being from the humanities department of IITM, liked the excellent vocabulary used in the paper and decided to veto on LAN cuts.
The Sting-team of IITM conducted raids in some hostels in IITM by breaking into the students rooms, to find out what the students had been up to and wrote a report on their findings. Although one of the people in the Sting-team of IITM who tried to raid the Sharavathi hostel, was mauled to death by angry girls, they managed to get information about the rest of hostels in IITM. According to the report on IITM, 86% of the students had signed into Google talk gadget in Gmail and 23% of them had chatted with a person of the opposite gender at least once that week. This finding about IITM hurt the religious sentiments of some of the people in Tamil Nadu where two people of the opposite gender speak to each other only after they are married. This was also one of the reasons why IIT has a 95% reservation for boys.
The IPL chairman Lalit Modi wrote a secret letter to the dean of IITM where he expressed his interest to donate large sums of money if the students are forcefully made to watch IPL matches in the common room. Since You Tube streaming of IPL matches hadn't been introduced yet in 2009, the dean of IITM decided to cut off the LAN according to sources.
There are rumours according to which, the IITM LAN goes through a single gateway where a person manually holds two pieces of wire together to keep them connected. Since he feels sleepy after 12:00 AM, the LAN at IITM has no option but to go down. The person holding the wires does not sleep on Saturdays and Sundays and that explains the curfew holding only on weekdays in IITM. Once in a while, the person at IITM feels itchy and scratches himself and during this period of time, he lets the wire go for a minute. This explains the frequent connection and disconnection of the Internet at IITM during the day time. The police academy in IITM is trying to teach the person to manually sniff packets that contain dirty things and dis-allow such packets to flow. Since people in Chennai sleep early in general, no person has been found who can replace this person at IITM. If you think you can handle the job, you are welcome at IITM.
The dean on the 50th year anniversary of IITM remembered one of the founders of IITM and the goals that he had in mind while establishing IITM. He interpreted one of the quotes he made as "At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, IITM shall sleep as well." and hence possibly decided to cut LAN at IITM at 12:00 AM. Source - Advait Alai (my friend)
Overheating of server:
The temperature in Chennai is 44 degrees Celsius in the morning and drops to a very low value of 36 degrees Celsius in the night at IITM. Despite the night temperature being that low, the servers at IITM cannot handle these temperatures and hence have to be turned off in the night at 12:00 AM where studious students of IITM need it the most.
The author went and met Mani A and asked him why the LAN was cut in IITM. "Who are you, what do you want? Show me your ID card? Who are you?" Mani said for over 15 minutes. Finally on giving a clear explanation, he said "see, 20 years ago, no LAN. Why are you wanting LAN now?"
Now that we know the causes of LAN cuts in IITM, here are some of the effects.
- The temperature of the IITM has decreased by 1 Kelvin because of the decrease in the electricity consumption.
- There has been an overall increase in the number of students in the class room. The Probability and Random Processes class had an average of over 208 people in it as opposed to about 172 the previous year. Although critics say the increase in the student intake is the reason for the same, the dean of IITM has rubbished the claims and suspended the critic for making such criticism.
- The performance of students has gone up by 2% as suggested by the DOMS IITM and a huge party was organised to celebrate it in April 2010.
- The number of cases of pre-marital chatting in IITM has come down. The number will be brought down further by the administration by creating a separate campus for female students outside of IITM.
- The number of visits by students to the library after mid-night has increased on average. Again critics claim the students visit the library for pre-marital meetings and again the dean of IITM has silenced the critics by debarring them.
Whatever the reasons might be, the students of IITM are at a loss because of the inefficient utilisation of Bandwidth which otherwise would have been effectively utilised as the screen-shot below clearly shows.
[DC++ in IITM Courtesy Mohammed Puli Iqbal]