Thursday, October 27, 2016

My 2011 Dharma Sankat (Ethical Dilemma) about HOD opposition to my Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini and other IT work in the Sai university

I have given below a comment on this post, which I felt is appropriate to put at the top of this looong post instead of the bottom.

In my associated Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1809933989223170, in response to comments that my post is too long and a request to make it short, I (Ravi) wrote (slightly edited):

My post is a record of correspondence related to a follow-orders-of-boss strict hierarchy discipline culture in the Sai university versus a more democratic right-to-question-boss culture like in the international software industry that I was in for nearly two decades prior to me offering FREE SERVICE in the Sai university for nine years with designation of Honorary Staff, Honorary Faculty and Visiting Faculty. It also is related to how spiritual vision of what Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba conceived as a DIVINE university may sometimes get ignored due to narrow "pure academics" vision of some academic departments/department heads/higher university authorities like vice-chancellor, registrar & controller of examinations.

In my view, the correspondence has to be presented in full to be an authentic record. Yes, its length will put off many people who will therefore not read it. That's fine. The post is meant only for those who have to grapple with or want to understand such issues of philosophy/vision of a spiritual university getting lost in narrower vision of "pure academics" administrators (like HOD, Director, Registrar, Controller of Examinations, vice-chancellor).
---end comment--------------------------------------------------------

Proper post begins.

Please note that this is a very long post. Readers may want to skim through it quickly first and then read it properly only if the matter is of interest to them.

I felt it appropriate to share the following mail exchanges of mine, as a record/chronicle of the administrative type problems I faced while doing and and promoting IT (Information Technology) work in an ethical way in the Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Sai university). While I have moved on to another field of social media writing on spirituality & religion and some other topics as well, I think the exchange given below may be of use to some others who may find themselves in a similar position as me, and so I decided to chronicle/record it publicly.

I had a concern about sharing what I had marked then as confidential, on this blog publicly now. But so much of unethical stuff has happened not only with how the administrators of the Sai university (SSSIHL) treated me (for details about it, see my blog post: My May 2012 service record & record tampering related correspondence with Sai university (SSSIHL) administrators, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html, dated Nov. 13th 2015, last updated 2nd Sept. 2016), but also with how the Sai university was HIJACKED by the TRAITORS Narasimhamurthy and former vice-chancellor, Sashidhara Prasad, from Jul. 2011 to Nov. 2014. Given those happenings, and the fact that the responses of the Controller of Examinations of the Sai university then, Shri G.S. Srirangarajan, are not revealing any really sensitive information that may harm the Sai university future prospects, I felt it appropriate to share it publicly now.

Note that in the mails below, HOD stands for Head of Department, and HOD of the dept. I was associated with, DMACS, then was Chandrasekaran also known as Chase. 'Dharma Sankat' is a Sanskrit/Indian vernacular languages term meaning ethical or moral dilemma. TCS stands for Tata Consultancy Services.

[Text of first mail of mine is given below]
From: Sri Ravi S Iyer DMACS, SSSIHL <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
Date: Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 2:22 PM
Subject: Confidential: Request for 'Dharma Sankat' resolution advice
To: Registrar SSSIHL <registrar@sssihl.edu.in>, Controller of Examinations SSSIHL <controller@sssihl.edu.in>

Sairam Registrar sir, Controller sir,

Please treat this mail as Confidential.

I have got into a 'conflict of duty'/'Dharma Sankat' situation and request advise from you sirs.

In connection with, IMHO, two wonderful 'service to society' Information Technology (IT) applications developed by students & faculty of DMACS, I find that there is a strong conflict of views between HOD, DMACS, Prof. Chandraesekaran (as well as some of the senior faculty of DMACS), and me. One of the applications is a 'Publications Db' web application meant to help students & faculty of various departments search for Publications, Dissertations etc. authored by SSSIHL students & faculty, and another is a 'Learn Conversational Telugu from English'/'Sai Maata' web application meant to help non-Telugu speaking students & faculty pick up conversational Telugu / enjoy Telugu in Bhagavan's Divine Voice.

There also is a 'conflict of view' about me trying to associate with Bhagavan's wonderful Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini project in the IT application (web programming) area. Note that there is no conflict in me associating with any Computer Science research project related to Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini.

I feel it is my duty to promote these applications and expose other SSSIHL faculty (of other departments) to them and collaborate with interested such faculty for further progress in these applications. However HOD sir (as well as some of the senior faculty of DMACS) seem to have different views.

Yesterday I got very frustrated with what I perceive to be non-cooperation from HOD sir (as well as some senior faculty of DMACS). Today the emotional charged situation has been defused and I was able to discuss some other (non-conflicting) matter in an amiable way with HOD sir (and some senior faculty of DMACS). But the non-cooperation on IT applications area issue is still not resolved.

On deeper analysis I feel that the non-cooperation stems from a CS vs. IT (Computer Science vs. Information Technology) issue and the CS (and Maths) research vision that HOD sir (as well as some of the senior faculty of DMACS) have for the department. I feel I should explain & discuss these issues with a higher SSSIHL authority and get advise on what is the 'dharmic' thing for me to do now.

I am not an academician and come from an easygoing software industry culture where we did not have strict hierarchies and strict discipline. I also have had good exposure to the 'spiritual' discipline and culture of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, Maharashtra, of which I was blessed to be a member for around 7 to 8 years.

I do not know whether it is appropriate for me, in SSSIHL culture, to raise such 'conflict of duty' issues between me & HOD sir, to higher authorities. If that is not appropriate please let me know and I will try to simply fall in line with HOD sir's instructions & views.

If on the other hand, SSSIHL culture allows me to discuss with higher authorities like you sirs, the 'conflict of duty' issue between me & HOD sir, and get advice on the 'dharmic' thing to do, I request you to let me share details of the issue with you sirs. It may be best if I can email you the details and follow it up with a meeting if required and if you can spare the time. But if you would like it to be done differently please let me know. If you would like to speak on the telephone to me, please feel free to call me on my cell: --snip--.

I would like to clearly explain that this is NOT an EGO issue for me. I repeat that if SSSIHL culture is that I have to fall in line with HOD sir's views, just let me know and I will try to do that.

I would also like to say that both Chase sir (HOD sir) and I have health problems :-). These sort of emotionally charged situations are not good for the health of either of us. So it will be best if this 'conflict of duty' is resolved and the situation is handled with minimal emotional disturbance :-).

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)
Cell: --snip--
----end mail text -------------------------------

[Response from then Controller of Examinations, Shri G.S. Srirangarajan]

from: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
to: "Sri Ravi S Iyer DMACS, SSSIHL" <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 9:58 AM
subject: Re: Confidential: Request for 'Dharma Sankat' resolution advice

Dear Mr. Ravi Iyer

Sairam! Sorry for my delayed response. I really do not know whether I can help you in this matter, in my position as the COE. However, I would not mind having a chat with you and possibly try to understand the issue and share my views about it. If that helps we could surely meet up some time.

I did speak to the Registrar and he said he would get in touch with you shortly regarding this matter.

Loving Regards
G.S. Srirangarajan
Controller of Examinations
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
(Deemed to be University)
Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh
India
www.sssihl.edu.in
controller@sssihl.edu.in
gssrirangarajan@sssihl.edu.in
--snip--
----end mail text -------------------------------

[My response to CoE, Shri G.S. Srirangarajan]

from: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM
subject: Re: Confidential: Request for 'Dharma Sankat' resolution advice

Sairam COE sir,

Thank you for your response.

I had felt that I should send my "Request for 'Dharma Sankat' resolution advice" mail to you too (in addition to Registrar sir) as I feel that both are key positions in understanding and implementing the vision of SSSIHL. The 'Dharma Sankat', IMHO, can best be resolved by understanding it in the context of the vision of the university as set by Bhagavan, our Chancellor.

I appreciate your willingness to have a chat with me. I also thank you for having spoken about it to the Registrar.

However I feel it will be better for me to send an email response to you (as given below). I hope you do not mind me sending it to you via email. Email allows me to clearly state my views (though I acknowledge that the mails are somewhat lengthy :-)). It allows the recipients to view it at their convenience and refer to it again whenever required. Of course certain sensitivities have to borne in mind while communicating via email, and I think I have taken care of that.

The email content below explains the issue. If you feel it is appropriate to be forwarded to Registrar sir or Vice-Chancellor sir please do so. If, on the other hand, you, sir, feel that it may be inappropriate for you to do so, I will fully understand and will not be disappointed in the least. I must say that your willingness to communicate with me on this sensitive matter gives me hope that I may get a clear resolution of the 'conflict of duty' issue. Note that I will fully accept a decision from administrative authorities of SSSIHL even if I may not be convinced of it, as, IMHO, the administrative authorities of SSSIHL are the best judges of the vision of SSSIHL and it is my duty, while I am offering Seva in SSSIHL, to fall in line with their directives.

Email drafted for Registrar sir, Controller of Examinations sir on 'Conflict of Duty'/'Dharma Sankat' issue between me and HOD sir (not yet sent to Registrar sir)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sairam sirs,

I would like to first say that, in my humble analysis, the root of the problem lies in a Computer Science vs. Information Technology (CS vs. IT) issue.

Specifically, I have the strong impression that HOD sir and many, but not all, of the student-turned faculty of DMACS are of the opinion that DMACS should focus only on Computer Science Research (besides Mathematics Research). Information Technology work like Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini (SSSVV) web programming work are considered by HOD sir and most, but not all, DMACS faculty to be a dilution of the Computer Science focus of the department.

I must also mention that academic Computer Science research projects involving Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini are well accepted by HOD sir & other DMACS faculty.

I am not an academician and so I may be wrong but I feel perhaps they may be right in their view from a pure academics standpoint.

I am disinterested in Computer Science research. My interest area is teaching practical computer programming skills and providing technical & programming consultancy to projects where we create computer software to serve society with love and detachment which will help us in our spiritual uplift. And (please excuse me for blowing my own bugle) as I have very strong industry software design & programming skills, I feel that I have the right skill set to help students in these areas. If you would like to know about my software background please see attached my BioData and IndustryWorkExperience documents.

I currently teach an Information Technology oriented Web programming course for IInd M.Sc. (2 semester course). Using previous M.Sc. Dissertation Computer project work & mini-project work from the 'Web programming' course we have produced some interesting web applications, namely, 'Publications Db' meant to help students & faculty of various departments search for Publications, Dissertations etc. authored by SSSIHL students & faculty, and another is a 'Learn Conversational Telugu from English'/'Sai Maata' web application meant to help non-Telugu speaking students & faculty pick up conversational Telugu / enjoy Telugu in Bhagavan's Divine Voice.

I feel it is my duty to promote these applications and expose other SSSIHL faculty (of other departments) to them and collaborate with any interested faculty for further progress in these applications. If after doing this promotion & exposure of DMACS IT 'Service to Society' work, if I find that other faculty are not interested or that the software does not effectively serve society, I will accept the rejection gracefully and may take some input for improving the software.

For this purpose of promotion & exposure of DMACS IT work, all I needed was a 'shared' web server where I can host these applications. Then I could mail the intranet url (web address) to interested faculty of SSSIHL (including departments other than DMACS) so that they could view the applications on a browser running on a PC in their departments (like they access eGuru). My considered technical opinion is that the load on the 'shared' web server due to these applications will be minimal as these applications are light and currently may only be demonstrated.

I was very dismayed to find that HOD sir & some other faculty of DMACS did not help me by making such a 'shared' web server available. Instead I was told that I should go to 'Computer Center'!!! Are these applications not DMACS applications?? Are they low-level IT work which should be shunted off to 'Computer Center' with DMACS doing only Computer Science (and Mathematics) Research work?? And if it has to be hosted on "Computer Center" server should not HOD sir take the initiative by communicating with Computer Center?? If I try to contact Computer Center on my own (without the backing of my HOD) for this hosting, they may bounce me back to my department!!

Perhaps HOD sir & some other faculty of DMACS are right about DMACS staying away from IT work. In which case why have an IT oriented 'web programming course' at all? We should then have only Computer Science research oriented Lab courses.

This is one manifestation of my 'Dharma Sankat'.

Another manifestation of the 'Dharma Sankat' is IT oriented work in Bhagavan's Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini project (different from Computer Science research work for SSSVV). I presumed that as Bhagavan is our Chancellor and had personally come to college (in October last year if I recall correctly) when, I am told, brother Satyajit Salian made a presentation on SSSVV and requested DMACS (and another department) to help, that DMACS would be happy if some teacher got interested in it. I was very keen on it. And I planned to install SSSVV on a DMACS server and then consider doing the Web programming course on the software platform (PHP/mySQL, Joomla, Moodle etc.) that it uses.

I must also say that students seem to be very keen on getting involved with SSSVV in some way in the 'Web programming' course (but not as M.Sc. dissertation or as M.Tech projects where they prefer research oriented dissertations/projects).

I was somewhat puzzled to find that HOD sir & most of the other faculty in DMACS were not really interested. I felt that fine, if they are not interested at least let me take it up. But HOD sir controls access to machine resources as well as people resources (like System administrator). I was very dismayed to find it to be an uphill battle to procure the machine resource to install SSSVV and even get permission to interact with the TCS SSSVV development team. As SSSVV uses a lot of software components and uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux (which is not free, i.e. needs a license), there are many challenges/problems to get it set up on Fedora Linux (which is free). The TCS development team is responsive in their communication but the problems are taking time to get sorted out.

I find that at DMACS side, I have to do everything alone (cannot request System Administrator to get involved as HOD sir is not interested). And in our environment where HOD sir is very, very powerful, one man alone who does not have the support of the HOD can easily get isolated and defeated.

Latest update on local SSSVV installation on DMACS server: Though HOD sir, it seems to me, is not interested in SSSVV and is very, very slow on giving me resources for SSSVV, I have been working very hard over the past few days to install SSSVV on local DMACS server with extensive interaction with the TCS SSSVV team over email & phone. By Bhagavan's Grace, I am very close to getting it done.

In all probability, I will have the wonderful Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini software running on a DMACS server before March 31st which, IMHO, ideally, should be made accessible to all interested students & faculty of all departments of SSSIHL. HOD sir, IMHO, will not be happy if that happens though he may not say anything as SSSVV is quite a 'high profile' project as of now.

As mentioned earlier, I teach a 2 semester Web Programming Course for IInd M.Sc. students. Past 2 years I have taught it on the Microsoft ASP.Net & Microsoft SQL Server/Access platform. I intend to propose changing the platform of the Web programming course to PHP/mySQL and software components like Joomla, Moodle etc. that SSSVV uses. This will enable me to teach students the web programming skill set as applied to SSSVV platform over 1 & 1/2 semesters, and have a 1/2 semester mini-project (Jan 15th to March 1st/2nd week) on SSSVV IT development. The learning goals of the students will be fully met and additionally they will have the great opportunity to work on Bhagavan's wonderful SSSVV project, and the exposure to a real-life software produced by TCS will be, IMHO, a fantastic learning experience for them.

I have to clarify that HOD sir is NOT STOPPING ME from my efforts in associating with SSSVV IT work in the Web Programming course in any way.

A 'conflict of duty' issue for me after SSSVV installation on DMACS server (which may happen anytime in the near future) will be:
Should I understand the 'unexpressed but clearly understood by his actions' disinterest of HOD sir in IT work of SSSVV and keep it limited only to my Web programming course students?

Or should I go against his unsaid views and allow local SSSVV site on DMACS server to be accessible to all departments of SSSIHL, and collaborate with faculty of other departments who are interested in associating with the IT work possibilities of SSSVV?

I would be very happy to receive your valuable views on this rather long email :-). If your views align with HOD sir then I will try to fall in line with HOD sir's views.

Another thing I must say is that I had prepared a document on exploring ways in which SSSIHL could participate and contribute to the IT component of Bhagavan's mission. [As of today, the IT component in many of Bhagavan's wonderful organizations like SSSCT, SSSIHMS, SSSST and even SSSIHL administration is quite significant.] I mailed the document to HOD sir on January 7th this year. I thought that he might open it up for discussion in the department. Instead he chose to stay silent.

Recently when I asked whether I could forward the document to higher authorities as he (HOD sir) had not shown any interest, he wrote that the 'the timing for this is yet to ripe and recommended to wait' but added that he will not stop me from sending it to higher authorities. I feel there is nothing wrong in airing some suggestions/views to higher authorities (Registrar sir, Controller sir, and if they find it appropriate they could forward it to Respected Vice-Chancellor sir). They can simply reject the entire view and I will accept the rejection gracefully.

If you sirs feel that I can forward that document to you, please let me know. I would be very glad to send it.

I must say that I do not have any personal grudges or personal issues with HOD sir. He works very hard for DMACS - far, far harder than me (I am not a Karma Yogi like HOD sir). We just have strong differences of opinion in the CS vs. IT issue. I wish him well.

I pray to Bhagavan to give an amicable, peaceful and Dharmic solution to my problem.


Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)
Cell: --snip--

----end mail text -------------------------------

The next set of mails related to this topic have a different subject line, and are given below.

from: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 8:06 PM
subject: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Sairam CoE sir,

I thought I should update you about a small, friendly meeting that I had with Prof. Chandraesekaran today. I told Chase sir, that with Bhagavan's current health we should try to understand each other and work together giving minimal trouble to administrative authorities.

Prof. Chase responded very well and we had a very friendly chat. I think we both understand our different viewpoints in the CS vs. IT issue.

IMHO, if higher authorities of SSSIHL are able to give clear directives on whether DMACS should get involved with IT, and if so, to what extent, that will sort out this CS vs. IT confusion/conflict.

I also informed HOD sir of the request I made to higher administrative authorities to get advise on this issue.

BTW, with ever-willing support from TCS support staff, I have been able to successfully install Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini software on DMACS server today. I have forwarded the 'Thank you' mail that I sent to the TCS SSSVV team that I interacted with.

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ravi Iyer <riyer02@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM
Subject: SSSVV running on DMACS server!!!
To: [email ids of TCS staff Rajesh Agarwal , Nandkishor Mardikar and Palash Pal]
Cc: "Prof. Jayaprakash V" --snip--, Vigneshwaran G --snip-- [Vignesh was part of Satyajit Salian led SSSVV team]


Dear all,

I am very happy to say that with ever-willing support from Palash, I have been able to successfully install Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini software on standalone (single server) in DMACS, SSSIHL.

In the process I have got reasonable familiarity with the installation process, which gives me the confidence that, if needed, I will be able to re-install this version of the software again, with minor support only, and that too if required.

This puts me in a very comfortable position to teach students Web Programming using PHP/mySQL and other components like Joomla, Moodle etc. that SSSVV uses. Mini-projects (from Jan 15th to March 1st/2nd week) are certainly possible on SSSVV, though the initial year mini-projects may deal more with understanding the design and programs of the software rather than any development.

I thank the TCS SSSVV team who interacted with me: Rajesh, Nandkishor & Palash, for their readiness to help me with the installation. I am sure the students will be overjoyed to get involved, in howsoever small a way, with this wonderful software & project.

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)

----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 9:20 AM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Dear Sir

Sairam! This is wonderful! Swami is faster in His work than any of us. So He has already helped sort out the problem to this level. Now I guess, the HOD and a couple of you can have a meeting with VC, Registrar and myself and we can discuss this matter. Personally I am not an expert in either CS or IT, so tough to express my views on this.

But as you have stated, the Institute, in principle, has to take a stand on this in terms of its Vision and Focus. Therefore, the next logical step that I see is a meeting of the department (either all faculty or select faculty) and the administration. Is it not?

And congratulations on the successful installation of the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini software on DMACS server!

Loving Regards
G.S. Srirangarajan
Controller of Examinations
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
(Deemed to be University)
Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh
India
www.sssihl.edu.in
controller@sssihl.edu.in
gssrirangarajan@sssihl.edu.in
--snip--
----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 9:59 AM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Sairam CoE sir,

Thank you for your response.

I am still quite mystified :-) by Swami's ways. After all, He is a Poorna Avatar and so His Maya Shakti is phenomenal. I really do not know Swami's role in 'sorting out the problem to this level'. But I do clearly understand that we are all blessed to be instruments in His mission to reinstate Sathya, Dharma, Shanti & Prema in the world. It is just that sometimes our perceptions on how we should contribute to this wonderful mission of Bhagavan varies. However, our common faith in Swami and Swami's teachings & ideals (though I struggle to match up to His teachings & ideals) allows us to keep such issues under control.

Sir, you wrote,
"But as you have stated, the Institute, in principle, has to take a stand on this in terms of its Vision and Focus. Therefore, the next logical step that I see is a meeting of the department (either all faculty or select faculty) and the administration. Is it not?"

I entirely agree with your views. I think that is the next logical step. I hope you do not think that I am taking too much liberty in emailing you so many things, but I feel I should send you the document I (and another faculty who prefers to be anonymous as of now) had mailed to HOD sir on Jan 7th this year, on exploring ways in which SSSIHL could participate and contribute to the IT component of Bhagavan's mission. I think it will help  administrative authorities to get a better understanding of this CS vs. IT issue. So I have attached the document to this mail.

And, last but not the least, thank you for your encouraging words on successful installation of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini software on DMACS server.

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)

----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 10:10 AM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Dear Sir

Sairam! I read your attachment to the mail. Interesting! This gives me much more clarity on the issue.

One query - just out of personal curiosity. How many faculty with 'IT expertise' do we have currently in DMACS? Is it only you or do we have anybody else? Second query - how many faculty members of DMACS are in favour of such a proposal? I am asking these only to understand how the feasibility of the proposal.

Loving Regards
G.S. Srirangarajan
Controller of Examinations
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
(Deemed to be University)
Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh
India
www.sssihl.edu.in
controller@sssihl.edu.in
gssrirangarajan@sssihl.edu.in
--snip--
----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM
subject: Fwd: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Sairam CoE sir,

The last mail I sent you had an older version of the "Need for IT Degree" document.

Please ignore that document and instead refer to the "Updated Need for IT Degree" document attached to this mail.

Sorry about the confusion. [I have the latest document on my home computer. Now I am in institute and picked up an older version from the institute computer that I use. I got the correct version from my email history.]

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)

[Text content of Attachment, Updated Need for IT Degree.docx is given below. The document itself can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Pcd4RD_n8LVUJ5UGJmSFNiNlk]

Need for IT Degree/Program

As of today, the IT component in many of Bhagavan's wonderful organizations like SSSCT, SSSIHMS, SSSST and even SSSIHL administration is quite significant. We have an IT center in the Ashram complex. And now we have the very exciting Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini project that Bhagavan, in His Great Compassion, has gifted to humanity on the occasion of His 85th Birthday.

Can We Give Students the Opportunity to Contribute to IT component of Bhagavan’s Mission?

The students of SSSIHL should be given every opportunity to contribute to the IT component of the work that all these esteemed and blessed organizations do, as part of their (students') academic project work/assignments. Perhaps the work they may do may be 'working prototype level' and may need additional work by mature software professionals. But even such 'working prototype level' software may be valuable contributions. Further the students would get the blessing of being able to humbly and lovingly contribute to the Mission of Bhagavan.

Some students after completion of their academic studies, would like to continue to serve Bhagavan in His organizations and may want to be able to contribute to the IT component of Bhagavan's organizations.

The Web Programming course taught in IInd M.Sc. focuses on imparting an IT type of skill set. It also has a long assignment (mini-project) where students can be given some exposure to real-life or similar to real-life IT work. However even a long assignment/mini-project is for rather limited time.

Ideally if students take up IT projects at M.Tech. project level which is for a significant period of time, they will get a good chance to contribute to IT component of Bhagavan's mission and also learn IT well as they will be working on real-life IT projects.

Computer Science Work

The Department of Mathematics & Computer Science is, in our humble opinion, doing a wonderful job with all its staff doing their utmost to serve Bhagavan lovingly and sincerely. The Computer Science department has to focus on High-Level Computer Science research work. Such work creates the top level Computer Science leaders who provide innovative advances in the computer science field which is translated, typically, by the software industry into new and useful software products for the benefit of society. Such High-Level work gets very well recognized by Computer Science academia as well as top intellectuals from the software industry. The recently held International Workshop on Scientific Computing (IWSC 2010) was a great success with top-notch Computer Science academicians & leaders from the scientific computing related software industry attending the event. In our humble opinion, this has definitely raised the profile of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, SSSIHL in the scientific computing community.

But this Computer Science work is quite different from the Information Technology work that is directly needed in Bhagavan's organizations & projects like SSSVV mentioned above.
So, DMACS students, as of now, are not fully equipped to contribute to the IT work in Bhagavan's organizations & projects like SSSVV. Of course, CS research contributions to SSSVV etc. are possible and DMACS faculty and students are actively exploring such possibilities.

Department of Informatics/Department of Information Technology

Perhaps the ideal solution would be to have a separate Department of Informatics/Department of Information Technology which offers M.C.A. kind of degrees/programs. Interested students from departments like Chemistry, BioSciences & Economics could also pursue this degree. Given the fact that the demand for IT jobs are high and that these jobs are well paid, some students of these departments may consider this possibility as a Godsend. B.C.A. students from Muddenahally campus could also pursue this M.C.A.

But creation of a separate department is a very high-level decision and we feel that we can only suggest that it would be very useful. We have to leave the rest to the judgement of higher authorities of the university.

Can M.Tech. (CS) Student Do IT Work Now?

The department does not prevent any M.Tech.(CS) student from taking up such IT projects related to IT component of Bhagavan's mission. Interested students can always opt for such projects.

However, as of today, in our humble opinion, the situation is that our M.Tech. (CS) students want to work on only research-oriented CS projects even though a high percentage of M.Tech. students take up IT jobs (as against system software jobs or CS research work) after passing out. We feel that M.Tech. (CS) students aiming for high-level CS work in their projects is a fantastic achievement of DMACS. After all, DMACS is a Maths & Computer Science department and not an IT department.

So, in our humble opinion, the reality today is that no M.Tech. (CS) student wants to work on IT projects. And so our department is not really able to contribute anything to the IT component of Bhagavan's mission.

Interim Solution 

We have a humble suggestion that can provide some relief till a separate Department of Informatics/Information Technology is set up. We can fix, say, 2 seats of the M.Tech.(CS) program as M.Tech. (CS with specialization in IT) seats. The M.Tech. (CS with specialization in IT) students will have to work on an IT project assigned by the department to them. As students will know about it before they join the degree/program only students interested in IT will take up those seats.

Such students will not lose anything by working on the department assigned project as they will be working on real-life IT projects which will give them fantastic exposure. In fact, this will be like industry project work done by students in other educational institutions, except in our case the industry exposure will be through the IT departments/sections of Bhagavan's organizations like SSSCT, SSSIHMS etc. So M.Tech. (CS with specialization in IT) students will greatly benefit from the project work assigned to them by the department (DMACS).

If introducing M.Tech. (CS with specialization in IT) is a complicated affair due to academic regulations then a possibility is that we can simply offer 2 special M.Tech. (CS) seats with the clear understanding that students will do a ‘utility project’ assigned to them by the department instead of a ‘research project’. Such ‘utility projects’ are implementation oriented involving design and programming. The project could involve systems software implementation (e.g. Diabetic Retinopathy image processing software implemented in C++/Java using image processing libraries) or application software (IT) implementation (e.g. Design & Development of some features of online educational social networking portals like Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini using PHP/mySQL and content management software & portal software like Al Fresco, Joomla & Moodle). A few years ago, many DMACS students have done such ‘utility projects’ as their M.Tech. (CS) project.

Another possibility is having a similar arrangement for M.Sc. by having some seats fixed for M.Sc. (Maths with specialization in IT) where an IT computer project (dissertation) is compulsory and the project work is assigned by the department. But at M.Sc. level the lack of adequate computer Lab time, as of now, raises serious doubts about whether adequate work can be done by the student. If the lack of adequate computer Lab time at M.Sc. level can be addressed in some way, then this would be a very interesting possibility.

Computer Science Research: Theory to Practice

Once we have such degrees/programs in place we could actively explore creating ‘working prototype’ software from wonderful research work already done by the department like the “Diabetic Retinopathy” work. In the past we offered conversion of this research effort into ‘working prototype’ software as an M.Tech. (CS) project to students but no student opted for it!

With M.Tech. (CS with specialization in IT) we can assign such work to M.Tech. students and thereby produce ‘working prototype software’, which can be used in field trials (e.g. Mobile Hospital using Diabetic Retinopathy prototype software). Such achievements may please Bhagavan and raise the ‘Service to Society’ profile of the department. Of course, even such ‘working prototype software’ cannot be expected to be usable on a regular basis. But if the ‘working prototype software’ convincingly proves its ability to serve society, it may not be very difficult to involve/attract industry software companies to (say as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility) convert it to a robust and reliable ‘product’ which can then be used to serve society on a regular basis.

In general, the capability to produce ‘working prototype’ software may enable the department to showcase its ability and aim for significant projects from Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Human Resources & Development, Department of Information Technology etc.

Skilled Input Possibility for IT departments of Bhagavan’s Organizations

The IT degree/program will equip students with the skill sets that will enable them to contribute to the IT component of Bhagavan's mission even after they finish their degree.

Bhagavan's organizations can consider ideas like a 'one year fellowship' that IT degree students can pray to Bhagavan to be given a chance to take up after their studies as their grateful contribution to Bhagavan’s mission before they take up regular jobs in the 'outside world'. Currently M.Tech. (CS) students are not adequately equipped with the IT skill set and so they may require special training before they can be productively used in such schemes.
--- end text content of Updated Need for IT degree.docx ----

----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 11:16 AM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Sairam sir,

Hope you also read the 'Updated Need for IT Degree' document which improves on a couple of sections of the earlier document.

I think, as of now, the 'IT expertise' regularly available faculty is only me. And I do not have the academic qualifications prerequisite to be an 'official' guide!! However Prof. Jayaprakash is very keen on such projects and so he  & I can jointly take up such projects with me playing a role of a technical & programming consultant and JP sir being the sole guide. [The previous HOD who has very solid experience & knowledge of CS & IT academia in India told me that it is common for CS/IT faculty in Indian academia to encourage association of industry experts for projects.] BTW a gentleman called Srivarun Vallampatla, who has IT industry experience (US) of around 11 years, I think, joined us a few weeks ago. However I don't know his exact status with the department.

There are other faculty like Prof. G.V.Prabahakar Rao & Dr. K.S.Sridharan (previous HOD) who have associated with such 'utility' projects in the past. I am sure they will be willing to get associated with me, if needed, for such projects.

Besides me, there are some visiting faculty who are industry professionals who would love to be given a chance to associate with such projects.

Many of our past M.Tech. students are into IT. I think at least some of them would love to be given a chance to offer their love to Bhagavan and their Alma Mater by associating with such projects in a capacity of visiting 'industry expert', which is what some of them have become.

Now I should also mention about the regular faculty (students who are now faculty) who bear the brunt of the workload of DMACS. They all work very hard (far, far harder than me). Being regular academicians there is significant pressure on them to produce research publications. [Publish or Perish, as the saying goes.] 'Service to Society' IT projects will typically not result in research publications. Therefore, naturally, the regular faculty are not keen on getting involved with such 'Service to Society' IT projects.

Some of the regular faculty, even if they cannot get involved with such IT projects, are supportive of the idea of DMACS taking some IT project load, especially Sai institutions IT project load, using people like me & other industry experts.

But some of the regular faculty have a rather genuine concern that this would dilute the 'Computer Science research' focus of the department. I think the current HOD sir is also very firmly of this view. [IMHO, faculty need students to help them in their research. So the fear is that if we have IT 'Service to Society' projects lesser students will get into research projects and so the research work of faculty will suffer.]

These are the impressions that I gathered as I tried to run this idea through people informally. Do take these views with a few pinches of salt :-).

I fully understand the need to see 'feasibility' of this kind of proposal. But perhaps the natural thing to do is to open it up for discussion in the department and get the views, especially of the senior faculty. HOD sir has not done this so far (as far as I know) and I do not clearly know why.

I would like to clearly say that if the department discusses the matter and arrives at a decision to stay away from IT projects, I will gracefully accept the decision. But, it seems to me, the right thing to do is to discuss the matter and not leave it to a single person's view even if that person is the HOD.

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)

----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 11:50 AM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Dear Sir

Sairam! Things are becoming more and more clearer now! Whay you write at the end of your note is perhaps the best and the most logical way to proceed further!

"...But perhaps the natural thing to do is to open it up for discussion in the department and get the views, especially of the senior faculty. HOD sir has not done this so far (as far as I know) and I do not clearly know why.

I would like to clearly say that if the department discusses the matter and arrives at a decision to stay away from IT projects, I will gracefully accept the decision. But, it seems to me, the right thing to do is to discuss the matter and not leave it to a single person's view even if that person is the HOD."

You could not have put it in a better way! So I hope the above happens asap.

Loving Regards
G.S. Srirangarajan
Controller of Examinations
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
(Deemed to be University)
Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh
India
www.sssihl.edu.in
controller@sssihl.edu.in
gssrirangarajan@sssihl.edu.in
--snip--
----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 2:18 PM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Sairam CoE sir,

I think we need two things to happen:

a) The Institute, in principle, has to take a stand on CS vs. IT 'Service to Society' projects in terms of its Vision and Focus. This stand should be clearly communicated to all members of DMACS, ideally, including students. People like me can resolve any 'Conflict of Duty' issues in the light of this stand without the need to escalate matters to higher administrative authorities.

b) A department meeting, at least involving senior faculty, should discuss CS vs. IT 'Service to Society' projects in the light of the stand that the Institute takes, and see whether it is feasible/appropriate to take up IT projects. If the institute stand is that it encourages 'Service to Society' IT projects to be taken up to some extent alongside the major focus of Computer Science (and Mathematics) research, then even if the department decides that it is not feasible now, it can initiate some efforts to take it up in the near future. Further the higher authorities in the institute may be able to plan for required resources to make it feasible.

If the department meeting occurs without an institute stand the meeting and its outcome could be influenced by vision which may be more suited to a 'pure academics' environment like an Indian Institute of Science rather than a 'Higher Learning' institute like SSSIHL.

------------------------
The above part of the mail is at a higher principle level. I would now like to share some details about how lack of such an institute stand on CS vs. IT has created confusion. For that I think the best example is the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini (SSSVV) project. I feel it is my duty to share this with you. Please don't view it as a complaint against HOD sir. He works very, very hard and perhaps has got confused about what he should do due to lack of a CS vs. IT institute stand.

We all knew of the interest Bhagavan showed in SSSVV.

I am told that brother Satyajit Salian and others gave a presentation to HOD sir on SSSVV (many months ago). I am told that HOD sir chose to invite only two of his junior research scholars for the meeting. Some of the senior faculty were very surprised that HOD sir did not invite/involve them in this presentation.

I am given to understand that HOD sir did not show much real interest in SSSVV. He may have been looking only at research possibilities and it may not have been in his or his research scholars' area of interest. I don't think he even considered the possibility of an IT angle involvement of DMACS in it.

I would have expected that, given Bhagavan's interest in SSSVV, HOD sir would have sent a mail to the DMACS faculty group informing faculty about what Satyajit had conveyed to him, and invited interested faculty members to get involved with SSSVV. That did not happen. I am given to understand that even senior faculty members were quite shocked at how Satyajit's request for involvement with SSSVV was, perhaps politely, brushed off by HOD sir without taking their (senior faculty) views.

I was given to understand that Satyajit and others were quite put off. After all, they represent the mother organization (SSSCT). I feel I can understand their being put off. It is natural for SSSCT persons to think that the 'computer' department (DMACS) will take some interest in their 'computer' needs. In all probability, SSSCT and other Sai organizations are not aware of the CS vs. IT issue that DMACS has.

I was directly approached by a junior member of the Mandir IT center SSSVV team and not by HOD sir. I jumped at the possibility of giving students a chance to get involved with SSSVV as I felt it fits so well in Bhagavan's vision statement for the institute . Participate in software development part of the 'service to society' SSSVV project, which I describe as a wonderful free 'Sanathana Dharma' cum secular education online social networking portal, in a spirit of love and detachment, and thereby gain spiritual uplift & joy. Note that students academic learning goals would be fully met and they would actually get a chance to work on a TCS developed software!

But I was astonished to see that HOD sir was so, so reluctant about SSSVV. I had to really struggle to ensure that he could not put me off SSSVV.

My understanding of Bhagavan's vision for our institute and how that translates to DMACS is that, whenever possible, I should, without compromising the academic learning goals of the students, enable students by teaching them appropriate programming skills to participate in 'service to society' IT projects (I also teach other courses where there is no 'Service to society' project possibility like a Ist M.Tech. (CS) Multi-threaded programming course) . And this understanding seems to clash with HOD sir's understanding which may be that DMACS should only do 'Computer Science research' projects related to 'Service to Society' themes but should steer clear of any 'Service to Society' IT project.

An institute stand on this CS vs. IT 'Service to Society' projects may have avoided this clash of views.

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)

----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 3:24 PM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Dear Sir

Sairam! Now here we have a problem. I think you are putting the cart before the wheel. Sir, frankly, I do not think it will work this way. The Institute has an overall Vision which is very broad. Departments have framed their vision and thrust areas over the years, given the expertise and thought processes of several HODs.

I can tell you for sure, all that you have written to me in your mails are NOT known to either VC or the Registrar. I mean all the matters related to SSSVV project, the IT vs. CS debate etc.

So if this matter is surfacing now, the department has to bring it to the administration in a formal way and seek a policy decision in this regard. So the right sequence in my understanding would be as follows:

The HOD calls for a meeting with all faculty. The members have a debate over this matter and submit the findings to the administration.

Then the department and the administration meet together, understand the whole issue, weigh pros and cons, view it in the light of the larger Vision and Focus of the Institute and only then the Institute can take a stand on this point.

The above is my humble understanding Sir. This is the way it has worked even in the MBA department of which I was a part earlier.

Loving Regards
G.S. Srirangarajan
Controller of Examinations
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
(Deemed to be University)
Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh
India
www.sssihl.edu.in
controller@sssihl.edu.in
gssrirangarajan@sssihl.edu.in
--snip--
----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 4:50 PM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Sairam CoE sir,

I appreciate your frank views.

I think I understand your viewpoint very well. You would like it to come through the regular channel which is through HOD. I think that is SSSIHL culture. By no means am I trying to cast any aspersions on SSSIHL culture, I am just stating my understanding of the same. And I can also understand how logical it would be if DMACS has a meeting on this issue, where it is guided by its understanding of how Bhagavan's larger vision for the university applies to DMACS, and submits its findings to higher authorities, who can then deliberate on it in the light of the larger Vision and Focus of the institute and then arrive at a stand. I fully agree that it is proper and sensible to do it this way.

The problem, as I see it, is that HOD sir feels that a department meeting is not required on this and so chose to remain silent on it even though I sent him the 'Need for IT Degree' document in early Jan this year. However HOD sir may have very valid reasons for ignoring this document, as of now.

I think you have gone out of your way to entertain a mail exchange on this sensitive issue with me. The valuable time that you have spent on this mail exchange has certainly helped me get some insights into your view of the matter. I thank you for the time you have spent on it.

And I think my 'Dharma Sankat' is resolved: If HOD sir does call for a meeting on this CS vs. IT issue and invites me to it, I will be glad to attend and participate in the discussion and accept the decisions arrived at. If a meeting is not called on it, I will fall in line with HOD sir's views. The very fact that I was able to explain the issue in detail alongwith some SSSVV details has gone a long way in unburdening me from this 'conflict of duty'. I feel I have conveyed the issue to one of the key office-bearers in SSSIHL and so have done my duty, and so am unburdened. [I hope, sir, in the process, I have not transferred any burden to you or caused you any headache :-)] Now I just have to fall in line with the proposed solution.

Please do not think I am disappointed. I come from a very, very different software industry culture where, under exceptional circumstances, escalation of issues to alternative hierarchy was not only acceptable but expected. So I felt it is my duty to check what is the right thing to do to resolve this 'conflict of views' in SSSIHL culture.

Once again, sir, thank you for your valuable time.

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)
----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 5:53 PM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Dear Sir

Sairam! I really do not know whether the interactions on email have helped you or not. But as you said, this has been the typical culture at SSSIHL.

However, as you have mentioned, "escalation of issues to alternative hierarchy is not only acceptable but expected" elsewhere in a typical corporate culture; here too many a times this has worked; but on issues that the administration considers as "burning issues". In this case, I understand that this issue is a major one for you, but how do we make it "top of the priority list" for the VC is the question.

Well, to close our thread, let me assure you that I will discuss this matter with the Registrar and VC in an appropriate forum, to the best I can. In fact, I have already spoken to the Registrar giving him a glimpse into the issue. He was very busy but was happy that I am looking into it. I will also open this discussion with your HOD when I meet him next, to understand his view point and as to why he is not open to discuss this matter in a department meeting and welcome views of all.

Hope the above will be of some help.

At a very personal level, I have great regard for you Sir. If you do not mind my indulgence, one aspect about you which has struck me most is the "ever fresh smile" that you have on your face all the time. Now, knowing your health condition, this aspect assumes all the more significance.

Loving Regards
G.S. Srirangarajan
Controller of Examinations
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
(Deemed to be University)
Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh
India
www.sssihl.edu.in
controller@sssihl.edu.in
gssrirangarajan@sssihl.edu.in
--snip--
----end mail text -------------------------------

from: Ravi Iyer <raviiyer@sssihl.edu.in>
to: Srinivas Srirangarajan <controller@sssihl.edu.in>
date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 7:12 PM
subject: Re: Had a friendly chat with HOD sir today on CS vs. IT issue

Sairam CoE sir,

Thank you so much for your understanding and genuine efforts to try to resolve the issue.

A small clarification sir, the issue is no longer a 'burning issue' for me. To approach higher authorities bypassing HOD sir was a very, very difficult decision for me as I was worried that it may hurt HOD sir. So far, by Bhagavan's Grace, I think he has taken it well (when I orally told him that I have approached Registrar and Controller sirs). I pray that our relationship will still be intact. It was a 'burning issue' till I got a chance to unburden it to you :-). Now, really I simply have to follow instructions/accept decisions. So, I am free, no matter what be the decision (I am quite a wierd [Ravi-2016: should be weird end-Ravi-2016] guy :-)).

I think it will be nice if you are able to share this issue (especially the 'Updated Need for IT Degree' document) at an appropriate time with Registrar & Vice-Chancellor sirs. It need not be 'top priority' in any way, as far as I am concerned, as I repeat that I am free of the burden now. But, IMHO, as the document has some interesting possibilities of SSSIHL participation in IT part of Bhagavan's mission, it may be useful if they get a chance to read it, even if they do not agree with the views.

You, sir, have been so helpful and patient in listening to my views. Thanks again.

Thanks for the kind words about the smile :-).

I must say that a senior teacher who has served here for decades, mentioned the other day that you were Swami's child/boy. I think that was very high appreciation and, IMHO, very apt appreciation for your sterling character, kindness and readiness to help. If you will permit me to say, I pray to Bhagavan to shower His Grace on you.

Regards

Ravi Iyer
Software Consultant
Visiting Faculty
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)
----end mail text -------------------------------
===============================================================


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