During job, he had a passion to go for higher education and learn the current technologies, practices to apply in his current work-field. After 14 years of his B.Tech, he joined M.Tech in IIT Kanpur and graduated with excellent 9.25 CPI. He puts an example in front of us that there is no age to learn.
GC: Sir, did you have to appear for GATE for taking admission in M.Tech. program of IITK?
Mr. Kesarwani: My selection for M. Tech. program was based on technical interview by a panel of professors from Electrical Engineering Department of IITK and Chief Engineer from Doordarshan, since I was a sponsored candidate from Doordarshan. Doordarshan has a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with IITK, wherein a maximum of 5 candidates every year, can pursue the M. Tech program from Doordarshan only after selection by the panel. On similar lines IITK gives admission to candidates from DRDO, Defence, Air-force and others. The list of organisation from where IITK gets sponsored candidates may changes from time to time.
GC: What kind of questions do they ask? Can anyone apply for this scheme or only after some years of service?? Does doordarshan encourage it or it solely depends on personal interest to do M.Tech.? Do other IITs also provide this?
Mr. Kesarwani: The questions they asked were quite fundamental. Generally they ask about your area of interest and then they ask questions from that area. Only candidate from selected Govt. Organization as mentioned above can apply for this scheme. In my Knowledge other IITs also sponsor candidates. IISc Bangalore allow sponsored candidate from All India Radio (AIR). Doordarshan encourages for this program.
As far as “who can apply for this scheme?”, any person working in Doordarshan and having 1st class B.Tech or BE degree from recognized institution can apply for Doordarshan sponsored M.Tech Programe in EE department of IIT Kanpur, after having 2 years of work experience . This program is part of continuing education program and and in this regard Memorandum of Undersatanding MOU has been signed between IITK kanpur and Doordarshan since 1986 and it is continuing . At present it is valid up to 2012.
GC: We know that you are a permanent employee of Doordarshan and after 14 years of your service, you joined M.Tech at IIT, Kanpur. This is not an easy and conventional choice and we feel that you sure would have had a very strong motivation. If so, we would like to hear it.
Mr. Kesarwani: As we all know that the technology is changing at a fast pace. I wanted to update my knowledge and the M.Tech Program was a right choice in this regard.
GC: When you entered into M.Tech, you must be having some objectives. Were you able to realize them?
Mr. Kesarwani: Yes. My objective was to understand the systems used in broadcasting network so that I could analyze, compare and choose the systems offered by various vendors for the benefit of the organization. The M.Tech program of IIT Kanpur has helped me in this. The professors also helped with the practical end.
GC: Can you please give some technical example which you learn through M.Tech. program, and right now can be useful for Doordarshan.
Mr. Kesarwani: Yes. For example, I did thesis work on Conversion of Standard Definition Video to High Definition Video. This was quite useful in understanding the video production area of TV broadcasting. The understanding of Compression standards for Video was also very useful.
GC: We also highly appreciate that you maintained a perfect-10 CPI here, even though you had a long break from the formal education system. How did you manage to do that?
Mr. Kesarwani: Frankly speaking this was possible due to my classmates. I discussed the topics, assignments and tutorials with them when I was not confident. Beside this, I even discussed the topic which was very much clear to me; this made me more clear on the concepts. I was always ready to discuss the topic concerning the course.
GC: Any special efforts/things students should keep in mind? Did you love the coursework part more or the thesis part more?
Mr. Kesarwani: In my opinion, Students should discuss the topics among themselves. This helps very much in understanding the difficult topics. Course work helps you to understand the technical literature which is required for thesis work. Both are equally important and exciting.
GC: While choosing the thesis topic, was there any specific objective in your mind concerning your job in Doordarshan or was it a purely academically motivated choice?
Mr. Kesarwani: Yes, I selected the topic of my thesis from Image/ video processing area as this was my topic of interest. This was also matching with my job requirement.
GC: Please explain your thesis topic in detail.
Mr. Kesarwani: The topic of my thesis was in two parts. In the first part it was related with compressive sensing and in the second part it was related to increasing the resolution of video. In compressive sensing the Compression is included in the sensing of the data. This leads to reduce the number of sensors which is very useful when the sensing is either very difficult or very costly (such as infra-red sensors). By designing new method of sensing and reconstruction, we can reduce the number of sensing ad thus reduce the cost. In the second part, directional interpolation was done using wavelets for increasing the resolution of the video.
GC: How did the MTech degree affect your job and career fronts? Please feel free to discuss about both the good and bad aspects of it.
Mr. Kesarwani: I am now more confident on the technical topics while technical discussion with the vendors on Doordarshan’s technical requirements. In my opinion there is always a good aspect of it. Grab the knowledge as much as you can. And after completing the program I realised there is no bad part of it.
GC: Would you like to point out any specific difficulties (not necessarily academic) that you faced here during M.Tech?
Mr. Kesarwani: Initially I was afraid whether I will be able to manage my studies there with my family and 2 children. But I could do it easily with the support of my wife Rajni and Children Shreshtha (13 years old) and Shaurya (5 years old). IITK staff was also very helpful in extending the help in providing the facilities required for my stay during the program. The accommodation was comfortable and easy.
GC: Would you like to point out any special privileges/facilities (not necessarily academic) that you enjoyed here?
Mr. Kesarwani: For sponsored candidates, we could stay with our family. We were allowed to keep the Car/ two wheeler as these were not allowed to regular students in the campus. Other facilities are the same as for regular students
GC: The 2-year M.Tech life was a deviation from your usual job work life, that could have affected your family and personal life. How did you manage this? This is an important question to those who want to go for higher studies but could not do it because they are not able to manage family and studies together? Please enlighten us in this regard.
Mr. Kesarwani: My family has never been hindrance to my studies during my stay at IIT Kanpur. They played an important role in achieving my goal. I really feel that if someone wants to go for higher studies he should not consider family as an obstacle, rather a support.
GC: Having both the options, why did you choose to go for Engineering Services instead of M.Tech, after your Graduation?
Mr. Kesarwani: When I completed my B.Tech in the year 1993, I appeared for GATE and got reasonable percentile. At the same time I was selected in IES and I joined IES instead of M.Tech. But now after spending 15 years in job , I do feel the higher education at the very beginning is a better choice over opting a job offer immediately after B.Tech.
GC: If someone asks you what is better- M.Tech directly after B.Tech, M.Tech after some job experience, sponsored M.Tech or no M.Tech, what will you suggest?
Mr. Kesarwani: M.Tech immediately after B.Tech. is always better choice. Going for higher studies pays back in long run. If you get a chance to do M.Tech from IIT then there is no comparison. Sponsored M.Tech helps you to understand you job better. If you are in Government organization, you can be a part of technical advisory groups set up by Govt. of India time to time and be part of Government in framing the rule and regulation. In this way you can contribute better to the nation.
GC: If allowed by your employer, would you like to pursue a PhD also?
Mr. Kesarwani: May be yes!. However I feel that the motivation for research comes from you within. If you feel that there is something which drives you to explore and research, you should go for it.
GC: Does that affect promotions?
Mr. Kesarwani: No, it does not have impact on promotions but you can be part of technical advisory groups in set up time to time by Govt. in future.
GC: When does Doordarshan Recruitment Notification come in a year generally? What kind of profiles does Doordarshan offer to a B.Tech/M.Tech student? Do you think they are technically challenging and research-oriented to catch the fresher students’ interest and enthusiasm?
Mr. Kesarwani: Initially Doordarshan recruitment was through the Engineering Service Exam conducted by UPSC. The candidates selected were joining in the Group A service equivalent to IAS. After Doordarshan became autonomous organization under Prasar Bharati, no recruitment has taken place since then. In future we expect that Prasar Bharati does some recruitment. The details of notification can be found on Doordarshan website www.ddindia.org
GC: Please explain different work profile Doordarshan offer to freshers, and how the employees get promotion i.e. hierarchy, or any link which gives this information.
Mr. Kesarwani: The work profile in Doordarshan include operation and maintenance of existing infrastructure, Conceptualising and designing new TV Broadcasting project and its implementation. There is entry to the organisation at junior executive level. The entry to this level was taken through Engineering Service exams conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). Now this has been stopped and I hope this will be restarted by Prasar Bharati in near future.
GC: What are your views on the present education system?
Mr. Kesarwani: I think that Academia and Industry should come together to meet the research and development needs of the industry. The private sector as well as Government sector should collaborate with institutions such as IIT for comprehensive research so that India can really contribute to the technical needs in-house.
GC: Message for the students:
Mr. Kesarwani: Set your goal, starts moving, enjoy your move and achieve the target. Be true to yourself and the society.