Writing your CR!

Primarily people in CDAC Mumbai, and in my R&D groups. Others are also encouraged to follow this; but check with your reporting officers.

The CR form as it currently stands is common to all categories of technical work from research and development to system support. And most of you, till you become old like me, would be focussing on one or two aspects among the themes covered by the CR. And so, you would find that most of the entries in the CR form are to be left blank. This is quite ok - dont get too worried about this.

The work that we do can be classified as

  • research (may include a good amount of development)
  • development (with relatively little research)
  • teaching (lectures, assessment, support, coordination)
  • miscellaneuous (interaction with other agencies, deployment and user training, extra curricular activities, etc)

All activities, excepting purely personal work, can be mentioned in the CR.

General Guidelines

First of all, remember that your CR is a description of your work/activities during the specific period. The keywords are "your" and "during the specific period". So, dont just give a project name. You should identify what YOU did DURING the period of the CR.

Secondly, remember that your CR is not a record for your boss. He/she knows what you do (and dont!). It is for a lot of other people including the external people who may review your CR for promotion, etc. So what you write in the CR must make sense to them. Write accordingly.

You can and should mention all activities you were involved in during that period - including support work for institutional activities, support at client side, etc. Dont worry about the quality and quantity.

Ques 1: R&D activities with practical application

Going by the current structure of the CR form, you should mention all 'project' activities here. Dont worry too much about the reference to "practical application" in the question - it is something you can leave to your boss to worry about. Research work, development work, deployment work, etc all come here. Make a separate entry for each project you are involved in. If you carried a lot of responsibility for a project, split the contributions into a few broad subsections. For each project mention 1-3 sentences about what the project objectives are (e.g. to build an automated machine translation system from English to Hindi) - note that a name like NSDG or MaTra wont make any sense to an external reader.

Then for each major piece, briefly describe that piece, what was done during the year on that piece, and what was your role in that. You should clearly identify what you did on your own, and what you did along with others. Of course, most projects have multiple people working on it. But, at the same time, usually each person or small groups work on fairly clearly divided segments. Write about that segment. If 2 people jointly designed a component, write so. Identify the other members who were involved. Note that when reading this, I should understand, exactly (or close enough!) the load you carried. Things like "I worked on Matra" is simply unacceptable.

Ques 2: Teaching

This should cover all activities related to education and training. We used to have a more formal verifiable structure to it. But that is now gone. So, mention each course activity you participated in, covering:

  1. name of the course, duration and venue
  2. other faculty members involved
  3. roles you carried: coordination, lectures, assessment, project guide, etc
  4. relative share of the total course load you carried (this may be approx).

Include modules which are part of the FPGDST and other diploma programs, on site courses conducted elsewhere, short term training programs conducted at our premises, etc. But exclude training which is part of a project (should go with Ques 1), lectures given elsewhere as part of some programme there (unless full programme is ours) and seminars/presentations including internal seminars.

It not easy to draw very fine lines on what goes where. If there is more confusion, put at wherever you feel, it should belong. But report one thing only once.

Ques 3: R&D for publications

This question usually does not make much sense. Usually, we do not take up research with an eye only on publication. So, the activities will be reported under Ques 1. You can just leave a reference to specific ittems from those listed under 1, that are relevant here. Do not mention any publication here.

Ques 4: Consultancy

Consultancy are formal assignments where staff members provide 'consultancy' to companies and other institutions. Usually these are paid activities. Indicate the organisation involved, the nature of consuttancy provided, number of man-days that YOU have spent on the work, nature of work that you carried out, etc.

Ques 5: Experimental development

This can be used to describe any informal work you have done - trying out some new ideas, some toolkits or frameworks you built for your work, etc. Study and exploration work taken up before something becomes a project can also be discussed here. For example, you may have spent a month studying finger print recognition technology and algorithms, and the idea is yet to be taken up or approved as a project. At the same time, studying PHP and the like are not experimental development. For most of you, bound by an assigned project, this question would be empty.

If you have been involved in formulating a project proposal (for funding by DIT, for example), did a lot of study/exploration/experimenting/etc for this, they can be reported here. If the project got funded, then move it to Ques 1. If the involvement was purely editing/documenting (no exploration or experimentation), then put in "others".

Ques 6: Publications

Publications are, of course, important. There are multiple categories here to distinguish the high quality ones from the others. Read the category description and then enter. Include only those published in the current year (or the CR period), and each at the right place. Internal seminars, etc should be in the lower most category.

For each publication, you must mention the proper title of the paper/article/etc, names of all authors, where it is published and when. Follow standard bibliographic conventions for the details.

Ques 7: Managing others

Strictly speaking, this is concerning people who are formally reporting to you. But, in our setup, some of you will be carrying 'informal' management responsibilities such as work assignment, project management (incl people), mentoring new people, etc. You can mention such people that you are handling and the kind of involvement you have with each of them. Be specific - give each person and the nature of management role you have for that person.

Ques 8: Operational responsibilities

This is primarily for ITSS like activities - server maintenance, web site maintenance, etc. Mention specific resources that you are involved with and the responsibilities you have.

Ques 9: External interaction

If you need to deal with organisations outside, you can bring related responsibilities here. This can be public sector, private, industry, academia, formal groups (CSI, etc), and so on. Again, usually a low content entry for most of you. Interaction with a client for gathering requirements, review meetings, etc should be part of the corresponding project and should be described in Ques 1 or Ques 4, depending on the nature of the project.

Ques 10: Other activities

This is a fairly open section to cover all activities not covered above. You can include a range of activities such as:

  1. participation in programmes like Hindi day, etc
  2. participation in conferences and workshops
  3. role in organising events and programmes
  4. invigilation and other roles in CST
  5. additional responsibilities you carry — placement, student mentoring, etc.
  6. certifications etc you have participated in
  7. help with ISO processes at the centre such as conducting audits. If you are process owner for a project, mention that with the project activities.
  8. and so on.

If in doubt, ask. Be brief and specific. Identify the activity, the role you played, the duration, etc.

Ques 11: Time allocation

Fill up this table carefully. While accurate calculations are not expected, time allocation should reflect the description you have mentioned in the respective questions earlier. Also ensure that they add up to 100.

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