Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Rathanbabu K B,1963-64 EEE.

Thanks for these Questions to the back benches who had just scrapped through the mini-mum and could complete their degree. The answers will be of personal in nature. You may not generalize this. Situations were different than. There were only Four Engineering Colleges in the State {U.C.E, B.M.S, B.D.T & N.I.E}. With the State re-organisation on spoken language basis [ which was Pandit Nehru’s( Then Prime Minister of India) master mind of creating problems to hold the power in hands], number of intake for the first year increased by double and 250 students were admitted to the than Pre-professional course in First year[ 1958-59] where the students had to study English, Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Engineering Drawing [Basic] in the neighboring Government Arts & Science College, with no provision for ordinance in passing the annual examination{ People unable to get 35% – ie minimum pass marks in any subject had to lose the year] and the percentage of dropout was around 25%}

To compensate these seats for the First year of ‘Four Year B E course’, persons who completed Two year Inter Science in Supplementary or B Sc in Maths & Science subjects were admitted laterally{ around 60 nos – D section} in the year 1959-60. 1st & 2nd BE , the syllabus was common to all the four sections. We had to practice ” Smithy, Foundry, Carpentry & Machine Shop” in first & second years six months each and Building drawing, Survey Practice [ Chain Survey, Compass Survey, Plane Table Survey- Intensive Survey in Cubbon Park & Ashoka Pillar/ Yadiyur Terminus areas]in First year. In second year Machine drawing and Survey Practice were taught .We used to have Extensive Survey for 15 days in Subramanya Ghati Temple [ Doddaballapur Taluk] surroundings. Accommodation was provided in the choultry and all the students had to sleep on floor and have sumptuous vegetarian meals managed by student survey camp secretaries. We had Block level survey with Dumpy Level and Theodalite. Students had to study more of Civil, Mechanical and Electrical subjects. Core Engineering Branches were allotted in 3rd year on the basis of marks. Mech/ Electrical / Civil.

Students from the rural background of merged territories like Dakshina Kannada, Utthara Kannada, Coorg, Bellary, Hubli- Dharwar, Kollegal were in large numbers. The City students mostly from St Josephs College {English Spoken}, National College ( Basavana Gudi, Vishweshwarapuram areas) ,Sheshadripuram College ( Swasthik, Malleswaram , Vyalikaval, Guttahalli areas) and G A S college( next to our college),were very good in academics and sports like Cricket/ Tennis/ Basketball / Table tennis and Kabaddi. They also had the support from their parents/ relatives and were well informed and had a vision in their mind to do well in studies.

Team SAMPADA: How was the mindset about acquiring a job after B.E?

RathanBabu: It was happy go lucky type for many. We never knew where to go & what to do. Because of NCC training, Chinese aggression in 1962 & Pak war in 1964, many were interested and eager in joining the services. There was campus recruitment only for recruitment for Army and Air force and none of the other employers were interested though they were in need of Engineers. About 5%, of students from Elite family back ground, after B E remained in their home looking after their plantations and Family business.

The Better lot who got 60% plus joined ME in IISc; Bangalore and IIT, Madras/ Mumbai. Others with high second class [55% to 59.9%] joined as lecturers in Polytechnics and Engineering Schools. Many joined the public sector under takings like HMT, HAL, BEL, NGEF, and reputed corporate companies like Kirloskar, MEI Industries, IngersollRand( MNC) in Bangalore. And who were bold and ambitious in pursuit of better career joined mega Industries like TISCO, HEC and few went to Bombay in search of employment [Eg: Adolphous D’souza, B T Bangera, Kalappa Shetty, H R Shetty, Ramesh Kini, Subhash Shenoy & others]. Many who had exposures to employment news joined CPWD, Railways, Indian Oil/ ESSO / Shell/ Berger Paints, L&T, ACC Ltd and other cos. With the areas of Mysuru State increasing, both the Public sector undertakings like State Electricity Board, Public works Departments, Hydro-Electric Construction Project required large number of Civil/ Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and recruited enmasse. Hence the lot from 40%+ to 55% were placed.

Team SAMPADA: Was higher studies an option that was considered at large?

RathanBabu: Except few like Mr C R Reddy, J M Ratna Naik, Lional Noronha & others, who wanted to reach the top in PWD & KEB , all the other first class students [ <60% +] went for higher studies and careers in India & abroad. {Hence from our batch large number of about 40+ are in USA / Germany/ Australia}

For others, though higher study was their option, they could not study as there were not much PG colleges. Few who had academic mind set did their PG later while in service {B T Bangera, Biju Kurien, K S Anadaram, Madhava Kumar, B V Ramanna & others}

Team SAMPADA: What are the major differences between the options a student had after completion of degree today and then?

Rathanbabu :There is a big generation gap of knowledge and life style. Expectations are high. The present generations have exposure to Science and Technology from early ages in schools and better informed in computers & other gadgets & information from media & TV and their surroundings [Hence they expect high figure salary & better Life style].

In our days virtually we had no career guidance. Students who were in closer circle with the Staff & also had the courage/ interest to meet their Teachers have been guided well. Further in our days facilities of free hostels. Community hostels with subsidized rent [ like Jayadeva Hostel, Vysya Hostel, Babbor Kamme Hostels in Race Course Road, Kurubara Sangha, Andhra Devanga hostels {in Gandhinagar] , Vokkaligara Sangha Hostel, General Hostel in Mission street, Ramakrishna Student Home, Mariappa Hostel in Vishweshwarapuram/ Basavanagudi areas were there to support the students. In conservative localities of Vishwesharapuram/ Basavanagudi/ Malleswaram facilities of feeding the students free [Varaanna] and free accommodation in out-houses were there. The present concept of “Earn while you Learn like in foreign Universities” was there even that time but in a different dignified way. Few also had the privilege of earning extra few Rupees singing in Public places [Cubbon Park Band stand] working as draughtsman , Traffic surveyors and also work in Construction projects during vacations [or loss of year]

– Rathan Babu K B, Sampada-68
(We thank Rathan Babu sir for sharing his memories with us. We feel these details are not only part of UVCE history, but Bangalore itself. We are happy to document it in SAMPADA)

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