Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of NLK Prasad, 1967 EEE.

Team Sampada: How was your college life? How was the course during that time?

Prasad: After I graduated from National College I joined UVCE. People came from different parts of India but we used to get along well. We couldn’t speak much as we were mostly busy. When it comes to course it was a five years long and was an integrated one. In the first three years we never used to study. We had common subjects which mainly consisted of civil subjects. In 4th and 5th year we had to choose subjects and that is the only time we studied seriously. I had taken up engineering mechanics.

I would like to recall about a chain survey (civil subject) in third year. And for this there was a need to visit Ghati subhramanya. During those times, it was a poorly developed village and there weren’t any washrooms, so we had to manage for nearly ten days.

Team Sampada : Were there any educational tours ?

Prasad: There was one such tour organised when we were in 4th year. We had been to Sharavathi and our main aim was to study generators. We keenly observed Kaplan generator and studied about its working. In the evenings we used to play cricket. There is 700 feet waterfall near the Sharavathi river. All the friends would team up and walk to the foot of the falls and bathe there. Each water drop would hit us like bullets due to its potential energy. We would go there in spite of the slippery rocks, it was risky but adventurous.

I recall a funny incident which happened during final year. I had a friend who was a bodybuilder, his name was Anand Rao. He could speak very fluent Kannada and was a sportive guy. Once we all challenged him to climb down those 700 steps and do 3 push-ups. He asked us for 10 Masala Dosas if he won. The task was quite challenging and we were taken aback when he completed the task and did 15 push-ups instead of just 3 push-ups! I’m in touch with very few of them and Anand is one among them, he is currently my neighbour. He has his own business where he deals with transformer oils. From the college days he had a great personality and he ended up in a good place.

Team Sampada : Did you have projects in the final year?

Prasad: We had electives instead of projects in UVCE. As a matter of fact, electives were introduced first in UVCE among all the other colleges. There were 4 common subjects and two were based on our choice. We had to sincerely do the lab experiments in order to get decent marks in exams. Even in those days rheostats were used as load. Back then electricity boards (KEB board) had a great demand, since I didnt get any opportunity to work there I had to pursue post graduation in National College. After working in several small scale industries I joined GEF (Government Electrical Factory) where I got to learn so much in practical.

Team Sampada : Which are those places in and around our college that you preferred to hang out ?

Prasad : We used to visit Vidhana Soudha, it was in-fact a mega structure!! We were also regular customers for a small canteen which was functioning inside Cubbon park for a refreshing cup of tea. I was very limited, in the sense I just used to travel a short distance between my home at Malleshwaram and our college at K R Circle on my cycle. Adding to this Central College campus was a cool place to spend some time with friends and never to forget GAAS college ground!

A wide barren land spread till court complex where I still remember playing cricket with students from GAAS college. As a matter of fact there was a hostel situated, that which belonged to our engineering college. This factor made students a bit oriented towards sports. Film theatre were our centre of attraction. We also visited Maharani’s College occasionally.

Team Sampada : Professors from those days were said to be pretty conservative, how was it in UVCE?

Prasad : We used to mingle with them easily! But there was some space maintained. Then a system known as “Class marks” existed which was provided by our professors, that was a small factor which we feared about. Teaching was undoubtedly exceptional!! But it would take us time to gain that threshold with our professors, then comes educational tour which had eliminated the small gaps that existed between us. We normally approached them to clear our doubts and they responded to us all the time. Nevertheless they had that latent energy in their gesture which imparted us a good nature.

I suppose Prof Venky was our HOD. Veerabhadrappa is another professor who I remember the most. He was a punctual, disciplined person who himself maintained discipline and expected the same from his students too. He even wore pressed coat and tie, entered our class on time and would fill the board regarding the topic he taught!! We hardly saw an empty space on our board. On a lighter note, he was allergic to noise! His notes were too systematic and would cover the subject till its depth. Prof Byrappa is another name that passes through my mind. He wasn’t as strict as Prof Veerabhadrappa, but enthusiastic and encouraged us in playing “Volleyball”. It was a difficult task to gain marks those days. It did depend a bit on the tempo of students with professors. Students were mischievous even then, we used to bunk classes, call false attendance and what not! But we never crossed our limits. “Another interesting yet historical fact I would like to share. Mrs Uma of our class (1967) was the 1st women in our country to graduate with Electrical degree”. She was our special classmate, she had no other choice except to sit in 1st bench. Professors treated her as one of the kind and we had deeper respects for her.

Team Sampada : UVCE’s campus is said to be unaltered, what was the condition of campus then? Are you still in contact with your classmates?

Prasad : Ha! Ha! I walked around our campus now and to my excitement its very much the same! Except for the new Electrical department, Open air theatre and Maths department. We had just 3 departments then Civil, Mechanical and Electrical. Fun factor is that “Canteen” still remains the same. Our principal then was Prof Venugopal, he was a bit strict but honorable man. Regarding my classmates, many of them are in foreign countries. I would remember Mallesh, rank holder of my class, who then stayed near my place and cleared all my doubts, I’m hoping to meet him soon.

Team Sampada : If you were asked what UVCE is to you, what would you tell?

Prasad : Undoubtedly, what I’m today is all because of UVCE. UVCE has changed my life drastically. Any kind of gratitude is too less to provide for this prestigious institution.

I would like to take this moment to thank, Team Sampada and Team Vision UVCE who’s efforts of bringing out such innovative, interactive sessions and informing alumni about happenings in college. I wish to see more such programmes, initiatives and also request you to create an event so that all our batch mates can rejoice together and relive our memories.

– NLK Prasad, Sampada-68

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