Our Alma Mater had the best Library, Laboratory facilities, Principals, Professors & Lecturers Class Rooms , Play Grounds and importance was given to sports ; games and also imparting military Education by NCC.
At the age of 16, with the back ground of Good Education along with the 202 privileged young students of Greater Mysore, I entered the Engineering College ‘UCE’. I had the privilege of being interviewed by Prof. B.R.N. then the Principal and Prof. D.B. N. Our was the first PPC Batch of Engineering Degree Course, One year study at Government Arts and Science College with Engineering Drawing at Main UCE Building. We had exposures to very good laboratory of Physics and Chemistry. As the UCE College hostel had limited seats for 120 boarders and I could not get the seat for few months. I and my friend Shankar had to stay in a Lodge on monthly rent near KempeGowda Road. We had no ideas of facilities of hostels like Mariappa Hostel, Sri Ramakrishna Student Home available for students in Bangalore. There was great demand for hostel seat and the Warden Prof D B Narasimhaiah was very strict. Later, courtsey Sri K. MALLAPPA then the Honourable Industries Minister , I got the seat in UCE Hostel and my friend Shankar was accommodated in Central College Hostel.
With the back ground of NCC training in PUC, I continued with Engineers Battallion NCC in UCE for TWO years. I had the privilege of passing ‘B’ Certificate with merit and stood first in weapon training. We could get best military training from experienced Commissioned officers, JCO’s & NCO’s of Military Engineering Core. Sri K V Gundurao; Reader of Mechanical Engineering department was our NCC Officer[ Captain] I had the privilege of attending two Annual Camps(Ibbaloor& Jalahalli) and two social service Camps, (at Siddaganga, & Gajanoor) for a fortnight each. This gave me an experience to adopt myself to difficult situations and make a large group of secular friends. Many bright students like Sheshgiri Hebbar, G Puttaiah, Vittaldas Prabhu, Sridhar, L K Raichur, T S Prahlad, N Narayan, M K Janardan, S Ramegowda were with us in N C C.
The Annual NCC Camp during 1959 October at Jalahalli West was Unique with 90 Boys of No 9 ;Engineer NCC Battalion and 900 Girls of ”Karnataka Senior Division NCC’. Our Battalion had to manage to guard the Campus by RP and Quarter Guard duties. Being the Corporal, once I was ‘Quarter Guard Commander’ . Last day of our departure, we had entertainment programme common to boys and girls after the grand feast (Badakana). I was on RP Duty on this night. Cadet friends like Shabeer Ahmed, Gorur .V. Krishan, L. K. Raichur, Vittal D. Prabhu, Praksh Patel, and E. V. Bhaskar were busy taking photographs and autographs, enjoyed the best. After first year Exam, during summer vacation I had the privilege to command one platoon of Engineer NCC for the Social Service Camp at Gajanoor with the rank of Sargent. Our task was to supervise the formation of Road. Our training in College and NCC in survey and drawing helped us.
At the adolescent innocent age with the blessing of ancestors and blessings of local Faith, I left our home village and landed up in the then seven lakh populated ‘Bendakalooru of Kempe Gowda’ called Bangalore. I had the ritual of ‘Mangalya Dharana’ on 31-08-1958 – college admission day, when I was virtually wedded to ‘Thy Alma Mater-UCE Bangalore’. This Government Engineering College was then affiliated to the Heritage Mysore University founded by Sri Nalvadi Krishanraja Wodeyar Bahaddur and Sir M. Visevsaraya; then Diwan of Mysore in the year 1916. I was lucky to be chosen among the best of greater Mysore State for admission in the only Govt. Engineering College of the State and to stay in college hostel. I have great respect and sentiments for this College – my Alma Mater. Best lot of students from J & K and different regions of Karnataka studied for under this great umbrella. I have the privilege of studying, discussing and associating with few of my classmates and my seniors closely in college, hostel, NCC, Survey camps & education tours and developed a close bondage. These friends have now occupied important Chair of faculty in reputed Technical institutions of IIT, IISc, and other reputed Engineering Colleges of the States and World over and have occupied top key senior management positions in Public / Private undertakings, Corporate sectors and few of them have out shined as venture capitalists and very good entrepreneurs.
We were taught by great renowned teachers like Profs. Santanam, Srinivasa Raghavan, T.Rameshan, Venkatachala Iyengar, B. R. Narayana Iyengar , V.Byrappa and other noble dedicated teachers. During the holistic Technical Education (Engineering Course) we had to perform many rituals of ‘SAPTAPADI’ like workshop practice, Engineering Drawing, Survey practice, Educational Tours, Project Tours, Laboratory Practice and Class Room study. We cannot forget Mr. Abdulla Sharif who taught us fundamental of Engineering drawings. We maintained good relations with the Teachers and thy Alma mater. We were student pilgrims in our journey in pursuit of knowledge and the sanctity and sacredness was induced by our GURUS, Mentors and Teachers. Those days, there was no career guidance cell or placement officer. The advice by our dear Principal Prof. B. R. N. was the passport for us in life. Project tour to ‘S V P’ along with our dear Prof. V. Byrappa in final year (1963-64) was an eye opener. We had the privilege of seeing the dynamic and smart HECP Engineers like ER Mohamad Abid and ER V. Srinivasa Mutthy in Dongree assembling the ‘Hitachi Stator’ winding and ‘French Turbine’ of number one & two Generator units of AB site Power House of Sharavathi Valley Hydro Electric Project, the pride project of our State. This is feather in the cap for our Alma Mater as the project from start to finish was designed, supervised and successfully commissioned by our alumni who worked day & night in the Project areas of heavy rain fall areas of SAHYADRI from 1957 till 1965.
I am proud of my Alma mater. The syllabus prescribed for 5 years of Engineering by the Mysore University was very practical oriented, concentrating on all the 3 branches of Engineering. (Civil, Mechanical & Electrical) and gave us the confidence to work 35 years in Karnataka State Electricity Board and get exposures to many fields of expertise. In this fast moving age and technological developments around us going the information technology way , Our Almamater need to be renovated for keeping in pace and bridging the generation gap and meet the aspirations of younger generation.
Jai Ho – Long live my dear Alma mater.
[ This article is dedicated to my humble parents, elders who blessed me, the founders of the alma mater and my beloved teachers who taught from kindergarten to Engineering Degree]>/em>
– RathanBabu K B, 1963-64 EEE
(This article is borrowed from Sampada-73. It was originally published in Suvarna Sammilana Souvenir of 1963-64 Batch)