Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Special Editorials section. This one is by Lt Gen V J Sundaram sir

I am glad to be writing the Guest Editorial for this edition of Sampada. I have gone through many of the issues so far and they are a very interesting collection. It is a fascinating thing to document the past and present of UVCE which has seen lot of milestones over the past 100 years. It is an undeniable fact that it is always a wonderful trip down the memory lane to everybody associated with UVCE with SAMPADA.

Recently, I had been invited to give a talk at the Ambedkar Institute of Technology. I was thrilled to see on the board in the Principal’s room that Prof B K Ramaiah was their first principal (in the 1980s). He had taught us the subject “Survey” in our first year in 1953 though I was in the Mechanical branch. He was very thorough and strict added to being firmly punctual. We did survey in what is now Rajaji Nagar. Back then it was only a hill and dale. The next name on the Principals’ Board of AIT is Prof BC Rajanna, another excellent teacher. Taught by excellent professors like BR Narayana Iyengar (BRN), DB Narasimhaiah (Civil) and WJ Paul Raj (Elect) the seeds of an interdisciplinary approach were sown.

After my under graduation at UVCE, I joined the Army in 1957 itself and completed the Technical Graduates Course at Military College, Dehra Dun. Thanks in no small measure would be sufficient to UVCE for the meticulous mentoring I have received that aided my career at the Army.

With years of working in DRDO, I was fortunate to chance upon working with Dr. Kalam. I had written an vivid story about my working with Dr Kalam that was published in “Avalokana” already, but here’s a short summary – Dr V S Arunachalam (SA to RM) and Dr Abdul Kalam put up an Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) for 5 Missile projects to the Defense Minister, Sri Venkatraman. IGMDP was sanctioned in July 1983 by the PM, Smt. Indira Gandhi, an indication of political will. The 5 projects were Prithvi, Trishul, Akash, Nag and Agni. The West (USA, Canada Europe as well as Japan and Russia) were totally against the program and initiated the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to prevent India entering their missile technology domain. Prithvi and Agni were specially targeted.It was in this environment that Dr Kalam asked me to lead the design team for the Prithvi Missile System and to be its Project Director(PD). The first flight of PRITHVI was launched in Feb 1988 followed by deliveries, all on schedule, to the Army and variants to Air Force and Navy with 95% indigenous content meeting stringent Quality. Modified PRITHVIs are being used in the Ballistic Missile Defense Program trials.

So many variants were possible because the entire technology and design knowledge was indigenously available. The foundation for such capability was laid in institutions like UVCE to make Indigenous Design, Development and Manufacture (IDDM) a reality in INDIA.

During our times BMS college students used to come to our college for practicals. When I returned to Bangalore after retiring from my service, I worked with BMS College for some time. I was really amazed with the development and growth of the college when compared to our UVCE. What left in thoughts was BMS had transformed itself to premier institution over the years whereas UVCE which always had been a glorious premier Institution has lagged behind in the race.

I believe in respect for 5 Ts as basic principles – Truth; Transparency; Trust; Team Work; Time. These are applicable in all scenarios, even for UVCE. A vision is the basic requirement to achieve anything. Lack of a Vision for UVCE has led the college to such a catastrophic state. Overlooking the issues in past, the apt steps going forward would be to implement immediate action on bringing back UVCE to its glory. Couple of important suggestions from my side would be:

  • First utilize the 25 crore allocated at the earliest to showcase what can be achieved and then demand for more resources
  • Keeping the campus at K R Circle intact, UVCE needs to grow at other places as well. It is always possible to work with multiple locations, but the need for more space is very evident and a necessity to become a great institution.
  • Glad that Team Sampada, is dedicating this edition to 50s, 60s and 70s of UVCE. I am also very happy that 96 editions have been published every month from past 8 years and is moving strongly towards its own Centenary issue along with UVCE. I hope that it continues for a long time to come and keep us informed about our alma-mater. Wishing everyone a “Happy and Prosperous New Year” and hope 2018 will be a great year for UVCE too!!

    – Lt.Ge.(Dr.) V.J. Sundaram, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd.)

    Read Online  Download  View All Editions  Feedback/Comments