MY DAYS IN NATIONAL ENGINEERING COLLEGE
Dr. K. ILANGOVAN
Professor of Physics
RKM Vivekananda College
I joined National Engineering College on 10th September 1984 and worked up to 14th December 1998 which means that I have served for 14 long years in a self financing Engineering College. I now feel that it is possible only because of the chairmanship of Thiru K. Ramasamy and Prof. S.Kannanppan who served National Engineering College as Special Officer, Principal and Director.
The college was started in a Ginning factory near Nalattinputhur railway station. I still remember, when I got down in Nalttinputhur from the bus in search of the college, I could see only the name board of the college and vacant place behind the board. I was little bit shocked and asked a person about the college. He said you have to walk for another 2 miles and could see a ginning factory in which the college is functioning.
The college which has been started in a 5 acre land of ginning factory now expanded to 150 acre land with many buildings and infrastructure. The staff room alone would have been shifted to 10 different places in 5 years. The college got into a permanent shape and size only during 1995. There are many persons associated with the expansion of the college starting from the mesons constructed the building to lecturers, professors and non teaching staff. The persons to whom I have been associated from the inception of the college and still working are Mr. S.Rammoorthy, Mr. M.A.Perumal, Ms.Shenbagavalli and Ms.Manimegalai (teaching), Mr. G.Karpagasundaram and Mr.Jeevanandam (non teaching)
Personally speaking, I joined this institution only with my M.Sc degree in Physics. I was allowed to do my part time M.Phil Physics from St.Joseph’s College, Trichy. Then, I was given leave on loss of pay to continue my Ph.D studies from Howard University, Washington DC, USA. Due to my personal problems I could not complete my Ph.D studies from Howard University. But still I could manage to finish my Ph.D in Nuclear Physics from Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli. Every year I was allowed to participate in a DAE Nuclear Physics conference with leave on other duty for nearly ten days. In South India, first time I had written a book on Engineering Physics. Throughout my tenure in National Engineering College, this book was prescribed for the students of this college. I was serving National Service Scheme unit of this college for 2 years and was editor of National Engineering College magazine for two years. I do not say all these as my achievements but I could proudly say that this college has given me chances to grow as a multidimensional person.
Prof.S. Kannanppan who served in Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai for 30 years and after retirement joined in National Engineering College as special officer. When you see him first time you may underestimate his strength in running the college and you may not accept him as an administrator. Many occasions, we may feel that the proverb, “appearance is deceptive” is exactly correct. I should accept here that only after working under his guidance for 14 years, I understood him as an excellent administrator and wonderful financial advisor.
One fine morning I was in the cabin of Prof.S Kannappan to discuss about National Service Scheme camp. During that time three persons came from a reputed computer company to finalize a Mini-Magnum computer with 30 parallel terminals. The company had quoted the computer for 12 lakhs rupees. Prof.S.Kannappan had said coolly, “See gentlemen! Do not get offended by my quote for this computer. I prefer to buy this computer only for 2 lakhs”. You may not believe that the company finally sold the same computer to the college for just 4 lakhs rupees.
Now, National Engineering College stands like a banyan tree spreading its branches proudly after completing 30 years. But it has been designed step by step, stone by stone and inch by inch. Prof.S.Kannappan as a Special Officer is not in a hurry to build the National Engineering College on a single day. He is there to fix the fees regulations of the college, food in the hostel, staff welfare, design the college emblem, buying college bus, buying equipments for laboratories, designing various buildings and laboratories. There were lots and lots of quotations, enquiries, representatives, sales personnel, visitors, parents and reporters. Prof.S.Kannappan was not all excited but kept cool all the time. He is the sculpture who made this college into an excellent statue by imposing rules and regulations based on university and government norms.
The greatest success this college has attained only on the following reasons. The college fees have been regulated in such a way that not a single rupee has been collected extra from the fees fixed by the government. There are no extra fees collected for transport or the breakfast and lunch. The teaching staff members have been paid with a good salary based on the AICTE norms and the salary has been credited in Indian Overseas Bank extension branch. The leave facilities (casual leave and annual leave or semester leave and latter years, earned leave and maternity leave have been included) for the staff members have been fixed according to the university rules and regulations. There were scarcity for the M.E graduates during those days and hence the staff members were sent to higher studies with study leave and half salary.
Finally, I should have to conclude this article by saying few words about the first batch students of this college. As I have told in the beginning that I could be able to complete 14 long years in National Engineering College only because of Thiru.K.Ramasamy and Prof.S.Kannappan, I should have to add one more reason that it is because of my first batch students also. They gave greatest enthusiasm in learning and giving respect to the teachers. I wish this silver jubilee reunion a grand success and wish them to celebrate golden jubilee reunion also.