As the grand old College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, (CET), turns 80 on Wednesday, one could go down memory lane to reminisce its contributions in producing numerous scientists, technocrats and academicians who have made Kerala proud across the globe.
The college has come a long way from one that had an intake of 21 students for BSc Engineering courses in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical branches to a behemoth in the field of higher education, has over 3,700 students with eight undergraduate and 27 postgraduate programmes on offer. Currently, CET is ranked the 71st best engineering college and 5th best architecture college in the country under the National Institutional Ranking Framework.
The huge alumni base, which has spread its wings across the globe, attributes their success to the exposure gained during their college days. Padma Shri recipient and architect G. Shankar, an alumnus of the 1976-82 BArch batch, says his college days had a formative influence on his career and personality. “Even while I used to be at loggerheads with my faculty because I had initially felt their lessons lacked the Indianness in architecture, we had several visionary teachers. I also had been among those who ushered in politics on the campus to counter the practice of ragging and the elitist culture that existed then. The mental turmoil I had faced then and the subsequent joy our efforts brought us made me who I am,” he said.
The students have also played a role in community development especially when they electrified 65 houses in Bonacaud a year ago. Besides, the successful ‘Azaadi’ movement that was spearheaded by the union recently, led to the government extending curfew time for girls to enter their hostels. The campaign had a ripple effect in the State.
The college has now set its sight on the future by becoming a part of the country’s space odyssey. It has embarked on a project to design, develop and fabricate a nano-satellite that could be deployed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as a payload in future. The project currently awaits the approval of the ISRO. The satellite is envisaged to be developed entirely by the students of various engineering streams. The CET Centre for Interdisciplinary Research has been designated the nodal agency for the project.
Principal Jiji C.V. said the college also intended a host an International Conference on Small Satellites in association with ISRO and Defence Research and Development Organisation. The college aimed for thrust on research-oriented activities. During the course of its year-long 80th-anniversary celebrations, the college would organise a summit to bring together the entrepreneurs among its alumni base. An e-mobility exhibition had also been planned to showcase electric vehicles on the campus. CET also plans for a three-storeyed innovation centre to function as a multi-disciplinary facility for students.