IIT Madras: Ex Students Look Back Their Root
Indian Institutes of Technology Madras celebrates its Foundation Day recently marking a milestone in a journey that began this day in 1959.
Students of the first and second batches refreshed their experiences down their memory lane.
“IITM’s first batch finished its course in 1964. The second batch — technically the 1965 batch — also finished in 1964, six months ahead of schedule,” says K. Narayanan, who is from the second batch and graduated as a chemical engineer, joined Indian Oil’s Guwahati Refinery in 1965.
“In 1965, the Indo-Pak war was on us and the engineers at the refinery had to go on night patrolling. During the day, we received military training. They wanted to train us to be able to defend the refinery,” said Narayanan while recollecting from his memory lanes.
“In the initial years, workshops and training were organised at various places around IITM and students were transported in open lorries to these places. The management provided this service for two months – until they gave us bicycles,” he revealed further.
“The Indian government wanted to turn out more engineers for construction activities, especially in the border areas that could help meet military objectives,” explains N.R. Dave, who studied B.Tech.
“The significance of war-preparedness was felt after the 1962 Chinese aggression, which had taken the country by surprise. The need for quickly producing more engineers who could be pressed into military-related technical work was felt too, said another past student from the first batch.
“In the first one-and-a-half years, classes were conducted at AC Tech at Guindy. Students stayed in two hostels, both outside the IITM campus. One hostel was at Guindy and the other, in Saidapet. The IITM provided the students with bicycles. From the Saidapet hostel, we would sometimes ride up to the Adyar river and ferry the bicycles across the river and reach AC Tech,” said S. Srinvasan, who graduated as a mechanical engineer with the first batch.
Several students from first and second batch shared their experiences the campus.