Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University
On what basis do you judge an educational institution – an Engineering College or a B-School? In today’s world there is just one criterion – market value – the starting salaries and campus placement the students get. For today’s students it’s all about money, ambition and careerism – the more exorbitant the astronomical pay packets, and the greater the percentage of lucrative campus placements, the better the institution. And with the increasing commercialization of education, many institutes blatantly compete, advertise and focus on these materialistic aspects to attract students – it’s a rat race.
I feel the cardinal yardstick for appraising the true merit of an educational institution is the value-addition it instills in its students – and I’m not talking of utility value alone; but more importantly the inculcation and enhancement of intrinsic values. The student should feel he or she has changed for the better, professionally and personally; and so should other stakeholders observing the student from the outside be able to discern the value enhancement.
I studied engineering at ITBHU from 1972 to 1977 (first batch IIT JEE) and I experienced the well-rounded value addition I have mentioned above. I did my post graduation at a premier IIT and later taught at a prestigious university, but I cherish my days at ITBHU the most. I knew I was a better man, in my entirety, having passed through the portals of ITBHU, and I’m sure those scrutinizing me from the outside felt the same way.
ITBHU was amalgamated by integrating three of the country’s oldest and best engineering colleges: BENCO (Banaras Engineering College) – the first to introduce the disciplines of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in India, MINMET – the pioneer in Mining and Metallurgy, and College of Technology – the first to start Chemical and Ceramic Engineering.
In my time it was indeed a center of excellence and a lovely place to be in.
Learning from dedicated Professors, who were authorities in their subjects, amidst excellent academic facilities and ambience, elaborate labs and workshops, lush green campus, comfortable hostels, delicious food, expansive sports fields and beautiful swimming pool, the unique library, and the exquisite temple that added a spiritual quality to the scholarly ambiance – it was an unparalleled experience. One could learn heritage and foreign languages, fine arts, music, indology, philosophy, yoga, pursue hobbies like numismatics – the avenues for learning were mind-boggling. The idyllic environs and sanctimonious atmosphere of BHU were ideal for reflection and contemplation and helped one develop a philosophical attitude to life.
Like all premier institutes ITBHU was fully residential, which fostered camaraderie and facilitated lifelong friendships amongst the alumni. I can never forget those delightful days in Dhanrajgiri, Morvi, Vishwakarma, Vishveswarayya and CV Raman hostels.
Way back then, ITBHU was a wonderful place to study engineering. I wonder what my dear alma mater is like now!