Let the Alumni do anything and everything to make our Alma Mater a Centre of Excellence".
Making M.B.M. Engineering College, A Centre of Technical Excellence
Conceptualized Address by Prof. M.L. Mathur (Former, Dean-Faculty of Engineering and VC-JNV University, Jodhpur)
Delivered during the Golden Jubilee Celebration of M.B.M. Engineering College on 25.12.2001
1. Preamble :
M.B.M. Engineering College, established by the Government of Rajasthan on 15th August, 1951, had a small beginning, offering initially a three year degree course and two year diploma course in Civil Engineering with an intake of 35 students in each class. With the passage of time the institution grew with the addition of diploma courses in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (1955) and degree courses in Mining Engineering (1957) and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (1958). Under the dynamic leadership of Principal V.G. Garde and other faculty members, within a span of less than ten years it blossomed into one of the finest engineering colleges in the whole of India. The performance of its graduates in U.P.S.C. examinations for engineering services was being ranked 5th or 6th in country.
The M.B.M. Engineering College became a show piece of the Government of Rajasthan and it was visited by the dignitaries of the country including President Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Vice-President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Union Home Minister Shri Govind Vallabh Pant and Governor of U. P. Shri K. M. Munshi. The then Chief Minister of Rajasthan Shri Mohan Lal Ji Sukhadia and Finance Minister Shri Mathura Das Ji Mathur took deep personal interest in the development of M.B.M. Engineering College.
In 1956 the Directorate of Technical Education was established within the premises of M.B.M. Engineering College. The college played the role of a mother in establishing all the Polytechnics and Industrial Training Institutes in Rajasthan.M.B.M. Engineering College again played the role of a mother in establishing Malaviya Regional Engineering College at Jaipur and Government Engineering College at Kota.
With the formation of University of Jodhpur in 1962, M.B.M. Engineering College became a part of the university as one of its faculties.
An important date in the history of M.B.M. Engineering College was starting of Master of Engineering Courses in 1966. From then on research work also gradually developed. The B.E. course in Electronics and Communication Engineering was added in 1972.
A landmark in the development of M.B.M. Engineering College was organizing special B.E. courses in 1970's and 80's for students of foreign countries of Tanzania and Malavi in Africa. This put M.B.M. Engineering College on the map of centers of international learning.
The expansion of M.B.M. Engineering College continued with the opening of new degree courses. Production and Industrial Engineering (1990), Computer Science and Engineering (1990), Architecture (1998), Chemical Engineering (1999) and Information Technology (2001). Courses in Master of Computer Application (MCA) and Post-graduate Diploma in Computer Applications and Technology (PGD-CTA) were also started.
2. Status of M.B.M. and Achievements of its Alumni
The M.B.M. Engineering College had a glorious past as an institute of bachelor of engineering education. It was and still remains one of the best engineering degree colleges in the country. At one time almost all Chief Engineers in Rajasthan were product of this college. Today also our alumni occupy high positions in government organizations, public undertakings and big private establishments. Many of them have set up their own industries and have made significant contributions to industrial growth of the country. A large number of our alumni have settled abroad, particularly in the U.S.A. and have flourishing career and great achievements to their credit.
We are all proud of them.
3. Planning for Golden Jubilee Future
The occasion of Golden Jubilee of M.B.M. Engineering College is not only an occasion of basking in the past glory but also for planning for a golden future. It is the time to assess our strengths and weaknesses. It is the time to see where do we stand today and where would we like to be five or ten years hence.
In the period immediately after independence we needed graduate engineers to implement our five year development plans and we successfully fulfilled that need. Today the needs have changed. In the present era of globalisation and intellectual property rights, post-graduate teaching and research have become much more important than in the past. In this context Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) established at the same time (and later) as M.B.M. Engineering College have acquired the image of institutes of excellence internationally. Even many regional engineering colleges, established many years after M.B.M.E.C. have gone ahead of us.
In the golden jubilee year of our institution, mission of all the faculty and alumni of MBMEC should be to see the status of this institution being raised to that of IIT level. The mother of all technical institutions in Rajasthan richly deserves it. All alumni, faculty and well wishers of this college should have a single point programme of making this institution a center of excellence in technical education. This can be achieved only by a joint effort in which the largest contribution has to come from the Government of Rajasthan.
4. Options before the College to achieve higher academic status
It is universally recognized in the academic circles, including the University Grants Commission, that the key to development and progress of an academic institution is its autonomous status. An autonomous institution has the following advantages.
The World Bank provides financial assistance to technical colleges in various countries, but the condition is that the institution must be autonomous. Therefore a strong demand for autonomy of the M.B.M. Engineering College has been raised and a proposal to this effect has been drafted.
However, so far, the enthusiasm for autonomy has not been matched with a serious discussion on the subject. We should not forget autonomy is only a path, the goal is excellence. We should analyse and weigh the various options available to achieve this objective. In this discussion we should keep in mind that in the Indian system of education, a degree to a student can only be awarded by a university or an institution deemed to be a university. The Indian Institutes of Technologies (IIT's) have been given the status of a university whereas, so far, a Regional Engineering College has not been given the status of a university.
Thus the options available before us are as follows :
(i) Make the M.B.M. Engineering College an I.I.T.
This is the best option if it can be implemented. However the decision to create an I.I.T. lies entirely with the Government of India. Besides the five original IIT's at Kharagpur, Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Kanpur, and I.I.T. in north-east at Guwahati was later established mainly on political considerations. This year Roorkee university has been converted into an IIT. It is a unique case of one of the most prestigious and old technical institution of the country, already a university, being converted into an I.I.T. Roorkee was offered I.I.T. ship in 1960's, but it was not accepted by the then state government.
(ii) Make M.B.M. Engineering College Autonomous as a Deemed University.
Academically it is a very sound proposition and it may be the intermediate goal, IIT status being the final goal. But we should know the requirements and procedure for making a deemed university.
The institutions seeking deemed to be university status have to apply to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) through the Ministry of Human Resources, Development, New Delhi. The application fee is Rs. One lakh. Deemed-to-be university status is recommended only for such institutions, which meet the following requirements:
It can be inferred from the above requirements that atleast one or two years of preparations and spade work is required to be done before the institution can apply for deemed university status. The most important is the guarantee of financial viability to be given by the State Government.
(iii) Make M.B.M. Engineering College an Autonomous Institution within the JNV University, Jodhpur.
The all India Council for Technical Education has a scheme for autonomous institutes of technical education within a university system. We have in India a successful model of this. I refer to the Institute of Technology (I.T.) within Banaras Hindu University (BHU). This Institute of Technology, which was earlier a constituent engineering college of BHU, has acquired a status almost equivalent to an IIT, remaining in the university set up of BHU. This model must be studied with a view to finding out its applicability to M.B.M. Engineering College becoming an autonomous institute. This may be the most practical and fastest way to autonomy which may subsequently lead to deemed university status and finally to IIT status.
The autonomous status to a college/faculty within a university can be conferred by the university itself with the approval of AICTE. However, where university act and/or statutes restrict the powers of the university for allowing autonomous status to a faculty, necessary amendments in them will have to be made by the Government of Rajasthan, if necessary through the state legislature.
An autonomous institute within a university set-up would have a director, whose term may be five years, a governing council, academic committee, administrative committee and a finance committee. However, the set-up is much simpler than that of a university.
5. Immediate short term measures to be taken for achieving excellence
Our final mission is to achieve excellence. Autonomy and even I.I.T. status is only a means, a path, to achieving the final goal of excellence.
Simultaneously, along with vigorous efforts towards autonomy, we must take some immediate steps towards achieving excellence.
I have always maintained that an institute of learning, particularly of a technical nature, justifies its existence only if it helps solving the problems of its region or neighbourhood in addition to general development of the country and contributes to research M.B.M. Engineering Institute should look to the specific problems of the desert areas of Western Rajasthan. Some of the areas in which M.B.M. may develop expertise and excellence are listed below.
Research projects in the above areas may be obtained from the concerned agencies.
If M.B.M. Aspires to become a center of technical excellence, it has to make a beginning immediately. Today will become yesterday tomorrow. Adopt the good systems of IIT's - Working hours, Consultancy rules, Industry - Institute Interaction, examination reforms, library enrichment and a vigorous academic anvironment etc.