Chennai: There is a popular joke that if you come to Tamilnadu and throw a stone, it’ll most likely hit an engineer.
Quite frankly, this is not a bad situation and is, in fact, something to be proud of. It was only made possible by the College of Engineering, Guindy, India’s oldest technical institution which steps into its 225th year today.
“From a diminutive Survey School founded in 1794 under the British rule by noted surveyor, Mr Michael Topping, with just eight students, CEG has grown exponentially. More than 1,00,000 graduates have passed through its doors,” says the president of Alumni Association of CEG (AACEG), G Ravikumar.
“The student intake is now touching 2,500 per year, spread across over 30 disciplines!” he adds.
In recognition of the historical advancement of CEG and the many milestones that it has crossed and created in its chequered history, the AACEG every year celebrates 17 May as Genesis Day.
This year, the AACEG has curated a photo exhibition on CEG history, an exhibition of CEG startups and speeches by eminent senior CEG alumni and staff along with light cultural activities.
Ravikumar said, “Graduates of CEG are spread far and wide globally and have been making significant contributions in several diverse fields. Many occupy top positions in leading corporates, in civil services, in bureaucracy, defence and many have gone on to shine as leading entrepreneurs, scientists, and academic professionals.”
Today, as part of the celebrations to mark the bicenquasquigenary (225th anniversary) of CEG, Anna University Vice-Chancellor M K Surappa declared open an exhibition on the campus (video). It contained pictures of the college and its students down the years.
* CEG, initially called School of Survey, was established in a building near Fort St George in 1794.
* It became the Civil Engineering School in 1858.
* Rechristened as College of Engineering in 1859 with the inclusion of a Mechanical Engineering course.
* The college was shifted for a short period to Kalasa Mahal, Chepauk, before settling at its present location in 1920 as College of Engineering, Guindy.
* CEG is India’s oldest technical institution. It is also the oldest technical institution outside Europe.
* Madhan Karky Vairamuthu wrote his first song, ‘Irumbile Oru Irudhaiyam’ when he was still a professor at CEG
* Watches were expensive and uncommon in the 1920s and the famous main clock tower was used to tell time by one and all.
* First institution in India to offer Mechanical, Electrical, Telecommunication, Highway Engineering and Printing Technology.
* World Cup-winning cricketer from Tamilnadu, Krishnamachari Srikkanth
* Father of White Revolution Verghese Kurien
* Turing Award winner and AI pioneer Raj Reddy
* Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, P S Veeraraghavan