When we talk about an institution, it is just like talking about any particular individual who has certain features, characteristics, religion, good as well as bad qualities of its own. Just like an individual, an institution could affect the people, it could metamorphose them into a whole new skin . As it is said in the novel ‘The Fountainhead ‘ by Ayn Rand that , ” An institution can have integrity, just like a person”.
When we talk about this individual named ‘institution’ , some people know it quite well , some people have an idea about it and some don’t even know about this stranger. I was in the second category when I got admission over here, but now being in the final semester of my college and in my final phase I could say that I have known it’s whole inside out . Coming to the title the five things in my institution that make it stand out from other ones are :
1. OLD IS GOLD : Yes, you read it correctly . The first thing that could make any college different is obviously it’s history.
Harcourt Butler Technical University ( HBTU), formerly HBTI was established in 1921 in then called Cawnpore, thus making it one of the oldest engineering colleges in India. It’s name was coined after the name of Sir Harcourt Butler, who was the governor of United province in British India period. The humungous need for the quality education in the field of science and technology at that time, conflagrated the Indian Industrial Commision to propose the settlement of two engineering institutes , one was in Kanpur and other in Roorkee now known as IIT Roorkee. After being set up in just two rooms, Sir Harcourt Butler laid its full fledged foundation in 25th Novemeber, 1921 as Government Technical Institute which later was called HBTI.
Not only this , HBTI was the mother of India’ s first National Sugar Institute , Textile Institute and Glass institute(ended in 1970).
Finally , on 1st September , 2016 it was granted the university status and named HBTU . And therefore right from a two room house to a full grown university, this university is burgeoning since 1921.
This college has seen different eras through its eyes,whether it was pre-independence British Raj, to post-independence and now the 21st century. The essence of this veteran institute could easily be noticed from it’s classical architecture that comprises it’s castle like facade , giant walls and windows being laid perfectly keeping in mind the correct mixture of darkness and light . The colors giving the feeling of antiqueness and the building stretching its roots deep down the nonchalant ground.
As it is rightly said , ” The men may die , but the fabric of free institutions remain unshaken “, so is the case with HBTU.
2. DIVIDE AND RULE : Yes, this quote is quite suitable for my college in a particular way. Now, let me emphasize that instead of having one campus it has two campuses East(77 acres) and West campus (271 acres) which are 1.5 kms apart. East campus comprises of the main administrative building that shelters chemical technology ( biochemical,food,oil, paint,plastic) and chemical engineering .Apart from this,we have separate buildings for electrical,electronics,cs and it,mechanical, civil and leather technology branch. The college also offers MCA , M. Tech and Doctoral programmes as it is the centre for quality improvement programme of MHRD,Govt. of India . Oil technology is the oldest branch of our institute. It’s only in our college in India that offers courses in all these chemical technology branches and a total of 13 branches of engineering. Chemical engineering of HBTU is considered one of the best in India which makes me walk unwavering down the road as I am in chemical engineering too.
Well, jokes apart yes people do praise about it,and if you hail from Uttar Pradesh then they know about it quite well, but all the branches are equally good . And it is only due to our chain of alumni and teachers that make it count . Alumni have a significant impact on our college as they are the only torchbearers of our institute throughout the world and we do have alumni meet each year to get the opportunity to meet with such pool of knowledgable people together.
Apart from this we have other perks like auditorium , workshop, bank, central library,medical centre and girls hostel in the east campus as usual like all the colleges .
In west campus we have , boys hostel , quarters for faculty and sports centre.
This neat division of our institute makes it different from others.
3. CHILLING WITH FOOD: Yes, this makes me proud to write about. Emphasizing more onto this we have a chilling cafeteria in our campus. Chilling in the sense packed with ACs and this credit goes to our alumni who just shower his love for his institute in such a hefty way. My reason for happiness is because it’s not just 1 or 2 we have around 10 ACs in our cafeteria which makes students to just bring up there stuff and lay camps over there whole day long.
And secondly the most important reason for my gratitude is when we talk about governmnent institutes in India no one has a chilling cafeteria like this.
Thirdly , coming to the factual part in 1959, when the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) was established, it’s classes were initially held in the canteen building of HBTU until IITK had it’s campus and this makes me feel even more richer.
4. OFFLINE MODE : This may seem an outcasted thing for others but yes in our college the registration process during the admission, the fee deposition all this work is done offline .I would like to talk more regarding this.We have registration day for every year of the college like separate timings for final year and third year. On this day, the entire batch gathers to complete all the formalities and this eats up the entire day to to reach the end of this procedure. Going into the detail, the day starts with the students collecting slips from academics in which we have to write same details like our name, branch,amount,dd no. , bank,branch dozens of time, firstly in the front side then at the back.Whoever comes first in this redundant race then rushes to the bank for the deposition of the slip and dd where students stand in long queues pressing each other close to the bank window ,that situation is quite close to the after-effects of demonetization that we all have seen currently in India, so waiting in long lines outside ATMs for Rs 2000 notes did’nt seemed new to us as we were used to this kind of stuff . And to add more fuel to this fire the everlasting scorching heat of Kanpur showers on us as if it is mocking at our state and specially for girls all the heat that they had prevented themselves in the semester break gives them it’s gift of tanning.On reaching the finishing point of this tortoise race,whoever is collecting these slips, signs at dozen places put the stamps and then gives 2 slips back. In this case if any student is depositing his/her fees in cash then it would take ages to get your fee deposited as we don’t have machines for counting and so human saliva works as an asset for the bank employee to do his work quickly. After the completion we get Registration Card(RC) ,a thin slip kind-of thing which is so important that we have to keep it close to our hearts for the entire semester as it is our admit card for all our class test and college fests as well, loosing it may cost you 1000rs. So you can easily get the idea of the worth of this paper. Most of the institutes have an online system and students don’t really have to come to their college . But here we have a different scenario and even though it sounds stressful and a Herculean task but it has a different fun side of its own, as on this day we could see the entire college dressed at there best, flaunting their vacation shopping, discussing there lives, greeting each other & negotiating with the academic section Sirs and Ma’ams to get there registration work done sooner.Everyone is happy in there own circle of lives, and these are the only moments which we would be remembering after the college ends .And this surely gives us a different experience from other college students.
5. MULTIFACETED BY BIRTH : “India is the land of various festivals”,this is what we have been writing in our essays since our childhood but our college proves more true in this aspect. Yes, apart from the common college fest named “odyssey”,we have different fests for every branch whose events and names outlines the feature of that particular branch. Whether it is the dynamic ‘MECHARNIVAL’ of mechanical engineering department to genetically driven ‘GENESIS’ of biochemical and food department each has its own aura , you can built paper bridges in ‘NIRMAAN’, break the most complicated computer codes in ‘INCHORD’ and could even play with the drone in ‘TECHERA’ .So, a student can get the feel of each and every branch by participating in it’s events.
In the long run, even though we try to count good things about any individual there are certain pitfalls as well which seems hidden behind its superficial nature so is with any institute. But, in the long run I would be appreciating my college for its work and the facilities that we get and for making us resilient so that whatever comes in our ways we could handle it with open minds and efficient skills and what we call in hindi The ‘jugaadu’ engineers. On a concluding note I would like to quote:
“Only evolution grow exponentially, institutions take there time ”
I hope it would keep showering up its strength and knowledge to the coming engineers and doing “work and great austerity” which is it’s slogan.