Did you know India is the second largest engineer producing country in the world? Yes, India produces nearly 1 million + engineers every year (after China which produces 1.3 million). The most startling thing about this number is – Bhutan, our neighbor, has a population of 0.8 million. We produce a Bhutan every year.
But have you ever wondered when did this “Big Bang of Engineers” begin? Let’s rewind our Titans and FastTracks to the time when engineering was just a newborn baby in India. So, here is the list of 8 oldest engineering colleges of the country.
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IIT-R)
IIT-Roorkee is the first engineering college to be born on the Indian soil. IIT-Roorkee started its journey in the year 1847 as the Thomson College of Civil Engineering. The Institute was established by the then Lieutenant Governor of N-W Provinces, Sir James Thomson, to educate local people so as to get assistance in public works. In 1949, the college got University status and was renamed to University of Roorkee, making it the first engineering college of independent India. In 2001, the University of Roorkee was granted Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) status, making it the 7th member of the prestigious IIT family.
Trivia: Besides being the oldest engineering college in India, IIT-R is also the oldest technical institution in the Asia continent.
College of Engineering, Pune (COEP)
The College of Engineering, Pune was instituted in the year 1854 as the Poona Engineering Class & Mechanical School, with a view of training locals for PWD works. This antecedent of COEP began its historic journey in detached tripartite buildings on Bhawani Path, Poona. In 1864, with the addition of Civil Engineering class, the college was renamed the Poona Civil Engineering College. In 1865, Governor Sir Bartle Frere directed the building of the college campus, known as New Buildings. With the addition of Agriculture and Forest classes in 1879, the college’s name was again changed. This time, it was called The College of Science, Poona. The present name of college came into existence in the year 1911, when various new branches were added to the college curriculum. In 2003, COEP obtained sovereignty (autonomous status) in functioning.
Trivia: Sir M. Visvesvaraya, whose birthday is celebrated as the Engineer’s Day in India, was a student of COEP.
Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur (IIEST)
Like many Engineering Colleges of British Era, IIEST too, was instituted to feed off the requirement of Civil engineers for the Public Works Dept.(PWD). IISET began operations in the year 1856 as Civil Engineering College in the Writers building, Calcutta. In 1864, the first batch of IIEST consisting of just 2 students graduated from the college. For a brief period of 4 years, starting from 1865, IIEST was merged with Presidency College, Calcutta serving, as its Civil Engg dept. The college was finally shifted to its current home at Shibpur in 1880. In 1921, the college was renamed the Bengal College of Engineering, a name that stayed for next 83 years till 2004. In 2004, the college was renamed to Bengal Engineering and Science University. Finally, in 2014, the Govt. of India took control of the university and declared it an institute of national importance and renamed it to IIEST.
College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG)
College of Engineering, Guindy was born in the year 1794 as a Survey School with just one student and an anonymous building. But with the addition of Civil Engineering in 1858, the college ventured into engineering studies & was named College of Civil Engineering. In 1861, Mechanical engineering was also added to College of Civil Engineering, Guindy. This new addition meant a new name (for obvious reasons). This new name was College of Engineering, the name it still holds. In 2009, CEG completed 150 years of being an “Engineer-producer”.
Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai (VJTI)
The foundation stone of VJTI was laid in the year 1887 by the British govt. to cater the need of technically skilled manpower in Bombay. The main aim behind establishing VJTI was the requirement of Mechanical & Textile engineers in Bombay during the 1880s. Initially, the institute was called the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute (VJTI) and had only two Depts. – Mechanical and Textile engineering. The wave of expansion began in 1903 with the addition of an electrical Engg. dept., followed by a Chemical Engg dept and Sanitary Engg. Dept. in 1914. In 1913, the institute shifted its base to Byculla. But due to growing number of students, the institute moved to its current base at Matunga in 1923. In 1998, the institute draped itself in Indian attire, being renamed to Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, retaining the original initials.
Trivia: One of the notable alumni of VJTI is Mr. J.C Mahindra, founder of the Mahindra Group.
National Institute of Technology, Patna (NIT-Patna)
NIT-Patna was instituted in the year 1886 as a Pleaders Survey Training School. In 1924, the college was renamed to Bihar college of Engineering with the introduction of a graduate level curriculum. Post-graduate studies were added in the year 1978 to the College’s curriculum. In 2004, the Govt. of India granted NIT status to Bihar college of Engg, making it the 18th member of the NIT family. Even after completing 130 years of existence, NIT-Patna has a grave shortage of Hostel inside its campus.
Jadavpur University, Kolkata
Formerly known as the Bengal Technical Institute, Jadavpur University was one of the national swords in the Indian struggle for Independence. After the partition of Bengal province, the British wanted to control the Indians by imparting education on their lines to suppress the Indian Freedom struggle. With the view of tackling this thought, the leaders of Indian freedom struggle came up with the idea of a technical institution that would impart education along the nationalist lines. In 1905, with monetary help from Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Subodh Chandra Mallik, and Sir Rash Behari Ghosh, Bengal Technical Institute came into existence. In 1910, the institute was rechristened to College of Engineering and Technology, Bengal and was overlooked by NCE. Post independence, in 1955, the institute became a deemed university and was renamed to Jadavpur University.
Trivia: JU is the first technical institute in India, to be established completely by Indians without any help from the British.
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) started its journey in 1909, through the joint efforts of J.R.D Tata, Maharaja of Mysore and Govt. of India. The idea of the institute was conceived by J.R.D Tata in 1896 with a view of empowering India in Science education. With a gifted land of 370 acres by Maharaja of Mysore, IISc began its maiden innings in 1909. The first batch of this historic institute graduated in the year 1911.
Over the years, with some of the finest minds to its credit, the institute has cultivated a great reputation in the field of Science. Currently, the institute stands at 99th spot in International rankings, leaving behind all the IITs in the race.
Trivia: IISc, Bangalore is the only technical institute in India to have a Nobel laureate as one of its faculty in the form of Dr. C.V Raman.
University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore (UVCE)
University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore was established in the year 1917 as Govt. Engg. College by Sir M. Visvesvaraya. The institute entered the engineering world with just 20 students and 2 branches in its quiver. With the passage of time, 5 branches were added to UVCE curriculum. In 1964, UVCE became a constituent college of Bangalore University. A year later, the institute was renamed its current name after the college’s founder. Currently, the college is among the finest technical institutes of the country, with a 5-star NAAC rating to its credit.
Standing at 99 years of age, UVCE currently faces an infrastructural crisis. The institution has a grave financial crisis, with crippled buildings, faculty shortage, and inhabitable hostels. As per a saying in UVCE, “the time has stood still for the institute since Sir Visversaraya.”
Indian Institute of Technology – Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (IIT-BHU)
IIT-BHU was established in the year 1919 as Banaras Engineering College under the affiliation of Banaras Hindu University. The institute is a constituent college of Banaras Hindu University, established by Bharat Ratna Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya. In 1968, the institute was designated the Institute of Technology status (IT) through an Act of Parliament. Four years later, IIT-BHU or IT-BHU (as called then), accepted the IIT-JEE as an entrance exam for undergrad courses and GATE for postgraduate courses. In 2012, the institute gained the IIT status, making it the 16th member of the prestigious IIT family.
Trivia: Unlike other IITs, IIT-BHU is not an autonomous institute. It is still a constituent college of BHU.