The interesting thing about ceramic technology is that it does something to you from the moment you wake up till you go to bed,” asserts Ashis Bandopadhyay, the principal of Government College of Engineering and Ceramic Technology. He says that his institution has come a long way from being a monodisciplinary ceramic college in 1941. Today, it is a multidisciplinary college offering information technology and computer courses. “The importance of ceramic technology is being recognised all over the world and the subject itself has now been renamed as material science in most developed countries,” he says.
The college was founded by Sasadhar Ray, a student of eminent physicists, Satyen Bose and K.S. Krishnan. It has managed several innovations; for instance, it has made bone china in India. “The former chief minister B.C. Roy had a direct involvement with this college and put in a lot of effort towards its development,” says Aditya Kumar Samanta, lecturer in information technology.
The college has 525 students and offers four courses. BTech courses are on offer in information technology (IT), computer science and ceramic technology along with an MTech in ceramic technology. There is a plan to start an MTech course in information technology in 2008. The college has retained NBA (National Board of Accreditation) status of the All India Council for Technical Education since October 2004 and has been awarded a grant by the World Bank under the Technical Education and Quality Improvement Scheme.
There is a computerised library with 9,000 books at the college. Teleconference facilities for online teaching are being installed. The fees range from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 per month. Teachers help students become proficient in English and acquire soft skills for the job market. “Fifty per cent of our students are from suburban areas and we make a conscious effort to teach these soft skills,” says Bandopadhyay. The college admits diploma students in the second year of the BTech courses. Students from outside Bengal have also joined the college. Currently, there are 20 students from other states.
A unique aspect of this institution is that for its MTech course, it admits MSc students in physics, mathematics and chemistry. “We are one of the very few institutions in India to offer this broad entry option,” points out Bandopadhyay.
The annual festival enables students to show off their creative talents and the college is trying to develop facilities for sports. Students are also encouraged to deliver lectures in classes. “We do it as a confidence-building measure to prepare students for the world outside,” says Samanta. Students are encouraged to do independent research and present papers in national and international conferences.
Arnab Sengupta, who has just completed his BTech, has been invited for a seminar in China. He has also received a job offer from JSW Steel. “Students of ceramics now have a lot of options to choose from, including the steel, sanitary ware and cement industries,” he says. The college has an active placement cell and students have received job offers from Saint Gobain, SAIL, Asahi India and Tata Refractories.
The college is also trying to instil the entrepreneurial urge in students. Collaborations with the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois and the National Institute of Technology in Kurukshetra in modern fields like nanotechnology is in the offing. “Our founder insisted that this institute must be a technological playground and we have tried to honour his vision,” says Bandopadhyay.
WHAT IS IT' An engineering and technology college specialising in ceramic technology.
WHO’S THE BOSS' Ashis Bandopadhyay is the principal.
What courses are offered' BTech in information technology, computer science and ceramic technology and MTech in ceramic technology.
WHat about jobs' There is a placement cell.
Who founded the college' Professor Sasadhar Ray.
WHere is it located' 73, A.C. Banerjee Lane, Calcutta-700010. Telephone: 23701264. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Samir Kumar Ghosh, Chairman, CAPEXIL, reminisces about his college days
I was Inspired by my teacher and our first Principal, Professor Sasadhar Ray. He was the one who shaped our careers. He was an unconventional teacher who always wanted us to think like entrepreneurs.
In fact, he used to take small contracts from various industries dealing with ceramic-related fields near our college and used to ask us to make the products to instil in us the confidence that we can achieve things.
He established contacts with some of the best laboratories and industries and encouraged them to come to our college and recruit intelligent students.
I would like to see more and more students taking to R&D within the institute.
As told to V. Kumara Swamy