Bangalore’s New Horizon College of Engineering (NHCE) is an apt setting for fledgling software engineers. The campus is located in the city’s IT corridor with Cisco Systems and Intel as its immediate neighbours.
The neighbours seem to have had a positive influence. NHCE — affiliated to the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) and approved by the All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE) — was ranked number two among private technology schools in Karnataka and number eight in India by a Dataquest survey last year. “One of the crucial factors was the industry response to students. Our efforts at attracting good placements helped us get this position,” says G. Laxminarayan, director, human resource, NHCE.
The college offers bachelors degrees in engineering — in computer science, electronics and communications, information science, biotechnology and civil engineering — and masters degrees in business administration (MBA) and computer applications (MCA) and engineering. The toppers in engineering, MBA and MCA enjoy free education for one academic year, while all those who get more than 85 per cent receive cash awards.
NCHE has a sprawling campus with an open-air theatre, an auditorium, a stadium, a medical room and a gymnasium. “The campus is WiFi enabled,” says the college principal, T.N. Basavaraj.
“There is strong emphasis on extra curricular activities here,” he says. The college has basketball, volleyball and badminton courts and professional coaches for each sport. “Playing group sports builds team spirit,” explains Basavaraj, adding that NHCE teams have won awards in basketball and football tournaments.
The college also conducts debates and inter-college competitions. “Co-curricular activities help develop the personality of a student,” explains the principal. NHCE holds an inter-college annual cultural festival — Sargam — every October.
There’s even a space for students, where they can unwind. “We have a student recreational centre — called Nirvana — where they can read or relax over a game of carrom,” says the principal.
Academics, of course, is a priority. “We have conference rooms of corporate standards,” says Basavaraj. There is a computer laboratory and a library. The on-campus college hostel houses 1,000 students.
NCHE has a placement cell that helps students prepare for interviews, aptitude tests and group discussions. The college and IT firm Mphasis jointly conduct a college connect programme while Mphasis also takes in interns. The companies that visit NCHE for recruitment include Infosys, Fidelity, Siemens, Intel, Microsoft and Perot Systems.
For students, landing a job is like a happy ending. As Raman Kumar, a former MCA student who now works with Hewlett Packard says, “NCHE taught me to adapt to the corporate world.”
Some people however say the college focuses more on placements and less on academics. In fact, the college authorities themselves say that NCHE’s high ranking is because of good placements.