BOARDS, T-SQUARE AND SLIDE RULES:
The College Cooperative stores became operational right at the beginning to provide textbooks, notebooks, lab-record books, general stationery, drawing boards, T-squares, set squares, drawing instrument boxes (Ascola brand), slide rules (Faber-Castell/Staedtler brand). Some students were familiar with Fundamentals of Geometrical Drawing already, as the subject was part of their Higher Secondary course. Others had older siblings who were qualified engineers. These students had drawing implements, slide rules and text books with them already!
Talk about unfair advantages!
Since the College was started from scratch, library facilities were not available for the first three years. Some of the enterprising students enrolled themselves with the British Council in Delhi, whereby books could be borrowed by post. The British Council would send 4-5 books by Book Post which could be retained for a month. The students had to bear the return postage. The system worked well. The British Council however did not have an extensive technical books catalogue. The Deccan Book Store in Hanamkonda was the only bookshop in town.
EXAM SYSTEM: MORE TEARS THAN JOY
FIRST ACID TEST:
At the end of the year, 250 students appeared for the first-year examination. RECW was then affiliated to Osmania University, Hyderabad. Unfortunately, 98 students did not clear the first hurdle. Some of the failures of very brilliant students were quite shocking. There was every reason to suspect the Dummy’ number system, then in practise, which was conducive for switching papers during valuation. It was with trepidation that we awaited the results for the remaining years, having no clue of, or control over the unknown factor.
This article is the seven in a series of many, compiled by RECW’s 1964 batch for the Coffee Table Book, published in 2014. We thank Mr. S. Sampath Iyengar and his team (Batch of 1964) for giving us permission to share this with the NITW community. We also thank Professor CSRK Prasad for helping us make this happen.