Friday, November 26, 2010

The Pondicherry Central University at Kalapet Pondicherry (Puducherry)

I was associated with the PCU for some time in my life and I find it worth mentioning. PCU called Pondicherry Central University is an university operated by the central Govt in the union territory of Pondicherry. I did a masters degree in Management from this university.

Firstly, something about Pondicherry. Pondicherry today has an official name Puducherry and is around 8hrs journey from Bangalore through Tiruvannamalai. Pondicherry must be three hours drive from Chennai/Madras on the East Coast Road. Mahe a place presently in Kerala also comes under the fold of Pondicherry and was basically a french territory all along until independence.

I did a Masters degree from the Pondicherry University and my good experience with the University is worth mentioning. I found the university new fangled and the educational processes adequately challenging. The Masters program was a two year program with assignments and contact classes. I wrote the first year exam at the university itself and the second year exam at the community college in lawpet.

The general ambience of this university is genuinely fascinating and is on the sea-shore at a place called kalapet from the Pondicherry town. The evaluation of the exams were done very professionally and any student would be delighted at the good work of the University. I could not attend my convocation in person and accepted the degree from the University in absentia. As a aluminus of this organization I would recommend the same to any aspiring student eager to get some good education and I sincerely hope the university continues to do its good work as ever.

Something about Pondicherry town. I found it a fairly refined place. There are many hotels in the vicinity of the bus stand; many of them not so good and some of them worth a stay and any traveller to this place must make the choice carefully. For Rs. 300/- some good hotels are handy round some corner. Food is avaliable cheap at many eat-outs and are worth trying for a few days. At the pondicherry bus stand itself there is a full fledged south indian restaurant. As mentioned earlier the University is 14 kms from this point and there are many city buses that ply from the town to the university and should take some 45 minutes.

 I found something very fascinating at the Pondicherry bus-stand ; a one rupee pen ( something like a one lakh rupee car). This pen caught my fancy and note that I wrote all my ten exams of the University using the One rupee pen and found to my assessment that using a one rupee pen I could write two examinations of three hours duration. India seems to set many standards for the world it appears. I have Parker pens and many other such higher end pens but the flow and writing satisfaction that this Pondicherry pen gave me was without parallel. I used to go searching for this pen for an ensuing exam at Pondicherry.

There is a Tsunami connection between me and Pondicherry. In 2004 December I was travelling towards the university to write an exam and has seen the sea from the bus barely 15 minutes before the tsunami. People were rushing helter-skelter and many of them rushing into the vast boundaries of the university in panic as a result of the tsunami. One of my examinations were re-scheduled on this count. Some people told me that water from the sea had rushed in-land. I could not believe this because I had no idea of a tsunami hither-to. It is only the following day when I went through the news papers I understood the enormity; gravity and the transnational nature of the tsunami. Note that water from the sea had travelled almost two kilometers inland at places close to the university marooning the main road and crushing through earthern barricades in the process. I was oblivious to all these as I was closetted within the exam hall unaware of the catastrophe around.

In 2006 I had visited pondicherry university again as a delegate of an International conference of SOM (society of operations Management) where I spoke about artificial intelligence. It was in December 2006 to be precise. The university had organized a demonstration of Yoga by the students of the University in the auditorium for about an hour and the display was truly awesome the least said. During the inaugural function of the conference I had the opportunity of interacting with Dr. Bhatnagar the vice-chancellor of the university at that time and Lt. General Madan Mohan Lakhera ( M M lakhera) the Hon. Lt. Governor of Pondicherry at that time. I stayed at the university guest house and my room mate during the conference being Dr. Anil Kumar of "College of Engineering Trivandrum". There was something mutual between Dr. Anil Kumar and myself we discovered; Mr. Devadas Menon now at IIT Madras who used to teach at NITC. I did meet Pankaj chandra the present director of IIM Bangalore at the conference and Prof. Devanath Tirupathi a senior faculty in of Operations Management at IIM Ahmedabad.

Pondicherry and its environs has created in me a small desire of serving as Lt. Governor of Pondicherry for few years some time in the future. I dont know what I will do from the post but definitely I could leave a mark on the polity and land-scape of this relatively small place that conferred on me a Masters Degree to joy and delight of my father.