I went on a trip to India recently. During that time, I got a chance to
visit the college
where I studied for four years to get my engineering
degree. My professors were thrilled to see me. It was nice to get
introduced as one of their best students to my wife. I gave a lecture
to the computer science engineering
students about the concepts of open
source and the mutual benefits involved. I talked about opensolaris
about some of the technologies
that are present there. The students were
interested to know about Sun as a company, the way projects work at Sun, and about the
culture. Overall, it was a rewarding experience for everyone.
It has been more than 10 years since I last visited the place.
There are lot of changes in the college since last time. There are lot
more courses offered now and therefore many new buildings have sprung
up. It is good to see the college growing in this way. I got to visit
the new mathematics lab. This lab is very interesting. The lab contains
many puzzles, analytical problems, and tools to solve them in a
practical manner. The lab is a very good idea.
Mepco Schlenk Engineering College is also known for its very strict
rules and for its severe punishments for breaking the rules. The rules
of the college have gotten stricter, since the time I studied there. A
more recent rule in the college hostels is, a girl can leave the
college hostel to go out, if and only if, one of the girl's parent is
physically present with the girl. The stated purpose of its rule is to
prevent dating and for the girl's protection. This rule does not exist
for the boys in the college hostels.
The effect of this rule is that girls cannot go to technical
conferences or present papers outside the college campus, unless a
parent comes over to the college to take them there. This rule
is discriminative based on sex. It is very sad and I can understand the
frustrations of the students.
I did get a chance to talk to the Principal of the college and give
my feedback, but I think there is very little chance of this changing
anytime soon. All this puts me in the horns of a moral dilemma. Should I
support my alma mater, share my experiences and help the students
studying there ? Wouldn't it indirectly endorse the rules of the college ? If I do not ever go there because I do not like
certain rules of the college, then who loses ? What is lost ? How does
the voice of dissent get heard ? I do not know the answers.