Civil engg was preferred in a world without internet: PEC’s 93-yr-old alumni
BS Grewal, 95, from the 1943 batch and two others from the 1947 batch, namely Brig (retd) Gobinder Singh and Gurlal Singh Tandon, were present on the occasion and were honoured by PECOSA.Updated: Feb 11, 2018, 12:18 IST
Once upon a time, Punjab Engineering College (PEC) did not have any hostel and just offered diploma programmes. Students then could only study civil engineering as “no internet or computers existed then.”
This and some delightful nuggets about PEC were revealed by the alumnus, some as senior as 95 and 93 years old, who attended the global annual alumni meet of the college, organised by the PEC Old Students Association (PECOSA), in association with the institute’s dean, alumni, corporate and international relations on Saturday.
PEC has its roots in Mughalpura, a suburban area of Lahore, and was known as Mughalpura Technical College at the time of its inception in 1921. In 1923, its name was changed to Maclagan Engineering College in honour of Sir Edward Maclagan, the then Governor of Punjab.
Alumni honoured at the meet belonged to batches of 1943, 1947, 1968, 1983 and 1993.
BS Grewal, 95, from the 1943 batch and two others from the 1947 batch, namely Brig (retd) Gobinder Singh and Gurlal Singh Tandon, were present on the occasion and were honoured by PECOSA.
Grewal reminisced, “The College in Lahore used to be a small college. It did not have any accommodation for students, and only offered diploma courses.”
Looking back at the glorious legacy of PEC, PECOSA president KK Vohra said their alumnus Jaspal Bhatti was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
Tandon, 93, who graduated from the Punjab College of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, just a few months before Partition, was displaced after the country’s division, and relocated to India. He was one of the first people to get land allotted in Chandigarh in 1952.
About his education at the Lahore campus, he said he was a “proud Maclagian,” as the college was then called Maclaglan Engineering College. “Back then, civil engineering was the most preferred subject. There was no internet and no industry, but buildings, bridges and roads were being built.”
Tandon’s son, Pardeep, said his father was a structural design engineer, who worked under Le Corbusier on the Capitol Project, and was involved in the construction of many buildings in the city, including the Assembly Hall and some parts of the present PEC campus. He even served as the chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board.
PECOSA president KK Vohra said the meet’s theme “Building Bridges Across Alumni” was chosen to connect and exchange views in a better way, as the alumni association had to develop as a strong and vibrant alumni body, truly international in nature.
Looking back at the glorious legacy of PEC, Vohra said their alumnus Jaspal Bhatti was awarded the Padma Bhushan, while two others, Chandra Mohan of Swaraj Tractors and Satish Kumar, an aerospace scientist, were awarded the Padma Shree, in recognition of their services to the nation.
An alumnus of the 1983 batch, Vijay Vasandani, chief technology officer, GoProcure, USA, was the chief guest on the occasion.
He declared that a corpus Rs 20 lakh will be established with the PECOSA through crowd funding among the alumni of his batch. The fund will be used for development of a web portal to facilitate the objectives of PECOSA and connect the alumni globally.
He also announced the creation of a corpus of Rs 10 lakh with PECOSA in the memory of his mother for the benefit of female students of the institute.