Note: The word ‘engineer’ has its roots in the Latin word ingeniare, which means ‘to devise in the sense of construct, or craftsmanship’. Several other words are related to ingeniare, including ingenuity. Thus an engineer is a person who invents a smarter technique of doing a job. The word “engine”, derives from the Latin ingenium (c. 1250), meaning “innate quality, especially mental power, hence a clever invention.” It needs to be recognized, that engineering, as a pursuit is much older than the invention of the steam engine. Without meaning any offence to anyone, it must be acknowledged that it is one of the earliest crafts. I must hasten to emphasize that it is not the oldest profession (pun intended)


April 1965. Dapodi, (Near Kirkee, in Pune)

A motley group of thirty young officers, which included me, entered the portals of the College of Military Engineering (CME) for their degree course. On an average, we were twenty three years old and most of us had spent the previous two years of our lives in field areas. And before that we had been put through an equipment intensive course on basic engineering during which we had acquired some knowledge of vehicles and weapon systems. The two years in the field areas gave us enough money to buy a scooter and also have a few thousand rupees in the bank. We were, however, deprived of creature comforts, entertainment and leisure. Our hunger for the sight of fair faces was evident from the way we ogled even the most unattractive young women.

Pune (which was then called Poona) was not far away, and it had enough to attract us on weekends. Apart from the Club, it had a Racecourse and the ‘Main street’ which was laced with eating joints and a decent market. The CME itself had facilities for every possible game or sport, including sailing and riding. And of course, there were two bars, which never ran out of any brand of liquor, and there was no dearth of patrons.

Before proceeding further, let me show you a group photograph of the 18 EME Degree Engineering Course. The names are imprinted, to help you identify them.

18 DE names

The picture contains 29 faces. Our course mate, VM Gautam was not present when this picture was taken


Engineering of the BC Era

Fifty years is not a long time in the history of mankind. But technology has undergone a sea change, during this half century. Computers have come and revolutionized the process of teaching and learning. Some people go to the extent to state that ‘BC’ does not stand for ‘Before Christ’…it is now an acronym for ‘Before Computers’. In our times, the most precious possessions were a slide rule and the fountain pen. And we took copious notes of all that the instructors taught, since we could not surf the Internet. What was written in the text books was gospel truth and if one was able to reproduce what was written in the ‘class notes’ he was considered a good student. There was a ‘gold medal’ at stake and some ‘serious’ geeks spent long hours on the study table to win it. Here is a picture of our tools of the trade.

Degree course


Mechanical Drawing: The Language of the Engineers

We were told that what we designed had to be translated into a drawing. For that there was a set of complex instruments. We all had a large Drawing Board with a “T” Square. And on that we produced what we called ‘plates’ In the absence of CAD/CAM the process of even drawing a straight line with uniform thickness was not easy, since the pencil tends to become thicker as it moves along. For the sake of old times, here is what it looked like:

Drg Bd, T sq and inst


And this is a picture of our study tables.

engg drawingedited


Small was not Beautiful those days!

Most of us possessed one more precious article: A ‘Broadcast Receiving Station’. It was duly covered by a license, which said that “Mr XYZ is hereby authorized to establish a Broadcast Receiving Station at ABC” The status of a person was gauged by the size of the Radio, and how many valves it had. As engineering students, we were taught how to assemble a radio, and that made us proud of our technological prowess. Here is what those contraptions looked like; from the front and the rear, with the cover removed.


valve radio of fifties


Blessed are  those who did not take studies too seriously

Much of what was taught to us has either been superseded by technological advances. Some of it has become common knowledge, and is now part of High School syllabus. The effort we put into making those drawing sheets and calculating with the slide rule is now done with computers. The smarter ones had discovered this fact fifty years ago, and they did not waste their time and effort in cramming the text books and the class notes. Youth comes but once, and those who ruined it for the sake of ‘grades’ lost it forever.

In an idle reverie, I compiled a few pieces of wit which kept those dreary classes alive with laughter. I have forgotten the names of the friends who came out with these bright sparks, and therefore, will refer to the originator of the joke as ‘our friend’. Whilst some of our course-mates were active in the class itself, many came out with the best during the ‘five-minutes’ breaks which were allowed between the periods for us to re-charge our batteries.

Before I close the first part of this essay and start recounting some anecdotes, let me pay homage to Prof Swaminathan, who taught us Applied Physics. He was forthright and candid when he introduced himself and the subject. And then he said, “Let me state with all honesty that what I know about this subject is a mere tip on the iceberg. Technology is changing very rapidly, and therefore, I will not even attempt to teach you anything. Instead, I will try and show you how to learn engineering”

We are now ready to recall some of the events which were not a part of the curriculum. I have chosen only a few of the many such stories.


Kinetic Energy                                                                                                                                  

The instructor took almost two periods to explain ‘Kinetic Energy’ He then went through a lengthy derivation for the formulae to determine the energy of a moving body, and then, he summed it up with the equation:

                                  Ek = 1/2 m x v (squared)


To emphasize the result, he repeated the expression in words a few times. He said, “So, gentlemen, you see that kinetic energy is equal to half  mv square.

Our friend, who had been dozing through most of the class, suddenly got up, and asked, “Sir, what happened to the other half?”


An Afternoon Class

Practical sessions were generally held in the afternoons. And most often these classes were conducted by Junior Commissioned Officers or Laboratory Assistants. On a particularly hot and sultry afternoon, the students started dozing off. Or, as we said, those days, the wickets fell one by one. The poor instructor progressively raised his voice to wake us up. In the end he was nearly screaming, and yet very few of us were listening to him. My friend, who was awake, walked up to the instructor and whispered into his ear,


“सूबेदार  साहिब  , इतना ऊंचा मत बोलिए …कुछ लोग सो रहे हैं, जाग जायेंगे!!!”



The Eye Trouble

A Physical Training period is a part of the military routine. My friend used to get late and was often missing for the session, and the course senior had to devise ingenious methods to ‘cover up’ his absence. When all the excuses were exhausted, he reported him as absent Undaunted by this, he went and reported sick, and told the doctor that he was suffering from ‘eye trouble’ When the doctor asked him to describe the symptoms, he struck to the truth, and said,

“डॉक्टर साहिब , सुबह पी टी  साढ़े  छेह  बजे होती है, और मेरी आँख सात बजे खुलती है, इसका  इलाज कीजिये!!!” 


A Challenging Objective

And then, there was a friend who was always very punctual at the bar. He used to be hanging around the door, and made it sure that he was the first one to order his drink. And since he was very sincere and hard working in whatever he did, he ensured that he created enough space in the glass for the barman to remain active. Through years of experience, he had learned to hold much more liquor than anyone else I have ever known. During a five-minute break, we were talking about his drinking habits. My friend described him very eloquently,

“I have been trying to convince him that it is not possible for him to drink up all the whisky in Poona, but he keeps trying!”



Our Caricature Artist

And then, we had a friend who found the subjects much too drab. Minutes began to drag on him, and therefore, to pass his time, he used to make pencil sketches of whatever caught his fancy. One day, as he saw the nose of the instructor, he knew what he wanted to do. He made a cartoon of the instructor’s face, and it looked rather hilarious. The students sitting by his side could not help laughing, and the instructor became curious. Before the mischief monger could destroy the paper, the teacher reached his table and took it from him. This time, however, our worthy lecturer proved smarter than our friend. He showed the sketch to the whole class and said, “You have produced a lovely drawing. Get it framed and give it to me.” And then with a twitch on his moustache, he added, I will use the frame!”


A Perplexing Secret

One day, when I returned to the room, I saw my room-mate busily working on a sheet of paper. When I peeped in, he hid it, but I could see that he had inscribed his signature all over the paper. And when the sheet got filled, he carefully filed it and repeated the process on another sheet. And this went on. An examination was due the next day, and I confess I was quite distracted. I asked him what he was doing, but he refused to divulge the secret. He promised that he would let me know after the test the next day. But I could not wait that long. When I had reached the end of my tether, he showed me the paper and the pen and let the cat out of the bag, “I just bought a new fountain pen. I am running it in!”


The Five-minutes Break

One fine day, our friend got on the nerve of a hapless instructor. He was incessantly interrupting the class on one pretext or the other. In utter despair, the instructor asked him to leave the class. He protested, “Where should I go, Sir?” The instructor said, “Go and sit in the library, and read this chapter as a ‘self study’ exercise” Our friend went out but returned within a few minutes, stood on the door, and most innocently, he asked, “Can I join the class during the five-minute break, Sir? I can make up your lesson, but what goes on during the breaks is difficult to catch up…”


An Honest Alibi

The question asked by the instructor was well within the scope of the subject, but the tone was rather offensive.  The teacher asked, “Who propounded the quantum theory of light?” And then he pointed his finger specifically at our friend, and he was caught napping. Quite apparently he had gone to Shimla to meet his fiancé. When the question was repeated with greater vigor than before, our friend decided to fall on the defensive. He somehow managed to stutter, “Sorry, Sir…I do not know. I really do not know…I am absolutely innocent!”


An Earnest Request

Halfway down the course, my parents found a match for me, and I got engaged. The class was delighted, because it meant a Beer party, for which we were entitled to leave an hour early on the ensuing Saturday. It was customary to invite the Instructor, and it was also conventional for the teacher to regret his inability to attend.

Now, it is well known that if there is a Bhalla in a class, there is “Halla”. In our class we had not one but two of them! So in January 1966, there was a party in which Beer flowed as if the Kharakwasla Dam had burst, with a reservoir of Beer on the Peacock Bay. Amongst the many good wishes I got with tight hugs was, “Wish you a long and happy engagement!!!”

Simultaneously, another friend came over and whispered in my ear, “When you get the invitation card printed, please use a heavy paper” I agreed, though I did not know why he was asking me to do that. Then a week later, he came to my room with a sample, and told me that the card should be at least as thick as that. When this request came for the third time, I could not hold my curiosity any more, and I sought a clarification. His answer is classic,

“My parents have told me that when the combined weight of your friends’ invitation cards becomes one kilogram, they will get me married!”


Telling the Time of the Day

In the Bar, we had a wall clock, which had no numerals. I have created its picture from my memory. It looked like this:

its early yet

Read the letters clockwise, starting from the top, and you will get the message. I was told that this was based on a song, “It’s early yet…” No one in the College knew what was it early for, but as I look back, I think it was early for us to shed our youthfulness, our vibrance and carefree ways…And now, it is early yet for us to ‘pack up’!!! There are miles to go before we sleep…



Down Memory Lane.

Nearly fifty years have passed. The golden jubilee of our joining the course is not too far. As we look back, what we learnt or did not learn during those dull and drab classes, had to be unlearned and re-learned. And that is a painful process. Those of us who took that knowledge too seriously, found it more difficult to do so, because they had started believing that what was taught was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The fact is otherwise. The wise knew that technology is changing continuously. “To stand in a place, you have to keep running” And, therefore, blessed are those who gave just the right amount of attention to what was taught. No more; no less. What went on during the five-minute breaks was far more enriching and useful! It is useful to remember what Alvin Toffler said,

  The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,   unlearn and relearn.”


A Brief Note on ‘Human Engineering’ 

To begin with, there were only three main branches of Engineering: Civil, Mechanical and Electrical. Over the years, super-specialization has taken over, and now we have lost count of the engineering disciplines, as the picture below shows:


As one grows up, and rises to higher level of responsibility, one observes that higher than all these is a discipline called, “Human Engineering” In this you need to know how different people will react to your directions, Men and women are very unpredictable, and what goes under the name of ‘Human Resource Management’ is far more complex and difficult to teach or learn than any given branch of engineering. It is best depicted by a caricature. If you are managing people, you have got to be cleverer than the cleverest of them. Or else, they will make you dance like the monkey shown below.


beauty of nature

An Epilogue

I am tempted to end this piece with an anecdote about a ‘Guru’ and his ‘Shishya’ The Master was believed to have attained ‘Nirvana’ and this particular seeker was from an aristocratic family, who was widely travelled and had acquired a lot of Degrees and Diplomas. He approached the Master and said, “Swami, I have read all the Vedas, Shrutis, Smritis and Upanishads. I have also studied the Holy books of other religions. Now I seek your views. The Swami said that he had nothing to offer to him, and waved him away. Disappointed, the learner went away. Next time, he came with a lot of money and gold and made a large donation to the Ashram, and sought entry. The Swami returned his gifts and sent him back without even meeting him. This increased the curiosity of the seeker. He came back after a few days, wearing humble attire and barefoot. He went to the inner chamber, and knocked at the door of the Swami. The Master asked, “Kaun”

And the Seeker replied, 

          श्रीमान, यही जानने के लिए मैं यहाँ आया हूँ , कि  मैं कौन हूँ?


This time the Swami accepted him. He told the young man that on the previous two occasions, he had come with a glass full of milk. How could anything more be poured into it?

The process of unlearning and re-learning needs a similar attitude. And believe you me, it is not easy. Very few senior officers are able to accept their ignorance. In the military, the Flag officers are the worst culprits. They believe that they know all that there is to learn about every subject.


Part Two


LAST POST – Amarjit Bindra


Randhir Gandhi was the first to inform us about the demise of our Degree Engg Course buddy, Amarjit Bindra  24 June 2016 in Navi Mumbai. He passed away after a protracted illness, cheerfully fought with the help of his wife, Ravi. Bindra was Squadron Cadet Captain of Alfa Sqn of the XXI NDA course and was commissioned with 30th IMA Course in Dec 1962.

I was impelled to pull out the group photograph of the course, which held us together from April 1965 to Aug 1967. You see him at the right extreme in the middle row.



It did not make much news for a number of reasons. Bindra left the army more than 35 years ago. He was out of circulation due to medical reasons for over a decade…and the demise of a person of our age is not considered a tragedy, anyway. Yet, I kept thinking about him for a long time. For catharsis, I pulled out a poem written by Ogden Nash:

OLD MEN , By Ogden Nash
People expect old men to die,
They do not really mourn old men.
Old men are different. People look
At them with eyes that wonder when…
People watch with unshocked eyes;
But the old men know when an old man dies!

We pay our respect to departed soldiers by playing the ‘last post’. And it is customary to sound ‘Rouse’ at its end. To lift my spirit, I pulled out a piece which I had posted in my blog, in which I had gathered some thoughts about engineering, as taught to us and the way we looked at technology, fifty odd years ago.












  1. Dharambir singh says:

    great photograph and smart looks enjoyed seeing every one individually
    very sorry to learn about Amarjit Bindra a genius and affectionate soul who for unknown reasons lost his bearings in life

  2. Sandeep Dikshit says:

    Dear Sir,

    I deeply apologise for the long delay in responding to your invitation.

    Sir can you please e mail me your phone number?

    With warm regards and best wishes

    Sandeep Dikshit

  3. Baldev Sood says:

    General Saa’b,

    Excellent article! As an Engg. student – Roorkee – 1960 – 63, I could relate very well to then tools of the trade – slide rule and drawing instt. box plus a host of special drawing pencils of different hardness. We also used log tables in Maths.

    Please keep it going – we look forward to them.

    Best wishes and regards!

    Baldev Sood

  4. MapuAvtar Singh says:

    Very well expressed noble sentiments.I could spot two of my Sqn mates SK Sood and Bhanot in the group photo.The number will keep dwindling

  5. commodore Bibhu Mohanti says:


  6. Harikumar Krishnannair says:

    We pray for the departed soul!

  7. Ata Hasnain says:


    Sincere condolences on the passing away of your course mate – Amarjeet Bindra. Your remembrance of your comrades is always very emotional.

    I was noticing; not one officer in this photograph appears physically unfit. the DS body seems even fitter.

    Warm regards



    May his soul RIP & it would when he overviews what he left behind… . a Gp which remembers him even after 50 yrs of separation.

  9. KOHLI VEENA says:

    By Ogden Nash

    People expect old men to die,
    They do not really mourn old men.
    Old men are different.
    People look
    At them with eyes that wonder when…
    People watch with unshocked eyes;

    But the old men know when an old man dies!

  10. Bharat Bhushan Ghai says:

    Dear Sir,

    It is indeed a sad news to learn to learn about Amarjit Bindra’s demise. I have known him since Jan 1966 when we joined C M E for DE 20, We did WCC 8 course to gather in mid of 1971. He was capable, fine & intelligent officer.We are in a state where further life is a bonus. In the train of time we do not know when we get off loaded to journey of next life.
    May god all mighty give peace to his departed and strength & courage to over come the terrible blow. Your write up on the blog is well authored.


  11. vijay raghavan says:

    Sorry to hear this
    He was basketball buddy, and a advisor on Horses, though he had some bad time in it
    A great soul ,indeed!
    May his soul rest in peace

  12. Joseph Thomas says:

    Thanks. Read the engineering in the BC era piece again. Almost every week, we have a death. Latest in Jal Vayu Towers is the son-in-law of one of our neighbours.

    RIP Amarjit Bindra.


  13. Mahavir S Jagdev says:


    Your anecdote make interesting read.

    Best wishes,
    Mahavir Jagdev

  14. MJ Mohan says:

    Hi Gen SS,

    A very well written piece of reflections!! Armed forces require people like you.

    Capt.MJ MOHAN
    SS18th Course(OTS)

  15. col manmohan singh Jassal says:

    Beautiful forward.
    Reminded those golden times of dapodi and Mceme Degree days. Those
    lovely evenings in RSI ,Tharace course and ———
    Thanx once again to take us back to our days between naughtyhood and adult hood.

  16. Kaypee says:

    Hi Surjit,
    Sad that we have lost Amarjit. May his soul Rest In Peace and my deep condolence to the family.
    On seeing the DE 18 group photograph memories come alive. We have a few of the guys in Noida and Delhi. Will be meeting some of them on 2 July when we have our Noida Eagles get together.
    Wonder if you have put a piece on your stay in the Centre. I remember seeing one on Ashok Nath.

    Warm regards to you and Mrs Surjit.

    Deswal KP

  17. Colonel Ram Sharma says:

    Hi Surjit,

    You mentioned Vijay Mohan Gautam 21 A sqn

    He was my nephew and i met him just once acter parting company at NDA . That was at a Bangalore when he Was in DGQA.

  18. zal kabraji says:

    Dear General,

    Thanks for sharing this very nostalgic piece–certainly brings back very fond memories of the golden days & some very fine officers & army friends.
    I remember an Einstein from your very Corps of EME—-Capt. then Maj. T.A. Ramakrishnan—-my father the late General Kabraji always said —-if Ram did not know something then it was not worth knowing !!!! He was a walking encyclopedia !!

    Zal Kabraji.

  19. Col JK Bajaja says:

    18th DE was a role model course at CME Pune in 1965 and was often quoted for its intelligence, hard work and due diligence in maintaining norms

    We the 20th DE Course ‘walaas’ had known your batch very closely and were often quoted to learn from these seniors. Coz we had more ‘Nalayak’s, like me!
    You were quoted to us as our future great Engineers and leaders of the Indian Army by all instructors. Trust me.

    I think, instructors were right in placing this group on that pedestal as an example for the up coming courses, especially, when I now compare my batch, 19th DE and one later, the 21st DE

    You were true role model for sure. Salute to each one of you

    I was lucky to have known more than half of you during service, although, I was not much of ‘Techy Boy’. That’s a different stroke that I was pushed through every course Indian Army or EME had! Not a joke !

    But it was delightful to have known great personalities of your batch. To name few, like Bobby, PL Bajaj, Somji, Vinod, Sindhi, Bhanot, Sethi, Chand, Adlakha, Kashyap, Sud, Sagar, Naresh Vij and especially;

    YOU, Gen Vij and dear Adlakha sahib being on top of the list, right from early days

    I would have a story or an anecdote to recall for each one of you at some later stage

    Unfortunately, I never met the great soul, Amarjit Bindra. But, I can understand the very feelings in your course to have lost a v dear batch mate

    I admire your befitting way of paying tributes to the departed soul. May his soul rests in peace and family lives with tranquaility

    Thank you for writing to me. We value your love n affections. May God be with you all and you continue to enjoy good health and joys, life long

    With my deep and affectionate regards to you and all your batch mates. Jk

    Col Jk Bajaj, SM, VSM, FRGS, FIEC : http://www.jkbajaj.com : +61 405-957-284

  20. col vrk prasad says:

    Dear Sir,
    Nice anecdotal references and wonderful trips down the memory lane and I went back to my days in CME though much later in Nov 1977.But the fun was more or less in similar lines as of your days.We had some thing called Tuesdays club’ when the classes used to get wound up by 1015 hrs and one could find most of the officers on their way to Command hospital to be on time for the Gynaecologist ‘s Day’ (being from SS stream almost all of us were married and wives were in the family way a state what we all used to fondly refer as ’round in the chamber’ and believe you me that going to Comd Hosp on Tuesdays was considered a ‘status rather performance symbol’ and T barracks were the most ideal places for these ‘noble’ pursuits and engineering course be damned. I could never draw a line straight either in geometric or in machine drawing.Published some funny poems in CME weekly, hope fully I will dig them out and share next time.
    Till then lots of fond regards and hoping for more from your pen or key board.
    col vrk prasad

  21. Dave Sood says:

    …Interesting. Specially when it was written.

    Nostalgic for the people who went through those interesting times.

  22. ';colls'' says:

    A SURJIT …is your case file please remove the work
    now reposted regrets colls

    Hello Surjit

    I have two points to make

    Firstly KP takes away, as usual, my piece of cake.

    Here it is again…

    This guy asked me… (NO NAMES lest he sue me…ere……)

    SK, a squared tey b squared… tey menoo samajh aagayaa… par yeh 2ab kithon aa jandaa hai..?


    as they and you say.

    Secondly I Love and Praise CME

    If they could make an Engineer out of a donkey like me, then anyone else would just walk through (Pun unintended…..)


    became my BOSS… as I was repeatedly relegated for promotion said..

    ”’…..you have wasted your time, Colls …had you been like you are now … you would have not missed any FDC….

    FDC????I asked..See I told you…


    haa hahhaaa …rest you know..who he was ….the largest appointment in our NDA times…

    All the best you are doing an awesome sum…

    Best wishes

  23. ';colls'' says:

    A Surjit
    I have two points to make
    Firstly KP takes away, as usual, my piece of cake.
    Here it is again…
    This guy asked me… (NO NAMES lest he sue me…ere……)

    SK, a squared tey b squared… tey menoo samajh aagayaa… par yeh 2ab kithon aa jandaa hai..?

    as they and you say.

    Secondly I Love and Praise CME
    If they could make an Engineer out of a donkey like me, then anyone else would just walk through (Pun unintended…..)

    became my BOSS… as i was repeatedly relegated for promotion said..
    ”’…..you have wasted your time, Colls …had you been like you are now … you would have not missed any FDC….
    FDC????I asked..See I told you…
    haa hahhaaa …rest you know..who he was ….the largest appointment in our NDA times…

    All the best you are doing an awesome sum…

  24. Brig AJS Behl says:

    Hi Surjit,

    Really very enjoyable.& nostalgic

    Love Amar Jit.

  25. vrk prasad says:

    Hi Sir,
    remember you from Gangtok days,(I was in sig regt) it was really nice reading all those anecdotal episodes from CME days, I shall try to pull out the good old CME weeklies and post some interesting contents though we passed through CME gates much later in late seventies..From your group I could recognise MMK Sindhi who was with me in Pathankot during 71 ops.I just published a book on ‘engineering education in India’, wish I had read your piece before.All the same thanks a lot for the wonderful piece , it really took me back to those great days of CME .

    • surjit singh says:

      Dear Prasad,
      I remember you, of course. Congratulations on publishing a book. Do send me a synopsis.
      If you send some anecdotes of your days in the CME or the MCTE, I would be glad to post them on this blog

  26. Kul Prakash Deshwal says:

    Hi Surjit,

    Great reading of the exploits of DE18.I wonder if you had heard the greatest one of DE16.
    a+b whole square=a square+b square + 2ab.The student queried the instructor that– a square and b square is o.k but where the hell has 2ab come from. When we moved to MCEME this gentleman got good marks in one of the papers and on being question how he managed this his reply was kaka hun 2ab mil gaya.

    • surjit singh says:

      I have heard the story of the missing “2ab” from my friends in your course.
      16 DE had a lot of very lively officers. Some of them were very impressive and left a mark on the sands of time. And that includes you, yourself.

  27. Gul Dost says:

    Indeed, a lot of water has flown under the bridge during these fifty years. We now live in a different world…with so many cars, aircraft, cell phones and of course computers. But we have paid a price for all this.
    There was an old world charm in cycling down to friends and listening to the radio and the gramaphone.
    Technology has caused simplicity to go out of our lives.

  28. Col Anand says:

    Forwarded to Gunners

    Col Anand,

    Managing Director,

    Arumana Hospital,

    Airport Road


    Trivandrum 695008

    Mob 94460 69789

  29. Mahavir S. Jagdev says:

    Some relics from the era gone bye… Slide rule and Input Punched cards for IBM-1620 computer
    (With pictures of slide rule and punched cards of IBM computers)
    Mahavir Jagdev

  30. Parminder Singh says:

    Here is a very interesting mail by Maj Gen Surjit Singh EME 28th Course.I thought I will share it with you.
    (Sent to 20-29 coursemates

  31. Rakesh Sachdeva says:

    Gr8 piece of art!

    Enjoyed reading it.

    Thanks Sir!

    Col Rakesh Sachdeva (Retd)


    Sent from my iPhone

  32. Om Sikka says:

    Dear Chidiya & Kuki,

    Here is an account by Gen Surjit Singh of his days he spent in CME. General is regular writer in our group & I like to read his memoirs.

    Please read this to Papa….will bring memories of his days & sure he will like listening to it.



    Sent from my iPad

  33. Harbhajan Singh says:

    Dear Surjit Ji,

    You have such a nice way of recounting old times.Very interesting indeed.

    One anecdote for you.

    Our course did very badly in Statistics exam. So the professor was hauled up. There was to be a re exam.

    He made us do about 50 problems. In the exam 70-80 % questions were out of those 50 problems!! So we heard that the instructor had to again see the Head to explain how the results had improved so much so quickly!!!

    Best wishes.

    Harbhajan Singh

  34. Talat Zamir says:

    Enjoyed every bit of the article — felt nostalgic about my school and college days also . Thanks . Talat

    Sent from my iPhone

  35. YVR Vijay says:

    Dear Sir,
    I got married in the CME, so I have some great memories of Pune. Also great memories of my course mates, we were Lts then. The fun and pranks we played with one and all are lovely memories. The engineering we learnt there, I feel, is better than all engineering colleges except maybe the top 10 colleges in India. Very few courses gave us so much practical engineering exposure. Moreover we came in after 2 years of workshop experience. The proof of how good CME/MCEME was showed up as proof when I did my M Tech in IIT, Madras. It has also shown up here in the wind energy industry where I am able to hold my own amongst the Engineers in the industry. How are you and Aunty? We have settled down well in Mumbai. My Mumbai mobile number is 09167617817. Warm and profound regards. Vijay. Brig YVR Vijay
    Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

    • surjit singh says:

      I agree with you. The training provided in CME and the MCEME is wholesome and well-rounded.

  36. Joseph Thomas says:

    Thanks for sharing.
    Tell us the secret of whisky flowing endlessly. Are such bottles available?

    • surjit singh says:

      These are Computer Generated Images. A few stills are picked up from a video clip.These are displayed sequentially, and the cycle is repeated contiinuously. At the moment you need a specialist to do it, but I think the programme will soon become simple enough for all of us to be able to create such pictures.

  37. Sarabjit Grewal says:

    Dear Surjit,

    A very well written article, you really have the gift of writing some wonderful pieces. Thanks.


  38. R K Mehta says:

    The best I liked was the pic of all the course mates.

    Thanks for sharing.



  39. Suresh Hiremath says:

    Hi, Surjit,
    Very interesting anecdotes. Please allow me to share/add a few more. We were on Officers’ Short Telecommunication Course (2 years) which was longer in duration to Officers’ Long Telecommunication Course (1 year). That is the way of our Army.
    During the Electronics class Ohm’s Law was being introduced. I (Current) = E/R, E for Voltage and R for Resistance, a simple equation, if you please.
    In the class we had a great Khumbakaran. He slept more during class than in his bed as most of the time he spent on MG Road, Poona.
    The instructor threw open the question, “What is the relationship between Voltage and Current? He asked our Khumbakaran. His neighbour nudged him and repeated the question to him. He woke up rubbing his eyes and replied, Sir, very cordial.

    In another class, the instructor was trying to explain DC motors. One of our stalwarts asked, ” Sir, could you please tell us how the ceiling fan works?”
    The instructor replied, “It is very simple, during the positive half cycle it gets a torque and the fan rotates.” Our friend questions, “What happens when it receives the negative half cycle first. It should rotate in the reverse direction!

    The instructor perplexed answered, “MES been told to send positive half cycle first!”

    That’s all for now.

    • surjit singh says:

      I think we will post a sequel to the above post, to include your stories.
      The observation on the cordial relationship between current and voltage is classic!

  40. J Thomas says:

    I believe engineering goes back even further than history. Humans of the Stone Age who made stone tools were engineers. Even earlier, when a human used a stick to kill an animal or to bring down a fruit from a tree, it was engineering.

    • surjit singh says:

      Ingenuity is as old as life. Even monkeys innovate.
      As a vocation, engineering is very old. Older than most other profession.
      But the honor of being “the oldest profession” goes to a trade which is not considered respectable. Look up the Wikepedia, and you will understand what I mean. Just key in, “the oldest profession” and see the result!

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