JORHAT ENGINEERING COLLEGE:Its Past and Present
Jorhat Engineering College (JEC), the premier technical institution of North East India under Government of Assam, has completed its fifty one glorious years of relentless service to the nation. It is the second Government Engineering College in Assam established in 1960.
The decision of establishing the second Engineering College in the state was taken by the Government of Assam in late fifties. Late Debeswar Sarmah the eminent political leader and the then Education Minister of Assam took initiative for setting up the second Engineering College at Jorhat and accordingly a proposal was put to Late Bimala Prasad Chaliha, the then Chief Minister of Assam. The proposal was granted by the Chief Minister and the site for the College was selected by the Education Minister himself.
An area of 0.821 square kilometer was acquired in two stages at a distance of 3.63 Km from the heart of the Jorhat town. The approach road from Gar-Ali to the proposed site was not convenient for any type of vehicles. Bullock cart was the only way of transportation. The approach road was a narrow path and the villagers were reluctant to leave their land for widening the road. The Education Minister himself had to intervene and explain the benefit of setting up a technical institution in such a place to the villagers. Ultimately the villagers came forward and helped in widening and leveling the approach road. As a result, the construction site at Garamur on the bank of the river Bhogdoi became accessible for trucks and other vehicles.
The Beginning of Jorhat Engineering College: A dream came true
The construction of Jorhat Engineering College was started with four hostel buildings and some staff quarters. The main building was constructed by M/S Gannon Dunkerley Company of Bombay (Mumbai). The office of JEC was started at HRH the Prince of Wales Institute of Engineering and Technology, Jorhat with Late H.N. Bama, the then principal of the institute as the principal-in-charge of JEC and with Late M.C. Gogoi as office assistant on 7th January, office and the stores were shifted to the present building of Hostel No.-2 in early 1960. The present Boy’s Common Room was used as Workshop and Physics. Chemistry and Electrical Engineering labs were run in the present N.C.C. stores.
The first group of teachers joined JEC in July, 1960. Sri Himendra Kumar Borrhalcur was the first to join as lecturer in Civil Engineering. He was followed by Prof. (Miss) N. Buragohain, Prof. (Late) Hamidur Rahman, Late Dhiren Sarma, Prof. D. Chaliha and Late S.C. Sarma.
The first batch comprising of 63 students were admitted into Civil Engineering. The boys were allowed to stay in Hostel No. 1 with Sri H.K. Borthakur as their first hostel superintendent. The classes were held in the building of Hostel No.-2. Prof. R.J. Thacker, Professor in Mechanical Engineering at AEC joined as acting principal here towards the end of 1960. Prof. P.C. Dutta was appointed as the first Principal of JEC and later he became the Father Figure to the students and the staff.
The Growth of JEC : Pre-Silver Jubilee era
The five year integrated Engineering course was introduced in 1962 due to the introduction of the higher secondary and pre-university education in Assam. The intake capacity was also increased to 120 (Civil-60, Mechanical-30, Electrical-30) in the same year.
The main building of JEC was made ready for occupation in early 1963. The office class rooms, stores were shifted to it accordingly. Prof. R.I. Thacker was appointed as principal as Prof. P.C. Dutta left the college in May, 1966. Prof. D. Chaliha became the third principal in 1967. A double storied hostel (Hostel No. 5) was constructed to accommodate the increased students during his tenure. The first girl students Miss Lakhimi Borthakur and Eliza Begum were admitted but they had to leave for AEC due to non-availability of Girl’s accommodation.
The intake of students was increased to 180 in 1970. Three more boys’ hostels and the third floor of H-5 were built to accommodate the increased intake. Due to introduction of the two year pre-degree course in the state in 1974, the students were admitted to the 2nd year of the 5 year integrated course. Three girl students Miss Arundhati Devi (Elect. Eneg.), Ruima Rahman (Elect. Engg.) and Miss Recta Sarmah (Mech.Enga.) were admitted in 1975. The number of girls had gone up in the next two years and one of the professor’s quarters was allotted as a Girl’s Hostel. The present Girl’s Hostel (H-9) was constructed in 1988. The then Principal Prof. S.C. Sarmah expired in 1985 and Prof S.D. Phukan took over the charge of Principal JEC.
At present there are nine hostels well equipped with furniture, regular water supply, 24 hours electricity and internet facilities. The well equipped gymnasium and Boy’s common room meet the needs of the students. For first 16 years of its existence the rickshaws were the only means of transportation here. The Govt. of Assam sanctioned first bus in 1976 after many petitions and agitations by the students. At present two buses ply regularly between town and the college. The auditorium was set up to spurt to the cultural activities of the students in the year 1984.
Within these 50 years 100 quarters have been built. JEC has a hospital with a resident doctor to meet the medical needs of the students and the staff. There is a primary and an M.E. school in the college campus. The college canteen provides refreshment to the students. The college has its own water supply system. A co-operative store registered in 1961 provides essential items to the students and staff at reasonable rates. Thirteen students’ representatives are elected every year for formation of the Union body to look after the needs of students.
Post Silver Jubilee Growth
Inclusion of New Branches
The branch of Computer Science Engineering was introduced as fourth branch with an intake of 30 students in 1937. The college was the first in North-East in offering B.E. degrees in Computer Science. The three year post graduate course in MCA was also introduced in the same year along with Computer Science under the initiative of Late Dr. M.C. Bora. A degree course in Instrumentation Engineering was started during 1992-93 bifurcating 20 students from the Elect. Engg. Department. Later it became a separate department with 30 seats. At present JEC has five branches with intake capacity 315 (Mech-90; Civil-75, Elect-60; Inst-30; Csc-60) in UG level and 30 in MCA and 15 in Post Graduate in Production and Industrial Engineering under Mechanical Engineering Department.
Laboratory and Workshop Facilities
Each department of JEC has a well equipped laboratory. Many new laboratories were set up under Modernization Scheme (MODROBS) funded by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) and DST (Department of Science and Technology) in different department in later stages and many new are sanctioned to set up during this financial year. The well organized workshops namely Smithy; Sheet metal; Welding; Foundry, Carpentry; Pattern; Fining; Automobile, Machine shop provide hands on training to the students. These workshops are also in the process of modernization.
The college has a well established library with a good collection of academic and reference books. Each department has its own departmental library apart from the central library. Each hostel has also individual library along with subscription to many local and national newspapers and magazines. At present each department has an access to e-journals granted by MHRD, India due to the initiative of the present Principal Dr. Atul Bora. A good collection of books; Photocopiers, computers; printers, scanners are provided to the Library under Chief Minister’s AVY scheme.
JEC provides an opportunity to its students to make a career in Defense Services by joining NCC. For this The Air Force wing has set up its base at JEC. Two new technical chapters such as ISTE (student chapter) and Robotics Club have been introduced in JEC to bring out innovative ideas and technological skill from the students.
A Central computer centre with 75 computers funded by Chief Minister’s ANT scheme, two Servers, N1CN (National Knowledge Network) node Internet facilities funded by Central Govt. have been set up in the current year fulfilling a prolonged necessity of the students and faculty members of different departments. In addition, each faculty member is provided with a computer with Internet facility.
A separate Training and Placement Cell (TPC) has been inaugurated on 10.10.2010. This Building was fully funded and constructed by NRL. The inauguration of this building has met a long standing need of the College. The College is indebted to the NRL authority for this generous Golden Jubilee Organizational gift. The TPC is successfully run by Training and Placement Officers appointed by college authority. Twelve students each of final year and pre-final year are also nominated to assist the Training and Placement process. The Industrial Training Programme of pre- final year students is also arranged by the TPO cell. The TPO cell has been providing continuous services in placement process by organizing campus interviews, Organizing Skill development talks/ workshops and exploring various avenues of placement.