The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University College of Engineering, Ananthapuramu, that is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee on December 18, is a jewel in the crown of State technological education in many aspects, as it is the first such institution to be established in the combined Madras Presidency producing one of the finest professionals the country boasts of.
G. Satheesh Reddy, Secretary of Department of Defence R&D and current Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was a student of this college in the 1980-84 batch and will be the chief guest at the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
Under the Post-World War Reconstruction of Development Programme, the college was established in 1946 at the Madras University (now Anna University) campus at Guindy in Chennai, with an intake of 120 students, as till then only one Government Engineering College was existing covering Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. The college was inaugurated by Omandur Ramaswamy Reddiar, the then Chief Minister of Madras state.
Two years later, the college shifted to the present 185-acre sprawling location on 10 June 1948 and the then Director of Education D.S. Reddy started the college. According to present Vice-Chancellor G. Ranga Janardhana, it was a memorable occasion, and Mr. Reddy had taken extraordinary interest in the college, as he belonged to Anantapur, and used to visit the college as often as he could. It was in 1958 that the college was shifted to the present permanent buildings accommodating the administrative block, laboratories, engineering departments, library, and hostel blocks.
The hostel blocks D and H did not have power and only one kerosene lantern was provided for every two and three rooms, which the present generation cannot even imagine, opine the faculty.
The Engineering College Principal P. Sujatha feels it was a matter of great luck for her to be in this position and be part of history and teaching in the institution that was started by some of the greats like T. S. Venkataraman, K.T. Ganapathy, J. Raja Rao, N.S. Krishna Swamy, A. Srinivasan, and S. Srinivasan.
These founding teachers were reverentially called ‘Pilgrim fathers’ by M.V. Rajgopal, the then vice-chancellor, as they too moved to Anantapur in 1948. S. Anantha Krishnan, the then Associate Professor was the first staff member, and Major Marley was the first special officer, and they moved to Anantapur in June 1948.
The college, in the first two decades, grew from strength to strength and was affiliated to four universities during this period. Initially, it was part of Madras University, then moved to Andhra University just for two years, then S.V. University, and finally to the J.N.T. University.
The college became a constituent college of the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, in 1972 and later a constituent college of the JNT University Anantapur, since August 2008.
Former UPSC Member Y. Venkatarami Reddy, Amaraja Batteries former CMD Galla Ramachandra Naidu and retired engineer-in-chief, Irrigation and Adviser, Polavaram Project, M. Giridhar Reddy are some of the prominent alumni of the college.