Thursday, May 22, 2014
"When you go for your interview, make sure you wear vibuthi"; "Don't wear jeans and flashy shoes if they call you for an interview"; "Best thing is to go in a veshti and half-sleeve shirt". These were bits of gratuitous advice thrown when one was preparing to apply for admission to the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College. That was the kind of stories being spread about one of the older colleges in Chennai.
When it was inaugurated in 1946 - actually, it was inaugurated twice: the first time by Kailashanandaji Maharaj, then president of the Ramakrishna Mission did the vedic ceremony on June 21, and later, on July 1, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan did the more formal inauguration - the college was run by public spirited citizens. But their zeal was shared by the teachers and students: to kick off a college with four undergraduate programmes and yet have 20 teachers and 339 students on day one is a significant feat.
The college has since then grown into an institution of stature; its alumni have distinguished themselves in several fields. However, the first connect seems predominantly to chartered accountancy - and the institution seems to still have the branding of samiyar college!