Venkataraman M. did his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering (Batch of 1977).

I had the opportunity to do my engineering in IITM from 1972 to 77. It is one of the best college campuses I have seen in India. Being a residential programme, a student gets plenty of opportunities to not only excel in studies but also participate in various extracurricular activities. During my IIT days we did not have TV, Internet, Laptop, Smart phones and many other electronic gadgets we use today.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not opposed to technology and I accept that technology has many advantages. However I firmly believe that because we did not have access to the above mentioned products, we spent lots of time in sports and meeting friends in person. Though we did not have instant access to information through internet, our team work was excellent and our batch mates still fondly recall times we spent together in campus.

Today I find many youngsters glued to their laptop or smart phone for unduly long periods of time (measured by any yardstick). I suspect that they keep in touch with friends more through social media and hence less in person. I also find many youngsters of today seeking medical treatment for back/neck ailments caused by hunching over a PC or laptop for long stretches.  While we glorify these ailments as ‘occupational hazards’, youngsters need to introspect if such ailments can be avoided.

I have heard of a solution which sounds simplistic – ‘make technology your slave and not vice versa’. While you are in the campus make sure that you have a good balance between studies, extracurricular activities and time spent with gadgets. Make sure to spend more time with humans than you do with gadgets. Enjoy life in campus with humans and less with gadgets.

You are in one of the finest campuses in India and make the best use of it. Anytime in the future, you are likely to recall your days in this campus as one the best times of your life. “