The students who get into CEG are very smart. Most of them have been toppers their entire student life before they get to this point. You will rub shoulders with students who are state toppers. The person standing behind you in the line at the canteen would have been interviewed by the press for topping the district.
It's very, very intimidating at first. You watch the guys who can solve complicated puzzles in their heads and wonder if you would ever be that good. But people also start slacking off after getting into CEG: the brand name assures you a decent job, and hence you can get by on minimal grades for four years. A lot of very, very smart people end up this way.
There are a number of good clubs in CEG, on all sorts of topics. The Computer Society of Anna University, Student Quality Club, Rotaract, CEG Tech Forum, Hans, Robotics club .. the list could go on and on.
I vividly remember attending a Student Quality Club event where computer science 4th years were sharing their experiences. This pretty much turned out to be the defining moment for me: they showed me the extent of things you could do in CEG, and the opportunities available to anyone who wanted to try out interesting stuff.
I joined the Computer Society of Anna University (CSAU) and had a ton of fun. These clubs provide an informal atmosphere to interact with students from other branches and more senior students who know the ropes. The students in such clubs also tend to be very outgoing and fun. You learn a lot being in one of these and tend to get those social skills which are so important later on in life. 80% of what I learnt while at CEG is due to extra-curricular activities.
There are some truly awesome professors in CEG, and a lot of very terrible professors. My favorite professor is Prof. Ranjani Parthasarathi (RP). She has more energy than half the students on campus. She has a genuine love for computer science which she does her best to pass onto her students. I know many students (including me) who were inspired to love the subject after attending her class.
A note to current students: seek out the good professors and engage with them. Anybody can tell you who they are. Ignore the people who are teaching because they somehow landed this job and are clearly not interested in the subject.
The campus is huge: you can literally spend hours just walking around the campus and still not have seen everything. Everyone falls in love with the red building, the trees and the shady paths all around campus. You could literally fit a number of the so-called engineering colleges that are springing up all over Tamil Nadu into the CEG campus. Finding a quiet place to read a book is very easy. There is a huge sports ground for the athletically inclined.
Another advantage of the campus is that it is right in the middle of the city. Unlike the colleges which are hours away from anything else, it is relatively easy to go catch a movie or attend a quiz in between classes. And of course, you get access to all the awesome restaurants in Chennai.
I've visited a lot of other colleges in Chennai, and save for IIT-M, I've not seen any college which was so dynamic as CEG. Being at CEG is kind of like being at a festival: there is always something fun going on somewhere that you can join. The list starts from technical clubs and goes all the way to purely cultural festivals like Techofes.
And everyone is always looking to do something. If you are interested in something, finding like-minded, smart people would be very easy. There is a pretty good chance that there is already a club for that. Events take place around the year to showcase your skills.
Well, no university is perfect, and I have to talk about the bad things too. Internet connectivity was shockingly bad when I studied there. I hear it is a little better now, but still not what you would expect from a university of the caliber of CEG. The computer science labs are badly in need of expansion. The class size has increased rapidly, but the growth in infrastructure has not proceeded at the same scale.
The web presence of CEG is minimal, at best, and completely non-existent at worst. The idea of using internet technologies to aid in classes has not yet taken hold.
I've can't speak directly as to the state of infrastructure in other branches (ex: mechanical, civil and so on).
Compared to the alumni networks of IIT and BITS, there is no coherent network for CEG. While those networks are run professionally, with an elected CEO and board of directors to manage affairs, alumni networks in CEG are mostly used to organize reunions and reminisce about the good old days. While some efforts are being taken (Ex: CEGAM), it will be a while before they mature and we have a strong alumni network.
In conclusion, CEG is one of the best places to pursue engineering in Tamil Nadu. Like any other government-run college, it has its own failings, but these are largely negated by the brilliant, energetic student population. If you are motivated and not afraid to reach out to other people, CEG can be a place where you can get an education and not merely a degree.
- College Life
- Industry Exposure
- Student Crowd