Sunday, November 21, 2010

A visit to SCMS Cochin springs quite a surprise






I had not heard of the SCMS Group of Educational Institutions until a relative of mine recently took up a job there as a faculty member. I understand the group was set up in 1976 by G.P.C. Nayar with the objective of setting high standards in professional education. The group offers two-year courses in communication and management studies, engineering and technology, research and consultancy, among other streams. Subramaniam Swamy is on the board of governors.

Last week, while I was holidaying in Kochi, the relative coaxed me and my uncle into visiting the campus and having a look around. Obviously, he wished to show off the place and once we arrived there I realised we couldn’t blame him for that. It was almost a five-star campus – beautifully maintained lawns, orderly parking, a reception area that could rival any at a luxurious hotel and, more than anything, cleanliness, with not even a slip of paper or plastic lying anywhere.

Of course, I’m sure there must be far better-looking and bigger educational campuses in India than this one, but springing up suddenly on the highway in a place called Muttom in Alwaye, what many might consider the back of beyond, the campus certainly draws your attention.

Discipline, I understand, is enforced strictly here. Even the faculty is not spared – they have to be in their seats by 9am every working day, and can leave only after the clock strikes 5pm. Boys have to wear ties and if any student is found not wearing one, he is likely to be suspended or his parents called. Girls are allowed to wear only churidars; saris were only for the faculty or staff. No jeans or T-shirts here.

I was not sure whether I could click pictures, especially since there were many young women walking around during the time we were there. I didn’t want to be hauled up for misconduct. But eventually I did and the results show – none of the pictures are crystal clear.

On the way back we passed the spot where the Lulu Shopping Mall is coming up. When complete, it is likely to be the biggest one in India, according to hoardings (last picture).

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