Sunday, October 31, 2010


Prof. V.Srinivasan

Dear Dharumi:

Some time back I thought I will discontinue my writing to the IPAC blog after a  remark by one of its readers. But my concern for the college and my interest in collecting material for the History of the College to be kept in a repository has made me forget the insult and continue my writing.

The Magazine Section of The Hindu of this morning (31.10.10) carries an article entitled "A legacy of goodness". It is about Mr. S. R. Sankaran, a former Lecturer in Commerce in our College. He is one of the young lecturers of the College to join the IAS. The article describes his work. I am particularly interested that all who read this should read that article so I do not wish to say anything more about Mr. Sankaran or his work, except to say that he was the first with B. Com (Honours) degree in commerce to be appointed in the College in that department when rest of the department consisted of a B.Com graduate, an economics MA, a part-time lawer and a part-time auditor (CA). A tutor in the Mathematics Department was engaged to teach the B.Com students business mathematics and statistics.

There was a time when many young and bright facuty members were recruited to teach in the College as lecturers, Tutors and Demonstrators. They almost formed a club preparing for IAS and other similar Central and State service examinations. Sankaran is probably the first example. Some other IAS officers are:  K.Srinivasan (Chemistry lecturer and NCC officer), who served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, Ramakrishnan (Mathematics lecturer, who rose to the rank of Chief Secretary in Tamilnadu). They are both old students of the College. There were a few like Sham Sundar (Zoology lecturer) now an officer in the rank of ADGP in Tamilnadue and, Senthamarai Kannan (Zoology lecturer) who joined IPS. They were old students of the college as well.

A a person (I think his name is Kalyanaraman) from the Chemistry department was successful in the IAS written examination and went to the final interview at UPSC and was not fortunate to get through the interview, later joined the LIC (when it was nationalized) as an officer in the rank of IAS officers and rose to the rank of Deputy Zonal Manager.

Many Physics and Chemistry demonstrators and a Mathematics tutor were successful in the SAS (Subordinate Accounts Service) examinations of Government of India and ended up in the AG's (Accounted General's) office in Chennai and elsewhere and became Deputy Accountent Generals.

Why I recall all these is these days? These days when an youngester joins the College they close their eyes to other opportunitis that could take them to greater heights. My advice to them will be when you are young, fresh from the College keep reading using the best library in the College and sit for some of the national and state level competetive examinations. No doubt the salaries of College staff are good these days and (thanks to MUTA) there is job security but making your talents available to the country and state is even more useful than confining yourself to Gorippalayam in Madurai.



  1. Thank you professor for 'coming back'! i know that your love for the college will 'push' you back to this blog.

    i read the article in Hindu and i have given the link of that article in your post.

    He sounds simply so great.
    Sunday, October 31, 2010 5:31:00 PM

  2. நா.கண்ணன் said...

    I think Prof.Srinivasan should continue to write. Education in its old sense (in tribal communities) means 'passing knowledge from one generation to the next'. The information he provides not only cover the history of our college but also very inspirational to the younsters.

    Sunday, October 31, 2010 7:55:00 PM

  3. தருமி said...

    thanks a lot, dr kannan.
    Monday, November 01, 2010 9:46:00 AM

  4. a correction Prof. V.S.
    Senthamarai Kannan is not a Zoology lecturer. he is from economics.

    there is one another former staff from the zoology dept. one Mr C. Rajan I.R.S.
    Monday, November 01, 2010 9:48:00 AM

  5. Prof V.Srinivasan writes ...
    Dear Dharumi:

    I had mentioned about a bright lecturer in Chemistry of American College who was successful in IAS written examination but did not get through the interview. A part of what happened in the interview as narrated by him could be of some interest to all.

    The Chairman of the UPSC at that time was at one time the Collector of Madurai. He asked two questions to the candidate. One was "why Meenakshi is called so". In his anxiety to give a quick answer our friend had answered "it is because she has the eye of a fish" and quickly corrected himself and said "she has eyes in the shape of fish" and the Chairman it seems was pleased. His next question was " as a Madurai person you should know the train that does not stop at Madurai Junction. Which is that rain?" and our friend did not have the answer and the Chairman's remark was "find out the answer before you come for the interview next time."

    In the good old days when a good number of the workers of Madurai (A & F Harvey) Mills used to live in Harveypatti beyond Tirupparankundram there used to be a regular train service two trips up and down for the workers from Harveypatti to Madurai Mills campus. That train would run past the platforms of Madurai junction directly into the compound of the Mills. Does knowing information like this make a good IAS officer one may wonder. Only the UPSC can say.

    Monday, November 01, 2010 9:50:00 AM

  6. Prof. RAJENDRA PANDIAN writes ...

    Long ago, I had a similar experience at the UPSC interview I had attended for a teaching position. Academics apart, when they asked me whether I knew Hindi, I promptly said, “No”. I didn’t stop. I started. My innate insanity took the center stage to proclaim that I hailed from a family of anti-Hindi agitators. . . Floundering on a sticky wicket, I had the next blow. The Chairman asked me to justify my name. He quipped, “Don’t you think it would be more proper as Rajendra Cholan or Kulasegara Pandian, or something like that rather than Rajendra Pandian?” It felt like the world was against me. I said something weirder than before that earned my exit. Perhaps, let those who take up interviews at the UPSC “Expect the Unexpected”.
    Wednesday, November 03, 2010 8:13:00 PM
    தருமி said...

  7. Prof. V. SRINIVASAN writes ...

    Dear Rajendra (Cholan) (Kulasekara) Pandian:

    Great.You could have said that was your real name but shortened it for convenience. The UPSC interviws are not like Siddhartha Basu's quiz programe as many people think. They want to know whether the candidate can 'think on their feet' and are aware of their surroundings. Here is a question that was asked to our former chief election commissioner Mr. T.N. Seshan when he was before the UPSC board. 'You are a bright Physics student. How will your Physics help in administration?'. 'My Physics knowledge is like a sharpened knife. It can be used to cut an apple and also to kill a person' was his reply. He was selected served as Madurai Collector for some years before proceeding to Atomic Energy establishment (BARC), became Chief Secretary of India and finally the CEC before retirement. What I have said above is a summary of what he narrated during a talk in our College.

    Thursday, November 04, 2010 8:39:00 AM

  8. Being an old student of S.R.Sankaran who graduated with honours from Loyola College,Madras (not from American College,Madurai) I am much pleased to read the article about that master.