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Ranagaraya Medical College: History in Retrospect, by Sri S.Janaka Rama Sastry

A Golden Age and A Glorious Past, by Sri S.Janaka Rama Sastry

The Hands That Tended, by Sri G.Sanakara Bhanu


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U.K. Members RANGARAYA MEDIAL COLLEGE HISTORY
Meeting 1994 RAMCOSA Silver Jubilee Celebrations, 1995
Meeting 1995 RAMCOSA 5th Reunion, 1997
RMCANA (U.S.A.) Dr.Apparao Nagabhyru

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RANGARAYA MEDICAL COLLEGE: HISTORY IN RETROSPECT

 

Sri.S.JANAKI RAMA SASTRY, M.A.

(Formerly) Head of the Dept. of English

Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada.

 

Birth of the College:

India witnessed unprecedented enthusiasm among the people in 1947 when the country was liberated from foreign domination of over three centuries. There was an ardent desire to develop our mother land in all fields and see that it had an honourable place in the comity of Nations. In our state too, leaders of all walks of life strove hard for its all sided development. Prominent among them in the Medical field were Col.D.S.Raju, valiant freedom fighter and a close associate of Netaji and Dr.M.V.Krishnarao, a man of great vision. There two stalwarts who had been dreaming of starting a private Medical College to cater to the needs of the students of coastal Andhra in general, and East and West Godavari disstricts in particular, founded and registered the Medical Education Society on 16th April 1958 with the triple object of promoting Medical Education, Medical research and Medical relief through voluntary effort. On this occasion it is but appropriate to recollect with gratitude the immediate response of the state government headed by Sri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy in according permission to start the Medical College.

 

While Col. Raju was engaged in the task of collecting donations to the proposed Medical College, Dr.M.V.Krishnarao did all the spade work for the starting of the institution. Eminent doctors like I.V.Jogarao, P.V.N.Raju, K.Chandra Rao, A.Perisastry, B.Venkata Raju and P.R.Hari extended a helping hand. The then Municipal Chairman Sri Dantu Bhaskara Rao heartily cooperated with the endeavour, with the result the starting of a Medical College, which was till then an ambition became a reality.

 

Sri Mullapudi Harischandra Prasad, an Industrialist of Tanuku came forward with a magnificient donation of Rs.5 lakhs on behalf of the Venkatarayudu Memorial Educational Trust and the College was named "The Rangaraya Memorial College" after the late Zamindar of Dommeru Sri.P.Rangarao, brother-in-law of Sri Harischandra Prasad, Sri Kotamarti Venkanna, a prominent businessman of Kakinada gifted a site of 6-1/2 acres to locatae the hostel buildings. During the same time Sri Pyda Sathyanarayana Murthy of the Draksharama Choultry trust donated an amount of Rs. 50,000/- with which a lecture hall was constructed.

 

The Maharaja of Pithapuram leased out the Paltial Orphanage buildings (now Main college campus) to house the Medical College. Within a short period of 3-1/2 months, thanks to the untiring efforts of the director Dr. M.V.Krishna Rao, the departments were organised and kept ready. The University Commission consisting of Dr.M.V.Ramamurthy, Dr.Basudeva Narayan and Dr.V.R.Naidu gave the green signal and the class work for the students of the first batch was inaugurated by the then Vice-Chanellor of the Andhra University Dr.V.S.Krishna, with Sri G.Sankara Bhanu, Lecturer Chemistry delivering the first lecture. Dr.D.Narayana Rao, Retired Professor of Biochemistry acted as Principal in the early period of the inception of the College and he was succeded by Dr.B.Narayan, an eminent Physiologist and former Vice-Chancellor of the Patna University.

 

In the early stages, the institution had teething troubles all of which were successfully overcome and the college was put on a sound footing, the entire credit for which goes to Dr.G.Ramadas, the then Asst. to the Principal, a dynamic organiser and administrator.

 

The Andhra Pradesh Government undertook to upgrade the Head Quarters Hospital into a Teaching Hopsital and this paved the way for the college securing the recognition of the Medical Council of India, with Hon. Sri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh inaugurating the College on 17-11-1958 a long cherished dream of the people became a reality. The governing body, the teaching staff and students moved like members of one family and the Zeal and enthusiasm with which they worked hard was reminiscent of the famous words of Wordsworth "Bliss was it to be alive in the dawn, to be young was very Heaven".

 

Subsequent developments:

The Orphanage building was adequate to locate the pre-clinical departments but with the lapse of time, when the Para-clinical courses were started accommodation had to be provided for them. Initially they were locaated in the Simpson Buildings but later a three storeyed building was constructed to house the Clinical Bio-chemistry and laboratory for Microbiological investigations. Buildings for the department of Forensic Medicine and a Mortuary were also constructed in the Govt. hospital campus. Subsequently site was alienated from the P.R.Govt. college and a new block in which the departments of Pathology, Pharmacology and Central Library are now located, was built. Besides the above, the block has two big lecture galleries, each accommodating 300 students. Simultaneous with the expansion of the college, the Govt. Genl. Hopital also was developed and today it has a bed strength of 890. In due course super specialities like Cardiology, Plastic Surgery, Neuro Surgery and Urology were organised both for treatment of patients and purposes of teaching. With a view to providing field training to Clinical students and internees a rural health centre was created at Gollalamamidada.

 

Management of the College:

The Medical Education Society which sponsored the Medical College constituted a governing body for the day administration of the college. Col.D.S.Raju, Sri.M.Harisachandra Prasad and Dr.P.V.N.Raju acted as Presidents of the Governing Body at different times and contributed a lot for the growth of the institution.

 

Take over by Andhra Pradesh Governement:

The take over of the privately managed Medical College by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in 1977 is a mile-stone in the history of the college. A special officer was appointed to administer the college and till March 1981 it got regular block grants. In April 1981 funds for the college were provided in the regular budget and the Rangaraya Medical College came to be one of the full fledged State Medical Colleges.

 

Admission of Students:

In the early period every year 100 students used to be admitted but in 1962 the intake of students was increased to 125. This number was again raised to 150 during the Chinese Agression in 1963 as a matter of the Central Government. However, the Medical Council of India brought down this number to 100 in 1974.

 

Post Graduate Courses:

The starting of Post Graduate diploma courses like D.C.P., D.Ch., and D.G.O. in 1972 is a land mark in the history of the college. In 1976 some more post graduate courses were started and the Rangaraya Medical College came to occupy an important position like all other State Medical Colleges.

 

Hostel Blocks:

The hostel blocks for men called "Vivekananda Vihara" and "Gandhi Vihara", each accommodating 150 students were built in the site donated by Sri Kotamari Venkanna. A palatial block called "Kasturiba Vihara" was also constructed in the Main College campus to accommodate 125 women students.

 

Anatomy and Physiology Blocks:

Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, then acting President of India, laid the foundation stone for what should have been the Main college building on 4-8-196. However, on second thoughts the governing body of the college modified its original plan and built the Anatomy and Physiology blocks in that site. Adjacent to that, a beautiful auditorium, and quarters for professors and Asst. Professors were constructed.

 

Thus the Rangaraya Medical College which was started in 1958 gradually developed into a full fledged post-graduate institution in course of time. It is gratifying the about 2618 doctors have gone out of the portals of this institution by 1983 and that they are rendering valuable service to humanity in India and abroad. On the happy occasion of its Silver Jubilee it is the duty of one and all connected with the College to express their sense of gratitude to all those stalwarts who have built up this Institution and made it what it is today.

A GOLDEN AGE AND A GLORIOUS PAST

 

Sri.S.JANAKI RAMA SASTRY, M.A.

(Formerly) Head of the Dept. of English

Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada.

 

The switch over to the pre university course from the old two year Intermediate in 1959 necessitated the introduction of the Pre-professional Course Comprising English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, in Medical Colleges. I was appointed lecturer in English, and subsequently became Head of the Department, being the first member. Mrs P.Chiranjeevini Kumari was my Colleague in the Department. I was around 26 then. The Rangaraya Memorial Medical College, as it was then called, was established a year earlier and both the staff and students were bubbling with enthusiasm. The atmosphere was akin to the one that Wordsworth describes at the out break of the French Revolution He observes "Bliss was it to be alive in the staff were young, and the students younger, and it was the time that witnessed the dawn of the Medical College.

 

Thanks to the foresight and dynamism of Col.D.S.Raju and Dr.M.V.Krishna Rao, the College came into being and quite naturally it had the teething troubles being a private college. Dr. B.Narayan a former Vice Chancellor of the Patna University, the first cousin of the first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad, was our principal then. Akind hearted gentleman, he always encouraged us and was unostentatious.

 

There were about 200 students. 100 in I year MBBS and 100 in the Pre-professional.Dr.M.Ramakrishna Raju who recently retired as professor of Physiology, Dr. K.Venugoppal Rao, who was an established novelist and short story writer,even by then, Dr.Paruchuri Rajaram now a prolific writer and Dematologist Dr. S. Koteswara Rao Dy.D.M.H.O. and Dr.J. Krishna Murthy to name a few were in the first year class. Dr.M. Chandramouleswara Reddy, Dr.J.S.RamaRao, Dr.T.V.Nagarjun Dr.B.S.Vallabha Sastry now professor of Biochemistry in the A.M.C. Dr. N.Appa Rao who settled in the U.K. and Dr. G.Sreerama Murthy presently professor of Biochemistry and Dr. C.Surendranath again only to name a few were in the Pre-professional class. Dr.C.Stalin now a famous surgeon of Ramachandra puram toowas there in the P.P.C. In fact, Stalin Passed the P.U.C. Exam from Govt. Arts College Rajahmundry and even before he joined the college, the news of his fame - to be correct, his notoriety if stalin doesn't feel offended - reached us.

 

It gives me immense pleasure to recollect how we, the staff and the students were moving as members of one family. I vividly remember my announcement in the class that the students might meet me to get their doubts cleared, either in the college or at my residence at any time. Encouraged by my words 'at any time' a student knocked at my door at 12 O clock in the night. I was in deep sleep then. Reluctancy, I opened the door to find a boy with the grammar text in his hands. Pointing out a line in the text, he asked me whether it was an adjective clause or an adverb clause. I was taken aback 'Heavens do not fall if his doubt is cleared the next morning' I thought within myself. However, as I did not want to displease him I gave the correct answer and he went away quite satisfied.

 

During the early years, after its inception , later Dr. G. Ramadas played a vey important role. In fact he was the guiding force behind all activities in the college. He was then Assistant Professor of physiology and Assistant to the Principal. He was rightly called 'Tiger Ramadas'. Many truants that gathered at the colege anteen used to run helter skelter when they sighted him or heard his voice. They were afraid of him but it was reverential fear. In turn, he sowered his affection on them. If today the R.M.C. ocupies a place of pride among Medical Colleges, it is to a large extent due to the invaluable services Dr. Ramadas had rendered in the initial stages of its development.

 

As I mention the name of Dr. Ramadas I am reminded of an incident that throws light on the subtle humour of the then principal Dr. B. Narayan. One day our principa, Fr. Ramadas, and I were standing in the verandah near the small lecture gallery. Dr. Y. Somanna was passing that way. The principal called him and asked, 'How are you Dr. Somanna ? It seems you are not coming to the college now a days'. Fr. Somanna, who was stone deaf replied, 'yes' which meant that he was not coming the college. Dr. Ramadas who understood that Dr. Somanna paid a deaf ear to the principals words balled out at the pitch of his voice 'You fellow, why do you say yes ? Are you not coming to the College ? (Dr. Ramadas and Dr. Somanna were classmates and chums during their student dys) Dr. Somanna immediately replied, 'I am coming to the College.' I turned to the Principal and said, 'Sir most of those who are deaf can follow the lip movement of the person and understand what he is saying but Dr. Somanna is not apable of that 'That Principal smiled and said, 'No Mr. Sastry, you are worng. Dr. Somanna too can understand provided they are familiar lips.'

 

HAIR SPLITTING EPISODE

On another occasion when I was seriously explaining a lesson in the class two lady students sitting in the first row started talking between themselves. I observed them continuously for ten minutes and when there was no response. I chided them and asked them to see me after the class. I was chief examiner, who was to value their papers of the university examinations, besides being the Head of the Department. As the head of the Department I had to award class mark to a maximum of 20, which were added to the marks they obtained at the University Examinatiton for a maximum of 180. Hence the class marks were very important as they helped the pass the examination in case of small deficiency. The two girls were terribly afraid of me and came to see me in the Department with tears in their eyes. I said to them,. 'Please tell me frankly wht you were talking about. If you speak out the truth, I will excuse you, otherwise I will take matter to the Principal. You know what the consequences will be'. Both of them broke down and the one who was bolder said, 'Sir there is a lock of hair on your pocket, part of which is inside the prcket. This girl is asking me how long the part inside the pocket would be. 'Though I was angry, I could not my laughter. Advising them to mind their studies instead of indulging 'in such silly things I said, 'wWhy are you worried as long as the lock of hair does not belong to either of you'. The students standing around, roared in laughter.

 

ACTIVITIES OF THE STUDENTS, ASSOCIATION

The Rangaraya Medical College Students Association had many affliated societies like the science society, the photographic society, etc. The secretaries of the societies used to approach me before the College Day for correction of that reports intended to be read on the College Day. Sometimes I used to correct them and sometimes rewrite the entire drafts. The General Secretaries of the Students' Association of successive years used to seek my advice in their day to day activities. Being slighly older than they, I was looked upon as their friend, guide and philosopher. This rolve of mine brought me closed and made me intimate secretaries of different batches like C. Singayya, C. Madhavasai (now professor of Optholmology G.M.C.) B.R.L.Prasad, N.Vidyaswarup (Neuro Pphysician present at Eluru) Sitarama Swamy (now settled in U.K.) and several others whose names I am unable to recollect perhaps because of my advancing age.

 

In fact Dr. C. Madhavasai suggested five years ago that I should record my reminiscences as he felt they were a source of perennial pleasure. I jocularly replied that if I write down all my experiences it would not be an essay but would be a book. 'Please, for our sake do it sir', Dr. Madhavasai said and assured me that he would undertake its publication however voluminous it might come to be and whatever be the cost of printing.

 

Another task that I was invariably entrusted with during my service in the Medical College was drafting the welcome/farewell/Felicitation addresses. Whenever any dignitary visited the college or any Professor left it, it fell to my lot to write addresses. As the authorities came to know that I was writer in Telugu, I was called upon to undertake that responsibility, which I did with pleasure. On the whole, I remember to have written over fifty such addresses. In 1985 I had to face a peculiar situation, when we were transferred to the Education Department. The manager of the college office came to me and sat smiling. I was busy making preparations to wind up the Department. Though he sat for ten minutes he did not utter a word. I asked him politely what brought him there. Continuing to smile he said, 'Sir you were writing all addresses till now. I wonder who would write the farewell addresses to you, now that you are leaving.' The it was my turn to laugh and dissuade him from such a attempt..

 

40TH ALL INDIA MEDICAL CONFERENCE

I do not exactly remember the year, but I think, it was in the early sixties that the 40th All India Medical Conference was held at Kakinada. Dr. P.N.Rao was the secretary of the Reception Committee. Various sub committees were constituted and the famous physician and surgeon Dr.I.Joga Rao was the Chairman of the sub committee for cultural activities. I was then Vice President of the Dramatic and Fine Arts Society and I had to chalk out a programme to entertain the doctor delegates in consultation with Dr. Joga Rao and other members. Three play lets in Telugu were already being rehearsed under my direction and Dr.Joga Rao sprang a surprise by asking me to prepare and English drama, as a good number of delegates from states other than Andhra, would attend the conference, Dr. Joga Rao felt their it would be in the fitness of things to stage an English drama. We had by then staged an English playlet entitled 'Bishop's Candlesticks' with Sunny George as the Bishop, S.P.Armugam as maid and Sankara Raman as ex-convict. It was received well and he idea of staging an English play again thrilled me. Soon I started my search for humorous play and finally decided upon the English version of the French dramatist Moliere's play 'Love is the Best Doctor' Patelkhan Narasimha Rao, Padmanabha Rao and Usha besides others participated in it. Though we had only a week's time, we had rehearsals, on the average, thrice a day and the performance was a grand success. Padmanabha Rao and Usha were hero and heroine of the play. Even after the completion of the rehearsal, I found Padmanabha Rao and Usha closetted together for hours together. However, little did I realise then, that they were actually in love with each other, for shortly after this they were united in wedlock. This was a plleasant surprise to me and I remember our principal jocularly remarking that we should modify the old saying and state that 'Marriages are made in Medical Colleges.'

 

DEBATE COMPETITIONS

Mrs. P. Chirajivini Kumari who later took her doctorate from the Patna University was my valued colleague in the Department. She was Vice President of the Literary society for several years. She used to take active part in preparing the students for the debating competitions, local and inter collegiate. The college team consisted fo two students one speaking in support of the topic and the other opposing it. I had to tain one of the students for, it would not be possible for her to sdvance arguments both for and against the proposition. In fact the dramatic and Fine arts Society of which I was the vice president and the literary society under the able guidane of DR.Chiranjivini Kumari workded in unison and were almost considered twins. When Dr. Chirajivini Kumari left R.M.C. this responsibility was entrusted to sri G.Sankarabhan, another valued colleague of mine working as Head of the Chemistry department. Philip Jacob and sunny George, Singayya and Rajaram, Rajaram and Samaram constituted the teams, which were adjudged the best teams in various Iner Collegiate debates and won laurels to the R.M.C. besides training students for the debate competitions Dr. Chiranjivini Kumari conducted Mock Parliament twice, with students and staff participating enthusiastically in both of them.

 

CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS

Every year students' assocation used to conduct cultural celebrations with eminent Litterateurs participating and addressing, the staff and students on a veriety of topics. It is a matter of great pleasure to note that scholars and stalwarts like, Karunasri, Balagangadhara Tilak, Jatavallabhula Purushotham, Arupirala Viswam, Dr. C.Narayana Reddy, Sanjiva Dev, Natyacharya Korada Narasimha Rao, Vetury Sundararama Murty, Bhamidipaty Radhakrishna, Avantsa Somasundar, Ushasri, M.V.L., Sriapada Gopalakrishna Murty and Kondamudi Sriramachandra Murty were among those that readily accepted our invitation and enlightened us on arious topics of literary and cultural importance.

 

Normally Arts and Science colleges, that too of long standing, conduct cultural celebrations on such a large scale. It was a matter of great wonder to the students of other institutions and the publi in general that a private professional colelge should rise to such giddy heights and and exhibit histrionic talents of high standard which in fact was no mean achievement. All this was possible only because of encouragement given and support extended by successive principals like Dr. Vissa Ramachandra Rao, Dr. B. Shanmukheswararao, Dr. P. Ramachandra Rao, Dr. Y. Kishen Rao and Dr. D. Sundarasiva Rao. Indeed it was a golden age in the history of the Rangaraya Medical College. While thanking the RAMCOSA in general and Dr. V. Sathya Dev in particular of giving me an opportunity of recapitulating the glorious past, I convey my best wishes and hearty blessings to al the old students that are coming over to their Almamater to celebrate the silver jubilee of RAMCOSA.

 

 

THE HANDS THAT TENDED

 

Sri G. Sankara Bhanu M.Sc.,

Head of the Department of Chemistry (Retd.)

 

Just as a sappling requires protection till it develops into a tree and just as a child needs parental love till it grows into man, an institution also requires protective guard and loving care in its formative period. As one associated with our institution right from the beginning I feel it my duty to inform the present generation of staff and students the personalities that contributed their mite to the healthy growth of our Medical College in the first twenty years (1958-77).

 

The seed of Medical College was brought here by Dr. M. V. Krishna Rao. He place it in the noble hands of Col. Dr. D.S.Raju. Together they planted it in Kakinada in 1958 winning the cooperation of the elite of this district. The plant was timely fertilised by Sri Mullapudi Harischandra Prasad and it was name as Rangaraya Medical College. It was strongly fenced by Dr. P.V.N.Raju and host of dedicated people.

 

In that era, political leaders were much against the concept of Medical College in the private sector. Dr. Suseela Nayyar, the then Minister for Health in the Centre openly expressed her anguish that collecting donation for a seat was against the policy of Socialistic pattern of Society. Dr. M. V. Krishna Rao a veteran freedom fighter and Ex. Minsister of Education in composite Madras state struggled a lot to convince leaders in the centre and the state the need of a private Medial College in this part of our state. He succeeded in getting permissioon to start the college in the present main campus which was once the orphanage, a precious child of Brahamarshi Raghupathi Venkata Ratna Naidu. Col Dr. F.S.Raju was th enoblest mong noble people. He was the noblest among noble people. He was the first President of our Government Body. Sri Mullapudi Harischandra Prasad is a great industrialist and is endowed with a golden touch. He donated magnificiently to meet the conditions laid by Medial council and state government. Dr. P.V.N.Raju never compromised with any external pressure. Dignity of the college was the dearest to him.

 

Our first Principal was Dr. D. Narayana Rao. Shy and reserved by nature, he was dignified and humanised outlook. He took great care in developing our laboratories and encourage the staff very much in their work. In the inaugural function of our college, though it was his prerogative to inaugurate, he invited me to give the first lecture on 17-9-1958 before that eager gathering of students, parents and invitees. Our next principal was Dr.Basudev Narayana former Vice-Chancellor of Patna University. He had wide contacts and that helped our college to recruit staff from West Bengal and Bihar when there was scarcity of eligible candidates in our state. Our College acquire recognition at ntional elvel in his tenure. Dr. G. Ramadas, who worked as Head of the Department of Physiology, Assistant to Principal and warden of our Hostel did a lot to the development of his department and streamlined the administration of college and hostels. He had loud voice which kept all alert in the campus. He was phenomenally strict in the conduct of examinations.

 

Dr.Vissa Ramachandra Rao came next on deuptation as principal and professor of Anatomy. He was the illustrious son of an illustrious father, Sri Vissa Appa Rao an eminent educationist. Dr. V.R.Rao soon won the heats of staff and students, members of governing body and the elite of the town. His rich experience as Vice-Principal in Guntur Medical College stood in good stead in the development of healthy traditions in our college. He energised curricular and extra curricular activities. In his regime, all departments developed and the college was well established.

 

Then came Dr. B. Shanmukheswara Rao as Principal. By that time, he was already a renowned Surgeon. Very calm and cool by temperament he was a man f few words but of quick and correct decisions. He knew how to scissor away what was unnecessary and cut the problem to its correct dept and close the operation of any file in shortest time. Staff enjoyed his administrative acumen.

 

Dr. P. Ramachandra Rao was intimately involved in the all-round development of our college as Professor of Pathology, Vice Principal and later as Principal. His zeal for work was unparalleled. He was a pragmatic person of deterrminationa dn dedication like Dr.V.R.Rao, Dr.P.R.Rao too encouraged extracurricular activities. Not only that, he himself acted in leading roles in several dramas and play-lets along with us.

 

Dr. D. Sundarasiva Rao was the principal for the longest period. Prior to that he was associated with our college as professor of pathology and Vice-Principal. Dr.Sundarsiva Rao is an eminent pathologist, growing stronger with age. His lessons, particularly in the earlier period, created history in our college. He was uncompromising but very humane. An incident, I quote to indicate his stern exteiror and affectionate interior. I had to lead a team of students to the youth festival hosted by A.M.C., Visakhapatnam. I prepared a budget and showed it to him. He asked me in a stern voice to cut it short by Rs. 200/- faith fully I tried struggled but could not do so. On the day when we were ready to start he called me, gave me more amount than I asked and adviced me to be liberal in spending for students.

 

Dr.M.Vallabha Rao, Dr. P. Narasimha Rao and Dr.S>Banerjee were very popular among staff and students. Students and staff of that era remember with love and gratitude the services of eminent Professors. Like Dr. C. Mallikharjuna Rao, Dr. T.Srinivasan, Dr.G.Ramakrishna Raju, Dr. K.G.K.Gupta, Dr.N.V.S.Naidu, Dr. T. Durga Prasad, Dr.P.S.N.Murthy, Dr.Pitchaiah and many more of that order.

 

Preprofessional staff who were the first to receive students (freshers) did their best in those two decades to establish good traditions of discipline, thoroughness in the concerned subject and healthy relation between staff and students. Every Principal and Vice-Principal maintained very cordial relation with preprofessional staff who functioned as the backbone of the college in administration, discipline, conduct of examinations and extracurricular activities. Amongst us Sr S.Janakirama Sastry is an accomplished speaker.

 

Above all, what wonderful batch of students we had individually a few might be naughty but none were cowardly. All looked to the Alma Mater with love and regard.