Located at a prime location, Laxmeshwar, near the twin city of Hubli and Dharwad of Karnataka, Smt. Kamala & Sri Venkappa M. Agadi College of Engineering & Technology that was established in 2003, might be a relatively new engineering campus in the country. However, the seed of thoughts about this institution was sown almost a century ago. The story of Agadi clan and their dedication to provide education to the rural mass is an inspiring one, which has to be retold, so that the young generation can understand what passion is all about.
An Inspiring Story of India's First Aviator
JRD Tata is reckoned to be the first aviator from India. However, many are still not aware that there is another Indian who had flown an aircraft before Tata did it - that too mealy eight years after the Wright brothers' historic first flight in 1903. Born on December 28, 1879 into a family of meagre resources near Mysore, his name was Sri Ram Venkata Subba Setty, conveniently contracted to S.V. Setty, and sometimes spelled Setti.
After graduating in Mathematics from Madras University and engineering from Thomas College of Engineering at Rourkee, Setti left for England in 1909 on a scholarship for doing electrical engineering diploma from Faraday House, England. Later, he joined A.V. Roe and Company (Avro)the only British company specialising in building aircraft and plunged into aircraft designing.
In 1912, when Setti returned to India with a specially minted medal from Avro who described him as persevering, industrious and an expert in matters of aviation, he had a dream of building an aircraft in India. But, Setti was denied permission, he had to join the Mechanical Engineering School as a superintendent. Later he became the founder Principal of Bangalore Engineering School, which is now called as University, Visvesvaraya College of Engineering at Bangalore.
Smt. Kamala & Sri Venkappa M. Agadi College of Engineering & Technology focuses on developing technically qualified students with a strong foundation of basic engineering and innovative technical skills with exemplary professional conduct.
Setti worked in education sector, transferring his expertise to the young generation. In 1918, a tragedy in the form of an epidemic influenza that swept Bangalore claimed the lives of Setti, his wife and one daughter; he was survived by three daughters. Still, the record of Setti's love for airplanes is available at the Vidhana Soudha archives at Bangalore.
Materializing the Great Dreams
An engineering college for rural population was one of important visions of Late Setti. In 2003, it was materialized with dedicated and sincere effort of his granddaughter Smt. Kamala V Agadi and her husband Sri Venkappa M Agadi. In fact, the couple dedicated their entire life's savings and earnings to establish this beautiful technical campus in the rural and backward belt at Laxmeshwar in North Karnataka. Today, the people of this region as well as the aspirants from all over India enjoy cutting-edge technical education at an affordable cost here. The administration of the institute has been given to the next generation and now it is under the leadership of Harshavardhan V. Agadi.
Harshavardhan or Harsha, as people fondly call him, is an Indian entrepreneur in the U.S. Although, settled continents apart in a different time zone, Harsha is very particular about each function of Smt. Kamala & Sri Venkappa M. Agadi College of Engineering & Technology. He says, "This institute is a dream of many and I want to continue the tradition providing quality technical education to rural mass at an affordable cost."
A Perfect Learning Hub
Smt. Kamala & Sri Venkappa M. Agadi College of Engineering & Technology focuses on developing technically qualified students with a strong foundation of basic engineering and innovative technical skills with exemplary professional conduct. The institute is able to enjoy the best in terms of the industry interactions, as it located in a growing and emerging technological and business centre. We see the location to be apt as this technological hub with an 'Electronic Park' has always helped in frequent workshops and seminars, claims Harsh.
This region also has a proud legacy of having produced the best of stalwarts in linguistics, technical, professional and political fields, which seems to have an effect on the students. At the institute, students are admitted based on the academic performance and skills. Unlike many private engineering colleges in the country, financial background of students stands of zero value here. The meritorious profile of students has helped in the right filtration leaving us with curious and passionate students, says Harsha. The institute enhance the curiosity of students by providing platforms to implement their learning. Research is of utmost importance at the institute and students are provided with more of practical sessions rather than theoretical classes.
Our students have come up with an idea of a robotic car which can be controlled by a phone app. So here, the potential is rightly seen and motivated, shares Harsha. The 25 acres widespread campus is having almost 20 buildings working on various branches of engineering and now the management is in a move to equip each with distinct workspaces like incubation centres. Harsha adds, Infrastructure can be built but to support that we need curious students and faculties otherwise we will not be able to drive significant innovations. It is all about the power to unlock the mind. If you get the power to unlock it, you can come up with best innovations.
The college ensures an all round personality development of students along with their academic pursuit by taking effective steps to put them on the right path in their future careers. We want to empower the rural women with an engineering degree and make a significant impact in their families. Currently, working with six branches of engineering, we have plans to expand the intake, branches and also PG programs, concludes Harsha.
Harshvardhan .V. Agadi, Chairman
He has over 30 years of experience across several companies, including American Express, PepsiCo Inc. and General Foods. He has managed a $2.0 billion restaurant chain with 4,500 locations across 22 countries. He was highly successful in introducing global brands to the international market through direct investment and master franchising. He was also responsible for opening over 2,000 stores for two competing brands in 10 years, in over 50 countries. He has held executive positions with Kraft Foods Inc., PepsiCo Inc. and Domino's Pizza Inc.