After the independence in 1947, there were efforts from all across the country to build a new India. Eventually, in early 1960s many irrigation, industrial and infrastructural projects were started by both State and Central Governments resulting in great demand for qualified engineers in the country. However, to supply the much-needed workforce, the state only had few engineering colleges and many deserving students from rural areas were deprived of the privilege of pursuing technical education. This was the time when Sree Siddaganga Math headed by his Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamiji came into the higher education scenario. Prior to that, Sree Siddaganga Math provided facilities for primary and secondary education of poor students, especially for girls hailing from rural areas, by establishing schools in rural areas.
Recognizing the importance of providing quality technical education to the poor and deserving students of rural areas, prominent citizens of Tumkur town and District appealed to revered Swamiji to start an Engineering College in Tumkur, so that poor and deserving students of Tumkur and neighbouring districts would have the opportunity to pursue Engineering Education and volunteered to provide all the support to start an engineering college. Thus Sree Siddaganga Education Society headed by his holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamiji came into existence in 1963. The society started Siddaganga Institute of Technology (SIT) in the outskirts of Tumkur on 35 acres of land donated by the philanthropist Sri M.V. Shivappa. The institute started functioning with only three branches of engineering namely Civil, Mechanical and Electrical with an annual intake of 120 students.
Emergence of Research Centers
SIT has completed 50 years of glorious existence and illustrious service in the field of technical education and management. At present, the institute is offering 12 undergraduate programs and 14 PG programs including MBA and MCA. During the long journey, the institute accumulated well-qualified, experienced and devoted faculty numbering 337. Nearly 25 percent of them have Doctorate degrees from reputed institutions like IISc., IITs., and others. Another 20 percent of the faculty are pursuing PhD programs at various reputed institutions. "Our faculty members consider research as an integral part of teaching and they are actively working on research projects with a total funding of Rs. 4.25 crores," says Dr. M.N. Channabasappa – Director, S.I.T. 16 Departments of the institute are recognised as Research Centres by the Visweswaraya Technological University, Belgaum. The good research work carried out by the faculty provides the right ambience for students to take up innovative and creative projects. This has enabled the institution to file 32 patents during 2013–14.
"We are happy to mention that SIT is the beneficiary of the World Bank assisted Technical Education Quality Improvement Program. The management policy of focussing on and encouraging research and innovative work has resulted in getting the continuous support from the World Bank project through Phase-I and Phase-II," claims Dr. Channabasappa. SIT is one among the four self-financing institutions across the country and one among three in the State selected by Ministry of HRD, Government of India, for establishment of Centre of Excellence in Applied Research and Nano Technology with the financial support to the tune of Rs.5 crores.
Industry Oriented Training
The management of SIT strongly believes that the present day engineering students should have technical knowledge and application of the same to the relevant technologies used in industry. Hence, it is mandatory to all the students at SIT to undergo practical industrial training for a minimum period of six weeks after fourth or sixth semester, thus exposing the students to the latest technologies used in the industry and its work culture. Each department in the college has entered into MoUs with several industries relevant to those departments under industry-institute-interaction. With the MoUs, the institute gets the necessary inputs to bridge the technological gap between what the students study in the college and which skill sets are expected by the industries from fresh graduates coming out of the college. In addition, the college has entered into MoU with TCS, Infosys, Wipro, SCII, ABBGISL under which placement is one the implied objectives. Currently, on an average about 75 percent of the eligible students from SIT get selected in campus placements with packages ranging from Rs. 3.2 LPA to Rs. 9 LPA.
In order to introduce the necessary dynamic changes in the curriculum and to keep abreast with the latest trends in the realm of technical education, SIT is moving towards becoming a deemed to be university in the next 3 to 5 years. With years of experience in providing the necessary talent to the industry, SIT has all the adequate features to become a university, which is capable of taking the higher education system catering to the needs of 21st century.
Dr. M. N. Channabasappa
He is an academician with over 5 decades of teaching experience and is currently serving as Director, SIT, Tumkur. He has also served at SIT, as its Principal, for 15 years. Prior to this, he worked as Professor in Karnataka Regional Engineering College for about 3 decades.