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October , 2017
Monday

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Mechatronics- The Synergy

Mechatronics, as the name suggests, is a collaboration of the Mechanical and Electronic areas of study. As Wikipedia perfectly defines it, Mechatronics (or Mechanical and Electronics Engineering) is the synergistic combination of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, control engineering, systems design engineering, and computer engineering to create useful products. It is the amalgamation of these two enormous and ever-developing fields of science, which helps in bridging the gap between these vastly varying sciences. For example, to structure a machine or a device, we use mechanical skills and then, to give life to them, we take the aid of electronics. It is a modern field of science, created to emphasize its own importance in the future of man in guiding him to take automation and robotics to a never-before level of thought and produce.

Mechatronics, abbreviated as MCT, is a much sought after course across various parts of the world and is catching up at a rapid pace in India too. It is now available in about 15 institutions spread across the length and breadth of the country. Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology (MGIT, Gandipet) enjoys the tag of being the solitary college affiliated to JNTU to offer this course. “MGIT has the distinction of introducing the first Mechatronics B.Tech. Programme in Asia”, says Dr. K Sudhakar Reddy, the Departmental Head. We at VidYouth interviewed a group of 24 students, evenly stratified from freshers to pass-outs; we ended up with interesting and contrasting results. Some of the excerpts from the survey are listed below.

All Attentive All Through! Credit : Beyond Boundaries

Classical Mechanics by Venkata Ramana Sir. All Attentive All Through! Credit : Beyond Boundaries

When asked what made them choose MCT, the students came up with a potpourri of answers. Ravi Teja, a 4th year student tells us, “I always dreamt of making robotics my super-speciality. I feel MCT has provided me with a perfect base for that”. Lohit, another MCT student says, “Having Mechatronics as an option, saved me from the dilemma of choosing either of mechanical or electrical branches, considering I was interested in both of  them; it was a tailor-made choice for me”. He adds, “It turned out to be much more than expected though”. There were many other answers but the most common one turned out to be, “I joined MCT as  I wanted to get into MGIT, because it is amongst the best colleges around and I wanted to get into one”. No surprises!

The college since it’s inception has been constantly rising in stature, it started with an intake of 180 students and now accommodates a whooping 2020 students. With the rise in its intake and the quality of education offered, there was a parallel rise in the fee structure. The students joining the college through counseling pay a worthy sum of 30000/-. Where as the students coming in through the NRI and Management quota have to pay 920000 Rs yearly apart from the donation. The recession has hit everything real bad, but not the Mechatronics Department. Each MCT seat now costs a monumental 6lakhs, which is highly negotiable depending on the influence of the source you go through.Contrastingly CSE and IT seats cost only a meager 4 lakhs compared to the former.

The Department is headed by a Professor with a Doctoral degree and valuable teaching experience of over a decade. When questioned about the faculty and quality of teaching, Prajna, a 4th year batch topper chirps, “Faculty is very experienced but seldom efficient to control 60 students for a class that lasts 2 hours”. While Prajwal, a 9 point someone feels, “We have good lecturers for all the core subjects that really matter. At the end of the day, it all depends on the individual capabilities of each student”.

The department organizes a National Level Technical Symposium, aptly titled Technovation, biannually. The management claims it attracts students from all across the nation (though students from MGIT haven’t met any). Technovation organizes various kinds of technical events, most of them pertaining to Mechatronics. Students take part in it with lot of enthusiasm to earn certificates that add weight to their resumes. “The best thing about MCT is you just need to top the class to get the University gold medal, as it is the only course of its kind in the curriculum”, chuckles Prajna.

The Enthusiasts that Make Technovation Happen Credits: BeyondBoundaries

The Enthusiasts Who Make Technovation Happen Credit: BeyondBoundaries

The college has state-of-the-art infrastructure and the Department has several well – established independent laboratories:

1. Computer Aided Instrumental and Control Systems Lab.

2. Thermal Engineering and Heat Transfer Lab.

3. Computer Aided Motion Control Design Lab.

4. CNC Machines and Robotics Lab.

5. Mechanics of Solid Lab.

6. Central Workshops.

7. CAD/CAM Lab

8. Hydraulic & Hydraulic Machinery

9. Machine Tools Lab

10. Production Technology Lab.

The Furnace in the Material Testing Lab Credits: BeyondBoundaries

The Furnace in the Material Testing Lab Credits: BeyondBoundaries

The CNC and robotics lab has the distinction of being the special attraction. The maintenance of these labs is good, though not great. But when asked about the lab assistants, the students came up with similar views as they did about the faculty. Rahul chipped in saying, “Lab assistants are just watchmen, though there are a few good ones out there”.

The newly appointed HOD drew a lot a slack. “I really wonder how he got a doctoral degree! He can barely speak in English”, chuckles Srinivas. “If we had a better guy in that position, we would have had better placements this year”, adds Shravan, a recent pass-out. When asked to pour out any complaints or worries they had, Manogna says “It is considered to be the toughest course in JNTU and it completely justifies that tag. No wonder we have lower pass percentages”, she laments. “In the garb of covering the syllabus, professors rob us of our free classes and half days! So unfair!” says Apoorva, a second year MCTian. In more technical terms, Kashyap feels, “Mechatronics is not the present yet, but it is the future! You scarcely have any opportunities in India. The best thing you could do if you are an Automobile freak would be to run away to Germany”, he advises. “The core subjects are such a pain in the arse. Drawing or Mechanics, I never seem to find a way to clear them, Maaki!” says a typical Kedar, who has been studying in the college for an eternity.

When asked about one change they wanted in their department, most of them said, “THE HOD and THE PLACEMENT OFFICER!” Some of them said, “Books, Building and Blah Blah” and a very small portion of the crowd seemed to be content with what they had or maybe they were just too shy (or scared) to opine their views.

For those students planning to get in through via the NRI quota, the market fee (that’s what it’s called) is Rs.6 Lakhs + yearly fee. But if a really influential source can come to your rescue, the rates might drop to Rs.3 Lakhs + yearly fee.

When asked the all important question of ‘Giving advice to Freshers’, the experienced generation was generous enough to lend their views.

“If you think robotics and automation is your terrain, then Mechatronics is your launchpad and MGIT is not that bad a college”.

–Spurthi, Alumni, MGIT.

“If your childhood dreams of working for Ferrari, Porsche and Volkswagen still haunt you, then you do not need advice, you need admission”.

–Sankeerth, 4th year MCTian.

The ADDA: The Mechanical Engineering and Library Block Credits: BeyondBoundaries

The ADDA: The Mechanical Engineering and Library Block Credit: BeyondBoundaries

“If you want to join a top ten college, and you only have Mechatronics as an option in MGIT; you are ready to work your ass off for the next four years to retain your ‘top ten fever’, then join!”

–Varun Chenna, 3rd year.

“If the recession has cornered you into a stalemate between mechanical and electronics, then this wouldn’t be a bad choice. But, let me tell you, it is more mechanical than electronics. The degree says Mechatronics (Mech. Engineering), so what you see is what you get!”

–Vipul, 3rd year MCTian.

“Read the syllabus book, you would understand half of what is really in there. Nothing really Greek and Latin if you passed EAMCET”.

–Sruthika, 4th year.

This survey was aimed at revealing the inside story, the who’s who and what’s what of Mechatronics at MGIT and to help the readers get the same. So if a wannabe MCTian finds any of these golden tit-bits of advice in his thought process, then he can sure give it a shot. But as it is in the case with every individual, his personal opinion is of paramount importance in his career and it completely depends on what he chooses at that all-important moment.

So Good Luck folks!

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