Being one of the oldest institutions in Pakistan for teaching and producing engineering graduates, the NED University of Engineering and Technology is going to complete 100 years of its foundation this year. The academic journey of the varsity was started in 1921, previously known as the Prince of Wales Engineering College, located on James Strachan Road in the Old City Area.
At present, more than 540 faculty members are employed at the varsity. Among these faculty members, more than 200 have doctorate degrees while the remaining members are perusing PhD degrees. The varsity offers 34 undergraduate, over 50 masters, and 21 PhD programmes.
According to the NEDUET Vice Chancellor Prof Dr. Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, in the beginning, a few students were selected to be trained as civil engineers. At that time, Karachi was a developing city, for which a number of engineers were required, and the British government had planned to construct the Sukkur Barrage.
The college was founded as Prince of Wales Engineering College to mark the visit made by Prince of Wales in 1921 to India. The foundation stone of the college was laid when the prince paid a visit to Karachi. “A British officer, Jackson, was the most dedicated person who used all possible resources to establish the college,” Prof Lodi said.
On August 29, 1921, College Principal C S Shahani started civil engineering classes enrolling 50 students to meet demands for the completion of the Sukkur Barrage. After graduation and getting proper training in the college, the engineers played an important role in building the barrage.
Affiliation before Partition
The college administration applied for affiliation with Bombay University; however, the varsity rejected the application on grounds of insufficient funding and lack of facilities which included building, furniture, laboratories, and equipment for training.
As per the NED University’s profile, after collection of donations from the Puribai and Becharbai Trust, Vishandas Fatehchand Brothers, and Nadirshaw Edulji Dinshaw, the new college buildings and laboratories were constructed on separate land.
For donating a hefty amount to the college’s fund, the Prince of Wales Engineering College was renamed in memory of Nadirshaw Edulji Dinshaw (NED), the eldest son of the college building’s landowner and philanthropist, Seth Edulji Dinshaw.
After making arrangements with donations, Bombay University provisionally awarded affiliation to the college on May 23, 1923, for the first and second batches in which around 78 students were enrolled. In 1927, the NED College received permanent affiliation from Bombay University.
"The college was initially set up in four blocks of buildings and two sheds. The main block was named Seth Fatehchand Dewandas Khilnani Hall, the block housing, powerhouse, electrical and hydraulics laboratories, and workshops were named after Bai Puribai and Bacharbai".
"The fourth block, which was completed in 1945, contained a classroom and clerk's office on the ground floor and another drawing hall on the first floor. Two sheds were also built, one to house the carpentry and smithy shops and the other was alongside the electrical laboratory and engine room to train technicians".
Until the partition, the college was affiliated with Bombay University; however, after the partition, the college went under the control of the Sindh government. In 1951, Karachi University (KU) was established and the affiliation of the NED College was transferred to the KU.
In 1964, the college administration made a plan to shift the college from Strachan Road, which was a congested downtown area, to its present location, adjoining the KU. For the construction of the new campus, 40-acre land was acquired from the government.
In 1975, the NED College was moved to the new campus. The old campus is now a protected heritage site. On March 1, 1977, the Sindh government through the NED University of Engineering and Technology Act promoted the college to university. Since then, the varsity has been producing engineers who play their role in the development of the country.
Recalling his student life, Dr. Lodi said that he had been associated with the NED University since 1980. As a student, he got admission on June 18, 1980, at the university and received his final year results on December 30, 1985. After completing Master’s in the United States, he joined the varsity as a lecturer on May 28, 1988.
“I’m one of the luckiest people in the history of the NED University as I studied here and now I am serving the varsity for the past 32 years,” the NEDUET VC said. For the past 100 years, the university had been imparting quality education and has been producing from 2000 to 2500 engineers every year for the past two decades.
"In the last week of December 2021, the university will mark its 100 years; however, the celebrations will depend on the alumnae registration, pandemic situation, and funds," Lodi informed.
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