A Short History of CETAA
In 1969 Dr. C.P. Kuriakose, then P.G. Professor in Electrical Engineering who later retired as Director of Technical Education, convened a meeting to discuss the formation of an Alumni Association for CET. It was Dr. CPK who coined the acronym CETAA and made the emblem and the seal. However, the matter did not proceed further. The idea lay dormant for half a dozen years. CETAA was just a low rumble in the jungle.
In 1976 Dr. R. Ravikumar, then Professor of Mechanical Engineering who later retired as Director of Technical Education, took a stranger initiative. The first brainstorming meeting was convened by him in Trivandrum Club and was attended by a core group consisting of Dr. J. Inayatulla, Dr. S. Hariharan, Dr. K.P.P. Pillai, Dr. A. Kulathu Iyer, Dr. R.V.G. Menon and Sri. S. Krishnakumar I.A.S. Action followed at a frenetic pace. A lifetime membership fee of Rs. 100/- was fixed. A relentless membership drive was conducted all over the State. Bye-laws were drafted by Sri. S. Ramanatha Pillai, Retd. Chief Engineer, PWD. (By the way, have you noticed that tongue-in-the-cheek clause at the end of the original Bye-Laws? That was Sri. Ramanatha Pillai`s contribution. It stipulates in all seriousness that: “If any of the above clauses does not apply in a specific situation, then Robert`s Rule will apply”. What exactly is Robert`s Rule?. You clear your throat and say “will, er, that is anybody`s guess”).
The first CETAA General Body Meeting was convened in the Indoor Auditorium in CET in December 1976. The Bye-Laws were passed. The meeting was followed by variety entertainments - a fantastic magic show by the then workshop Superintendent Sri. T. Sundaresan Nair, two brilliant dance items by the daughter of Prof. V.K. Savithri along with Regatta Dance Club, - culminating in the crowning item of the day, a hilarious Malayalam drama “The Return of the Native” which is still remembered with gusto by all those who witnessed it. The juggernaut of Cetaa started rolling.
The Second General Body Meeting of Cetaa was held in 1977 in the Jawahar Bal Bhavan auditorium. The variety entertainments concluded with the drama “Operation BSc. (Engg)”. From the third general body meeting onwards, the function was held for several years in the Institution of Engineers Hall. All through these initial years the Secretary of CETAA was Dr. A. Kulathu Iyer and the Treasurer was Dr. R. Ravikumar. The original core group remained as the backbone. It was under those veteran protagonists that CETAA took wings and has never since looked back.
Compiled by Dr K P P Pillai.