Good: Infrastructure, facilities, staff, environment, multicultural experience
Bad: Some staff do not teach properly. Sometimes construction work goes on during college hours which can be distracting. The student must make an effort to interact with the staff, or otherwise they will not get proper attention.
Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute, Chennai Review
I am a student here at MGR and I guess I can give you 'insider information' about this college, whose ads you might have seen at least once on TV, in the railway station or in a mall. (This is a running joke between the students, by the way.) You might have even seen the huge, neon hoarding of the college if you've driven through NH4.
The main campus is located in Maduravoyal, which can be easily accessed through the ever growing number of share autos in the city. It's also only a small distance away from the Maduravoyal market, and there are quite a few banks in the area as well, so it's in a good location.
I joined MGR because a friend recommended it to me. I must say, the procedure was quite easy! I waited a bit in the admissions office waiting room (a calm, air conditioned atmosphere, with comfy chairs- 100 points for hospitality) with my parents, and then we went into the office to see the staff. They were very polite and gave us a rundown of all the things that the procedure entailed- the documents we needed and the fee structure too. They gave us the documents we would need to take a bank loan when we asked them, and the whole thing went of without a hitch.
Our bank messed things up for us, they kept saying that no one bothered to answer their questions. But when we went to the college with the questionnaire from the bank, The Students vice chancellor himself filled it out completely for us. That was really quite something.
And after the fee was paid and the admission was finalised, I finally made my way to the college.
You see, the first year campus is separate from the main campus and administrative office- almost by a kilometer to make sure there were no ragging incidents.
The first year campus when compared to the main block was quite trying. No phones were allowed, people without the ID cards were sent back home, late comers were detained and only allowed to enter the class after the morning break had commenced, and the dress code was very strict. But the staff were all quite nice.
The first year has two main attractions so to speak:
One is the Science club, where they take you on an Industrial Visit and also organise poster presentations, quizzes, and other contests.
The other is the Youth Association for Cultural Excellence (YACE). They also organise many contests, though they are more on the creative side- essay writing, creative writing, oratorical, that sort of stuff.
The hostels are located near the first year campus premises. There are buses to ferry the students between campuses. The girls hostel is quite good but I've heard the food in the boys hostel is not that great.
The only thing I'll miss from first year will be the canteen. A heaping plate full of chicken fried rice for Rs.50 is every broke student's dream, don't you know? And it tasted so good too.
Then: Second Year. Main campus.
This is almost the polar opposite of first year. Yes, they still insist on wearing the ID cards and sticking to the dress code, but everything else is quite relaxed. Of course, this depends on what department you're choosing as well. But most departments are quite lenient.
In regards to the infrastructure, the classes are large and well lit. The college building has several different blocks, and each department can be found on each block.
In first year, everyone is shuffled together, and only when you come to the second year do you clearly segregate into branches. The staff are all quite competent, and many of them are working on research projects. There are plenty of symposiums and conferences to attend, both inside and outside the college. The labs are all well stocked and there are a few classes with projectors that can be used to make presentations and the like.
There is a canteen, two snack shops and a small coffee kiosk on campus, and a bakery and quite a few restaurants in the vicinity of the campus, so you don't have to worry about going hungry. (Unless you have no money, in which case you will have to go hungry. Or you could cajole a friend into buying you food, like I do).
Coming to the extra curricular, there are many things to keep you occupied. There are student clubs in the college, such as a chapter of IEEE, a chapter of IET, An E-cell and a cultural club called the Literary seminary, which organises the only non-technical events in the college. Anyone can join the clubs, and participate in all the events, and have a lot of fun. MGR also offers classes for the Business English Certificate (BEC) examination from the university of Cambridge.
The administrative office is quite helpful and quick too. They might make you wait a little, sometimes it's short, sometimes it's not. But for the most part they don't make you run around too much and get things done quickly.
Placements come in from IT companies and a few core companies. Sutherland was one of the companies that came this year, and there will be a few more coming. Every student is required to sit for placement (if they are eligible).
I guess this winds up my 'Insider account' on Dr.M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute University. Despite all the little irritations I have with the college (How the canteen coffee tastes like tea, for instance, or how you never know until Friday whether Saturday is a holiday or not, some other problems that pop up and then die down naturally), but it's home now and I would rather be here than anywhere else.