Aurora Degree College, pronounced "Arora", is housed in a cloudy-grey building in the bylanes of Chikkadpally. The cheerless exterior gives way to a glossy grey interior, a common architectural peculiarity of overcrowded cities. Never judge a building by its faade, especially in Hyderabad. A tin shack it may well be on the outside, but in the blink of an eye as you get in, it can transform into a 5-star hotel. In all respects, except the space!
Well, within the cramped but shiny interiors, students mill around wearing formals, down to ties for guys and dupattas for girls. The dress code is formals four days a week, something the boys express their composed delight about. Purportedly because it's "good for their future when they will be working", but obviously because they are secretly thrilled with the opportunity to look like studs, day in and day out.
The only places to hang out are the narrow compunds enclosing the building, and the basement cafeteria. The cafeteria is something to speak about, because it is dimly lit and has spot-lit chess and carroms tables, and a gym. A dwarfed but highly serviceable cousin of the games arcade from Prasad's
. Free flowing iced-tea, machine coffee, junk food and a raised platform that doubles as a dance floor: all together seem to work a magic that keeps the students hanging in there long past college hours.
In the background, Aurora has a regular college running that demands 75%, non-negotiable attendance from the students. Seminars and workshops, sometimes of a national level, are regularly hosted by Aurora. The faculty that is rotated between all twelve colleges (which include engineering and an upcoming MBA one) has a number of doctorates and industry professionals. Co-curricular activities are also numerous, as the glossy, B-school style college handbook will tell you.
Placements seem to be above average here, with ICICI Prudential, GE
and the other usual suspects picking up a number of students. An ex-student of Aurora even got into the Indian Foreign Service right after graduation here.En fin
, it seems like a college that has a good mix of all ingredients but doesn't really get into the elite league. Probably a matter of time, and further re-engineering and refurbishment. (The first round that re-did the buildings and dress code has clearly done its due).