For those who don’t know what does “PNEC” or “EME” means well here is a crash course; PNEC stands for Pakistan Navy Engineering College and “EME” (officially its CEME) stands for College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Both are pioneering colleges of NUST and have been producing quality engineering decades before the inception of NUST. NUST as an institution was established in 1994 but until 2005 it didn’t had that flashy lavishing H-12 Campus. It only had military colleges that produced the pioneers of NUST who went on to earn respect of the industry. EME and PNEC were the only main campuses in a long list that include MCS, AMC and others! EME is situated in Rawalpindi and PNEC is in Karachi.
I got admitted in PNEC and after spending a year there. I applied for transfer to EME College and managed to get one, so I hold a unique honor to have studies in both of the places!
In the following piece I shall try my best to give unbiased and unaltered account of my experience in both of these amazing colleges. This article is a subjective account; a lot of critiques are my personal point of view and anyone can very well disagree with it. My sole purpose of writing this article is to bash the myths that surround both of these places and in doing so guide the new admitting students.
PNEC is situated in Karsaz, Karachi. Karsaz is an amazing place. It is a home to majority of Navy’s infrastructure. It is just 10 minute drive from Bahadurabad and Tariq Road, so it is very close to all the places you need to visit for your daily needs. Karsaz is blessed in many others ways too, it has its own power generation plant (No load shedding in PNEC or its hostel) and its own supply of water (which is nothing less than a blessing). Many Punjabi’s don’t know that Karachi doesn’t have usable underground water so all of city’s needs are catered by the water supply and majority of city lacks in this commodity. PNEC is also next to Arena and Naval Museum and a 5 minutes drive from PAF Museum.
EME is situated in outskirts of Rawalpindi. It is within 5 minutes drive from Peshawar morr (Where Motorway enters Islamabad). It lies at 30 minutes drive from Saddar. The best thing around EME campus is the Daewoo Station which is in fact next to it; so going home and coming back is not no headache for EME students!
Winner: Clearly PNEC!
PNEC has 3 type of hostels to cater out of station students; they are International Hostel, NUST Hostels and KDA Hostels. Girls only have the option of NUST hostel (whose information sadly I cannot provide as I never had the opportunity to visit). The international Hostel is most well equipped which include attach washroom, AC, LCD TV and only 2 wards per room. NUST hostel have variety of rooms and your seniority decides which room you can get, freshmen get room in Annexe which has 6 persons in one room but has attach washroom plus west open windows, after 2 or 3 semesters you graduate to Main Hostel that has smaller rooms with 3 persons per room but no attach washroom. If you are well connected you might also get single person room in final semesters. The KDA hostel is for those who are either expelled from the Hostel or those who cannot get room in case of unavailability. In short PNEC takes care of you in either case, partly because parents do not feel at ease sending their children to Karachi.
EME has a simple system; there are many hostels but all of them are inside the campus and have quite the same facilities. A freshman either gets 4 person room in Bank Hostel or 2 person room in Jinnah or Liaquat, and after 2 years you graduate to senior hostels that have a little better quality. EME does not have any special hostel for international students and those who do not get the hostel at the time of their admission never gets it; although in PNEC everyone gets the hostel.
Winner: No clear winner; if PNEC can control the crowding of their hostels they are clear winner but till then let’s call it even.
Ragging(ahmm Lets call it “Friendly interaction”):
Now a lot of people from NUST are going to accuse me of portraying our institution in bad light but I believe it is much better to know exactly what happens rather than covering it up to mystify it. The stories that I heard before joining both of these colleges were much more horrifying and daunting than the actual reality( in fact in reality nothing horrifying happened).
In PNEC if you are a day scholar there is virtually NO RAGGING, but if you are hostalite you are in for a ride! The friendly interaction consists of joking around and nothing personal or PHYSICAL. No one is allowed to touch you or curse you, in either case you can report to your seniors and they shall take care of it. The favorite in PNEC is “intro” which is actually just your biographical details that you have to tell in a mannered way apart from that nothing!
EME is quite the same with addition of some friendly interaction with day scholars too; but hostilities are main focus here.
Another signature of NUST’s military colleges are fall in’s (as they are called in EME) and muster (the navy jargon used in PNEC). It is an assembly of freshmen conducted by official appointees. It usually 30 minutes to an hour long in PNEC and you have to dress up in proper uniform after the dinner. YES you read it correctly; in uniform at 9 pm! And it can go on from 1 month after admission to 2 whole semesters depending on your semester’s compliance or defiance!
PNEC lacks a grass football size field but they do have a football sized concrete muster ground which is just as good for cricket matches. They also have squash court, table tennis, tennis and small grassy grounds for football. For fitness nuts there is also a gym which they could use free of charge. Swimming pool of karsaz is 5 minutes drive from PNEC and is open for its students for a modest fee.
EME has giant grassy well maintained grounds fit for every outdoor game. In addition to that there are indoor volleyball courts, indoor swimming pool and horse riding club if one is interested in such activity.
Winner: EME by a slim margin
PNEC has a lot of offer when it comes to extra curriculars. If you come to events they host an annual Model United Nations (MUNIIP) which is one of the best in Karachi and perfect opportunity for students to brush up their debating skills. Apart from this there are 3 different Motor sports teams (FNR, FER and Shell Eco-PNEC) that participate in international events and have the honor to represent Pakistan and NUST there. Students can join these teams to learn practical aspects of engineering and get their hands dirty in process to learn invaluable knowledge. There are other societies that one can join eg ASME, ASHRAE etc.
EME is equally equipped – they host an annual event Olympiad which is famously called “most popular event of Twin Cities”, and rightly so! It contains multitude of events including sports and other thing. There is also NERC-EME that is a robot making competition! EME also has a motorsports team that design and fabricate a concept car and present it a competition abroad. There are other societies like ASME and debating clubs that one can join.
Academics and Facilities:
Everyone comes to a conclusion from the merit positions that getting GPA (grades) in PNEC is quite easy; although it is not true. Every class has different dynamics but in my experience level of competition in PNEC was equal if not more than EME.
PNEC is an older institution so their buildings is quite older and need some serious renovation (gladly which is being undertaken by new commandant), there are no Air Conditioners or heaters (no need) in contrast EME’s classes are very well furnished and have AC’s and heaters that make it much more comfortable along with multimedia and support staff.
Faculty wise both colleges have exceptional teachers but EME does carry some advantage. EME’s faculty has more names to flaunt. Labs wise both colleges are equally good in their respected field.
Both EME and PNEC are predominantly military colleges so seniority is an inseparable part of their culture but from what I have noticed PNEC has much more stricter approach to seniority. In PNEC you cannot be frank with a senior (unless they let you), there are exceptions but mostly that is the case (specially if you are hostalite) .
Both EME and PNEC have as you would say “fauji mahool” the dress code is mandatory but if one compares both institutes PNEC is by far much more strict, they have not only uniform and shoes requirement but you have to carry institute’s official bag too.
A main attraction of university is its café and the café culture associated with it, in PNEC there is but one café (High seas) and even its condition is not up to the mark, although improvements were made recently still when compare to EME it is far behind. In EME there are atleast 5 Cafés that you can visit (along with some stalls). This provides invaluable places for socializing and enjoying some snacks!
Special Features of EME:
- EME is offered NESCOM fellowship, PNEC is not.
- Due to closeness to H-12 EME students can avail all the facilities, labs and faculty of main campus.
- Cool winters! When compare to Karachi’s humidity Rawalpindi’s weather is a dream, specially for hostilities who have to live without comforts of AC.
Special Features of PNEC:
- Formula Student teams and free international exposure.
- Semester abroad culture (the number of students opting for semester abroad is highest in PNEC).
- CDC (Career Development Center), PNEC is only college of NUST to have its very own CDC.
Both of these colleges have their forte but one must keep this in mind that they are part of same university and have the same standards and they award the same degree. The merit difference is only due to the personal preference of the students to study in one institute instead of the other and it is by far not a standard by which an institutions can be judged.