University of Madras

University of Madras

Infobox University

name = University of Madras
motto = "Learning Promotes (One's) Natural (Innate) Talent"
established = 1857
type = Public
Vice Chancellor = Prof.S.Ramachandran
head = |Governor- Chancellor Surjit Singh Barnala
city = Chennai
state = Tamilnadu
country = India
undergrad = 3000
postgrad = 5000
faculty = 300
campus = Urban
mascot = Lion
colors = Cardinal
nickname =
endowment = US$50 million
affiliations = UGC
website = []

The University of Madras is one of the three oldest universities in India (along with the University of Calcutta and the University of Mumbai). The University of Madras, organized on the model of the University of London, was incorporated on 5 September 1857 by an Act of the Legislative Council of India. The university is situated in the southern city of Chennai (formerly known as Madras). It has four campuses in the city - Chepauk, Marina, Guindy and Taramani. More than 50 Departments offer a range of specialisation subjects.

In 2004, all engineering courses of the University were shifted to Anna University. The University provides affiliation to several colleges for numerous courses. The various departments of the University also conduct research in addition to teaching. There are nearly 43 external research institutes in addition to centres of excellence within the University.

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council has conferred the "Five star Status" to the University of Madras. The University of Madras has been given the status of "University with Potential for Excellence" by the University Grants Commission.


The first ever demand for higher education in Madras Presidency was voiced forth in a public address to The Right Honourable Lord John Elphinstone G.C.H., Governor of Madras signed by 70,000 native inhabitants when the Governor in Council was contemplating "some effective and liberal measures for the establishment of an improved system of national education." This public petition, which was presented by the then Advocate General Mr. George Norton on 11 November 1839, pressed the need for an English College in the city of Madras. Pursuant to this, Lord Elphinstone evolved a plan for the establishment of a Central Collegiate Institution or a ‘University.’ This University had twin Departments (1) High School for the cultivation of English literature, regional language, philosophy and science, (2) College providing instruction in the higher branches of literature, philosophy and science.

The University Board was constituted in January 1840 with Mr. George Norton as its President. This was the precursor of the present Presidency College, Chennai. However, a systematic educational policy for India was only formulated 14 years later by the historic dispatch of 1854 (Sir Charles Wood’s Education Dispatch), which pointed out the rationale for "creating a properly articulated system of education from the primary school to the University." The Dispatch recommended the establishment in the Universities of Professorships "for the purposes of the delivery of lectures in various branches of learning including vernacular as well as classical languages." As a sequel, the University of Madras, organized on the model of the University of London, was incorporated on 5 September 1857 by an Act of the Legislative Council of India.

The University of Madras progressed and expanded throughout the nineteenth century to span the whole of South India and subsequently gave birth to and nourished universities like Mysore University (1916), Osmania University (1918), Andhra University (1926), Annamalai University (1929), Travancore University (1937) presently University of Kerala, Sri Venkateswara University (1954), Madurai Kamaraj University (1966), Bharathidasan University (1982), Bharathiar University (1982), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (1971), Anna University (1978), Tamil University (1981), Mother Teresa Women's University (1984), The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University (1989), Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (1989), Periyar University (1997) and the Tamil Nadu Dr.Ambedkar Law University (1996).

In 1912 endowments were made to the University to establish departments of Indian History, Archaeology, Comparative Philology and Indian Economics. In all there were 17 University departments, 30 University teachers, 69 research scholars and 127 University publications in that year and the budget was for Rs.11 lakhs. Later, the research and teaching functions of the University were encouraged by Sadler Commission and the gains of the University were consolidated by the enactment of "Madras University Act" of 1923. About this time, the territorial ambit of the Madras University encompassed from Berhampur of Orissa in the North, Trivandrum of Kerala in the South West, Bangalore and Mangalore of Karnataka in the West and Hyderabad of Andhra Pradesh in the North.

However, Indian independence in 1947, the setting up of the University Grants Commission in 1956 and changes in political, social and cultural milieu had brought several amendments to the University of Madras Act of 1923 to permit qualitative and quantitative changes in its jurisdictions and functions.

Coat of Arms

The description of the Coat of Arms of the University of Madras as designed in 1857 and now being followed is as follows:

"Argent "(silver or white)" on a Mount issuant from the basement a Tiger passant proper "(walking and coloured naturally)", on a Chief Sable "(black across the top)", a Pale Or "(a gold or yellow vertical strip down the centre 1/3 of the top or chief)", thereon, between two Elephants heads couped of the field, a lotus flower leaved and slipped of the third, together with this motto "Doctrina Vim Promovet Insitam".

The coat of arms are shown in the following tints. 'The base vert' - a light green Tiger - yellow on white ground Elephants - grey on black ground Lotus - white flower, olive green leaves, on gold ground Motto Scroll - edger red, black lettering.

The English translation of the motto of the University of Madras is: "Learning promotes (one’s) natural (innate) talent."


Nobel laureates

* C. V. Raman (B.A., M.A. 1902), Nobel Prize in Physics (1930), Bharat Ratna (1954)
* Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar(B.Sc 1925), Nobel Prize in Physics (1983), Copley Medal(1984)

Law and politics


* Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari, Governor General of Independent India (1948-1950), Bharat Ratna (1954)


* Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Second President of India (1962-1967), Bharat Ratna (1954)
* V. V. Giri, Fourth President of India (1969-1974), Bharat Ratna (1975)
* Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, Sixth President of India (1977-1982)
* R. Venkataraman, Eighth President of India (1987-1992)
* A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, Eleventh President of India (2002-2007), Bharat Ratna (1997)

Chief justice

* Patanjali Sastri, Chief Justice of India
* K. Subba Rao, Chief Justice of India


* Chidambaram Subramaniam, Minister, Bharat Ratna (1998)
* Palaniappan Chidambaram, Current Finance Minister of India

cience and technology

* G.N. Ramachandran(M.Sc. 1942), Biophysicist who described the structure of Collagen
* Sathamangalam R. Srinivasa Varadhan, Abel Prize (2007)
* K. S. Krishnan, Physicist, Co-discover of Raman scattering, Padma Bhushan(1954)


* M.G. Ramachandran, Honorary Doctorate, Leading actor in Tamil films and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
* Mani Ratnam, Critically acclaimed Tamil Indian film director, writer and producer, Padma Shri (2002)

enate House

The University of Madras has a historical monument - Senate House - which is one of the landmarks of the city of Chennai. The Senate House, the University's first building, inaugurated in the year 1869, is a masterpiece of Robert Fellowes Chisholm, the greatest architect of 1800sFact|date=February 2008, who harmoniously blended the Indo-Saracenic style with Byzantine and European architectural features. This University of Madras renovated the Senate House in 2006.

Constituent Colleges

Autonomous - Arts and Science College

*Bharathi Women's College
*Loyola College, Chennai
*Madras Christian College, Tambaram
*Presidency college
*Queen Mary's college
*The New College, Chennai

Non - Autonomous - Arts and Science Colleges

*Dr.Ambedkar Government Arts College
*Government Arts College
*Government College of Arts and Crafts
*Government college of Architecture and Sculpture
*Loganatha Narayanasamy Government Arts College
*Quaid-e-Millath Government College for women
*Rajeswari Vedachalam Government Arts College
*Sri Subramaniaswami Government Arts College
*Sri Sankara Arts and Science College, Enathur, Kanchipuram

Aided Colleges

Special Institutions

*Defense Service Staff College
*Forensic Science Department
*King Institute of Preventive Medicine
*Tamilnadu Institute of Labour Studies

Autonomous - Arts and Science Colleges

*The New College, Chennai
*Ethiraj College for Women
*Loyola College, Chennai
*Madras Christian College
*Meenakshi College for Women
*Stella Maris College(SMC)
*Women's Christian College (WCC)
*Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College (RKMVC)
*Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women (JBAS)

Non-Autonomous - Arts and Science Colleges

*A.A Arts And Science College
*Alpha Arts and Science College
*J.A.Arts and Science College
*Valliyammal Arts and Science College For Women
*Dr.MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science for Women(MJC)
*A.M. Jain College
*Chellammal Women's College
*C. Kandaswami Naidu College for Men
*D.G. Vaishnav College
*Dharmamurthi Rao Bahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty's Hindu College
*Dhanraj Bain Jain College
*Guru Nanak College
*Anna Adarsh College for Women
*Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women
*Madras School of Social Work
*Pachaiyappa's College
*Pachaiyappa's College for Men
*Pachaiyappa's College for Women
*Patrician College
*Quaid-e-Milleth College
*St.Louis College for the Deaf
*Sir Theagaraya College
*SIVET College
*Shrimathi Devkunvar Nanalal Bhatt Vaishnav College for Women
*The New College
*Jaya College of Arts and Sciences,Thiruninravur
*T S Narayanaswami College of Arts and Science
*Mar Gregorious College

In popular culture

*The fictional character Mohinder Suresh in NBC's TV show Heroes (TV series) was a genetics professor at the University before moving to New York City to investigate his father's death and continue his research.

See also


External websites

* [ University of Madras official website]
* [ University of Madras Institute of correspondence education]
* [ Madras University Review]
* [ Senate House Restoration]
* [ Latest news headlines from Chennai]

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