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Madras is the old name of Chennai, the busy capital of Tamil Nadu. It is home to various heritage sites, world class educational institutions, tourist attractions etc. The city was formed and developed by the British and a few old institutions still work under the classical name “Madras”. The prestigious Madras University is one among them. Also, the Madras University is one of the oldest universities in south India. The University bears witness for the source of great minds and talents that flourish throughout the incredible land of India.

Foundation of Madras University

Madras University is one of the oldest universities in India. It was found in 1857, and it formed the base for many other universities in south India. The base for this university was formed in the year 1839, during the period of John Elphinstone, who was the governor general of Madras. There was a need for an English college in the city to improve the educational standards of the students.

Later in 1857, the university of Madras was started, based on the model of University of London. This quenched the long time thirst for knowledge, as the university had two divisions – a school dealing with english literature and other languages, a college dealing with science and related branches.

Alumni of Madras University who made India proud

The first notable alumnus of Madras University is the most loved former president of India – Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. He studied at St. Joseph’s college at Trichy, which was then affiliated with Madras University. He obtained a bachelor degree in Physics from Madras University, before pursuing his higher studies at the Anna university, Chennai. He is one of the inspiration for Indian youth as he used his knowledge and education entirely for the betterment of India.


Another notable alumnus is Sir C. V. Raman, who is a great physician of all time. He made India proud by winning a nobel prize for physics in 1930. He lived through the British era and got educated from Presidency college, affiliated to the Madras University. His contributions to the field of physics, include the theories about light scattering, which were named after him as “Raman effect”.

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Another nobel prize laurate from Madras University is S. Chandrasekharan, who was born in British India. He is also a nephew of Sir C. V. Raman. He was a great astrophysicist, and a graduate from Presidency college, affiliated to the Madras University. He pursued his higher education in Cambridge and went on further to grab the prestigious Nobel prize award.

Several alumni from Madras University have achieved great heights in the field of politics, science and arts. Apart from Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, there are four more Presidents who have graduated from Madras University. They are S. Radhakrishnan, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, V. V. Giri and R. Venkataraman. A great scholar, politician and former chief Minister C. N. Annadurai is also one of the graduates of Madras University.

Current status of Madras University

At present, the University offers a wide range of courses including natural and medical sciences. It includes six branches located in Marina, Chetpet, Taramani, Guindy, Maduravoyal and Chepauk. The Chepauk campus houses the historical structure of Senate house. It is one of the oldest buildings of Chennai , constructed by the British around the late 19th century.

Madras University offers a wide range of courses from various fields. The Marina campus hosts the stage for linguistic studies. The Chepauk campus offers mostly political, economic and arts courses with one basic medical science course. The campus at Guindy offers science degrees including chemistry and biology related courses.

India is the birthplace of one of the ancient civilizations of the world. As the country progresses, it is inevitable to support the growth by providing flawless education. This will propel the country towards success and prosperity.

Madras University – One Of The Oldest Universities In South India

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