South India is a hub for high quality education and hosts many colleges aged more than a century. A revolution occurred during the early 19th century that replaced the traditional gurukul system with the modern concept of schools and colleges. Chennai being the main center for British, the city witnessed the foundation of many arts and science colleges. English was chosen as a medium of learning and great scholars have emerged from such institutions until now. All these colleges in Chennai have maintained their high reputation even till now.
1. Madras Christian college
Madras Christian College was formed in 1837 with the initiatives taken by Christian reformers of education. They invited christian teachers from Scotland and formed St Andrew’s school for young boys. This school later developed into a standard institute for higher education and hence the Madras Christian College was born.
This college is ranked among the top 10 colleges of India and has been known as the oldest of its kind in south Asia. MCC has produced famous personalities belonging to various fields, ranging from the veteran actor Gemini Ganesan to the business icon Gopal vittal, MD of Airtel.
2. Presidency college
Presidency college is considered to be one of the oldest colleges of India formed by the British government. It is one of the oldest colleges built before the formation of Madras university, the first university of Madras presidency. It is also proudly named as the ‘Mother of Madras university’.
Started to function from 1840, the college continues to give high standard education to aspiring youth. The college is one among the top 10 arts and science colleges in India and has produced notable achievers such as the nobel prize winner Sir C V Raman, The Hindu editor-in-chief N. Ram and the famous Tamil politician Vaiko @ Gopalsami.
3. Pachaiyappa’s college
Pachaiyappa college is the first college in Madras to be run by an Indian. The college was formed with the initiatives of Pachaiyappa Mudaliar who was a successful businessman in Madras. Started in 1842, this is the third oldest college of Madras. This college has given great scholars to the state especially in the field of politics. Veteran politicians such as Annadurai and Anbazhagan are alumni of this college. Well known tamil poet and lyricist Vairamuthu is also a Pachaiyappa’s graduate.
4. Queen Mary’s college
In the early 20th century, there was a need for an exclusive college for women to educate, empower and enlighten their lives. It was during this period that the Indian women wanted to educate themselves to become graduates. It helped them to participate in freedom struggle with their knowledge in various fields mainly journalism, politics and stage arts.
The first women’s college of Madras was the Queen Mary’s college started in 1914. The college has produced notable freedom fighters, scientists and musicians. The most attractive part of this college is its location, exactly facing the beautiful Marina beach.
5. Women’s christian college
Women’s christian college was started in 1915 and the college still strives to offer high standard education to the young females of south India. Well known freedom fighter Rukmini Lakshmipathi was a graduate from this college.
As education enlightens the mind, India is considered as a lamp which lit the world with knowledge. From discovering zero to practicing yoga, Indian ancestors excelled in various fields. The pattern of education changed after 19th century and all the above colleges have contributed tremendously towards educating south Indian youth.
To conclude, this is just a pick from the huge list of prestigious institutions across the Tamil Nadu state. The British chose Madras presidency as a central point for schools and colleges and hence, today’s Chennai houses institutions providing world class education.