Annamalai University is a public state university located in Annamalai Nagar, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. It is spread across 950 acres (3.8 km2) in Chidambaram and offers courses of higher education in Arts, Science, Engineering, Medical, Management (MBA), Humanities, Agriculture, and Physical Education. The university was founded in 1929 by the entrepreneur Annamalai Chettiyar in the aftermath of the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. In the early 1920s, to serve the downtrodden and to promote Tamil literature, Rajah Sir S. R. M. Annamalai Chettiar founded Sri Minakshi College, Sri Minakshi Tamil College and Sri Minakshi Sanskrit College in a rural setup at Chidambaram. In 1928, Rajah Sir S. R. M. Annamalai Chettiar agreed with the local government to hand over the above said institution for establishing a university. Thus, on i January 1929 Annamalai University was established as per Annamalai University Act 1928 (Tamil Nadu Act 1 of 1929). The most significant development is the enactment of the Annamalai University Act, 2013 (Tamil Nadu Act 20 of 2013), which has come into force from September 25, 2013, after obtaining the assent of His Excellency, the President of India.
The university also provides more than 500 courses through distance education. The Directorate of Distance Education (DDE) of Annamalai University offers education to those people who are unable to attend the campus but who desire to study. It is credited with the largest enrollment in India and is well equipped with computers and other infrastructure, separate teaching faculty and administration, study centers, and computer training centers to serve its students. It was the first institution in India to offer postgraduate degree programmes in Applied Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Bioinformatics and Law, Business Administration and Management (MBA) through distance education. The Directorate of Distance Education also offers programmes in Fashion Design, Textile Design, Interior Design, Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Retail Management, Twinning, Health Science, a Commonwealth Youth Programme, Yoga, Music, Fire and Safety, Pharmaceutical and Taxation.
Annamalai University was ranked 1001+ in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2020 and 351-400 in Asia. It was ranked in the 151-200 band overall in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for 2020 and in the 151-200 band among universities. NIRF also ranked it 12 in its pharmacy ranking in 2020.
The university has ten faculties, namely agriculture, arts (including management studies), dentistry, education, engineering and technology, fine arts, Indian languages, marine sciences, Rajah Muthiah Medical College (medicine) and science.
Directorate of Distance Education was established in 1979 which now offers more than 500 courses including MBA. All the programmes of study offered have the approval of the Distance Education Council. The B.Ed. programme is approved by the National Council for Teacher Education.
Scholarships and awards
A total of 356 scholarships and awards are given to eligible candidates every year.
In 2006, Annamalai University opened its first international intake centre in Toronto, Canada, offering Annamalai University's programs in Carnatic music, Barathanatiyam, Tamil language and yoga. Other overseas centres include the Al Mihad Institute, Dubai, the Dhafir Institute in Abu Dhabi, the Al Hilal Education Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Uni Grad Education Center Bahrain and the Al Noor Education Centre in Muscat, Oman.
In 2017, dance, music and yoga were offered through Naku Nachhilfe und Kulturschule in Switzerland.
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- Subbiah Arunachalam
- C. Sylendra Babu, renowned Indian Police Service officer of Tamil Nadu cadre
- K. Balachander, Indian director, producer, writer, actor, playwright, stage conductor, and comedian who worked mainly in the Tamil film industry; graduated in Zoology
- Bala V. Balachandran, founder and Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India
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- T. K. Doraiswamy, poet and novelist
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- Kulandei Francis, activist, social worker, recipient of the Magsaysay Award in 2012
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