NATIONAL poet Subramanya Bharathis great dream appears to have become real, thanks to the efforts of several reputed educational institutions, including the Annamalai University.
The university has set its vision, mission and goals thus: taking care of the needs of the economically most backward and downtrodden people from neighbouring regions in the higher education sector and introducing new need-based academic programmes which are innovative, career-oriented, vocational and employable.
The university has grown into a premier, unitary and residential institution, during the past 80 years of its existence. It has accomplished academic excellence through teaching, research and extension activities despite its location in semi-urban Chidambaram in Tamil Nadus Cuddalore district.
Prof. M. Ramanathan, its Vice-Chancellor, says that the university was founded in 1929 by the munificence and single-minded devotion of a far-sighted and noble-hearted philanthropist and patron of letters, the Honble Dr. Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar of Chettinad.
His son and second Founder Pro-Chancellor Dr. Rajah Sir Muthiah Chettiar, during his tenure from 1948 to 1984, assiduously nurtured the growth and development of the university and devoted himself to the realisation of the aims of his noble father, he says.
The present Founder Pro-Chancellor M.A.M. Ramaswamy who has been giving a dynamic leadership to the university, is also hailed as a patron of sports.
The university has 49 departments under the faculties of Arts, Science, Indian Languages, Fine Arts, Engineering and Technology, Education, Agriculture, Medicine and Dentistry.
The university celebrated its Silver Jubilee in January 1955, Golden Jubilee in 1979 and Diamond Jubilee in 1989.
Another important milestone was the celebration of three great events Platinum Jubilee of the university, birth centenary of Muthiah Chettiar and Silver Jubilee of the Directorate of Distance Education in August 2004.
The successful conduct of the 94th Indian Science Congress, Childrens Science Congress and Exhibition in January 2007 was a memorable event.
The uniqueness of the university is the location of all the nine faculties under one roof in a sprawling 1,000-acre site, enabling easy access, interaction and efficient administration.
The Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, located in Porto Novo in Cuddalore district, has been doing pioneering work in marine study and research.
A centrally located computerised library with University Grants Commission infonet facilities, a central medical library, a centralised instrumentation and services laboratory, one of the largest marine aquaria of the nation, sports facilities including an indoor stadium, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a centre for yoga studies, an air-conditioned convocation hall, adequate farmlands and orchards for agricultural research, Campus Wide Networking with 1,750 access points, 15 halls of residence for students and researchers that accommodate 15,000 students and a modern press are among the facilities available on the campus.
The medical faculty has won the acclaim of one and all, university sources say. The Rajah Muthiah Medical College Hospital is the teaching hospital of the faculty and it is extremely well equipped. With a bed strength of 1,210 and 17 modern operation theatre suites, the hospital is a tertiary level centre. On any regular day, the hospital receives 2,475 outpatients and over 1,000 inpatients, on an average. Every year, 6,000 emergency interventions and over 6,000 deliveries take place. The hospital is equipped with CT scan, MRI scan and mammography facilities, colour doppler machines, an ambulatory BP monitor and a holter recorder with analyser.
While basic services are provided to the people in the three surrounding districts free of cost, special investigation and treatment are provided at nominal cost. Free food is served to all inpatients.
The hospital also runs clinics for ailments that need specialised care and supervision. They include adult and paediatric cardiology services, a paediatric neurology clinic, a high-risk babies paediatric clinic, a nephrology clinic, a nutrition clinic, a child guidance clinic, an adolescent clinic, tuberculosis and chest diseases clinic, a pain clinic, a diabetic clinic and a dialysis unit.
The medical college has adopted three primary health centres at B. Mutlur, Orathoor and Vadalur and a rural health centre at Pichavaram all in Cuddalore district to look after the health needs of the rural community.
The Rajah Muthiah Medical College has been granted permanent recognition by the Medical Council of India for admission of 150 students annually since 2003.
At present, it offers postgraduate medical degree courses in 18 specialities and postgraduate diploma courses in 10 disciplines.