Strategically sited on Chennai’s popular Marina beach on a sprawling 30-acre campus, is the gothic red and white stone Presidency College (est. 1840), one of India’s pioneer institutions of higher education. The first government college to be established in Tamil Nadu , the 172-year-old Presidency College was the precursor of the University of Madras (est. 1857). Today, this arts, science and commerce college wholly funded by the state government, offers free education (tuition fees have been completely waived from the academic year 2007-08) to 4,000 students, mostly from underprivileged and backward classes/castes (for whom 69 percent of annual admissions are reserved) backgrounds, mentored by 244 highly qualified faculty including 133 Ph Ds. The college was conferred autonomous status by the Delhi-based University Grants Commission in 1987. Every year 60 students are awarded Ph Ds and 150 earn M.Phil degrees. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council awarded the college four stars in April 1999 and reaccredited it with an A rating in March 2005. Moreover, the Delhi-based newsweekly India Today ranked Presidency as India’s No.1 science college in 2001 and No.1 arts college in 2002, besides consistently ranking it among the country’s top ten arts and science colleges during the past seven years.
Although the main administrative heritage building of the college is in obvious need of a face lift, for which the state government has sanctioned a sum of Rs.3.23 crore, the college offers its students enviable infrastructure. Presidency is the only government college in the state to boast a new state-of-the-art bio-informatics centre completed with a grant of Rs.20 lakh from the central department of biotechnology, union ministry of science and technology. The college is connected via EDUSAT and is equipped with 35 science laboratories, two computer labs with over 50 computers in each, a digital library with 10 terminals, and a general library stocked with 165,000 volumes and 109 journals. The college also has an athletic association which provides sports facilities for table tennis, badminton, volley ball, football, hockey, basket ball, cricket and athletics. Presidency students have distinguished themselves in Kabaddi and handball, winning several state-level tournaments.
The college is affiliated to the University of Madras and offers 18 undergraduate and 20 postgraduate study programs through 24 departments, most of which offer research facilities. Courses Offered Bachelor of Commerce Corporate Secretaryship Bachelor of Arts History Political Science Economics Economics (with vocational subject) English Literature Tamil Literature Hindi Literature Malayalam Literature Urdu Literature Bachelor of Science Mathematics Statistics Physics Physics (with vocational subject) Chemistry Botany Zoology Geology Geography Psychology Master of Arts History, Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, Tamil, Telugu, English Sanskrit Master of Science Computer Science (MCA) Mathematics Statistics Physics Chemistry Botany Zoology Geology Geography Applied Microbiology Psychology There are M.Phil courses in English, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, Mathematics Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Geography and Commerce. Facilities for research leading to the Ph.D. degree are available in the Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Geology, Geography, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, Commerce, English, Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu departments.
The eligibility criterion for admission into undergraduate courses is a plustwo certificate. Application forms are available in the college office and admission deadline dates will be notified on the college notice board. Presidency offers 18 undergraduate and 20 postgraduate courses. Undergraduate: History, political science, economics, corporate secretaryship, English lit. Tamil lit., Hindi lit., Malayalam lit., Urdu lit, math, statistics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, geography, psychology. Postgraduate: History, political science, public administration, economics, commerce, English lit., Tamil lit., Sanskrit lit., Telugu lit., math’s, statistics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, geography, psychology. Fees: Tuition fee has been waived from the academic year 2007-08 for undergraduate students but candidates have to pay special fees ranging between Rs.20-1,000 per year.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council awarded the college four stars in April 1999 and reaccredited it with an A rating in March 2005. Moreover, the Delhi-based newsweekly India Today ranked Presidency as India’s No.1 science college in 2001 and No.1 arts college in 2002, besides consistently ranking it among the country’s top ten arts and science colleges during the past seven years.