Tamil Nadu: the Mecca for Distance Education in India -2

This is the second article in the series of three. In this article, we will examine the different courses offered under distance education from the three major cities of Tamil Nadu, namely, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Tiruchirapalli, each of which has a University of repute. The most important salient features of the courses are discussed in some detail.


In this second article, we will discuss the different courses offered by the three different universities of Tamil Nadu, namely, Coimbatore that houses the Bharathiyar University, Madurai, Madurai-Kamaraj University and Tiruchirapalli, that boasts of the Bharathidasan University, under distance education. The first article in this series of three articles, Tamil Nadu: The Mecca for Distance Education in India -1 spoke about the reputation of the number one University in Tamil Nadu, the University of Madras and its unique courses. Similarly, the two other Universities discussed in that article, the Annamalai and the Alagappa Universities have their own unique courses.

In the main we will discuss a) What is common to all three Universities b) Courses at Madurai-Kamaraj University c) Courses at Bharathiyar Univesity and d) Courses at Bharathidasan University.

The third part, namely, Tamil Nadu: the Mecca for Distance Education in India -3 discusses the salient features of the courses conducted by the Periyar, The Manonmaniyam and the SRM Deemed Universities.

What is common to all three Universities

All the three Universities offer the MBA course under distance education and it is reported that the three Universities have study centers in their own district and in the colleges of the neighbouring districts only. However, each of the Universities has its own reputation and the courses are being patronized by many from neighbouring Kerala and even Karnataka. For example, it is reported that all three Universities have a huge number of students from Palghat, which is very near Coimbatore and Cochin; these cities are directly connected by train to Madurai and Tiruchirapalli.

Courses at Madurai-Kamaraj University

Madurai Kamaraj University is the second oldest University in Tamil Nadu. Its distance education courses also have some unique offerings. For example, the MA (Tourism Management) is offered by this Unversity. The MBA course also has a specialization in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

There are different specializations for the MBA courses offered by all the Tamil Nadu Universities and it does suit the personnel of the particular area to choose the specialization that best suits their background and occupation. This is also true of the three Universities discussed in this article.

The Madurai Kamaraj University offers a PG Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations. It should be noted that the Alagappa University offers a Master's Degree In Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, thus closing the loop with two courses in the same domain. The Post-graduate Diploma in Psychological Counseling is also one course that reportedly has a huge demand throughout the State. In particular, a couple of nurses told me over the phone that this course has helped them acquire a vital skill that is useful in discharging their duties in the Government hospital at Madurai.

Contact Information:-
Madurai-Kamaraj University
Directorate of Distance Education
Palkalai Nagar
Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
Phone number:- 0452-2458471 (30 lines)
Email:- directordde@gmail.com
Website:- mkuniversity.ac.in/dde/

Courses at Bharathiyar Univesity

Housed at a lovely location in the lap of the Western Ghats in the city of Coimbatore, the Bharathiyar Universityhas been making a big mark with its unique courses offered under the distance mode. For example, the MSc (Applied Psychology) course reportedly has a big enrolment year on year from students all over Tamil Nadu and from Kerala as well. It has also been reported that the Msc (Costume Design and Fashion Technology) is a course with a big demand, chiefly because Coimbatore and the neighbouring Tiruppur have a big textile base with massive export potential. The PG Diploma in Yoga Education is also seeing a good enrolment every year.

Similarly, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and BSc Visual Communication (Electronic Media) are reportedly in good demand as well. Hence, the Coimbatore based Bharathidasan University has its unique courses that are special to this city and its neighbourhood. In the years to come, the University is reportedly planning to introduce new courses as well.

Contact Information:-
Bharathiyar University
Department of Education
School of Distance Education
Coimbatore 641046
Phone:- 0422- 2425222

Courses at Bharathidasan University

The Bharathiyar University is situated in the city of Tiruchirapalli, the fourth largest city in central Tamil Nadu. Over the years, this University has made its mark with the B.Ed, the MBA, and the MCA courses.

Apart from these courses that are also offered by other Universities, its other courses include the Masters's Degree in Human Resources Management and the Master's Degree in Library Science, the MLLS course. The Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Rights is also reportedly picking up and has increased enrolments. Its MBA course is reportedly supervised by the branded Bharathidasan Institute of Management, an autonomous college under this Unversity, and ranked among the best forty colleges in India, in every survey.

This apart, the local Tamil flavour is also observed. For example, this is the only University that offers a Diploma in Tirukkural, the famous poem of the poet Tiruvalluvar, now translated in most languages around the world. The certificate course in Tamil Pandit Training requires a pass in Pulavar or a B.Litt Tamil course, both of which are extremely difficult to pass and master, as literary Tamil is totally different from the Tamil that is spoken in everyday use. The University has 33 study centers and these cover the Tirurapalli, Tanjore, Pudukottai, and the Perambalur and Ariyalur districts.

Contact Information:-
Bharathidasan University
Centre for Distance Education
Bharathidasan University
Tiruchirapalli 620024
Phone:- 0431- 2407054, +91 830084010, 8300174591
Email:- directorcdebhu@gmail.com
Website:- bdu.ac.in


The unique features in terms of special courses of the three Universities, namely, the Madurai-Kamaraj University, the Bharathiyar University, and the Bharathidasan University, have been discussed to some extent in the aforesaid paragraphs. The uniqueness of these courses is that they effectively serve a large number of students from the city and the surrounding districts and go a long way in making a big contribution to the quality of continuing education to thousands of students who are mostly employed in several occupations in the State of Tamil Nadu and in the neighboring States.

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