IntroductionTamil Nadu is the most urbanized State in India. Here, it is common to find a district every fifty or sixty kilometers,. The towns that are officially developed as headquarters towns of the respective districts, also have a number of promising Arts and Science Colleges that also offer a wide range of courses. The students of the town and those from the surrounding villages get to benefit from the facilities offered by such Arts and Science colleges and the graduates also go on to do Post-graduate courses and the doctorate degree from local Universities like the Thiruvalluvar University Vellore, to which both colleges discussed in this article, are affiliated to, and go on to build very good careers for themselves.
For the purposes of this article, and other articles in this series, any college that falls outside the ambit of the four major cities of Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Tiruchirapalli, is considered to be "non-urban". It is a matter of fact that the smaller towns also have a number of promising upcoming colleges. In each article, there will be two colleges discussed.
The spotlight in these articles is on such Arts and Science Colleges. The aim is to give a fairly detailed idea of each college, gathered from academic sources in the same area. Each and every article will contain full details of only two such colleges. It is hoped that this information will be very useful for anyone aspiring to enter and study at these colleges. It should be noted that there is already a huge influx of students from neighboring States like Andhra Pradesh and Kerala into these colleges. In the years to come, when the influx increases even from the Hindi-speaking States and other regions, these colleges are bound to be very well, under the New Education Policy. Certain policy initiatives of the Tamil Nadu Government are also quite encouraging in this direction.
Sacred Hear College TiruppathurTiruppathur is a small town situated right on the Chennai-Bangalore Highway. It is largely dependent on agriculture. However, Tiruppathur is also home to many industries engaged in the manufacture and export of leather goods. The Sacred Heart College, Tiruppathur has been serving the educational needs of a large section of poor people engaged in various services and in the textile industry for over seven decades.
The college was started in the year 1951 by Rev. Fr. Joseph Carreno SDB, a missionary from Spain. Over the years, the college has grown into a giant institution and as early as the year 2000, it won the NAAC certification with a four-star rating. It has firmly established a brand for the various traditional undergraduate BA, B.Sc, and B.Com courses. What is quite special about this college is that the same students go on to do the Post-graduate courses in the same college and then find jobs in Chennai, Bangalore, and other cities in India. The college is affiliated with Tiruvalluvar University, Vellore.
There are four unique courses offered by this college and they are the M.Sc Degree courses in Software Technology, Computer Science, Counselling Technology, and Biochemistry. The Master's Degree in Social Work, the MSW degree is also quite famous and this course has been gaining a lot of popularity for its community development and HR specializations. The MBA course offered by this college is also quite famous and the placement records for students of all courses are reported to be good. The MBA and MCA courses have AICTE approval as well.
Colleges such as this are not reputed to give any big importance to advanced research. This college is a notable exception. It has a Dean for Advanced Research and has started six online journals from the year 2017. The six online journals are, with IISN registration are:-
1. Journal of Computing Mathematics(JCM)
2. Journal of Computing and Intelligent Systems (JCIS)
3. Journal of Functional Materials and Biomolecules (JFMB)
4. Puthiya Avaiyam(JPA)
5. Journal of Social Sciences and Management Research (JSSAR)
6. Sacred Heart Journal of Sciences & Humanities
Each of the aforesaid journals also has a Board with experts from the respective domains, from both within India and abroad, and in-house experts from Sacred Heart College.
The biggest plus point in favor of this college is the brand value that this college enjoys among the public of the region and this extends far beyond the district of Tiruppathur. In short, this college, which is just around three hours from both Bangalore and Chennai is poised to grow further into an institution of repute.
The Diploma courses in Import and Export Management and in Human Resources Management are reportedly well received by the students and the public in the local region.
Sacred Heart College (Autonomous)
Tiruppathur 635 001
Indo-American CollegeCheyyar is a small town, with an industrial complex and quite a number of small and medium-scale industrial organizations. The town is some thirty kilometers from another big town called Kanchipuram, which is now seeking to be included in the Chennai Metropolitan Region. Cheyyar has a rich agricultural base and is in line with a balanced approach towards development, where the service sector keeps developing in tandem with the industrial sector, the Tamil Nadu Government has systematically developed this small town. There are regular buses to Chennai from this town.
Indo-American College, Cheyyar, is the best branded Arts and Science in Cheyyar. It offers the B.A. (English) course, and the B.Sc degree courses in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Computer Science. The two job-oriented courses, it has been reported, are the B.Sc(Biochemistry) and BSc(Microbiology) courses. Dr.Reddy's Laboratories and other such famous Pharmaceutical companies of Hyderabad reportedly employ such graduates and it has been reported that the graduates of this college have found employment in such organizations.
Similarly, the M.Sc (Applied Microbiology) and M.Sc (Bio-informatics) are reported to be very famous and have many takers. In this part of Tamil Nadu, the M.Sc(Information Technology) and the M.Sc(Computer Science) courses offered by this college are seen as passports for gainful employment in the IT sector in Bangalore and Chennai. Members of the public who were contacted gave a good opinion about the sincerity of the Management to improve the placement records through systematic training. It has a full-time Placement Officer, and other Department coordinators, who render active support to the Placement Officer.
It is hoped that when the New Economic Policy when it is rolled out, will include the positive aspects of the two aforesaid semi-urban colleges and take education to the next level. The NEP is reported to be having an in-built provision to add a number of electives in each course and all the three-year courses are likely to be converted into four-year Honors Degree Courses. The lateral entry into the second year of the PG courses is also reported to be part of the bigger agenda.
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Conclusion The salient features of two promising semi-urban colleges of Tamil Nadu, both of which are affiliated to the Tiruvalluvar Unversity, Vellore, have been discussed above. It is hoped that these two colleges will add substantial value to the teaching process through their courses, in the years to come. Semi-urban colleges have a vital role to play. They are neither rural nor urban. They can always take the best that obtain in the urban and metro colleges and combine that with the inherent strengths of the rural students, as that will enable the students to transition to the vastly competitive industrial culture.