Profile of College



Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai is the offspring of a superlative act of private philanthropy of its progenitor, Pachaiyappa Mudaliar, who had made himself a master financier and merchant prince when he was just 22 years old. Around this age many of us are in the threshold of our collegiate educational career. We must be inspired and motivated by the preciousness and large-heartedness of the benevolent founder.

This College had its genesis in the famous Will of Pachaiyappa Mudaliar. Pachaiyappa was born, posthumously in 1754, of poor parents. He grew up in poverty and rose by his own force of character to be the most opulent man of his time but who finally bequeathed all his wealth for the service of God and humanity. It was at Kumbakonam on March 22, 1794, having a premonition of his premature demise, that he drew up his renowned Will "dedicating, with full knowledge and hearty resignation, all his wealth, in the absence of any male issue, to the sacred service of Siva and Vishnu and to certain charities at various temples and places of pilgrimage, to the erection of religious edifies, to bounties to the poor, to seminaries of Sanskrit learning and to other objects of general benevolence."

In those days Wills were rare and obscure and their legitimacy, importance and significance were not correctly comprehended and appreciated. Exploiting this apathetic situation, successive executors of Pachaiyappa's Will flouted the provisions of the Will and embezzled large sums of money covered by the Will. On being apprised of this delinquent and reprehensible conduct, Sir Herbert Crompton, the then Advocate-General moved the Supreme Court of Madras which passed a decree upholding the validity of the Will and directing the person liable for performance of the charities to ensure religious services and also render an account of the funds with accumulated interest, amounting to many lakhs of Rupees. However, the execution of this decree posed stupendous problems since the person against whom the decree was passed was a squandermaniac and could remit only a small fraction of his enormous dues. Fortunately at this juncture, Mr. George Norton succeeded Sir Herbert Crompton as Advocate-General. This proved to be a shot in the arm for the ardent votaries of Pachaiyappa's benefactions. Norton, evincing extraordinary prudence and personal interest, transcending the requirements of his official designation, succeeded in salvaging a huge quantity of jewels and thereby realising in respect of the claim a total sum of about 8 lakhs of Rupees. On an application by Norton, the Supreme Court of Madras passed another decree in 1841, directing that the surplus money left after fulfilment of religious bequests for which one lakh'of Pagodas or four and a half lakhs of Rupees was earmarked, ought to be utilised for establishing educational institutions in various parts of the Presidency, especially in the city of Madras. The general management of the charities, according to the Scheme of the Supreme Court, as directed by the Board of Revenue, became vested in a body of 9 Hindu Trustees, to translate into reality the benevolent services envisioned by the munificent philanthropist.


The Board of Trustees had their first meeting on October 9, 1842. They had several more meetings subsequently and chalked out distinct programmes of action to accomplish the tasks entrusted to them. In January 1842 a primary school was started bearing the name of Pachaiyappa's Central Institution with the objective of providing free education to poor Hindus in the elementary branches of English literature and science, with instruction in Tamil and Telugu. The school functioned in a rented building on a rent of Rs. 20/- per month. This was the beginning of Pachaiyappa's College. On October 2nd, 1846, the foundation stone of "Pachaiyappa's Hall", as it was called, was laid by George Norton in a grand, colourful and glittering function. It is most fitting that George Norton is hailed as the Second Founder of Pachaiyappa's Charities in recognition of his yeoman services to the cause of education. The magnificent hall was built in 3 1/2 years, on the model of the temple of Theseus in Athens. This hall is a landmark in the busy locality of George Town. In the vicinity of this hall, twelve classrooms were built to accommodate 600 students. The new building was inaugurated on March 20, 1850 in a grand function, attended by a large number of European and Indian intelligentsia. The Pachaiyappa Central Institution began functioning in the new building in 1850.

Very soon the school grew in popularity, exceeding the expectations of the Trustees who were forced to rent another building on a rent of Rs.100/- a month. The primary school was elevated to a High School. The Hindus of Madras made strident demands for college education. At that time there were only two colleges in Madras City, the Presidency College and the Madras Christian College. Both were elitist in character, providing expensive education, accessible only to the aristocratic people. Responding to the rising demands of poor Hindus for college education, the Trustees started intermediate classes in 1880, affiliated to the Madras University, i.e., the school became a second-grade college. Again responding to popular pressure and acting on a suggestion from Mr. John Adam, the then Principal, the Trustees raised the College to a first grade college in 1889 and separated it from the High School and B.A. courses were started in some arts subjects.

The Golden jubilee of Pachaiyappa's Institutions was celebrated on November 26,1892 in Pachaiyappa's Hall. Lord Lansdowne, the then Viceroy of India presided.

Growth of the college in terms of new courses was rather sluggish in the few years after the Golden jubilee Celebrations. The Diamond jubilee was celebrated in a grand fashion on November 21, 1902, Lord Pentland, the then Governor of Madras presided over the celebrations. In his impressive speech, the Governor referred to the special qualities of Pachaiyappa's institutions. He said that the college and the school were "no ordinary educational institutions of ordinary origin and ordinary growth. They have several unusual and highly important characteristics. In the first place, they owe their existence to the munificent endowment made by a single private individual; in the second place, they are purely Hindu institutions, managed by Hindus for Hindus with the smallest possible assistance and interference on the part of the Government. And in the third place, they lay claim in a very special manner to aims and Objects of the highest importance. The often declared object of the Trustees is to provide a national education to make the college a seat of culture."

The dawn of the new century culminated in the generation of a new awareness of the growing importance of science subjects whose phenomenal advances touched every aspect of life. Realising that a college bereft of science education was doomed to extinction, B.A. courses in Mathematics and Physical Sciences were started and spacious laboratories were constructed. There was also a strong feeling that the hustle and bustle of Esplanade made it unsuitable to house the college and the accommodation of the college was woefully inadequate to meet the growing student strength. To start with, a hostel for 150 students was built at a cost of 4 lakhs of Rupees in Chetput and completed in 1921 the year which witnessed the appointment of the first Indian Principal, Professor M. Ruthnaswami. Two more blocks were added to the hostel in 1953 to meet increasing demand for rooms.

The idea of shifting the college from squalid Esplanade to salubrious Chetput was a non-starter owing to paucity of funds. In 1933 the College conducted a raffle which fetched Rs.50,000/- which served as the nucleus of a fund for construction of new buildings. The Government of Madras sanctioned a substantial building grant. Finally on March 22, 1939, Lord Erskine, the then Governor laid the foundation stone for the new buildings which were completed in 1940. The new buildings which were the envy of educational institutions in the state were declared open on August 12, 1940 by Sir Arthur Hope, the then Governor. Dr. Sir. A. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar who was president of the Trust Board for 3 years successively planned and executed this new building project in a masterly and exquisite fashion. The triumph of this building project is largely attributable to the profound genius, laudable foresight and lionistic efforts of Dr. A.L. Mudaliar who was fittingly described as a second Pachaiyappa by Dr. D.S. Sarma, the then principal of the College. In the meantime Honours courses had been started in a number of arts subjects.

The centenary of the college was celebrated in a glittering function in february 1942. Governor Sir Arthur Hope presided and Dr. Rajah Sir M.A. Muthiah Chettiar, President of the Trust Board delivered the centenary address. Utilising the increased accommodation available, a large number of new courses in Arts and Sciences at the Bachelor's, Master's and Honours levels were started greatly augmenting the quality, variety and utility of the education imparted in the college.

A resume of the college in the third half-century of its existence is a chronicle of the addition of new courses from time to time. The Post-Centenary Golden Jubilee of the college was celebrated in 06.05.1994 in a grand manner. Dr. (Selvi) J.Jayalalitha, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, was the Chief Guest of the function.

As a mark of respect to the age and glory of the College, the distinguished alumni have provided financial assistance for the construction of buildings in the campus.  By way of the unique gesture of the donors, a number of new buildings has been constructed in the campus.  Owing to the The brilliant efforts taken by the then Principal, Dr.A.P.Kamalakara Rao (1989-1994) the College has added these buildings after 150 years of the establishment of the College with main blocks.

Details of Buildings constructed:

GRT Administrative Block

Donated by Shri G.Rajendran, Founder and Chairman of GRT Jewelllers.

Mayor O.Radhakrishna Pillai MCA Block

Donated by Shri M.Gopalakrishnan, former Managing Director of Indian Bank.

Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty Library Block

Donated by Dr.Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty, Chennai

Indoor Stadium

Donated by Dr.Sivanti Adityan, Daily Thanthi

Animal Museum Building of Zoology Department

Donated by Prof.S.Sathik, the then Vice Chancellor of the University of Madras.

The Post Centenary Golden Jubilee Celebrations Commemorative Arch

Donated by Shri K.T.J.Prakash.

It would be naive and foolhardy to presume that the growth and progress of the college have been an unhindered phenomenon.

In the Post Centenary Golden Jubilee Celebrations, Hon’ble Dr.J.Jayalalitha, former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu has contributed a sum of Rs.25 lakhs for the construction of an auditorium for the College. This amount was deposited by the management in a separate account.

It was a very tough time for the administration of the College in the maintenance of students discipline in the campus.  The students indulged in riotous behaviour , vitiating the academic atmosphere and causing damage to College and public property under the banner of the students union.  In order to instill fear in the minds of the erring students and to infuse confidence in the minds of the public, the then Principal, Dr.R.S.Raghavan scrapped the students union after getting orders from the Director of Collegiate Education from the academic year 1996-1997 for which the miscreants threw acid on the face of Dr.R.S.Raghavan on his way back to his residence on 10.04.1996.   He sustained grave injuries and partially lost his vision. With his strain and pain only it was possible for the College to shut down the students union.

As per the directions of the Hon’ble High Court, the elected Board of Trustees took charge in the year 2000 with 9 Trustees. This Trust Board during its tenure of 5 years from 2000 to 2005 witnessed various developmental activities in the campus.  The Anna Arangam was constructed with the funds provided by Dr.J.Jayalalitha, former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu in the 150th year celebrations.  The Arangam was declared open on 2003.  Considering the requirement of the Trust Office, a separate building was constructed to house the Pachaiyappa’s Trust Board Office in the first floor and the in the ground floor, the IOB was permitted to functiion.  As per the uniform students’ strength system introduced by the University of Madras, the management has got permission for the maximum sanctioned strength for all the courses.  To accommodate enhanced sanctioned strength, 26 additional rooms have been constructed by the management in the year 2004.

The College was accredited by the NAAC (an autonomous institution of University Grants Commission) with B++ grade on 25.05.2006.

From 2005-2009, the administration of the College was handed over to the Administrator General and Official Trustee of Tamilnadu.

Thanks to the good efforts taken by Dr.G.Balakrishnan, formerly Principal-in-charge of the College (2008-2009), three class rooms have been converted as Conference Halls with AV facilities.  The Norton Hall in the Arts Block, the Abdul Kalam Hall in the Science Block and the Bil Gates Hall in the MCA Block.  Out of these halls, the Abdul Kalam was established with the funds provided by Dr.Isari Ganesh.  

Then, as per the directions of the Hon’ble High Court, election was conducted in the year 2009 through which a new Trust Board has been formed with 9 trustees and the same took charge on 09.10.2009.  Responding to the good efforts taken by Dr.Isari Ganesh and his team, the Government of India released the stamp of VALLAL PACHAIYAPPA on 31.03.2010. Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanithi, former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu appreciated the action of the Government and conveyed his best wishes to the Trustees and the staff of the College. The tenure of this Board came to an end in the year 2012 itself.   

Then, the High Court of Madras appointed Thiru N.Seshan, I.A.S., formerly Election Commissioner of India, as Interim Administrator of the Pachaiyappa’s Charities (2012-2013). 

The NAAC Committee re-accredited the College with the highest honour of A Grade on 23.03.2013.

Mr.N.Seshan, the Interim Administrator conducted the election for 3 constituencies of the Pachaiyappa’s Trust Board in the year 2013 and Mr.S.Jayachandran, Dr.R.Pratapkumar, Dr.V.Ramanathan, Dr.R.Prabhakaran and Mr.K.Hemanath were elected and the new team took charge in the year 2013.  In the year 2016, Dr.R.Pratapkumar resigned his position after being appointed as Member of the TNPSC.  In his place, the Trust Board conducted an election in which Mr.V.Duraimohan was elected and he took charge in September 2016.

The Pachaiyappa’s Trust Board under the leadership of Mr.S.Jayachadran has executed the following projects:

A large number of Teaching and Non-teaching staff vacancies have been filled by the management after removing all hurdles through court of law.

Concrete road was re-laid in the campus.

A separate toilet block has been constructed for the exclusive use of the men students of the College.

Anna Arangam was upgraded with required facilities.

The Department of Zoology has been renovated.

The Laboratories in the Department of Chemistry have been renovated fully.

A smart room with all facilities has been established for the Department of Chemistry.

CCTV cameras have been fixed at various vantage points as instructed by the Government.

The Departments have been motivated for the conduct of International and National conferences / Seminars.

The Dodransbicentennial (175 years) Celebrations of the College was held in the a glittering fashion on 04.05.2018 at Anna Arangam.  This function was chaired by the Hon’ble Edapadi Palanisamy, Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and Thiru O.Panneerselvam, Deputy Chief Minister of Tamilnadu.

Hon’ble D.Jayakumar, Minister for Fisheries and Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Govt. of Tamilnadu and Hon’ble K.P.Anbalagan, Minister for Higher Education, Govt. of Tamilnadu also graced the occasion.

In obedience to the orders of the Hon'ble High Court, the administration of the Pachaiyappa's Charities has been taken over by Mr.Justice P.Shanmugam, as Interim Administrator with effect from 25.06.2018.

News & Events

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