History and Heritage

The first ever demand for higher education in Madras Presidency was voiced forth in a public address to The Right Honourable Lord John Elphinstone G.C.H., Governor of Madras signed by 70,000 native inhabitants when the Governor in Council was contemplating "some effective and liberal measures for the establishment of an improved system of national education". This public petition which was presented by the then Advocate General, Mr. George Norton on 11.11.1839 pressed the need for an English College in the city of Madras. Following this, Lord Elphinstone evolved a plan for the establishment of a Central Collegiate Institution or a 'University'. This University had twin Departments (1) High School for the cultivation of English literature, regional language, philosophy and science, (2) College providing instruction in the higher branches of literature, philosophy and science.

The University Board was constituted in January 1840 with Mr. George Norton as its President. This was the precursor to the present day Presidency College, Chennai. However, a systematic educational policy for India was formulated only after 14 years through the historic Dispatch of 1854 (Sir Charles Wood's Education Dispatch), which pointed out the rationale for "creating a properly articulated system of education from the primary school to the University". The Dispatch recommended the establishment in the Universities of Professorships "for the purposes of the delivery of lectures in various branches of learning including vernacular as well as classical languages". As a sequel, the University of Madras, organised on the model of London University, was incorporated on 5 September 1857 by an Act of the Legislative Council of India.

The University of Madras progressed and expanded throughout the nineteenth century to span the whole of South India and subsequently gave birth to and nourished most of the Universities viz., Mysore University (1916), Osmania University (1918), Andhra University (1926), Annamalai University (1929), Travancore University (1937) presently Kerala University, Sri Venkateswara University (1954), Madurai Kamaraj University (1966), Bharathidasan University (1982), Bharathiar University (1982), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (1971), Anna University (1978), Tamil University (1981), Mother Teresa University (1984), Tamil Nadu Dr.M.G.R.Medical University (1989), Tamil Nadu Veterinary Sciences University (1990), Periyar University (1997) and the Tamil Nadu Dr.Ambedkar Law University (1997). The National Assessment and Accreditation Council has conferred the "Five Star Status" to the University of Madras. It has also been given the status of "University with Potential for Excellence" by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The description of the Coat of Arms of the University of Madras as designed in 1857 and now being followed is as follows:

"Argent on a Mount issuant from the basement a Tiger passant proper, on a Chief Sable, a Pale Or, thereon, between two Elephants heads coupled of the field, a lotus flower leaved and slipped of the third, together with this motto Doctrina Vim Promovet Insitam".

The coat of arms is shown in the following tints.

`the base Vert'; - a light green

Tiger - yellow on white ground

Elephants - grey on black ground

Lotus - white flower, olive green leaves, on gold ground

Motto Scroll - edger red, black lettering

The English translation of the motto of the University of Madras is: "Learning promotes (one's) natural (innate) talent."

In 1912 endowments were made to the University to establish departments of Indian History, Archaeology, Comparative Philology and Indian Economics. In all there were 17 University departments, 30 University teachers, 69 research scholars and 127 University publications in that year and the budget was Rs.11 lakhs. Later, the research and teaching functions of the University were encouraged by the Sadler Commission and the gains of the University were consolidated by the enactment of Madras University Act of 1923. At this time, the territorial ambit of the Madras University encompassed Berhampur of Orissa and Hyderabad of Andhra Pradesh in the North, Trivandrum of Kerala in the South West, Bangalore and Mangalore of Karnataka in the West.

However with Indian independence in 1947, the setting up of the University Grants Commission in 1956 and the changes in political, social and cultural milieu brought several amendments to the University of Madras Act of 1923 to permit qualitative and quantitative changes in its jurisdiction and functions. The policy strands as they have emerged since then and being operated as follows:

  • Keep furtherance of knowledge in various disciplines and subjects as its primary goal.
  • In search for new knowledge, encourage and support continuously (a) socially relevant education (b) improvement of the quality of education and (c) an equitable access to all sections of the society to higher education.
  • Provide leadership in higher education to its affiliated colleges and encourage, support and wherever necessary, regulate them to adhere to established norms in conducting courses of study as well as other related matters.
  • Take holistic decisions and actions bearing in mind its primary goal.
  • Remain accountable to the students, teachers, employees, funding agencies, the society as a whole and the Government.
  • Be dictated by a democratic process moderated by rectitude.
  • Be responsive to the changes in the frontiers of knowledge, nationally and internationally
  • Status of the University:STATE UNIVERSITY

    Type of University:AFFILIATING

News & Announcements

Interview date for the Appointment of Guest Lecturer in History for the University constituent College, Nemmeli has been Pre-poned

Interview Schedule for the posts of Guest Lecturers for the University Constituent Colleges (Nemmeli & Thiruvottiyur)

Life Certificate for Family Pensioner

Application Form for UGC-NET Examination June 2019 Free Coaching Class

Life Certificate for Teaching and Non-Teaching

Application format and Tariff rates for utilization of University Centenary Auditorium

UGC-HRDC Orientation Programme, Batch 137 and Refresher Course in Environmental Sciences, Batch XVIII will be postponed

M.L. Degree (Private Study) Examinations June 2019 - Timetable

Central Valuation Offer letter April 2019

UGC-HRDC Orientation/Refresher/Short-term Courses Schedule 2019-2020

Circular for advertisements pertaining to University

Circular for Endorsements or notations on the Original Orders

Admission for Executive MBA for the Academic Year 2019-2020

Dissemination of EU-ERASMUS+, Capacity Building Project Intergrating Talent Development into Ecosystem for Challenge-Driven Innovation in Higher Education since 2018

M.Phil Degree Examination Applications Form - August 2019

Fixed Rate Contract for a period of two years (2018 - 2020)

Republic Day Celebration - Flag Hoisting Ceremony

Form GSTR-7 of University of Madras

GST Circular 

Common Rate for Engaging Vehicle of Travel Agencies

List of General Holidays and Restricted Holidays for the Year 2019

MOOCs Courses for Even Semester 2018-19

Approved Common Rates for Panel of Printer & DTP Works w.e.f. 09-11-2018 to 08-11-2021 - University of Madras

Circular - Downloading of Tender Document Free of cost

Online Registration for Qualification Approval (Assistant Professor)

List of Elective courses to be offered in Semesers I & III in the Department of Energy

University Departments Provisional Selection list for the year 2018-2019



Proforma for Reviewing Autonomous Status by UGC for Autonomous Colleges- University of Madras

GST rates for various services and goods of the University

The End Semester Examination for Soft Skill Programme Schedule

Dept of Counselling Psychology houses a fully functional Student Counselling Centre at its premises- Contact 044-25399878/25399879


Application for the New Courses in Certificate Course in Autism Spectrum Disorder / Learning Disabilities and PG Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy in the Department of Counselling Psychology

New Health Insurance Scheme 2016 for the employees of University of Madras

Travelling Allowance for Various Meetings of the University 

Bibliometric analysis of publication on breast cancer in India (Published in Current Science; vol 110, 2016) - UNOM in the third edition

Curriculum Development Committee - Database on Curriculum Development - Format

Format to be submitted by Affliated collleges/Research institutions for Ph.D Program Continuation


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