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Trichy college with nationalist past enters 100th year

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The campus of National College in Trichy is a hive of activity, even though the institution is closed for the summer holidays. With the college entering its 100th year on Tuesday, the administration is busy prepping up the campus for the year-long celebrations that will begin when the college reopens on June 18. Departments will host seminars and competitions through the year, which will culminate in a gala function in January 2019.

National College, an alma mater of the likes of former president R Venkatraman will be second to St Joseph’s College to celebrate its centenary year in Trichy.

Founded by teachers and nationalists G Sesha Iyengar, P G Sundaresa Sastrigal and B S Venkataramana Sarma in 1919 from a thatched-roof building, the institution was conceived with an idea to promote a feeling of nationalism and pride for Indian culture among the youth.
"The founders were gritty enough to name it National College in the pre-independence era when nationalism was considered an anti-colonial word," said college’s director K Anbarasu. "It was known as people’s college as it was built brick by brick with the help of funds collected from the masses. The college has been serving mostly the poor and the underprivileged by imparting quality education to them," he added.

Closely associated with the Indian national movement, the college was visited by many nationalist leaders, Mahatma Gandhi being one of the prominent of them. The tree (now on the premises of Shrimati Indira Gandhi College) under which Gandhi addressed students in 1934 is still preserved in memory of the event. Former PM Jawaharlal Nehru and former President S Radhakrishnan are also among the visitors.

"We have written to the Prime Minister and the President to be our guests for the function in January. We are expecting at least one of them to grace the occasion," said college’s secretary K Raghunathan.
Raghunathan who has been associated with the college since 2004 credits V Krishnamurthy, the president of the college, for having developed the infrastructure since he took over in 2010.
Academic activities marking the centenary year will start from June 20 onwards where each department will have conferences and seminars, Raghunathan said. "The physics, computer science and physical education departments plan to host international conference to mark the occasion," said R Sundararaman, principal, also a former student of the college.

"With more than 4,000 students in the first and second shifts, the college has been introducing new courses based on the industry requirements to enhance employability of our students," he said.


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