The Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN), Thiruvarur is among the twelve new universities established by an Act of Parliament in 2009. Till then Tamil Nadu did not have a Central University. The setting up of the University also reflects an attempt to improve GER and enhance access and equity. Formal inauguration of the University was a high profile event with the Minister for Human Resources Development, Shri. Kapil Sibal laying the foundation stone in the presence of the Chief Minister, Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, his cabinet colleagues and other dignitaries.
The State Government, apart from providing land in two revenue villages Neelakudi and Nagakudi has also provided a temporary building on a rent free basis. The building with a floor space of nearly 60,000 sq ft has been adapted to carry out our administrative, academic and other related activities. Modest facilities for dormitory accommodation for boys and girls, a branch of a public sector bank and canteen have also been housed.
Academic planning for the University is facilitated and formalized through a high profile Academic Council. Governance is through the Executive Council. Preceding the formal constitution of Academic Council we initiated a series of consultations among stake holders and experts in different subjects and disciplines to formulate a structure and set priorities for the academic programmes. Accordingly, these programmes will be offered through schools of social sciences and humanities, mathematics and computer sciences and basic and applied sciences. Recognizing the need that has been frequently articulated that higher educational institutions need to focus on nurturing interests and talents from the plus two level students, emphasis has been laid on developing integrated programmes leading to a Master's degree where the exit option at the bachelor's level is also contemplated subject to certain regulatory parameters. Thus, the University will be in a position to cater to the needs of higher education at the plus two level and aims to blend requirements at this stage and move towards advanced research degrees and programmes. The liberal foundation upon which a University ought to function will form the basis of approach.
As a new institution we are bound to face challenges of perceptions and expectations from a range of stake holders. These perceptions at times are ambitious ignoring the gestation aspects of building a full fledged institution. We need to balance perceptions with reality and charge march ahead. Mentoring and collaborative relationships have helped us in our attempts. Formal relationships with institutions of repute such as the Madras School of Economics and impending collaboration with similar institutions will help us seed good programmes in social sciences and humanities and languages. We are indeed happy that the first batch of students have graduated.
A green campus is being developed and the first set of buildings-accommodation for students and faculty are getting ready for occupation. We have also registered for a green rating and media reports that we will be the first institution to comprehensively seek a GRIHA rating.
We realized the benefits of working together and accordingly six other central universities came together and worked out a single window entrance test mechanism under the banner of Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET). This helped us to coordinate and conduct the test in more than 30 centres across the country. We intend to continue with this in the years to come thereby helping and minimizing the hardships to applicants through multiple exams etc.
Good faculty is the single determining factor of success for an educational institution and we are working towards attracting good faculty through national advertisement and duly constituted committees. In the interim we are drawing support from our mentoring partners and a panel of guest and short term faculty.
We look forward for encouragement and support. The MHRD, UGC and the State Government have indeed been understanding and liberal and responded to our requests and proposals positively. The enrolment response is satisfactory, given the fact that we are only two years old now. We have miles to go and in our quest and journey for academic excellence and in the process we seek your guidance and good wishes.