Government of India founded the Central University of Tamil Nadu, along with eight other Central Universities, through an Act of Parliament in 2009. It is part of the greater role that the Central Government assumed in making higher education accessible to aspirants from the weaker sections of the society. With eight students in M.A. English Studies, the university started functioning from November 2009, at the Collectorate Annexe at Thiruvarur, 60 kilometers to the east of Thanjavur.
But today the University sits astride a major distributary of the famous Cauvery river in the heart of the Delta seven kilometers to the north-west of Tiruvarur. Being the capital of the ancient dynasty of coozar, Tiruvarur was a town of great antiquity and a nursery for the traditional forms of dance and music. River Vettaaru runs between the Nagakudi campus which houses the faculty and staff quarters, guest house and Kendrya Vidyalaya on the north, and the Neelakudi campus with its lecture halls, library, laboratories, administration block, auditorium and students’ hostels on the south. Both campuses are nestled in a vast, verdant paddy tract, tucked far away from the madding crowds of urban sites.
In the quiet, rural environs this unitary, residential university bubbles with academic activity—research, teaching and evaluation with untrammelled autonomy in the form of schools which constantly experiment in curricula, syllabi, teaching, learning, testing and evaluation methods. The students and the faculty reside together in the campuses which makes teaching and learning continue beyond the class work and the class room.
The University offers Integrated M.Sc., postgraduate and doctoral programmes. The departments of Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry offer I,M.Sc. programmes. Postgraduate programmes are available in the departments of English Studies, Tamil, Media and Communication, Social Work. At the moment, Economics and Social Work programmes are run in collaboration with mentoring institutions, namely, Madras School of Economics and Tata Institute of Fundamental Sciences. Most of the departments have commenced doctoral programmes too. The Community College of the University offers Water Management, Para Legal Course. For these the University has signed M.O.Us with the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, and National Law School University of India, Bengaluru. Enthusiastic academic life, encouragement for the conduct of seminars, conferences, and workshops at the national and international level, vivacious cultural activities, debates, sports and games, competitions and festivals from the very first year have shaped the academic ethos of this institution.
Today, the University has 1005 students on its rolls. Admission is through a common entrance examination which enables students from any part of India to sit the examination anywhere for any of the seven universities and join a University of her choice on merit. Coming from various parts of India the students, faculty members and staff, as a community, form the variegated India which our country really is.