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For all-round growth, choose Chennai

The 172-year-old Madras Christian College has deftly preserved the old, while integrating new ways of education. HT tells us more about colleges in Chennai.

india Updated: May 18, 2008 23:41 IST

Quality teaching, vibrant campus life and a list of famous alumni such as former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi — these are just a few of the reasons why youngsters from across the country find the prospect of college life in this southern metropolis irresistible.

Apart from the IIT-Madras, four other institutions have been the city’s pride. While Loyola College and Madras Christian College boast of rich history and tradition, the all-girls' Stella Maris and Vaishnav College for Women have been creating higher benchmarks for learning.

Situated in the heart of the city, Loyola’s 99-acre campus with its numerous playgrounds and open spaces serves as a veritable green lung. A few years ago, the college brought all learning-aid services like the library, attendance, performance sheets online.

The 172-year-old Madras Christian College has deftly preserved the old, while integrating new ways of education. Students of the college can justifiably claim that their 150-acre campus is among the greenest in the country.

Although recent years have seen young professionals from across the country making Chennai their home, thanks to the information technology boom, this 16th century port city remains largely undiscovered by students in other parts of the country seeking educational and career opportunities.

So it may come as a pleasant surprise to many to know that in terms of ‘cool-quotient’ too, the Tamil Nadu capital is among our country’s best cities.

Chennai’s two beaches — Marina and Elliot’s — are the most popular hangouts with seafood stalls, open-air restaurants, coffee shops and bookshops spicing up the experience.

For bookworms, there’s the 112-year old Connemara Public Library, which has copies of every book and newspaper ever printed in India. With amateur and semi-professional theatre groups, open-to-all film clubs and “underground” rock clubs, the city has a little bit for everybody.

For food-lovers, the option is virtually unlimited from authentic Punjabi, Bengali and Gujarati to Italian,

Mexican, continental and Chinese, besides South Indian in high-class as well as wallet-friendly versions. And for brand-hungry shoppers, it has swanky malls, one of which is the largest in Asia.

So, if you don’t mind the nagging humidity and can shrug off frequent faux pas caused by unfamilarity with the local tongue, Chennai could be the place for you.

Madras Christian College

Popular courses
: English, Commerce, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Computer Science, Political Science.
Seats available: Minimum 50 per course but may vary
Outstation quota: N/A
Hostel: Separate facilities for boys and girls
Entrance exams: Only for select courses
Weightage to CBSE, ISC: High marks are usually rewarded with seats, at least in the self-financing courses
Website: www.mcc.edu.in
Phone no: 044-22397731
Campus life: Excellent informal set-up with students known to come up with impromptu skits and music shows
Famous alumni: Former President S. Radhakrishnan, Former CEC T.N. Seshan, Former Army Chief Gen. K. Sunderji, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, eminent journalist T.N. Ninan, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi
Interesting facts: Spread over 150 acres, the 172-year-old Madras Christian College has probably the largest campus in Chennai.

Loyola College

Popular courses: Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Commerce, Botany, Zoology, Computer Science.
Seats available: Minimum 70 per course
Outstation quota: N/A
Hostel: Only for outstation boys.
Entrance exams: Only for select courses
Weightage to CBSE & ISC: High marks expected in whichever Board
Website: www.loyolacollege.edu
Phone no: 044-2817 5660
Interesting facts: Most of the courses are for boys only, with a few exceptions. Loyola is well-known for extra-curricular activities, especially sports. Life in the campus has a cosmopolitan flavour.
Famous alumni: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram; N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu; former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran

MOP Vaishnav College for Women

Popular courses: Visual Communication, Electronic Media, Journalism, BBA, B.Com, Nutrition, Food Science and Management
Seats available: Minimum 50 per course but may vary
Outstation quota: N/A
Hostel: No hostel facility
Entrance exams: For select courses
Weightage to CBSE and ISC: High marks expected in whichever Board
Website: www.mop-vaishnav.ac.in
Phone no: 044-2833 0262/0507
Campus life: Modern classroom facilities in a compact campus with an informal atmosphere
Interesting facts: Perfect place for the creative-minded, good campus recruitment procedure
Quote unquote: Principal Nirmala Prasad says, “Creative freedom is the hallmark of education at this college. This is evident from our campus placements.”

Stella Maris College

Popular courses: Fine Arts, Maths, Physics, Commerce, Computer Applications, Visual Arts, Social Work.
Seats available: Minimum 50 per course but may vary
Outstation quota: N/A.
Hostel: Available
Entrance exams: For select courses
Weightage to CBSE & ISC: High marks expected in whichever Board
Website: www.stellamariscollege.org
Phone no: 044-2811 1987/1951
Campus life: Well laid out campus located in the heart of the city has a friendly, but professional atmosphere