J. N. Arumugam

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J. N. Arumugam
Born (1896-02-23)23 February 1896
Alma mater Jaffna Central College
Ceylon Technical College
Occupation Civil servant

Joseph Nalliah Arumugam (born 23 February 1896) was a leading Ceylon Tamil civil servant.

Early life[edit]

Arumugam was born on 23 February 1896.[1] He was from Katkovalam near Point Pedro in northern Ceylon. He was educated at Jaffna Central College.[1] He then studied science at Ceylon Technical College.[1] After passing the inter science examination he went to the UK on a scholarship. There, in December 1921, he joined the Ceylon Civil Service.[1]

Arumugam married a daughter of Muttucumaru and, following her death, Lilly Chelliah.[1]


Arumugam held several civil service positions in Ceylon and was a leading magistrate in Colombo.[1][2] He became Petrol Controller in 1941 and Commissioner of Motor Transport in 1946.[1] He was later Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Works.[1][3]

In the 1951 New Year Honours Arumugam was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[4]


Arumugam died in the 1960s after retirement.[1]

Joseph Nalliah Arumugam Memorial Award[edit]

In 1986 Arumugam's widow established an endowment to award scholarships for science students at the University of Colombo.[5]