St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli

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St. Joseph's College
St. Joseph's College Church, Tiruchirappalli.jpg
Motto Pro Bono Et Vero
Motto in English
For the Good & the True
Established 1844; 172 years ago (1844)
Religious affiliation
Jesuit (Roman Catholic)
Location Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Campus 76 acres
Affiliations Bharathidasan University

St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli (SJC) in Tamil Nadu, India, was established in 1844 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). It was affiliated to Madras University in 1869 and is currently an affiliated First Grade College of Bharathidasan University.


St. Joseph's College celebrated its centenary in 1945 and sesquicentenary in 1995. It acquired Five Star status awarded by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 2000, was recognised by UGC as a College with Potential for Excellence (CPE) in 2004, and was accredited with A Grade [3rd Cycle] by NAAC in 2012. The college is owned by the Society of St.Joseph's, a body registered under Societies Regulation Act(1860), having its office at Tiruchirappalli. And it has the heritage college status as one among 12 colleges in India in 2016, which is given by the Government of India. Around 30 Jesuits serve on the staff.[1]

Milestones of St.Joseph's College

Coat of arms[edit]

The college blazon is not the heirloom of an ancient and noble family handed down with pride of name and glorious memories of the past. It is only a distinctive badge expressing its aim and ideal. It bears azure, with the Trichinipoly rock and the college church for distinctive features. The conspicuous palm tree in the middle is the emblem of the East. It bears in fesses a bow and above it is the monogram of the Society of Jesus. Its crest is a royal crown and a lily issuant, both in honour of the College patron, St. Joseph. The crown signifies that he was of David’s royal blood and the lily to signify his spotless purity. Thus the whole in ordinary language would read: the College of St. Joseph is conducted by the Society of Jesus, at Trichinipoly in the East. The motto “PRO BONO ET VERO” (For the Good and the True) indicates the idea which the teachers and the taught should ever keep before their eyes as the goal of their efforts in the field of education, namely moral and intellectual formation.[2]


School of Biological Sciences[edit]

Biochemistry – The Biochemistry Department was started in 1993 at a postgraduate level and became a separate department in 2002. It was one of the first independent departments of biochemistry in India. By 2015 the department had trained over 400 biochemists.

Biotechnology – The Department of Biotechnology was started in 2002 to produce biotechnology postgraduates to cater to industry, academia, and research centres. Bharathidasan University declared it a research department in 2007 adding to the MSc the degrees MPhil and PhD. A research atmosphere is maintained at the PG level, with students encouraged to attend the national and international symposia and present papers, and to organize workshops, exhibitions, and intercollegiate competitions that will develop their organizing and leadership skills. To make this accessible to the rural and middle-class sectors, the fee is fixed at Rs 18,000 per semester.

Botany – The Botany Department dates back to 1912 when the study of natural science was introduced. In 1952, the BA Botany degree course became BSc Botany, and in 1958 MSc in Botany. The department is FIST supported,[3] with separate research facilities for molecular biology, physiology, and bioinformatics.[4] By 2015 the department had awarded 50 PhDs while publishing 500 research papers and 5 books. The department's botanical garden is internationally recognized.[5]

School of Computing Sciences[edit]

Computer science – The Department of Computer Science began by offering the BSc in 1983. In 1984 it added the MCA and in 2002 the MPhil and PhD. St. Joseph`s College was the first Arts and Science College to offer MCA in India and first to produce the PhD in Computer Science in Bharathidasan University. By 2014 the department had produced 15 PhDs and around 150 MPhils.

Information technology – The Department of Information Technology was established in 2007, as a spin-off from the Department of Computer Science. It offers the BCA, MSc Computer Science, and MSc Information Technology. It also offers a postgraduate diploma in Computer Science and Applications, with ICT enabled teaching and learning.

Mathematics – The Department of Mathematics was founded with the College in 1844, when it already offered postgraduate courses. In 1911 the University of Madras granted permission to run the honours course in mathematics.

Statistics – The Statistics Department was started in 1978 and became a PG department in 1999, receiving recognition as a research department from the Bharathidasan University that same year.

School of Languages and Culture[edit]

English – The Department of English is the only department that has contact with every student at the undergraduate level. The BA (English) has been offered since 1962, MA (English) since 1965, and MPhil since 1984

French – The Department of French began from the founding of the College at Nagapattinam in 1844. French was taught to European officials at first and later some Indians were admitted into the course.

Hindi – The Hindi Department was started in 1944. Since Tamil Nadu is a non-Hindi speaking state, the department is small but answers to student needs as they arise, e.g., students from Central Schools and Anglo-Indian Schools, from the BCom program, and from the evening college.

History – The Department of History began with the college in 1844. The BA in history was introduced when the college was affiliated to the University of Madras. When in 1911 the college became an arts and science college, an honours course in history was introduced. During this period the library stack room in the history section was flooded with primary sources such as dispatches from the East India Company, annual reports of the Archaeological Survey of India, inscription manuals, and gazetteers. But the number of students dwindled and the department was closed down, with the BA Honours course continuing up to 1960. BA History was revived in 1977. In 2014 the department offers a BA. MA, MPhil, and PhD. It has a strong research orientation, producing 42 PhDs and 320 MPhil scholars since 1977. The faculty members have authored 16 books both in English and Tamil and published 70 research papers on history and related areas. A biannual research journal Indian Historical Studies [6] has been published by the department since October 2004, financially supported by Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi.

Sanskrit – The Department of Sanskrit was started in 1907. Application oriented courses in Sanskrit for beginners were started along with the autonomous system. The curriculum under autonomy was revised to include prosody as a new subject and modified to suit the present needs of the society, keeping abreast of the latest developments.

Tamil – This is one of the oldest departments. BA Tamil was started in 1982 and MA Tamil in 1995. It was recognized as a research department in 1986.

School of Management Studies[edit]

Business administration – The Department of Business Administration had its origin in the Department of Economics. The department began to function independently from the academic year 2002 onwards as St. Joseph's Institute of Management.[7]

Commerce – The Department of Commerce opened in 1948, offering a three-year BCom degree. In 1954 it was suspended and in 1957 it was revived. The postgraduate course (MCom) was started in 1988. The department started a full time MPhil course in 2001 and a full time PhD research programme in 2003. In 2002 the specialized MA Transport Management was launched, a two-year postgraduate course.The Department had some legendary professors such as Prof.M.P.Vellore whom students still cherish his method of teaching.

Commerce computer applications – The undergraduate degree course in Commerce Computer Application (BComCA) was started in the year 2008, and the MComCA was added in 2011.

Economics – The Department of Economics at the very beginning of the college was a part of the history BA, probably because of the predominance of history subjects. The Planning Forum, Economics Association, and Population Club are the co-curricular activities of the department. The department organizes annually a regional-level workshop on research methodology, CADAR memorial lecture, and intercollegiate “ECONS” competitions. Dr. M. Sebastian, S.J., former department head, founded the Association of Economists of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.[8]
ECONS is a cultural and academic extravaganza organized by the students of the department. It provides an opportunity for students to expose their hidden talents and potentials. Students of various colleges of Bharathidasan University compete for the Rolling Shield given by the department.

Human resource management – The Department of Society, Culture, and Civilisation was started in 1983, offering its MA degree programme to all graduates in arts or science. Later the department`s nomenclature was changed to Social Dynamics, and then to Human Resource Management. It is a value-based and socially oriented course. Input is theoretical and practical to understand the social structure, and the causes and agencies of social change. During the summer vacation, rural and tribal camps, industrial visits, and in-plant and in-house training programmes are offered. All-India educational tours are organized to expose students to diverse cultures.[9]

School of Physical Sciences[edit]

Chemistry – The Department of Chemistry was established in 1906. MSc Chemistry is offered as both a day and evening course. BSc Chemistry is offered only in Shift-I.

Electronics – The BSc Electronics was started by the Department of Physics in 1993, to prepare students for self-employment or higher education in various related fields. In the year 1997 the MSc Electronics was introduced. The course exposes students to such concepts as Digital Signal Processing (DSP), Embedded System (ES), and VLSI design. The PG students undertake an industrial project in their final semester, to familiarize them with the real-time environment and possible employment opportunities.

Physics – BA Physics was started in 1881, BSc (Hons) Physics in 1906, and MSc Physics in 1961. The BA Physics became BSc Physics in 1930. Recognition was offered by the University of Madras for research work leading to a PhD in 1971, and to a MPhil in 1977.[10]

Student training[edit]

In 2013 and 2014 the team of St. Joseph's College won the Bharathidasan University Inter-Zonal Inter-Collegiate Men’s Football Tournament.[11]

College museum[edit]

As first curator in 1881 Fr. Castets, S.J., collected specimens and sent some collections abroad. Frs. Honore and Bertram are also associated with the beginning of the museum. Among the more active curators were Fr. L.V. Newton (1906-1913), C. Leigh (1913–1934), L.M. Balam (1937–65), and B.J. Coyle (1965-1971).
The holdings are varied: besides fauna (mammals, birds, snakes, fishes, lizards, chameleons, scorpions, spiders, butterflies, and moths) there are antiques such as two bricks from Babylon, 650 B.C.; a Roman lamp; stone arrow-heads 2000 years old; two pieces of wood from the London bridge burnt in 1230; an autograph letter of Queen Victoria; and weapons from World War I.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Times
  2. ^ The College Centenary Memorial. 1945. 
  3. ^ FIST
  4. ^ The Hindu
  5. ^ BotGarden
  6. ^ ISSN 0973-2713 IHS
  7. ^ BusMan
  8. ^ EconAssoc
  9. ^ International reach
  10. ^ Departments
  11. ^ Football champs
  12. ^ A P J Adbul Kalam with Arun Tiwari (2008). Wings of fire. Universities Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-81-7371-146-6. 
  13. ^ Alumnus
  14. ^ Quartz India
  15. ^ "A. J. John, Anaparambil". Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Sandilyan". Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Justice S.Ashok Kumar". Official website of Judge. 
  18. ^ "Justice S.Ashok Kumar". Archived page of the official site. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. 
  19. ^ "S. A. Ashokan". Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Prabhu Solomon". 
  21. ^ "Vasanth". 
  22. ^

Coordinates: 10°49′48″N 78°41′29″E / 10.83000°N 78.69139°E / 10.83000; 78.69139