Vivekananda College, Madurai
Vivekananda College is a men-only autonomous college of arts and sciences in Thiruvedagam in Madurai district affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University. It was founded in 1971  by Swami Chidbhavananda and is managed by Ramakrishna Tapovanam. It is the only registered Gurukula Institute of Life Training in India. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council has given the `A' grade (CGPA 3-59/4.00) for the college when the college was reaccredited in 14th Sep 2015. It has an IGNOU study centre. The students are encouraged to join Certificate Programmes and Degree Programmes offered by IGNOU.
The college has three daily prayers, compulsory physical activities like yoga and sports, and optional activities like silambam and gymnastics.
Ramakrisha Tapovanam in Tiruvedagam West also manages Vivekananda Higher Secondary School and Narendra Nursery school in the same campus and Vivekananda Matriculation School in Sholavandan
- Revival of the ancient Gurukula system since 1971.
- Life-training and character building education provided
- Early rising at 4.45 a.m. by all the students.
- Congregational prayer thrice a day and weekly bhajan on Saturday
- Chanting of Surya Gaytari five times during every prayer
- Students serve the three meals and the evening tiffin throughout the year.
- Chanting of Brahmarpanam (Saying grace to God) before every meal
- Hand pound rice, ragi-malt, organic fruits and vegetables, and pure milk produced in the college dairy
- Peer Team Student Supervisors for physical activities
- Peer Team Student Wardens for co-operative living
- Peer Team Student Trainers in martial arts and gymnastics
- Monthly Assessment of physical activities for each student
- Maintenance of records like Study Hour Self-Evaluative Record, Cloak Room Record, Remarks Register, Database of Blood Grouping, Attendance Register during three prayers and Roll Call
- Traditional dress and uniform for three days in a week
- Spiritual solace through conducting Anthar Yoga
- Suriya Namaskar and Yogasanas and mass drill for all the inmates
- Annual procession to Edakanathar temple every year on Vivekananda Jayanthi Day
- Presence of Sannyasins
- Student ‘Kumkis’ to sensitize students to adjust with the system.
- All the students can sing “Vande Mataram”, the national song.
- Personality Assessment Certificate to all the students at the end of the lifetraining which is as important as the degree certificate.
- Autonomy since 1987
- ‘A’ Grade by NAAC since 2002
- NAAC orientation to the needy colleges
- Annual cultural and spiritual camps for the children and the youth respectively.
- Option for choosing Sanskrit as a first language
- Support of the alumni in enrolment, resource mobilization, motivation for higher education, and placement
- Peer team student tutoring
- Pass percentage 93% in the Summative Examinations of First, Third, and Fifth semesters of 2007-2008
- Emotional counselling by a group of teachers
- Editorial presentation, journal articles presentation and group discussion forum.
- Teaching communication skills to the girls students of Government Higher Secondary School, Sholavandan.
- Regular inter-collegiate programmes.
- Training the Self Help Groups
- Student strength cannot be more than 1000
- Initial reluctance on the part of the students to get into the Gurukula system
- Poverty of students preventing them from paying their mess fees
- Students with poor communicative skills
- Left over students in the academic stream
- More students recruited in defence and police forces due to physical culture imparted here.
- Promotion of cultural tourism
- All round personality development
- Blood donations given for heart surgery at the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai throughout the year.
- Converting students with an inadequate value system into desirable characters.
- NSS camps during summer vacation
- NCC Republic Parade Representation every year
- Village Adoption Programme and donation of van by the State Bank of India, Chennai Circle.
- Earn while you learn
- Self study scheme and library services
- Science Exhibition for the rural masses once in two years
- Library and laboratory on wheels for the rural students.
- Water scarcity
- Frequent power cuts
- Enrolment in traditional science and arts courses declining
- Self-financing teachers may leave the institution any time
Protecting the environment
Each student plants ten seedlings in his native place and ten seedlings in the villages around our Gurukulam. The student puts on a record card the type of seedling planted and where, and measures its growth rate for eight months.
The student who plants the most tree seedlings is given an award.
IGNOU Study Centre
Dr.M.Sendhilvelan of the Commerce Department was responsible for the establishment of the centre. Dr..V.Parthasarathy of Zoology Department is the Coordinator of the centre. All the students are encouraged to join courses offered by IGNOU. This year 161 regular students have joined the programmes offered by IGNOU.