Nirmala College for Women, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, South India managed by the Franciscan Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, an Order, which was founded by Rev Fr Joseph Louis Ravel, with the primary objective of providing university education in a Christian atmosphere for deserving women students, and those belonging to the Catholic community.
Nirmala College for Women,Coimbatore is a
government-aided college, affiliated to Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. It is
fifty-seven years young, and imparts dedicated service to its students, offering
both formal and non-formal education, especially to the poorer section of
society . It is partially a residential institution, affiliated to Madras
University till 1981, and from then till date to Bharathiar University ,
The college is under the
Management of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Presentation of
Mary (F.S.P.M). This Congregation was founded by Rev.Fr. Joseph Louis
Ravel, a missionary of the Paris Foreign Mission Society. This Society
was the pioneer of evangelization in Kongunadu . Rev.Fr. Joseph Louis Ravel was
commited to the cause of children and women’s education for he believed that
illiteracy was the basic reason for the deplorable condition of society. Thus he
founded the congregation on the 21st of November 1853 with three native village
women to help women face the challenges of life with the weapon called
“Education”. He wanted this modest community to be “a living teaching of
the great law of charity”,the true foundation and the beautiful summary
of our holy religion .
Subsequently many primary
schools were established in remote villages to educate poor children . Fr. Ravel
guided the young Congregation as Director for twenty-eight years and was blessed
to see a few schools –one Technical School, one Home for Children and five
houses before he died on 31 st January 1881.
The Sisters of this
Congregation live according to the expectations of the Church and commit
themselves to be living witnesses of Charity, especially through their academic
institutions, having as their model, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St.Francis of
The Sisters continue to
work to fulfill the visionary dreams of Rev. Fr. Ravel through their educational
institutions, which are training the youth for life. An estimated number of
95,000 students in more than 100 institutions are trained by the Presentation
Sisters and by the Staff to face the challenges of the technological world of
the third and new millennium.
The dawn of freedom in
1947 brought in hope, promise, opportunities
for India, as institutions of learningsprang up. Coimbatore records with
reverence the great visionary and missionary zeal of Mgr. Oubagaraswamy, D.D,
who launched Nirmala, the first college for women in this region, on 1st July,
1948.Born in a small rented building in R.S. Puram, the college was entrusted to
the Sisters of the Presentation Order. On 30th July 1948, Sri K. Madhavan Menon,
Minister for Agriculture, formally inaugurated the college. At the persuasion of
Mgr. Oubagaraswamy D.D. the Diocese granted an extensive area at Red Fields to
house Nirmala College permanently.
On the 6th of May 1948,
Sri T.S Avinashilingam Chettiar, the then Minister of Education, laid the
foundation stone for this great institute of learning for young women. Soon the
institute became a Second Grade College with 53 students with two intermediate
courses. The subjects offered at the intermediate level were English, Tamil,
Malayalam, Mathematics, Natural Science, History, Logic and Indian Music and the
first principal was Miss. Rose Varkey. After Mgr. Oubagaraswamy's death on 5th
February 1949, the governance of the college passed on to Rev. Father Joseph,
the Vicar General and later to Rt. Rev.Savarimuthu, the then Bishop of
The year 1949 witnessed
an explosion of activities under the dynamic Principalship of Rev. Sr.
Josephine, and in the next ten years the college expanded rapidly, as Physics
and Chemistry were introduced in the college curricula under Part III. In 1956,
the Pre-University and three year Degree Course were introduced. Geography was
introduced under part iii in the Pre-University Course and affilition granted.
became the first correspondant of the College, followed by Rev. Mother Lidwin
for the next nine consecutive years. In 1960, Mrs. R. Bhagyam became the
principal and for the next twenty-three years the college rose to great academic
excellence, guided by her untiring perseverance.
On the 17th of November
1962, Nirmala College was privileged to play host to Mr. K. Kamaraj, Cheif
Minister of Madras State and Mr. N.S.S Mandradiar, Minsiter for Co-operation and
Fisheries. In 1964, the college extended futher with the addition of B.Sc Botany
and B.A. Literature courses. An extensive and majestic 'Science Block' also
appeared on the campus. In 1971, B.A history was introduced and this year also
saw the formation of the Old Student's Association. The welfare of the college
was the focus of Rt. Rev. C.M. Visuvasam who became the new Bishop, after the
demise of Bishop Savarimuthu, a great friend and guide of the institution.
On the 9th of March 1973,
Nirmala College celebrated her Silver Jubilee, having realised to a large extent
the vision of her pioneers. The three-day function was inaugurated by His
Excellency K.K.Shah, the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Lectures by eminent speakers,
competitions, a carnival, science exhibitions, and a grand music concert by
K.Jesudas were the highlights of the occasion.
The NCC at Nirmala held
aloft banners of victory as her cadets attended Republic Day parades at Delhi.
Cpt. Prem Kamath and Cpt. Malini Fenn were adjudged the Best Cadets for two
years consecutively at the Republic Day Parade conducted in Delhi - 1972-73. The
College was blessed with the gracious of Mother Teresa in 1974 and again in
Academic growth was marked by the introduction of the Post-Graduate course in
M.Sc Mathematics and hte introduction of the B.Sc Geography Programme. The late
70's saw a change in the education pattern with the abolition of the
Pre-University courses and introduction of the Plus Two at the school level.
Nirmala College bravely sailed on through this new system under the guidance of
Mother Bernadette and Rt. Rev. Bishop Ambrose, D.D.D.C.L, the President of the
In 1979-80 the college
expanded further with the introduction of B.Sc Chemistry and the impressive
Chemistry block. M.A. History was introduced in 1982 , and this year Nirmala
College affiliated herself to the new born Bharathiar University . On 23rd June
1980, Miriam Eapen of the department of Geography became the first solo flight
glider. This year also saw the completion of the stately and magnificent
auditorium on the campus.
Rev. Sr. Edwin became the
Principal in 1983. Under her leadership the college expanded in all spheres
especially in the inception
'Associations and Clubs', and the appearance of the serene Chapel on the campus
. The year also saw the State Best Teacher award being given to Dr. K.T. Malika,
Head of the Department of Mathematics and Dr. (Miss.) T.N. Sundaram Head of the
Department of Botany. The increase in student strength resulted in the
construction of a new block in 1986. Physical Education activites recived a
boost with a newly constructed Basketball Court and Tennis Court.
After the sad demise of
Rev.Sr. Edwin on 10th March 1988, Rev. Sr. Nympha took over Principalship and
continues till date. The highlight of the entire institutional growth is Rev.
Sr. Nympha who has been the catalyst responsible for the strategic shifts the
college has under gone form a traditional to a non- traditional system of
education. Under the leadership of this very quite and unassuming, yet dynamic
Prinicpal , the college saw the introduction of job-criented courses under the
banner of the Self- Financing System. The B.Com and B.B.M courses were started
in 1995, Computer Science in 1997 and Computer Applications in 2000. Two
Post-Graduate courses in English Literature and Commerce were started in the
‘Communication line`networking today’s ‘Stay at the Top’ educational
institutions is ‘Be the Best and Remain the Best`. A team of academic die-hards
motivate and innovate students keeping them on the fast track to success.
Consequently Nirmala College for Women has bagged 29-32 University Ranks
consistently over the last 5 years. It is imperative to mention in this context
that out of the 10 colleges selected by Bharathiar University for obtaining the
highest number of ranks,Nirmala College stands second.
All the departments
conduct either state or national level seminar and orientation programmes. It is
indeed an intellectual feast, which benefits both the students and the staff.
These seminars serve to update each discipline on the current trends in their
respective fields and to explore the future job-oriented possibilities in each
The most remarkable
growth of Nirmala College in the year 2003-2004 is the fact that the college
established an international link with
Results International, London, a leading Multinational Management Consultant
Agency. Under the banner ‘Results-International-India`, the college offers a
’Personel Effectiveness’ Programme to outgoing students, and the internationally
recognized ’BTEC Call-Center Training Programme’. Both the parents and the
students commended the ‘Personal Effectiveness’ programme as highly beneficial
and recommended a continuation of the same. After having evaluated the feedback
from students, the BTEC Call Center Training was launched on Dec 7th 2003 and
all the 30 students find the training, unique , interesting and of immense
practical use for their future.
Under the leadership of Sr.Nympha, the campus
infrastructure is taking on a new look. The remodeling of the auditorium, the
construction of the Seminar Hall and all the ‘Second Floors` of the
Administrative Block, Botany Block, and Tamil Block, the renovation of the
Chapel and the construction of the New Library offer the students the luxury of
being educated in very spacious, well-ventilated classrooms. The college is also
going trough a change in terms of teaching tools. Computers and Printers are
provided for each department. A language Lab is available for English language
study, especially for slow learners.OHPs, Audio-Visual Cassettes, T.V, VCR, VCD
and photocopy facilities within the college make classroom teaching and learning
an interesting and enjoyable experience. The traditional lecture system in most
departments is shelved to welcome new techniques in the teaching-learning
process. Laboratories and department infrastructure is updated with useful and
comfortable staff-room furniture. ’NoticeBoards` outside each department
function as ‘Career Opportunities` - where possible opportunities for students
of each discipline are pinned on.
The college magazine as
always been an integral; articulate
voice of the college’s growth, ambience and academic pulse over the years.
Unfailingly published over a period of 40years, the `Old Man of the Sea’ bagged
the prestigious Best College Magazine Award 2002, awarded by the Academic
Council, Bharathiar University, a cash award of Rs. 3000/- awarded in the
presence of NAAC. The Divodhaya, an inter-religious center also conferred on
Nirmala College, the Best College Magazine Award, 2001-2004.
The college student union
is a powerful democratic organ of expression of a wide cross-section of the
student body (a total strength o 1802) over the years. Elections are conducted
on terms wherein each student’s franchise is cast in full knowledge of her
rights and responsibilities. This smooth functioning over the years has ensured
credibility and a sense of fulfillment to all the campus activities.
involve themselves in extension activities such as Temple cleaning, Food
Adulteration and AIDS Awareness programmes etc. Such activities inculcate in the
students a sense of service.
The colleges is proud of
it’s co-curricular activities too. The fresher’s day, “Navrang”- an annual
inter-departmental competition and ‘Magnum Opus’ an inter-collegiate competition
brings out the hidden talents of the students. “To strive, to compete, to win”
has been the attitude of the Nirmalites towards inter-collegiate competitions.
The laurels and trophies won stand as testimony to their enthusiasm and
In 1999, the Youth Red
Cross and Blood Donation Clubs were introduced in the college as a component of
its vast social service plans. Cadets CSUD of the NCC like Ms. Suganthi and Cpl.
Sheeba represented Tamilnadu at the All India Vayusainik Camp in Bangalore.
The NSS motto: “Not Me
But You”, keeps the NSS units focused and alive. A sense of mission,
identification with the needy and an eagerness to mobilize efforts and funds to
bring hope into the lives of the hopeless gives NSS volunteers a sense of
satisfaction and enhances the integrity and credibility of the NSS units. The
NSS units conduct many camps and projects for the integrated development of the
villages. A host of programmes and projects such as camps, village visits,
seminars and programmes on consumer awareness, AIDS Awareness, plastic usage
eradication, litter cleaning campaign, environment pollution and water
harvesting programmes keep the students abreast of societal needs.
The units received the
prestigious Best N.S.S. unit award, an award amount of Rs5000/-. The Best
Programme Officer Award was given to Mrs. S. Anuradha (Department of English).
Miss R.Gayathri (Department of Economics) was awarded a Gold Medal for being the
best volunteer in 2002.
The All India Catholic
University Federation of Nirmala plays a significant role in fostering goodwill
and service among self and others. The AICUF spells out in action the basic
Christian Commission “Do unto others as you would like others do unto you”.
AICUF members attend various state and national camps and champion the cause of
the Dalits and the marginalized sectors of society. The AICUF cultivates a deep
genuine concern for the oppressed and commits itself to the task of building a
new, just and humane society.
The ‘Chetna’ Women’s Cell
launches a series of campaigns year round, visiting villages, conducting
surveys, enlightening women on the status of the girl-child, anti-dowry
awareness and offering a patient ear to their grievances. Through this cell the
college grasps every opportunity to create awareness of Women’s Rights and
produce intellectually well-equipped and socially committed women for the India
of today and tomorrow.
“Service above Self” is
the fragrance spread by the members of the Rotaract Club. Activity piled on
activity keeps the club alive throughout the year. Blood and Eye Donation Camps,
Dental Camps, Peace Rallies, visit to tribal villages and Orphanages Interaction
with other fellow Rotaractors keep them in the mainstream of awareness of social
“Play the game well” has
always been the watchword of the Nirmala Sports Team. Vitality, spontaneity and
co-operation are the strong components of this successful team. “Sports” reached
its zenith under the guidance of Sr. Nympha. As sports facilities improved
immensely, more victories followed- Greater efforts crowned with brighter
success. The introduction of the Multi-Gym is the latest sports technicality,
which is a much added sports pleasure for both the staff and the students. Such
Hi-Tech equipments, scholarships and good facilities have made the college a
paradise for sports. Nirmalites distinguish themselves and win a number of
prizes at the District, State and National Sports Meet.
The Canteen is a much
sought after resort for both the students and the staff. Clean, hot, hygienic
and a delicious variety of foodstuff is available all day at a very subsidized
With full awareness of
the growing need for practical application of the curriculum and academic
freedom, the college proposes to seek an autonomous status so as to enable the
students to enjoy:
A dynamic and relevant
credit based system that allows students to choose their own
subjects of interest in their own duration of time and pace of
Technical and applied
subjects that will cater to immediate employment needs.
Nirmala College for
Women, Coimbatore, submitted its Self–Study Report to The National Assessment
and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore in January 2004 and was accredited
an ‘A’ Grade College in May 2004.
The college became an
autonomous in July 2007. Autonomy gave the college the freedom of working out an
academic program that would offer transformative education.
celebrated its Diamond Jubilee on the 30th and 31st of Jan 2009.
Nirmala College for Women
certainly has miles to go; it also has a rich tradition to fall back on; and, as
an Institution, an Eternity to look forward to.