Alagappa Government Arts College, Karaikudi is a Co-educational institution founded on 11th August 1947, the year of independence by the great philanthropist late Dr. RM. Alagappa Chettiar. The illustrious and magnanimous founder Dr. RM. Alagappa Chettiar established the college with an aim of providing quality higher education at an affordable cost to the educationally backward people of erstwhile Ramnad District. The College initially functioned in Gandhi Maligai. In 1948 a new building for college was inaugurated by Mr. O. P. Ramasamy Chettiar. Today its sprawling over 13.5 acres of land with a built up area of 5100 sq.mts.
The College, originally started as a Private College, was earlier affiliated to the University of Madras. Subsequently it underwent a transition in 1985 and came under the administrative unit of the Government of Tamilnadu as per Private Colleges Act 1976. The objective of offering quality higher education to the economically backward students continued even after the Government of Tamilnadu took over the Management of the College in the year 1985. During this period the college affiliation was in the fold of Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai. Consequent to the establishment of Alagappa University at Karaikudi in the year 2003-04, the College joined in an affiliation with Alagappa University till date.
The goals and objectives of the college are to improve the quality of teaching-learning process to national standards and promote more academic activities that impart knowledge and skill. It also strives to encourage research activities among the faculties and students in the college. Apart from imparting quality education the college continuously attempts to mould the students through Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular activities.
The college celebrated its glorious existence of 25 yearson 19 th September 1973. The Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, the Governor of Tamilnadu Dr. K. K. Shah, the Honourable Education Minister Dr. V. R. Nedunchezian, the Honourable Central Minister for Industries Dr. C. Subramaniam and other dignitaries graced the occasion ofSilver Jubilee event by their august presence. Smt. Indira Gandhi unveiled the statue of Dr. RM. Alagappa Chettiar and delivered the keynote address.
The College celebrated its Golden Jubilee in all its grandeur and adorationon 25th July 1998. The Honourable Minister of Education Prof. K. Anbalagan participated and delivered the special address and received the souvenir issued by The Honorable Minister for Highways Mr Pasumpon T. Kiruttinan. As part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1998, a grand Science Exhibition was conducted in the month of September.
In 2007-08, the college was promoted as Grade 1 by the Government of Tamilnadu. In the same year, to fulfil the needs and demands of the students, Shift system was introduced following Government orders for the Courses B.Com., B.B.A., B.Sc. Mathematics, B.Sc. Physics and B.Sc. Computer Science. The college has been recognized by the UGC with 2(f) and 12(B) status of the UGC Act 1956. The NAAC accredited the college with B+, B and B grade in 2002, 2009 and 2018 respectively. The college secured 84th rank in Indian ranking (NIRF) 2019.
The College has successfully completed 71 years of its service. Since its inception in 1947, several educational and eminent experts have served as Principals, Professors and Lecturers (Assistant Professors) showing the path of improvement of the college and contributing to the achievement of the vision of the Founder Dr. RM. Alagappa Chettiar. The present team, under the leadership of Mr. M. Durai, consists of 95 well–qualified and competent permanent teaching faculties, 73 temporary full time teaching faculties, 1 part time teaching faculty and 41 non – teaching faculties with an overall student strength of 3802. Students prefer this college because of the academic reputation it has built up over the years. The academic excellence of the institution is reflected in the consistent performance of students in the university examinations and the university ranks obtained by them in all the subjects of study being offered here.
Currently, the college is a Post Graduate and Research Institution offering 4 Under Graduate courses in Arts, 1 in Commerce, 1 in Administration, 1 in Computer Applications, 7 courses in Science, 7 Post Graduate courses in Science, 4 in Arts and 1 in Commerce. M.Phil. programmes are offered in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Commerce, Tamil, History and Management. Further, Ph.D. programmes are available for all subjects both in full- time and part – time basis.