The principal of Madras Christian College, Dr. R. W. Alexander Jesudasan, is all smiles. As the head of the 173-year-old institution, he is jubilant that his college has received the best college award 2009 from the government of Tamil Nadu last month.

There is yet another reason for Dr. Jesudasan to be happy. He has been qualified to receive the degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc), the highest degree of the University of Madras. He has received the D.Sc for his “contributions to the knowledge of Indian whiteflies (aleyrodidae: Hemiptera: Insecta) with an emphasis on whitefly-ant interaction”

“I am proud to be the first recipient of this highest degree in the 173-year history of the MCC,” says Dr. Jesudasan. He has been awarded the D.Sc degree for his extensive research in entomology. His substantial and sustained contribution to the scientific knowledge has today made him a world authority in the field of entomology. Dr. Jesudasan joined the MCC as faculty in the year 1986, and two years ago became the head of the zoology department. In June 2009, he took over as the principal of the college. “The zoology department of our college is well-known for entomology, aqua culture and endocrinology. Recently, we also started a postgraduate programme in marine studies and coastal management,” he says.

SKY programme

Known for his academic and administrative skills, Dr. Jesudasan is also a man of ideas. He has introduced the Sharing Knowledge You Had Abroad (SKY) programme in MCC. Using this forum, the faculty and students who go abroad for paper presentation and exchange programmes, can share their experience and expertise.

A research and development unit was initiated recently for humanities and science in order to consolidate the academic strengths of the institution. The unit will also encourage and motivate young lecturers to take up research and also identify financial aids available for research projects.

“Our institution is gearing up for the 175th year celebration in the year 2012 and, therefore I am reaching out to as many alumni chapters as possible,” he says.

After he took over as the head of the institution, Dr. Jesudasan has met 13 alumni chapters so far both in India and abroad. Building a state-of-the-art auditorium, transforming the college library, expanding the international guest house and the men's hostel and building a comprehensive student centre, figure in his agenda for the decennial celebrations.