A profile of NSS College, Pandalam, which has been a leading educational institution in an agrarian rural area of Central Travancore.
The Nair Service Society (NSS), founded by the visionary social reformer, Mannathu Padamanabhan, started the NSS College in Pandalam way back in 1950 with the noble objective of extending higher education facilities to the agrarian rural areas of Central Travancore. The institution that flourished in course of time has already been accredited as a special grade college by the University Grants Commission.With a student strength of 2,200 and 120-member teaching faculty, the NSS College in Pandalam stands tall as a leading centre for higher education in the rural belt of Pandalam situated on the borders of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts. The NSS College, with a majestic clock tower atop a hill on the eastern side of the M.C. Road, has been a major landmark in this small town, which is also the headquarters of the Pandalam grama panchayat for the past five decades.The college has been catering to the higher education needs of the villagers on borders of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts. ``Through academic excellence, development of skills and character formation, the college aims at producing committed and inspired young men and women with a holistic approach to life,'' says Principal C.S. Gopalakrishnan Nair.The 50-acre college campus also houses a study centre of the University of Kerla, besides the university's District Information Office.
The college offers BA courses in Economics, History, Political Science, English Literature, Hindi, Malayalam and Sanskrit, besides BSc courses in Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology.The college also conducts two types of B.Com. courses - conventional as well as restructured. The postgraduate courses offered by the college are, MA in Economics and English Literature, M.Sc. in Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and Physics and M.Com. (Banking stream).
Mr. Nair said that the Zoology Department of the college has been identified as a research department by the University of Kerala and the Economics Department has received a financial assistance of Rs.1 lakh from the Ratan Tata Foundation.The Economics Department has also undertaken a study on the benefits of People's Planning Programme in Pandalam grama panchayat limits, he added. The principal said that the Commerce Department has been conducting three add-on courses in risk and insurance management, e-banking and e-marketing of the University of Kerala
The English Department has its own theatre, `Pandaleeyan' English Theatre, which was better known as PET. It was formed when N.G. Kurup, renowned academician and scholar, was the college Principal in the late 1960s, says S.K.Vikraman Unnithan, Head of the Department.The staging of the Shakesperean masterpiece, Hamlet, in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam was considered a great achievement of the PET in its days of fame and glory, says Mr. Unnithan adding that the Department of English at the College was often referred to as the `Oxford of the East.' The college also houses a library with 49,285 books, besides 1,800 reference books, a well-equipped computer lab with Internet connectivity, a forestry club, a placement cell and an active women's study unit, says the Principal. According to him, various departments unfailingly bring out their annual journals and it is important that about 80 per cent of the students at the college come from the rural settings of Pandalam and surrounding areas.The National Cadets Corps and National Service Scheme at the college too were functioning well.