Trivandrum University College

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Department of Philosophy

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The Department of Philosophy was started in 1866 with Professor Robert Harvey as its first Head. It was in Philosophy course that the University College was first affiliated to the University of Madras for its B. A. degree course. The chair in Philosophy won great reputation under the guidance of the eminent Professor Dr. Harvey and his pupil Professor P. Sundaram Pillai who succeeded him. Professor P. Sundaram Pillai was not only an eminent teacher, but also an archeologist and Tamil poet. He is the author of a classical work, Manonmaniam. The “Manonmaniam Sundarar University” of Tamil Nadu is most aptly named after him as a tribute to his literary genius. Dr. A. S. Narayana Pillai, Professor H. J. Soundra Raj, Professor K. M. Zachariah, Professor K.G.K Panicker are some of the distinguished Professors who were in charge of the Department.

Reminiscences of the Department are glorified by the presence of the names of the late Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati and Smt. Sugatha Kumari. Yati, who was a student of Philosophy during 1948 – 53, later the Head of the East West University of Brahma Vidyalaya, Varkala, was a leading Advaita Vedantin, and the author of many renowned works. Smt. Sugatha Kumari, well-known as a poetess– cum– social scientist, was a student here during 1950- 52. It was under her leadership that an afforestation programme known as Prakriti Samrakshana Samiti was initiated to save forests like the Silent Valley. She has been the Secretary of Abhaya, an organization for the welfare of the mentally ill and the emotionally disturbed. She was also the President of the Kerala Consumer protection council and chair person of the Kerala State Women’s Commission. Mr. Jassie Gift, a very popular play back singer and music composer, is also a product of this Department.


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