Gandhigram Rural Institute (GRI), founded by two dedicated disciples and contemporaries of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr.G.Ramachandran and Dr.T.S.Soundaram Ramachandran, has as its foundation Mahatma Gandhi’s revolutionary philosophy of Nai Talim, which effectively bridges the cognitive and practical dimensions, and focuses on the holistic development of learners, with an emphasis on skill development through value-based education, rooted in indigenous cultures and traditions. Since its establishment in 1956, GRI has been unstintingly contributing to higher education and has successfully pioneered rural higher education.
1. Folks Hoschkole system of Denmark by N.F. S. Gruntvig (1844)
2. Land-grant University system of USA (1862); and
3. Sriniketan Experiment of Shantiniketan by Tagore (1922)
The Institute which is administered by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and fully funded through UGC, New Delhi has developed academic programs in rural development, rural economics and extension education, rural oriented sciences, co-operation, development administration, rural sociology, English, Tamil and Indian languages. The institute runs B.Tech. in civil engineering with focus on habitat development and M.Tech. in renewable energy. The institute also offers B.Sc Agriculture program.
Gandhigram Rural Institute is quite active on both campus and rural areas in the vicinity, benefitting and enriching one another. Besides, its contribution to teaching, from diploma, degree and all the way to post-doctorate levels, the Institute applies the learnings from both scientific and social research to solve contemporary rural problems. The curriculum is a combination of theoretical, practical and extension experiments. The Institute has become home to many pioneering models of rural development programmes. The students and scholars who emerge from its portals tend to meet the personnel needs of rural development programmes under various governmental and non-governmental organizations.
The three dimensional approach of education namely teaching, research and extension has become a highly celebrated model, earning global and nationwide appreciation. Started in a small way the Institute has evolved into a reasonably large and expansive educational complex comprising of seven different faculties, 22 departments and 7 Centres offering a whopping 52 academic programs, ranging from certificate courses, to Graduate programmes to Doctoral and post-Doctoral Programmes. At present the Institute has 3501 students, including Ph.D. Scholars, and 142 teaching and 168 non-teaching staff.
The curricular model developed at GRI organically integrating teaching, research and extension has earned the Institute, the status of Deemed University in 1976 by UGC, the five-star status by NAAC in 2002, ‘A’ Grade during the re-accreditation in 2010 by NAAC and ‘A’ Grade in its third cycle of reaccreditation in the year 2016.
Thus the Institute has been taking efforts to design its academic programs in tune with the demands of the society and industry by providing a learner-centric, transparent teaching and evaluation methods. Through the action-oriented research and scientific research, the Institute contributes substantially to the research domains and concentrates on solving the rural issues at micro levels. The participatory and decentralized governance of Gandhigram Rural Institute strives for achieving global standard of excellence in all the dimensions of education without compromising on its rural character and Gandhian values.