The Gandhigram Rural Institute (GRI), as a separate entity for rural higher education, was founded in 1956 by the adherent of Gandhiji namely Dr.G.Ramachandran and Dr.T.S.Soundaram Ramachandran and continually nurtured by the Government of India. The Institute is fully funded by Government of India since its inception. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is the sponsoring authority of the Institute.
The main goal of the university is to uplift rural students, rural people, rural villages with education, skill development, health and sanitation and by adopting the Gandhiji’s eighteen constructive principles.
The University has multi various faculties including science, arts, engineering, agriculture, sanitation, rural development and information and technology through which the students are empowered with updated knowledge and skills. Through the research in innovative fields of science and through extension activities in rural villages, the university has been ranked in 32nd position in the top 60 deemed universities.
The Institute performs three major functions viz., teaching, research and extension. As the general advancement of rural India calls for an ever increasing range of skills and training, the Institute tuned its academic programmes focusing on rural development. The research works are leaning towards rural problems and the output has the potential to provoke policy and action. Extension is planned in terms of organic relationship of the institute’s educational programme and village conditions. The extension is the means of reconstructing the village society through knowledge creation and dissemination besides skill trainings.
The University from its inception has the distinction of adopting best practices including daily morning prayer, inter-religious prayer on Fridays, shramdhan on every fortnight, shanty sena (in place of NCC), gurukula system of teacher-student relations and the unique village placement programme as a part in the curriculum.
Some of the important agenda to be pursued in the near future are:
With the above key ideas and involvement of faculty, administrative staff and students and with the great guidance of all the stakeholders, the Institute is required to be transformed into a full-fledged Central University benefiting the public at large.