Set up in 1985 by the Indian Government, Pondicherry University (PU) comprises 89 affiliated colleges scattered across the state of Puducherry, Mahé, Yanam, Karaikal, the Union Territory of Adaman and the Nicobar Islands.
The main campus, located at Puducherry, spans 800 acres and faces the Bay of Bengal on the East Coast Road. It can be accessed from Chennai and Bengaluru. There is an on-campus shopping centre, bank, post office, gymnasium and 24-hour hospital with a fully-equipped ambulance.
There are two smaller campuses at Port Blair and Karaikal, approximately 150km from Puducherry.
PU was India’s first university to set up a community college to serve the needs and demands of the local community. Local skillsets are advanced through several vocational programs, such as para-medical courses using the onsite hospital facilities. It also offers free accommodation to women and disabled students and free transport for all students.
The community radio station “Puduvai Vaani” was set up by PU with the support of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in New Delhi. It transmits to over a 20km radius from the campus and has now attained full-time transmission.
Professor J. A. K. Tareen reorganised the structure of PU during his tenure as vice-chancellor (2007-13), establishing 20 new departments and 80 new programmes. The university experienced a 300 per cent growth rate across every aspect of the infrastructure, faculty, research output, and students numbers and was ranked in the top 10 Indian universities. Professor Tareen’s term is often referred to as PU’s Golden Era.