The long cherished dream of the student community of the North Malabar was materialized through the promulgation of Kannur University Ordinance on 9th November 1995. Thus the Kannur University came into existence through the Kannur University Act 22 of 1996 of the Kerala Legislative Assembly and was inaugurated on 2nd March 1996 by Sri. E. K. Nayanar, the former Chief Minister of Kerala. The educationalists and founders of the University visualized establishing and incorporating a University with multi-campus. Aligned to the vision, the State Government established a teaching, research and affiliating University in the State of Kerala to provide for the development of higher education in the Kasaragod and Kannur revenue districts and Mananthavady taluk of the Wayanad district in the State which were lagging in the field of Higher Education.
The University started its function with the Departments of English and Anthropology at Thalassery Campus and 18 affiliated colleges. At present, it has 34 Departments and 105 affiliated colleges. The University has established, maintained, managed and developed campuses at Kannur, Kasaragod, Mananthavady, Payyanur, Thalassery, Mangattuparamba and Nileshwar for providing study and research facilities to promote advanced knowledge in Science and Technology and other relevant disciplines. All the campuses of the University have built up at rural or tribal areas except the administrative campus at Kannur city. Over these years, the University has provided infrastructure, training in such branches of learning, research and for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge.
The UGC recognized Kannur University under section 2 (f) and 12 (B) of the UGC Act, 1956 on 3/2/2004 and the nine member team under the chairmanship of Prof. K. Enoch visited from 25/11/2008 to 27/11/2008 to review X Plan performance and assess the XI Plan requirements of the University.
The University has been co-ordinating, supervising, regulating and controlling the conduct of student admission, teaching and research work in the University Departments, the affiliated colleges and institutions recognized by the University. At present, it has the strength of students and research scholars of 61332 at regular pattern in its 34 Departments and 105 affiliated colleges.
The University has established a School of Distance Education (SDE) for extending opportunity for learning to the students who have not obtained admissions to the affiliated colleges or University Departments. The University offers 20 programmes and presently 28243 students are studying in different programmes under the SDE.
The University has set up infrastructure facilities such as Academic Block, Administration Block, Hostels, Seminar Halls, Libraries, Swimming Pool, Indoor and Outdoor Stadiums, Canteens, Students Facilitation Centres and Guest Houses in the campuses. The infrastructure facilities have been set up with the aid of the State Government, Central Government and the UGC funds.
The Academic Staff College (ASC) is the passage for attaining improvement and excellence to faculty. The ASC has been housed at Kannur Campus for providing Orientation Programmes, Refresher Courses, workshops, seminars and other training programmes to both the teachers and non-teaching staff.
Kannur University has been co-operating with other Universities for sharing academic, administrative and research experiences. The University has collaborated with Calw and Riedlingen Universities of Germany under exchange programmes of students and faculty members.
For cultivating and promoting arts and other extracurricular activities of the students, a separate Directorate has been constituted under the Director of Students Services (DSS). The DSS organizes programmes for curbing ragging in the University Departments and colleges. The Director of Physical Education of the University has been co-ordinating and promoting the sports activities of the University. The students of the University have proved their talents in sports and extracurricular activities at the State, National and International levels. The University provides fellowships and scholarships for the co-curricular and research activities of the students with the funding support of the State Government, UGC and other agencies.
The University has been providing special consideration to the students of under-privileged class for admission and learning. The UGC Special Cell for SC/ST was constituted in the year 2005 to monitor and evaluate the reservation policy in admission of students, recruitment and allotment of staff quarters and hostels to the students in the University and affiliated colleges.
Kannur University is the first University in Kerala to introduce the Choice Based Credit and Semester System (CCSS) in UG and PG programmes. The stakeholders have widely accepted the new syllabi and co-curricular activities of the programme. The examination branch of the University has been conducting examinations of various programmes effectively. The computerization and systematic approach of scheduling the examination process leads to timely publication of results. The University has facilitated the student community for downloading admission tickets and results from the University website. Bar coding system in answer scripts, online transfer of grade points to the server from the centralized valuation camps, issue of highly secured holographic degree certificates are successfully introduced. Software for the Academic, Administrative and Distance Education branches are being developed.
The University has developed research centres in all the Departments of the University, selected affiliated colleges, recognised research centres and the Central Library. At present, the University has 47 research centres in its departments, affiliate colleges and other recognized centres. The research activities are funded by the Government of Kerala, the UGC and the external agencies such as KSCSTE, Board of Research in Nuclear Science, Department of Science and Technology and Kerala Biotechnology Commission.
The Central Library of the University is housed at Kannur Campus with plinth area of 13971.97 sq.m. When it starts at full swing, it will comprise of various sections for Neoliterature, Visually Challenged, Audio Visual Activities, Malabar Collection, Art Gallery, Heritage Museum and Digital Library. The Library will also house the Department of Library and Information Science. It is the seat of research scholars of the University.
The Inter University Centre for Bioscience (IUCB) has been set up as a separate research institute of the University. The research faculties of the IUCB have developed new drugs. The patent registrations of such medicine are pending on.
The University has a Career Guidance Bureau established at Thalassery Campus. The Bureau offers coaching programmes for NET, CSIR, Civil Services and the selection tests of UPSC, KPSC and Banking Service examinations. It provides opportunities for the students to tune them for qualifying competitive examinations.
The University has conferred honorary degrees on distinguished persons who have made several contributions to the society. Eminent Painter Sri. M. F. Husain, renowned Koothu performing artist Sri. Mani Madhava Chakyar, Olympian Smt. P. T. Usha, eminent scholar and administrator Sri. Murkoth Ramunny, Music maestro Sri. K. Raghavan Master, Technocrat Sri. K. P. P. Nambiar and Freedom fighter Sri. K. Madhavan were honoured by conferring D. Litt.
Being a multi-campus University, the departments are functioning at different campuses in rural and tribal areas of its jurisdiction. Driven by these features, the inter-disciplinary approach of the departments and the administrative co-ordination of the campuses are the areas effectively to be improved. The University is making all effort to get sanction from the Govt. for adequate number of teaching faculty. The project for extending campuses at Madaipara, Morazha and tribal settlement area of Aralam are the prospective plans of the University. For enhancing quality in research, a road map is under preparation by way of enlisting patent rights and seeking co-operation from international agencies and institutes.
North Malabar is a granary of rare species of flora and fauna. Hendrik Van Rheede’s ‘Hortus Malabaricus’ (Garden of Malabar) gives a vivid account of taxonomy of flora from the Malabar region. The University has wider opportunity for extending its research in indigeneous medicine, especially the medicines developed by the tribal communities. The IUCB has the vision to assume the role for developing Ayurveda and Indigenous medicines. The research team of IUCB has developed the process for the production of efficacious anti inflammatory drugs from natural products and the method for the enhancement of anti inflammatory activity of Ayurvedic Snehas by fortification with free fatty acids and applied for patent registration.
The University is located in the region of extensively flourished wood and Handloom industries. The learning and research activities in these sections are the other priorities. The University plans to extend its activities to the newer areas of waste management, event management and hazards management. The Central Library is being developed as an institute of R & D for the benefit of scholars of the posterity.
Encroachment of off-campuses and distance education programmes of the other Universities within the jurisdiction and how to devise new job oriented programmes to attract the youth are the two important challenges before the University. Resource mobilization/ finding financial sources for the future development of the University are other problems to be addressed. The University has to collaborate with the national and multinational companies for exploring job opportunities to the scholars and students. The University has to find all possibilities for collaborating with research institutions / Universities in India and abroad. This will help to build strong R & D Departments in the University.
As a centre for Higher Education and advancement of knowledge in Science and Technology, Humanities, Research activities and other relevant disciplines, the Kannur University has to go miles for achieving its vision and mission. According to the demand of today and tomorrow, the University has destined to implement e-governance programme for attaining faster development. The University has planned to develop the Central Library as an important Research Centre with residential facilities to scholars. The University has envisaged extending campuses to other rural areas of its jurisdiction. The University has to explore the possibilities of collaborating with foreign universities for the programme of exchanging students and sharing research activities and technologies. The programme of expansion of video conferencing, link with research institutions/centres, provide opportunities for placement of students and research scholars, offering of career oriented programmes are framed for the future development activities of the University. The University intends to offer new programmes according to the global demand such as Tourism Management, Hospitality Management and Education Management. The University has plans to introduce extension programmes in Social and Economic areas among the society. The admission process for UG and PG programmes of the University will be restructured to single window.
The University has surpassed eighteen years and by this period it has developed as the most important higher education centre of the North Malabar. The motto of the University is ‘Thamasoma Jyothirgamaya’, means ‘from darkness to light’. Kannur University epitomizes in its vision and mission through devotion and commitments of academic faculty, administrative wing, and wholehearted and relentless support of the stakeholders of the region.