DEPARTMENT OF ZOOLOGY
Department of Natural Sciences was there from the inception of the Maharajas College in 1875. The fact that the first principal of our college Sri. A.F. Sealy was a zoologist (specialized in Entomology) deserves special mentioning and it is he who established a museum of Zoology with an excellent collection of specimens from across the world. This was in 1874 - one year before the very beginning of the college itself.
It was in 1925 – the Golden Jubilee year that the Department of Zoology came into existence as an independent Department, along with many other departments. However until the Department of Botany started in 1846, Zoology remained to be known as Department of Natural Science itself.
BSc in Zoology started in 1935 and MSc in 1956. Department raised to a recognized research center under Mahatma Gandhi University in 1997.
Torch bearers of our Department
Famous Anthropologist Dewan Bahadur L.K.Ananthakrishna Iyyer was the Assistant Master in Science during 1897-1902. Zoology as an independent Department started functioning with Sri R Gopalakrishna Iyyer who was on deputation from Madras Presidency College, as the Head of the Department, Sri.N.R. Krishna Iyyer as Lecturer and Sri.P.Narayana Menon as demonstrator. Zoology department was located in the place where Department of Mathematics is located now.
Sri R Gopalakrishna Iyyer went back to Presidency College in 1927 and Sri. Karunakaran Nair of Bangalore Central College became the Head of the Department. He was an exemplary teacher who was so meticulous in campus discipline, but at the same time very affectionate and empathetic towards students. Meanwhile, the Science block of today was inaugurated on 5th of January 1935. The design of the gallery of the department of Zoology is unique form the others in Chemistry and Physics. In 1940, Sri. Karunakaran Nair became the Principal of our college, and Sri.P.Narayana Menon became the Head of the department. In 1953 Sri.P.Narayana Menon took charge as the Principal. Both Sri. Karunakaran Nair and Sri.P.Narayana Menon put forwarded excellent service both as the Head of the department as well as the Principal. The Department and the college achieved glory during their period.
N. Balakrishnan Nair, T.C.Narayana Menon, K.H.Alikunhi, Rama Varma Appan Thampuran (was also Assistant to Dewan Dixon – the War Publicity Officer) , M.Krishna Menon, E.M.Joseph, I.Aravindaksha Panicker, P.V.Ranjini, Anna Vareedh et.al., served the department during those periods. Paramu, Ayyappan, Madhavan, and Purushothaman were the attenders of that period.
MUSEUM OF ZOOLOGY DEPARTMENT
The museum started in 1874 by the Principal Sir Sealy who was also an eminent entomologist. Later, Sri. B.R.Raphael was sent to Madras Presidency College to get expert training in taxidermy. With the concerted action of the teachers and Sri. B.R.Raphael, the museum soon became a place of regular visit by delegates from many places. It got recognized and listed as one among the fifty international museums of the world and is catalogued by Saur Verlag Gumb and Company, Germany. The collection includes many specimens from isolated pockets of the world, which were brought by the special effort of Prof. Sealy. Many of them are representatives of animals which are extinct today. The museum consisting of more than 1500 different specimens which belong to smaller invertebrates to very big vertebrates – aquatic, terrestrial and aerial - is really amazing and is a curious assemblage and a treasure of knowledge to anyone interested.
Our department has been fortunate enough to pipeline a number of illustrious and renowned alumni in many walks of life. Till date more than 3500 students graduated from the department.
The famous poet Sri. Vyloppilly Sreedhara Menon was the student of the first batch who came out in 1927. An alumna of next batch was Smt Kalianikkutty Amma who won the national award for best high school teacher in 1967.
Sri. Ramunni Menon, former Vice Chancellor of Madras University is the alumnus of the Department of Zoology. He did his research in Germany and on completion of his doctoral works, he donated to the department, the entire collection of valuable books on Parasitology, in a wooden almirah, which is still there in our department.
Dr.Vyloppilly Balakrishna Menon is the oldest alumnus living today. He joined the department in 1938. He was arrested for participating in the famous Quit India Movement and was given TC from the college for that reason. He was imprisoned for this reason for many years. He was a senior scientist with CMFRI
Sri. Purushothama Pai, a play back singer, Justice Usha Sukumaran, Justice.K.G.Balakrishnan, Justice Pious Kuriakose, Prof. N. Appukkuttan, Dr.S.Balakrishna Pai (Director of Instructional Laboratories, Senior Academic Professional, Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University, Georgia), Dr. Mohan K Abraham (Professor & Head at the Department of Paediatric Surgery, School of Medicine, Amrita School of Medical Sciences, Kochi. The doctor behind the first open fetal surgery, the first of its kind in Asia to treat complex and rare fetal conditions), Dr.A.Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI, Kochi, Dr.P.Jayasankar , Principal Scientist, CMFRI, Dr. Satish, ZSI, Chennai, Dr. Vegesna Radha Senior Scientist, CCMB, Hyderabad….the list of prestigious alumni who spreaded the glory of the Department far and wide does not end ……
Sri.C.Balakrishna Menon, Smt. Leela, Sri.Thankamma Alwin, Sri.Sukumaran, Sri Induchoodan, and Sri T M Radhakrishnan joined the department during 1950s. Sri.K,A. Varghese was the Head of the department for some years. Then came Mrs. Ummen, Prabhakaran Pillai, to the department as teachers. The list of dedicated and sincere faculties continues…..
The department is now completing 95 years of glorious service and is still stocked with a team of dedicated teachers and nonteaching staff, working tireless, to serve the hundreds of youngsters reaching the department in search of knowledge.