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Marine Biology

         The Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in Marine Biology is a reputed Marine Institute in India which is actively engaged in teaching, research and extension activities in Marine Sciences. The advantage of the Centre is the ideal location and easy access to different biotopes such as estuary, mangrove, backwaters and coastal waters. Despite being located 12 k.m. away from the main campus, the Centre made rapid strides in various facets of Marine Science. This Centre, the brain child of the Eminent Scientist (Late) Prof. R.V. Seshaiya, was established at Parangipettai during 1957 as a field laboratory for the Department of Zoology. The status of a separate department to this station was conferred in 1961. In October 1963, this department was recognized for its outstanding research contribution by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology and the Commission continues to extend generous assistance. The main laboratory building of this Centre was declared open by the first Chairman of UGC, Dr. C.D.Deshmukh. Right from the inception through the fledgling Marine Biological Station days, this Centre has been the cynosure for the scientific community world over.
        Considering the remarkable research contributions made, UGC identified and recognized this Centre for implementing COSIST Programme in 1987 besides the routine plan assistance upto XI plan period. In addition, the UGC also supported the Centre under SAP from “1984 to 2009” and “2015-2020”. In the year 2011, UGC recognized this Centre as the Centre with Potential for Excellence in Particular Area – Marine Biology (CPEPA). The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, established Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre during 1992, as one among the 76 Centres. The Centre was assigned to document the present status of coastal biodiversity along the east coast of India. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (formerly known as Department of Ocean Development), Government of India, established Ocean and Atmospheric Science & Technology Cell (OASTC) and based on the accomplishments the Cell has been upgraded as DOD-Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology during 2004. Further, the Ministry of Science and Technology, New Delhi has identified the Centre for support in Level–1 category under the Funds for Improvement of Science and Technology infrastructure in Universities and higher educational institutions (FIST).The Department of Biotechnology is supporting the Centre for the conduct of a two year Post Graduate Course on “Marine Biotechnology” from 2002. The Centre has successfully completed more than 200 research projects and 45 research projects funded by various national and international funding agencies are on-going.
         Recognising the expertise and excellent scientific achievements of the Centre, the United Nations University having its Head Quarters in Tokyo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Annamalai University in 2000 to conduct Training Workshop on Methodologies for Assessing Biodiversity of Coastal Ecosystems for trainees from developing Countries in Asia and recently University of Highlands and Islands, Scotland, UK has entered MoU with the University.
         The Central Instrumentation facility for all staff, scholars and students is equipped with major analytical instruments like Maldi-Toff, ICP, HPLC, HPTLC, Microbial Identification system, GCMS, CHNS&O analyzer, Fluorescent Microscope, Elisa Reader, 2D Gel electrophoresis, Scintillation Counter, UV-VIS Spectrophotometer, Spectrofluorometer, High speed refrigeration centrifuges, Mercury analyzer, PCR, RT-PCR, Gel documentation system and freeze dryer. Other facilities include Cell and tissue culture facility, Seawater circulation system, Marine Botany research laboratory, Plankton identification and culture facility, Aquaculture demonstration ponds, cage culture materials, Gene bank of rare mangrove species, all physical oceanographic field instruments and INCOIS potential fishing zone electronic display board. The library houses a sizable collection of text books (nearly 7,000) and more than 10,000 volumes of journals (both national and international) dealing with research in Marine Science. An excellent display and reference collections of authentically identified specimens of flora and fauna of this area collected over a period of 40 years are maintained at the Museum. An air-conditioned well furnished auditorium fitted with 2 LCD projectors with a capacity to seat two hundred is available. A Seaworthy boat fitted with diesel engine is available for field collections. The Centre has access to broad band dedicated 4 MBPS internet connectivity with 161 terminals. Abstracting Services and E-journals are available. In recognition of the academic accomplishments achieved, the University elevated this Centre as a separate FACULTY from the academic year 2010-2011. In 2013, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Govt. of India), has identified this centre to setup a Centre of Excellence for Training and Research in Frontier Areas of Science and Technology.
CHOICE BASED CREDIT SYSTEM (CBCS)
         The Choice Based Credit System was introduced from the year 1999–2000. The Post- graduate programmes offered by this faculty are four semester programmes that would lead to a Post graduate degree in the respective subjects.These programmes offer a package of certain courses and some elective courses that allows effective interaction among students of different disciplines. The novelty of the programmes is in the inter-disciplinary curriculum with a pronounced accent on frontier areas of knowledge. Under this system, the programme comprises of several courses which are referred to in terms of the credits they are worth, and the grading of students according to their performance.