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Dr. Rajammal P. Devadas

Dr. Rajammal P. Devadas, fondly known as 'Amma,' has left an indelible mark as a distinguished
academician and visionary leader in the field of Home Science and Nutrition. Born on April 7, 1919, in Chengam, North Arcot District, she emerged as the eldest daughter of Sri Packianathan Michael, a Forest Range Officer, and Tmt. Sornammal. Amma's educational journey commenced at All Saints Girls Middle School in Trichy, where her inherent aptitude for learning flourished. Despite her father's transferable job, she excelled in her studies, driven by her mother's values of intense thinking, hard work, and strong faith in God.
In 1935, family responsibilities led to her marriage to her maternal uncle, Mr. Edward Devadas, Sub Inspector of Police, while she was still pursuing her secondary education. True to her promise, she completed her studies and achieved remarkable success in the Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination. Post-marriage, Amma continued her higher education journey. In 1948, she obtained degrees in M.S. (Foods and Nutrition) and M.A. (Home Science Education) from the Ohio State University, USA, followed by a Ph.D. in Nutrition and Biochemistry in 1950.
Returning to India, Amma commenced her illustrious career in 1951 as a Dietitian and Professor in the College of Nursing, Government of India, New Delhi. Her journey included roles as Dean and Professor at M.S. University, Baroda, and key positions in the Government of India, showcasing her commitment to education and nutrition.

Amma's pivotal role in founding the Avinashilingam Home Science College in Coimbatore marked a significant chapter. Serving as its first Principal from 1960, she tirelessly worked towards achieving autonomy in 1978 and Deemed University status in 1988. Her leadership and innovative approaches, such as the triple major pattern, propelled the institution to new heights.
Internationally, Amma forged collaborations with universities in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and Illinois State University, fostering academic exchange, research, and joint programs. In 1994, she assumed the role of Chancellor, guiding the University towards excellence. Amma's commitment to students led to the establishment of a Community College in 1998-99, catering to those unable to join regular courses.
A prolific writer, Amma authored 57 books on Home Science, published over 530 research papers, and served as Chief Editor for prestigious journals. She played a pivotal role in reshaping Home Science education in India, infusing it with cultural relevance.
Amma's extensive contributions garnered national and international recognition. She received numerous awards, including the Padma Sri Award for Home Science in 1992, the G.D. Birla Award in 1999, and the Smt. Janaki Devi Bajaj Award in 1998. In essence, Amma's journey from a dedicated teacher to the Chancellor of Avinashilingam University is an inspirational saga, embodying resilience, vision, and an unwavering commitment to education and social upliftment. Her legacy continues to inspire generations of scholars and leaders.
Dr. Rajammal P. Devadas: A Chronicle of Academic Eminence
Dr. Rajammal P. Devadas, a distinguished figure, currently serving as the Chancellor of Avinashilingam University, President of Avinashilingam University General Body, and Chairman and Managing Trustee of The Avinashilingam Education Trust, is widely revered as 'Amma.' Her journey commenced on the 7th of April, 1919, in Chengam, North Arcot District, unfolding a legacy of academic brilliance and unwavering commitment. Born to Sri Packianathan Michael, a Forest Range Officer in the Government of Tamil Nadu, and Tmt. Sornammal, Dr. Rajammal, affectionately known as 'Amma,' experienced a nurturing upbringing marked by profound values. Despite losing her elder sister Chengamalam and brother Rajaratnam before her birth, she was raised with utmost care and named 'Rajammal.'
Amma's innate aptitude for learning propelled her through All Saints Girls Middle School in Trichy, where she excelled at every academic stage. Her father's transferable job necessitated her presence in boarding schools, instilling in her golden qualities such as intense thinking, hard work, and a strong faith in God.
Married to her maternal uncle Mr. Edward Devadas in 1935, at the age of 16, Amma secured a promise from her father and husband to complete her studies, a promise they dutifully kept. Despite family responsibilities, she emerged successfully in the Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination, earning accolades and medals.
Tragedy struck in 1937 with the untimely demise of Amma's father. Her husband, Mr. Devadas, assumed responsibility for the family. In 1939, Amma's son Mohan Devadas was born, and her yearning for higher education persisted. With Mr. Devadas's support, she pursued studies at Queen Mary's College, showcasing exemplary dedication and securing numerous awards.
Amma's academic prowess led her to the Ohio State University in the USA, where she earned degrees in M.S. (Foods and Nutrition), M.A. Home Science Education, and Ph.D. (Nutrition and Biochemistry). Her remarkable journey continued as she returned to India in 1950, taking on pivotal roles in education and nutrition.
In 1960, Amma responded to Dr. Avinashilingam Ayya's call to establish a Home Science College for Women in Coimbatore. Her relentless efforts bore fruit as she became the first Principal, steering the institution to autonomous status in 1978. Under her leadership, the college attained Deemed University status in 1988, where she served as the first Vice Chancellor.
Amma's vision extended beyond borders, fostering international collaborations with institutions in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and beyond. These partnerships enhanced educational exchange and research initiatives. Elevated to the position of Chancellor in 1994, Amma continued to guide the University towards excellence. Her commitment to student welfare resulted in the establishment of a Community College in 1998-99, catering to those unable to pursue regular collegiate courses.
A prolific author with 57 books, over 530 research papers, and 350 popular articles, Amma transformed Home Science education in India, emphasizing cultural relevance. Her involvement in various national and international organizations showcased her dedication to societal well-being.
Amma's numerous awards, including the Padma Sri Award, National Award for Child Welfare, and G.D. Birla Award, reflect her tireless efforts in education, nutrition, and social service. From a Home Science teacher to the Chancellor of Avinashilingam University, Amma's journey inspires generations, leaving an indelible mark on academia and society at large.

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