Arignar Anna Govt. Arts College, Villupuram is a Government Higher Education Institution, managed by the Director of Collegiate Education, Chennai. This College was started on 3-7-1968, and was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Dr. C.N. ANNADURAI popularly known among Tamilians as “ANNA” At that period of time Villupuram was a part of South Arcot District and was educationally backward and no institution for higher education was available there. In order to cater the aspirations of the local population, the Tamilnadu government started this institution in 1968 and 320 students enrolled in pre-university courses. From its inception, the College has been catering the needs of the people in and around Villupuram, who are socially and economically backward. Most of the students of past and present are first graduate’s from poor families. This institution has made appreciable contribution in making large number of women graduates, for whom the school education itself was a dream long back.

In 1971, an undergraduate course in economics (B.A. Economics) was started followed by B.A. History, B.Sc., Chemistry and B.Com., courses.Till 1972, the college was functioning at Kamaraj Municipal High School, Villlupuram and from 1973 onwards the College started functioning in the present campus.

In order to accommodate the science group students who have completed pre-University/ Higher secondary course,
the following B.Sc., courses were started during the academis years:
B.Sc., Physics (1979)
B.Sc., Botany (1980)
B.Sc., Mathematics (1984)

In the year 1983-84 this college was selected as one of the resource centre for conducting M.Phil., under sequential programme in Physics, Chemistry, Botany and History.

B.Sc., Computer Science and the first Post-graduate course M.Sc., Physics were started in 1998. The College was functioning as one of the affiliated College of University of Madras till 15/10/2002. From 16-10-2002 onwards this College is affiliated to newly started Thiruvalluvar University, Vellore, Tamilnadu. In the academic year 2005-2006 the second Post-graduate course in Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology was started as a Self-financing system and during the year 2006, the Government of Tamilnadu converted Self-financing course into aided course. In 2008,M.Sc., Information Technology course was included in the list of PG courses, which is being conducted by the Computer Science Department.

This institution volunteered to under go quality assessment by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) by 2004. During February-2005 NAAC Peer team visited this institution made assessment and accredited the College with C+ Grade.

In order to accommodate maximum number of students who aspire for higher education, the Government of Tamilnadu introduced shift system in all Government colleges. In this institution second shift courses were introduced in Computer science, Mathematics and Commerce during 2006-2007. From 2007 – 08 second shift was introduced in Physics and Chemistry. In the academic year 2008-2009 second shift system was introduced in the subjects Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology, History and Economics. In the year 2009-10 B.A., Tamil, research courses (Ph.D.) in Physics and Botany were introduced on part time basis. In the academic year 2011-12 B.A., English Literature, M.Phil.,and Full time Ph.D., in Botany courses were introduced.

At present there are ten U.G. courses and three P.G. courses in this College. There are 75 faculty members serving at present out of which 31 of them are Ph.D., holders. In addition to that there are 45 Guest Lecturers Working in Shift II courses. 22 non-teaching and 10 supportive staffs are also working in this institution. Total students strength during 2012- 13 is nearly 2500 and about more than 50% of which are girl students.

In addition to these various steps have been taken by the college to promote the quality of education; As per NAAC recommendations, three new blocks of buildings were constructed during 2008-09, including the laboratory block for Chemistry and 30 class rooms. A new digital library has been constructed at the cost of Rs 67.50 Lakhs by the Tamilnadu Government and it was opened by the Honourable Chief Minister of Tamilnadu by Videoconferencing on 5/09/12. This institution is growing with determination to give quality education to socially and economically backward students and thereby bring the backward district of Villupuram to the forefront of Tamilnadu in the field of education.