Padma Bhushan Dr. R. M. Alagappa Chettiar, a man of rare wisdom, and forethought, founded Alagappa Chettiar Educational Trust with the sole aim of developing the backward area of Karaikudi into a centre for higher education and provided necessary funds for the establishment of educational institutions. On the Occasion of laying of the foundation stone of the Central Electro Chemical Research Institute by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 25th July 1948. Dr. Chettiar, in his welcome address, said
In 1952, Dr. Alagappa Chettiar’s dream came true. Alagappa Chettiar College of Engg & Tech., started functioning from 21st July 1952 with three faculties-Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics Engineering. The Foundation tablet for the main building of the college was laid by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India on 19th February 1953. Before Dr.Chettiar could bring all his dreams into reality, he passed away. Subsequently, w.e.f. 1-7-1966 (Vide G.O.Ms. Education No.1282 dated 26-07-1971), the Institution was handed over to Govt. of Tamil Nadu. In 1969 a new faculty of Electronics and Communication Engineering was started. Further Part-time Courses in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical and Electronics Engineering were introduced in 1971. To keep pace with the Technical advancements and to meet the requirements of industries, two new courses were started; M.E in Microwave and Optical Engineering in 1983 and Master of Computer Application (M.C.A.) in 1988. From 2001 B.E. Degree course in Computer Science and Engineering is also being offered. PG Degree courses are offered from the academic year 2002-03 in addition to the Part-time B.E. Course in Electronics & Communication Engineering.