Nirmalagiri College, a minority institution belonging to the Archdiocese of Thalassery, was established on 13th May-1964 by H.E.Rt.Rev.Dr.Sebastian Valloppilly, the founder Bishop of Thalassery Diocese. The college is situated at a place formerly know as Kandamkunnu, now Nirmalagiri, 20kms north east of Thalassery, alongside the Thalassery-Mysore inter-state highway. The founding of the college was in tune with the vision and objectives spelt out in the Memorandum of Association of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Thalassery registered as S.No 12 of 1954 under Societies Registration Act (Act XXI of 1860 ) dated 04-11-1954 Since 1940 there occurred a substantial migration from Travancore to Malabar and the post-Second World War economic scenario hastened the exodus. The new migrant community, most of them Christians, spread over the entire region of South and North Malabar, though pioneer of an agrarian revolution, was deprived of basic and higher educational facilities.
Even in the midst of blood, sweat and tears, the migrant population craved for educational institutions. It was at that historic juncture that Rt.Rev.Dr.Sebastian Valloppilly, a dynamic missionary and a motivated visionary, a true Gandhian and a freedom fighter,bravely came forward to establish the college. The main objective of Nirmalagiri College, the lamp lit on the mountain, was to radiate the light of knowledge and wisdom primarily to the children of the migrant Christian population, as the college was the only Christian higher education center in the whole of North Malabar, spread over the districts of Kannur, Kasargod and Waynad The college started functioning as a junior college in 1964 under the Kerala University with 397 students, 11 teachers and 5 administrative staff members. The founder Principal was Dr.Antony Kurialacherry, who later became the Principal of S.B. College, Changanasserry. Satisfied with the maiden performance of the first batch of students who secured the first position in Kerala University in 1966, the University permitted the college to go ahead with degree courses in 1967. Our affiliation got shifted to the Calicut University when it came into existence in 1996.
It is worth mentioning that our former principal Fr.John George Vadakkummoolayil, was a member of the advisory committee for the establishment of Kannur University.
At present, the college offers 11 U.G. courses and 3 P.G. courses. The college governing body is enthusiastic about introducing more courses in the U.G. and P.G. streams.
Although the college was started primarily for migrant Christians, it became ‘a promised land for all’, irrespective of caste, creed and gender. The college has been maintaining a secular nature all through its history. At present more than 80% of the students are non Christians. Majority of the students are girls, among whom a good number hails from the Muslim community. The enlightened public around the region have played a significant role in the evolution of the college.
One of the commendable achievements of the college was the setting up of the central library in 1989 which is the second largest under Kannur University with more than 40,000 volumes and about 65 journals apart from the department stocks and subscriptions. Besides, the IRISH maintains about 2500 books in the campus library and an equal number of rare books, at its Director’s office at Thalassery which are accessible to the researchers.
Another landmark in the history of Nirmalagiri College was starting of the computer center in 1991. It has grown into its fullness with its own new building enriched with well-designed class rooms, library and workshops. It is all made possible incurring heavy expenses to cater to the ever growing demand from the seekers of professional skill and advanced vocational training. The center has international accreditation and is the online testing of ETA, NOVELL etc. The computer center is involved in developing computer-aided learning packages in collaboration with the teaching departments. The computer literacy programme of the center aims at providing computer literacy for the students of the college.