Mahatma Gandhi University was established on 2 October 1983 in Kottayam. Mahatma Gandhi University (formerly Gandhiji University), has been accredited (B+) by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, India. The university has more than 10 affiliated colleges spread over five districts in central Kerala. The University campus is in the Priyadarsini Hills, 13 kilometers from Kottayam Railway Station and 4 kilometers from Ettumanoor.
The School of Pure and Applied Physics (SPAP) is the Department of Physics of Mahatma Gandhi University. The SPAP was established in 1983 along with the establishment of Mahatma Gandhi University. University Grant Commission (UGC) has identified School as a center of Potential research through SAP-DRS (Special Assistance Programme- Departmental Research Support) program and Basic Science Research (BSR) program. Department of Science and Technology (DST) has sanctioned financial assistance through Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions (FIST) program. Within this period the School has developed into one of the premier research and postgraduate centres of Kerala. The School offers MSc, Mphil and PhD programmes in Physics.
SPAP started the MSc course with specializations in Materials Science, Astrophysics, Applied Electronics and Theoretical Physics. Then it excluded Applied electronics and Theoretical Physics from the specialization streams. In 2014, the curriculum was modified to include Material science, Astrophysics, Theoretical physics, Photonics, and Plasma physics as specializations in MSc course. M. Sc. and M. Phil Courses follows the Credit and Semester system. The total number of seats for the MSc programme is 20, and for Mphil progranne it is 10 seats. Admission is based on written admission test and personal Interviews conducted by the Institute. The Institute also provides 100% placement for its students.
The major areas of research in School are Materials Science, Spectroscopy, Theoretical Physics, Nanomaterials and Ceramics, Biomaterials, Nanotechnology, Crystallography, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Plasma Physics, Solar Physics and Crystalline materials. The theoretical research group of SPAP includes Dr. Chandu Venugopal(Plasma Physics), Dr. K. Indulekha (Astrophysics)and Dr. S.Antony (Solar Physics). The Experimental research group of SPAP includes Dr. N. V. Unnikrishnan, Dr. C. Sudarsanakumar (Director) and Dr. K. Nandakumar, Dr. Cyriac Joseph and Dr. P. R. Biju. The research efforts of SPAP have resulted in the publication of nearly 500 research papers in internationally reputed journals.
The research facilities of the center are advanced and very comprehensive and they include the following:
X-ray Diffractometer, Spectrofluorimeter, UV-Visible Spectrophotometer, Ultrasonic Velocity Measuring System, Metallurgical Microscope, Advanced Fluorescence, Microscope, Impedance Analyzers, Microhardness Tester, keithley Electrometer, Vacuum Coating Units, Photomicrographic equipment, Programmable furnace, Crystal Cutter, Spectroradiometer, Spin Coater, Refrigerated circulator Bath. Recently (In 2014) they have installed Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in Material science Lab.
The SPAP forum provides a common platform for former and present members of the School of Pure and Applied Physics. The activities of the forum, which were started in 1997, include creating a stage for its members to interact with eminent persons, to share ideas and work together in academic as well as other areas. Those who had worked for the early development of the School will have a lot of experience to share through the forum, which acts as a binding force. The alumni members working in National/International institutes often visit the parent department for delivering lectures and to interact with the students. The forum also plays a major role in non-academic activities in the School.
The faculty members of the School of Pure and Applied Physics are providing free consultancy services to the teachers and researchers of the nearby institutions and affiliated colleges. The School has initiated an open center for industrial consultancy and instrumentation.