Chennai (), formerly known as Madras () or Madrasapattinam), is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is a major commercial, cultural, and educational centre in South India, while the port of Chennai is the second largest port in India. As of 2011 census, the city had 4.6 million residents making it the sixth most populous city in India; the urban agglomeration, which comprises the city and its suburbs, was home to approximately 8.9 million, making it the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the country.
Although the area has been part of successive South Indian kingdoms through centuries, the recorded history of the city began in the colonial times, specifically with the arrival of British East India Company and the establishment in 1644 of Fort St George, an English settlement. The British defended several attacks from the French colonial forces, and from the kingdom of Mysore, on Chennai's way to become a major naval port and presidency city by late eighteenth century. Development of transport and industry led to rapid urbanization in nineteenth and twentieth century. Following the independence of India, Chennai became the capital of Tamil Nadu and a hotbed of regional politics that tended to bank on Dravidian identity of the populace.The city is a host to some of the oldest education institutions in the world,making it the Education hub of India.The city is also home to 19% of Indian Scientist's.
Chennai's economy has a broad industrial base in the automobile, computer, technology, hardware manufacturing and healthcare industries. The city is India's second largest exporter of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) services. A major chunk of India's automobile manufacturing industry is based in and around the city. Chennai is an important centre for Carnatic music and hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season, which includes performances by hundreds of artists. The city has a vibrant theatre scene and is an important centre for the Bharata Natyam, a classical dance form. The Tamil film industry, the second largest film industry in India, is based in Chennai.
The name Chennai is a shortened form of Chennapattanam, the name of the town that grew around Fort St. George, which was built by the English in 1639. There are two versions about the origin of the name Chennapattanam: according to one version, Chennapattanam was named after Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, Nayaka of Kalahasthi and Vandavasi, father of Damarla Venkatadri Nayakudu, from whom the English acquired the town in 1639. The first official use of the name Chennai is said to be in a sale deed, dated 8 August 1639, to Francis Day of the English East India Company. According to the second account, Chennapattanam was named after the Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple; the word chenni in Tamil means face, and the temple was regarded as the face of the city.
The city's former name, Madras, is believed to have been derived from Madraspattinam, a fishing village north of Fort St. George. Other arguments suggest that the Portuguese, who arrived in the area in the 16th century had named the village Madre de Deus, meaning the Mother of God. Another possibility is that the village's name came from the prominent Madeiros family of Portuguese origin, which consecrated the Madre de Deus Church in the Santhome locality of Chennai in 1575. It is uncertain whether the name 'Madraspattinam' was in use before European influence. Another theory concludes that the name Madras was given to Chennapattanam after it was taken from a similarly named christian priest, while other parties are of the opinion that it might have been taken from a fisherman by the name of Madrasan, or from religious Muslim schools which were referred to as Madrasahs, or the word Madhu-ras, which means honey in Tamil.
Sometime after the English gained possession of the area in the 17th century, the two towns, Madraspattinam and Chennapattinam, were merged, and the English referred to the united town as Madrasapattinam. The state government officially changed the name to Chennai in 1996, at a time when many Indian cities were being renamed.
The region around Chennai served as an important administrative, military, and economic centre since the 1st century. A poet and weaver named Thiruvalluvar lived in the town of Mylapore, currently classified as a suburb of Chennai, during that time. Till the 12th century, the area of present-day Tamil Nadu was ruled by the Cholas. Stone age implements were found in a pit near Pallavaram in Chennai. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, Pallavaram was a megalithic cultural establishment. It is believed that pre-historic communities resided in the settlement. The Pallavas of Kanchi built the areas of Mahabalipuram and Pallavaram during the reign of Mahendravarman I. They are said to have migrated from North-west India during the third century and arrived in the region around Chennai. They also defeated several kingdoms like the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas who ruled over the area before their arrival. Sculpted caves and paintings have been found within the places from that period. Ancient coins dating to around 500 BC have also been unearthed from the city and its surrounding areas. The Vijayanagara empire along with the other four, contributed and influenced significantly the coins which have been retrieved.
An 18th century portrait depicting Fort St. George, the first major British settlement in India and the foundation stone of Chennai. The Portuguese arrived in 1522 and built a port called S o Tom after the Christian apostle, St Thomas, who is believed to have preached in the area between 52 and 70 AD. In 1612, the Dutch established themselves near Pulicat, just north of the city. On 22 August 1639, which is currently referred to as Madras Day, the British East India Company under Francis Day bought a small strip of land stretching 3 miles on the Coromandel Coast. At that time, the region was primarily a fishing village known as "Madraspatnam." The approval consisted of a license to build a fort and a castle in the contracted region. The ruler of the area, Chennapa Nayak, the Nayaka of Vandavasi, granted the British permission to build a factory and warehouse for their trading enterprises. A year later, the British built Fort St. George, the first major British settlement in India, which became the nucleus of the growing colonial city. Fort St. George housed the Tamil Nadu Assembly until the new Secretariat building was opened in 2010. In 1746, Fort St. George and Madras were captured by the French under General La Bourdonnais, the Governor of Mauritius, who plundered the town and its outlying villages. The British regained control in 1749 through the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle and fortified the town's fortress wall to withstand further attacks from the French and another looming threat, Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore. British forces reisted a French siege attempt in 1759 under the leadership of Eyre Coote. In 1769 the city was threatened by Mysore and the British were defeated by Hyder Ali, after which the Treaty of Madras ended the war. By the late 18th century, the British had conquered most of the region around Tamil Nadu and the northern modern day states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, establishing the Madras Presidency with Madras as the capital.
Gradually, the city grew into a major naval base and became the central administrative center for the British in South India. With the advent of railways in India in the 19th century, the thriving urban centre was connected to other important cities such as Bombay and Calcutta, promoting increased communication and trade with the hinterland. Madras was the only Indian city to be attacked by the Central Powers during World War I, when an oil depot was shelled by the German light cruiser on 22 September 1914, as it raided shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean, causing disruption to shipping.
After India gained its independence in 1947, the city became the capital of Madras State, renamed the state of Tamil Nadu in 1969. The violent agitations of 1965 against the imposition of Hindi as the national language, marked a major shift in the political dynamics of the city and the whole state. On 26 December 2004, an Indian Ocean tsunami lashed the shores of Chennai, killing many and permanently altering the coastline.
Chennai is on a flat coastal plain, as shown on this Landsat 7 map. Chennai, sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to South India", is located on the south eastern coast of India in the north eastern part of Tamil Nadu on a flat coastal plain known as the Eastern Coastal Plains. Its average elevation is around , and its highest point is . The Marina Beach runs for along the shoreline of the city and is the second longest urban beach in the world. Two rivers meander through Chennai, the Cooum River (or Koovam) through the centre and the Adyar River to the south. A third river, the Kortalaiyar, flows through the northern fringes of the city before draining into the sea at Ennore. Adyar and Cooum rivers are heavily polluted with effluents and waste from domestic and commercial sources. The state government periodically removes silt and pollution from the Adyar river, which is less polluted than the Cooum. A protected estuary on the Adyar forms a natural habitat for several species of birds and animals. According to an ACNielsen survey, Chennai is regarded as the second cleanest city in India. The Buckingham Canal, inland, runs parallel to the coast, linking the two rivers. The Otteri Nullah, an east west stream, runs through north Chennai and meets the Buckingham Canal at Basin Bridge. Several lakes of varying size are located on the western fringes of the city. Some areas of the city have the problem of excess iron in groundwater.
Chennai's soil is mostly clay, shale and sandstone. Sandy areas are found along the river banks and coasts. Here rainwater runoff percolates quickly through the soil. Clay underlies most of the city. Areas of hard rock include Guindy, Perungudi, Velachery, Adambakkam and a part of Saidapet.
Chennai is divided into four broad regions: North, Central, South and West. North Chennai is primarily an industrial area. Central Chennai is the commercial heart of the city and includes an important business district, Parry's Corner. South Chennai and West Chennai, previously mostly residential, are fast becoming commercial, home to a growing number of information technology firms, financial companies and call centres. The city is expanding quickly along the Old Mahabalipuram Road and the Grand Southern Trunk Road (GST Road) in the south and towards Ambattur, Koyambedu and Sriperumbdur in the west. Chennai is one of the few cities in the world that accommodates a national park, the Guindy National Park, within its limits. The city has an estimated 4.5% of its area under green cover. This enables Chennai residents to go birding in Chennai.
Chennai has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate. The city lies on the thermal equator and is also on the coast, which prevents extreme variation in seasonal temperature. The weather is hot and humid for most of the year. The hottest part of the year is late May to early June, known locally as Agni Nakshatram ("fire star") or as Kathiri Veyyil, with maximum temperatures around . The coolest part of the year is January, with minimum temperatures around . The lowest temperature recorded is and highest  The average annual rainfall is about . The city gets most of its seasonal rainfall from the north east monsoon winds, from mid October to mid December. Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal sometimes hit the city. The highest annual rainfall recorded is in 2005. Prevailing winds in Chennai are usually southwesterly between April and October and northeasterly during the rest of the year.
Historically, Chennai has relied on annual monsoon rains to replenish water reservoirs, as no major rivers flow through the area. With a steadily increasing population, the city has faced water supply shortages, and its ground water levels have been depleted. An earlier Veeranam Lake project failed to solve the city's water problems, but the New Veeranam project, which became operational in September 2004, has greatly reduced dependency on distant sources. In recent years, heavy and consistent monsoon rains and rainwater harvesting (RWH) by Chennai Metrowater at its Anna Nagar Rain Centre have significantly reduced water shortages. Moreover, newer projects like the Telugu Ganga project that bring water from water-surplus rivers like the Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh have eased water shortages. The city houses India's largest constructed sea water desalination plant to further increase the water supply. However, Chennai is expected to face a huge deficit of 713 million litres per day (MLD) as the demand is projected at 2,248 MLD and supply estimated at only 1,535 MLD in 2026.
Chennai city is governed by the Chennai Corporation, formerly known as Corporation of Madras. Established in 1688, it is the oldest municipal corporation not only in India, but also in any Commonwealth nation outside the United Kingdom. The jurisdiction of the Corporation of Chennai was expanded to an area of from in 2011. The expanded Chennai Corporation is divided into three regions North, South and Central, each of which is headed by an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. It consists of 200 councillors who represent the 200 wards of the city. They are directly elected by the city's residents. The mayor of the city is also elected by the residents.
Ripon Building, commissioned in 1913 and the seat of the Chennai Corporation Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, houses the state executive and legislative headquarters primarily in the Secretariat Buildings in the Fort St George campus. The Madras High Court, whose jurisdiction extends across Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, is the highest judicial authority in the state as well as the city. Chennai has three parliamentary constituencies Chennai North, Chennai Central and Chennai South and elects 14 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to the state legislature.
The metropolitan region of Chennai covers 5 parliamentary constituencies and 28 assembly constituencies; many suburbs are part of Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts. The larger suburbs are governed by town municipalities, and the smaller ones are governed by town councils called panchayats. While the city covers a pre expansion area of , the metropolitan area is spread over . The city limit was expanded to 426 km2 in 2011, but the revised population is yet to be officially announced. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has drafted a second Master Plan that aims to develop satellite townships around the city. Contiguous satellite towns include Mahabalipuram in the south, Chengalpattu and Maraimalai Nagar in the southwest, and Kanchipuram, Sriperumpudur, Tiruvallur and Arakkonam to the west.
Law and order
Madras High Court The Greater Chennai Police department, a division of the Tamil Nadu Police, is the main law enforcement agency in the city. It is headed by a commissioner of police, and administrative control rests with the Tamil Nadu Home Ministry. The department consists of 121 police stations. The city's traffic is managed by the Chennai City Traffic Police (CCTP). The Metropolitan suburbs are policed by the Chennai Metropolitan Police, and the outer district areas are policed by the Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur police departments.
As of 2011 (prior to the expansion of Chennai Corporation area), Chennai city, one of the most densely populated Indian cities, had a sanctioned strength of 14,000 police personnel. With a population density of 26,903 persons per square kilometre, the city had 1 policeman for every 413 people. The Chennai suburban police had about 4,093 police personnel and a ratio of 1:1,222. In 2010, the crime rate in the city was 169.2 per 100,000 people, compared to an average of 341.9 in the 35 major cities of India.
The Corporation of Chennai provides civic services to the city. Garbage collection in some of the wards is currently contracted to Ramky Enviro Engineers Limited, a private company, while the Corporation looks after the removal and processing of solid waste in the others, with a superintendent engineer managing the channels. At present, 8 transfer stations and 2 dump yards exist within the city for treating the waste. In market areas, the conservancy work is done during the night. Water supply and sewage treatment are managed by the Chennai MetroWater Supply and Sewage Board. Electricity is distributed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.
As of 2007, nine mobile phone service companies operate nine GSM networks and two CDMA networks in the city. There are four land line companies. Commercial and domestic broadband Internet services are provided by all the four service providers and a majority of the mobile network service providers. Chennai was the first Indian city to have the Wi-Fi facility in a widespread manner.
Parry's Corner, one of the oldest business areas of Chennai According to Forbes magazine, Chennai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It has a diversified economic base anchored by the automobile, software services, hardware manufacturing, health care and financial services industries. According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, Chennai is estimated to grow to a $100 billion economy, 2.5 times its present size, by the year 2025.
The city is base to around 30% of India's automobile industry and 40% of its auto components industry. A large number of automotive companies including Hyundai, Ford, BMW and Mitsubishi have or are in the process of setting up manufacturing plants in and around Chennai. The Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi produces military vehicles, including India's main battle tank: Arjun MBT. The Integral Coach Factory manufactures railway coaches and other rolling stock for Indian Railways. The Ambattur Padi industrial zone houses many textile manufacturers, and an SEZ for apparel and footwear manufacture has been set up in the southern suburbs of the city. Chennai contributes more than 50% of India's leather exports.
Tidel Park, Asia's largest IT park. Many software and software services companies have development centres in Chennai, which contributed 14% of India's total software exports of 144,214 crores during 2006 07, making it the second largest exporter, by city, of software in the country, behind Bangalore. The Tidel Park in Chennai is Asia's largest IT park. Major software companies have their offices set up here, with some of them making Chennai their largest base. Prominent financial institutions, including the World Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank have back office operations in the city. Chennai is home to the national level commercial banks Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank and many state level co operative banks, finance and insurance companies. Telecom and Electronics manufacturers based in and around Chennai include Nokia, Nokia Siemens, Motorola, Dell, Wipro, Zebronics, Foxconn and Siemens among others. Telecom giants Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer and chemicals giant Dow Chemicals have research and development facilities in Chennai. The TICEL bio tech park at Taramani and Golden Jubilee bio tech park at Siruseri houses biotechnology companies and laboratories. Chennai has a fully computerised stock exchange called the Madras Stock Exchange. Medical tourism is another important part of Chennai's economy with health care providers like Apollo Hospitals and Fortis Healthcare based in the city. The Tamil film industry and the related Tamil music industry and the Tamil television industry are also significant parts of Chennai's economy.
In the Inventory of World cities from the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, Chennai's level of network integration with other world cities is ranked as a "Beta". The ranking is based on the extent of global reach and influence the city exerts.
A resident of Chennai is called a Chennaite. According to the provisional population results of 2011, the city had a population of 4,681,087, with a density of 26,903. The city registered a growth rate of 7.8% during the period 2001 2011. The population of the metropolitan area is estimated to be more than 9.24 million. In 2001, the population density in the city was 24,682 per km (63,926 per mi ), while the population density of the metropolitan area was 5,922 per km (15,337 per mi ), making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The sex ratio is 951 females for every 1,000 males, slightly higher than the national average of 944. The average literacy rate rose from 85.33% in 2001 to 90.33% in 2011, much higher than the national average of 79.5%. However, the city has the fourth highest population of slum dwellers among major cities in India, with about 820,000 people (18.6% of its population) living in slum conditions.
The majority of the population in Chennai are Tamils. Tamil is the primary language spoken in Chennai. English is spoken largely by white-collar workers and students. Telugus form the majority among the non-Tamil communities. In 2001, out of the 937,000 migrants (21.6% of its population) in the city, 74.5% were from other parts of the state, 23.8% were from rest of India and 1.7% were from outside the country. Some minority communities are Marwaris, Oriyas, Malayalis, Anglo-Indians, Bengalis and Punjabi and Kannadigas. According to the 2001 census, Hindus constitute about 81.3% of the city's population, and Muslims (9.4%), Christians (7.6%) and Jains (1.1%) are other major religious groups.
Chennai is a major centre for music, art and culture in India. The city is known for its classical dance shows. Every December, Chennai holds a five week long Music Season celebrating the opening of the Madras Music Academy which took place in 1927. It features performances of traditional Carnatic music by many artists in and around the city. An arts festival called the Chennai Sangamam, which showcases various arts of Tamil Nadu is held in January every year. Chennai is also known for Bharata Natyam, a classical dance form that originated in Tamil Nadu and is the oldest dance form of India. An important cultural centre for Bharata Natyam is Kalakshetra, on the beach in the south of the city. Chennai is also home to some choirs, who during the Christmas season stage various carol performances across the city in Tamil and English.
Chennai is the base for the Tamil movie industry, known as Kollywood. Chennai's theatres stage many Tamil plays; political satire, slapstick comedy, history, mythology and drama are among the popular genres. English plays are popular in the city.
Among Chennai's festivals, Pongal is celebrated over five days in January. Many major religious festivals such as Deepavali, Eid and Christmas are also observed as festive occasions in the city. Tamil cuisine in Chennai includes vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Many of the city's restaurants offer light meals or tiffin, which usually include rice based dishes like pongal, thosai, idli and vadai with sambar, served with filter coffee.
Chennai serves as a major gateway to southern India, and the Chennai International Airport, comprising the Anna international terminal and the Kamaraj domestic terminal with a total passenger movements of 10.5 million and aircraft movements of 110,000 in 2009 2010, is the third busiest airport in India, and has the second busiest cargo terminus in the country.. Chennai handles 316 flights a day, again making it at third spot among Indian Airports. The city is connected to major hubs across Asia, Europe, and North America through more than 30 national and international carriers.
The existing airport is undergoing further modernisation and expansion with an addition of 1069.99 acres, and a new greenfield airport is to be constructed at an estimated cost of 20,000 million in Sriperumbudur on of land.
The city is served by two major ports, Chennai Port, one of the largest artificial ports, and Ennore Port. The Chennai port is the largest in Bay of Bengal with an annual cargo tonnage of 61.46 million (2010 2011) and is India's second busiest container hub with an annual container volume of 1.523 million TEUs (2010 2011), handling automobiles, motorcycles and general industrial cargo. The Ennore Port with an annual cargo tonnage of 11.01 million (2010 2011) handles cargo such as coal, ore and other bulk and rock mineral products.
Royapuram fishing harbour is used by fishing boats and trawlers. A mega shipyard project called the Kattupalli Shipyard cum Captive Port Complex is being built by L&T Shipbuilding at Kattupalli village near Ennore and is expected to be operational in 2012.
Chennai is the headquarters of the Southern Railway. The city has two main railway terminals. Chennai Central station, the city's largest, provides access to other major cities as well as many other smaller towns across India. Chennai Egmore is a terminus for trains to destinations primarily within Tamil Nadu; it also handles a few inter state trains. The Chennai suburban railway network, one of the oldest in the country, consists of four broad gauge sectors terminating at two locations in the city, namely Chennai Central and Chennai Beach. The fourth sector is an elevated Mass Rapid Transit System which links Chennai Beach to Velachery and is interlinked with the remaining rail network. Construction is underway for an underground and elevated Chennai Metro rail.
Chennai is well connected to other parts of India by road. Four major National Highways branches out from Chennai. They are National Highway 4 (NH 4) to Mumbai (via Bangalore), NH 5 to Kolkata (via Bhubaneswar), NH 45 to Theni (via Tiruchirapalli) and NH 205 to Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh (via Tirupati). Numerous state highways link the city to Pondicherry and other towns and cities in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states. The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT), the terminus for all intercity buses from Chennai, is the largest bus station in Asia. Seven government-owned transport corporations operate inter city and inter state bus services. Many private inter-city and inter-state bus companies also operate services to and from Chennai. The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) runs an extensive city bus system consisting of 3,421 buses on 724 routes, and moves an estimated 5.52 million passengers each day.
Vans, popularly known as Maxi Cabs and 'share' auto rickshaws ply many routes in the city and provide an alternative to buses. Metered call taxis, tourist taxis and auto rickshaws are also available on hire. Chennai's transportation infrastructure provides coverage and connectivity, but growing use has caused traffic congestion and pollution. The government has tried to address these problems by constructing grade separators and flyovers at major intersections, starting with the Gemini flyover, built in 1973 over the most important arterial road, Anna Salai to the recently completed Kathipara Flyover.
According to the Transport Department's official report, the two wheeler population shot up to 2.58 million in 2011 from 0.93 million in 2001 while the number of four wheelers jumped to 0.56 million in 2011 from 0.21 million in 2001. On the other hand, on 1 April 2011, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation fleet strength was just 3,421, or 0.1% of the total vehicular population. The MTC fleet strength was 2,773 in 2006.
Newspaper publishing started in Chennai with the launch of a weekly, The Madras Courier, in 1785. It was followed by the weeklies The Madras Gazzette and The Government Gazzette in 1795. The Spectator, founded in 1836, was the first English newspaper in Chennai to be owned by an Indian and became the city's first daily newspaper in 1853. The first Tamil newspaper, Swadesamitran, was launched in 1899.
The major English dailies published in Chennai are The Hindu, The New Indian Express, The Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India. The evening dailies are, The Trinity Mirror and The News Today. As of 2004, The Hindu was the city's most read English newspaper, with a daily circulation of 267,349. The major business dailies published from the city are The Economic Times, The Hindu Business Line, Business Standard, Mint and The Financial Express. The major Tamil dailies include the Dina Thanthi, Dinakaran, Dina Mani, Dina Malar, Tamil Murasu, Makkal Kural and Malai Malar. Major Telugu dailies include Eenadu, Vaartha, Andhra Jyothi and Sakshi. The one and only Hindi Newspaper published from Chennai is the Rajasthan Patrika. Neighbourhood newspapers such as The Anna Nagar Times and The Adyar Times cater to particular localities. Magazines published from Chennai include Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam, Kalki, Kungumam, Puthiya Thalaimurai,Thuglak, Frontline and Sportstar.
Doordarshan runs two terrestrial television channels and two satellite television channels from its Chennai centre, which was set up in 1974. Private Tamil satellite television networks such as Sun TV, Raj TV, Zee Tamil, Star Vijay, Jaya TV, Makkal TV, Vasanth TV, Kalaignar TV and Captain TV broadcast out of Chennai. The Sun Network one of India's largest broadcasting companies is based in the city. While SCV is the monopoly cable TV service provider, direct to home (DTH) is available via DD Direct Plus, Dish TV, Tata Sky, Videocon DTH, Sun direct DTH, Reliance Big TV and Digital TV Chennai is the first city in India to have implemented the Conditional Access System for cable television. Radio broadcasting started from the radio station at the Rippon Buildings complex, founded in 1930 and was then shifted to All India Radio in 1938. The city has 4 AM and 11 FM radio stations, operated by Anna University, All India Radio and private broadcasters.
Government General Hospital Schools in Chennai are either run publicly by the Tamil Nadu government or privately, some with financial aid from the government. The medium of education is either Tamil, English, Telugu or Urdu. English is the medium of instruction in the majority of institutions for higher education. Most schools are affiliated with the Tamil Nadu State Board, the Matriculation Board or the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). A few schools are affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) board, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board and the Anglo Indian board or the Montessori system. Schooling begins at the age of three with two years of kindergarten followed by ten years of primary and secondary education. Students then need to complete two years of higher secondary education in either science or commerce before being eligible for college education in a general or professional field of study. Under the Chennai Corporation, 286 corporation schools and 336 government and other aided schools are maintained.
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) and the Anna University are two well known centers for engineering education in the city. Colleges for science, arts and commerce degrees are typically affiliated with the University of Madras, which has three campuses in the city. Research institutions like the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI),Indian Statistical Institute(ISI),National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT),Central institute of plastic engineering & technology(CIPET) and the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) are in the city,making it the Education Hub of India. The Indian Army's Officers Training Academy is also based in the city. The Connemara Public Library is one of four National Depository Centres in India that receive a copy of all newspapers and books published in the country. The Anna Centenary Library is the largest library in India.
M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, one of the premier cricket venues in India Cricket is the most popular sport in Chennai. It was introduced as a result of the establishment of the Madras Cricket Club in 1846. The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk was established in 1916 and is one of the oldest cricket stadiums in India. The Chemplast Cricket Ground located inside the IIT Madras campus is another important venue for cricket matches. Prominent cricketers from the city include former Test-captains S. Venkataraghavan and Kris Srikkanth. A cricket fast bowling academy called the MRF Pace Foundation, whose coaches include Bob Simpson and Dennis Lillee, is based in Chennai. Being home to the Indian Premier League cricket team Chennai Super Kings, the city hosted the finals of the fourth edition of IPL in Chepauk and will host the final of IPL's fifth edition in 2012.
Chennai is home to a Premier Hockey League (PHL) team, the Chennai Veerans, and has hosted many hockey tournaments such as the Asia Cup and the Men's Champions Trophy at The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium. Chennai has produced popular tennis players over the years, including Vijay Amritraj and Ramesh Krishnan, and currently active Somdev Devvarman also grew up primarily in the city and holds a major rank. Since 1997 Chennai has been host to the only ATP World Tour event held in India, the Chennai Open. Chennai Open match at the SDAT Tennis Stadium
Football and athletic competitions are held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which also houses a multi purpose indoor complex for competition in volleyball, basketball and table tennis. Water sports are played in the Velachery Aquatic Complex. Chennai was the venue of the South Asian Games in 1995.
Automobile racing in India has been closely connected with Chennai since its beginnings shortly after independence. Motor racing events are held on a special purpose track in Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudur, which has also been the venue for several international competitions. Ex Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok were born in Chennai.
Horse racing is held at the Guindy Race Course, while rowing competitions are hosted at the Madras Boat Club. The city has two 18 hole golf courses, the Cosmopolitan Club and the Gymkhana Club, both established in the late nineteenth century. The city has a rugby union team called the Chennai Cheetahs and an Elite Football League of India (EFLI) team called Chennai Swarm.
Viswanathan Anand, the current world chess champion, grew up in Chennai. Other sportspersons of repute from Chennai include table tennis players Sharath Kamal and two time world carrom champion, Maria Irudayam.
Chennai has sister city relationships with the following cities of the world.
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- Areas of Chennai
- List of Tamil people
- Tamil Diaspora
- In December 2009, the Tamil Nadu government announced plans to merge 9 municipalities, 8 town panchayats, and 25 village panchayats into the city of Chennai, which would increase its area to 426 square kilometres and population (according to the 2001 census) to 5.6 million. The plans are that boundary of the expanded corporation will be drawn in 2011, after the term of the elected councillors ends. An ordinance was promulgated on 21 December 2010, amending the Madras City Municipal Corporation Act, giving effect to the total number of wards as 200. The corporation council is currently represented by 155 members.
- The State government will decide on the expansion of the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) before the end of this fiscal, R Vaithilingam, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, told the Assembly on 25 August 2011. In view of the fast paced development taking place in areas beyond the present metropolitan area jurisdiction, like Sriperumbudur, Kelambakkam, Tiruvallur and Maraimalai Nagar, it had become necessary to review the Chennai Metropolitan Planning Area that was notified in 1973 74, he said.
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