GCE-Salem was started during the Third Plan period in the year 1966 and is located on a beautiful site surrounded by hills. Its area is 1.62 km². This was then the third Government Engineering Institution in Tamil Nadu. The first batch of students was selected for the academic year 1966-67 for courses in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. In the year 1973-74, the metallurgical engineering branch was started. An electronics and communication engineering branch was introduced in the year 1985-86.Computer science and engineering was started in the year 2001.The college has an increase in placement opportunity and is beating its own placement records every year.
M.E., Civil (Structural Engineering), M.E., Mechanical (CAD), M.E., Mechanical (Thermal Engineering), M.E., Electrical & Electronics (Power Electronics & Drives) and M.E., Metallurgy (Welding Technology) are offered as self supporting courses. Part time B.E., courses are also offered in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Electronics and Communication Engineering. The departments of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Chemistry and Maths have been granted recognition for guiding research work leading to Ph.D. under Anna University. The institute also offers BSc in applied sciences.
The institute was affiliated to the University of Madras until 2001. After a brief affiliation with Periyar University, it is now a constituent college of Anna University which is a state wide Centralized Engineering University. recenly(Jan 2007), a bill has been introduced in Tamil Nadu State Assembly to retake the administration of the college
The College is a Regional Centre for Anna University for Ph.D., and M.S., programmes. The college is the zonal office for the conduct of Anna University Examinations in the 21 colleges belonging to this zone. Our Institution is one of the eleven technical Institutions of TamilNadu selected for World Bank financial assistance under Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP). The Institution has received an approval for a sum of Rs. 10.967 crores as life time allocation for the project implementation spread over a period of four years from 2003 to 2007.
The existing buildings consist of the Civil Engineering Block, the Computer Science Engineering Block, the Electronics & Communication Engineering Block, the Electrical & Electronics Engineering Block, the Mechanical Engineering Block, the Metallurgical Engineering Block, the Physical Education Block, the Administrative Block, the Library Block, the Canteen, the Health Centre, the Planetarium, seven Hostel Blocks, five messes, the Recreation Halls and the residential accommodation for the staff members of the college. During the past 39 years, the various departments have not only established themselves but also equipped their laboratories sufficiently to cater to the needs of the various undergraduate, postgraduate courses and research programmes that are offered. Computer facilities are available in all the Engineering departments. A large numbers of students of all branches are increasingly being placed in leading companies thanks to the role of the placement cell.
Admission to the institute is based on performances in the competitive Tamil Nadu Professional Courses Entrance Examination (TNPCEE) and the performance in the higher secondary school examinations.
The college is thus growing from strength to strength and gaining recognition for its contribution to the cause of engineering education.
Alumni of GCE Salem is actively engaged in social, commercial, research and educational activities. Many of them are working and living around the globe contributing to the success of the community they are living in. GCE Salem Alumni Professional Network is an active alumni network.