Fergusson College

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Coordinates: 18°31′26″N 73°50′21″E / 18.523969°N 73.839219°E / 18.523969; 73.839219

Fergusson College, Pune
Fergusson College (crest).jpg
Motto

Knowledge is Power

DES:Union is strength
Established 1884
Type Public Co-ed
Chairperson Deccan Education Society
Principal Dr. R.G. Pardeshi
Vice Principals A B Bhide
PM Pawar
Dr. NM Kulkarni
Dr. ND Bhalerao
Rekha Palshikar
Dr. V.V.Acharya
Academic staff 246
Admin. staff 130
Students Junior Wing: 2400
Senior Wing: 4550
Location Pune, Maharashtra, India
Affiliations Pune University
National Cadet Corps
National Service Scheme
Website www.fergusson.edu

Fergusson College (FC) is a degree college in western India, situated in the city of Pune. It was founded in 1885 by the Deccan Education Society and was the first privately governed college in India.[1] Professor Vaman Shivram Apte was the first principal of the college.[2] Social reformer, journalist, thinker and educationist Gopal Ganesh Agarkar served as the second principal of the college from August, 1892 till his death in June 1895.[3]

The college is named after Scottish born Sir James Fergusson, the Governor of Bombay, who donated a then princely sum of Rs 1,200. Since 1948, the college has been under the jurisdiction of the University of Pune.

The college has two sections:

  • The Junior Wing of the college is for students graduating from school. Courses are offered in Arts and Science streams, at the end of which students may appear for the Higher-Secondary State Certificate examination.
  • The Senior Wing offers Bachelors Degrees in 29 disciplines and Masters Degrees in 16 disciplines, spanning electronic and computer sciences, languages, humanities and social science, life sciences and creative sciences. The college also offers doctoral and vocational programs.[4]

Fergusson College is known for its close association with Indian politics. Its founders were amongst the pioneers of the Indian National Congress,[5] as well as Hindu Nationalism,[6] and the Indian Socialist Movement.[7] The college has produced, amongst several ministers and legislators, two Indian Prime Ministers.[8][9][10]

The 65-acre (260,000 m2) campus of the college is located in the heart of the city. It provides athletic and cultural facilities, as well as residential facilities for more than six hundred students and faculty.[11]

History[edit]

Pre-Independence[edit]

After the Revolt of 1857, Indian luminaries of that period saw a pressing need to modernise the education system to fight against British imperialism by democratic means. Stalwarts in the Indian independence movements such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and Mahadev Namjoshi put their efforts into the formation of a school for their countrymen. The result was The New English School in 1857. Boosted by its success, the Deccan Education Society was formed in 1884 and a year later the Fergusson College was founded. An area of 37 acres (150,000 m2) of land were donated for one rupee on a 99 year lease by Shirole, the erstwhile Patil of Bhamburde (Shivaji Nagar).

The college was inaugurated by William Wordsworth, the grandson of the famous poet and principal of Elphinstone College in Bombay. Other leaders such as R G Bhandarkar and M G Ranade played a part in the construction of the college.[12] The British Government in Bombay allowed the college to remain autonomous, giving it a free hand in education.

In 1935, the college completed fifty years of existence. Sir CV Raman, India's only Science Nobel laureate, was the president of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations. He quoted in his speech,

. Mahatma Gandhi, in a message to then Principal Dr. Mahajani wrote,

Lokmanya Tilak was amongst the founders of the college

Post-independence[edit]

Post-1947, Fergusson College has produced leaders in the fields of politics, academia, literature and art. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, India's first president, was the chief guest of the platinum jubilee function. He said on the occasion,

In 1985, the college completed its centenary. Rajiv Gandhi, the then prime minister was the president of the ceremony. PV Narasimharao, India's 12th Prime Minister and former student, quoted,

A two-part history of the college has been written by Dr. VM Bachal, former Principal of the College. The book, titled Vatchal Sawashe Varshanchi (A Journey of 125 Years) was published in January 2010.[16]

Association with Indian politics[edit]

Fergusson College has been given many epithets by political leaders, including 'cradle of Indian polity' and 'twin of the Congress'.[15]

The Main Building

The founders of Fergusson College, most notably Tilak and Gokhale, were amongst the leaders of the Indian National Congress in its early stages from 1885 to 1920. In fact, most historians divide the history of the INC into two eras- the Tilak Era and the Gandhi era.[17] The college has produced as alumni, notable Congress leaders including Vishwanath Pratap Singh and PV Narasimha Rao, Jivatram Kripalani and Babubhai J Patel. (See comprehensive list below)

Bharatiya Janata Party,India's principal opposition party to the Indian National Congress; and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, adhere to a blended ideology of Indian Nationalism and Hindutva. The former traces its roots to Tilak,[18] and the latter is synonymous with the name Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who was one of the first alumni of the college.[19]

Amongst the founders, Agarkar and Namjoshi were early Socialists of Maharashtra.[20] Alumni such as Vitthal Ramji Shinde, S.M. Joshi, and Nanasaheb Gore were eminent socialists, both inside and outside the Congress fold. The Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, founded to fight for Maharashtra's statehood, included several alumni such as Prahlad Keshav Atre, SM Joshi and Gore.[21]

Fergusson is the only institution in India to have amongst its alumni two Prime Ministers.[8][9][10]

Campus[edit]

The Main Building

From the 37 acres (150,000 m2) leased out by Shirole, the erstwhile Patil of Bhamburde in 1881, the college expanded to 65 acres (260,000 m2) by the time of Independence.[22] The road that runs along the college is named after it and is one of the busiest in Pune. The campus extends until the slopes of a hillock, popularly called Fergusson Hill. Several educational institutions are situated around the hillock. The college is largely built in accordance with the Victorian school of architecture, although it has some Gothic and traditional Indian styles as well.

Main building and departments[edit]

Department of History
Staff offices

The Main Building is situated at the inner entrance of the college. Built entirely in Victorian style, the two-storey structure houses the central office, as well as the principals' chambers. The Statistics and Psychology Departments lie to the east of the main building; and the Economics Department to the west. The computer science and the life science buildings are also located to the west.

On the southern side, the RP Paranjpye building, along with the Pittie Chemistry building, Botany, Zoology, Geology, Electronics and Physics departments are located. The building overlooks the central garden to the north and has two lecture halls and the staffs' chambers. The college in all has fifty-five laboratories and fifty-one lecture halls.

NM Wadia Amphitheatre[edit]

NM Wadia Amphitheatre

The three-storeyed amphitheatre building, located to the west of the central garden, has Victorian-Gothic influences. Apart from several lecture halls, the building houses an auditorium with a capacity of one thousand persons.

Bai Jerbai Wadia Library[edit]

Bai Jerbai Wadia Library was built in 1929 by industrialists Sir Cusrow Wadia and Sir Ness Wadia in memory of their mother. The Main Library on the ground floor has more than 3,00,000 books and research journals.[23] Research scholars and book-lovers have donated their collections.

The first floor (the floor above the ground floor) of the library serves as a Reading Hall for students and accommodates 400 students. The floors above this floor are not publicly accessible without prior arrangement and house books, manuscripts and articles of historic and cultural importance. The library has of a collection of statues and posters, dedicated to national leaders and educationalists. The building was extended in 1955, with government grants and then in 1982 with grants from the Central government.

Kimaya[edit]

Kimaya is an open-air theatre on the north side of the campus. It was conceived by litterateur and alumni PL Deshpande on his return from a visit to Japan. It is a student hang-out and most of the students' activities are held there. It encompasses elements of modern architecture and is built without beams. It has eight walls fused together, which function as trusses.

Botanical Gardens[edit]

The 2-acre (8,100 m2) Botanical Gardens on the campus were founded in 1902 by a teacher, Professor Shevade. It is known for its medicinal plants and wild ferns. Botany students from the college planted specimens here, including Elaeocarpus, Araucaria and Mahogany. 1961, the garden was destroyed when the nearby Panshet dam was breached. Years later, it was reinstated by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the Association of Herbal Drugs and Deccan Education Society. Some of the plants found there are Saraca Indica (Sita Ashok), the bark of which is used to heal skin diseases and as a tonic; and Terminalia arjuna, the extract of which is used to treat jaundice.[24]

Gymkhana and grounds[edit]

Cricket, hockey and football are played on the main ground which has a drainage system, enabling play during monsoon. Two asphalted basketball courts are located next to the main ground. A second ground, situated to the south, has courts for volleyball and handball; as well as facilities for Indian sports like Kabaddi, Kho-Kho and Mallakhamb. Services for badminton and several other indoor games are available, and the Gymnasium Building provides training for boxing, wrestling, judo, weight lifting and yoga. The college has tennis courts on the eastern side of the campus.

New academic complex[edit]

The new academic complex was built in 2004 at the northern end of the campus. Unlike the other buildings, it is designed in a modern functionalist style. It houses the Junior College and the DES Law College.

Residences[edit]

For students, there are six hostel blocks, four blocks for boys and two blocks for girls. The total intake capacity of the hostel is 587 students. The gents hostel blocks are located to the north of the campus and the ladies hostel blocks lie to the east of the campus. The college has some quarters for the faculty and staff of the college and also for employees of other DES Institutes. The spacious bungalows, built on the old British design, near the main gate and the ladies’ hostel gate, have a colonial-era charm.

The Principal of the college resides in an independent bungalow at the main entrance of the college. Some members of the teaching staff have also been provided with residential facilities on the campus. This facility includes independent bungalows. There are some flats constructed with financial aid from the UGC.

Associated institutes[edit]

The college shares its campus with the Indian Institute of Management Development and Research (IMDR), and Jaganath Rathi Vocational Guidance and Training Institute (JRGVTI), both governed by the Deccan Education Society. Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC), established in 1943, is closely associated with Fergusson College. At the northern end of the campus, next to the New Academic Building, lies DES Law College.

The Deccan Gymkhana area of western Pune is well known for its educational institutes. Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Marathwada College of Commerce and Symbiosis International University are the other well-known colleges situated around the Hanuman Tekdi hillock that overlooks Fergusson. Also located nearby are the ILS Law College, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute the Agarkar Research Institute.

Awards and rankings[edit]

In 2004, Fergusson College was awarded an 'A' grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).[25] The College also received the "Best College Award" amongst the colleges affiliated to the University of Pune in the academic year 2004-2005.

Fergusson College has ranked amongst the top ten arts and science colleges in India for the past twelve years in the annual survey conducted by India Today-AC Nielsen-ORG-MARG and published in India Today, one of India's leading magazines.[26][27] Within the state of Maharashtra, it is consistently ranked second in both science and arts, behind St. Xavier's College, Mumbai.[28]

Year Nationwide rank- Arts Nationwide rank- Science
2012 12 8
2011 9 5
2010 7 6
2009 10 7
2008 7 7
2007 6 9
2006 8 6
2005 5 6

Notable alumni[edit]

Academics[edit]

The majors offered are as follows.

Arts/Humanities[edit]

  • Economics Masters PhD
  • English Masters
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Hindi PhD
  • History
  • Logic
  • Marathi Masters
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology Masters
  • Sanskrit
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Music

Science[edit]

  • Botany Masters PhD
  • Biotechnology Masters
  • Chemistry Masters
  • Computer Science Masters
  • Electronic Science Masters PhD
  • Environment Science Masters
  • Geology Masters
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology Masters
  • Physics Masters PhD
  • Statistics
  • Zoology PhD

Vocational/special[edit]

  • Vocational Still Photography & Audio-Visual Production
  • Vocational Electronic Equipment Maintenance
  • Vocational Biotechnology
  • Master of Computer Applications
  • M.Tech (Industrial Mathematics with Computer Applications)

Student activities[edit]

National Cadet Corps[edit]

The National Cadet Corps in India is a voluntary organization which recruits cadets from high schools and colleges. The cadets are given military training in small arms and parades. Cadet training began in Fergusson College in 1921 with the University Training Corps unit which had two platoons. In 1926, the UTC strength of increased from two to three platoons. In June 1930, one platoon of the College of Engineering was transferred to the Fergusson College and since then Fergusson College enjoyed the privilege of contributing full company- α Coy and was reputed as The Best Drilling Company.

There are two units of NCC in Fergusson College- Army wing and Navy wing. In the Army wing, cadets are trained by the representative of the Armed forces at the junior and senior level. They are seen as future officers or army personnel or as possible reserves in the case of national emergency. In the Naval wing, cadets are trained as per the naval rules and discipline at the senior as well as on junior level. They are also considered as reserves, second in line of defence in case of the national emergency. Apart from these, the open units in the college are Girls Wing, Air Wing, Signal Wing, Armed Squadron and Medical Wing.[29]

National Service Scheme[edit]

NSS is a community service program sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India. The Motto of the NSS is ‘Not Me But You’, and its objective is developing the personality of the student through Community Service.

The NSS Unit of Fergusson College was started in 1975 with about 50 students. Presently the NSS Unit consists of about 200 students from senior college and 100 students from Junior college. The activities of the NSS are to help the students understand community, their relation with community, National Integration, and Social problems.[30]

Periodicals[edit]

The photography department, with contributions from current and former students, brings out an e-magazine, Fergzine.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ History of Foundation
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Courses
  5. ^ Founders BG Tilak, GK Gokhale were early leaders of the INC
  6. ^ BG Tilak and VD Savarkar (one of the first alumni) are considered the fathers of Hindu nationalism
  7. ^ Founders GG Agarkar and MB Namjoshi were early socialists in Maharashtra.
  8. ^ a b [3]
  9. ^ a b See P. V. Narasimha Rao
  10. ^ a b [4]
  11. ^ Accommodation
  12. ^ History
  13. ^ Gandhi
  14. ^ Prasad
  15. ^ a b Narasimha
  16. ^ [5]
  17. ^ Tilak Era
  18. ^ Tilak
  19. ^ Savarkar
  20. ^ Socialists
  21. ^ Samyukta Mah.
  22. ^ Shitole lease
  23. ^ Library
  24. ^ [6]
  25. ^ NAAC
  26. ^ Arts '06-08
  27. ^ Science '06-08
  28. ^ [7]
  29. ^ NCC
  30. ^ NSS
  31. ^ [8]

External links[edit]