Modern School (New Delhi)

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The Modern School New Delhi
Modern School, Delhi.jpg
Nyaymatma Balheenien Labhya
Barakhamba Road
New Delhi, India
Coordinates 28°37′42″N 77°13′46″E / 28.6283°N 77.2295°E / 28.6283; 77.2295Coordinates: 28°37′42″N 77°13′46″E / 28.6283°N 77.2295°E / 28.6283; 77.2295
Type Private
Established 1920
Founder Lala Raghubir Singh
President Major General Virender Singh, (Retd)
Principal Dr. Vijay Dutta
Faculty 130
Enrollment 2800[when?]
Campus Urban
Area 27 acres (110,000 m2)
Color(s) Blue
Nickname "The Modernites"

Modern School, or Modern, is a co-educational private school in New Delhi, India. It was founded in 1920 by Lala Raghubir Singh in Darya Ganj, Delhi. In 1932, the school moved to a building in New Delhi built by Sir Sobha Singh.

It is the first private school established in Delhi under the British Raj. It has a 27-acre (110,000 m2) campus on Barakhamba Road, near Connaught Place. The Junior School, also known as Raghubir Singh Junior Modern School, is located on Humayun Road. There is a sister campus in Vasant Vihar.


The school is headed by a Board of Trustees, who appoint the Principal (Barakhamba Road and Vasant Vihar) and the Head Master (Humayun Road). It has 15 houses in the Barakhamba branch and eight houses in the Vasant Vihar branch, each headed by a housemaster.

In 1932 there were about 125 students.[1]


'Sir Sobha Singh' (1890-1978), co-founder of Modern School

The words of Rabindranath Tagore are embodied in the philosophy of the founding fathers of Modern School. The Modern School was started in 1920 in Daryaganj.

The school motto is "Nyaymatma Balheenien Labhya" (in Sanskrit) meaning "Perfection cannot be achieved by the weak".[citation needed]

The beginning[edit]

Modern School was started in 1920 in a building located in Daryaganj, New Delhi. It was a mansion that belonged to Rai Bahadur Lala Sultan Singh. He donated it to the school to fulfill his son's dream of establishing a school which would combine the traditions of Indian education with modern educational techniques. Sultan Singh was a prominent businessman in British India in the early 1880s. His son, Lala Raghubir Singh, was the brain behind founding of the school.

Lala Raghubir Singh was the spirit and the soul of the school. The primary founder, he worked for the improvement of the school and in this endeavour he teamed up with Sardar Sobha Singh. Sardar Sobha Singh was the co-founder of the school. A builder during the height of the Raj, he was involved in the construction of buildings in Delhi like Connaught Place, National Museum, Modern School, South Block and India Gate. His own two sons, Bhagwant Singh and Khushwant Singh (the noted writer) were amongst the first students of Modern School.

The crest[edit]

Platinum Jubilee block
Main building

The crest signifies the circle of eternity crossed by the three elements in human development of body, mind and spirit, the sun shining between the triangle and the circle. Inside the triangle, there is a banyan tree to represent stability and firmness of character, the swan and the lotus represent refinement, culture and the arts which are fundamental elements of progress in life. The school slogan is Naimatma Balheenien Labhya, a Sanskrit quotation which can be translated into English to mean "Perfection cannot be achieved by the Weak-Willed."[2] Besides the school motto, there are four words, Truthfulness, Unselfishness, Frankness and Self-Control which guide each child in his or her daily life.


The football team is sponsored by Nike and the swimming and table tennis team by Reebok. There is a golf academy by Taylor Made, a tennis academy, squash courts and table tennis tables. The school has an Olympic sized swimming pool.

School magazine[edit]

The Sandesh (Barakhamba)and Vasant Parag (Vasant Vihar) cover events organized by the schools and features students articles, poems, jokes etc., published in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and French.


Bits 'N' Bytes[edit]

The Bits 'N' Bytes is one of the oldest societies of Modern School, dating back to 1988. Under the guidance of Mr. Gautam Sarkar and Mrs. Divya Sahdev, the club has won numerous awards, the most prestigious of which being the TCS IT Wiz 2013. The club organizes it's Annual Tech Symposium, 'ACCESS' in the month of December. In 2013, the club celebrated 25 years and hosted Silver Jubilee Celebration. Dr. Kapil Sibal and Mr. Rajiv Makhni were some of the honourable guests who attended the event. [3]

Debating Society[edit]

Under the guidance of English department staff, Debating Society members have won debates at the city and regional level. Tournament victories include the Raghubir Singh Inter-school debate, the Pratap Singh Inter-school debate, the DPS R.K.Puram Annual Inter-school debate and the MSOSA Annual Inter-school debate.[4]

Astronomy Club[edit]

The Astronomy Club was founded in 2004 in association with Science Popularization Association of Communicators & Educators. It aims to spread awareness about science through its members and has three levels - Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. It provides many sessions for the students of the school.[5]

Illuminati: The Physics Club[edit]

The Illuminati Physics Club was founded in 2007 as a means for students interested in the discipline to ask questions, share ideas, thoughts and organize events. Illuminati organises an annual inter-school physics symposium "Cyclotron".[6]

Interact Club[edit]

With a commitment to India's less-privileged, the Modern School Interact Club was inaugurated in 1983 by the Vice President of India, Muhammad Hidayat Ullah. Among its activities have been donations to orphanages, recycling drives, anti-piracy drives and blood donation camps. The club has been awarded a certificate in recognition of its services to the community by the Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit.[7]

The Quiz Club[edit]

Modern School has an active quiz club which has gained success in both the senior and junior circuits, coming third in the TAFS Quiz, winning the Sub-Junior ModQuiz, and being a finalist in the St. Columba's Quiz. The club organizes monthly intra-club quizzes and also an annual inter-school event, Unquestionably Modern, one of the largest events on the Delhi school quizzing calendar.

Robotics Club[edit]

This club, founded 2006 is a platform for students to showcase projects in electronics and robotics. In line with its objective of involving school students with technology, the club organizes an annual robotics symposium with more than 40–50 participating schools.[citation needed]


SPIC MACAY is a national society for promotion of Indian classical music and culture amongst youth. Modern School has hosted SPIC MACAY events, featuring Indian Classical Music and classical Indian dance exponents such as Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Sonal Mansingh, Sitara Devi, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Birju Maharaj.[8]

SAPTAK: The Vocal Music Society[edit]

SAPTAK is the vocal music society of Modern School Barakhamba Road. The students of this group sing both classical and western music. SAPTAK takes part in many national level as well as inter-school competitions. SAPTAK has been acknowledged by SAARC, OPLAIN and the UN.[9]

Notable alumni[edit]


Public Service[edit]


Medicine, Science and Technology[edit]



In popular culture[edit]

A panoramic view of the main building

Old Modernites[edit]

Modern School Old Students Association,[16] or MSOSA works to bring together old Modernites. The association has more than 15000 members. MSOSA has engaged in cultural and sporting activities to raise funds for supporting philanthropic activities, contributing to national causes like Kargil war relief in 1999, Gujarat earthquake in 2000, and Tsunami relief effort in 2004. The Modernites Trust was created in 1983 by MSOSA to support these charitable and philanthropic activities.

The Trust supports a Scholarship Programme under which free education in Modern School is provided to meritorious and needy students from the under-privileged sections of society. Since its inception, there have been over 60 beneficiaries. Eighteen students are studying in Modern School, Barakhamba Road under this program.[17]


  1. ^ "Modern School". Modern School. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  2. ^ The History: The School Crest
  3. ^ "Bits 'N' Bytes". 
  4. ^ "Modern School Debating Society". 
  5. ^ "Modern School Astronomy Club". 
  6. ^ "Modern School: Physics Club". 
  7. ^ "Interact Club of Modern School". 
  8. ^ "SPICMACAY Modern School". 
  9. ^ "SAPTAK at Modern School". 
  10. ^ "On English Textbooks". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  11. ^ Sangeet Natak Akademi (1973), Sangeet natak, p. 21, retrieved 29 June 2012  which says, "Amjad was taken along to meet the principal of Modern School and was formally admitted as a day scholar."
  12. ^ Concert review in the Hindu which says, "Amjad Ali Khan and his sons, all alumni of Modern School, paid musical homage to educationist M.N. Kapur."
  13. ^ Announcement in the Times of India (which says, "Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan was the first one in his family to receive formal education. He studied at Modern School, Barakhamba Road, while concentrating on music. As he performs at his alma mater today evening — as a part of "Gurusmaranam", MN Kapur centenary celebration by Modern School's Old Students Association — along with Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan, he is bound to revisit his school days' memories."
  14. ^ article in the Statesman newspaper by Saeed Naqvi which says, "Amjad Ali had just passed out of Modern School when I joined the Statesman."
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Scholarship Programme". The Modernites Trust. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 

External links[edit]