The Doon School

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The Doon School
The Doon School, Dehradun - logo.png
The Doon School.jpg
Knowledge our Light
Location
The Mall
Dehradun – 248001
India
(Map)

Information
School type Independent boarding school
Founded 10 September 1935
Founder Satish Ranjan Das
Sister school Welham Girls' School
Chand Bagh School
School district Dehradun district
Chairman of Governors Gautam Thapar
Headmaster Peter McLaughlin
Founder Headmaster Arthur Edward Foot
Faculty 70
Gender Boys
Age 13 to 18
Pupils 550
Campus 69 acres (280,000 m²)
Houses 5
Student Union/Association The Doon School Old Boys' Society
Colour(s) Blue      and White     
Publication The Doon School Weekly
Affiliation IB
ICSE
Former pupils Doscos
Annual fees INR796,000 (home students)
INR995,000 (international)
Website

The Doon School (informally Doon School or Doon) is a boys-only independent boarding school in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. It was founded in 1935 by Satish Ranjan Das, a Kolkata lawyer.[1] He prevised a school modelled on the British public school, but alive to Indian ambitions and desires.[1] The school's first headmaster was an Englishman, Arthur E. Foot, who had spent nine years as a science master at Eton College, England before coming to Doon, and returned to England right after India's independence.[2] The present headmaster is Peter McLaughlin, who has occupied the post since 2009 and is the ninth headmaster of the school. He is a member of Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.[3]

The school is a member of G20 Schools and Round Square group.[4][5] Doon houses roughly 500 pupils aged 13 to 18. Admission to the school is based on a competitive entrance examination and an interview.[6][7][8] Every year in January and April, the school admits pupils aged 13 in Grade 7 (known as D-form) and aged 14 in Grade 8 (C-form) respectively.[9][10] Doon pupils take the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education in tenth grade and are thereafter offered two strands for the final two years: International Baccalaureate (IB) or Indian School Certificate (ISC). The school began offering the IB curriculum only in 2006, before which all pupils had to sit the ISC examinations in twelfth grade.

Doon has consistently been ranked the best residential school of India by media such as The Times of India and Outlook.[11][12] Although the school has often been cited as 'Eton of India' by media outlets such as The Guardian, Financial Times, The Economist, The Daily Telegraph and Forbes, it strongly eschews the label.[13][14][15][16] Doon remains a boys-only school despite continued pressure from political leaders, including President Pratibha Patil, to become coeducational.[17][18] Old boys of the school are commonly known as Doscos.[19] Although the total number of Doscos is relatively small (estimated at 5,000 since the school's founding), they include some of India's most prominent politicians, government officials and business leaders.[20] The best known alumnus is former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

Main building of Doon in 1917, when it was part of the Forest Research Institute.

Doon was founded by Satish Ranjan Das,[21] a lawyer from Calcutta and advocate-general of Bengal, who in 1927 became a member of the Viceroy's Executive Council of Lord Irwin on the condition that he would use the prestige of this position to raise funds for a new type of school in India.[22][23][24] He decided to name the new school "Doon", as it was situated in the Doon Valley. He travelled widely in India with the goal of collecting INR 4 millions, but at the time of his death had raised only INR 1 million in cash and a further INR 1 million in promises. With the money, Das formed the Indian Public Schools' Society (IPSS), which had the objective of founding new public schools in India that would admit students regardless of caste, creed or social status. Under the IPSS, a Board of Governors supervises all matters of Doon.[25][26] Jawaharlal Nehru encouraged a move towards establishing the school, but Mahatma Gandhi "would have nothing to do with it".[1]

After the death of Das in 1928, the IPSS accomplished little, and by 1934 some of the original presenter had begun to inquire about the return of their money.[25] To solve this problem, Sir Joseph Bhore, then Railway Minister of Lord Willingdon's Council, became IPSS chairman and, with Sir Akbar Hydari as secretary, worked to obtain the former estate of the Forest Research Institute in Dehra Dun on favourable terms. Sir Frank Noyce also joined the team. Lord Halifax, then President of the British Board of Education, led a selection committee that nominated Arthur E. Foot, a science teacher at Eton College, to be the first headmaster.[27] On 27 October 1935, the Viceroy, Lord Willingdon, presided over the formal opening of the school. Seventy boys enrolled in the first term, and 110 more signed up for the second.[28]

The houses at the new school were originally named after their respective housemasters, but later renamed in honour of the largest presenter to the IPSS: Hyderabad House was named after Sir Akbar Hydari secured a contribution of INR 200,000 from the Nizam of Hyderabad's government;.[29] Kashmir House, after Maharajah Hari Singh, then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, promised a contribution of INR 100,000 (100,000 rupees), which was delivered in 1935;.[29] Tata House, after the Tata and Wadia Trusts promised INR 150,000, half of which was delivered in 1935;.[29] Jaipur House, after Rai Bahadur Amarnath Atal arranged for contributions of INR 100,000 from the Durbar of Jaipur.[29][30] No building was named after Rai Bahadur Rameshwar Nathany, since his donation of INR 100,000 was initially anonymous.[31][32]

Founding ethos[edit]

Main gate of the Doon School.

Arthur Foot had never visited India before accepting the position of headmaster, and knew little of Dehradun beyond what he learned by consulting an atlas. He noted that it appeared to be surrounded by forests and close to mountains, and the possibilities of outdoor recreation and mountaineering seem to have influenced his decision as much as the chance to create a completely new type of school in India.[33] Foot's first action upon being offered the position was to recruit J.A.K. (John) Martyn from Harrow School as his deputy. Doon's ethos and guiding principles were determined early in its life by Foot, Martyn, R.L. Holdsworth and Jack Gibson, who went on to become Principal of Mayo College. While these masters all came from very traditional British schools,[34][35] they were determined to create a uniquely Indian public school rather than a transplanted British institution, and they were soon joined in their efforts by equally influential Indians such as Sudhir Khastgir (the school's first art teacher, who had trained previously in Santiniketan) and Gurdial Singh, a pioneering mountaineer who taught at Doon for several decades.[36][37]

In an essay entitled The Objects of Education published in the school magazine, Foot offered a template for a complete education for boys, which included teaching them to distinguish clearly between good and evil, form a habit of choosing good over evil, think logically, express their thoughts and views clearly, and maintain a healthy body.[33] In other essays, Foot identified the milestones in the development of each student:

By 14 he should have learnt all the ordinary principles of social behaviour. He should know how to stand up and speak to a variety of different types of people – to his own mother, to someone else's mother, to his father, to his schoolmasters, to servants, to Mahatma Gandhi or to the Viceroy, and to do this without any self-consciousness ... At fourteen a boy should have constructed a framework of competence in language, in mathematical ability, and in social behaviour. After that age he is, as it were, filling in a design on to the framework. In short he is learning to exercise taste ... At 16, he acquired taste, a sense of the beautiful and the ugly, of the strong and the weak, of good and evil ... At 17 must come another quality, less instinctive and requiring a maturer mind: he must acquire a capacity of judgement.[33]

Martyn, who was involved with Doon for several decades and became its second headmaster, acknowledged the influence of the very remarkable German man, Kurt Hahn, in the development of the school's ethos.[38] Although Martyn had not visited India before, he immediately accepted Foot's offer because of the opportunity it afforded to implement Hahn's ideas, which he had not been able to do at Harrow. Martyn acknowledged Foot's leadership in the development of the school, but added that they both had similar ideas: "I would not have been as bold as he was in trying to eliminate punishments, but we were equally keen on providing as wide a range as possible of activities that were creative and challenging ... The problem, as we saw it, was to create an atmosphere in which boys would learn the importance of public spirit at the same time as they acquired self-confidence and initiative."[39]

Headmasters[edit]

Headmasters

Foot and Martyn, the first two headmasters at Doon, were both from elite British institutions – Eton College and Harrow School. They were determined to model Doon on those two schools, but both agreed that it should cater primarily for Indian boys rather than the sons of British expatriates. The public school jargon introduced by these headmasters is still in use. For example, the weekly masters' meeting, started by Foot, is called Chambers, a term taken from Eton,[40] and evening "prep" (the boarding-school equivalent of homework) is called Toye-time, a term taken from Winchester College.[41][42][43]

Though Foot modelled Doon on Eton and Harrow (and the school is often called the "Eton of India" by various press agencies),[44][45][46][47][48] he did not want Doon to be considered elitist.[49][50] Foot once said, "our boys will join an aristocracy, but it’s an aristocracy of service, not one of wealth, privilege or position".[51][52] The school's first Indian headmaster was Eric Simeon appointed in 1970. He came from a military background and laid great emphasis on disciplined living.[53] The next headmaster, Gulab Ramchandani, was the first alumnus to become headmaster.[54] Ramchandani's successor Shomie Das, another alumnus, was the grandson of school founder Satish Ranjan Das. During his tenure, the Oberoi house was added to the original four houses.

The main emphasis of the next headmaster, John Mason, was to make Doon affordable for school pupils; Doon did not raise its fees during his tenure.[55] Kanti Bajpai became the third old boy to become headmaster. He oversaw the introduction of numerous punishments, notably "yellow cards", to control an outburst of bullying at Doon.[56] Peter McLaughlin, a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), became the first non-Indian headmaster for almost four decades when he was appointed in 2009.[57][58] Shortly before taking up his appointment he said, "We will be adhering to the school credo of engaging individuals in socially productive work, at the same time delivering on quality education."[59]

DS-75 celebrations[edit]

President Pratibha Patil speaking at the Doon School's Platinum Jubilee in October 2010.

The annual Founder's Day celebration of the school is an event of three or four-days[60] in the Autumn Term, usually in the last week of October.[61] Many ex-pupils come from all parts of the world to celebrate the event. Security on campus is tight, since alumni attending the event often include senior politicians and government officials, and the chief guest is usually a very prominent person.[62][63] The event includes productions of English dramas followed by an orchestral concert given by members of the school's Music Society.[64][65]

Doon celebrated its 75th Founder's Day (Platinum Jubilee) in October 2010 with an event christened DS-75.[66][67][68] Among the chief guests were the then President Pratibha Patil of India, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan and Kapil Sibal, (Union Minister for Human Resource Development).[63][69] Pratibha Patil, in her address, urged the school authorities to make Doon a co-educational institution. Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary of the Indian National Congress, who studied at Doon for two years, stayed away for security reasons.[70] One of the main attractions was a discussion (dubbed the "Chandbagh Debate") held between alumni including Vikram Seth, Kamal Nath, Manpreet Singh Badal, Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia and retired headmaster Kanti Bajpai, on the topic Can India lead?. It was moderated by television commentator Karan Thapar, an alumnus of the school.[71]

Ashvin Kumar made the film Dazed in Doon for the celebrations, using pupils for the cast and crew. Most of it was shot in June and July during the summer break, and those scenes which required the entire student body were filmed after the school reopened in August.[72] The Doon School, however, objected to the film and its distribution, obtaining a court order to delay its release and labelling it "defamatory".[73][74][75][76] Shayan Italia, another alumnus, composed and gave a live performance of the song "Doscos Forever, Brothers for Life" to mark the event.[77][78] On 22 October 2010, a commemorative postage stamp depicting the school's main building was released by the Indian Postal Service to mark the occasion of the 75th Founder's Day.[79][80][81]

Campus[edit]

Left wing of the Main Building.

The school occupies a single campus covering approximately 70 acres (280,000 m2) flanked by Chakrata Road and Mall Road in the Dehradun Cantonment area of Dehradun city, Uttarakhand, India.[82] To house the school, the IPSS acquired Chandbagh Estate in Dehradun from the Forest Research Institute. Part of the estate was once a deer park. The IPSS also acquired an adjoining estate, now known as Skinner's Field, from the descendants of James Skinner. At the time of acquisition it was overgrown and somewhat neglected, its most prominent features being two sheds formerly used to house elephants.[83][84] The new Art and Media School, located on the site of the old Music School and inaugurated in October 2010 by Kapil Sibal, was shortlisted for the 2010 World Architecture News Education Award.[85][86] The school's South Garden has been mentioned in Inside Outside Magazine's Annual Awards for its green principles and GRIHA standards of environmental compatibility.[87][88]

The Chandbagh estate is located in a green part of Dehradun and a wide variety of flora and fauna are found on the estate, including many rare trees that date back to the days of the Forest Research Institute.[82][89] The school has over 150 species of trees on its campus, and the formal gardens attract a variety of birds.[90] In 1996, a book titled Trees of Chandbagh was released which provided a comprehensive account of vegetation found on Doon's campus, known as Chandbagh.[91]

Houses[edit]

East wing of Tata House and the quad.

Doon follows the house system. When the school opened in 1935, there were only three houses.[92] Today there are five main houses (Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kashmir, Tata and Oberoi) and two holding houses (Foot and Martyn, named after former headmasters), where new students live for a year before moving to one of the main houses.[93][94][95]

Each house is run by a housemaster, who is also an active member of the teaching staff. The housemaster is assisted by a senior boy known as the house captain. One senior boy serves as school captain and is assisted by prefects from each house. Boys are assigned to houses at the time of admission and develop great loyalty to them, since all intramural sports involve fierce competition between houses. For some alumni, inter-house rivalry continues well into middle-age. Boys with even the most distant family connections to a particular house are invariably assigned to that house.[96]

For many decades, housemasters were always men, but now there are housemistresses as well.[97] Each housemaster and housemistress is assisted by a matron known as "The Dame", who provides pastoral care for pupils, some of whom take several terms to adjust fully to life in a boarding school, particularly given Doon's monastic lifestyle and strict routine.[96] The homes of housemasters and housemistresses are adjacent or physically attached to their houses to enable close supervision and support.

Academic life[edit]

The school follows flexible modular scheduling to educate the pupils. The school practices a five and a half-day week consisting of 40 periods (or "schools"), each of 40 minutes.[98] The school day begins with "first bell" soon after 6:15 am. The boys have chhota haazri before doing calisthenics outdoors on the playing fields.[99] There are two schools before breakfast and five more before lunch. All meals are served in a central dining hall, and boys from each table take turns acting as waiters for their table-mates.[100]

The academic year has always consisted of two terms: the Spring Term and the Autumn Term. In the early decades, the academic year followed the calendar year. This changed in the late 1970s so that the Spring Term now runs from February to the end of May. New pupils ("D-Formers") join Doon at the beginning of April.[101] The Autumn Term runs from August to the year-end examinations in November after which the boys are promoted to the new class beginning in February. These internal examinations are known as "trials", while examinations leading to certificates such as the Indian School Certificate are known as "finals".

Social work, known formally as "Socially Useful Productive Work", is also part of school life. All boys of the school must complete a mandatory quota of social service hours every term.[102] Pupils and alumni have frequently organised efforts across India to assist people affected by natural disasters. During the 1991 Uttarkashi earthquake the school's amateur radio club was used by the government for communication purposes.[102][103] Doon also oversees a Panchayat Ghar teaching impoverished children, and many building projects and workshops for the local community.[102][104] Discipline has always been strict, and the school has expelled children from well-known families. In the 1950s, Martyn's suggestion that Sanjay Gandhi finish his senior year elsewhere was accepted without question by his mother, Indira Gandhi.[105] In contrast, Doon's decision to expel a ward of Chief Minister Nityanand Swami of Uttarkhand in 2000 led to allegations of threats to disrupt power and water supplies; the difficulty was overcome by the prime minister's intervention.[106]

Pupils[edit]

Pupils are known as "Doscos", a contraction of "Doon" and "school". The press often calls alumni Doscos, but in Doon itself they are called ex-Doscos, or simply Old Boys. The vast majority of alumni are Indians, but a dwindling number are from Pakistan having studied at Doon before the Partition of India forced them to leave in 1947.[107] Relations between Indian and Pakistani alumni have remained warm over the years, despite the long history of conflict between the two countries.[108] Boys from Bangladesh and Nepal continue to study at Doon. Doon remains a boys-only school despite continued pressure from political leaders, including President Pratibha Patil, to become coeducational.[17][44][109][110]

School activities[edit]

Sports[edit]

A cricket game in progress on the Main Field.

Sports are compulsory at the school. It has over 30 acres (120,000 m2) of playing fields, the largest of which are Skinner's Field and the Main Field. Cricket, hockey, athletics, boxing and association football are played seasonally. Tennis, table tennis, badminton, squash, basketball, swimming and gymnastics tournaments are also available. Sport is dominated by cricket and hockey during the spring term and by football, athletics and boxing in the autumn term. Inter-house matches are played in cricket, hockey and football. Sports facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, a boxing ring and a multi-purpose hall with a gymnasium and facilities for indoor badminton, basketball and table tennis. There are two artificial turf cricket pitches, five basketball courts, six tennis courts, four squash courts, ten cricket nets, seven fields for hockey and football (which can be converted to four cricket pitches to accommodate seasonal sports), a modern cricket pavilion and two 400-metre athletics tracks.[111][112][113]

Doon hosts the annual Afzal Khan Memorial Basketball Tournament, an inter-school basketball tournament.[114][115]

Clubs and societies[edit]

The Doon School Weekly, established in 1936, is the oldest publication of Doon.

Extracurricular activities are also a compulsory element of school life, and magazines are published in English and Hindi. There are around 23 clubs and societies, including politics, drama, photography, aeromodelling, first-aid, dramatics, painting, sculpture, carpentry, amateur radio, music (including Trinity Guildhall music examinations), senior and junior English debating societies, Model United Nations, chess and astronomy.[116][117][118] In many societies pupils come together to discuss a particular topic, presided over by a schoolmaster and often including a guest speaker. The school has often invited prominent figures to give speeches and talks to the students; these have included heads of state, politicians, ornithologists, naturalists, artists, writers, economists, diplomats and industrialists.[119][120]

The Doon School Weekly is the official school newspaper, distributed every Saturday morning. It chronicles school activities and is a platform for creative and political writing. It was founded in 1936 and is edited by pupils.[121][122] Although it is subject to censorship, satire and criticism of school policies have been published in the past. More subversive publications, far more critical of teachers and the school establishment, have occasionally been produced without official sponsorship. Other school magazines include The Yearbook and The Doon School Information Review. Publications by academic departments include Echo (Science), The Econocrat (Economics), Infinity (Mathematics) and The Circle (Political Science).[123]

Mountaineering[edit]

2008 expedition to the Mount Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar.

Halfway through each term, the boys take a one-week "midterm" – a rugged trip, often through the Siwalik Hills or Himalayas. Senior boys make treks of up to five days, unaccompanied by teachers, camping out in tents, cooking their own food and hiking. They plan these trips themselves. Alumni have credited these midterms as being among their most formative and character-building experiences.[82][124]

Doon has been credited with pioneering mountaineering in India, due to the accomplishments of masters such as R.L. Holdsworth, Jack Gibson and Gurdial Singh and alumni such as Nandu Jayal.[125][126][127] Notable climbs by staff and alumni include Bandarpunch (6,316 m) in 1950, Kala Nag (6,387 m) in 1956, Trisul (7,120 m) in 1951, Kamet (7,756 m) in 1955, Abi Gamin (7,355 m) in 1953 and 1955, Mrigthuni (6,855 m) in 1958 and Jaonli (6,632 metres) in 1964.[128]

Some of these expeditions have had their idiosyncrasies. After Gurudial Singh led a successful climb of Trisul, he performed a headstand asana on the summit as a tribute to the Hindu god Shiva, who is said to abide there. Holdsworth has been claimed to hold the high-altitude record for smoking a pipe, which he did on the summit of Kamet after the first ascent in 1931.[129] Two Doon pupils climbed the Matterhorn in 1951 wearing cricket boots.[130]

Theatre and music[edit]

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot being staged in the Rose Bowl.

An amphitheatre known as the Rose Bowl was built largely by pupils in two years during the 1930s[82][131] and underwent a major structural change in 2009.[132][133] It can seat up to 1,000 people and has been the setting for numerous Shakespeare plays and other classics of western theatre, as well as musical performances and speeches during school ceremonies such as Founder's Day.[134] The Multi-Purpose Hall is a more modern indoor theatre that can accommodate approximately 2,000 people. Plays are regularly staged in English and Hindi, with 8–9 productions each year including 2 major productions as part of the Founder's Day celebrations. The Inter House Once-Act Play competition is held each year, alternatively in English and Hindi. Many of the plays historically have been joint productions with the Welham Girls' School in Dehradun.

In 2001 a new music school was built beside the Rose Bowl.[135] It houses a music library, a concert hall and several practice and teaching rooms where students learn various western and Indian instruments. Pupils of the school have an option to appear for the Trinity Guildhall music examinations, conducted by Trinity College London, in piano, violin, drums and classical guitar.[136] In 2002 the school choir raised INR 2 million for victims of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake by organising a charity concert with the title Concerto 2000, in which drummer Sivamani also took part.[137][138] To commemorate its Platinum Jubilee, the school launched a music album called Spirit of Doon in collaboration with EMI.[139][140][141] The school choir sang two songs ("Lab pe Aati Hai Dua" and "Anand Loke") for the project but only the former was included in the final recording.[142] The tracks were written by the lyricist Gulzar and were sung by Sonu Nigam, Shayan Italia and Bhajan Sopori.[139]

School songs[edit]

Attendance at the morning assembly is required of all pupils and teachers. It traditionally begins with a song from the school's Song Book:[143]

Although Jana Gana Mana is India's National anthem, it is traditionally referred to as "Song No. 1" at Doon since it was adopted as the School Song in 1935, fifteen years before it was adopted as India's national anthem.[144][145] The school songs were deliberately chosen to include both Urdu poetry and Hindu bhajans as a way of emphasising Doon's secular ethos; similarly, the school prayers include a mix of Anglican hymns and Indian poetry.[146][147][148]

Affiliations[edit]

Ties with other schools[edit]

From its foundation in 1937 until the early 1980s, Welham Boys' School was a feeder school for Doon School and Mayo College.[149] This ended when Surendra Kandhari, an old boy and former housemaster at Doon, became Principal of Welham and transformed it into a high school. Several families who send their sons to Doon send their daughters to Welham Girls' School, and many Doon alumni have married alumnae of Welham.[150][151] The two schools hold an annual "dance social", and their alumni sometimes collaborate in organising events.[151] Pakistani ex-pupils from Doon established the Chand Bagh School 40 km north of Lahore, Pakistan, in 1998, modelling it on the general structure of Doon.[152] Doon also has exchange programmes with a number of overseas schools. As of September 2011, a small number of Doon students were attending Eton College, Harrow School, Millfield, Schule Schloss Salem, The Armidale School, Bridge House School, Deerfield Academy, King's Academy, Stowe School, Scotch College, Melbourne and St. Mark's School (Texas).[153] In 2011 Doon twinned with The Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester, England, through a cultural exchange project organised by the BBC and British Council in light of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games held in the UK.[154]

Schools with similar names[edit]

As private schools became more widespread in India, several other schools used "Doon" as part of their names, causing some confusion. Among them are Doon Global School, Doon Presidency School, Doon International School,[155] Doon Preparatory School, Doon Cambridge School,[156] Doon Girls School,[157] Doon Public School (in West Delhi, not the Doon Valley)[158] and the Doon College of Spoken English. None of them is related to The Doon School.[106][159]

Memberships[edit]

The Doon School is a member of following organisations: G20 Schools,[160] Round Square,[161] Rotary International's Interact Club, Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference,[162] International Boys' Schools Coalition,[163] Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations,[98] International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO),[164][165] Indian Public Schools' Conference,[166] Rashtriya Life Saving Society (India),[167] International Award Association[167]

The school is the regional test centre for University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and SAT Tests.[168]

Public image[edit]

Doon in films & television
  • The film Dazed in Doon, which was commissioned by the School on the occasion of its 75th anniversary and produced by old boy Ashvin Kumar, was banned by the school authorities because it "doesn't give the school a good name".[73][74] The dispute remains unresolved.[76]
  • In September 2010, BBC Sport made a documentary on the Doon School for the World Olympic Dreams Project.[169] The documentary was produced in association with the British Council.[170] Its main purpose was to show the school where Abhinav Bindra, the first Indian individual Olympic gold medallist, spent his formative years.[171]
  • In the 2010 Bollywood film Aisha, the character Randhir Gambhir is a Doon School alumnus.[172]
Doon in literature
Doon in research
  • Doon School Chronicles is the first of five ethnographic films called the Doon School Quintet, made by David MacDougall between 1997 and 2000 about the culture of the School.[178][179][180] Macdougall has written of a tendency of some alumni to idealise a Golden Age set in the first decade of the school's life, which sometimes makes them resistant to change.[19]
  • Constructing Post-Colonial India: National Character and the Doon School by Sanjay Srivastva is a detailed sociological study of the school's culture and how it has influenced India's national character.[181]
  • 'Poor' Children in 'Rich' Schools, a 2005 report by the Institute of Social Studies Trust, discusses why the Doon School has no reservations (quotas for specific social groups) in its admissions process. The post quotes an unnamed student who explains, "passing the Doon School entrance exam means that you have proved yourself worthy of the school. Reserving seats for students seems to imply that the school must prove itself worthy of you."[182]
  • In 1969, Asian Survey (then Asian Review) - an Asian studies academic journal of University of California, Berkeley - produced a report on The Doon School as a part of their project which documented Indian history after the entry of East India Company.[183]
  • In Indian Tales of the Raj, Zareer Masani studies how Doon School's alumni affected the Indian political scene in the '60s.[184]

Notable people[edit]

Alumni[edit]

Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India (Class of 1960)

Pupils of Doon have gone on to achieve prominence in politics, government service,[185][186] the armed forces of India and Pakistan, commerce, journalism, the arts and literature.[187] They include nine Cabinet Ministers, two chief ministers, several members of the Indian Parliament and state Legislative Assemblies;[188] a Naxalite,[189] nineteen generals, two admirals, former heads of the Indian and Pakistani Air Forces and twenty-four ambassadors, including those from India, Pakistan, Nepal and the United Kingdom.[190][191] The best-known alumnus is former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi,[44] who appointed so many old boys to his administration that his inner circle was called a "Doon cabinet".[44] Gandhi's reliance on Doon alumni for political advice was criticised in the media,[192] and they seldom held public office for some time afterward.[44][193] Though this has changed with the political ascendance of Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, Kamal Nath and Rahul Gandhi.

Bunker Roy (Class of 1962), Social activist and the founder of Barefoot College, Tilonia.

Notable Doon alumni to have held senior positions in Indian and Pakistani politics include the former Indian diplomat turned politician Mani Shankar Aiyar, currently a Rajya Sabha nominee, the former Defence Secretary of Pakistan Ghulam Jilani Khan, Kamal Nath (Politician, class of 1964), Rahul Gandhi (Congress Politician, class of 1986), Sanjay Gandhi (Congress Politician, class of 1964),[194][195][196] Naveen Patnaik (Politician, class of 1964), Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia (Politician, class of 1989),[197] Dr. Karan Singh (Politician, class of 1948)[198][199] In the field of Literature and Poetry, Doon alumni include Amitav Ghosh (class of 1972),[200] Ramachandra Guha (class of 1973),[201] Vikram Seth (class of 1970),[202] Ardashir Vakil.

Doon alumni in Journalism include Prannoy Roy (class of 1965), Aroon Purie (class of 1962),[203] Karan Thapar, and Vikram Chandra. The first Indian Rhodes scholar was a Doon School alumni - Lovraj Kumar.[204] Doon is also the alma mater of the first Indian individual Olympic gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra (class of 1999)[205] and the mountaineering pioneer Nandu Jayal.[127] In the field of Arts and Entertainment, Doon's alumni include Roshan Seth (Class of 1960),[206] Himani Shivpuri (class of 1971),[207] and Chandrachur Singh. The sculptor Anish Kapoor (class of 1970) also attended Doon.[208]

Anish Kapoor (Class of 1970) is a sculptor whose designs include ArcelorMittal Orbit, Olympic Park, London.[209]

In Business, the Doon alumni included Anil Kumar, former senior partner at McKinsey & Company and co-founder of the Indian School of Business, Gautam Thapar, founder and chairman of the Avantha Group, Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, former owners of Ranbaxy Laboratories and presently owning Fortis Healthcare.

Faculty[edit]

Doon has benefited from the services of the following academics in the past:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°20′0.23″N 78°1′49.73″E / 30.3333972°N 78.0304806°E / 30.3333972; 78.0304806