Elphinstone College

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Elphinstone College
Elphinstone College crest.svg
PrincipalDr. Madhuri V Kagalkar
Location, ,
AffiliationsUniversity of Mumbai

Elphinstone College is an institution of higher education affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest colleges of the University of Mumbai. It is reputed for producing luminaries like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Virchand Gandhi, Badruddin Tyabji, Pherozshah Mehta, Kashinath Trimbak Telang, Jamsetji Tata and for illustrious professors that includes Dadabhai Naoroji. It is further observed for having played a key role in spread of Western education in the Bombay Presidency.

The year 2006 marked the sesquicentennial celebrations of the college (1856–2006). At present it offers undergraduate level courses in the arts, sciences and commerce and is under the governance of the Maharashtra Government.


Mountstuart Elphinstone
Elphinstone College taken in the late 19th century

By the 19th century Bombay was a prosperous centre for maritime trade and commerce. In 1824 an English school was set up by the Bombay Native Education Society for Indian students.

In 1827 a resolution was passed that an institution for promotion of education should be established under Bombay Native Education Society and be designated as "Elphinstone College" (distinct from High School). This is after Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, the departing governor of Bombay who was responsible for beginning higher education in the city. Rs.2,29,636.00 was collected by public subscription to fund teaching professorships in the English language and the Arts, Science and Literature of Europe. The professorships were in honour of Mountstaurt Elphinstone. The college was formally constituted in 1835. The classes commenced in 1836, at Town Hall, with the first two professors: Arthur Bedford Orlebar (Natural Philosophy) and John Harkness (General Literature).

In 1840, the professors' classes were amalgamated with the Society's High School to form the Elphinstone Native Education Institution. In 1845, the name was shortened to Elphinstone Institution.

Elphinstone College became a distinct institution, separated from the high school, on 1 April 1856. This year is officially considered to be the year of the establishment of Elphinstone College.

The college was affiliated to University of Bombay in 1860.

In 1871, Elphinstone college gots it own building in Byculla.James Trubshawe, an architect who flourished in the early part of the 19th century: designed the structure. An engineer John Adams, built the structure.This older Elphinstone College building stands opposite the Victoria Memorial Gardens in Byculla, Mumbai. It is now a hospital, and a second Elphinstone College across the Jehangir Art Gallery was built a decade later. [1]

Role in inception of Bombay University and other colleges[edit]

The University of Bombay was established in 1857. Inception classes were held at Elphinstone college and was subsequently moved to the present Fort campus.

To formalize legal education, a chair of Jurisprudence was set up, called Perry Professorship at Elphinstone Institution in 1855. The same year, R. T. Reid (LL. B. Bar-at-Law) was appointed the first Perry professor of Jurisprudence and the Government Law School as it was then called. This is taken as the inception of the Government Law College Mumbai.

It was suggested that Elphinstone College premises be used (during Morning Hours) for initial classes of Jaihind College. The proposal was accepted and admission started for the Arts faculty in June 1948, with a formal inauguration in September 1948 at the Elphinstone College Library Hall.

Sir J J School of Arts was founded in 1857 and was instituted to take up drawing classes. Initial classes were held at Elphinstone Institution.


Elphinstone College Mumbai
Elphinstone College, c. 1905

Elphinstone College, like many other colleges of Mumbai, constitutes two academic entities: Senior and Junior colleges.

Senior college is affiliated to University of Mumbai and imparts education leading to bachelor's degrees while Junior college is monitored by HSC Board and provides higher secondary education.

Courses offered[edit]

Senior college[edit]

Junior college[edit]


Noteworthy features[edit]


The legacy of the college as a center of excellence was unparalleled in western India. During British rule, it was most coveted among colleges, standing alongside Presidency Colleges of Calcutta and Madras. However, post independence its standards declined and more so in the recent times. This is generally attributed to government negligence and red tapism. The college was an important center of radical left sympathies during the 1970s decade: and produced leaders for this movement.[2]

Heritage College building[edit]

The college building, with its Gothic architecture, has been classified as a grade 1 heritage structure. It is one of the most identified buildings of South Mumbai as a symbol British Raj heritage.

Locally, the college is famous for its Romanesque Transitional style building that has been categorized as Grade I Heritage structure. The building was designed by Trubshaw, supervised by Khan Bahadur Muncherjee Murzban, and completed in 1888.[3]



Maharashtrotsav is a National Level Inter College Cultural Festival organized by all the students and faculties of Elphinstone College.

Maharashtrotsav 2011-12 gathered a crowd of more than 75 colleges with nearly 2500 students which was the then a State Level Event. 2012-13 marked a huge progress in its type making it National Level Festival with nearly 5000 students from more than 130 colleges across India.

Maharashtrotsav promises to be a launch pad for new talents who are lost in the shadow of big names. This event shall bring them into the limelight and be a milestone in their path of glamour world. Maharashtrotsav is a budding event planned to cater to all those who intend to prove their talent through their extraordinary skills. It is a phenomenon which brings together untapped talents on one platform with the basic aim and spirit to promote Culture, Harmony and Talent.

TechTsar Logo


TechTsar started back in 2009, with a budget of INR 75,000, which was contributed by advertisements in the Techtsar brochure and banners. Amongst the notable past sponsors are Bank of Maharashtra, Dena Bank, Airtel, etc.

The name of the festival was inspired by two words: technology [tech] and king [tsar] and was proposed by Elphinstone College alumni Rohan Bhambhani. The motto is "Merging Talent with Technology." The festival consists of many events such C and Java debugging, LAN gaming, quiz, debate, photography, logo designing, grand prix, treasure hunt etc. Students from many colleges across Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai participate. The festival takes place in the final week of November. Currently in its second year it was even more successful than the previous year with a huge rise in participants.


The Biotechnology Department organizes the festival known as Primers. It started in 2009. The festival consists of seminars by well-known speakers and continued by events in which the students of colleges of Mumbai and Thane participate.

In 2010 the students had organized a job fair for all the college students with free entry and are concluding the event with a fashion show.

The students of F.Y., S.Y., and T.Y. Biotechnology together work very hard for the success of this event.


The college is located in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai. Several landmarks, business districts and waters of Arabian Sea are at close by.

The college is easily accessible by train (from Churchgate and CST) and bus.

The well-known Jehangir Art Gallery is across the street as entrance to the Museum.

Notable alumni[edit]

Jamsetji Tata, an alumnus of Elphinstone College

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ramachandran Venkatesh. "Elphinstone College (I), Mumbai, India, by James Trubshawe". Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  2. ^ Gargi Gupta (21 Feb 2016). "JNU Row: The volatile history of student protests across the world". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 2017-01-27. In the 1970s, Elphinstone College in Mumbai was an important centre of radical-left sympathies – many of whom built careers on ideologies they imbibed as students.
  3. ^ Linah Baliga (2 January 2009). "Heritage buildings to be restored to former glory". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 27 January 2017. Elphinstone College A Romanesque transition style, it was designed by Trubshaw, supervised by Khan Bahadur Muncherjee Murzban, and completed in 1888. The building is a Grade I listed structure.Established in 1824, Elphinstone is one of the oldest colleges in Bombay. Its alumni are among the greatest names of the Indian Nationalist Movement, strongly establishing the institution’s contribution towards shaping the history of India. The structure will receive anti-termite treatment, new flooring, new Gothic revival details to the parapets, new paving in the courtyard and around the building, renovated toilets, re-plastering where essential and RCC repairs.Repairs to existing windows and doors, new weather sheds on the rear and in the courtyard and weld mesh shutters will also be carried out.Stone facades will be cleaned, paint scraped off from stone, wooden surfaces painted and polished. Defective pipes will also be changed.
  4. ^ Judges Biography: P. N. Bhagwati Supreme Court of India
  5. ^ Roger Oldfield - Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes, Vanguard Press
  6. ^ http://alumni.harvard.edu/travel/leaders/rena-fonseca
  7. ^ "Artise Profile :Shernaz Patel". mumbaitheatreguide.
  8. ^ http://www.kractivist.org/top-maoist-leader-sridhar-srinivasan-passes-away/
  9. ^ http://www.rediff.com/news/special/sridhar-srinivasan-a-life-dedicated-to-the-working-class-struggle/20150929.htm
  10. ^ http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/top-urban-maoist-in-maharashtra-dies-of-heart-attack/
  11. ^ http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/GoldenCorridorTurningintoMaoistHub_PVRamana_200511
  12. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtras-naxal-barrack-lacks-conviction/article6127031.ece

External links[edit]