Miranda House, University of Delhi

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Miranda House
Miranda House seal
New Delhi, Delhi
Coordinates 28°41′33″N 77°12′36″E / 28.69250°N 77.21000°E / 28.69250; 77.21000Coordinates: 28°41′33″N 77°12′36″E / 28.69250°N 77.21000°E / 28.69250; 77.21000
Type University College for Women
Motto Hindi: स्वाध्याय प्रमदितव्यम्
Established 1948
Founder Sir Maurice Gwyer
Principal Dr. Pratibha Jolly[1]
Staff 326
Faculty 238
Number of students More than 3000
Campus Urban
Colour(s)     Cocoa Brown
Nickname MH, Miranda, Mirandians
Calendar Semester
Affiliations DU

Miranda House (Hindi: मिरांडा हाउस, MH), a residential college for women, is one of the premier women's institutions of the University of Delhi, India.[2] It was established in 1948.[3][4] Miranda House offers degrees in the sciences and liberal arts. The College was rated as the best college in India in National Institutional Ranking Framework for year 2017.[5]


Miranda House
India Today & Nielsen rankings, 2013
  • Miranda House is placed 3rd among Science Colleges in India.[6]
  • Miranda House is placed 5th among Arts Colleges in India.[7]
  • Miranda House is ranked 2nd and 3rd in the Delhi-wide 2013 rankings of Science and Arts streams respectively.[8]


Sir Maurice Gwyer (extreme right), founder of Miranda House, University of Delhi.

Miranda House was founded in 1948 by the university vice-chancellor, Sir Maurice Gwyer.[9] Its foundation stone was laid by Lady Edwina Mountbatten on 7 March in the same year. Miranda House is built of red bricks on the university campus. Its original design was planned by the architect Walter Sykes George and is architecturally similar to other educational institutions in India founded in the colonial era. As the college grew, several buildings were added.

Alumni and students of this college are known as Mirandians.

Miranda House started with 33 students in July 1948, which rose to 105 by September the same year. It was 2,090 in 1997–98. The academic staff increased from six in 1948 to 120 (permanent) in 1997–98 and that of non-academic staff from 11 in 1948 (five in the hostel and six in the college) to 120 in 1997–98. The college accommodation (hostel) housed 43 students in 1948, of whom seven were enrolled at other colleges of the University of Delhi. There are now 250 students in the hostel.

At the time of its founding, Miranda House had six departments; as of 2012 there were eighteen. Science teaching was conducted in the university and in 1963–64, B.Sc. General and in 1971, B.Sc. Honours teaching work started in the college. Many new subjects have been introduced in the humanities and social sciences since then.

Miranda House provides liberal education in social sciences, humanities and the basic sciences. The college's infrastructure includes teaching laboratories and general facilities.As of 2012 Miranda House has more than 3,000 students.

Academic courses and departments[edit]

Miranda House offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate courses. All undergraduate courses commencing from the academic year 2014-15 are according to the three-year undergraduate honours degree system.

Undergraduate courses[edit]

Postgraduate courses[edit]

Students enroll for M.A. and M.Sc. programmes in the college; classes are held at the respective departments at the university.

  • M.A. programme: The same subjects are offered as at the B.A. Honours level except for Political Science, Geography, and Sociology. M.A. in Mathematics is offered in the college.
  • M.Sc. programme: The same subjects are offered as at the B.Sc. Honours level. Additionally, the college offers M.Sc. in Anthropology.

Four-year undergraduate program[edit]

The University of Delhi introduced the four-year undergraduate program scheme in the academic year 2013-14. All undergraduate programs offered by the University of Delhi would thenceforth be for the duration of four years, with multiple exit options and the inclusion of research components. This reform was intended to provide greater flexibility and wider range of choices to the students.[10]

In June 2014, after a lot of controversy, speculation and protests, the four-year undergraduate program was removed according to the directives of the University Grants Commission. All the constituent colleges of the University of Delhi were instructed to return to the previous three-year format for first degrees.[11]

Now a Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) is being followed in the University of Delhi.

Campus life[edit]


Located in the University of Delhi's north campus enclave, Miranda House was designed by architect Walter Sykes George in a similar style to other colonial educational institutions of the country. The college hostel is among the oldest residential buildings in the university. The hostel section is laid out in a quadrangle, with gardens placed out by bottle palms.

Since the beginning Miranda House has undergone numerous physical changes and has grown with additions to its original layout plan. The major features of its structure are the main college building, the library, and the hostel block. In the 1950s, the new building for lectures was constructed. The principal's office, college office, teachers' lounge, students' common room, and sheds for four college buses were built during this period. The college auditorium, equipped with microphones, and the cafeteria building came up during this time. New classrooms were added by partitioning the old library hall. The new administrative section was built in the centre of the teaching wing. Some classrooms on the ground floor were converted into the administrative block, which also houses the principal's new office.

In its Golden Jubilee Year, the college auditorium was renovated under the supervision of interior designer and old Mirandian Ketaki Sood. A rock garden was set up in the space behind the students' common room and in front of the cafeteria.

Miranda House Hostel[edit]

College Hostel.

Miranda House was a residence before it became a college. Miranda House Hostel was founded in 1948 by the vice-chancellor, Sir Maurice Gwyer; its foundation stone was laid by Lady Edwina Mountbatten on 7 March the same year. The building was designed by architect Walter George.

The dining hall has a high arched ceiling, monastic tables and benches. There is a common room and an open coffee lounge attached to it. Declared a Heritage Building, extensive restoration and refurbishment work was undertaken in the hostel. It has 120 twin and seven four-person rooms. The day-to-day functioning is taken care of by a full-time resident warden and a housekeeper. The hostel administrative team includes the principal, the vice-principal, the bursar, teacher representatives on the hostel committee, and the hostel warden.


There are over 20 clubs and societies at Miranda House, including:

  • Adventure Club
  • "ANUKRITI" Hindi Dramatics Society
  • "ARIELS" English Dramatics Society
  • "DEBSOC" Debating Society
  • E-Cell, Entrepreneurship Cell of MH[12]
  • "CELLULOID" Film Club
  • "BLUESTOCKINGS" Creative writing Club
  • "ADWITIYA" Fine Arts
  • ANTHEIA- The Botanical Society
  • MATHLETICS- The Mathematics Newsletter [13]
  • Gandhi Study Circle
  • "GEETANJALI" Indian Music Society
  • "ORPHEUS" Western Music Society
  • "MRIDANG" Indian Dance Society
  • "TANZ" Western Dance Team
  • MH "Vatavaran" (Environmental) Society
  • Consumer Club
  • "JIGYASA" Quizzing Society
  • Garden Committee
  • "TULA" MH Consumer Club
  • "SPIC MACAY" Chapter of MH
  • SNAPSHOT Photography Club
  • "VIDYUT" Physics Society[14]

Many of Miranda House's alumni are actors, dancers, filmmakers and activists.

Women's Development Cell[edit]

There is a Women's Development Cell. A three-day certificate course on "Women and Law" in India has, over the past years, become an integral part of the college calendar. In addition, the cell organizes lectures, workshops, documentary and discussions on topical, pertinent issues.[15]

National Cadet Corps (NCC)[edit]

Miranda House NCC Company has 160 cadets, of whom 80 are enrolled in the Army wing. As per change in the NCC policy making training for two years, many second-year students can join NCC.

National Service Scheme (NSS)[edit]

NSS has two core activities: teaching the children of the support staff and the underprivileged children in the neighboring areas; and reading and recording for the visually challenged students of the college. Volunteers also participate in seminars, social campaigns and related competitions.

Sports and games[edit]

Tennis Court.

The department organizes fresher competitions in cross-country race, basketball and table tennis. Cross-country races are always for a social cause like Run for Peace, Run for Our Kargil Heroes, Plant More Trees, etc. The school provides special coaching for basketball, chess, cross-country race, softball, tennis, table tennis, track and field, volleyball and other games like cricket as per student demand. College teams participate in inter-college and open tournaments. Many students are selected to represent Delhi in the All India Inter University competitions and national-level competitions.

The college organizes an inter-college table tennis tournament for men and women. The other important date in the sports calendar is the college's Annual Sports Day.

International collaborations and exchange programmes[edit]

A team of 17 students and three faculty members from the Utrecht Business School, Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences visited the University of Delhi for an inter-cultural contact program from 19 to 23 October 2009. Miranda House and Sri Ram College of Commerce hosted this team through a week-long course on management and culture. Sixteen students from Miranda House and fifteen from Sri Ram College of Commerce participated in the program. The program was the second of a series initiated in 2008 with support from K. Sreenivas, dean of international relations at University of Delhi. It was initiated by presentations by students from each country showcasing their business and cultural environments. Students then attended a series of workshops and lectures on aspects of inter-cultural business interactions and marketing. These sessions were conducted by faculty from the Utrecht Business School as well as Delhi University.

King's College London[edit]

In 2013 King's College London opened its first international summer school in Delhi at Miranda House.[16] This includes pre-university and undergraduate level modules. The programme makes available scholarships for the best students to study at King’s College London Summer School in July and August.[17]

Students' Union[edit]

The Students' Union consists of the president, vice president, general secretary and two central councillors. These office bearers are elected by the students. The Students' Union organizes TEMPEST, the annual cultural festival of Miranda House and addresses all student-related problems.

DS Kothari Centre for Research and Innovation in Science Education[edit]

DS Kothari Centre for Research and Innovation in Science Education[18]

D S Kothari Centre for Research and Innovation in Science Education and Amstel Institute (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands) have instituted this project in collaboration.[19] The primary objective is to improve the quality of science education in schools by introducing Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools embedded in carefully designed learning environments.

The centre conducts baseline tests for undergraduate students and a prestigious 'Science Award' is given to a student from all the science departments and years on the basis of a test scores and a presentation on a contemporary and interdisciplinary topic.

Summer internships, lectures and camps have been successfully organized by the centre.


The Miranda House Library acquired its first book on 22 July 1948. In the beginning it was confined to one room. The present building was constructed under the guidance of the founder librarian P. Tandon. The foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 7 March 1973.

The new library block is a double-storeyed building consisting of deposit-counter, issue-of-books counter, stack hall, reserve section, reading hall, teachers' reading room, magazine section, and administrative section.[20]

Amba Dalmia Resource Centre for Visually Challenged Students[edit]

Miranda House is the first college to establish a computer-based resource centre to aid its visually challenged students. Work on the resource centre was initiated in 2006, with an endowment for Ms Manju Kapur Dalmia, author and member of teaching faculty at Miranda House.


In 1970 the Miss Miranda beauty contest was abolished by an overwhelming majority of students despite strong opposition by the principal and faculty members. Led by the president of the Student Union, feminist activist Madhu Kishwar, the students protested against beauty being the criterion for the contest.

During the Sikh riots in Delhi in 1984, students of Miranda House organized relief camps for the victims. Film-maker Shonali Bose, who was a student at Miranda, made the Sikh riots the subject of her film Amu.

Students protested "unreasonable curfew times" for women in 2015, in a campaign called "Break the Cage."[21]

Popular culture[edit]

Filmmaker and Miranda House alumnae Mira Nair shot scenes of her movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist, starring Riz Ahmed and Kate Hudson, at Miranda House. Shooting took place near the zoology department.

Miranda House also appears in Neeraj Pandey's Akshay Kumar starrer Special 26. Pandey needed to replicate CBI headquarters, for which the crew recommended the heritage hall at Miranda House. Scenes of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s acclaimed movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag with Farhan Akhtar in the lead were shot in MH. The introduction song "Fukrey" and most of the college sequences of the film were shot in Miranda House.[22][23]

Part of IPL season 8 advertisement was shot in the campus. Recently, a Munch ad was shot featuring Sushant Singh Rajput.

Former principals[edit]

  • Veda Thakurdas (1948–1956), the founder principal of Miranda House, she was the first woman to do MA in Mathematics from Punjab University in 1930 and a Tripos from Cambridge. Retired: 1966-67. Died: 26 February 1984.
  • S. Krishnasami (1957–1964), the principal of Maharani College, Bangalore, before coming to Miranda House. She was instrumental in starting the teaching of science courses in the college; the plan for science teaching in Miranda House was mooted during her time. She left Miranda House to take up an assignment as education advisor in Tanganyika. Died: August 1982.
  • M. Chandy (1964–1971) was teaching in the Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, before joining Miranda House as principal. During her principalship, the Indo-American Women College Exchange Programme was initiated. N.S.S. was introduced during her tenure. Died: May, 1989.
  • A. C. Janakiamma (1971–1981) joined Miranda House as a lecturer in 1948. She obtained her doctorate from London School of Economics. During her tenure as principal, the new library building was built. She was secretary of N.C.W.E.B., University of Delhi, between 1963 and 1969. Died: 20 October 1994.
  • T. S. Rukmani (1982–1993), a former student of Miranda House (1949–1954), she taught Sanskrit in I.P. College, University of Delhi, before assuming charge of Miranda House and was also the secretary of N.C.W.E.B., University of Delhi. She was awarded D. Litt. by University of Delhi. As of 2012 she held the chair of Hindu Studies at Concordia University, Montreal.
  • Kiran Datar (1993 to 2000) is an old Mirandian. Before coming to Miranda House as principal, she was teaching in J.D.M., University of Delhi. She did M.A. in History from University of Delhi and was a Fulbright Fellow of the University of Washington, U.S.A. She obtained her Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has been a recipient of Dorothy Lee Grant and was awarded Mahila Shiromani Award in 1994 for excellence in a chosen field of activity (Education).

Placement cell[edit]

The placement cell of the college consists of faculty members and student volunteers. The Placement Cell coordinates the activities of career counseling and campus recruitment. The reputation of the college and the credibility of its teaching programmes aids the process of placements. Every year, MH is visited by a very large number of companies and potential employers.

Some of the recruiters include Standard Chartered Bank, Indian Express, Google, Ernst&Young, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, Essar Group, Max New York Life Insurance Company, Jaypee Group, Blackstone Group, Absolutdata Research and Analytics Pvt Ltd., Star India, Thomsondigital, Oxford University Press, AC Neilson ORG-MARG PVT. LTD., IBM Daksh Business Process Services Pvt.Ltd., Teamleaseservices Pvt. Ltd., Zee Telefilm Limited, Wipro BPO, HP Ltd., Star News, Pulse Media Pvt. Ltd., NP Solutions Pvt. Ltd., HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, Triumph Institute of Management Education, Indigo Airlines, Dorling Kindersley (DK), Grail Research, Sahara Services Ltd., Agro Tech. Food Ltd, Virgin Mobile, DBS Bank Ltd., Barclays Shared Services Pvt Ltd., GENPACT, Wipro Technologies, Narang Medical Ltd., DHL Express(India) Pvt. Ltd., Indian Air Force, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Progeon, ITC Welcome Group, Keane Ltd., Max Healthcare, Mind Works Global Media Services Cadila Smart Analyst, Hewitt Associate, Capital IQ, Pipal Research, McKinsey, HCL Technologies Limited, Achievers Recruitment Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Quantum Market Research Pvt. Ltd., Kotak Mahindra Bank, E TV, M TV, Pantheon Advisory (India) Pvt. Ltd., Executive Access Moolchand Hospital, Evalueserve.com Pvt. Ltd., TRAC Skills, Vangelz Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Infosys, SAIPEM Triune Engineering Pvt. Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services.

Notable alumnae[edit]

Logo of MH Alumnae Association

Miranda House is the alma mater of a number of eminent women who have excelled themselves in diverse professions. A few are listed below.[24][24]

  • Aditi Phadnis (political journalist)
  • Anita Desai (author)
  • Arti Mehra (mayor of Delhi)
  • Anita Pratap (TV and print journalist)
  • Amita Dhanda (legal academic and disability activist)
  • Amita Kapur (trustee, Child Rights and You)
  • Anita Kaul Basu (media personality)
  • Annapurni Shastri (educationist and principal, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Nagpur)
  • Anuradha Kapoor (director, National School of Drama)
  • Ashima Anand (researcher)
  • Anjolie Ela Menon (artist)
  • Anupa Lal (children's book writer)
  • Aruna Bhattacharya (educationist)
  • Aruna Vasudev (film critic)
  • Anuja Chauhan (author)
  • Bimla Nanda Bissell (founder, FabIndia)
  • Bina Agarwal (educationist)
  • Bhaswati Mukerji (diplomat)
  • Bhavanesh Kumari (lawyer, Arjuna Award laureate)
  • Brinda Karat (Political Leader)
  • Champak Basu (Writer)
  • Charusija Mathur (Manipuri Dancer)
  • Dr.Chandrakanta K. Mathur (Educationist, writer, media expert)
  • Deepali Chandra (Educationist)
  • Gaiti Hasan (Scientist)
  • Geeta Kapur (Art Critic)
  • Ghazala Amin (Educationist and Media Personality)
  • Gurinder Harnam Singh (Classical Vocalist)
  • Hema Singh (Theatre Personality)
  • Indira Rajaraman (Professor Emeritus, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy)
  • Indrani Dasgupta (Model)
  • Jasleen Dhamija (born 1933), textile historian[25]
  • Jayati Ghosh (Educationist)
  • Jalabala Vaidya (Stage Actress)
  • Jaya Jaitley (Political Leader)
  • Ketaki Sood (Interior Designer)
  • Kiran Datar (Educationist)
  • Kiran Prem Aggarwal (Bureaucrat)
  • Kamala Menon (Principal, Mirambika Free Progress School)
  • Kanchan Chopra (Director, Institute of Economic Growth)
  • Kanuru Sujatha Rao (Former Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)
  • Kirti Jain (Theatre Personality)
  • Kusum Gopal (UN Technical Expert)
  • Kusum Haidar (Stage Actress)
  • Kusum Prasad (Bureaucrat)
  • Lalitha Venkateswaran (Writer)
  • Lalita Tripathy (HR Consultant)
  • Lotika Varadarajan (Historian)
  • Minissha Lamba (Actress)
  • Madhu Kishwar (Social Activist)
  • Madhur Jaffrey (Actress, author of cookbooks)
  • Mallika Sherawat (Actress and model)
  • Meera Damji (Radio Jockey, Radio Mirchi Mumbai)
  • Meira Kumar (first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha & Member of Parliament, India)
  • Mira Nair (film maker)
  • Mouni Roy (Television Actress)
  • Nandita Das (actress)
  • Nalini Singh (Journalist and MD, TV Live India (P) Ltd.)
  • Nilima Shaikh (Painter)
  • Nina Sibal (Diplomat and writer of fiction)
  • Nisha Sahai Achuthan (Ex-Civil Servant, Ex-Member Secretary, National Commission for Women, Academic and Activist)
  • Pragya Chawla (McGill University, Canada)
  • Radhika Roy (Managing Director, NDTV)
  • Rajni Palriwal (Educationist)
  • Rami Chhabra (journalist)
  • Rashmi Bajpai (Classical Dancer)
  • Rati Pandey (TV actress)
  • Reema Banerjee (Educationist)
  • Reena Mohan (Film-maker)
  • Rekha Khosla (Retired Director, India Tourism, Ministry of Tourism)
  • Renu Karnad (Executive Director, HDFC Bank)
  • Rita Wilson (Educationist)
  • Ritu Menon (Writer and Social Activist)
  • Ritu Sethi (Founder Trustee, NGO Craft Revival Trust)
  • Rita Payne (BBC World, Asia Editor, London)
  • Ritu Sarin (Film-maker)
  • Rohini Nayyar (Adviser (Rural Development), Planning Commission)
  • Romola Butalia (journalist, author)
  • Rubina Khan (Bureau Chief, NDTV)
  • Ruchi Sadana(Teacher)
  • Rukmani, T.S. (Educationist)
  • Ruth Vanita (Author and editor)
  • Sayema Ahmed ( Educationist)
  • Sheila Dikshit(politician and former Chief Minister of Delhi)
  • Shabnam Dutta (broadcaster)
  • Shakti Mohan (performer)
  • Shilpa Shukla (Actress)
  • Shobhana Bhartiya (Corporate - Media)
  • Shonali Bose (Film-maker)
  • Shovana Narayan (Kathak dancer, Indian government officer, awarded Padma Shri)
  • Shyamala Pappu (Lawyer)
  • Sneh Lata Kaur (Princess of a former Princely state)
  • Subhadra Desai (Classical Vocalist)
  • Syeda Saiyadin Hameed (Member, Planning Commission of India)
  • Suman Kumar (Principal, Bluebells School International)
  • Shaila Mathai (Advertising)
  • Saroj Vasishth (Author)
  • Shaila Haider (Lawyer)
  • Shailaja Chandra (Bureaucrat)
  • Shama Zaidi (Cinema, Television)
  • Sonali Chowdhry (Rhodes Scholar 2015)
  • Sujata Madhok (activist and journalist)
  • Swargajyoti Gohain (Professor, IIT Kanpur)[26]
  • Syeda Saiyidain Hameed (Member of the Planning Commission, awarded Padma Shri)
  • Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee (Vice Chairperson, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti)
  • Urvashi Butalia (Feminist and historian)
  • Usha Malik (Ex-Secretary, Sangeet Natak Academy)
  • Dr.Vijayalakshmi Subramaniam(Carnatic Vocalist)
  • Vineeta Rai (Ex-Revenue Secretary)
  • Zohra Chatterji (Bureaucrat)


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External links[edit]