The origin of Banasthali is unique in more ways than one. To realize a dream which he had cherished since his boyhood, Pandit Hiralal Shastri resigned his prestigious post of Secretary in the Home and Foreign Department in the erstwhile Jaipur State in 1927 and selected the remote village of Banthali (as Banasthali was originally called) as the centre of his life’s work. His plan was to organize a programme of rural reconstruction on the lines laid down by Gandhiji and also to train public workers through constructive service of the people.
While so engaged in his work Shastriji also wanted to train his promising daughter Shantabai as a social worker dedicated to the cause of women’s upliftment. But destiny ordained otherwise. All of a sudden, after a brief illness of a day, Shantabai bade farewell to Banasthali on 25th April, 1935 at the tender age of only 12 years. The loss seemed irreparable at the moment, but soon the mood of despondency gave way to a new hope. If one Shantabai had departed there were others who could be trained likewise. This idea gave solace and opened the path of action.
To complete the unfurnished task of his daughter, the Shri Shantabai Shiksha Kutir was started in October 1935 in the mud huts provided by the Jiwan Kutir, with about half-a-dozen girls.
The name ‘Banasthali Vidyapith’ was adopted only in 1943. This also happened to be the year when undergraduate courses were first introduced. The institution was granted the status of a deemed university in 1983 by the UGC. Prof. Sushila Vyas , the first student of Banasthali Vidyapith was appointed the first Director of Vidyapith. The UGC committee which recommended the conferment of University status on the institution kept the following points in mind: (i) the institution has a definite and viable programme for restructuring its courses at the undergraduate level and was eager to carry out various measures to make education more meaningful and practical, (ii) it provides opportunities to its students to develop their personalities, and (iii) it inculcates spiritual and moral values in the students through various activities, emphasizing character-building and simple life. With its autonomous status, the institute could now experiment, innovate and formulate its own curriculum and other activities.
Still under the tutelage of the Shastri family, Banasthali Vidyapith has grown from school catering to only 6 students to a full-fledged educational programme, aimed at all round development of the student’s personality. At present, it is the only residential campus in the country that provides education to girls from the pre-primary stage up to the Doctoral level ( Date-Line of growth of Banasthali Vidyapith ) Recently Banasthali Vidyapith has been accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with ‘A’ Grade (Five star Rating).
Vision & Mission
The concept of Banasthali took form in an ethos of dedication to the nation. It also had before it a vision of Indian Culture. Therefore Banasthali's whole architecture stands upon the twin foundation pillars of Nationalism and Indian Culture.While the Banasthali University was very clear about the perspective in which its educational efforts were to be made, it did not have a clear picture of the form and pattern of educational programme which was to be adopted, except that it should be able to promote development of a balanced and harmonious personality of the students and so should be different from the form of education prevalent at that time which emphasized book learning to utter neglect of all other aspects of education.
The Banasthali Universities aim of a full and balanced development of students' personality got concrete expression in the form of 'Panchmukhi Shiksha' which evolved out of initial experimentation. ' Panchmukhi Shiksha ' attempts a balance of the five aspects of education, namely Physical, Practical, Aesthetic, Moral and Intellectual. The Banasthali University aims at the synthesis of spiritual values and scientific achievements of the East and the West. Its educational programme is based on the concept of " Panchmukhi Shiksha " and aims at all round harmonious development of personality. Emphasis on Indian culture and thought and simple living including khadi wearing are hallmarks of life at Banasthali.
Banasthali University, Jaipur has 23 Departments listed that offer various academic courses.
Scholarships are grant-in-aid to a student who wants to pursue education at Banasthali University, Jaipur