Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai

Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai
City Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Established 1886
Affiliated to Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU), Nagpur
Phone 022-24130162
Fax 022-24172301
Email [email protected]
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Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai was established in the year 1886, Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai is affiliated to Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU), Nagpur

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    In the early days the city of Greater Bombay the seat of Bombay Veterinary College comprised of seven islands, viz. Colaba, Bombaim, Mazgaon, Varel (Worli), Varella (Wadala), Syva (Sion) and Mahim. These islands were on the outskirts of the dominions ruled by successive dynasties of Western India such as Mauryas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas. In Maurya and Chalukya periods (450 A.D. to 750 A.D.), the city of Puri on Elephanta island was a principal harbour near Bombay group of islands. Besides these passing references to Bombay, little is found in the recorded history of this harbour in the first milinia of Christian Era. The N.M.Petit Gateway to Hospital and CollegeBombay became the main harbour on western coast through which import of horses took place in those days. It was also the seat of the Governor of Bombay Presidency. The Governor's residence was the present site of Haffkine Institute, Parel, a stones throw distance from the Bombay Veterinary College" with parapharnelia of horse drawn buggy and mounted guards. Today the traces of these historical landmarks are hardly recognizable with expansion of city overflowing the hinterland. Bombay Veterinary College, the first institute of the kind, was at the time of its establishment at Parel was located in the premises of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in the northern outskirts of the city. Now with the considerable increase in the size of the city, the islands have merged and the Bombay Veterinary College has come to occupy the centre of the city.

    The distinction between the art of veterinary doctoring and the Science of Veterinary Medicine is subtle. In the earlier days the Veterinary doctoring was done by people as an art with love', faith, direction and driving desire. It was achieved with apprenticeship and this experience was practiced without any training thereafter. This branch therefore developed as a science by acquiring knowledge of base (core) subject's and accumulation of clinical experience together with laboratory diagnostic aids. The basis of veterinary education underwent metamorphosis and in Europe founding of institutes with scientific rational outlook started at the dawn of Eighteenth Century.
    HASTYA-AYURVEDA" a work on husbandry and diseases of elephants, and 'ASHVA-PARIKSHA' a work on husbandry and diseases of horses both in Sanskrit exist though it is not known as to when these were first written. The modern veterinary practice in India is traceable to the period when Moghul and Maratha Empires were subjugated. East India Company, after virtually eclipsing the Moghul Empire in the North and Maratha Empire in the Deccan in the latter half of the eighteenth century, settled down to govern and administer the country. In order to meet their remount needs some horse breeding farms were started in 1774 under the Army establishment. But due to rampant prevalence of equine diseases the outcome was dismaying. In 1788 Joseph Earles got Sanskrit work on Horse Management and Diseases translated into English and worked in consonance with it. Similar treatise was published by Pigott in Calcutta shortly afterwards.

    The army authorities were extremely exasparated over the knotty problem of equine malady in 1793. Surprisingly there was not a single trained individual present in India who could doctor the horses. There were only two such trained persons in Great Britain whose help could be sought for. The idea of finding native talent for this work was unthinkable to the conquerors of the land. Had the local talent been tapped at that time, it would have certainly changed the course for the profession in India. It was not until 1799 that the services of a few Veterinarians could be secured for the British army in India but very little is known as to their background training and as to what they were able to do professionally.William Moorcroft, however, stands out as a distinguished figure in this regard. After his medical career at the Liverpool Infirmary he received training at the Veterinary School at Lyons. He left a profound impression in the Veterinary field and refused headship at the London Veterinary School as he could not leave his profitable Veterinary practice. In 16 years, after his early resignation from the joint professorship with Coleman, he made a fortune for himself and later accepted an invitation from the East India Company in 1808 to become the Superintendent of their stud in Bengal on a salary of £ 3000/- a year.
    He diagnosed Bursati and recorded that it was prevalent in Pusa (Bihar.). He also drew pointed attention to Glanders, Strangles, Paraplegia and Anthrax He either originated or very well knew the well known operation of neurectomy and stated that it should be performed only as a last resort. He investigated Glanders in India and his concepts were more developed than those of his contemporaries. He also described the parasitic aneurysm of the mesenteric artery.

    Under his superintendence in a short time the losses due to diseases in the farms were reduced by 90%. The introduction of Oat as a crop in India for feeding horses also helped. Moorcroft introduced a system of co-operative breeding with native stud farms resulting in improvement of progeny over the imported Company horses. It was in 1866, because of the unprecedented famine in Bengal and Orissa, a policy of having a special department to watch over the interests of agriculture and livestock was first mooted out. Lord Lawrence, the then Governor General, however, thought the step was premature.In 1882, a despatch No. 21 dated 20th April, 1882 was promulgated by Lord Harington, Secretary of State for India urging that the then newly constituted Department of Agriculture should give early and very careful attention to the subject of cattle diseases and that comprehensive measures should be taken in co-operation with provincial Governments to deal with it.This set in motion an idea for the formation of Civil Veterinary Department. A committee was organized at Calcutta in 1883 which recommended the formation of a Civil Veterinary Department for the entire country.

    Col. J.H.B. Hallen who was appointed President of the Indian Cattle Plague Commission worked with an outstanding zeal. His pioneering work stimulated interest in Veterinary work and several officers actively participated in investigating various obscure diseases e.g. Bursati, Lichen tropicus, calcarious nodules in internal organs of debilitated horses, Anthrax, worm infection and paraplegia. Kumri received considerable attention from several workers including Queripel and Fredrick Smith (later made Knight). The most outstanding scientific discovery of the time was the demonstration in 1881 by Griffith Evans, of Trypanosoma evansi, the causative agent of equine Surra. This discovery was important not only for India where Surra was a very troublesome condition to deal with, but also for the progress of scientific research in general by opening up the study of other protozoan diseases of both man and animals.

    It is very interesting to recall here that Col. Hallen, President, Cattle Plague Commission recommended establishment of a Veterinary College each at Bombay, Lahore and Rangoon. Government of Bombay was quite alert to this recommendation. In their resolution No. 4002 of 1883 Revenue Department, Government of Bombay, stated "It is difficult to Overrate the importance of agriculture and agricultural stock in India and seeing that the value of agricultural cattle which perish from plague and other epidemic diseases in India is calculated at £6,000,000 sterling per annum (1883), it is obvious that any measure which would tend to check this great mortality and heavy loss by increasing the knowledge of the nature and remedies for various diseases which attack cattle and provide a class of persons competent to treat scientifically the different maladies to which cattle are subject would prove of immense advantage to the State and to the innumerable owners of livestock comprising the mass of the cultivators".

    Thus the process of establishment of a Veterinary College on modern concepts and imparting instructions in English medium was started. The Bombay Veterinary College was inaugurated on 2nd August; 1886 with Prof. J. H. Steel, B.Sc . F.R.C.V.S., a person with experience and dynamism as its first principal. Principal J. H. Steel can be considered as the father of modern Veterinary education in India. He also can be called the father of modern Veterinary Journalism.

    The Bombay Veterinary College was initially housed in the vast compound of Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals, Parel, Bombay which was established in 1883 by Sir D. M. Petit Baronet. Prof. J. H. Steel was assisted by three Indian Medical Officers and an European Farrier to conduct the teaching. But when trained Veterinary graduates became available in 1889, two of them, Prof. N. D. Dhakmarvala and Prof. Nariman were taken on the college staff and the medical officers were transferred.

    Principal J. H. Steel, in his annual reports during the four years he presided over the college, outlined his ambitious ideas for the future development of the college. He reported "The average amount of knowledge conveyed to our students before they become practitioners will equal that given in theFirst Batch Of Veterinary Students 1886 British school. Our best men may not be equal to the best European graduates but they will not fall far short and the shortcoming, if any will disappear in time with further development of the college". Indeed Principal. Steel in his comprehensive reports also dealt with other aspects such as affiliation of the college to that local university and the minimum admission standard. In his annual administration report (1888) he states " It is confidently expected that in a very few years it (Bombay Veterinary College) would be affiliated to the Bombay University and the time will have arrived when admission may be refused to non-matriculates ".

    On establishing the college in Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals, certain buildings belonging to the Hospital were handed over to the Government for the use of the college. The large central Main College Building 1908bungalow was utilized as the college building with certain alterations and additions such as two large lecture rooms, a library, a museum, pharmacy, office rooms for the Principal and Professors and quarters for the Resident Veterinary Officer. The curricular teaching and the clinical work of the hospital was placed in the hands of the Principal and the Faculty while general management of Hospital and patients was undertaken by the Secretary, S. P. C. A. Bombay.

    Pathology laboratory 1891This dual control system worked for some time but later on due to certain religious sentiments of Jain-Hindu members of the S. P. C. A. post-mortem and dissection of animals which are the aids in diagnosis and advancement of the science could not be performed in the S. P. C. A. Hospital compound. The Government of Bombay therefore, constructed a post-mortem room and the dissection hall outside the Hospital compound but in its vicinity. Other buildings such as students' hostels, shoeing forge were added from time to time. A three storied building with Roman gothic architecture, called Patho-Bacteriological Laboratory was built by Sir D. M. Petit and handed over to the Government in 1891. A Lazaretto for animals suffering from contagious diseases and an incinerator were constructed. New college building - a prototype of I. V. R. I. building Mukteshwar was built by the Government in the compound adjoining S. P. C. A. Hospital in 1908. A hostel building was also added in 1921.

    For quite a long time Bombay Veterinary College supplied fully qualified veterinary graduates and practitioners to all parts of India and neighbouring countries. It also filled the gap that existed between the few European Veterinary Surgeons and quite numerous but inadequately trained local personnel for veterinary job, called "Salutris", who occupied a position in Veterinary profession similar to that of Sub-Assistant Surgeons in Medical Department. It may be noted that the word "Salutri " is derived from the Sanskrit word "Saluhotra" who was a renowned Veterinarian of the ancient India. The band of newly educated Veterinarians coming out of Bombay Veterinary College did yeoman service to veterinary education, research and extension and through it to the land and people of India. What Veterinary Scientific work is seen in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, East Africa today is due to these graduates who have spread far and wide. This continued until Veterinary Colleges at Lahore and Rangoon began to give instructions in English and other colleges were opened at Calcutta. Madras and Patna giving equivalent training. Bombay veterinary College, therefore, get's the credit of taking the initiative in this movement of Veterinary education and research and this college has therefore, been rightly styled as "The PIONEER" of modern veterinary education in India.
    The renowned Bombay Veterinary College diploma, instituted by Prof. J. H. Steel hardly operated for 5 years. The Professor's demise in 1891 and the Government, disregarding Prof. Steel's vision and expert opinion, modified and simplified the course and clubbed it in 3 years. Not withstanding the modification and axing, the course at Bombay Veterinary College remained at the highest standard of veterinary education in India for many years.The two stalwarts, Lt. Col. J. Brodie Mills, and Major F. Joslen worked in the footsteps of the Founder. They were also professors of talent and brought out books and booklets especially regarding the Cattle Students` Hostel 1908Wealth of India. Frank Ware writes about his impressions of 1907 as follows. "I met different members of the staff of Bombay Veterinary College who were to be my colleagues for next two years. Col. J. Brodie MiIls, Permanent Principal was on leave and Col. Joslen was acting for him. Other members of the staff were Khan Saheb Dhakmarvala, Messers Sowerby, Vakharia and Sheikh, Rao Bahadur, B. K. Badami was the very energetic House Surgeon. The Principal showing me round remarked that one of the first things I should do was to make a close Study of the different breeds of Indian Cattle of which there was always a good selection in Bombay city. Looking back on that remark of Col. Joslen, I have often thought how far sighted it was and how pregnant with possibilities for the future, if one had been able at that time to take the advantage of it".

    Bombay Veterinary Science College

    Telephone: 022-24130162,

    Fax: 022-24172301

    Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai offers various graduate courses as well as Post Graduate courses.

    Bachelors Degree Courses

    Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)

    Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai offers Full Time Bachelors Degree in Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)

    View Details Duration: 5 Years    Learning Mode: Full Time    Course Level: Bachelors Degree

    Masters Degree Courses

    Master of Veterinary Science (MVSc)

    Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai offers 2 Years Full Time Masters Degree in Master of Veterinary Science (MVSc)

    View Details Duration: 2 Years    Learning Mode: Full Time    Course Level: Masters Degree
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    Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai is affiliated to Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU), Nagpur.

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    Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai is affiliated to Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU), Nagpur. Browse Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU), Nagpur Time Tables


    List of facilities available at Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai for students.

    • wifi
    • Library
    • Sports
    • Transportation
    • Hostels
    • Healthcare
    • Internet
    • Cafeteria
    • Computer Labs

        Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai

        Generations of past students, both male and female, are proud to be known and enjoy maintaining their connection with the college and each other. Please write to [email protected] with link of existing almuni group, or request for creation of group.