Fergusson College Deccan Education Societys

Fergusson College Deccan Education Societys
City Pune, Maharashtra, India
Phone 020-25654212
Email [email protected]
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    Fergusson College was established in 1885. Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak was one of the founders of the College along with Pandit Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, Principal Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and Madhavrao Namjoshi. In 1884, when the Government allowed private enterprise in the field of education, the four formed the Deccan Education Society (DES). The college is named after the first patron of the Deccan Education Society Sir James Fergusson (Governor of Bombay 1880-1885). The college has expanded rapidly, aided by contributions from the princes of Deccan, Kolhapur, Sangli, Janjira and Miraj and the public. Set amidst wide open spaces surrounded by greenery, the old stone structures of the college are a reminder of its glorious past. Fergusson College has succeeded in retaining the spirit of free intellectual inquiry. The college has had a share in moulding national history.

    With the end of the East India Company’s regime in India and the failure of the first armed uprising in 1857, for India’s freedom, a new era dawned in our country. It was clear that the emancipation of our land and the transformation of the life of our people had to be brought about by peaceful and constitutional means. Indian renaissance had began and it heralded the role which education needed to play to achieve national aspirations. Wood’s Education Despatch (1854), the Education Commission of 1882 and the Hunter Commission (1891), were all indicative of the concerted efforts, of both the Government and the Indian people, in the enterprise of education. The Founders of the Fergusson College had first started the New English School, Pune in 1880 and later established the Deccan Education Society (DES) in 1884.

    This was followed by the bold step to start the first ever privately managed college in India, on the 2nd January 1885, naming it as the Fergusson College. The name was given in appreciation of the support of Sir James Fergusson, the then Governor of Bombay Province and also the first Patron of the DES. Principal William Wordsworth, the grandson of the famous poet, was the master of the ceremonies at the inaugural function of the college. Thus, the Fergusson College bridged the gulf between the great city of London and Poona, the city of the Peshwas and on this occasion Sir Fergusson wished God’s blessings on this new venture. The college received affiliation of the University of Bombay and began its onward march in higher education with the opening of the Arts classes, followed in 1892, with the science classes.

    The college held these classes, for almost ten years, in the old Gadre Wada and other locations in Poona. A plot of about 37 acres (a portion of the present extensive campus) was acquired on a 99 years’ lease in 1891 by the DES. The foundation stone of the Main building of the Fergusson College, was laid in 1892 and the building was completed in 1895. The college started functioning on this campus in 1895. From then onwards, the college has grown from strength to strength and acquired a reputation as a nation-building institution. It has a place of pride in the hearts of the people, as a historical monument and a symbol of the country’s freedom struggle. While the founders Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi and Vaman Shivram Apte have become legends, in the history of education and the freedom struggle in India, it is a matter of great significance, that the college received active and moral support from academicians and statesmen, such as Principal William Wordsworth, Principal F. G. Selby, Lord Rippon, Sir William Wedderburn and Sir James Fergusson.Fergusson College was intended to be, “the seminary of the Indian educational missionaries”. Justice Mahadeo Govind Ranade, the wisest protagonist of liberalism and secular political ethos, emerging in Indian Society, described the opening of Fergusson College as having, “unquestionably a great political importance as well”. The truth of this statement is evidenced by the fact that the Fergusson College has produced great political leaders, such as the former-Prime Ministers P. V. Narasimhrao and V. P. Singh, former-Chief Minister Babubhai Patel, former-Minister of Information and Broadcasting Barrister V. N. Gadgil; Acharya Kripalani, Veer Savarkar and S. M. Joshi. Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who was described by Mahatma Gandhi, as his political guru and mentor, gave a distinctive touch to the Fergusson College. In his address delivered at the time of laying of the corner stone of the New English School and the Fergusson college building, on the 5th March 1885, Sir James Fergusson declared that the opening of the College was more a national than a local undertaking. He said, “… that this institution has developed is due to the self-denying patriotism, which actuated the teachers of the college. True patriots are they and well worthy of all the praise that can be given to them.” All through its 122 years of a shrine–like existence, the Fergusson college has given to the country, from among its alumni, great patriots, thinkers, philosophers, poets, writers, teachers, social workers, scientists, industrialists, entrepreneurs, researchers, administrators and defense officers. There is no walk of life that has not basked in the sun of the Fergussonian spirit.In keeping with its eminent standing in the educational field, some of its teachers and students have brought laurels to the college, by being appointed as Vice Chancellors of Pune and other Universities. Notable amongst these are:

    The college was thus, a fruit of the Renaissance that swept over the land from the beginning of the cultural and intellectual contact with the West. To quote from the Platinum Jubilee Address of the then President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1960): “The Fergusson College was established at a time when the attitude of the Indian masses towards higher education of the western type was yet in a formative stage and when facilities for such education for the generality of Indian students were inadequate. Apart from the colleges sponsored and run by Government and Christian Missions, there were few institutions, imparting higher education, managed by private or non-official bodies. The importance of the Deccan Education Society lay in the fact that a devoted band of workers came forward at such a crucial time with a determination to set up educational institutions to make best of the western education under Indian conditions available to the people of this country. It was an enterprise, which benefited the Nation without offending or alienating the then rulers of India. Fergusson College is the foremost fruit of that effort.” The Fergusson College completed 50 years in January 1935 and Sir C. V. Raman, the only Indian recipient of the prestigious Nobel Award in science, was the President of the Golden Jubilee function. He spoke in glowing terms of the place of the Fergusson college, in the history of our land, as quoted in his speech- “ … … Standing here today, I feel that history has been written in Poona- history of self-help, history of self-reliance, history of great and constructive national effort- that history has been written in Poona, has been written on this very spot … … ”. Mahatma Gandhi, in his message to Principal Dr. Mahajani on this occasion, wrote, “Who will fail to be enthused over the noble record of the service rendered by the D. E. Society and the Fergusson College to the cause of education?” The Diamond Jubilee of the Fergusson college was celebrated in 1945 and Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, the veteran liberal leader of India, graced the occasion as the President of the function. Our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, expressed his feelings of the college in his message on this occasion: “ … … With the ideal of selfless service, they have sent out famous and many other non-famous, but nonetheless good workers for India’s freedom and progress. On this occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of the college, I join with the innumerable other persons to wish you ever larger opportunity of training the youth of India and of preparing true citizens of free India”.

    The Platinum Jubilee (‘Amrut Mahotsav’) was celebrated in 1960 in glittering fashion with Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India, doing the honors as the President of the function. This was the second visit of Dr. Rajendra Prasad to Fergusson College, the first one being in 1954. In his speech, he said that in his first meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1917, the Fergusson College was referred to by Gandhiji as a role model for other colleges. The 90th Anniversary of the college was celebrated in 1976 under the presidentship of Shri Y. B. Chavan, the then Minister of External Affairs, Government of India. In his presidential address, he showered words of praise for the great service rendered by Fergusson College to the country. In his speech, he said, “I am proud to be Rajaramian, but regret that I am not a Fergussonian”. The Centenary of the college was celebrated on 1st June 1985. Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, said in his speech on the occasion, “Fergusson College symbolizes India coming into the 20th century, symbolizes a new education system being brought in, into our country. In a way, it has built into a genesis of our freedom struggle”. He referred to Fergusson College as a pocket of excellence producing individuals who can rise to the levels unheard of and unbelievable. On this occasion, Shri P. V. Narasimhrao, former Prime Minister of India paid great tributes to the college in the following words: “This college, born like a twin of the Indian National Congress, has always kept abreast of the country’s history. It has produced political leaders of all hues of the political spectrum including ultras and infras, if I may say so, administrators, eminent scholars, researchers, writers, sportsmen and many other categories of celebrities, which any country can be proud of ”

    The founders of the DES and of the Fergusson College, were more than convinced, of the need for the spread of western knowledge, as an urgent need of Indian Society, to bring about social reforms and as a potent instrument for national regeneration.

    The emphasis of the founders on ‘knowledge’, is aptly reflected in the college emblem, which bears the inscription, ‘Knowledge is Power’. The ‘Garuda’ (the Eagle) in this emblem, symbolizes the youth, soaring with the power of knowledge, into a vast sky of challenges and opportunities.

    Fergusson College,
    F.C. Road,
    Pune 411004

    Email: [email protected]

    Phone: 020-25654212


    Fergusson College Deccan Education Societys offers various graduate courses as well as Post Graduate courses.

    Bachelors Degree Courses

    Bachelor of Arts (BA)

    Fergusson College - Deccan Education Societys offers 3 Years Full Time Bachelors Degree in Bachelor of Arts (BA)

    View Details Duration: 3 Years    Learning Mode: Full Time    Course Level: Bachelors Degree

    Bachelor of Science (BSc)

    Fergusson College - Deccan Education Societys offers 3 Years Full Time Bachelors Degree in Bachelor of Science (B.Sc)

    View Details Duration: 3 Years    Learning Mode: Full Time    Course Level: Bachelors Degree
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    List of facilities available at Fergusson College Deccan Education Societys for students.

    • wifi
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    • Sports
    • Transportation
    • Hostels
    • Healthcare
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    • Cafeteria
    • Computer Labs
    • Auditorium - Auditorium
    • Auditoria - Auditoria
    • Entrance of College - Entrance of College
      Entrance of College
    • Gymnasium for Boys - Gymnasium for Boys
      Gymnasium for Boys
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      Fergusson College Deccan Education Societys

      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.