The Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth
is a deemed and chartered university
located in the city of Varanasi
, in the Indian
state of Uttar Pradesh
. Formerly known as the Kashi Vidyapeeth
, it was re-dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi
, the leader of the Indian independence movement
Inspired by Gandhi's call for self-reliance and Swaraj
), the Kashi Vidyapeeth was the first modern university organised by Indians in British India
. The university, along with contemporaries such as the Jamia Millia Islamia
and the Gujarat Vidyapith
were outside the control and support of British authorities, supported and managed entirely by Indian nationalists and educationalists. Gandhi and Indian nationalists encouraged Indians to boycott British-run institutions in favour of institutions managed entirely by Indians.
The Kashi Vidyapeeth was founded in 1920 by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta, a nationalist and educationalist. It was founded in the city of Varanasi, one of the holiest cities for India's Hindus. Attracting young Indians from across the country, its faculty included prominent nationalists and scholars such as Acharya Narendra Dev, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jivatram Kripalani, Babu Shriprakash and Babu Sampurnanand. Many prominent Indian industrialists and politicians provided financial and administrative support to the university.
Philosophy and curriculum
The Kashi Vidyapeeth began as institution organised around Indian culture and values. Centred on Gandhism
, the university encouraged the values of self-reliance, self-sufficiency and enlightenment to its students. Its faculty and student body actively strove to eradicate the culture of caste
-based, gender and religious discrimination that existed in many parts of India, promoting equal opportunity for all students. Students were inculcated with a passion to serve India's poor, indigent and depressed classes. The university was also a hotbed for nationalist activities throughout India's struggle for freedom.
The university focused on teaching with Hindi as the medium of instruction. The university stressed social sciences, Indian history and cultural subjects, but also offered courses and programmes for business and commerce studies, fine arts, journalism, law and sciences. In recent times, the university has further diversified and modernised its educational programme and curriculum to offer degrees and courses in technical fields.
The Kashi Vidyapeeth enjoyed a "deemed university" status from 1963 to 1974, following which it was raised to a chartered university status. The university is governed under the Ministry of Education of India. It maintains a semi-autonomous structure, with a Dean
as head of the institution. The structure of the university was modernised after India's independence into departments and faculty groups: