Fergusson College (FC) is one of the well known colleges in India and is situated in the western city of Pune. Consistently ranked among the top 10 colleges of the country, FC has a huge legacy behind its name. Built in 1885, the college was named after its first patron, Sir James Fergusson, the governor of Bombay province, who donated a then princely sum of Rs 1,200. The college is now under the jurisdiction of University of Pune.
The college is the third oldest college in Pune (after the College of Engineering, Pune and the Deccan college) and is the first Science and Fine Arts college in Pune. Apart from its renowned Bsc courses, today Fergusson College is also regarded as one of the foremost institutions offering BA degrees in Economics, Mathematics and Psychology among other specialized subjects. Because the college was founded before the onset of urban sprawl in Pune, Fergusson College boasts a beautiful tree-lined campus with smooth rolling hills.
After the Revolt of 1857
, Indian luminaries of that period saw a pressing need to modernise its education system to fight against British
imperialism. Stalwarts in the Indian independence movements
such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak
, Vishnushastri Chiplunkar
, G G Agarkar
and Mahadev Namjoshi
put their collective efforts into the formation of a modern school for Indians. The result was The New English School in 1857
. Boosted by its success, the Deccan Education Society was formed in 1884
and a year later the Fergusson College was started. The land was donated for Rupee 1 on a 99 year lease by Shirole, the erstwhile Patil of Bhamburde (Shivaji Nagar). The college was inaugurated by William Wordsworth, the grandson of the poet William Wordsworth
and principal of Bombay
's Elphinstone College
. Other stalwarts such as R G Bhandarkar
and M G Ranade
played an important part in the construction of the college.
The British allowed the college to remain autonomous, giving it a free hand in education. The college on its part maintained a completely apolitical stance, choosing to rescind itself of politics, a policy that continues up to this day.
Dr. V. M. Bachal former principal of the college is at present writing the history of Fergusson College. This history will be published in 2 volumes the first of which is expected to be ready by January 2009
The main sections of the college include the Main Building, the Amphitheatre, the Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Zoology, Electronics and Economics Departments, the Wrangler
R.P. Paranjpye building (old Computer Science dept & Mathematics), the Gymkhana, the Canteen and its latest addition, the New Academic Complex.
One more famous feature of Fergusson College is "Kimaya", a popular student hangout built just behind the library. It is shaped like a house of cards, with V-shaped walls on all four sides.Its objective is to inspire students' creativity during free times
Awards, Recognitions and Rankings
In 2004, Fergusson College was awarded an 'A' grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)
The College also received the "Best College Award" amongst the colleges affiliated to the University of Pune in the academic year 2004-2005.
The college has produced illustrious alumni. A partial list is given below:
- Pandit Chandrakant Sardeshmukh - Renowned Sitar Player
- PV Narasimha Rao - Ex- Prime Minister of India
- V P Singh - Ex- Prime Minister of India
- Acharya Atre- Humourist, Playwright
- Wranglar Chandratre
- Vitthal Ramji Shinde
- Ram Ganesh Gadkari
- Veer Savarkar - Revolutionary
- S M Joshi
- Nandini Nimbkar - President Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute
- Acharya Kriplani
- D. R. Kaprekar - Mathematician
- Dattatreya Gopal Karve - Economist
- Nanasaheb Gore
- P L Deshpande - Humourist, Playwright, Actor
- Vasant Kanetkar - Playwright
- Smita Patil - Actress
- Sonali Kulkarni - Actress
- Pooja Batra - Actress
- Manjiri Phadnis - Actress
The college is home to the circulation of The Ninth Wave, a fortnightly.
Fergusson College is host to a number of academic and extracurricular events. The Cultural Committee organises events such as Oorja
, which features competitive events in various cultural fields, and Muktachhanda, which showcases performances, and other cultural programs of a non-competitive nature. Apart from such cultural events, there are also academic events such as the various department festivals. Almost every undergraduate department of the college organises such events. The trend was started by the Geology dept, which first organised the GeoFest. Other departments soon followed with their own events, for example, Calyx (started in 2004) for the Computer Science department, Wall Street for the Economics Department, Zoovolution for the Zoology department Alchemy for the Chemistry Department.and physikia for the physics dept.
Recently Microbiology department has come up with their fest known as the "MicrobioMics" and the Biotechnology department fest called "Chimera" is a brand new entry in the category of annual events.
One of the popular activities in Fergusson College is the Astro Club where students discuss science related topics. The Astro club remains committed to popularise science and keeping students inclined towards research.
Eco Club at Fergusson College has been found to enhance the current ecological system of the Fergusson Hill (also known as Hanuman Tekdi
) and also to deal with the current environmental issuses in the Fergusson College area.