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A potpourri of cultures

Pune has a whole variety of colleges for arts, engineering and management. Moreover, it’s an upcoming IT hub and is an extremely safe city for women

education Updated: May 25, 2011 09:27 IST
Sharanya Misra Sharma

For many decades now, people all over India have known Pune as a major student destination in the country. So much so that many have called it the ‘Oxford of the East’. If you go to Pune, you’ll probably understand why. With the highest number of colleges in a city in India, one can see youngsters everywhere in Pune. They’re in malls, theatres, college campuses, shopping complexes and most prominently on their two-wheelers.

There are many reasons why students from all over India flock to Pune for college studies.

Firstly, there are a number of engineering instututes here, thus making entry into a difficult stream like engineering much easier than it is in other cities. Secondly, a number of good private institutions such as the Indira Group and the Symbiosis Group have established many colleges for various streams.

Thirdly, it stills retains its small-town charm, which gives a feeling of security to students and their parents. More-over, Pune is considered to be a very safe city for women.

You can find a good college for yourself here in almost any stream. There’s Fergusson for BA, Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC) for BCom, Garware College for science and Symbiosis Law College and the Indian Law Society Law College. There are also many management institutes in Pune.

While some of these colleges offer hostel facilities, rent in Pune is not too high. The rent of a 2BHK house in a decent area would be about R12,000 a month, affordable for three to four students sharing it.

“The reason students will like spending their college life here is that the place offers educational opportunities and spaces to pursue other interests, too,” says Avantika Jakati, who has completed her BSc in botany from Fergusson College this year. “There are many exhibitions and plays going on at some theatres and other places.” Indeed, Pune is considered as a sort of cultural capital of Maharashtra.

In arts courses, you get to select your ‘majors’ or specialisation in your second year of college. Every college has a limited number of seats for majors and students get admission on the basis of their first-year marks.

The public transport system is not easy on the pocket. Pune Municipal Transport buses are not frequent. Autos are very expensive for long distances. Most students have their two-wheelers but the traffic in Pune is very chaotic. So, a student’s safest option would be an auto-rickshaw.

Hot Hangouts
Mahatma Gandhi Road or MG Road
. Koregaon park
. FC or Fergusson College Road
. Wanowrie
. High Spirits nightclub

Local Transport
Pune’s public transport system can definitely be bettered and is not easy on the pocket. There are Pune Municipal Transport buses that are not frequent.

Auto-rickshaws are very expensive for long distances. Most students have gearless two-wheelers but the traffic in Pune is very chaotic. So, the safest option to reach somewhere on time is an auto

Pune has night clubs, historical sites, religious places, parks and other picnic spots — for people with different interests and tastes. Sinhagad, ealier known as ‘Kondhana’ is a popular fort at village Donaje, 25 km from Pune. Other historic sights are the Agakhan Palace (used as a prison by the British), Shaniwar Wada (a palace), Parvati hill temple, to name a few. You also have the Katraj Snake Park, Sambhaji Park, Appughar - Indira Gandhi Udyan, Peshwa Park, etc. Pune has a strong theatre culture.