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Miranda House, which completed 63 years on March 7, is all set for a makeover

education Updated: Mar 09, 2011 08:43 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

Miranda House offers 19 undergraduate programmes in science and humanities.
The 63-year-old campus is magnificent and undergoing a makeover. Out of the 3300 scholars on its rolls, the college offers hostel accommodation to 259 students. Once expansion plans fructify in the next three months, it’s going to have space for 100 more.
“We will add one hostel block with 50 rooms (to accommodate 100 students) and an academic block housing six lecture theatres and a seminar hall. Also, several classrooms will be converted into smart classrooms,” says Pratibha Jolly, principal.

In 2008, the college established the DS Kothari Centre for Research and Innovation in Science Education to promote research among undergraduate students.

Such a centre is unique among Delhi University’s colleges.

“Apart from working on projects, the centre holds workshops and mentors school students under a government scheme,” Jolly says.

USP: After Indraprastha College, Miranda was set up in 1948 as DU’s second women’s college. The college has produced political and cultural stalwarts including Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, food writer Madhur Jaffrey, artist Anjolie Ela Menon, kathak exponent Shovana Narayan and film maker Mira Nair.

Faculty: There are around 155 teachers, 102 of whom have doctorates.

Programmes: BA honours in Bengali, economics, English, geography, Hindi, history, music, philosophy, political science, Sanskrit, and sociology;BSc honours in botany, chemistry, maths, physics, and zoology and BSc in life sciences and applied physical science, bachelor’s in elementary education. A postgraduate diploma in disaster management is being planned.

IT quotient: The college will soon be Wi-Fi-enabled.

Infrastructure: The 15-acre campus is soon going to get two new buildings — a hostel and an academic block. “Several existing classrooms will be converted into smart classrooms,” adds Jolly. The library stocks around 97,000 books. With all records digitised, the college can access books dating back to 1948.

Studentspeak: “In the entire north campus, there are two colleges — Miranda and St Stephen’s (incidentally, both were designed by the same architect), which have a pleasant ambience,” says a first-year sociology student.

Clubs and societies: Some of the popular platforms are Hindi dramatics, English dramatics, the debating society and a consumer club.

The debating society holds a national and an international debate every alternate year. Every student must join sports, the National Cadet Corps or the National Service Scheme.

“The canteen should serve good food. There are very limited options, such as rice and pav bhaji. They don’t sell proper meals or shakes,” says a first-year chemistry student

This residential college for women was founded in 1948 by Sir Maurice Gwyer, then vice chancellor of the Delhi University. Credit for designing the campus (now a heritage site) goes to renowned architect Walter George.

The story behind the college’s name goes like this:
According to an article by Veda Thakurdas, founder-principal, published in the college magazine in 1952, Sir Maurice gave three reasons: “Carmen Miranda was his favourite actress, his daughter’s name was Miranda and Shakespeare’s Miranda (from The Tempest) could be a good example for the young ladies” graduating from Miranda House