The RA Podar College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai, has a long history. It all started in August 1940, when the ‘Shikshana Prasaraka Mandali’ trust applied to Bombay University (now called the University of Mumbai) for permission to start a commerce college. Later, industrialist and philanthropist, Seth Ramdeoji Anandilal Podar built the institution in memory of his brother Ramniranjan Anandialal Podar and gifted it to SP Mandali on February 7, 1941.
The college first started a BCom programme in 1942 and the word ‘economics’ was added to its name. It received permanent affiliation from the university on August 17, 1950.
The college’s famous alumni include former Chief Justice Lahoti; Gurudas Kamath, Member of Parliament; Bhawarlal Jain industrialist), Ravi Shastri, and Sanjay Manjrekar, cricketer.
“Podar is the oldest institution in Mumbai and has an immaculate academic track record for more than 65 years, believing in value education,” says Shobana Vasudevan, principal.
“Podar is not just about getting a degree, we believe in the overall development of a student’s personality and we nurture intellect and ultimately create personalities.”
Programmes offered: This is a single faculty commerce college. It offers eight academic programmes – four UG degree programmes – BCom in accountancy, management, bachelor’s in management studies, MCom in accountancy, and management and a PhD in banking and finance. Admissions take place in June, and the new academic year begins in July.
USP: The college has a highly-distinguished alumni and a very active student placement cell. Well-known for its commerce faculty (for degree programmes), it is said to be one of the best commerce colleges in the city. It has been assessed by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council as an A-grade college with a CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) of 3.63. Among the 235 colleges assessed, RA Podar college scored the maximum GPA, as of March 27, 2011, when the assessment results were announced. The other noteworthy feature is the college gymkhana and the support system extended to students who wish to excel in sports and the many tournaments played by Podarites.
IT quotient: The institution has a central computer laboratory with 50 computers, printing and internet facility. The computer centre works from morning 7 am to 5.30 pm. It has developed learning packages for short-term courses in computer applications. It conducts various computer courses.
Infrastructure: The campus has a computer-aided library. There is also a 500-seater, multipurpose, assembly hall where the college hosts all its main events.
It is a place of confluence of all students from both, junior and senior college during major college festivals. The auditorium sports a semi-circular stage for performing arts.
The college gymkhana has a small office to store some equipment and records. The gymkhana office is used by students to play carrom and chess in their free time. The multi-purpose main hall is also used for indoor games like table tennis and badminton. Judo and boxing are practised in the main hall. For outdoor games and sports, the gymkhana books courts and ground of other associations.
Clubs and societies: The placement cell sends student profiles to companies such as JP Morgan and Deloitte. The women’s development cell and self-development cell conduct workshops and aptitude tests, respectively. Active clubs include the Hikers’ Club, the Photography club and the Literary Circles. Podar’s festival RAPPORT features cultural, sports and fine art events. Apart from that, Rostrum Spectrum, the literary festival held every year in September, is eagerly anticipated by the students.
Studentspeak: “I had heard a lot about Podar from my seniors and friends – about how it’s good for both academics as well as for co-curricular activities,” says Sarayu Rajgopalan, 19, SYBCom. “Even while I was doing my SSC, I had made up my mind about going to Podar. As soon as I got into college, I fell in love with it. We used to spend a lot of time around the college even after lectures. Podar has an excellent faculty for senior commerce college students. As for the activities, I participated in the dodge ball competition during the intra-collegiate festival, ‘Rapport’,” Rajgopalan adds.
Industrialist and philanthropist Seth Ramdeoji Anandilal Podar built this college in memory of his brother Ramniranjan Anandialal Podar and gifted it to Shikshana Prasaraka Mandali trust on February 7, 1941. The college started a BCom programme in 1942. It received permanent affiliation from the University of Mumbai on August 17, 1950
Mehaik Sheikh, second-year BCom student
“I think lectures should be more interactive and must be held regularly. There should be a strict check on attendance. Also, the canteen ambience should be improved and the gymkhana should have additional sports facilities — we need a badminton court. There should be greater variety of food in the college canteen and the auditorium needs renovation. Also, I think, we should have wi-fi connection on the campus or (at least) in the library.”