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Best arts colleges outside Delhi

If the best Delhi colleges seem out of reach to you, explore these worthy institutions in the other three major metros, says Rahat Bano

education Updated: Mar 31, 2011 15:45 IST
Rahat Bano

St Xavier’s, Mumbai, 022-22620661

The Society of Jesus, a Christian religious group, founded the college in 1869 with just six students on the rolls. It was declared autonomous in 2010

Annual intake: 360 students (for arts in senior college)

St Xavier’s, a CPE, was declared autonomous in 2010, which allows it to formulate its own syllabus. It has introduced a special honours programme which encourages students to take up independent projects to earn extra credit. It is one of the few Mumbai colleges with a campus to speak of. A beautiful neo-gothic structure, its arches and expansive sports ground allow for both academic and co-curricular activities. Malhar, one of the city’s largest college festivals, has garnered a following from all over India. Each department conducts its own festivals, in addition to cultural ones including English, Hindi and Marathi dramatics, classical music and band performances. It has a consistently good placement record

Placement record: Companies that visited include McKinsey, Citibank, Development Bank of Singapore and Wipro. The highest package is R10 lakh a year and average, R4 lakh.

Famous alumni: Zubin Mehta, Rajdeep Sardesai, Shabana Azmi, Shobha De, Cyrus Broacha and Vidya Balan

Xavier’s is part of a rich educational tradition, with a philosophy to make men and women for others. Our faculty is committed and competent, and the alumni achievements speak for our endeavours
Fr Fraser Mascarenhas, principal

Ruia College, Mumbai, 022-24143098

Ramnarain Ruia College of Arts and Science was established in 1937 under the Shikshana Prasaraka Mandali, Pune. It is affiliated to the University of Mumbai

Annual intake: 440 in the arts department (BA)

USP: Ruia is a College with Potential for Excellence (CPE), a status given by the University Grants Commission (UGC). “Every year we have a minimum of one dozen university rank holders, including both arts and science students,” says Devayani Ganpule, vice principal. The college has a ‘Self Vision Centre’ for visually-impaired students to record their lectures and take print-outs of the same. Almost 10 classrooms are equipped with audio-visual aids

Placement record: “Most of our students pursue further studies after graduation. Hence, we do not have placements that can be compared to that of a B-school.

However, those who do wish to work after taking their degrees, are informed, if any company approaches us with a job offer for our students,” says the vice principal

Famous alumni: Narendra Jadhav, member, Planning Commission and former vice chancellor, Pune University; Manohar Joshi, MP, former Maharashtra CM; Dilip Chitre, famous literary personality

We ensure a balance between teaching and learning and that a student’s personality is groomed so he can meet the demands of the world outside. Our NSS and NCC departments are very well known. We have more than 30 associations for ECA
Devayani Ganpule, vice principal

Jai Hind College, Mumbai, 022 - 22041095 / 0256

It was established in 1948 as an arts and science college by a small group of teachers who worked at DJ Sind College, Karachi

Annual intake: 240 (senior college)

USP: A vibrant college with a great off-Marine Drive location, Jai Hind is known for going beyond the syllabus. Co-curricular activities are given as much importance as independent research and project work. It has various active societies including the Literary and Debating Society, the National Entrepreneurship Network and the Social and Dramatics Union. Facilities include an audio-visual centre, a sports gymkhana and a plush auditorium

Placement record: Employers include Google, McKinsey, Ernst & Young, DirectI and other MNCs. The highest package was R4 lakh a year and average, R3.5 lakh.

Famous alumni: John Abraham, Ajay Piramal, Tina Ambani

We are especially known for our arts programme. We make theoretical subjects practical — our methods are project-based and field-study based. Students learn a lot through frequently-organised seminars
Kirti Narain, principal

Loyola College, Chennai, 044-28178200

Started by the Society of Jesus in 1925, Loyola gained autonomy in 1978

Annual intake: Around 2,200

USP: The UGC has recognised it as a CPE. “The faculty’s reputation is worth noting,” says Jaiprakash Gandhi, a career consultant. The college provides mentorship and remedial classes to students

Placement record: The major employer so far is Sutherland Global Services. The highest offer is R45,000 a month

Famous alumni: Former presidents S Radhakrishnan and R Venkatraman

We provide good quality education with a social commitment
Rev B Jeyaraj, principal

Stella Maris, Chennai, 044-28111987/1951

Started in 1947, this is an autonomous, minority college for women

Annual intake: 1400

USP: The college admits students from all strata of society and has a good support system — scholarships, sponsorships, mentoring, pathway programme, career guidance and placements

Placement record: Employers include Deloitte, Google, McKinsey, etc. The highest pay package so far is R4 lakh a year.

Famous alumni: Padma Subrama-niam, bharatnatyam dancer; Nirmala Lakshman, senior journalist(The college scores) in excellence in academics, sports, outreach, and placements Sr Jasintha Quadras, principal

Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai, 044-28279189

Founded in 1948 by barrister VL Ethiraj, it gained autonomy in 1999

Annual intake: 2336 (arts and science)

USP: The UGC recognised Ethiraj as a CPE in 2004-05. Each department offers inter-disciplinary courses. It has platforms for many activities such as Students in Free Enterprise

Placement record: Visiting companies include World Bank, Deloitte, McKinsey, Google. Highest package: R4.5 lakh
Famous alumni: Jayanti Natrajan, MP; Joshna Chinnappa, international squash player

The institution seeks to (ensure) experiential learning through application of knowledge...
AM Swaminathan, chairman

St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, 033-22551101

Started in 1860 by the Society of Jesus,
St Xavier’s got affiliated to Calcutta University in 1862. It’s now autonomous

Annual intake: Between 35 and 40 per subject

USP: Personal attention from the faculty members is the USP of this institution. Lab and library facilities are highly rated by students. The college has the latest computer and multi-media-aided classrooms.

Placement record: The companies that came this year include Kearney, Google and Pearson Group, says the college’s placement cell blog

Famous alumni: Jyoti Basu, the late CM of West Bengal; tennis player Leander Paes

Our college is very international. There is no students’ politics. Our placement records can be the envy of any college
Fr Felix Raj, principal

Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 033-24146666/ 6194/ 6643/ 6495/ 6443

Its history goes back to the freedom movement when the National Council of Education merged with a technical education society. In 1950, the varsity was born under a state lawAnnual intake: Between 30 and 40 (per programme)

USP: The UGC has recognised it as a University with Potential for Excellence. The university boasts of a strong placement record. It has many international students

Placement record: Companies that visited for arts students were Google, Cognizant and Wipro. The highest offer was R5 lakh a year

Famous alumni: Actress Swastika Mukherjee; actor Prambrata Chatterjee

Ours is one of the top five universities in India, according to the UGC
Pradip Narayan Ghosh, vice chancellor

Presidency University, Kolkata,, 033-22411960

Presidency originated in 1817as Hindoo College, which was renamed Presidency College in 1855. It became a university in 2011

Annual intake: 30 in each subject

USP: Some of its departments have the most respected teachers in the country. The university reports 100% placement in most programmes

Placement record: Major companies that came for recruitment include Essar Vodafone, Google, and Cognizant Technologies. The highest package offered was R5 lakh a year

Famous alumni: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen; Oscar winning film director Satyajit Ray

This institution has helped many poor, meritorious students reach the pinnacle of their sectors
Amita Chatterjee, vice chancellor

"With inputs from Mou Chakraborty in Kolkata, Pankti M Mehta and Pooja Biraria in Mumbai and Garima Upadhyay in New Delhi"