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Profile: St. Bede’s college, Shimla

Its origins can be traced to the second half of the 19th century, when it was founded for orphaned children of British soldiers.Reports Bhavya Nayna Channan

education Updated: Jul 14, 2009 17:27 IST
Bhavya Nayna Channan

Located in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, St. Bede's College nestles amid spruce, fir and oak trees.

Its origins can be traced to the second half of the 19th century, when it was founded for orphaned children of British soldiers. Over time, the managing organisation, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, felt the need for a centre of academic excellence, and that’s how St. Bede's College began life in 1904 as a teacher's training college with 12 students.
Once housed in a small block, the college now has a sprawling campus with six buildings. It has 1,200 students on its rolls – not just Christians, though they do get priority in admission – and a faculty strength of 65.

Famous for
English (Hons) and geography (Hons) are the most popular courses. St. Bede's is also considered one of the best colleges in Himachal Pradesh for teacher's training.

BA, BSc, BBA, BCA (Hons) in English, economics, geography, add-on certificate diploma courses in travel tourism, fashion designing, and communicative English. New courses started from this year are BSc (Hons) in microbiology and biotechnology, and BCom (Hons). The college regularly conducts personality development and faculty enrichment programmes that help students and teachers upgrade themselves.

The college has a well-equipped auditorium that seats about 1,000. The hostel has been divided into three blocks which house about 150 boarders, the rest of the students being day scholars from Shimla. A well-maintained basketball ground and a gym allow students to keep fit. A cybercafé is located on the campus.

College societies
The National Social Service: Members go to teach in villages.

Women's Cell: Raises awareness about the status of women in India, interacts with NGOs working with women.

National Sports Organisation: Members represent St. Bede’s in inter-college sports tournaments.

Debates and Dramatics: Members represent college in competitions. A play is staged at the college annual fest. Also organise inter-house debates.

Wish list
“A proper college cafeteria with good music and proper sitting arrangements,” says Akanksha Prasher, a BA II student. Others feel that the annual college festival needs to open itself to the participation of more colleges from outside the state

Fact file
St. Bede's college for women was founded by the Congregation of Jesus and Mary in 1904. Managed by the St. Bede's Educational Society, the college serves as a finishing school for boarders, teaching them everything from handling cutlery to conversation skills. St. Bede's College has been given an ‘A’ grading by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) for maintenance of high standards in academics and extra-curricular activities.