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Truly the Oxford of the East

The academic fervour in Pune is so strong that it blurs the boundaries between college campuses and the rest of the city

education Updated: Jun 26, 2012 16:31 IST
Proyashi Barua

Known as the Oxford of the East the city of Pune has a rich legacy in education. And this legacy preceeds the establishment of the University of Pune (formerly known as the University of Poona) in the year 1949. Being the cultural capital of Maharashtra the city has always had an intrinsic connection with theatre, music, arts and literature and been a centre of learning and research in all fields.

When the University of Poona was established there were only 18 colleges affiliated to it. Today the university has over 433 affiliated colleges and 232 recognised research institutions. The university has been accorded the highest A rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) for its overall performance. Since the inception of the universty the city has been famous for film and television studies and engineering courses. Today the city is a veritable stronghold of almost all academic disciplines and is home to the leading institutes of management, defence, science, commerce and law. Rooted in culture and traditions Pune is known for it receptivity to modern influences and thought. The city is a seamless blend of Marathi culture and global influences. From its vibrant night life for youngsters to its longstanding culture of students working to earn pocket money Pune is in many ways a true microcosm of the West. While the people are hospitable, scrupulous and law abiding it is also one of the safest cities in India.This environment undeniably augurs well for academics and makes students from other states and countries feel comfortable and welcome in Pune. The academic fervour of the city is so strong that the distinction between the college campuses and the rest of the city are very blurred. Somehow the entire city at one level exudes the essence of one huge varsity campus. There is hardly any place for shopping, eating, entertainment and leisure which does not resonate with the psyche of the student poupulation of the city. This is something unique to Pune and rightfully translates to its label of an educational city. The multicultural and cosmopolitan environment of the city facilitates understanding and appreciation of other cultures.

Gayatri Valan, Final year student, BMCC
BM.C.C is that magical door which opened new vistas and opportunities for me. I will describe my college expereince through the metaphor of a bud blooming into a flower with the aid of sunrays, me being the flower bud and the college being the sunrays. I owe this feeling to my teachers who are exemplary in knowledge and character. The teachers of my college have one thing in common, they are always striving to encourage every student to express himself/herself in many innovative ways. Their sincerity is nothing short of touching. I still remember a professor who had met with an accident and suffered multiple fractures but came to the college in crutches to teach. The teachers at BMCC have always led by example and been instrumental in instilling the right values in every student. Our professors have also taught us the importance of simple living and high thinking. An endearing fact about BMCC is that the smallest hint of a student’s hidden talent does not go unnoticed. The college goes the extra mile in nurturing the talent and developing it at a professional level. Also there is a regular interface between the teachers and parents. Once my mother casually mentioned to a professor that it is her belief that I can do much beyond just academics. And this casual remark was not left unattended. I was encouraged to join almost all competitions and co-curricular programmes. I must confess that being an introvert I did not enjoy this newfound attention of the teachers initially But today, on retrospect, I realise the transformation that it brought upon me. Gradually I even started organising seminars. There are discussions between teachers and students where students can voice fresh interest areas and the college accordingly devises platforms that can help to express these interests.

If students are clay, teachers mould them into beautiful sculptures. And BMCC has exemplified this intrinsic student teacher relationship

MES abasaheb garware college

Consistent in results
MES (MaharashtraEducation Society’s) Abasaheb Garware College is known for its consistent track record in academics- of developing university toppers from relatively mediocre students. It has very solid research traditions and has an approved research centre in the fields of chemistry, microbiology, biodiversity, economics and Hindi. Physics and Hindi are other subjects to be included in the research centre. The college has been granted 40 lahk by the ministry of environment for a research project that entails an ecological survey of the Western Ghats. It has also received research grants from the Department of Science and Technology and the Indian Council of Medical Research. The college is famous for its biodiversity courses particularly at the postgraduate level.

Game for more
The college gives training in the entire gamut of indoor and outdoor sports. The sports education of the college received a huge boost from the guidance of the principal Shrikant Gupta who was the chairman of Pune Council of Zonal Sports last year.

Masti dhamal
It has a cultural centre called the Agam Kala Mandal

Book nook
The library has one lakh books and several research journals

A drink and a bite
Has a spacious and well lit canteen that serves wholesome meals that are reasonably priced and scores high on standards of hygiene

Abasaheb Garware College is the only Science and Arts College of the Maharashtra Education Society. It was established in 1945

Programmes & cut-off
At the undergraduate level the college has 24 departments, 12 for science and 12 for humanities.The cut off admission percentage for both the streams this year has been 55%

A dedicated faculty of 200 professors out of which 70 have PhD degrees

The admission process commenced right after the declaration of the Class 12 results. The admission process for both the arts and science streams is over now.

Our college has received the best college award from the University of Pune for the year 2011-2012 -Shrikant Gupta, principal

New lessons in time

Pune, Fergusson College

The college offers a variety of courses in the Arts and Science faculty at both the undergraduate and post graduate levels. Recognizing the need for self financed courses, it has started 17 different self financed courses during the last five years. Also in response to the increasing demand for some subjects, the intake capacity of six subjects at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels has been increased. The college has been very successful in mobilizing financial assistance from various government funding agencies like UGC. Innovative training programmes for students and teachers are routinely being conducted with the help of these funds. The college is gradually shifting to student-centric education, by supplementing the traditional learning practices, with the use of innovative learning techniques. More than 300 research papers and over 150 books have been published over the course of the last five years. The number of research students working for their Ph. D. and M. Phil. degrees have also increased and this is evident through their participation at research competitions and festivals organized by universities and other agencies.

Game for more
The college has two large sports grounds for cricket, football, hockey, athletics and a variety of outdoor games of Indian origin. It has a table tennis hall, six tennis courts, two badminton halls and two basketball courts and a gymnasium

Masti dhamal
The college hosts an annual cultural festival called Muktachand wherin nationally anmd internationally renowned exponents of culture interact with the students.Special performances from different parts of the country are staged here

Book nook
The Central Library (Bai Jerbai Wadi Library) which has about 3 lakh books is the primary library of the college. In addition to this there are 15 departmental libraries. The lbrary houses some ancient manuscripts and collections like Mandlik Bramhe and Paul Tesla.

A drink and a bite
There are three canteens in the campus that cater reasonably priced vegetarian and non vegetarian meals, snacks and fast food. The canteens are also famous for their hot and cold beverages.

Fergusson College was one of the first privately managed colleges in India that was started in 1885 The founders of the Fergusson College had first started the New English School, Pune

Programmes & Cut-off
The BA undergraduate courses on offer include economics, English, French, German, Hindi, Marathi and psychology among others. The BSc undergraduate courses include biotechnology, computer science and electronic science among others. The cut off for the arts stream this year was 84% while for science it was 79%

Total faculty strength of Fergusson College is 225 out of which 126 faculty members have post graduation degrees,30 have M.Phil degrees and 69 have PhD degrees

Admission begin in the last week of May and will commence end of June or begining of July.

Known for
Its 65 acre lush green campus, botanical garden and museums

Our mission is to aspire and strive for excellence in education by developing and sharpening the intellectual and human potential of the learners for the collective good of society and our stakeholders - Ravindrasingh Pardeshi, principal

Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce

A full circle of learning
Committed to quality education since 1983 the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce has a pronounced mandateof imparting life skills along with classroom lessons. Value based education that translates to good human beings and responsible citizens has always been the overarching focus of the institute. Instituting the Centre for Liberal Arts in the year 2006 has been one major step towards this goal. This centre is striving to inspire reflection, inquiry and indepth understanding on a wide plethora of subjects within the domain of language and literature, humanities and social sciences and natural and physical sciences with the objective of developing individuals with a discreet sense of right and wrong. The college has recently been granted autonomy by the University Grants Commission (UGC). There is a considerable student base from Afro Asian countries.

With UGC according us autonomy, we are empowered to introduce several changes in our curriculum that will bring us closer to the needs and aspirations of the students of today Dr Hrishikesh Soman, principal