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Ruparel College: The school toppers' shrine

With film club, Marathi theatre clubs and rainwater-harvesting projects, Ruparel College is more than just an academic giant reports Vidushi Tikoo.
By Vidushi Tikoo Vidushi Tikoo Vidushi Tikoo | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAY 29, 2009 01:18 PM IST

It is the school toppers' shrine, especially if you are into science worship. Known to produce toppers in competitive exams as well, Ruparel College is perhaps one of the very few colleges where student hang out not at the canteen, but at the library.

While Ruparel is known for its solidity in teaching traditional science subjects, it has applied to the Mumbai University for permission to teach microbiology as a graduation subject. But what quietly bustles beneath the image of sombre excellence is a culture of extracurricular activities.

The film club Chitravedh, which mainly screened Indian documentaries, has been revived by filmmaker Kiran Shantaram and is now beaming popular Hollywood films like Roman Holiday and Godfather.

The college had 67 participants in Model United Nations sessions last year. It bags most of the Mumbai University awards in Marathi theatre.

The English literature department has a group called Rupela and psychology students run Maanas. This year, the students have completed a rainwater harvesting project along with non-governmental organisation Member of Brotherhood since the college was prone to water scarcity. "If you are looking for all round personality development join our college," said Principal Pradip Kulkarni.

The college, which got the prestigious A-grade from the National Academic Accreditation Council, will soon have a new school building close to the old one. It boasts of a remarkably green and spacious campus, with the arts and science buildings separated by a garden.

"There is so much a student can do besides studying in this college. It makes the best come out in a student," said Shivangi Hoshing, a third year arts student. The college is also known for its guest lectures and career guidance offered by some very prominent names.

The past
The college was established in 1952 and was managed by the Modern Education Society, Pune. Located on 40,217 square metre, it owes its excellence in education to Seth Gordhandas Jadavji Ruparel and his younger brother Seth Narayandas Jadavji Ruparel of Messrs Doongarsee Gagje and Sons, Mumbai.
It is a sister institution of Wadia College, which the Wadia brothers Cusrow and Ness helped the society to establish. The junior and degree courses started in 1975 and by 1980, various bi-focal vocational courses were introduced.

Best known for
Science stream. A combination of a top-notch faculty in the science stream with a bunch of very bright and hardworking students makes the college produce merit rankers in HSC every year.

Previous year's cut-off
Arts: 65% Commerce: 78% Science: 90%

Alumni
Atomic Energy Commission Chairperson Anil Kakodkar, actors Urmila Matondkar, Amrita Rao and Antara Mali, politician Pramod Nawalkar.

Alumnispeak
Ruparel has the best campus, not only with respect to physical appearance, but also because of those running it. They ensure better education and a good curriculum. The extra-curricular achievements are good, especially with respect to Marathi theatre: Ashok Hande, producer and director of Marathi plays Chaurang and Marathi Bana.

Expert Quote
It is well known as a science college and students consider it the best, which says it all for the institute. The additional facilities, especially the large playground, are essential for the overall development of the student: Snehlata Deshmukh, former vice-chancellor,
University of Mumbai.

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