The Deccan College and Post Graduate and Research Institute is all set to launch year-long celebrations to mark its bi-centenary year. The celebrations will be formally launched by Bhushan Patwardhan, vice-chairman of the University Grants Commission, on October 6.
Popularly called Deccan College, the third-oldest college in the country is a well-known centre for linguistics, culture, archaeology and anthropology. It remains one of the key centres for studying Medieval and Maratha history.
In this bi-centenary year, the university has organised monthly talk series on topics ranging from linguistics, Sanskrit and lexicography, Indian history and culture, and archaeology, among others.
To mark the occasion, the college also plans to roll out short-term courses and organise workshops towards popularising these subjects. Some of the proposed courses include Computational Linguistics, Phonetics and Museology.
Two of the college’s upcoming projects, in archaeology and Sanskrit studies, will be taken up under the Department of Science and Technology and Centre for Development of Advanced Technology, said acting Vice-Chancellor Prasad Joshi.
The college is home to an iconic building, built in Gothic style, which is a heritage structure. However,its maintenance has been an uphill task for the college administration. In the last two years, Pune Municipal Corporation has given the college Rs 50 lakh per year to carry out restoration work on the structure.
“The maintenance of the heritage structure is really a challenge. Though the PMC has supported us during the last two years, we hope it continues to do so in the future too,” said Joshi.
A brief history: Set up in 1821, as the Hindoo College located at Visharambaugwada in old Pune city, it was the only college back then offering graduate-level courses in Sanskrit and Marathi.
Renamed Poona College in 1851, the centre attracted many bright minds, including freedom fighter Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak, social reformer Gopal Ganesh Agharkar, indologist Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar and a host of towering personalities.
Since it was the only college in the southern peninsula offering degrees in these subjects, it came to be called Deccan College in 1864. After a brief closure announced by the then British government between 1934 and 1949, the college resumed as a post-graduate research institute and offered higher education courses. It also added newer subjects like archaeology, demand for which was picking up in post-independence India.
Deccan College is credited with carrying out extensive excavations, including at world- renowned Harappan sites along the India-Pakistan border.
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