A Historical Background of Rajkiya kanya Mahavidyalaya

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Ms. Rama Manta

· 7 min read

The only government college in Himachal Pradesh exclusively for girls is Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya (R.K.M.V.), a prestigious institution with a B++ rating from the NAAC and the designation of “College with Potential for Excellence” by UGC. The College is undoubtedly one of the nicest locations in Shimla, perched atop Elysium Hill near Longwood and Lakkar Bazaar on opposite sides. Over the course of its more than 80-year history, thousands of students have passed through its doors, making it one of the city’s premier educational institutions.

One of Shimla’s greatest locations is where the college is situated. The author of “Shimla Past and Present,” Sir Edward John Buck, extols the virtues of the pleasant surroundings of Elysium Hills, stating that “this Hill is neither scorched in summer, nor frozen in winter.” In 1838, the location was given the name “Elysium” in honor of one of Lord Auckland’s sisters. The meaning of this Greek term is “Paradise or a delightful place.” The hill, surrounded by far-off snow-capped mountains and sweeping emerald valleys, is a perfect fit for the term. Emily Eden, a sister of Lord Auckland, says, “The views are too lovely, deep valleys…,” as she is mesmerized by the natural splendor. There are red rhododendron plants blooming all around.

And beautiful shrubberies on all sides of the hill. The climate, the place and the whole thing is quite delightful.” Also, the College is conveniently approachable. It is ten minutes walk from the famous Ridge and can be reached by local buses plying on the Circular road (Cart road), near which it is located.

Rajkiya kanya Mahavidyalaya ( RKMV )

RKMV has a long and note-worthy past. past worthy to be noticed. It is housed in a commodious building which in 1850s was The Elysium Hotel or The Elysium Lodge and belonged to the Roman Catholic Society. It was used as a school for boys and girls, but in 1856 the boys were moved to Mussoorie and the girls to Chakrata. The lodge or house was afterwards rented to various tenants, and the estate. Among subsequent Notable among the tenants were Sir George Greaves and Sir William Elles, who successively held the appointment of Adjutant-General in India. In 1893 Major Kemp purchased the property for the purpose of running a dairy farm, and lived in it till 1900, when it was passed into the hands of Mr.Harington, formerly Agent and Chief Engineer of the Kalka-Simla Railway.

At the time of partition of India in the year 1947 the house was owned by Messrs Hussain Bux and Company who had a tailoring establishment at Scandal point on the Mall. Later it became the property of Raja Padam Chandra of Jubbal. Raja Padam Chandra was a great educationist and philanthropist and for the welfare of society he who donated this building for higher education. In 1945, a Degree College was started in the memory of Shri Rana Padam Chand of Jubbal. On 14 December 1957, the local Bhargava Municipal College, named after Punjab’s first Chief Minister, was merged with this under the guidelines of the then Punjab government. The institution was then renamed as ‘Rana Padam Chandra Sanatan Dharam Bhargava College’ and was affiliated to the Panjab University. This college then offered all the Arts subjects for Intermediate and Degree classes and Science subjects (Medical and Non-Medical), for the Intermediate only. In addition, facility for M.A. in Economics, Mathematics and Political Science were also started. An N.C.C. Platoon attached to it and arrangements for the teaching of Military Science were significant additions to the curriculum.

The College was taken over by the Government of Himachal Pradesh in 1977 and a year later, in 1978,on public demand, this became an exclusively girls’ college. It was then renamed as Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya. From being a small college of 919 students in1978, RKMV today, has become a premier institution in the state with an overwhelming demand for admissions. At present this institution is nurturing and honing more than 4000 young minds every year, giving them ample opportunity to grow, develop and excel. Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya (RKMV), has evolved to become an educational institution par excellence in the state. The college focuses on the holistic development of the girls, inculcating values in them and nurturing self - esteem, confidence and independent thinking. Special emphasis is laid on the value based education with a progressive outlook, to help girls succeed in a highly competitive world. The institution has indeed justified the words once said by of Dr. B.D.Loroia, who once remarked:

“If the college grows up in the same tradition in which it is being built up now, I have no doubt; it shall count one day amongst the best institutions in the land.”

Since its inception in the year 1977, R.K.M.V. has grown gradually but magnificently in every aspect. With Shri H.C. Rai as the first Principal , the college has made progress by leaps and bounds under subsequent Principals. During thos initial years, the college offered Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and Sciences but very soon Commerce was added to this. Apart from English Honours, Self- Financing courses- like BCA, e-commerce and add-on courses like Computer Applications, Journalism and Mass Communication and Travel and Tourism Management are also being run by this college. Sandhya Sangeet Mahavidyalaya which is affiliated to the prestigious Bhatkhande SangeetVidyapeeth, Lucknow stands as the evening wing of the college. This popular evening centre facilitates hobby classes in dance and music for general public with minimum age of six years. It also offers a graduate level course in classical dance and music for the students and aspirants

On April 1, 1994 foundation stone of new science block and auditorium was laid by the then Honorable Chief Minister Raja Virbhadra Singh. The Auditorium can accommodate approximately 400 – 500 audience. Many educational, cultural and co-curricular activities are organized here. The college possesses a rich library which abounds in books, magazines, journals, and periodicals. It is one of the oldest college libraries in the state. With more than 35, 000 books, periodicals, magazines pertaining to various subjects, the library and its spacious reading room can be seen packed to the capacity during peak hours. The library is fully computerized and can offers an unrestricted access to information through e-resources. It has a spacious reading room.

The college also provides boarding and lodging facilities to the girls in two of its hostels. The old Sainik Girls Hostel has the capacity to accommodate 72 girls. The Tribal hostel which was inaugurated by the then Honorable Chief Minister Raja Virbhadra Singh on 9th August, 2007 on the occasion of Women Empowerment Day has the capacity to accommodate 90 girls in 30 rooms. The overall picture of the College is one of a well-equipped institution with lecture halls, laboratories, computer labs, language lab, computerized library, auditorium, common room, Gym, dispensary and Canteen. Besides Sports, many extension activities like NSS, NCC, Bharat Scouts and Guides, Eco club, Red Cross and Rotary club membership are available and can also be opted for by the students as per their interest. These activities are of great importance to train the students in various soft skills besides building team spirit, discipline and a sense of responsibility and leadership.

It may be acknowledged with due satisfaction that the University examination results of the college always show an upward trend as every year there is the improvement both qualitatively and quantitatively. The college encourages girls to participate in academics, sports, cultural, NCC, NSS, activities organized at state, national and international levels. Girls Students of RKMV have proved their mettle in every sphere. Equally they are aware of their responsibilities towards society. The college has also been declared AIDS aware College by the AIDS Control Society of India.

The college with With its commendable achievements R.K.M.V presents a series of orchestrated efforts on the academic and co-curricular fronts. A large number of prominent women citizens who have excelled and earned name and fame in different walks of life can rightfully boast of being the students of this institution. An effort is Efforts are always being made by the college to live up to its motto , “Sa Vidya ya Vimukta”: “Knowledge is that librates” which motivates us in our quest for perfection and liberates us from the shackles of ignorance and darkness around and leads us on the path of enlightenment.

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About Ms. Rama Manta

Erika Oliver is a successful entrepreuner. She is the founder of Acme Inc, a bootstrapped business that builds affordable SaaS tools for local news, indie publishers, and other small businesses.