Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Elphinstone College

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Dr. Madhuri V Kagalkar



Elphinstone College

Public educational institution

156, Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, MH 400032, India

156, MG Road, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400032

Notable alumni
University of Mumbai, St Xavier's College‑Autonomous - Mumbai, Ramnarain Ruia College, Sydenham College of Commerc, Jai Hind College

engageinlove elphinstone college mumbai

Elphinstone College is an institution of higher education affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest colleges of the University of Mumbai. It was exalted as a prestigious seat of learning during the British Raj and is generally observed for its vibrant alumni. It is reputed for producing luminaries like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Virchand Gandhi, Badruddin Tyabji, Pherozshah Mehta, Kashinath Trimbak Telang, Jamshedji Tata and for illustrious professors that includes Dadabhai Naoroji. It is further observed for having played a key role in spread of Western education in the Bombay Presidency.


The year 2006 marked the sesquicentennial celebrations of the college (1856–2006). At present it offers undergraduate level courses in the arts, sciences and commerce and is under the governance of the Maharashtra Government.

Elphinstone college garba talent hunt yr 2009 10


By the 19th century Bombay was a prosperous centre for maritime trade and commerce. In 1824 an English school was set up by the Bombay Native Education Society for Indian students (while the opinion in Britain was against educating the 'natives').

In 1827 a resolution was passed that an institution for promotion of education should be established under Bombay Native Education Society and be designated as "Elphinstone College" (distinct from High School). This is after Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, the departing governor of Bombay who was responsible for beginning higher education in the city. Rs.2,29,636.00 was collected by public subscription to fund teaching professorships in the English language and the Arts, Science and Literature of Europe. The professorships were in honour of Mountstaurt Elphinstone. The college was formally constituted in 1835. The classes commenced in 1836, at Town Hall, with the first two professors: Arthur Bedford Orlebar (Natural Philosophy) and John Harkness (General Literature).

In 1840, the professors' classes were amalgamated with the Society's High School to form the Elphinstone Native Education Institution. In 1845, the name was shortened to Elphinstone Institution.

Elphinstone College became a distinct institution, separated from the high school, on 1 April 1856. This year is officially considered to be the year of the establishment of Elphinstone College.

The college was affiliated to University of Bombay in 1860.

Role in inception of Bombay University and other colleges

The University of Bombay was established in 1857. Inception classes were held at Elphinstone college and was subsequently moved to the present Fort campus.

To formalize legal education, a chair of Jurisprudence was set up, called Perry Professorship at Elphinstone Institution in 1855. The same year, R. T. Reid (LL. B. Bar-at-Law) was appointed the first Perry professor of Jurisprudence and the Government Law School as it was then called. This is taken as the inception of the Government Law College Mumbai.

It was suggested that Elphinstone College premises be used (during Morning Hours) for initial classes of Jaihind College. The proposal was accepted and admission started for the Arts faculty in June 1948, with a formal inauguration in September 1948 at the Elphinstone College Library Hall.

Sir J J School of Arts was founded in 1857 and was instituted to take up drawing classes. Initial classes were held at Elphinstone Institution.


Elphinstone College, like many other colleges of Mumbai, constitutes two academic entities: Senior and Junior colleges.

Senior college is affiliated to University of Mumbai and imparts education leading to bachelor's degrees while Junior college is monitored by HSC Board and provides higher secondary education.

Senior college

  • B.Sc in Basic Sciences, Information Technology, Biotechnology, Microbiology
  • B.A in Ancient Indian Culture, Economics, English, Geography, Hindi, History, Marathi, Mathematics, Statistics, Sociology
  • B.Com
  • B.B.A in Hotel and Tourism Management
  • Junior college

  • HSC in Arts, Commerce and Science
  • Facilities

  • Hostels: Government Colleges Hostel, Mumbai for boys; Telang Memorial Hostel and Savitridevi Phule Hostel for girls.
  • Gymkhana
  • Computing facilities
  • Well-endowed library (with more than 90,000 books)
  • Legacy

    The legacy of the college as a center of excellence was unparalleled in western India. During British rule, it was most coveted among colleges, standing alongside Presidency Colleges of Calcutta and Madras. However, post independence its standards declined and more so in the recent times. This is generally attributed to government negligence and red tapism. The college was an important center of radical left sympathies during the 1970s decade: and produced leaders for this movement.

    Heritage College building

    The college building, with its Gothic architecture, has been classified as a grade 1 heritage structure. It is one of the most identified buildings of South Mumbai as a symbol British Raj heritage.

    Locally, the college is famous for its Romanesque Transitional style building that has been categorized as Grade I Heritage structure. The building was designed by Trubshaw, supervised by Khan Bahadur Muncherjee Murzban, and completed in 1888.


    Maharashtrotsav is a National Level Inter College Cultural Festival organized by all the students and faculties of Elphinstone College.

    Maharashtrotsav 2011-12 gathered a crowd of more than 75 colleges with nearly 2500 students which was the then a State Level Event. 2012-13 marked a huge progess in its type making it National Level Festival with nearly 5000 students from more than 130 colleges across India.

    Maharashtrotsav promises to be a launch pad for new talents who are lost in the shadow of big names. This event shall bring them into the limelight and be a milestone in their path of glamour world. Maharashtrotsav is a budding event planned to cater to all those who intend to prove their talent through their extraordinary skills. It is a phenomenon which brings together untapped talents on one platform with the basic aim and spirit to promote Culture, Harmony and Talent.


    TechTsar started back in 2009, with a budget of INR 75,000, which was contributed by advertisements in the Techtsar brochure and banners. Amongst the notable past sponsors are Bank of Maharashtra, Dena Bank, Airtel, etc.

    The name of the festival was inspired by two words: technology [tech] and king [tsar] and was proposed by Elphinstone College alumni Rohan Bhambhani. The motto is "Merging Talent with Technology." The festival consists of many events such C and Java debugging, LAN gaming, quiz, debate, photography, logo designing, grand prix, treasure hunt etc. Students from many colleges across Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai participate. The festival takes place in the final week of November. Currently in its second yearTemplate:2016?? it was even more successful than the previous year with a huge rise in participants.


    The Biotechnology Department organizes the festival known as Primers. It started in 2009. The festival consists of seminars by well-known speakers and continued by events in which the students of colleges of Mumbai and Thane participate.

    In 2010 the students had organized a job fair for all the college students with free entry and are concluding the event with a fashion show.

    The students of F.Y., S.Y., and T.Y. Biotechnology together work very hard for the success of this event.


    The college has an enviable location, in Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai. Several landmarks, business districts and waters of Arabian Sea are at close by.

    The college is easily accessible by train (from Churchgate and CST) and bus.

    The well-known Jehangir Art Gallery is across the street as entrance to the Museum.

    Notable alumni

  • B. R. Ambedkar, an Indian jurist, economist, scholar, Bahujan political leader, a Buddhist revivalist, and the chief architect of the Constitution of India.
  • Kishori Amonkar, Padma Vibhushan, Hindustani classical music performer.
  • Arjun Appadurai, postcolonial scholar of global media and culture.
  • Dilip Abreu, economics professor, game theorist, Princeton University.
  • MA Kadri 1920,born in 1897 village Gharrhi wadero Abdul hakeem Ratodero Sindh and died 1980 Larrkana. He was the first Muslim Sindhi directly commissioned deputy collector from Sindh in 1922; he was an old alumnus of Elphinstone College Bombay
  • Madhav Apte, cricketer.
  • Mirza Kalich Beg, writer, poet, scholar from Sindh. Given the title of 'Shams Ul Ulama' by the British government.
  • Homi J. Bhabha, nuclear physicist who had a major role in the development of the Indian atomic energy program.
  • Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Language and Director of the Humanities Center, Harvard University
  • P. N. Bhagwati, Chief Justice of India (1985-1986).
  • R. G. Bhandarkar, scholar and social reformer.
  • Devdatta Dabholkar, educationist, Gandhian and socialist.
  • Amit Chaudhuri, Indian English writer, Sahitya Akademi award winner
  • Bhulabhai Desai, lawyer involved in the Indian independence movement.
  • Xerxes Desai, first managing director of Titan Watches (Titan Company)
  • C. D. Deshmukh, economist and former Finance Minister of India.
  • Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, Marathi author, playwright, performing artist, director and music director.
  • Sanjay Dutt, Filmfare winning Bollywood actor.
  • Shapurji Edalji, thought to be the first South Asian to become a vicar in England.
  • Rena Fonseca, Director of Executive Education and International Programs, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Virchand Gandhi, represented Jainism at the first World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893.
  • Kunal Ganjawala, singer.
  • Anuradha Ghandy, political leader and member of Central Committee of Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist)
  • Sanjay Ghose,rural management, community health, development media.
  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale, founding member of the Indian independence movement, social reformer.
  • Ranjit Hoskote, poet, art critic, cultural theorist and curator.
  • Syeda Bilgrami Imam, writer, activist and a member of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
  • Raghavan N. Iyer, philosopher and academic.
  • Suresh Joshi, major Gujarati writer, critic and editor who established modernism in Gujarati.
  • Mukesh Khanna, television actor.
  • Anand Kurian, writer, activist, marketing theorist.
  • Manish Malhotra, fashion designer.
  • Mahesh Manjrekar, actor, director, producer
  • Sujata Manohar, former judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • Sonal Mansingh, Padma Vibhushan, Odissi dancer.
  • Pherozeshah Mehta, a political leader, activist, and leading lawyer, who was knighted by the British Government for his service to the law.
  • Vijay Merchant, cricketer.
  • Iskander Mirza, last Governor-General of the Dominion of Pakistan and the first President of Pakistan.
  • Venkanna H. Naik, a barrister from Lincoln's Inn and a graduate from Cambridge.
  • Dadabhai Naoroji, intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political leader, being the first Asian to sit in the British House of Commons.
  • Shernaz Patel, theatre and film actor.
  • Smita Patil, National Film Award for Best Actress, 1977 and 1980.
  • Dattu Phadkar, cricketer.
  • M.V. Rajadhyaksha, Marathi writer and critic.
  • Mahadev Govind Ranade, judge, author, and social reformer.
  • Soni Razdan Bollywood actress and film director
  • Sridhar Srinivasan, political leader and member of Central Committee of Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist)
  • Swaroop Sampat, former Miss India and Bollywood actress.
  • Arshia Sattar, Translation of classical Sanskrit texts, author, documentary film maker, director of courses on Indian culture
  • Hormasji Maneckji Seervai, former Advocate General of Maharashtra.
  • Teesta Setalvad, Civil rights activist and journalist
  • Jamsetji Tata, entrepreneur and industrialist, founder of the Tata Group.
  • Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, Parsi businessman.
  • Kashinath Trimbak Telang, judge and oriental scholar.
  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter, who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement.
  • Ajit Wadekar, international cricketer, later served as both captain and manager of the Indian cricket team.
  • Saryu Doshi, art historian and Padma Shri awardee
  • Salman Khan, Bollywood actor and promoter of Being Human trust.
  • Zubeida Habib Rahimtoola, political activist
  • References

    Elphinstone College Wikipedia