Elphinstone College

name = Elphinstone College

established = 1856
location = Mumbai, India
type = public
website = http://www.elphinstonecollege.ac.in
principal = Dr.Lakshmi Vyas M.A.,Ph.D.
nickname = Elphi
affiliations = University of Mumbai
campus = urban

Elphinstone College is an institution of higher education affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest colleges in India offering western-style undergraduate courses in the arts, sciences and commerce.


By 19th century Bombay was a prosperous centre for maritime trade and commerce. In 1824 an English School was setup by the Bombay Native Education Society, for Indian students when the opinion in Britain was against educating the 'natives'. And in the year 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". This is after Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, the departing Governor of Bombay who was responsible for beginning higher education in the city. Money (amounting to 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, Professor of Natural Philosophy and John Harkness, Professor of General Literature.

Elphinstone College, as a distinct institution, separated from the High School, in April 1856. It is this year that is officially considered to be the year of establishment of Elphinstone College.

The College was affiliated to University of Bombay in 1860


Elphinstone college, like many other colleges, constitutes two different academic entities- Senior college and Junior College.

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

Courses offered

*Senior College
**B.Sc in Pure Sciences, Information Technology, Biotechnology.
**B.A in Ancient Indian Culture, Economics, English, French, German, Geography, Hindi, History, Marathi, Mathematics, Statistics, Sociology.
**B.B.A in Hotel and Tourism Management.
*Junior College
**HSC in Arts, Commerce and Science.


*Hostel facilities for Boys and Girls.

Noteworthy features


The Legacy of College as a center of Excellence was unparalled in western India. During British Raj 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.

College building

The Building of the College, 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.


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 proximity.

The College is easily acsssecible both by train (from Churchgate and CST)and bus.


* Inception classes of University of Bombay were held at Elphinstone College.

* Inauguration of Jaihind College held at Elphinstone Library Hall in September 1948. College premises were used to conduct classes.

* Not all of College building belongs to the college! Around half the floor area is shared with Maharashtra Archives Department.

* The Building was originally meant for Government central press and was constructed by generous donation of Sir Cowasjee Jahengir. It cost the then princely sum of Rs 7,50,000/-

Notable alumni

*Dadabhai Naoroji - Parsi intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political leader, being the first Asian to sit in the British House of Commons.
*Dr. B. R. Ambedkar - An Indian jurist, scholar, Bahujan political leader, a Buddhist revivalist, and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution.
*Iskander Mirza, last Governor-General of the Dominion of Pakistan and the first President of Pakistan
*Sonal Mansingh - Padma Vibhushan, Odissi dancer.
*Kishori Amonkar - Padma Vibhushan, Hindustani classical music performer.
*Ranjit Hoskote - noted poet, art critic, cultural theorist and curator.
*Madhav Apte - Cricketer
*Homi J. Bhabha - A nuclear physicist of Parsi-Zoroastrian heritage who had a major role in the development of the Indian atomic energy program.
*R.G.Bhandarkar - Scholar and social reformer.
*Bhulabhai Desai - An acclaimed lawyer involved in the Indian independence movement.
*C. D. Deshmukh - Economist and former Finance Minister of India
*P. L. Deshpande - Well-known Marathi author, playwright, performing artist, director and music director.
*Sanjay Dutt - National Award-winning Bollywood actor.
*Virachand Gandhi - Represented Jainism at the first ever World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893.
*Raghavan N. Iyer - Philosopher & academic.
*Gopal Krishna Gokhale - Founding member of the Indian independence movement, social reformer.
*Mukesh Khanna - Television actor.
*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
*Dattu Phadkar - Cricketer.
*Mahadev Govind Ranade - Judge, author, and social reformer.
*Swaroop Sampat - Former Miss India and Bollywood actress.
*Jamsedji Tata - Entrepreneur and industrialist, founder of the Tata group.
*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.
*Venkanna H. Naik was a Barrister from Lincoln's Inn and a graduate from Cambridge.
*Ajit Wadekar - International cricketer, later served as both captain and manager of the Indian cricket team.

See also

* List of Mumbai Colleges
* University of Mumbai
* South Mumbai

External links

* [http://www.elphinstonecollege.ac.in Official website]
* [http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/e/019pho000000937u00027000.html Early photograph, in the British Library collection, of Elphinstone College]

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