Is Your College Amongst The Three Oldest Colleges of DU? Check out!

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University of Delhi is known as the prestigious institution of education all over India. It is known for its academics, notable alumni, administration and a great history!

The three oldest colleges of Delhi University are – Zakir Husain Delhi College, St. Stephens College and Hindu College.

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1. Zakir Husain Delhi College

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Zakir Husain Delhi College, formerly known as Zakir Husain College, Delhi College and Anglo Arabic College was established in the year 1792. This college is the oldest college of the University of Delhi and surprisingly the only college which offers a B.A. (Honours) degree in Arabic and Persian.

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It was founded by Ghaziuddin Khan, a general of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and the first Nizam of Hyderabad and was then termed as “Madrasa Ghaziuddin Khan”. However, after the weakening of the Mughal Empire, the Madrasa was shut down and with the help of the nobility, a college was established for literature, science and art in the year 1792.

Later on, the British East India Company started teaching courses in English language and literature in order to uplift the uneducated people of India. This decision was taken by Charles Trevelyan.

But, later in the year 1975, the government at the time of Indira Gandhi renamed the college after a famous educator and a President of India, Dr. Zakir Husain.

This college has produced notable alumni including Ali Sardar Jafri, a famous Urdu writer from India and Chaudhary Prem Singh, an Indian politician from Delhi who won 12 times from the same party and constituency.

2. St. Stephens College 

St. Stephens College is the second oldest college of the University of Delhi founded in the year 1881 and is known for its excellent academics in arts and science stream.

This college was established by the Cambridge Mission to Delhi which was a group of graduates from the Cambridge University. The main motive behind the establishment of this college was to promote English education in India as ordered by the British Indian Government.

Later on, Reverend Samuel Scott Allnutt  served as the first principal who was also behind the foundation of St. Stephens College.

Also, when the University of Delhi came into existence in 1922, this college came under the varsity.

This college is known for its famous alumni like Sir Chotu Ram, a prominent politician in British India’s Punjab Province, a prestigious writer, Khushwant Singh and present Cabinet Minister of Ministry of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

3. Hindu College 

Hindu College was established in the year 1899. This college is known for offering various undergraduate and postgraduate courses in science, humanities, commerce and social sciences. In fact, it has also been awarded as the rank 2 college by National Institute Ranking Framework.

Hindu College was officially founded by Krishan Dassji Gurwale because of the nationalist struggle against the British Raj. The main motive behind the establishment of this college was to provide nationalist education to the youth.

Therefore, Hindu College became the centre for all the intellectual and political debates during India’s freedom struggle and especially during the Quit India Movement in 1942. Because of this, some of the professors and students got arrested and even the college remained closed for months.

Notable alumni produced by this college are Mirza Farhatullah Baig, an Indian Rudu writer, Subramanian Swamy, an Indian politician, economist and statistician and Imtiaz Ali, an Indian film writer and director.

So, if you are from any of these colleges, time to feel proud!

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Jayati Bhasin
I am a student of Humanities at Maitreyi College, Delhi University. I am a huge fan of books, the moon, monuments, mountains, stationery and all the little things. Being good in my suras, I have also been a State Level Singer in the past. Apart from this, I love to write about anything (in fact, everything). Hope you find my work intriguing. Happy reading! 🌻

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