St. John's College, Agra - one of the finest colonial colleges of mid 19th century

St. John's college, Agra.

St. John's college, Agra Educrib

The East India company officials  in charge of education, particularly,  Charles Wood, the Chairman of the Board of Control (education)  took keen interest in the area of education. In 1840  Wood made a  proposal on  education known as Wood’s dispatch which later became  popular  His efforts  were aimed at  regularizing  the education system  in India from primary stage to University level and   giving encouragement to use  both English and Vernacular to teach the subjects. In 1857 Universities came up in  Calcutta, Bombay and Madras covering all the three presidencies. In the early period EIC turned a blind eye to the education in India on  modern lines because of their pre-occupation with trade activities, land grabbing spree, wheeling and dealing with Indian rulers, etc. Though the missionaries came forward and started colleges in the early colonial period, some  used education as a tool  for religious conversion  and got  bad rap. .

St. John's College  of Agra, Uttar Pradesh established in 1850  is now  part of the Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University. Earlier it was known as  Agra University.  Considered one  among  the oldest educational institutions  established by the Church  Missionary Society of England jointly with Agra C.M.S. Association,  it was named  after John, the Apostle, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus

This historic college had a humble beginning  with  297 students, out of which 199 were Hindus, 76 Muslims, and 22  in the early stage - 1869-70.  The first Principal was Rev. Thomas Valpy French (1825-1891), a distinguished fellow of University College, Oxford who toiled to improve the quality of education  imparted by St. John's. Initially, affiliated to the University of Calcutta  from 1862 to 1888 its affiliation was switched over to  the University of Allahabad till 1927. 

St.John's College, Agra, UP.

St. John's college, Agra, college

With the formation of  Agra university (now Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University) in 1927,  the college got the affiliation from it. Dr. A.W. Davies became the first Vice-Chancellor of the newly formed University. Since 1893, the college has offered post-graduate courses.  St. John's College is a co-educational institution  built on a  large campus and is one of the best colleges in Northern India. It offers several under-graduate and post-graduate courses  to suite student's interest and demand.  Way back in 1891 it became a grade one college  with BA and LLB classes.  In 1892 this college boldly did what other colleges were reluctant to do it. The first scheduled caste student was admitted in that year despite   considerable opposition from many influential quarters of those years. 

This college  has one of the finest buildings in north India. Constructed in  attractive in red sandstone the  building was built  in Indo-Saracenic  style that was made popular by the British architect Robert Chisholm. The style of the building is in harmony with  the ethos of Muslim architecture of this place.  The foundation stone of the Centenary Wing was laid by Bharat Ratna Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, former President of India, in 1958.    Earlier the college celebrated its centenary in 1952 and a new wing was built at that time. On October 9 1969 Pandit Jawarlal Nehru. PM of India inaugurated the building.

The college offers several post-graduate courses  with research facilities. It also runs five self-financed recognized courses BCom, BBA, etc.  It also offers Post Graduate diploma in clinical psychology.

Come December the college will be celebrating 171 years of its existence. Grand in style, no doubt, this red Indo-Saracenic structure  has enriched this heritage city which is famous for the Taj.,_Agra