The Lady Amritbai Daga College for Women of Arts, Commerce & Science and Smt. Ratnidevi Purohit College of Home Science and Home Science Technology is a premier Women’s College in Central India in existence for the last 82 years with its goal centered around women’s progress in educational, social and cultural fields. It was established at a time when a women’s college was considered a path breaking venture. The beginnings were humble.
On April 21,1932 a citizens meeting was convened in which Women’s Education Society’ was formed with Rao Bahadur M.B. Kinkhede as its Founder President, Shri Y.M. Pathak as Founder Secretary and Smt. Ramabai Tambe as the first Principal of the college. The Constitution of the Society was drawn up by Justice W.R. Puranik and Shri T.J. Kedar. Sir Sorabji Mehta was the founder Chairman of the Executive Committee of the society.
The College was formally inaugurated by Honourable Justice Dr. M.B. Niyogi, C.I.E., the then Vice Chancellor of Nagpur University and later the President of Women’s Education Society on 11th July 1932. The college was affiliated to the Nagpur University on 1st July 1935 as “Central College for Women” with Miss Shanti Rangarao as the Principal and Lady Gowan (Wife of His Excellency, the then Governor of Central Provinces and Berar Sir Hyde Clarendon Gowan) as President. The institution owes its present status to the illustrious and equally commendable dedication of luminaries who left their mark in the annals of the college. They were besides Rao Bahadur M.B. Kinkhede and Lady Gowan, Lady Kalhum Wylie (wife of His Excellency, Govemor of Central Provinces & Berar, Sir Francis Verner Wylie), Lady Muriel Twynam, (wife of His Excellency, Governor of Central Provinces & Berar, Sir Henry Twynam), and Smt. A. Pakwasa (wife of His Excellency, Governor of Central Provinces & Berar, Sir Mangaldas Mancharam Pakwasa).
Among the earliest to be associated with the college were Khan Bahadur M.E.R. Malak, Mrs. Stent, the then Vice Chancellors of Nagpur University viz : Justice Dr. M.B. Niyogi (1932 to 1936) Dr. Sir Hari Singh Gaur (1936 to 1938), Mr. T.J. Kedar (1938 to 1941) and Hon Justice W.R. Puranik (1944 to 1947), Justice M. Hidayatullah, Justice Kaushalendra Rao, Justice S.P. Kotwal, Justice Y.S. Tambe, Shri S.H. Battliwala, Hon. Sir M.B. DadabhoY, Mrs. Macfadyen, Shri S.D. Saklatwala, Nawab Mir Mehdi Ali Khan,Lady Kusum Trivedi, Shri A.D. Mani (M.P.) At a later date Justice N.L. Abhyankar and Justice B.A. Masodkar to name a few were among the many other distinguished personalities.
Presently, the society has as its President a legal luminary and formerAdvocate General of Maharashtra, Adv. V.R. Manohar.
At the establishment stage the College was given financial support by the trustees of Late Sir Dorabji Tata of Bombay. His Excellency Sir Hyde C. Gowan, the then Governor of Central Provinces also gave financial help to the college and Lady Gowan donated books to the college Library. The college continued to be patronized by philanthropists. Among them His Exalted Excellency the Nizam of Hyderabad rendered generous support to the college in the form of endowments.lt also received donations from Mr. Bhulabhai Desai for the development of the library.
The college known as “College of Arts for Women” from 1932 to 1935 and as “Central College for Women” from 1935, moved to its own building in 1942 on a sprawling campus of 26 acres of land donated by the Governor Central Provinces and Berar in 1940 at Seminary Hills.
In 1942, Sir Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan delivered his inaugural address at the opening ceremony of the Seminary Hills Building. In 1949, Sir C. Rajgopalachari inaugurated the first lecture room of the college building at Seminary Hills.
In 1952, the name of the college was changed to “Lady Amritbai Daga College for Women” in memory of the mother of Seth Badridas Daga, whose munificent donation of Rs. 1.50 lacs matched by the M.P. Government enabled the Management to complete the main college and residence building at Seminary Hills Campus.
In 1977, Shri B.L. Purohit donated Rs, 17.5 Lacs to the Society and Smt. Ratnidevi Purohit College of Home Science Technology (name after the mother of Shri Banwarilalji Purohit) was established. This was merged with L.A.D. College for Women in the year 1981-82. The name of the college is now “Lady Amritbai Daga College for Women of Arts, Commerce & Science and Smt. Ratnidevi Purohit College of Home Science and Home Science Technology”.
In 1993 Shri P.R. Mundle donated Rs. 7.50 Lacs to start a Department of Architecture in memory of his mother Smt. Manorambai Mundle. In 2006 Mrs. A.P. Mundle donated an amount of Rs. 10.01 Lacs towards elevation of existing B. Arch. Department to the status of an independent college of Architecture & starting of M.Arch. from the session 2007-2008.
In 1999 Rs. 5.5 lacs received from Shri W.S. Tambe in the name of his mother Smt. Ramabai Tambe, founder Principal for Endowment towards scholarship to B.Sc. H.Sc. Part I, II, III and M.Sc. H.Sc. I & II (Meritorous and needy students).
In 2004, further donation of 5.00 Lacs was received from Smt. Meena Deshmukh in memory of her husband Shri. Digambar Jaiwant Deshmukh.
In 2006, Shri P.W. Barlingay donated Rs.5.00 Lacs in memory of his mother Smt. Ramabai Barlingay towards the development and naming the school of Biotechnology “Ramabal Barlingay School of Biotechnology”.
In 2006 the college Society received donation of Rs. 10 lacs from Adv. V.R. Manohar for construction of the building of Women’s Technical Education & Research Smt. Ratnidevi Purohit Institute.
In 2007, the College Society received a donation of Rs. 10 Lacs from the Justice M.L. Pendse Foundation, Mumbai towards a Platinum year initiative of consolidating and running a school of languages & Media studies named as Justice M.L. Pendse School of Languages & Media Studies. The School offers courses in foreign languages, media & advertising, theatre & performing Arts courses for students, housewives and professionals as an add-on facility.
In 2009 the College Society received donation of Rs. 6 lacs from the Justice M. L. Pendse Foundation, Mumbai for construction of Smt. Saraswatibai Pendse Cement Basket Ball court.
In 2011 the College Society received donation of Rs. 6 lacs from the Justice M. L. Pendse Foundation, Mumbai for a studio¬cum-performance space.
In 2012-13 the College Society received donation of Rs. 4.42 lacs from the Justice M. L. Pendse Foundation, Mumbai for Acoustics and other Equipments.
Today the versatility of the range of its programmes is its strength. The original strength was of 23 students and presently the college has more than 4000 students on roll in the Junior and Senior college, The handful of staff, is now approximately 300 involved in the faculties of Arts, Science, Home Science, (B.Sc.,H.Sc. and B.Tech) and Commerce.
The institution has completed 82 years of sustained progress in the field of empowering women through access to higher education. Poised for further growth and expansion since its platinum year, the college has introduced non conventional, innovative courses. These courses are designed to support self help initiatives and will go beyond the traditional core degree requirements which also continue to take up community imperatives to fulfill academic social responsibilities through training initiatives in the four villages adopted by the college.
The college started initially with only the Arts faculty, today offers the following courses in different faculties at under graduate, post graduate and junior college level :-