As we look back upon the eventful past of the Morris College, the small beginnings and the heroic work done by its gallant founders, it gives a great sense of pride and awe over viewing its history of events, remarkable student strength and a confident future. Much water has flowed under the bridge since 1885....
Under the leadership of Sir Bipin Krishna Bose, Mukund Balkrishna Buti, Madhao Rao Gangadhar Chitanavis and others, the Committee of the Neill City High School proposed that a College for the Central Province was very desirable and Nagpur was an appropriate place for establishing a College. Thus, an application was made to the Government for grant-in aid. At a public meeting held on the 4th December 1882, subscriptions amounting to Rs. 1900/- were promised for starting a college in Nagpur in memory of Sir John Morris. Rapid progress was made in furthering this proposal. A society called "The Nagpur Morris College Association" was formed to raise funds for the establishment of a college. They managed to raise Rs. 1, 55,289 to serve as an endowment of foundation for a college. Thus, upon the approval of the Local Government, a Society was formed for administering the College, with Sir Bipin Bose as Secretary and a Governing Body. Thus was born the Morris College in June 1885.
However, a suitable building for Morris College was yet to be built. After changing several locations, the College was finally placed in the building now known as the Neil City High School, in 1894. But, this was not adequate, as part of it was used by the school and part as a hostel for the students of the Government Normal School.
Meanwhile, the University Act of 1904, and the consequent affiliation of the college to the Allahabad University, made it necessary for the college to have a building of its own. Thus, the Residency Hall, with its extensive building and compound was repaired at Government cost, necessary alterations were made to house a college and Morris College was shifted here in July 1911. This historic edifice is a landmark in the history of Nagpur. Built around 1807 for the Resident Officer in the Court of the Bhosla King, in later times it was used as a Government House. This ancient building remains to this day, with the added possession of the Directors bungalow. This year, 2010-2011, marks the completion of a century of existence of our Institute in this campus.
In 1919, in response to the increasing student strength, another building, now called the Annexe was made a few hundred yards across the road. With this the college grew rapidly in strength and importance. Following this, a hostel for non-resident students was constructed. This hostel, located within the College campus, was built at a cost of Rs. 60,000, partly funded by the Government and partly raised by the College Council. During these years it was the good fortune of the College to receive a major share of the annual expenditure from the Government. In 1991, the Government paid Rs. 39,000/- out of the annual expenditure of Rs. 48,000/- to the Institute. On the 28th of February, 1914, the College Society met and decided to hand over the College unconditionally to the Government. The final sanction from the Secretary of State was obtained and the college passed into the hands of the Government, in March 1914.
In 1946, on the eve Indian Independence, standing on the threshold of freedom, far reaching changes were affecting the education in India. We remember with gratitude the services of the great men who managed the College in those days of political fervour and emotional turbulence. They earned for themselves the title of "The Old Guards", as we proudly call them now. They were:-
After the completion of hundred years of existence, the College was renamed as Vasantrao Naik Government Institute of Arts and Social Sciences, by Chief Minister Sudhakarrao Naik, in 1985. This was in honour of Shri Vasantrao Naik, who served the longest tenure as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
The continuous progress of the college over the years can be gauged from the upward trend of the number of students who were admitted to the college year after year. From mere twenty one students in 1885, the College graduated to 1142 students in 1960. Today the College has more than 3000 students, hailing from the city as well as the neighbouring towns and rural areas. We may close this brief account of the History of the Institute with the words of Dr. Bipin Bose:
"It is to be hoped that the future students of the College will remember that, they owe its origin to exertions of their own people and it is these exertions, which continue till this day, that has made possible its present state to which it has matured i.e. into a first class Institution of its kind. It is further hoped that its Alumnae will be proud of their Alma Mater. I hope for the best in their efforts. They may maintain for it a high reputation for building up a disciplined mind and character, thus turning out to be good and useful citizens of this great Country who, by their thoughts and actions, will add to the moral energy of the nation.".....
Last Update 16 Mar 2019
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