M.K.P. (P.G.) College, Dehradun
On the 15th of September, 1902, Smt. Mahadevi, the wife of an eminent lawyer of Dehradun began teaching six young girls at her residence. It was a bold and courageous step taken by a woman of vision, who realised that India could not take its place among the nations of the world, without educating its daughters. Mahadeviji’s husband Shri Jyoti Swaroop supported her wholeheartedly and formed a Kanya Pathshala Trust and Society and moved the school from her residence to independent premises on Lytton Road. In 1911, Shri Jyoti Swaroopji gifted about 100 bighas of land to the school and from then classes were held in the campus, that later became the MKP Intermediate College Office. The Pathshala was among the first schools in India to impart education along cultural lines according to the ideals of the Arya Samaj and run almost exclusively by women. Apart from teaching, Smt. Mahadevi remained the Superintendent of the School till her demise in 1914. Thereafter, the school had capable headmistresses who ensured its development.
In 1911, High School classes were started and received recognition in 1925. A hostel building was added in 1917 and stands today as the main Intermediate College Building. In 1926, a Students’ Union was formed and a year later the School held Silver Jubilee Celebrations marked by vigour and enthusiasm. Some of the notable events in the following years were the Government recognition of the Intermediate Classes in 1931, the construction of the East Block of the present Degree College in the same year, and the beginning of Degree Classes in 1943. Unfortunately, the Degree classes could not continue for long. Graduate classes were restarted in 1949 but were discontinued yet again. The Golden Jubilee year of the college was celebrated in the year 1952.
It was finally in 1958 that the Late Sri Kalika Prasad Bhatnagar, Vice Chancellor Agra University, inaugurated the Degree College section, with the B.A. Degree being offered in English, Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology and Mathematics.
Smt. Sushila Dobhal was the first Principal of the college. It was her vision and dynamic administration that guided the college through its infancy. During her stewardship, the present hostel was built with the grant of Rs.1, 00,000/- from the UGC. Even today girls from as far as Nepal, Bihar, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Manipur are among the many students residing here. The College held its first Convocation in the year 1961with Smt. Laxmi Menon, Deputy Minister for Human Affairs, as its Chief Guest, a notable achievement for the fledgling college. A separate Library Building was constructed in the year 1963, with funds donated by Seth Udhodas Hingwale. Today it houses approximately 71,500 books and journals and subscribes to 150 periodicals.
In 1961, MKP College was deemed a Post- Graduate College with the MA Degrees offered in Hindi, Economics and Sociology. In 1965, B. Sc. Courses were inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor of Agra University. 1n 1967, Post-Graduate classes were started in English and Political Science. With the establishment of Meerut University, Meerut, in 1967 MKP College became affiliated to it and began following the Semester System. 1973 saw the completion of a large well-equipped Science Block and the beginning of M.Sc. Course in Chemistry in 1979.
When Garhwal University was established in 1974, the College became affiliated to it and even today it is the largest full fledged girls’ Post-Graduate College in Uttarakhand, with student strength of 3500 and a capable well-qualified staff of sixty teachers. The College has had an honour of being adjudged one of the best Colleges in Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000. The Commerce stream was added to the existing Science and Arts streams in the year 1992, which has been regularised in 2007.
After the retirement of Mrs. Dobhal in 1988, Dr. Sudha Pandey took over as the Principal and guided the College to greater heights in both academic and cultural fields. Dr. Sudha Pandey brought more fame to the College, when she was appointed the only woman member of the Uttaranchal Public Service Commission in May 2001. The reins of the College were then handed over to Dr. Madhu Sharma, HOD, Department of Hindi. After, Dr. Sharma, Mrs. Bhandari took over as the Principal. She later handed over the position to Mrs S. Tankha.
Dr. Indu Singh took over as the Principal of the College on the 8th of March 2007. Her vision for the College is to “further expand and diversify the educational facilities available with us, with focus on more vocational courses, upgrading infrastructural facilities and introduction of new innovative skill oriented academic programmes.”
Thus, the sapling of ‘MKP’ has blossomed to majestic proportions today, and in the years to come, is all set to march towards success and attain greater heights.