A commemorative postage stamp on the 175th Anniversary of the Wilson College, Mumbai, one of India‘s oldest colleges :
Issued on Dec 11, 2007
Issued for : India Post is pleased to issue a postage stamp to commemorate 175 glorious years of Wilson College.
Stamp : Ms. Bharati Mirchandani
FDC & Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi color
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nasik
- Wilson College has a continuous history as an educational institution going back to 1832. It began as Ambrolie School in Girgaum, later seeing several changes of sites and names, eventually being called Wilson School. A collegiate section from which Wilson College developed was added in 1836.
- The founder of these institutions was the Rev. John Wilson D.D., F.R.S. of the Scottish Missionary Society. John and his wife Margaret arrived in Bombay on February 14, 1829, learnt the local language and with great zeal set up schools for boys and girls of all castes and classes.
- John Wilson was a linguist, an orientalist, an author. In recognition of his service to the cause of education, social awakening and scholarship, the Department of Archives, Government of Maharashtra, in 2000, honoured Dr. John Wilson as one of the Seven founders of Modern Bombay.
- Here in Wilson‘s institutions were made the first efforts to frame academic courses, to write text books in the sciences, arts and religion, to conduct public examinations and award its own certificates. It is in these institutions that the portals of education were opened for the first time to girls and boys of lower and upper castes, the socially disadvantaged and deprived and the first lessons in human equality and dignity were taught.
- This pioneering work in higher education began a quarter of a century later, before the establishment of any official body of this purpose. The vision and foresight of Dr. Wilson saw the establishment of the University of Bombay in 1857. On 4th December, 1861, the collegiate section of Wilson‘s institution under the name of Free General Assembly’s Institution became the first privately owned, non-government institution to get affiliated to the University.
- For many years both the school and college sections were housed in one building, but largely through the efforts of Dr. Mackichan, a site for the college was secured at Chowpatty and the present college building was opened on 14th March 1889. Thereafter the institute was called Wilson College.
- The high intellectual rigour and moral excellence of the people who guided the college, saw three of it first four Principals as Vice Chancellors of the University of Bombay, followed by many distinguished alumni holding the same position.
- Fostering a tradition of liberalism and freedom, the Scottish Principals inspired many students to be at the centre stage of freedom struggle, Usha Mehta, Acharya Kriplani, S.A. Dange, Aloo Dastoor, B.G. Kher to mention a few.
- Wilson College gave India its only Prime Minister from Bombay – Morarji Desai, and the Bharat Ratna recipients P.V. Kane and D.V. Karve are also proud alumni of the institution. In 1952, the Management of college came under and autonomous Board of Governors in India. Since 1963, the college is under the John Wilson Education Society.
- Today Wilson College is one of the few colleges in Mumbai which offer a very wide variety of subjects in the Arts, Science and Vocational stream, along with undergraduate courses in Management Studies and Mass Media.
- The aim and guiding principle remains “to produce intellectually well trained, morally upright, socially conscious and spiritually oriented men and women.”
- Text : Based on material provided by the proponent.