Our History

 

The Gramodaya Degree College and Research Institute was founded in 1995 and in the same year, received full affiliation with M. J. P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly. The college is unusual in being situated in a small village which is the center of a well-established rural development project serving a large number of villages in the surrounding area and offering education, health, and agricultural services to local people.

In its first year, the college had just 39 students in B.A. Part 1. They all passed at the end of the year and the 100% pass rate meant that the college topped the results for the entire district. Since then, although in 2009 the college had over 1400 students, the results have remained consistently high, regularly surpassing those of other local colleges.

Indeed, in the very first year, the quality of both the teaching and the campus environment impressed the Vice Chancellor of M. J. P. Rohilkhand University so much that he recommended the college for a special award. Rs 20,000 and a citation shield were subsequently presented by the Governor of U.P. and the Chancellor of the university.

The college has become increasingly popular, attracting pupils from over 100km away with its beautiful campus and gardens, peaceful atmosphere, good facilities, easy accessibility and safe environment. In 2009, 40% of the students were girls. and the number is growing. Fields of wheat and sugar cane provide a wonderful backdrop and there are none of the distractions of urban areas to divert students from their studies. On the other hand, the nearest town is only 5km away and the large city of Moradabad with its lively markets and busy railway station providing links to major attractions all over India is just a 30km bus ride away.

“The college offers a variety of courses, including a B.A. in General English, English Literature, General Hindi, Hindi Literature, Sanskrit, History, Geography, Political Science, Economics and Sociology. In 2003, 100 seats for a B.Ed. were offered and this has proved the most popular course. The pass rate for the first year was 100% of whom 45% achieved First Division and since then, the pass rate has never fallen below 98%. In 2009, the college became a post-graduate institution and now offers an M.A. in English Literature and an M.A. in Sociology which have already proved very popular. Since 2002, it has also run an innovative Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Resource Management (PGRRM) where students not only learn about rural economics, resources and problems but also do field work involving micro-studies of selected village families. Successful PGRRM graduates are now running large projects funded by Plan International, Oxfam and UNDP.”

“The college is not an isolated entity at Amarpurkashi. Rather, it is part of a vibrant development project founded in 1970 and highly respected throughout the region. Run under the auspices of the Society for Agro Industrial Education in India, this project includes all levels of formal education, a health centre, campaigns to raise awareness of HIV/Aids and female foeticide, a computer centre, agricultural services, an international networking organisation and an international research journal as well as a three weeks’ orientation programme for overseas visitors who come to learn about rural life in India and lend a helping hand. Progress Reports are published every year.”

The college is not an isolated entity at Amarpurkashi. Rather, it is part of a vibrant development project, established in 1970 and highly respected throughout the region. The Amarpurkashi Project includes "the VRI Experience Rural India Scheme" a scheme which gives westerners the chance to live in a rural setting for from three weeks to six months, learning about village life and development work; SGSY, the self-help group scheme operated under the government’s micro credit programme; a spice unit to generate income for women; free eye camps; an annual science fair; agricultural extension with support and demonstration for new seeds, fertilizers and improved farm practices; a mother and children’s clinic; and primary, secondary and tertiary education with a scholarship scheme to enable even the poorest to educate their children. It is also the main India office for INTAF (International Task Force for the Rural Poor), an international network of people working for or supporting the development of the rural poor throughout the world. INTAF is holding its next World Assembly in London. Amarpurkashi is also the editorial office for the IJRS (International Journal of Rural Studies), a bi-annual journal that publishes articles on education, development work and rural issues.