Gujarat Vidyapith is a deemed university in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. It was founded in 1920 by Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement, and deemed a university in 1963.
“Vidyapith,” in many languages of India, means university.
Jawaharlal Nehru during his visit to Gujarat Vidyapith, February 1949
The university was founded on 18 October 1920 as a ‘Rashtriya Vidyapith’ (‘National University’) by Mahatma Gandhi, who would serve throughout his life as the kulpati (chancellor).
The Gujarat Vidyapith was started in Dahyabhai Mehta’s bungalow behind the Kocharab Ashram (the Kocharab Aashram was started in barrister Jivanlal Desai’s bungalow).
Its purpose was to promote educational institutions run by Indians for Indians outside the financial and governing control of British authorities. The university helped nationalists establish a system of education for all Indians, thus proving the country’s independence from British-run institutions and de-legitimizing the British Raj. Its foundation was one of the important event of an initiative satyagraha launched by Gandhi as a means to peacefully terminate British rule in India.
The vidyapith’s foundation was emulated by nationalists in Benares, Bombay, Calcutta, Nagpur, Madras and in many cities across India. Answering Gandhi’s call to boycott British institutions, influences and goods, many thousands of students and teachers left British colleges to join the Vidyapith.
People like Jivatram Kripalani and Nanabhai Bhatt volunteered to teach.
The Gujarat Vidyapith became a ‘deemed university’ in 1963. It is funded and governed by the University Grants Commission, under the Union Ministry for Human Resources Development in New Delhi. Although considerably modernized in its structure and curriculum, the university maintains its commitment to Gandhian ideals, human studies, social service and development work.
Organisation and administration
Colleges : The colleges and institutions with the university are
- Shikshan Vidyashakha (College of Education), Ahmedabad
- Hindi Teacher Training College, Ahmedabad
- Mahadevbhai Desai Gramseva Mahavidyalaya, Radheja
- Mahadevbhai Desai Gramseva Mahavidyalaya (College), Sadara
- Mahadevbhai Desai Sharirik Shikshan Mahavidyalaya (College of Physical Education), Sadara
- Center for Rural Management, Randheja
The university offers a wide range of degrees, including Ph.D programs and doctoral studies. It continues to emphasize social service, Gandhian studies and subjects associated with religion, human studies, culture and public service.
Departments and centres
- Department of History and Culture (offers full-time courses: M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D.)
- Tribal Research & Training Institute (TRTI)
- Hindi Prachar Samiti (Hindi Bhavan)
- Bharatiya Bhasha Sanskruti Kendra
- Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Studies in Ahimsa (Peace Research Institute)
- Department of Adult and Continuing Education & Extension Work including Population Education
- State Resource Centre (SRC) for Adult & Continuing Education including Population Education
- Gujarat Vidyapith Library (Gandhi Bhavan)
- Publication Department
- Rural Service Extension Centre
- Krishi Vigyan Kendras
- Krishi Vigyan Kendra – Randheja (Gandhinagar) (Agriculture Science Centre)
- P.G. Center for Studies in Rural Management at village Randheja
- International Centre for Jain Studies at Ahmedabad campus
- Centre for Bio-gas Research Education & Extension at Sadra
- Instrumentation Centre at village Sadra (Level-I) and Mobile Vocational Training Centre
- Late Jankidevi Bajaj Centre for Naturopathy, Randheja
- Bio Gas Research Center, Sadra [offers Ph.D., M.Phil., M.Sc. (2 years), B.Sc. (3 years) in Microbiology]
- B.voc food processing technology (3 year)
- Panchayati Raj Talim Kendra
- Computer Science Department [offers two full-time courses: MCA (3 years) and PGDCA (1 year)]