It was in early 1991 that Shri Chandra Shekhar, then Prime Minister of India, announced the establishment of Acharya Narendra Dev College on the outskirts of Village Rajokri in South Delhi, an area bordering the farm houses of Vasant Kunj. Starting out with an interim allotment of four rooms in a SPS structure in R. K. Puram Sector 4 School, the college enrolled its first batch of students and began its teaching programs with two courses - B.Com. Honours and B.Sc General 'A' and eighty students.
In August 1992, the college moved to its current premises in Govindpuri, Kalkaji, which had just been vacated by Shaheed Bhagat Singh College and started with B.Sc (Hons) Electronics and B.Sc General Computer Science. Later we added B.Sc (Hons) in Physics and Chemistry in 1993, Botany, Zoology and Mathematics in 1994, B.Sc General 'B' group and B.Sc General Sericulture in 1995 and PGDCA in 1996.
Just before the end of the decade B.Sc Hons Computer Science and B.C.A were started (1997) which soon metamorphed into two very popular courses ( despite being 4-year courses) - Bachelors in Information Technology and B. Information Science in 1998. Due to a UGC directive these courses had to be scrapped across the University and B. Sc (Hons) Computer Science was reintroduced in 2001. In 1999, the college started a radically different course - B.Sc Biomedical Sciences in which admission was through an entrance examination.
The Foreign Language Centre was established in 2003 with certificate courses in French, Spanish, German and Russian. Two years later the higher module of Diploma in foreign languages was also established. Students could register for M.Sc Mathematics and M.Sc Chemistry from 1997 and 2000, respectively.
The year 2005 saw a major overhaul in the the erstwhile B.Sc General courses - these were renamed B. Sc Programmes with radical changes in the curriculum as well as syllabi making them 'much in demand'. The 4 streams were B,Sc Programme in Life Sciences, Applied Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Applied Physical sciences.
Acharya Narendra Dev was one if the pioneers of modern education in India. He emphasized that education without values was meaningless. Below we reproduce the English translation of the presidential speech of Acharya Narendra Dev (then Vice-Chancellor, Lucknow University) at the Annual Function of Vidya Bhawan, Udaipur, Rajasthan on 6th May 1950.
Students are a nation's treasure. If the country has to produce well educated citizens, then the education system needs to be established on entirely new foundation. The country will have to bear this expenditure on education. The education provided till now in this country is divorced from the Indian society. Now it is the nation's duty to establish educational institutions anew and incorporate high social and spiritual values in them. If education is unable to meet the expectations of the society, then such education is polluted.
We are not delighted with the achievement of freedom from colonial rule. We are ambivalent to the social and political questions/problems. A time comes in the life-time of a society when it starts decaying after being beset with old thoughts and paradigms. The progress of such society is arrested. At these junctures new and novel thoughts are required. Educational institutions are the appropriate places where such thoughts germinate and take shape. The government too is reforming the educational system, but there is always a scope for independent experimentations and thoughts. New thoughts are required when old thoughts become useless. We forget that there is one life and education is the basis of the progress in life. We complain about lack of discipline in the students, but indiscipline is prevalent in our society itself. If teachers' have rich character then only we can build character and incorporate discipline among students.
In this world social consciousness is a force or energy which caries a person in tandem with the society. We should act with intellect. A person without intelligence cannot achieve success. If there is an aim in life, then I will think what qualities or skills I should imbibe in myself to achieve my aim. This social consciousness is leading to prosperity in other Asian countries.
We, in India are embroiled in issues of religion, caste and other conflicts. This means we have not adopted nationalism. All kind of people were involved in our struggle for freedom. The people in the lower strata of the society had expected prosperity after independence, but we have slept over the independence; we have achieved the attitude of sitting over our laurels which impedes forward movement. The meanings of freedom are either reform or deform the nation.