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Founded in 1920, Gujarat Vidyapith (Gujarat Vidyapith University) is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the the urban setting of the metropolis of Ahmedabad (population range of over 5,000,000 inhabitants), Gujarat. This institution has also branch campuses in the following location(s): Randheja, Sadra. Officially accredited/recognized by the University Grants Commission, India, Gujarat Vidyapith (GVP) is a very small (enrollment range: 1,000-1,999 students) coeducational higher education institution. Gujarat Vidyapith (GVP) offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as pre-bachelor degrees (i.e. certificates, diplomas, associate or foundation degrees), bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study. This 97 years old H.E. institution has a selective admission policy based on entrance examinations and students’ past academic record and grades. The admission rate range is 40-50% making this Indian higher education organization a averagely selective institution. International students are welcome to apply for enrollment. GVP also provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students including a library, housing, sport facilities and/or activities, online courses and distance learning opportunities, as well as administrative services.
“Vidyapith,” in many languages of India, means university.
The university was founded on October 18, 1920 as a ‘Rashtriya Vidyapith’ (‘National University’) by Mahatma Gandhi, who would serve throughout his life as the kulpati (chancellor).
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.
The institution officially embraced Gandhi’s goals as its mission:
- Adherence to truth and non-violence
- Participation in productive work with a sense of dignity of labour
- Acceptance of equality of religions
- Priority for the need of villages dwellers in all curricula and
- Use of mother-tongue as a medium of instructions
The colleges and institutions affiliated with the university are
- Veer Orphanage (internationally reputed)
- Shikshan Mahavidyalaya (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 doctorate 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 M.Phil., M.Sc. (2 years), B.Sc. (3 years) in Microbiology]
- Raj Talim Kendra
- Computer Science Department [offers two full-time courses: MCA (3 years) and PGDCA (1 year)]