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In the history of University College, the following events are considered to be most important:

Venture by Bassel Mission

In the wake of colonial modernity, the traditional, classical education system in India saw a threat in the form of English education. In Mangalore, alongside the British there was German intervention as well in the field of education. Basel Mission which contributed to a great deal to the economic development of the coastal region also contributed to the field of education.

Start of Provincial School

In 1824, Basel Mission introduced the first English medium School in Mangalore namely, the Provincial School. The intervention of Basel Mission was received with mixed feelings and reactions from the natives. Once the English education was introduced to Mangalore by the missionaries, the natives realized the need for modern education and did get interested to start a school. A few enthusiasts formed a committee to develop the school. Mr. M.Ramappa, Mr Srinivasa Rao, Mr. I Ramachandrayya, Mr. N Gundu Rao, N Thimmappayya, Mr. Sadat Khan, Mr. C. Rangappa, Mr. Narayana Pai and T Muthuswami Aiyar as members of the committee collected an endowment of Rs. 65000. In September 1866, Mr. Powell, the Director of Public Instruction, recommended and the Government sanctioned the Provincial School to open Classes from standard 1 to Matriculation.

Start of F.A classes and Designation as Government College 

Subsequently, in 1868 the school opened with standard 1 to Matriculation. In 1879 the F.A. (Fellow of Arts) course was introduced. Though the school was advanced with higher level courses, it was still housed in a rented building. A great deal of controversy and struggle ultimately yielded good result. In 1870, the Institution managed to own a building and also saw an eminent Head Master Mr. Ormsby, a European graduate from Trinity College, Dublin. The school was given a defined boundary with a compound wall. A beautiful garden was laid out. Classical languages were introduced in the curriculum from 5th to the 8th class. Concurrently, the Institution followed the administrative reforms introduced by the government which included promotion regulations, attendance regulation for students and regulation of collection and remittance of fees. In accordance with the government orders which brought uniformity between Bombay and Madras Presidency, in 1879, the provincial School was designated the Government College, Mangalore. The lower classes were gradually de linked and transferred to the Muncipal Middle School, Mangalore.

There was a proposal by the educationists of Mangalore to start Bachelor Degree Classes in the College. Accordingly, it was recommended by the Department of Public Instructions for the first time in 1872 and 1874 for the second time. But the recommendation by the Department of Public Instructions was not accepted by the then government. However, it did not slacken the continuing efforts to improve the Institution. To ensure quality education, a Reading Room and a News Paper Club was formed. In 1896, voluntary subscriptions from students were initiated to provide them additional facilities. This included the improved Reading Room facility and the services of a qualified Physical Director.

As to the wishes of the subscribers of the Endowment fund, all the Head Masters of the College were European Graduates. At the end of the 19th century when the Head Master of the school was transferred, the Director of Public Instruction expressed his opinion that, “ A native would do very well as the College has shown as good record under a native as under a European headmaster.” It was also felt that importation of a European into the Provincial Educational services would deprive a native of a step in his promotion and this create discontentment among the Indian teachers. Therefore the Indian graduates were given provision to take up the Head Master’s post.

Admission of lady students – beginning

1902, is an important landmark in the history of the Institution, as lady students were admitted for the first time. With the enrollment of girls the student strength increased gradually. The activities in the College also were on the increase, which provided opportunities for the students get enlightened through curricular and co-curricular activities. On the 18th of March 1905, the Institution celebrated the first Annual Day. The infrastructure expanded with the formation of new buildings, the intermediate replacing the F.A. Course, initiation of student council, a well equipped library and the burgeoning of various associations-Dramatic Society and the Scientific Society being prominent among them. A portico and a garden with a fountain beautified the campus. The Institution saw many new things coming up-among the activities, the prominent one was the Mock Parliament.

Prof. G.K. Chettur took charge as principal in 1920. He was an academician and scholar par excellence, and has been responsible for giving a face lift to the College as an Institution with a difference in higher education. He put his experience in higher education and exposure to Institutions of higher learning in England to develop the College. To train students in various aspects of higher learning he initiated a number of activities. Accordingly various associations like Karnataka Sabha, Malayalam Association, The Students’ Co-Operative Stationary Society and Pupil-Teacher Association emerged in the College. “The College Times’, a weekly wall magazine was introduced to bring out the hidden talents of the students. The ‘Government College Miscellany’ was a journal reflecting the richness of ideas of the students and teachers of the Institution, was the brainchild of G.K.Chettur. The miscellany continues till date with the title Mangala Gange.

First Grade College

A year after Indian independence, in 1948, the Government College, Mangalore was raised to the status of a first grade College. Bachelor degree in Arts and Commerce were introduced. The model training sections and high school were transferred to the Department of Public Instructions. With the re-organization of States on linguistic basis, in 1957, The Government College was affiliated to Karnataka University from Madras University and in 1958, the College was affiliated to Mysore University. The study of Hindi, Mathematics and a classical language was made optional. In 1959 the Bachelor Degree in Science was introduced and new subjects were introduced in Arts. To house the Departments of Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and Statistics, a new Science block was constructed in 1966. In 1978, a Centenary Building was constructed housing the Physics and Mathematics Departments in commemoration of the centenary celebration of the College.

Dawn of a New Era – Constituent College

Sri M. Veerappa Moily, an alumnus and the Chief Minister of Karnataka during 1992- 1994, wanted to upgrade the College by improving the standard of education. Government of Karnataka passed an order in July 1992, according to which the Government College became University College Mangalore, a constituent College of Mangalore University. After completing the formalities the then Chief Minister of Karnataka handed over the College to Mangalore University on 7th March 1993. Transfer of College from the Government to the University was a turning point in the history of the College. Subsequently, the pre university course was de linked. Consequent to this, the Institution saw a sea change in progress. Geology and Statistics subjects had to be discontinued for lack of demand from the student community. Keeping in view the need of the hour and to set the students to the recent trends in the growth of knowledge, Microbiology, Computer Science and Computer Application were introduced. Bachelor Degree in Business Management was introduced in 2006. Journalism as a subject was introduced in 2007. In 2009 Bachelor Degree in Human Resources Development and Travel and Tourism Management as a subject are introduced.

In 1996 the foundation stone was laid to the new library building which got grants from the University Grants Commission. The library building was declared open on 13th September 2000 by the then Governor of Karnataka, Smt. Ramadevi. In 1996, celebrating the 125th year of the College Academy Hall was renovated and renamed as ‘Ravindra Kala Bhavan’ in memory of Tagore’s visit to the College in 1922. A hall was renovated and converted to a hall and named ‘Shivaram Karanth Sabha Bhavan.’ Between 1996 and 2003 the faculty vacancies were filled. In 2003, with the assistance of Ministry of Human Resources Development, a multi Gym was installed. With the assistance of University Grants Commission, two new class rooms were constructed.

Beyond History

Vista of service and development is a nonstop process. The College proceeds with a confidence building among all the stake holders as it gains more and more of infrastructure as well as academic expansions. Its strength is on the enhancement, thanks to the involvement and support of the University, UGC, State and Central Governments, parents, alumnae and the public. Its heritage and monumental status gives more to all as it gets more.