Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith is a Public University located in Varanasi or Benaras, Uttar Pradesh, India. Established in 1921 as Kashi Vidyapith and later renamed, it is administered under the state legislature of the government of Uttar Pradesh. The university has more than 350+ affiliated colleges spread over six Districts(Varanasi,Chandauli, Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Ballia). It is one of the largest State Universities in Uttar Pradesh, with hundreds of thousands of students, both rural and urban. It offers a range of Professional and Academic courses in Arts, Science, Commerce, Law, Computing and Management. Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidypeeth has earned B+ status from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council.
Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt and Bhagwan Das established the university in Varanasi, on 10 February 1921, during the non-cooperation movement of the freedom struggle. Originally named Kashi Vidyapith, the university was renamed Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith in 1995. It was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi.
Inspired by Gandhi’s call for self-reliance and swaraj (self-rule), the Kashi Vidyapith was the first modern university organised by Indians in British India. The university, along with contemporaries such as the Jamia Millia Islamia and the Gujarat Vidyapith, were outside the control and support of British authorities, supported and managed entirely by Indian nationalists and educationalists. Attracting young Indians from across the country, its faculty included prominent nationalists and scholars such as Acharya Narendra Dev, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jivatram Kripalani, Babu Shriprakash and Babu Sampurnanand. Gandhi and Indian nationalists encouraged Indians to boycott British-run institutions in favour of institutions managed entirely by Indians. Many prominent Indian industrialists and politicians provided financial and administrative support to the university.
Bhagwan Das was the first vice-chancellor. Others associated with the first board of management included Mahatma Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai, Jamuna Lal Bajaj, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta, Acharya Narendra Dev, Krishna Kant Malviya, and Purushottam Das Tandon. The founding ceremony of the Vidyapith reverberated with the recital of Vedic mantras as well as excerpts from the Quran in the presence of educationists, learned persons and nationalists such as Pandit Motilal Nehru, Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
Established with the resolution to keep the institution away from government recognition and grants the Vidyapith was accorded the status of “Deemed University” by the UGC in 1963. This epoch-making event started a new chapter for the institution. Babu Sampurnanand was appointed as the chancellor and Acharya Birbal Singh as vice-chancellor. As the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Pt.Kamlapati Tripathi initiated a state government resolution to make his alma mater a statutory university; this happened on 15 January 1974. At this point, Prof. Raghukul Tilak was the vice-chancellor and the Governor of U.P. became the chancellor in accordance with the U.P. University Act. At present, the M.G. Kashi Vidyapith is flourishing under the able leadership of vice-chancellor, Dr. Prithvish Nag.
Cultural and political background
Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith owes its birth to the educational, cultural and political aspirations of pre-independence India. The early period of this institution pulsated with the national freedom struggle. The teaching provided original dimensions to the concept and movement of Indian socialism. After seeing an educational institution in Japan during a visit in 1913–14, Prasad Gupt was inspired to establish an institution in India, free from government aid or interference. The boycott of government-aided educational institutions during the non-cooperation movement coupled with Mahatma Gandhi’s programme of National Education exerted a great deal of influence on Prasad Gupt. As a consequence, the Vidyapith came into being. Students joining Mahatma Gandhi’s boycott call took admission in the Vidyapith.Shiv Prasad Gupta established the “Har Prasad Smarak Nidhi” in memory of his deceased brother, for the operation of the Vidyapith, which subsequently proved to be a fertile nursery of National Freedom movement activities.
Commitment to democracy,equality of all religions, staunch support to nationalism and to Indian socialism & enrichment of Hindi as a national language has been throughout a praiseworthy tradition of the Vidyapith. As per the declaration contained in the founding resolution of the Vidyapith, the objectives of this national educational institution are as follows:
To strive to enhance and propagate:
> The development of Indian civilization & culture based on spiritualism.
> Homogeneous intermingling of all the sections of Indian society.
> Coordination among different thoughts and cultures.
> The notion of independence and patriotism along with the feeling of brotherhood & the urge to serve mankind.
> Ancient and modern development in the fields of various disciplines of learning, sculpture, science, technology etc.
Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith
Station Road, Maldahiya Crossing, Maldahiya, Kashi Vidyapith, Chetganj