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Early in the year 1920, on Basant Panchami day, seven leading businessmen in Delhi established the Commercial Educational Trust. The first school that was set up by the Trust in the same year was the Commercial School, then located in Charkhewalan in the crowded Walled City of Delhi. This was the predecessor of the Commercial College and in way the beginning of Commerce education in Delhi. Commerce education in India began in 1886, for in that year a commercial school was set up in Madras.
Commercial institutions were also started in Bombay and Calcutta between 1903 and 1912. At the Collegiate level or the University level the journey began with the establishment of the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Bombay in 1913.
The Commercial School in Delhi introduced a post-matriculation Diploma programme in Commerce under the supervision of Mr. R.K. Kumar, who later was to become the first Principal of the Commercial College (later re-christened as Shri Ram College of Commerce), after its affiliation to the University of Delhi in 1926.
The Commercial College heralded the entry of Commerce education in the university system of Delhi. The initial funds for setting up of the College came from the Dewan Chand Trust. The University accorded recognition to the College for preparing students for its Intermediate Examination (Commerce Group). Enrolment of the first batch of students was made on the first floor of a `Hall' opposite the St. James' Church at Kashmere Gate. Classes started with 12 students and four faculty members from a hired bungalow at 8 Darya Ganj.
In 1932, the College was upgraded to the status of a Degree College and started awarding its graduates the B.A. (Pass) (Commerce Group) Degrees of the University. The B.A. (Honours) (Commerce Group) Degrees were introduced in 1943. Closely on its heels, the same year saw the entry of M.A. (Economics) and in 1948, M.Com. was introduced. In 1949, when the B.Com (Honours) Degree was instituted in the University of Delhi, teaching the course seemed to be a natural task of the College. The B.A. (Honours) (Economics) was introduced in 1958.
In, 1951, on its Silver Jubilee, the College decided to convert itself into a College specializing in Commerce and Economics, and also gave itself the present name in recognition of the contribution made by its founder - Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). SRCC shifted to its new building in the sprawling Delhi University Campus in 1953. The guidance of Sir Shri Ram and the perseverance of the then Principal Jai Naraian Vaish provided a well-endowed building spread over a campus of 16 acres. With a circular facade incorporating the lecture rooms on two floors, a central Clock Tower, tutorial and library blocks flanking the main building, separate students hostel, canteen, common room, staff residences, the College was created to encompass the whole range of institutional requirements.
The College became co-educational in 1957 although it had admitted a lone girl student way back in 1933. SRCC later became the first College in the University to set up a Girls' Hostel in a non-exclusively women's College.
SRCC has developed itself over the years and retains its prestigious position as the foremost of institutions dedicated to Commerce and Economics education the country. Its alumni occupy distinguished positions in almost all spheres of society, government, bureaucracy, banking, finance, academics, business, journalism and media. It has been a long journey through the seventy-five years and yet the journey has perhaps just begun. If Commerce education was a felt need in preindependent India so that indigenous human resources could be tapped in the midst of the colonial yoke, seventy five years later, Commerce education is an extremely relevant one, considering the march towards a globalized and liberalized economy.
The College has practiced a policy of self renewal all along and when the time came to reinvent itself in the context of the changing scenario, it has upgraded itself with the introduction of a post-graduate, two-year full time programme in Global Business Operations of the University of Delhi in 1999.
The College has reached another milestone in its march to distinction. It is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee and rededicating itself to the service of education that is meaningful, comprehensive and target oriented. At the dawn of a new millennium and on its march to its Centenary, Shri Ram College of Commerce will continue to remain a dream destination and then a springboard to great achievements for many a youngster of our country.