With the awakening of national consciousness in the early years of
the last century, a few notable efforts were made in British India to
improve the system of education prevalent in India during that time.
Gujarat Vidyapeeth, started by Mahatma Gandhi, aimed at preparing youth
to serve and uplift the rural masses; Shantiniketan tried to bring the
cultures of the East and West into universal harmony; Jamia Millia tried
to educate the Muslims in keeping with the needs of the main stream of
national life; and the Gurukul Kangri aimed at preserving the cultural
heritage of the nation keeping with the requirements of the modern age.
Inspired by the same spirit Pandit Janardan Rai Nagar established
‘Rajasthan Vidyapeeth’ in 1937 to uplift the down-trodden common man
in the feudal state of Mewar. Started as a Night Study Centre for the
Elementary, Secondary and Advanced Courses in Hindi, our national
language, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth has grown into a large complex of more
than 50 institutions spread over several districts of Rajasthan.
Historically, Rajasthan has been a paradise for knowledge seekers, as
it has a rich cultural heritage in the form of manuscripts, historic
documents, icons, epigraphs and monuments. Late Manishi Pandit Janardan
Rai Nagar's initiative and vision led him to start the Prachin Sahitya
Shodh Sansthan in 1941 to preserve, edit, translate and publish old
manuscripts. Probably, it was a unique Institute of its kind in
Rajasthan, which was established for the conservation of cultural
After the historic event of the unification of Rajasthan, 'Hindi
Vidyapeeth' added new dimensions to its basic objectives. It became a
leading Non-Government Organization during the course of its journey and
the founder Pandit Janardan Rai Nagar renamed it as Rajasthan Vidyapeeth.
Early sixties proved to be the landmark in the history of Rajasthan
Vidyapeeth when it decided to meet the challenges, which started
springing up after independence. The first Prime Minister of India had
deep faith in democracy and he decided to spread the message of sharing
responsibilities at the grass-root level. As a result the Panchayati Raj
Institutions came into existence. Rajasthan Vidyapeeth also decided to
join hands with the GOI to share this responsibility and established
Community Centres Department and Janata College during the Second
Five-Year Plan. The objective was to provide benefits to the people of
remote villages. It was the beginning of the full-fledged Institute of
Adult and Continuing Education. During this period, Vidyapeeth started a
new unit, which is called JANPAD, with the objective of propagating the
knowledge of day-to-day local and national affairs for the urban society
through black-board/broadcast service mass communication being the aim.
With the dawn of independence, there was a dire need to provide
opportunities for higher education to the underprivileged section of the
society, specially in the Tribal belt. The Evening College (Shramjeevi
College) was the outcome of this idea. The basic objective of
establishing the Evening (Shramjeevi) College was to admit the students
who worked during day-hours and wanted to educate themselves for better
job opportunities. During this period Rajasthan was also emerging as a
potential state of Union Government of India. Availability of trained
professionals for industry/business was the urgent need of the time.
Keeping this in view Vidyapeeth initiated a Postgraduate course in
the discipline of Social Work (MSW). Today, a large number of its alumni
are working in various positions in Personnel and Management field
throughout the country.
A number of other institutes like Higher Secondary School, Secondary
School, Post-basic School and the Centre for Fine Arts were also started
by Vidyapeeth to provide education to all the sections of the society.
The College of Teachers' Training was another major event on the path of
progress of Vidyapeeth during the seventies.
A special feature of Rajasthan Vidyapeeth administration is what we
call the 'Janatantriaya Shilanyas' (Democratic Foundation), i.e. its
democratic way of life and work. Vidyapeeth is organized and run
entirely by its workers and its basic philosophy is to provide
opportunity of participation to each worker in the decision making
process through various constituent bodies. The entire administration is
divided into three-spheres or streams-social, educational and general
management administration. Each of these spheres has its own elected or
nominated leader and body for the management of its affairs.
The prestige enjoyed by it during all these years is reflected in the
fact that eminent personalities like Late Shri Bhopal Singh, Maharana of
Mewar, Dr. Karan Singh of Kashmir, Shriyut Srimannarian, Mahapandit Shri
Rahul Sankrityanan, etc. have graced the chair of Chancellor of
Rajasthan Vidyapeeth. The eminent persons, who visited Vidyapeeth,
include Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Jai Prakash Narain, Vinoba Bhave, Mrs.
Indira Gandhi, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. Radha Krishnan. Col. Tod
completed his historic book 'Annals and Antiquities of Rajputana' during
his stay in the campus of this Institution.
The year 1987 was the landmark in the history of Vidyapeeth when the
Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and the
University Grants Commission granted it the status of a
Deemed-to-be-University. Since then, a number of different types of
courses, including professional ones, for the benefit of the society,
have been launched. Its guiding objectives have invariably been to
provide research based qualitative education to community through
preservation and conservation of our socio-cultural values.
The institution is not only spreading its wings of education in the
country itself but has also entered into the area of international
studies through academic exchange of its students and faculty members to
Slippery Rock University a prestigious University of USA. This is a step
forward to the academic excellence and towards providing opportunity to
the students and teachers of Rajasthan Vidyapeeth.