Ravenshaw is the oldest institution of higher education in the state of Odisha and one of the oldest institutions of higher education in India. It was founded in 1868 with intermediate level (F. A.) classes at the Cuttack Zilla (district) School (now Ravenshaw Collegiate School). The high school, which was also known as the Cuttack High School, was elevated to a first grade college in 1876. It became widely known as Cuttack College until it was rechristened Ravenshaw College as a tribute to T. E. Ravenshaw, who was the Commissioner of Cuttack Division and had played a key role in its creation. The office of Ravenshaw College and Ravenshaw Collegiate School was separated in 1904.
The site in which Ravenshaw is presently located was selected as a site for the College by the Nathan Committe in 1913. Ravenshaw College Map first draft reproduced from Nivedita M.’s Ravenshaw College: Orissa’s Temple of Learning, 1868-2006; Building plan Back then, the site was populary called Chakra Padia which was a race course at the time. According to popular lore, it was a lonely and unsafe place. However, newspaper reports of the time provide accounts of how Chakra Padia was the preferred site of the English officers in Cuttack for festivities and sports. Besides horse racing and cricket matches which were the usual sporting events, it was the women’s cycle race which drew great attention.
If a strategic shift in favour of the spread of ‘modern’ education and ‘development’ by building an institution of higher education like Ravenshaw in the wake of a catastrophic famine of 1866 characterized the focus of colonial policy interventionism in nineteenth century Odisha, the ‘expressivist’ signs of the institution were marked by a subversive spirit of anti-colonialism suffused with a radical libertarian ideological position in the first half of the twentieth century Student volunteers for Utkal Union Conference. Stretching beyond its institutional logic and framework of knowledge production, Ravenshaw remained a distinct critical site of negotiating modernity from multiple perspectives by an emerging yet assertive intelligentsia in the early decades of the twentieth century Orissa Education Fund; Oriya People’s Association; Sonepur State Peace Medals Fund; Domicile Orissa; Medallions Great War Commemoration; Second War loan; Song of British Victory. The class passionately engaged with larger and diverse issues of region, language, identity and community, nation, and the emerging global order.
Amid its intimate engagements and negotiations with the colonial order University Company; Provincial Publicity Department, Ravenshaw College underwent several phases of expansion and transformation with regard to infrastructure and facilities and teaching and research Ravenshaw in 1917; Board of Studies-1919; Syndicate; Governing body.