Birla Vidya Mandir in Nainital is a residential public school for boys in India which was founded in July 1947. The school is the product of the vision of Govind Ballabh Pant, an Indian independence activist.
It was built in the 1870s as Oak Openings High School and the naturalist and story teller Jim Corbett studied at it. In 1905, Oak Openings was amalgamated with the Philander Smith Institute of Mussoorie, resulting in the Philander Smith College. In the wake of the Second World War, Hallet War School was built on the same campus, established for the children of the British who were in India at that time due to the war.
Birla Vidya Mandir came into existence in 1947, when Shree G. D. Birla bought the estate.
Before India achieved its independence, Pant wanted to start a public school; a donation from Ghanshyam Das Birla, a philanthropist and industrialist, made this possible. Pant then used the estate of Philander Smith, which had housed the Hallet War School during India's war years, to create Birla Vidya Mandir.
The school takes admissions from Class 4 to Class 12. Though an English medium school, the ethos is totally Indian. Prayers in Sanskrit are held before every meal and students celebrate the festivals of India.
The school is affiliated to CBSE Delhi and is a member of Indian Public School's Conference (IPSC), National Progressive Schools’ Conference(NPSC), CBSE Sahodaya School Complex and International Confederation of Principals (ICP).
The school is an ISO 9002:2000(E) (Quality Management System) and ISO:14001:1996 (Environmental Management System) certified institution.
The school is 330 km to the northeast of Delhi in the Central Himalayan township of Nainital. Its campus is 65 acres (260,000 m2) in area set at the top of a ridge, called "Sher-Ka-Danda" overlooking the lake, 1,500 feet (460 m) above the town and 7,800 feet (2,400 m) above sea level. It is connected by a motorable road.
|Birla Vidya Mandir|
Logo of Birla Vidya Mandir
|Motto||स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः|
|Grades||Class 4 – 12|
|Number of students||800|
|Campus size||65 [acre]|
|Houses||Nehru, Pant, Tilak, Tagore, Subhash, Patel, Gandhi, Radhakrishnan, Raman, Vivekanand|
|Sports||Snooker, Soccer, cricket, hockey, tennis, basketball, table tennis, roller skating, badminton, Carrom, Volleyball....|
|Affiliation||CBSE, Indian Public School's Conference (IPSC), National Progressive Schools’ Conference (NPSC) and International Confederation of Principals (ICP)|
The estate was first owned by J.W. Waugh, and it was close to where the GB Pant Hospital (Ramsay Hospital) now stands.
“Situated just below the summit of Sher-ka-danda, the most easterly of the peaks surrounding Nainital and just above St Asaph Road,” writes Martin Booth, “it commanded a stunning panoramic view of the town, the tal and the drop to the plains of India.” The much expanded Birla Vidya Mandir stands in the hoary campus of the Oak Opening High School the vestiges of which still survive in the guise of much renovated Gandhi House and in all probability the Administrative Block and Library, described by Martin Booth as “Jim's original school surviving as a house close to the main building.”
Jim Corbett, the famous naturalist and story teller from Nainital, attended Oak Openings School. Some of the Jim’s biographers speak of the school being operated and co-owned by a ruthless and cruel ex-Indian Army Officer who was known to his 70 pupils as ‘Dead Eye Dick’ “for his aim both with a rifle and a bamboo cane was exceedingly accurate.” It became a favourite memory of Jim’s, in his later years, to remark how Oak Openings was the site of the shooting of the last mountain quail (Ophrysia supercilosa) in 1876, driving it into extinction.
In 1905, the Philander Smith Institute of Mussoorie, founded by Mrs. Smith, widow of Mr. Philander Smith of Illinois, was moved to Nainital and “amalgamated” with the Oak Opening Boys’ High School. The result was the Philander Smith College with Rev. FS Ditto as its first principal. Describing the development and expansion of Philander Smith College, Deputy Commissioner of Nainital JM Clay wrote in his monograph (Nainital, A Historical and Descriptive Account, 1927) that “The extensive buildings which now exist have been built gradually since then, and a large dormitory block has recently been constructed. The site is over 7,500 feet above sea-level and is the highest school site in India, probably in the world.” Here the building being referred to is the imposing ‘Ashok Bhavan’ then called the ‘Hurricane House.’ Incidentally, Orde Wingate of Chindit Circus fame, who was born on 26 February 1903 in a house called Montrose in Nainital, had his early schooling in all probability at Philander Smith College. Despite their birthplace being the same, Jim never met the “sword and Bible” general Wingate. However, as a Lieutenant Colonel and senior instructor in jungle craft, he trained some of Orde Wingate’s ‘Chindits’ at Chhindwara in the then Central Province.
An article by AG Atkins, the pastor of the Union Church for two summers at Nainital and better known for his translation of Ram Charit Manas, published in the Hindustan Times Sunday Magazine on 14 August 1956 says that Jim and his sister Maggie were the most awaited guests at the Philander Smith College and its sister institution the Wellesley (now the DSB College of the Kumaun University). Installing Maggie on the dais in the central hall of what now is known as Gandhi House he would lecture on his favourite subject, the Jungle Telegraph. “A tiger is coming, he would announce, and then mimic a series of bird calls: the jungle babbler, drongo, peafowl, etc. One evening after Corbett had screened his first tiger film and given his wildlife lecture at Philander Smith College, the pastor walked Corbett half way home to the lake from the college. After sometime the priest asked him what made a hunter a photographer, and the response of Jim as records Atkins was “It required much more of my skill and gives me an even greater thrill to get good pictures of my animals than when I used to hunt just to kill.”
Anil Sadgopal is an Indian educationist and activist, known for the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme and for advocacy related to the Right to Education (RTE) Act. He is a recipient of several awards and honours, including the Jamnalal Bajaj Award for 'Application of Science and Technology for Rural Development'. He was instrumental in setting up Eklavya foundation in 1982. For over a decade, he was Professor of Education at Delhi University, and headed its Department of Education during 1998-2001. Since 2004-2005, he has been campaigning for changes in the RTE Act, which he believes is flawed.Danny Denzongpa
Danny Denzongpa (born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa; 25 February 1948) is an Indian film actor, singer and film director of Sikkimese-Bhutia descent. He has mainly worked in Bollywood films, though he has also appeared in several Nepali, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu films. He has acted in about 190 Hindi films since 1971. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India's fourth-highest civilian honour. His film career spans more than 4 decades.
He has also starred in some international films, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he appeared alongside Brad Pitt. His best known villainous roles are in Dhund, 36 Ghante, Bandish (1980), Jeeo Aur Jeene Do, Dharm Aur Qanoon and Agneepath and in Fakira, Chor Machaye Shor, Devata, Kalicharan, Bulundi and Adhikar. His directorial venture Phir Wahi Raat was considered among the top five best horror suspense films of Hindi Cinema.Education in Uttarakhand
Education in Uttarakhand is provided by a large number of public and private institutions. Uttarakhand had a long tradition of learning and culture.G. D. Birla
Ghanshyam Das Birla (10 April 1894 – 1983) was an Indian businessman and member of the Birla Family.Hargaon
Hargaon is a town and a nagar panchayat in Sitapur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.Jim Corbett
Edward James Corbett (25 July 1875 – 19 April 1955) was a British hunter, tracker and conservationist, author and naturalist, who hunted a large number of man-eating tigers and leopards in India.
Corbett held the rank of colonel in the British Indian Army and was frequently called upon by the government of the United Provinces, now the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, to kill man-eating tigers and leopards that were preying on people in the nearby villages of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions.
He authored Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Jungle Lore, and other books recounting his hunts and experiences, which enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success. Later on in life, Corbett became an avid photographer and spoke out for the need to protect India's wildlife from extermination and played a key role in creating a national reserve for the endangered Bengal tiger, by using his influence to persuade the provincial government to establish what was called Hailey National Park. In 1957, the park was renamed Jim Corbett National Park in his honour.List of boarding schools in India
The following are notable boarding schools in India.List of schools in India
This is a list of schools in India grouped by state/UT.Nainital
Nainital (pronunciation ), also known as Naini Tal, is a popular hill station in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital district in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres (6,837 ft) above sea level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a mango-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south. From the tops of the higher peaks, "magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bound by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas."Vinod Kumar Shukla (politician)
Vinod Kumar Shukla (Hindi: विनोद कुमार शुक्ला) aka Babbu Bhaiya, is a businessman and social worker. He hails from the respected Bhaiya Lal Shukla family of Amahiya Rewa. He was an independent candidate from Mauganj for the Madhya Pradesh State Assembly Elections held on November 25, 2013. He joined the Bharatiya Janta Party on November 24, 2014 in Rewa.