The origin of the Zakir Husain Delhi College can be traced to the closing years of the 17th Century, with the founding of a Madrasa by Ghaziuddin Khan, one of the Emperor Aurangzeb’s leading Deccan commanders and the father of the first Nizam of Hyderabad. The complex containing his tomb, a mosque and a Madrasa, can be visited today outside the Ajmeri Gate near the Dargah of the 13th century Sufi, Hazrat Hafiz Sadullah.
The upheavals that weakened the Mughal empire during the 18th century, resulted in the closure of the Madrasa in the early 1790’s, but, with the support of the wealthy citizens of Delhi, an oriental college for literature, science and art, was established at the site in 1792. Instruction was provided in prose, literature, rhetoric, logic, philosophy, jurisprudence, astrology and medicine.
In 1824, Delhi College was engrafted onto this institution by the British East India Company’s government. Nawab Itmad udduala, the Oudh Vazir, provided an endowment of Rs. 1,70,000 in 1829 for the promotion of oriental learning. Instruction was imparted chiefly in Persian and Arabic, and there was also a Sanskrit department.
However, Urdu or Hindustani soon gained importance in this unique institution. It became the principal medium of instruction, not only for oriental sciences and literature, but also for the study of astronomy and mathematics on European principles, which had been introduced and enthusiastically received by teachers and students as early as 1827. The translation of scientific treatises, Greek classics and Persian works into Urdu was taken up by the Vernacular Society which was set up in 1832. Within the space of two decades it published works covering a range of subjects including mathematics, science, philosophy, history, surgery, geography, political economy, civil law and principles of legislation. Its remarkable achievements were later supplemented by the Society for the Promotion of Knowledge in India.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century a vibrant multi-denominational and multi-racial community evolved around Urdu culture and etiquette. The Delhi College was the focus of this composite urbanity in northern India’s premier city. A distinguished group of its teachers and students – educationists, mathematicians, historians and literatures – became the center of a scientific and literary flowering that would be referred to as the `Delhi Renaissance’. They founded schools, wrote books and textbooks, translated works into Urdu and edited journals.
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ZHC Vision and Mission
Vision Zakir Husain Delhi College is a living monument of Delhi’s journey through time. Despite its long turbulent history, it retained its identity and survived with its strong secular values. Its emblem tells its story of existence and excellence. Its strong commitment towards promoting the cause of learning and education conveys its vision. Since its very inception, by cutting across ...
Awards & Rankings
Sports Achievements : It has been a very successful year for the college football team, as it not only regained the Delhi University Inter-college football championship after a couple of years but it also won the prestigious Delhi State Senior Division Institutional Football League Championship after more than a decade. In recognition of their outstanding performance this year all the ...
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