Early in the year 1920, on Basant Panchami day, seven leading businessmen in Delhi established the Commercial Education Trust. The first school that was set up by the Trust in the same year was the Commercial School, and then located in Charkhewalan in the crowded walled city of Delhi. This was the predecessor of the Commercial College and in a 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 rechristened 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, New Delhi.
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 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 specialising 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 1954. The new building was inaugurated by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Hon’ble Vice President of India, on January 31, 1954. The guidance of Sir Shri Ram and the perseverance of the then Principal Jai Narain Vaish provided a well-endowed building spread over a campus of 16 acres. With a circular façade 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. In 2006-07 the government of NCT Delhi accorded Heritage Status to the College Building.
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. A new 100 seater girls Hostel has been recently sanctioned by the UGC.
SRCC has developed itself over the years and retains its prestigious position as the foremost of institutions dedicated to Commerce and Economics education in 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 pre-independent India so that the indigenous human resources could be tapped in the midst of the colonial yoke, 75 years later, Commerce education is an extremely relevant one, considering the march towards a globalised and liberalised 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.
Shri Ram College of Commerce continues to remain a dream destination and then a springboard to great achievements for many a youngster of our country.
The College has on its faculty highly qualified academicians and attracts the very best of students from all over the country and abroad. SRCC enjoys a prestigious position and after graduating from here many students are readily admitted in renowned foreign universities. Students enjoy a distinct advantage in the matter of employment in reputed organisations and a good number of them are offered positions, through campus recruitment, even before their results are declared.
The alumni of the College are well placed in the fields of banking and finance, general management, civil services and academics. Many are successfully managing their own business establishments or are reputed chartered accountants.
SRCC students have been performing remarkably well in all spheres of life. They have won the prestigious Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, topped the CA and civil services examinations and have been consistently getting selected in the best British and American Universities.