Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

Dr. Raghunath Purushottam Paranjpye

Pune, Maharashtra

June 30, 2022

Raghunath Purushottam Paranjpye, M.A., B.Sc., D.Sc., was born on 16 February 1876 at Murdi Ratnagiri district, Bombay Presidency. Dr. Paranjpye was a prominent figure in Western India as a scholar, ematician, and educationist. He graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge in 1899. Following his graduation, He became an Indian ambassador and was also made a Fellow of St. John’s College (1901-07). He received the most coveted title of Senior Wrangler after completing of his B.A. in Cambridge University, England. However, in 1902, he returned to India to engage in a professorship of ematics at Fergusson College, Poona. On his return to India, Paranjpye was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council in 1912. Later, with the introduction of dyarchy in the Bombay Presidency, he was appointed as the first Minister for Education (1919-23) from Bombay University Constituency. In his term as the minister of education, the bill for free and compulsory primary education was tabled and sanctioned. He believed that a capable minister and a council to support him for 10 years would be enough to bring about the proposed changes in the Bombay Presidency. While in office as the Minister of Education, he was credited with the reform of technical education, practical application, and encouragement of vernacular literature. Citing the atmosphere at Cambridge University, he proposed to reduce the date of election of graduates to the franchise of Bombay university constituency from 7 years after graduation to 3 years after graduation. Though an educationist and a staunch Liberal, Paranjapye gradually started occupying a pivotal political role in bringing about cordial cooperation between the Extremists, Swarajists, Independents, and the Liberals in the Bombay constituency. An example of his political competitiveness was when he was invited to expound on the draft of the constitution of the United Nationalist Party, in Bombay city, on 17 December 1926. His evolving Intellectual and political importance can be gauged by an atmosphere of resentment caused by his resignation as the Minister of Forests and Excise, shortly after he was elected in the 1923 election of the Bombay Legislative Council. His resignation was due to his appointment by The Secretary of State for India, as a member of the Council of the Secretary of State of India. Paranjape though a liberal, educationalist, scholar, and politician, also occupied the unique position of highlighting the competence of the Indian youth, globally. Wrangler R.P. Paranjpye passed away on 6 May 1966. 

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