A few words about us
S.N. Das Gupta College was established in Lahore in 1931, by late Shri Mani Ramji Aggarwal with the sole purpose of coaching candidates for various competitive examinations specially Defence Services. In 1930s openings for the Indian students were limited and amongst the best career was entry into the Defence Services. Here too, number selected was restricted to just a few officers every year and the competition was difficult. Late Shri Mani Ramji Aggarwal had a vision to coach candidates for the Defence Services and by 1935 a Centre par excellence had been set up which attracted prospective candidates from whole of the Punjab. Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, during one of his visits to the College in 1949, when he was Commander-in Chief of the Indian Army, mentioned that he had visited S. N. Das Gupta College in 1935 in Lahore and appreciated the high standards maintained by the institution.
There was no going back and onset of the World War II accelerated the demand for Indian officers in the Defence Forces and the recruitment was intensified. We have photographs of the Lahore days in which one can spot some of the senior most officers of the Indian Defence Forces including Marshal of the Air Force, Arjan Singh, Lt, Gen. M.N.Batra, Maj. Gen. Nishi Chatterji, Brig. Raj Suri, Brig S.V.S. Juneja, Air Vice Marshal M.K. Kaul, Commodore R.N. Das Gupta, Air Marshal G.B.Singh, Air Marshal A.C. Dewan and a few others of the same vintage. By 1947, on the eve of Independence, the College had earned for itself an enviable record for coaching candidates for the Defence Services. The institute now acted as a magnet for the students desirous of a career in the Defence Forces, which had brilliant prospects. The functions and the responsibilities of the Defence Forces had undergone a change with the advent of Independence. The new role expected the Defence Forces not to fight for the Queen or the King but to uphold the territorial integrity of the motherland. Earlier, the Commissioned Officers had to go abroad to U.K. for advanced training. All this altered after the attainment of Independence. The first NDA course commenced in 1949.
The government decided to set up the National' Defence Academy on the lines of the West Point of the United States, in Clement Town, Dehradun. The present Director and Principal of the college, Mr. Mohan, was amongst the few successful candidates in the first course of the NDA (In 1949 it was called Inter-Services Wing). His photograph appears our student S. N. Gupta Stood first in NDA in 1949 when he had gone for his SSB interview to Meerut in May, 1949.
The first announcement by the Union Public Service Commission for the NDA in January 1949 prompted S.N. Das Gupta College to commence coaching for the written exam and SSB of the NDA. S. N. Gupta, one of our students, stood first in India in the very first written exam conducted in January 1949.
The college had a few other selections also including Subhash Sikand who joined Indian Navy and Principal K Mohan. Careers in the Defence Services acquired tremendous popularity and hundreds of candidates sought the guidance of the College for both the written as well as the Services Selection Board. From 1951 to 1961, over 2000 candidates studied in the College for NDA and they included Commander Nari contractor, Lt.Gen. T.S. Shergill, Col. S.P. Khanna, Lt.Gen. A.S. Khanna, Maj. Gen. S.K. Batra, Brig C.P. Arora, Col. B.N. Sodi, Maj. Gen. K.M. Dhody and Brig. SK Dutta. The Chinese war of October, 1962 opened floodgates for the eligible candidates to join the Army Service.
Most of these candidates were offered Emergency or a Short Commission in the army for about 5 years and later allowed to compete for the Civil Services. The College conducted classes practically throughout the day to coach the Emergency and Short Service Commission candidates for the Services Selection Board. The teachers who played a prominent role in success of the students for the commission, included Prof. Mukerji, Prof. Pereira, Dr. Ravi Chopra and the late Principal, Mani Ramji himself. The Emergency Commission candidates after the expiry of their tenure in the Army, joined the College in large numbers for the pre-examination coaching for the Civil Services. Most of these officers have been occupying senior most positions in the Indian bureaucracy superannuation in the 2010’s.