Opp. Mission Hospital, Athwalines, Surat-395001, Gujarat, India.
The establishment of the Sir Kikabhai Premchand College of Commerce was a landmark in the growth and development of the Sarvajanik Education Society. This new institution of higher education in Commerce, started by the Society in 1946, owed its existence to the generous donation of Rs.1,00225/- by Sir Kikabhai Prerhchand, then president of the society, and to the untiring efforts of some of the leading members of the society. In 1945 Sir Kikabhai Premchand, who had been greatly impressed by the educational activities of the Society, made over to it 100 ordinary shares of the Fort Gloster Jute Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and 50 shares of the Hukamchand Jute Mills Ltd. of the market value of Rs.1,00225/- on the conditions that the society should start a commerce college within two years, i.e. by June 1947, that the college should be named after the person named by Sir Kikabhai, that the amount of the donation should be utilized towards the construction of a building for the commerce college and that a minimum amount of Rs.3,00,000/- should be collected, by the society for starting and maintaining the college.
The Managing Committee of the Society accepted the donation and began to make arrangements for starting the Commerce College. An application was sent to the University of Bombay in August 1945. The Local Inquiry Committee appointed by the University for the purpose visited Surat on 23rd December 1945 and the Senate of the University recommended to the Government in March 1946 the affiliation of the Commerce College for teaching of courses leading up to Intermediate commerce class for two years.
The college was named as Sir Kikabhai Premchand College of Commerce and it started working from June 20, 1946 with a total number of 181 students. Shri Y. D. Keskar, who had worked as professor of commerce for a number of years at the H.L.College of Commerce, Ahmedabad, was appointed the first Principal of the College.
To begin with the College was housed in a spacious bungalow in Athwa Lines opposite the Police Headquarters. The opening ceremony of the College was performed by Hon'ble Shri B. G. Kher, Prime Minister, Government of Bombay, on July 3, 1946.
The Hostel students were accommodated first in a bungalow on the Kentish Road behind the College building, but the demand for hostel admissions having increased the very next year, a bungalow called 'Green Gate’ situated near the College was hired for the purpose and about Rs.12000/- were spent in remodeling it to suit the needs of hostel life.
This spacious plot situated to the north-east of the M.T.B.College was allotted to Sir K.P.College of Commerce for its building and on 22nd March 1948, the Sarvajanik Education Society got the foundation stone of the building laid by his Excellency Raja Sir Maharaj Singh, C.I.E.,the Governor of Bombay and an old friend of Sir Kikabhai Premchand.
Earlier on December 8, 1947, a Local Inquiry Committee, appointed by the Bombay University in connection with the application of the College for extension of affiliation, had visited the College and had recommended the extension of affiliation for teaching courses leading up to B.Com.degree. So from June 1948, the College provided Instruction in all the three optional subjects at the Intermediate Commerce level and Advanced Accountancy and Auditing, Cotton Economics and Statistics at the B.Com. level. The introduction of the teaching of Statistics as an optional subject proved to be of great value to the students owing to the paucity of statisticians.
From the inception of the College efforts were made to arrange for the enrolment of the students in the University Officers Training Corps (U.O.T.C.) but as the scheme of the formation of the N.C.C. was being prepared, the efforts had not succeeded. In November 1948. However, the Government sanctioned one Company for Surat with two platoons for the M. T. B. College and one for the Commerce College as part of the Fourth Bombay Battalion.
For the College, the prospect of having its own building materialised sooner than was expected. The construction work started during the summer vacation of 1949-50 and the building, which cost Rs.3,29592.67,was ready by June 1951.The opening ceremony was performed by “ Sheth Kasturbhai Lalbhai ” on November 23, 1951. Moreover from the new academic year, the college was granted recognition to start M.Com. classes. On March 10, 1953, a full-size statue of Diwan Bahadur Gandhi was put up by the Society in front of the college. It was in grateful commemoration of Diwan Bahadur Gandhi's devoted services to the cause of Education and to the Co-operative movement in the District of which he was a pioneer.
Sir Kikabhai, after whom the College is named, was a great benefactor of the Society. He was the President of the Society for twenty years from 1933 to 1953. His vision of this office had brought additional prestige and dignity to the Society. His last act of benevolence towards the Society and the College was a donation of Rs.8000/- towards the Commerce College Hostel Building fund.
One of the essential needs of, the college was a building for the College Hostel. The resident students were housed in the Green Gate, Bungalow which was a bit too far from the College. It was therefore felt necessary to build a Hostel which would be nearer the college premises. The Society had already purchased a plot of land in Athwa Lines, behind the M.T. B.College play-ground, for the Hostel Building. The foundation were laid in the first term of the year 1953-54. The building was ready for occupation in June 1955. It was built at a cost of Rs.1,95,000/- and was declared, open by Shri Morarji Desai, Chief Minister, Bombay State, on June 19, 1955. The number of the students in the College was steadily growing from year to year, but in 1955 it registered a sharp rise and reached the figure 675. The College building, which was barely four years old, was soon found to be inadequate. Two new halls were put up on the first floor to meet the immediate need of more accommodation. Late Shri Atmaram Motiram Diwanji donated Rs.40,000/- for the purpose.
There was similar extension in the courses of study available at the College. Banking and Co-operation were introduced at the B.Com. level and International Banking at the M.Com. level. Moreover Ph.D students were enrolled for Commerce and Economics. The N.C.C. training was introduced and a platoon under the command of Prof. M.T. Chiplonkar was formed in the College.
Thus by 1956, when it was ten years old, the College had progressed well in all respects. It imparted instruction up to B.Com. and M.Com. Degree levels with Accounting and Auditing, Statistics, Banking, Co-operation, Economics of Cotton, Higher Statistics, Advanced Account, Costing and Industrial Management as optional subjects. The strength of the students had reached the figure 700 and their performance in curricular and extra-curricular activities was equally brilliant. In the year 1958, the college got permanent affiliation with Gujarat University.
In June 1959 Principal Samant left for taking up University Professor's post at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Vidyapeeth and Prin. A.R.Desai was appointed in his place, who worked as principal upto 1974 and then he was appointed as Honorable Vice-chancellor of South Gujarat University for two terms, i.e. 6 years.
Though the College building had now sufficient number of class-rooms, it lacked adequate Library and Reading Room facilities for serious academic work. The University Grants Commission sanctioned a grant of Rs.49,000/- for the purpose and the Society put up a Library Extension Block, thus completing the western wing of the First Floor of the College Building at a cost of Rs.80,866/-. Another addition to the College building was the Non-Resident Students' Recreation Centre built at a total cost of Rs.88,460/-. For this also the University Grants Commission sanctioned a grant of Rs.35,000/-. The Centre now provides good accommodation to the students for recreation and refreshments, it was declared open on August 11, 1962 by Shri Hitendra K. Desai, Minister for Law and Revenue, Gujarat State.
It is a matter of great pride that the college has been granted ‘A’ grade in NACC accreditation in 2014.
The College has successfully completed 70 years of its joining and has entered in the 71st year. The strength of the students is 2900. It offers B.Com. with specialisation in 'Advanced Accounting and Auditing', 'Banking' and 'Statistics'. It also offers a variety of optional subjects like Salesmanship and Publicity, Financial Management and Banking and Insurance in the first year also. It also offers Indirect Taxation as an optional subject in the Third Year. The post graduate students are offered specialisation in 'Advanced Acccounting' and 'Auditing' and 'Statistics'. The college is the first, to introduce M.Com.(Honours) Integrated Program in the South Gujarat Region. The college also runs a Diploma Course in Tax Management