Bishop Heber College in Tiruchirappalli, established by the Trichy- Tanjore Diocese of the Church of South India (CSI) has been ranked FOURTH in the nation in the “Colleges” category by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi. The CSI Synod officials consider this as an honour to the entire Church of South India and express the feeling that the fourth position the Bishop Heber College won is an encouraging gesture to the centuries-long mission of the church in the field of education, especially among the poor and the marginalised, in South India. Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of CSI, congratulated Rt. Rev. Dr. G. Paul Vasanthakumar, the Bishop of the Trichy- Tanjore, Prof. Dr. Paul Dhayabaran, the Principal of the Bishop Heber College, and the leaders of the College and the Diocese in this highly commendable achievement. Rt. Rev. Dr. V. Prasada Rao, the Deputy Moderator of CSI also joined the Moderator in congratulating the leaders for the achievement of the college. Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of CSI, said that the achievement of the College is an indicator of the commitment of the Church to give the excellent education to the students both in the urban and rural places in South India following the footsteps of the missionaries. He congratulated the team who worked hard behind this tremendous achievement. Adv. Robert Bruce, the Treasurer of CSI, told that this award is a recognition for the resurgence we have been witnessing in the commitment of the Church in the field of education.
The College, which caters to the higher educational needs of the members of the Church of South India and other Christians. The College also admits students of all faiths and religions. The College celebrates its Golden Jubilee during this academic year 2016-2017. To mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations, the College has been organising a number of programmes to commemorate the sacrifice made by the founders and the forefathers of this College and to celebrate the magnificent growth and development of the College in a short span of 50 years. The Chairman, the members of the Governing Board, the Principal, the faculty members, the non-teaching staff and the other staff members are in a jubilant mood celebrating the Golden Jubilee. To add to their jubilant mood, God has bestowed upon this College two more significant blessings earlier:
UGC has extended the Autonomy Status till 2022 followed by the recommendation of the Autonomy Review Committee which visited the College from 18th to 20th, January 2017.
UGC has conferred the status of “College of Excellence” on Bishop Heber College and it is the first College among the affiliated colleges of Bharathidasan University to be conferred with this honour.
Now, the Union Ministry’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) has identified this College based on four criteria viz., Teaching-Learning output, research and Patent output, Progress to Higher Studies and Perception of alumni, parents, students and public on curriculum and infrastructure. The college has secured the second rank in the state level and first in the Tiruchirappalli region.
The College traces its origin back to Rev. Christian Frederick Schwartz, the first German missionary, supported by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (S.P.C.K) in South India. He built a small school near the Rock Fort in Tiruchirappalli in 1762. It was renamed after Reginald Heber, the Lord Bishop of Calcutta, who came to Tiruchirappalli in 1826 and died on his way to Travancore. The Heber Memorial School became a full-fledged high school in 1864. In 1873 the School was raised to a Second Grade College and in 1882 it became a First Grade College. It was then known as S.P.G College. It was the first college to be established in Tiruchirappalli. It was merged with Madras Christian College (MCC), Tambaram, in 1934 as recommended by the Lindsay Commission on Christian Higher Education in India. It was revived like a phoenix on 24 June 1966.
It is surprising to note that the announcement of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development that the Bishop Heber College is ranked fourth in the country on the death anniversary of Bishop Heber!
(You may read more about the college in the website http://www.bhc.edu.in/ )