The flagship institution of the Vidya Vikas Mandal, Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics has had an eventful history. Set up as Vidya Vikas Mandal’s College of Commerce in 1973, it was inaugurated in June of that year by His Excellency Shri S. K. Banerjee, Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman & Diu, in the presence of Goa’s first Chief Minister, Shri Dayanand Bandodkar.
Almost immediately thereafter, in June 1974, the College took the name of Lord Shree Damodar, as a mark of gratitude to Shree Damodar Saunsthan, Zambaulim, which gifted the College the land on which it is presently located. Noted Cartoonist Hon’ble Shri R. K. Laxman was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India – Shri Y. V. Chandrachud – laid the foundation stone for the new college building in 1979, and in 1983 November the College moved to its present picturesque campus on the banks of the river Sal in Pedda, Comba, Margao. The new college building was inaugurated in 1983 by Shri M. Hidayatullah, Hon’ble Vice-President of India, in the presence of His Excellency Shri Satarawalla, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman & Diu.
The College got its first sports facility when the Multi-Purpose Hall was constructed. The foundation stone of this sports complex was laid by the legendary Indian cricketer with a world-class reputation – Shri Sunil M. Gavaskar.
When the Multi-Purpose Hall was ready, housing a beautiful wooden badminton court, it was inaugurated by yet another sports legend, selected appropriately enough from the field of badminton – Shri Prakash Padukone.
As early as 1975, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) accredited the College as an oral coaching center for the CA Entrance Examination. Today the College is a centre for all examinations conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Institute of Cost Accountants of India. In 1987, IGNOU chose to house its Goa Study Centre in this college and this Centre has proved to be a boon to thousands of people from all over the State as well as for people from the Goa-Karnataka border areas, allowing them to pursue their education along with their careers. The Management Programmes are extremely popular, particularly among the Indian Navy personnel stationed in Vasco da Gama.
In 1997, the College pioneered the Bachelor of Computer Applications Programme – BCA, in Goa. Imitation, it is said, is the best form of flattery. The Programme is presently offered in almost ten colleges all over the State and has become one of the most sought-after undergraduate programmes under the Goa University.
In 1999, the College was one of the first colleges in the State – and also the country – to voluntarily seek accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). The endeavour was successful and Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics was accredited with Three Stars.
The year 2006 was a landmark year in the annals of the College – in a single year, the College added two more full-time programmes to the existing B.Com and BCA programmes, thereby expanding the choice of programmes available to students seeking entry into the institution.
• Under the University Grants Commission’s Tenth Plan Innovative & Inter-Disciplinary Courses Scheme, the College launched the Bachelor of Financial Services (BFS) Programme, the only one of its kind in the country.
• Acknowledging Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics’ reputation for excellence, Goa University granted the College affiliation to run its full-time Master of Commerce (M.Com) programme. From a college offering only Undergraduate programmes, the College rose to the status of a post-graduate institution. In the same year, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) accredited the College as a coaching centre for the Company Secretary Foundation Course examination.
The year 2006 also marked the NAAC reaccreditation of the College, this time with B++ ; a higher rating corresponding to 7-8 points on a 10 point scale.
The year 2007 witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics and ICICI Bank Ltd. wherein the College would conduct the “Foundations of Banking” course designed by ICICI Bank Ltd. and train potential entrants into the banking industry. It was a proud moment for the College, because although ICICI had identified several other colleges across the country for carrying out this programme, Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics was one of the the first colleges in the country to actually begin the course.
The College regularly conducts add-on certificate courses in languages like Spoken English, Tally, and also in specific Computer Skills.
The College was also handpicked by the Government of Goa as a centre to conduct the Post Graduate Diploma in Computer & Education Technology (PGDCET)- for school teachers in the State.
Through the 35 years of its existence, the College has been headed by a line of illustrious Principals, all of whom have contributed in no small measure to the success of the institution.
The men and women who have been at the helm of affairs at Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics
Shri. S.V. Deshpande June 1973 – March 1975
Shri R. B. Nair March 1975 – June 1975 (Officiating)
Shri M. T. Gabhe June 1975 – June 1978
Shri V. G. Sahasrabudhe June 1978 – June 1981
Shri D. V. Borkar June 1981 – May 1996
Shri G. M. Prabhudesai May 1996 – Jan 2000 (Officiating)
Shri G. G. Kondli Feb 2000 – July 2000 (Officiating)
Dr. I. Bhanu Murthy since July 2000- December 2013.
Dr. Prita D. Mallya since January 2014.
In the Classroom
Academic excellence is the forte of the College. Producing large numbers of students with Distinctions and First Classes at the Final Year examinations conducted by Goa University is now a regular feature of the academic achievements of the College. It is worthwhile to note, however, that the College has also had students who have figured among the top three ranks declared by the University in both the B.Com & the BCA disciplines.
On the playground
Laurels in sports are commonplace for the College. Over the years, the College has won trophies in practically every sporting event organized by Goa University.
It would be no exaggeration to say that almost every State and University team, for every sport, in very year, has had at least one Damodarite on board.
The College has also contributed Physical Education teachers and Sports Directors to numerous educational institutions – schools, higher secondary schools and colleges in Goa.
The College has a 500-strong National Service Scheme (NSS) Unit, which reaches out to the local community and carries out meaningful and useful activities in areas such as Environmental Awareness and Protection, AIDS Awareness and Prevention, Non-Formal Education for street children, Medical and Dental camps… the list goes on.
The NSS Unit works hand in hand with the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Army and Navy units, which has had the honour of sending several cadets – girls and boys – to represent the Goa & Karnataka region at the prestigious Republic Day Parade at Rajpath, New Delhi.
The credit for the enviable reputation that Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics’ has acquired over the years goes to the teaching and non-teaching staff – past and present – who have worked tirelessly for the students and for the institution.
A teacher, it is said, is a lifelong learner. Many teachers at Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics have improved their qualifications, 6 of the present staff having acquired a Ph.D. and 2 having acquired an M.Phil degree. There are several more teachers who are at various stages of completion of their Ph.D. Programme, a demonstration of their love of learning and inclination for research.
The institution has produced teachers of caliber and leadership qualities and many have moved on to higher positions in the academic world. Prominent among these are:
• Principal M. T. Gabhe went on to become Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Nagpur University
• Principal Devidas V. Borker left the College after a long innings as Principal, to take up the post of Registrar, Goa University
• Dr. Francis A. Fernandes became the Director, Academic Staff College, Goa University and recently retired as Registrar, D. A. Patil University.
• Shri R.T. Virkar went on a 1 year lien as Principal to Shree Mallikarjun College, Canacona.
• Shri Gopalkrishna G. Kondli went on deputation to Goa University as Controller of Examinations
• Shri Bhaskar G. Nayak left to become Principal of Saraswat College Mapusa; he is currently Principal, Govt College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Quepem and Director of Higher Education, Govt. of Goa.
• Shri Prabhakar N. Timble left to become Principal of our sister institution, G. R. Kare College of Law; Regional Coordinator, Western Region, ICFAI National College and was the Election Commissioner of Goa.
When the College got its own building in 1983 it had 12 classrooms, a Library, a small staffroom and an Office. As the College grew, so did the requirements for space and Vidya Vikas Mandal – the parent body – obliged. The College now has a total of 25 classrooms, 4 staff rooms, 1 large Library, 1 reading room, four computer laboratories, and an Office.
Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics has alumni in all walks of life – Ministers, MLAs, top police officials, successful industrialists and entrepreneurs, Chartered Accountants, bank managers, teachers and sports instructors, actors and artistes… The list is long and diverse. The Alumni Association of the College – Shree Damodar College Ex-Students Association – had a get-together in April 2008 where alumni from the first to the most recent batches met, mingled and exchanged memories.
The growth and development of Vidya Vikas Mandal’s Shree Damodar College of Commerce & Economics has been praiseworthy. Yet it has no intention of resting on its laurels or giving up its pursuit of excellence. It has miles to go… and it will never sleep.