Over the years, Pune has emerged as a popular destination for pursuing higher education in India.
With great industrial and IT infrastructure, cool climate, various renowned academic and research institutions, plenty of job opportunities, less population, lovely hill stations around the corner and a dazzling nightlife, Pune has everything that students need to pursue higher education in comfort.
Home to Famous Academic and Research Institutes
The University of Pune, established in 1854, is one of the oldest colleges in Asia. Among others, Fergusson College (FC), Bharati Vidyapeeth University and Symbiosis International University (SIU) are some of the most renowned institutes providing academic programmes and courses across various streams. The National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institute for Science Education and Research (IISER) are few of the oldest research institutions here among many others.
Pune is also home to several excellent educational institutes specifically dedicated to defence forces. National Defence Academy (NDA), established in 1954, is the oldest defence academy in India and it is the first tri-service academy in the world. Defence Institute of Armament Technology (DIAT), Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), College of Military Engineering (CME) and Army Institute of Technology (AIT) are a host of colleges providing education in various fields of engineering, medicine and management.
City of Creativity
Pune caters to a large population with creative and artistic minds. Barely 150 kilometres from Mumbai, the big and small screen industry has grown fast in Pune. The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is one of the pioneer film institutes in the country. Today FTII is considered as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ not only in India but also in Asia and Europe. Apart from this, many theatre groups running in the city provide good exposure to actors, directors and production units. The National Film Archive of India, the biggest film library in the country, is also located in Pune. It is a great platform for aspiring filmmakers to learn the art of filmmaking.
With the rapid development in and around the city, the educational fields are not limited. The state education minister has claimed that a detailed education plan is under development for Pune. With this, Pune is all set to be the education hub of the country in the coming years.
Culturally Rich and Good Historic Background
Known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is unlike a metropolitan city. It has a rich culture and history that one can feel in various ways. The food, the local dialect and many historical monuments add to the beauty of the city and thus attract people of all ages, especially students. In addition to 8th-century Pataleshwar caves, Sinhagad Fort, Rajgad Fort among many others surrounding the city, the colonial bungalows, Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwarwada, Lal Mahal and Peshwai Wada are also of great historical significance.
Apart from all this, the pre-independence period saw many freedom fighters emerge from Pune who led the social and reform movements. Leaders like Mahadev Govind Ranade, Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde and Jyotirao Phule led to a free India. The most important political reformer from this period was Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who dominated the Indian politics for over 60 years.
Connectivity, Getaways and Weather
Pune is well-connected with all the major cities across India. The Lohegaon Airport on the North-East side of Pune sees a bustling crowd each day from all over India. The Indian Railway connects Pune with all major cities as well as small towns. Just 150 km from Mumbai city, Pune is also well connected via road. Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala and Khandala are the most popular weekend hangouts in and around the city. Lonavala is emerging as a preferred choice for second homes among many people working in Pune or Mumbai. The first and only private planned city in India, Lavasa also proves to be a salubrious getaway. Pune stands on the leeward side of the Western Ghats. The temperature is moderate throughout the year, with summers not too hot and winters not too cold. Surrounded by the Ghats, the city has a pleasant weather all year round, making it one of the major reasons for students to move here.
Is Pune Safe and Secure?
With the rise of educational institutes and an increase in the number of students in the city, the local authorities and police have taken ample measures to ensure safety and security of students. Gated and guarded societies provide hostel and PG accommodations to students around most of the college campuses. Also, the police keep a close check in the city during the night time, thereby making people commuting at the odd hours feel safe and secure. Residents in the city of Pune are more law abiding when compared to metro cities. With low crime rate and less corruption, Pune’s safety standard is way better than many other popular education destinations in India. Better public transportation, more international and reputed schools, and less traffic congestion compared to other cities have raised the quality of living in Pune.
Pune is also known as the Motor City of India. And rightly so! All the big names like Toyota Kirloskar, Volkswagen, Bajaj Auto Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra, Renault, Mercedes-Benz and Tata motors among many others have established their manufacturing plants and industries around the city. Therefore, it deserves to be called the prominent centre of manufacturing.
Being a well established IT city, Pune also gives tough competition to cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad. The IT industry coming up in areas like Kharadi, Magarpatta, Hinjewadi and Tathawade is drawing a massive amount of business to the city. This has also had a major impact on the real estate sector of the city. Companies like Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte, GlobalLogic, Infosys, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, MphasiS and Symantec already have their offices in the city.
The start-up culture and entrepreneurship is also on the rise. Pune is a start-up hub in the making. With events and companies like Startup Saturday, Open Coffee Club community and TiE, Pune has strongly registered its appearance in this sector as well.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Pune is quite reasonable from a student’s perspective. With many local stalls and dhabas providing hygienically prepared and homely food, students don’t have to shell out a lot. The transport is pocket-friendly, with buses and auto rickshaws easily available at all times. Rentals in the PG and hostels or even in a small studio apartment are not very high. Low cost of living is also one of the major reasons for students to opt Pune for further studies.
Students from all over the India and across continents come to study in Pune and eventually look for a permanent settlement in the city. This migration has led to a diverse population, yet Pune maintains its identity.