Established in 1875, Government Mohindra College Patiala, Punjab, is the oldest institution of contemporary higher learning in Northern India.
Mohindra College was the first institution in Punjab to receive A+ grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of the Government of India. It has been ranked as number one college in India by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 2016 with highest CGPA of 3.86 which is highest in college section in India. The college offers undergraduate and graduate level education in basic sciences, political science, languages, history, public administration, commerce, computer applications, law, agriculture science, biotechnology,and clinical diagnostics.
The 21-acre (85,000 m2) Mohindra College campus is outside the Patiala walled city opposite the National Institute of Sports, Patiala.
The college facilities include the Central Library, the Computer Center, the Health Center, the girls hostel, an auditorium with a seating capacity of 600, a botanical garden and elaborate sports infrastructure, particularly for cricket and swimming.
Then Viceroy of India Lord Northbrook laid the foundation stone for the main building of the college in 1875. It was named after Maharaja Mahendra Singh of Patiala, (also spelled as Mohindar Singh) when he died suddenly in 1876. Mohindra College was initially affiliated to the University of Calcutta; at the time, Calcutta was the capital of British Raj.
In 1882 the University of Punjab was established in Lahore, and Mohindra College became one of its first affiliated colleges. Following the partition of India in 1947, the college came under purview of the Punjab University, Chandigarh and, in 1962, under the Punjabi University of Patiala.
Shri Atul Krishna Ghosh was the longest serving Principal and instrumental in most of the early development works of this college. He was MA, Esq in English and was Professor of English with high credential. To make way for his British successor E Candler who was a journalist basically and was based in Bengal then and also his life was in danger from revolutionaries, Sri Ghosh was transferred to Muir College, Allahabad. He spent his last phase of his life in Allahabad in the company of Sri Motilal Nehru and Sri Madan Mohan Malaviya silently working for the freedom movement of India. The matter regarding his super-cession in Mohindra College, Patiala by Candler was even raised in British Parliament then, the transcript of which is preserved in British Library archive. He wrote several books and commentaries but because of later days association with the freedom movement, Britishers underplayed, suppressed and destroyed his records of achievements. He was great educationist and in those days appointed from Indian Education Service.
Mohindra College is funded by the Punjab Government and the University Grants Commission (India) while the campus is maintained by the Public Works Department of the State Government.
The college offers financial assistance to the economically disadvantaged sections of society. Undergraduate tuition is exempt for girls.
Women represent over half of the 200 member faculty while about a third of the faculty holds doctoral and post-doctoral credentials.
A commemorative postage stamp on Mohindra College, Patiala was issued by the Government of India on 14 March 1988.
The principal from 1910 to 1914, Edmund Candler was also a noted novelist and travel writer. His novels Siri Ram: Revolutionist and Abdication are set partly in a college in the fictional town of Gandeshwar, which is probably based on Mohindra College.