The need of the region comprising South Gujarat to have a separate university was voiced initially by educationists such as Atisukhshankar Trivedi who through public speeches and writings created awareness and gained support for this demand. This was immediately taken up and strongly supported by the Education societies of Surat and Navsari which already supported and managed colleges in various disciplines imparting both Undergraduate and Postgraduate education. Moreover, these were some of the most highly reputed academic centres under both the University of Bombay and the Gujarat University.
The outcome of these moves was that at a meeting of educationsists and eminent citizens organized under the auspices of the Sarvajanik Education Society in Surat on July 31, 1960 a committee of 38 members was appointed to draw up guidelines and principles for the establishment of a separate university for South Gujarat. This document was submitted to the Chief Minister and Education Minister of Gujarat.
When Dr. C. D. Deshmukh, the then chairperson of the University Grants Commission, visited Surat in December 1960, the same document was submitted to him. In February 1961 a submission entitled South Gujarat University : A Tentative Phased Programmed for its Establishement and Development was handed to the Education Minister. Further, at a meeting of this committee held in August 1962 a representational committee was appointed to explain the need, feasibility and urgency of the demand for a separat university for South Gujarat to the Education Minister. This committee popularly came to be known as the Lalbhai Committee after its Chairperson Shri L. R. Desai, Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat University who continued to chair first, the Evaluation Committee of 1964 and later, the Advisory Committee appointed under Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Act, 1965.
The passing of this Act and the Saurashtra University Act was the outcome of these concerted efforts which led the Gujarat government to accept it in principle in 1964 and to set up a ten member study team to go into the question thoroughly from all angles. In addition to the many general recommendations for the efficient and effective organization of courses and administration in the new university [to cover the distrcits of Bharuchm Surat, Dang, valsad (including areas under foregin domini which have or may later join this territory) ] this committee made very far-sighted recommendations for specific courses of study signally suited to the nature and development of the region. Among the course recommended were : Rural Studies, Microbiology, Forestry, Textile & Manmade Fibre Technology and Petrol Technology & Petrochemicals.
Such recommendations reveal not only academic acuity but also foresight about the directions in which the economic development of the region was to move and a sense of commitment to the geographical and occupational composition of the region under the jurisdiction of the new university.
After Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Act was passed by the end of 1965, in August 1966 the government of Gujarat appointed Shri Chandravadan Chunilal Shah as the first Vice-Chancellor and Shri Priyadatt Motiram Joshi as the first Registrar of the University. Thus the University was incoporated during the Third five-year Plan period.
A temporary office of the University started functioning on the premise of the Sarvajanik College of Education from August 18, 1966 which was moved to the Nonresidential Students’ Recreation Hall of Sir K. P. Commerece College in December 1966. Around the same time, through the appointment of one office superitendent, one assistant accountant and one junior stenographer the office became fully functional. In July 1967 the office moved to the Khandwala Bungalow in Athwa Lines and it was here that the first academic departments of the Unievrsity became operational during the Fourth Plan period.
The construction of buildings in the university campus started during the Fourth Plan period. The administrative office of the university and the Central library moved to the campus in 1976 while the teaching departments moved to the campus during the period 1977 to 1981.
The vision of Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, as envisaged in the University Act, is to contribute to the field of higher education in the region and enable its inclusive development in all walks of life by making available trained personnel in various branches of human knowledge, keeping in mind the larger goals of nation-building. The University is committed to maintaining high standards in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, promoting research and undertaking the requisite extension activities that would reach out to every section of society.
In consonance with its motto, “Satyam Gyanam Anantam”, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University has endeavoured to be an institution of excellence in higher education since its existence, keeping in view the regional needs and the emerging trends in the global scenario. The University, awarded B++ by the National Accreditation and Assessment Council in 2004 and re-accredited 'B' with 2.82 CGPA in 2011, was originally established under the South Gujarat University Act, 1965 passed by the Gujarat State Legislative Assembly. It became functional from the academic year of 1966 and was incorporated as a University on 23 May, 1967. Recognized by the University Grants Commission in 1968, it was renamed as Veer Narmad South Gujarat University in 2004 after the great Gujarat poet Veer Narmad whose real name was Narmadshankar Lalshankar Dave. The mandate of the University is to meet the developmental needs of the seven districts and one Union Territory in the region and realize their potential in every walk of life ranging from technology, business, industry and commerce to language, culture, and fine arts. The basic objectives of the University as envisaged by the University Act are:
The University’s jurisdiction extends to the seven districts of Surat, Navasari, Valsad, Narmada, Dangs, Bharuch and Tapi and the Union Territory of Daman. The University has 79 Grant-in-aid Colleges, 146 Self-financed Colleges/institutions and 100 Post-graduate Teaching Centres attached to affiliated colleges. There are 22 Post Graduate Departments and Self Finance Programme on the University campus that offers various courses with multiple specializations, besides M.Phil and Ph.D. There are 24 Self Financed Programmes on the campus. The University offers 119 Graduate and 35 Post Graduate Programmes in all, including self-financed programmes. There are over one lakh students currently enrolled in various courses in the University.
A semi-urban University located on the outskirts of the Surat city, the University has a campus spread over 210 acres. Over 3000 students study on the campus. The University has faculties of Arts, Commerce, Science, Education, Management Studies, Rural Studies, Engineering and Technology, Medicine, Law and new constituted Computer Science, Homoeopathy and Architecture. In pursuance of its vision, the University offers an academic environment conducive for the all-round development of its students. All the departments emphasize interdisciplinary areas of study that can open up possibilities in new fields of research. Several major and minor research projects are underway in various departments. All the departments have their own computer laboratories and departmental libraries. The central library with over 1.72 lakh books subscribe to over 242 national and international journals and 6000 e-journals.
Placement cells in departments such as Department of Business and Industrial Management (DBIM), Computer Science, Economics, Human Resource Development help students in securing employment in leading companies. An extension of the State Government Employment Exchange also functions on the campus.
The University campus houses 80 buildings that include 6 Boys' Hostels and 5 Girls' Hostels, besides a Gymnasium, a Health Centre, an Indoor Stadium and residential quarters for its staff. With new facilities like Day Care Centre being added, the infrastructure of the University is being continuously augmented to serve its students and faculty effectively. The fitness centre, the basket ball court and playground with tracks add to the sports facilities available to students on the campus. Departments like Business and Industrial Management, Computer Science, Rural Studies, Research Methodology & HRD, Chemistry, M.Sc. (I. T) and Mass Communication and Journalism have their own independent buildings.
Quality sustenance and enhancement measures undertaken by the University during few years :
♦ Following facilities have been added for the benefit of the student community:
o Pariksha Bhavan
o Day care and basic facilities for women centre.
o Environmental & Pharmaceutics Chemistry Department
o Full-fledged gymnasium.
o More number of hostels for Boys and Girls.
o Better Internet connectivity with increased number of nodes and bandwidth.
o Utility centre with Bank (with ATM), restaurants, stationery shops,
o Photo Copy Centre
The University is committed to the ideal of excellence of the highest order, as evidenced by its constant revision of existing syllabi and continuous addition of new courses. It aims at optimal use of all its resources in creating a knowledge society, where rigorous scholarship and high ethical standards are blended to meet the challenges of the 21st century India.