Science and Cricket at Agra College

Ashok Sarkar


Ashok Sarkar (born 1929) retired as an Air Commodore from the Indian Air Force. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) by the Indian government. His career included commanding a number of Air Force field units, and a diplomatic posting at the Indian Embassy in Moscow during the 1960s. He was an outstanding student and sportsman in his youth, and after his retirement, he was an inspiration for young sports talent in Agra, his hometown. He continues to run a play-school for young children, a labour of love he founded with his late wife, Chitra, and enjoys a quiet life nurturing the prize-winning flower garden at his ancestral home in Agra.

I was a student in Agra College, Agra over 1944-50. At that time, Agra College was one of India’s leading educational institutions.

Agra College was established in 1823 by Gangadhar Shastri, a noted Sanskrit scholar of his time. In the beginning, the College had two large hostels, namely, Hewett and Thompson. Agra College soon attracted students from many parts of India. A number of communities came forward to build hostels for students of their own community, such as Bhargava Hostel, Chaubey Hostel, Kayastha Hostel, and Vaish Boarding House. Each hostel had a cemented tennis court, apart from volleyball and basketball courts, as well as a large recreation hall, where functions were held from time to time.

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