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College of Engineering Pune

College of Engineering Pune

College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) is an autonomous engineering college with an affiliation to Savitribai Phule Pune University in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Established in 1854, it is one of the oldest engineering colleges in Asia, after IIT Roorkee (1847).[2][3][4] The students and alumni of College Of Engineering, Pune are colloquially referred to as COEPians.[5] The college’s study model was referred to, in the early 1950s, as the “Poona Model”.

College of Engineering, Pune is located at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers.


The main building of COEP which houses the administrative wing

The college was one of the first few colleges established by the British to serve the Indian subcontinent. The foundation stone of the new college was laid by the Governor, Sir Bartle Frere, who was to become the Vice-Chancellor of the University, on 5 August 1865.[6][7][8] In June of the following year, Theodore Cooke M.A., was appointed the Principal. He went on to hold the office for next 28 years.[6][9]

The foundation stone

Initially, it was started as the “Poona Engineering Class and Mechanical School” to train subordinate officers for carrying out public works like buildings, dams, canals, railways and bridges.[2][4][10][11][12] In July 1857, Henry Coke was given the charge of the institute.[13] Admission was open to all, irrespective of nationality or caste.[13] Good proficiency in English and basic knowledge of Mathematics were a prerequisite for getting admitted to the institute.[13] The process of admission required that the aspiring candidate apply to the nearest government English school, to whom the entrance examination papers were handed over.[13] The headmaster would take the examination on a date deemed convenient to him and submit the answer sheets to Henry Coke, the in-charge of the mechanical school.[13] After examining the papers, Coke would notify the headmaster of the school with the names of candidates who were deemed fit for admission. Scholarships of 6 were offered per month after a period of six months of training in the mechanical school for fifteen students. The courses offered included Mathematics, Drawing, Surveying and levelling, building and construction and setting out works on the ground.[13] The course would run for a period of two years.[13]

Later on, in the year 1864, the school became the “Poona Civil Engineering College”. The number of courses were increased to include forestry and agricultural subjects, which led to its name being changed to Poona College of Science. The course was revised in 1886 and the minimum criteria required for admission was raised from Matriculation to the then Previous Examination. All non-engineering courses were stopped by 1911, transferring the Bachelor of Science degree to the Science Institute of Bombay and subsequently in the year 1911, the name was changed to the “Government College of Engineering, Poona”.

The institution was initially affiliated to the University of Bombay (now Mumbai) for a degree of Licentiate in Civil Engineering known as LCE in 1858.[2][14] The certificate course was converted into a degree course and the first class of the Bachelor of Engineering degree graduated in the year 1912. After the University of Poona (now Savitribai Phule Pune University) was established in 1948, the college became affiliated to the new university. In 1968, the three-year degree was extended to 4 years constituting 8 semesters.

In 2003, the institute was granted complete autonomy by the State Government of Maharashtra, thus giving it the freedom to set its own curriculum and manage its own finances.[8] With permanent affiliation to the Savitribai Phule Pune University, the institute now is an autonomous engineering school. This has been the biggest change as far as pedagogy at COEP is concerned. The following years have seen a multitude of positive changes in administration and academic strategies. Many of these have been responsible for the growing innovation in project work of college students. The institute contends that its autonomy now grants it greater flexibility in dynamically changing its syllabus to suit the changing needs of the industry.


The National Board of Accreditation, has accredited all programmes under Tier-2 (General) status for a period of 5 years from 2012.[15] In the year 2014, 9 undergraduate programmes were accredited with tier-1 (Washington Accord) status. This particular accreditation gives way to recognition of the quality of undergraduate engineering education offered by the member country and is an avenue to bring it into the world class category. It encourages and facilitates the mobility of engineering graduates and professionals at international level.[16] The tier-2 accreditation is effective from 01/07/2014 for a period of five years.[17]


Like most of architecture from the early days of Raj, the college does not seem to have a definite architectural style. Subtle Victorian influenced arched windows and tiled canopies are seen in the older parts of the college but the main tower of the administrative building however points to an indigenous inspiration. Gargoyles can be seen adorning the sharp edges of the building. Post independence, rapid additions and alterations to the college were done. The central library, auditorium, and other departments such as Electronics, Instrumentation have a very contemporary design reminiscent of the construction in most Indian metros in the late ’60s and 70s. A new wing which has been constructed has the most modern design out of all. In all, the college is generally a potpourri of architectural styles.

The Main Hall

The main hall is the present day administrative building of the College. It houses the Director, the Dean Academic Affairs, the Dean Student Affairs, the Gymkhana, the Examination cell and other various important administrative heads of the college. The original building was almost three floors tall with a base floor length of 18 meters and a width of 9 metres. The hall was recently refurbished and the inauguration of the restored heritage building (pictured below) took place on 24 March 2012 by Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture, Government of India.[18]

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