DECCAN EDUCATION SOCIETY, PUNE , the parent body of Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce, is a venerable name in the educational firmament of our country. Born out of the lofty ideals and the intense desire of four firebrand, nationalist, young men barely in their twenties and thirties, who believed in education as the best means to bring about social transformation of the Indian populace and political emancipation from the yoke of foreign rule, the Deccan Education Society has been rendering yeoman service to the nation for well over a century. Ever since its inception,
"Facilitating and cheapening education" has been the mission of the Society which it has been pursuing with steadfast determination and uncompromising commitment.
The four young men - Bal Gangadhar Tilak ( popularly known as " Lokmanya " and acknowledged as one of the leading figures of the freedom movement), Gopal Ganesh Agarkar (the great social reformer), Vishnushastri Chiplunkar (the doyen of Marathi literature) and Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi a well-known social worker) - had nothing to offer except their firm belief in the chosen goal, an abiding faith , honesty of purpose and steadfast determination. India was then a loose amalgamation of politically fragmented and economically impoverished princely states under an exploitative foreign rule. Further, it was steeped in debilitating traditions, as a result of which the public masses had unconsciously developed an in-built mechanism to resist any meaningful reforms. It was, therefore, the most appropriate decision on the part of these four action-oriented social thinkers to launch an educational movement to bring about an awakening among the masses. The result was the founding of the Deccan Education Society on the 24th October, 1884 - the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami ("Dashehra").
In the establishment of the Deccan Education Society, these men of vision saw the great potential of education as the emancipator of the masses, bringing in them a new awakening. Such was the dynamic driving force of these founders that within less than three months of the founding of the Society, the Fergusson College was started on the 2nd of January, 1885.
The next few years witnessed rapid expansion of the Society's activities by way of the growth and development of the existing institutions, and starting new ones in and outside Pune. The Deccan Education Society always remained alert to the changing needs of the larger social set up for which and within which it functioned.