General Shivdev Singh Diwan Gurbachan Singh Khalsa College Patiala was established in 1960 owing to the persistent perseverance of Dr. Ganda Singh, the distinguished historian, who was also the first Principal of the College and Padam Shri Dr. Khushdeva Singh.
Dr. Ganda Singh
Dr. Ganda Singh, an eminent Punjab historian, prominent researcher, prolific writer and Padam Shree awardee was the first Principal of Khalsa College, Patiala in the year 1960. His iconic work in Sikh historiography brought him wide critical acclaim. He consistently worked in the direction of the critical examination of the sources of Punjab History and postulated an authentic narrative of Punjab's past. This phenomenal work has become an inspiration for generations to come.
This legendary personality was born in a small village of Haryana in the district Hoshiarpur. He rose to gain experience from Punjab, Peshawar, India and Mesopotamia (Iraq). He utilized his immense experience by associating with academic institutions to initiate critical and reflective learning among the students of Punjab. His keen interest in academics made him readily accept the proposal of his friend Dr. Khushdeva Singh regarding establishing Khalsa College in Patiala. He was also entrusted with the responsibility of jointly preparing the constitution of the college along with S. Iqbal Singh Tiwana, S. Bharpur Singh Dhaliwal, S. Ishar Singh Mardaan and S. Surjan Singh.
He was actively involved in the preparation of the academic guidelines of the college. Under his able guidance the first prospectus of the college was prepared. He also got the affiliation of the college from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Owing to his dedicated zeal the first academic session of the college was successfully started in July, 1960. It is noteworthy that he envisioned the shaping of holistic personalities of the students with the balanced amalgamation of academics and co-curricular activities.
Dr. Khushdeva Singh
Dr. Khushdeva Singh, a renowned physician reformer, philanthropist and Padam Shree awardee was instrumental along with his friend Dr. Ganda Singh in the establishment of Khalsa College, Patiala. He made notable contribution in the treatment of tuberculosis in India. He was born in Patiala, Punjab and for the most part of his life served at Hardinge Sanatorium, Dharampur in Himachal Pradesh. His humanitarian zeal and concern for the socially outcast, lepers, prompted him to become the founder of the Leper's Welfare Society, Patiala. He authored the books In Dedication (1968) and Love is Stronger Than Hate (1973).
His concern to preserve the Sikh culture, tradition and heritage became the stimulus for the establishment of an institution which would inculcate the spirit of community service, moral values, upright living, love of learning and scientific temper among its students. With this aim he approached his friend, Dr. Ganda Singh, who promptly accepted the noble idea.
To establish such an institution both of these visionaries contributed rupees one thousand each and initiated the process of raising the necessary funds. They brought together eminent and learned personalities of the city to form Khalsa College Council. Dr. Khushdeva Singh was appointed as the Secretary of this council. This council decided to establish Khalsa College, Patiala on the principles of Khalsa College, Rawalpindi. It was owing to the strenuous and zealous efforts of this great man that the philosophical legacy of Khalsa College, Rawalpindi could be reclaimed through the establishment of Khalsa College in Patiala.