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163rd BCS Founder’s Day (28th July, 2021)

Legendary heritage school broadcasts globally from Shimla, India.

You are invited to the Bishop Cotton School, Shimla,

163rd Founder’s Day celebration on Facebook Live

Date: 28th July 2021 Time: 2pm  BCS Facebook page: @BishopCottonSchoolShimla

Bishop Cotton School, Shimla (BCS) is celebrating its first ever Facebook Live event with a special 163rd Founder’s Day on 28 July 2021 at 2pm and welcoming back Old Cottonian and guest speaker, historian Raaja Bhasin.(*see biography)

The broadcast will come from the historic Irwin Hall at the School. The Irwin Hall was the scene of the dramatic events of 1947 depicted in Ruskin Bond’s book ‘Coming Round the Mountain’.  The walls are adorned by honours boards that record the names of the generations of alumni, known as Cottonians, that have gone on to make their mark in all aspects of public life.

What would founder Bishop George Cotton think of this opportunity for the school to have global reach with the help of the internet?  Bishop Cotton founded the school in 1859 at a service in the Cathedral in Calcutta.

Director of BCS, Simon Weale, says it is all part of the modernization of the iconic boarding school:  “As the world faces a multitude of challenges, we must promote the type of education envisaged by Bishop Cotton which is as relevant today as it was in the 1850s.  Bishop Cotton believed character development to be as important as academic success.  Boys leave Bishop Cotton as well-rounded, confident, knowledgeable and resilient leaders.”

BCS is one of the oldest residential schools in Asia and has played a big part in shaping the development of boarding schools and education in India.   The list of alumni is formidable and includes the aforementioned Ruskin Bond to the much lamented and deeply revered ex-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Sri Virbadhra Singh.

Last year on Founder’s Day, the BCS Director, Simon Weale recounted how Bishop Cotton School had managed to overcome many challenges in the past including the devastating fire that destroyed the main school building in 1905, the impact of the Great War and the Spanish Flu and the effects of partition in 1947.  His positive message was that BCS boys were well equipped to cope with the difficulties presented by the pandemic.  In fact, the lockdown has given us a great opportunity to realize what is precious in our lives.  He ended by saying ‘Work hard, stay safe and it won’t be long before you are back at school’.

Image attached: The Bishop Cotton Statue with flowers on Founder’s Day


Further information or interview opportunities please call BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL, Shimla – 171002 (H.P.) India. Phone : 0177 – 2620880 (6 Lines) Mobile: 8894454565 (Comms)

Bishop Cotton School, Shimla

Bishop Cotton School is an institution rooted in history and tradition. Over decades, its alumni have included some of the most distinguished men in India and elsewhere. From the uniformed services to administrators, from businessmen and industrialists, to authors and actors, Bishop Cotton School has nurtured nascent talents and helped them come to fruition.  This is a school that provides a child with a firm foundation to look capably and confidently to a global role in the years to come.

Raaja Bhasin biography and background*:

Raaja Bhasin is an award winning author, columnist and speaker. He is an Old Cottonian  (Curzon House 1967-76)

Synopsis: The ten minute (approximate) talk will cover, briefly, the history and ethos of BCS. Where the school has come from, where it stands and where it hopes to go. This will be personalised.


Raaja Bhasin is the penname of Chandra Haas Bhasin who was educated at the Bishop Cotton School, Shimla and the Panjab University, Chandigarh Writing: Raaja Bhasin has published fourteen critically acclaimed books and several commissioned booklets; these include the National Tourism Award winner of 2015 titled ‘Experience Himachal on the Road.’  He is an internationally recognized authority on Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, British India and the Himalaya.

Publishers of his books include Penguin, Times Books, Rupa and Co., the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and the National Book Trust. Several hundred of his articles, stories and reviews have appeared in various leading publications in India and overseas. He has handled prestigious writing and editorial assignments for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), various departments of the Government of India and the Himachal Government, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, the Indian Army and various hospitality and business chains and travel companies.

Television: He has also been associated in various capacities with several television networks including the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. The most recent of these (2015-19) are: History consultant for the Channel 4 mega-series ‘Indian Summers’ On camera for Gurinder Chadha’s BBC documentary ‘India’s Partition: The Forgotten Story.’ On camera with Anthony Bourdain for ‘Parts Unknown,’ India. On camera with Michael Portillo in India. Other on camera and research pieces for Travel XP, National Geographic, Epic Channel, Discovery Channel and others.

Lectures: Raaja Bhasin lectures regularly to various bodies that include: Various travel groups from Great Britain especially for Great Railway Journeys and Martin Randall Travel The Indian Army International Market Assessment The National Academy for Audit and Accounts The Himachal Pradesh Institute for Public Administration Various academic institutions He has also given a TedX talk

Theatre and compering: He has been actively involved with theatre since his college days and for several decades has been acting in, and directing plays for Shimla’s Amateur Dramatics Club; he also comperes various programmes at various places in India.

Conservation: He has been actively involved with the conservation and heritage movement of India and currently serves as INTACH’s Co-convenor for Himachal Pradesh and Convenor for Shimla.