Kopargaon Taluka Education Society started K. J. Somaiya college of Arts and Commerce in June 1964 in Kopargaon because Kopargaon had made some advance in the field of agriculture, but educationally it was still an area of darkness. Our Founder Chairman, then MLA, the late Shri. K. B. Rohamare, affectionately known as Dada, realized the necessity of educating young boys and girls, children of farmers and peasants and established this society. Active social and political workers who were also interested in the cause of education whole-heartedly supported him. Among these, the leading figure was Karamsibhai Jethabhai Somaiya who had one of his sugar factories at Lakshmiwadi, about 10 Kms. away from Kopargaon. He agreed to extend all possible financial help, which he eventually did. And so the name of the college is K. J. Somaiya College, Kopargaon. Advocate Shri. V. M. Korhalkar donated seven-acre land and that is where the college is situated today. Sanjivani and Kolpewadi sugar factories as well as a large number of co-operative societies in Kopargaon Taluka were also among the initial donors.
During the last 38 years of its life the college has evolved steadily. In 1964, the college did not have its own building. Today the college boasts not only of a building of its own, but also a multi-purpose hall, a special library building, a meeting hall, a separate building for Science faculty, Boys’ and Girls’ hostels etc. There has been a steady increase in the number of students, the subjects taught and the faculty has improved not only quantitatively but also qualitatively.
Although situated in rural area our college is free from autocracy and other similar malpractices quite common in rural India. An example should not be out of place here. Prof. N. S. Pharande, the ex-speaker of Legislative Council of Maharashtra, was a teacher in our college before he was elected to this August House in 1986. What is of greater relevance is that all his political growth took place while he taught in this college for about 16 years i.e. from 1970 to 1986. And all this when our Founder Chairman was in Congress, while Prof. N. S. Pharande belonged to BJP. There were occasions when these two_ one the Chairman of the college, the other then an ordinary teacher_ were at political loggerheads. But this did not even shadow Prof. Pharande’s career in the college.