The Rajkumar College (RKC) was established in 1882 in Jabalpur by Sir Andrew Fraser, Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces and Berar and the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. Like its sister institutions in Rajkot and Ajmer, it was meant, in the post-1857 atmosphere of British rapprochement with the native rulers of India, to educate the princes of the Central Provinces, Bihar and Orissa in the English public school tradition and to prepare them to rule. The motto of the school, understandably, read thus: A raja is honoured in his own country but a learned man throughout the World'.
In 1894, RKC was shifted to Raipur, which is located in the heart of the Mahanadi plains of Chhattisgarh. The oldest educational insti¬tution in the state, it has since played a seminal role as a centre of learning in the region. The first stirrings of change, which were eventually to recast the purposes of the school towards the goals of a national and democratic future, came in the period of Mr T L H Smith Pearse, principal, 1931-46, who hosted Mahatma Gandhi, visited Sewagram and was the founder chairman (1939-41) of the Indian Public Schools' Conference. Under him, RKC, which had by then been opened to all citizens of the country irrespective of their social origins, developed to inculcate civic virtues and orient its pupils towards social service.