Deccan Education Society, Pune was established in 1884 and registered on 13th August 1885 and by four patriotic visionaries- Vishnu Shastri Chiplunkar, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and Mahadeo Ballal Namjoshi-who were already recognized as the pioneers of new education in India with the Launch of New English School in Pune in the year 1880. This was a revolutionary step, because in those days Government Institutions and Christian Missionaries were the only agencies involved in educating masses. Private enterprise in education was often discouraged. It was also pointed out by these Nationalists that there was no education available to generate leadership, for industrial regeneration of India, or for defense of the motherland i.e. education Required by the people of a self - governing nation. it was the idea of filling these voids that the DES came in to existence. In the view of its founders, Education was the means of rousing-the intellect, the drooping will and the slumbering conscience of their fallen countrymen. They began with a modest aim of facilitating education at low costs by starting schools and colleges.
In the year 1885, the renowned Fergusson College was started. in the year1919, DES established Willingdon College in The southern region of Maharashtra at Sangli on a 125 acre campus. Recognizing the need for commerce Education, the society started Brihan Maharashtra College of commerce in 1943 in follwed by Chintamanarao College of Commerce in Sangli in 1960. In the year 1954, Kirti M Doongursee College was established in Mumbai. The Society entered in the field of technical education too with the launch of Technical Institute in Pune (1937). DES started management institute viz. IMDR in 1974 at Pune and IMR at Sangli in 1996, the year 2003 witnessed addition of DES Law College and the year 2007 DES started Physiotherapy College. DES also runs an autonomous institute in the field of Vocational Training at Pune. With a view to imparting basic education, the Society has started many schools at various places in the state. The DES management is trying to expand its educational activities as per the requirements of the society in general, guided and aided by educationists, visionaries, philanthropists and ex-students, in order to pursue its goal 'Knowledge is Power'.