Pune University is now Savitribai Phule University. The Maharashtra government took the decision to give the 19th century reformer's name to the university on Monday.
The move comes after several organisations representing backward classes made demands to name it after Savitribai. The reformer belonged to a backward class.
Along with her husband and social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Savitribai started the country's first school for girls in 1868, in a time when there was a social diktat against it.
The move comes four months before Assembly elections in the State, raising questions if it is yet another case of appeasement politics by the Congress-NCP government.