A Brief History : Established on 21st January, 1942, H.D. Jain College, Ara was the first institution of higher learning ever set up in the economically and academically backward region of Shahabad in fact, the first college between Patna and Varanasi. ‘It owes its foundation to the Late Babu Harprasad Das Jain, a rich landlord and philanthropist of the town. He himself had little formal education but was a great lover of learning and firmly believed that progress and learning walked arm in arm. He executed a trust deed and donated all his property to charities in 1918. He founded Sri Adinath Trust and set apart sixty thousand rupees for setting up a college at Ara in 1919. Needless to say he was inspired to do so owing to his indomitable love of learning and innate philanthropy. He had the support and co operation of his close friends Sri Suparshwadas Gupta, an educationist and retired magistrate, Sri Chakreshwar Kumar Jain, Sri Nirmal Kumar Jain and Babu Awadh Bihari Sharan, a legal luminary of the town.
Unfortunately Babu Harprasad Das Jain passed away untimely in 1920 and the college somehow or the other didn’t see the~ light of the day till 194 1. However, it was founded on the auspicious day of Vasant Panchami (21″ January) in 1942. Sri Adinath Trust generously donated Rs. 1,55000 for its functioning and management. The college was named after Babu Harprasad Das Jain as a grateful tribute to the blessed soul. Within a few years of its inception the college made great strides; its fame spread far and wide and students from almost all parts of Bihar and the neighboring state of UP started pouring in. On account of its high standard of quality teaching and academic pursuits it made a mark as one of the leading institutions of Bihar and won recognition even on the national level. In deference to the request of the college Governing Body the erstwhile ruler of Dumraon, Maharaja Bahadur Ram Ran Vijay Prasad Sing , donated 21 bighas and 10 Katthas of land to this college in the heart of the town. A small hostel was initially built on that piece of land, and later on a large hostel was constructed there with the aid of the UGC.
The college was affiliated to Patna Universily, then the only University in Bihar. Initially it was granted permission to impart teaching in Arts and Commerce faculties upto graduation level. Teaching in Science faculty was started in 1951. Recognising the standard of its quality teaching Patna University granted permission for teaching Honours Courses in Hindi and Economics in 1945, and thereafter in Political Science in 1953.
In 1952 Patna University was converted into a teaching cum-residential university and Bihar University was set up as teaching-cum affiliating university. As a result, this college was shifted to Bihar University as one of its affiliated units. The universities were further reorganized in 1962 and this college was again shifted to Patna University but only for a short while. As Magadh University came into being in 1962 itself, all the colleges except those of Patna University under the jurisdiction of Patna division were made its units. H.D.Jain College was made the first constituent unit of Magadh University and was granted permission to impart teaching up to Honours standard in all subjects of Arts, Science and Commerce streams.