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Calcutta University


Calcutta University

University of Calcutta
কলকাতা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়
Seal of the University of Calcutta
Motto Advancement of Learning
Established 1857
Type Public
Chancellor M. K. Narayanan
Governor of West Bengal
Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das[1]
Undergraduates 100,000 per year[2]
Postgraduates 5,500 per year[2]
Location Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Campus Urban, 136 affiliated colleges[3]
Affiliations UGC, NAAC, AIU

The University of Calcutta (Bengali: কলকাতা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়; informally known as Calcutta University or CU) is a public state university located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India established on 24 January 1857.[4] By foundation date, it is the first institution in South Asia to be established as a multidisciplinary and secular Western style university. Within India it is recognized as a Five Star University and a Centre with Potential for Excellence by the University Grants Commission and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council.[5][6] Within all state universities all over India, this university had the highest number students who cleared the doctoral entrance eligibility exam in the sciences conducted by Government of India's National Eligibility Test to become eligible to pursue research with full scholarship awarded by the Government of India.[7]

It is a state-government administered urban-based affiliating and research university. It has its central campus in College Street (called Ashutosh Shiksha Prangan). Its other campuses are in Rajabazar (called Rashbehari Shiksha Prangan), Ballygunge (called Taraknath Palit Shiksha Prangan), Alipore (called Sahid Khudiram Siksha Prangan), Hazra and South Sinthi.


Main article: History of University of Calcutta

The Calcutta University Act came into force on 24 January 1857 and a 41-member Senate was formed as the policy making body of the university. When the university was first established it had a catchment area covering the area from Lahore to Rangoon (now in Myanmar), and Ceylon, the largest of any Indian university.[8]

The first Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University were Governor General Lord Canning and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Sir James William Colvile, respectively.[9] In 1858, Joddu Nath Bose and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay became the first graduates of the university.[10] On 30 January 1858, the Syndicate of the Calcutta University started functioning.[10]

Following its inauguration, many institutions gradually came under its jurisdiction. Kadambini Ganguly and Chandramukhi Basu became the first female graduates of the country in 1882.[10] The Honourable Justice Gooroodas Banerjee became the first Indian Vice-Chancellor of University of Calcutta in the year 1890.[9] Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee was the Vice-Chancellor for four consecutive two-year terms (1906–1914) and a fifth two-year term (1921–23).Three Nobel laureates were associated with this university: Rabindra Nath Tagore, C. V. Raman and Amartya Sen.[8]


The current university seal (seventh in the row) is the modified version of the sixth seal. However the motto Advancement of Learning remained same through it transitions.[11]


The university has total 14 campuses spread over the city of Kolkata and its suburbs.[12]

Asutosh Siksha Prangan

Asutosh Siksha Prangan (commonly called as College Street Campus) is the main campus of the university, where the administrative work is done. Located on College Street, is spread over a small area of 2.7 acres (0.011 km2).[13]

Rashbihari Siksha Prangan

Rashbihari Siksha Prangan (also known as University College of Science and Technology or commonly Rajabazar Science College), located on Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road in Rajabazar, established in 1914,[14] houses several scientific and technological departments, e.g., pure and applied chemistry, pure and applied physics, applied mathematics, psychology, physiology, biophysics and molecular biology, to name but a few.[12]

Taraknath Siksha Prangan

Taraknath Siksha Prangan (also known as University College of Science or commonly Ballygunge Science College) on Ballygunge Circular Road in the southern part of the city houses the departments of agriculture, anthropology, biochemistry, botany, genetics,statistics and most notably geology among others.[12]

Sahid Khudiram Siksha Prangan

Sahid Khudiram Siksha Prangan at Behala houses the department of Archeology, Business Management, Political Science, Sociology and others.

Other Campuses

Other campuses are the Hazra Road Campus, the University Press and Book Depot, the B. T. Road Campus, the Viharilal College of Home Science Campus, the University Health Service, the Haringhata Campus, the Dhakuria Lakes (University Rowing Club) and the University Ground and Tent at Maidan.[12] The university is building a "Techno Campus", to bring together the engineering and technical departments under one roof, in Salt Lake.[14][15]



Undergraduates enroll for a three-year program. Students choose a major when they enter the university, and cannot change it later, unless they opt for the university's professional or self-financed postgraduate programs later. Science and business disciplines are in high demand, largely in the anticipation of better employment prospects. Most programs are organized on an annual basis, though some programs are semester dependent. Most departments offer masters programs of a year or of a couple of years' duration. Research is conducted in specialized institutes as well as individual departments, many of which have doctoral programs.

The university has 18 research centres, 710 teachers, 3000 non-teaching staff and 11,000 post-graduate students.[2]

Faculties and departments

The university has sixty five departments organised into eight faculties: agriculture; arts; commerce; social welfare & business management; education, journalism and library science; engineering & technology; fine arts, music and home science; law and science.[16]

Faculty of Agriculture

This faculty consists only one department called the Institute of Agricultural Science and offers post graduate courses in agro-technology, agro-ecology, agronomy, agriculture chemistry and soil science, agriculture and rural development, agriculture and resource economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, bacteriology, crop science, dairy science, fisheries science, food technology, horticulture, genetics & plant breeding, soil and water science, seed science & technology among others.

The College of Agriculture was founded by professor Pabitra Kumar Sen, who was the Khaira Professor of Agriculture in early 1950s.[17]

Faculty of Arts

This faculty consists the departments of Ancient Indian History and Culture, archaeology, anthropology, Arabic & Persian, Bengali, language and literature, comparative Indian literature, creative writing, classics, demography, economics, ethnic studies, English language and literature, Hindi, history, linguistics, museology, Pali, philosophy, psychology, political science, public policy & administration, sociology, Sanskrit, South and South-East Asian Studies, theater and drama, gender and women's studies.[18]

Faculty of Commerce, Social Welfare & Business Management

This faculty consists of the departments of business management and commerce.

Faculty of Education, Journalism and Library Science

This faculty consists of three departments that offer courses on education, journalism and mass communication, and library & information science.[19]

Faculty of Engineering & Technology

This faculty consists of the departments of applied optics and photonics, applied physics, chemical engineering, chemical technology, clean technology, construction engineering, computer science and engineering, domestic technology, energy technology, eco-technology, engineering mechanics, genetic engineering, information technology, medical technology, manufacturing systems engineering, polymer science and technology, petroleum engineering, radio-physics and electronics, and satellite technology.[20]

Faculty of Fine Arts, Music and Home Science

This faculty consists of the Department of home science, which offers courses on subjects such as food and nutrition, human development, home science.[21]

Faculty of Law

This faculty comprises only the department of law. Established in January 1909 as the "University College of Law," it was granted the status as the department of law of the university in February 1983. The Faculty has many lumanries associated with it like Rajendra Prasad, Rashbehari Bose, Chhitaranjan Das to name a few.

Faculty of Science

This faculty has 19 departments. This faculty offers courses on traditional science subjects like botany, biochemistry, biomechanics, chemistry, clinical investigation, climate science & policy, cellular and molecular biology, genome science, geology, geography, physics, statistics, zoology, atmospheric science, biotechnology, bioinformatics, environmental science, earth science, electronic science, genetics, microbiology, materials science, marine science, neuroscience, population health, pure mathematics, space science, wildlife ecology, etc.[22]

The Department of Applied Physics was established in 1925 and is located in Anand Nagar. Studies are also being conducted in instrumentation engineering, electrical engineering, optics, and opto-electronics.


The first university library started functioning in the 1870s. Apart from 39 departmental libraries it has a central library, two campus libraries, and two libraries of the advanced centers spread across the seven campuses. Students of affiliated colleges can also access the central library. The university library has over 1 million books and more than 200,000 bound journals, proceedings, manuscripts, patents etc.[23]

Student halls of residence

Most of the affiliated undergraduate colleges located in the city have their own separate student hostels. The university has 17 hostels, of which 8 hostels (2 for UG and 6 for PG) are for girls, and in total 13 hostels are for PG students, which are scattered all over the city.[24] It accommodates around 2000 odd students, which is far less than its student intake.


As of 2012, 136 colleges are affiliated with the university.[3] A large number of colleges and institutes were formerly affiliated to this university, but have left following political transformations, or gradual restructuring.

Accreditation and recognition

The university enjoys both national and international repute:

Template:Infobox India university ranking


Internationally, the University of Calcutta was ranked 601+ in the QS World University Rankings of 2011[28] and 143 in the QS Asian University Rankings of 2012.[29] In India, it was ranked 3 by the India Today Top India Universities of 2012.[30] Now it is ranked 2 by the India Today Top India University of 2013.[31] It is published by India Today in India Today Magazine at 3 June 2013.

Notable initiatives

Some of the notable initiatives associated with the university are:

  • The first university located to the east of Suez to teach European classics, English literature, European and Indian philosophy and Occidental and Oriental history.
  • The first medical school of Asia, the Calcutta Medical College, was established in 1835. In 1857 it got affiliated to the university.[32]
  • The first college for women in India, the Bethune College, was established in 1879.[33]
  • The nation's first homeopathy college was established in 1880.
  • The science college was established in 1917, the first in India.
  • The first school for blind people in India was established in 1925.
  • The first university museum in India, The Ashutosh Museum, was established in 1937.
  • The Government Arts College was established in 1951.[34]
  • The Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM) was established in 1953 as the country's first management institute.[35]

Vice chancellors

Notable people

The university has produced many scientists, engineers, world leaders and Nobel laureates and teachers. As the oldest university of Bengal and India, it attracted students from diverse walks of life. Nobel laureates who either studied or worked here include Rabindranath Tagore, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Ronald Ross, and Amartya Sen. The Academy Award winning director Satyajit Ray was an alumnus of this university. So was the composer of the national song of India, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Some of the industrialists who studied in this university include Sir Rajen Mookerjee, Rama Prasad Goenka, Lakshmi Mittal, and Aditya Birla. Notable scientists associated with the university include Jagadish Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chandra Ray, Meghnad Saha, and Satyendra Nath Bose.

A nationalist leader, and former president of the Indian National Congress, co-founder of the Indian National Army, and head of state of the Provisional Government of Free India, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose here. Other presidents of the Indian National Congress include Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, Surendranath Banerjee, Anandamohan Bose, Romesh Chunder Dutt, Bhupendra Nath Bose and Madan Mohan Malaviya. Malaviya was also the founder of the Banaras Hindu University. Among the presidents of India associated with this university are Rajendra Prasad (who studied here) and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan (who taught here), and the incumbent Pranab Mukherjee, who both studied and taught at affiliated colleges of the university. The current vice president of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari studied here, as did a former deputy prime minister of India, Jagjivan Ram. Many governors of Indian states studied here, including the first Indian governors of Bihar and Odisha, Lord Satyendra Prasanno Sinha of Raipur, Chandeshwar Prasad Narayan Singh, governor of the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, and Banwari Lal Joshi, the former governor of Delhi, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and current governor of Uttarakhand. The former ruler of the Indian princely state of Coochbehar, Maharaja Nripendra Narayan Bhupa Bahadur as well as Patayet Sahib Maharajkumar Bhoopendra Narayan Singh Deo of Saraikela were also alumni of this university, as were colonial era prime ministers Albion Rajkumar Banerjee of Kashmir and A.K. Fazlul Huq of undivided Bengal. Among its former students are eight Chief Minister of West Bengal namely,(Prafulla Chandra Ghosh, Bidhan Chandra Ray, Prafulla Chandra Sen, Ajoy Mukherjee, Siddhartha Shankar Ray, Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, and Mamata Banerjee), three chief ministers each of Assam (Gopinath Bordoloi, Bishnuram Medhi and Golap Borbora) and Bihar (Krishna Sinha, Binodanand Jha and Ram Sundar Das), two chief ministers of Meghalaya (B.B. Lyngdoh and S.C. Marak), and a chief minister each of Madhya Pradesh (Ravishankar Shukla), Manipur (Rishang Keishing), Nagaland (S.C. Jamir) and Sikkim (B B Gurung), . Among the chief justices of the Supreme Court of India are Bijan Kumar Mukherjea, Sudhi Ranjan Das, Amal Kumar Sarkar, Ajit Nath Ray, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and the incumbent Altamas Kabir. Others have also served as judges in the Supreme Court, and as chief justices and judges in state high courts.

Heads of state from other countries associated with this university include four presidents of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mohammad Mohammadullah, Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem, Abdus Sattar, two prime ministers of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Muhammad Mansur Ali, three prime ministers of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Bogra, Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardy, and Nurul Amin, the first premier of Burma under British rule, Ba Maw, the current and first president of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav and the first democratically elected prime minister of Nepal, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, and his successor Tulsi Giri.

See also


External links

Template:University of Calcutta Vice chancellors

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