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University of Calcutta

A Presentation composed by: Professor Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor & Co-ordinator of the CAS Programme in History at the University of Calcutta

Where the mind is without fear
And the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free; ……
Where tireless striving stretches its arm towards perfection
~Rabindranath Tagore

History

  • The University of Calcutta was founded on January 24, 1857 by the incorporation of an Act of Legislative Council of the General of India. First M.A. examination was held in 1861 and the University moved to its own house in 1873.
  • The University Colleges of Science were established in 1914 and by 1920 the University established 10 post graduate departments including , Physics, Chemistry Mathematics, Zoology and Psychology
  • To impart technological training to students, the Department of Applied Chemistry and Applied Physics were established in 1920 and 1925 respectively.
  • In 1945 the Institute of Nuclear Physics was established under the leadership of Meghnad Saha and was later separated from the University to form the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics under DAE.
  • C. V. Raman, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chandra Ray, Satyendra Nath Bose, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Meghnad Saha, and Sisir Kumar Mitra
    were all teachers at Calcutta University

The University of Calcutta in 2008

The University now has 66 post graduate departments and 172 affiliated colleges. The activities of the post graduate departments are conducted under 8 faculties namely in,

  1. Arts
  2. Commerce, Social Welfare and Business Management
  3. Engineering and Technology
  4. Science
  5. Agriculture and Veterinary Science
  6. Law
  7. Education, Journalism and Library science
  8. Fine arts, Music and Home Science
  • CU has 8 major campuses spread all over the Kolkata metropolis and its suburbs along with 2 extension campuses outside Kolkata and has a sports ground at Maidan and a rowing club.
  • University administration is carried out at its College street campus
  • The University has its own press and book depot. The University library subscribes 794 journals and has a collection of more than 8 lakhs books.
  • The University has Central computational facilities workshop, Academic Staff College, University Science Instrumentation Centre and other facilities.
  • CU has many centres of learning catering to the needs of research in a particular area of attention.
  • Total faculty strength of Professors, Readers and Lectures now stands at around 650. Many teachers of the University have received Bhatnagar and other national awards as well as Fellows of different National Academies.
  • The University work force of officers and other categories of non-teaching staff now stands at more than 2400.
  • The annual budget for the University now stands at 104 Crores. The University receives about 20 Crores annually for sponsored R & D projects
  • UGC has awarded many DRS/DSA/CAS programmes to the University
  • The Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) exists in 6 departments.
  • Special assistance programmes (DSA) run in 11 departments. Departmental research supports (DRS) has been received by 17 departments.
  • Around 500 research papers on the average are published annually by the teachers of the University. On an average more than 200 Ph.D degrees are awarded each year.
  • The University has highest number of NET qualified candidates almost each year.
  • CU has 7 technological departments offering B.Tech. M.Tech and MCA degrees approved by the AICTE. It has 20 science departments offering M.Sc degrees.
  • The University has an active Industry-Institute Partnership Cell which caters to the needs of industries through the execution of various sponsored projects. 22 Departments are covered under FIST programme of the DST
  • Overseas collaborations are operating in many departments
  • The University is executing TEQIP programme in Engineering & Technology.
  • The NAAC has accredited the University with Five Star status
  • On November 10, 2005, The Times Higher Education Supplement published its list of the world’s top arts and humanities universities. Calcutta University is the only Indian university to make it to the top 50 list.

Centre for Social Sciences

  • Development Studies encompasses two scholarly traditions, one theoretical and the other applied.
  • In the first instance, Development Studies seeks to understand why and how societies, regions and communities change in such a manner as to enhance the standard and quality of life among local populations The emphasis here is on theoretical understanding as an end in itself.
  • The second, more applied, focus is on how governments, NGOs, international donors, and other development agents can facilitate such change.

Other Centres include: the Centre for Pakistan and West Asian Studies, theCentre for Studies on China and its neighborhood, the Nehru Studies Centre, the Gandhian Studies Centre

A Hybrid Approach

  • A Hybrid Research Program is Proposed
  • Network between Linguists Historian Social Scientists
  • Narrowing the Gap Between “Two Cultures” – Technology with Human face
  • (WSRC) Women’s Studies Research Center – Plight of women among Minority Community and Tribal Population as compared to those in lower and higher income urban groups
  • (PSC) Peace Studies Center – The local community and global aspects of Peace
  • (JCIU) J N Centre for International Understanding – The emerging issues on post cold war alignment
  • (CBPW) Centre for Studies on Bangladesh Pakistan and West Asia

Attracting Foreign Students

  • Nation Building in Southeast Asia – Success and Failure of Democratic Systems like India as compared to other Dictatorial Societies- Response to globalization and Market Forces
  • Economic Development in presence and absence of Government Control
  • Novel Approaches in Tribal Development – Imparting Superior Feelings Among Tribes by Introducing Novel Courses in which elements of Sports , Health Care may be mingled with their traditional knowledge in art, handicraft, soils and plants.
  • Indian History and Culture – The Sufi like Cross Cultural Assimilation Process in India – Its Global impact in the presently divided western Society
  • Encounter with Technology, Multiple Goal Conflict and Other Post colonial Issues
  • Establishing Links with Foreign Universities
  • International Students’ Hostel
  • ‘Study India’ Programme

Plans for Cross-Disciplinary Research

  • Network Between Social Economic and Environmental Issues
  • Emergence of Public Policies
  • Handling Separatist or Post colonial Religious and Regional Issues
  • Response to Events in Neighboring Countries

Cross Disciplinary Research – Collaborative Research within the University

Interdisciplinary Research Centres have been set up in a number of areas encompassing biosciences as well as social sciences: B. C. Guha Centre for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Centre for Peace Studies, Centre for Studies on Pakistan and West Asia, Women’s Studies Research Centre etc.

CU also collaborates with the Universities of Mumbai and Madras in India and the following universities abroad:

  • Boston University
  • Max Planck Institute
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • University of Brussels
  • Humboldt University
  • CERN, Geneva

CU has Institutional-level MoUs with 11 Foreign Institutions.

NAAC Peer Team’s Opinion:

“The changes that are of late taking place on the educational scenario and in the socio-economic climate in the country pose problems before the University. It is remarkable that the University is trying to adjust to these changes without disturbing its tradition and its distinctive culture…It is commendable that the University has without completely giving up research in the traditional areas, taken up research in frontier and applied areas. The work being done in some of the science and technology departments compares well with that in prestigious institutions abroad…Departments in Humanities and Social Sciences have also taken up the challenge and their output is qualitatively of a high order.”