Calcutta University was established in 1857. Although Dr. Frederick John, who was the education secretary to the British Government in India at that time, made a proposal in London for establishing a university in Calcutta which was meant to follow the model of the London University, it didn’t get any approval at that particular time.
But in 1854 the proposal to build 2 universities in India – one in Bombay and the other in Calcutta – got accepted and the Calcutta University Act was adopted in 1857. A very interesting fact is that when it was first established, Calcutta University had an enormous area, from Lahore to Rangoon (which is now Myanmar), in fact, the largest of any university in India.
A few facts about Calcutta University
This university had a number of fourteen campuses, which were spread all over the city and its suburbs. Undergraduates usually enroll for a 3-year program. When they enter the University, students have to choose a major, which they cannot change later on. But they can choose the university’s self-financed or professional post-graduate programs.
Because there are more chances to find a job if you study science or business, these two subjects are in high demand at the Calcutta university. Like in mostly any other university in the world, most of the programs are organized on an annual basis. However, some programs depend on the semester. Most of the university’s departments offer MA programs that can extend over a period of more than a year. Research activities take place in special institutions or departments, and many of them have PhD programs.
University of Calcutta Departments
- The Faculty of Agriculture has just one department which is called the “Agricultural Science Institute”. Apart from undergraduate studies, it offers post-grad programs in agro-ecology, agro-technology, agriculture chemistry, agronomy, soil science, agriculture & rural development, resource economics, animal science, agricultural engineering, bacteriology, crop science, food technology, dairy science, fisheries science, horticulture, genetics and plant breeding, seed science, soil & water science, and so on and so forth;
- The Faculty of Journalism, Education & Library Science has 3 departments which offer studies on journalism, mass-media communication and library and information science;
- Faculty of Arts
This faculty includes the department of Ancient Indian Culture and History, Comparative Indian literature, anthropology, archaeology, Bengali, Arabic, Persian, language & literature, economics, creative writing, demography, ethnic studies, English language & literature, Hindi, history, linguistics, museology, Pali, psychology, philosophy, public administration and policy, political science, sociology, Sanskrit, South East and South Asian Studies, drama and theater, women’s studies and gender studies.
- Faculty of Law consists only of the law department. It has been established in the year of 1909. Back then, it was named the “Univ. College of Law.” It gained the status of a department of the Calcutta University only in 1983, in February. Many great names can be associated with this faculty, among which we could mention Rashbehari Bose, Rajendra Prasad, Chhitaranjan Das, and many others.
Among other departments, we could include the Faculty of Arts and Music, The Faculty of Engineering and Technology, and so on.
The university has a rich library which has been functioning since the 1870s. And apart from the thirty-nine libraries belonging to the university’s departments, there is also a central library, and 2 libraries that belong to the advanced centers which can be found all across the seven campuses. Affiliated colleges’ students also have the right to access the central library. The Calcutta University library covers a number of more than a million books, over 200,000 journals, proceedings, patents and manuscripts.