Gooroodas Banerjee

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This article is about Gooroodas Banerjee, the judge. For the actor, see Gurudas Banerjee.
Gooroodas Banerjee
Native name গুরুদাশ ব্যানার্জী
Born (1844-07-26)26 July 1844
Died 2 December 1918(1918-12-02) (aged 74)
Alma mater Oriental Seminary
Scottish Church College
Presidency College, Kolkata
University of Calcutta
Occupation university academic

Sir Gooroodas Banerjee, today also written Gurudas Banerjee, also Gurudas Bandyopadhyay[1][2] (Bengali Sir Gurudasa Banerjee স্যার গুরুদাশ ব্যানার্জী) (Calcutta, 26 July 1844- Calcutta, 2 December 1918) was a Bengali Indian judge of the Calcutta High Court. In 1890, he also became the first Indian Vice-Chancellor of University of Calcutta.[3][4]


He received his education at the Oriental Seminary, the General Assembly's Institution (now Scottish Church College), the Presidency College, Kolkata and at the University of Calcutta.[5][6][7][8][9]


Banerjee had served as a professor at the Scottish Church College.[9][10] He was the first Indian to be appointed as the vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta. He was nominated to the post on 1 January 1890 and remained in office till 31 December 1892. He studied at Oriental Seminary which was also attended by the Nobel Laureate poet, Rabindranath Tagore. He also studied at the General Assembly's Institution (now Scottish Church College), the Presidency College, Kolkata and at the University of Calcutta. He became a puisne judge of the Calcutta High Court, and was knighted by the British government on 22 July 1904.[11] He also became one of the teachers of Bengal National College of which the great freedom fighter, Aurobindo Ghosh, was the principal. He made notable contributions to the spread of education by making sure that Narkeldanga High School got raised to secondary standard.


There is a prestigious post in the Department of English of the University of Calcutta named after Sir Gooroodas Banerjee. The professor who holds this post comes to be known as Sir Gooroodas Banerjee Professor. There are two undergraduate colleges in Kolkata that commemorate his name, the Gurudas College and the Sir Gurudas Mahavidyalaya.

Banerjee was quite well known for his devotion to his mother who was very orthodox in her ways of life. Every day, he would bring the sacred Ganges water for her mother. She, on her deathbed, ordered her son Sir Gurudas to invite Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar to her obsequies. Vidyasagar had by this time become an object of attack by the orthodox Brahmins owing to his introduction of widow remarriage. Defying all social obstacles, Sir Gurudas invited Vidyasagar to her mother's funeral to fulfill her last wish.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Bengal's Renaissance - Page 41 Sitansu Sekhar Mittra - 2001 "In his convocation address given on 24th January, 1891 to the graduates from the University of Calcutta Gurudas Bandyopadhyay, the first Indian Vice Chancellor of an Indian university, insisted on making Bengali the medium of instruction in ..."
  2. ^ Review Indian Economic & Social History 3 Jul 2010 – "Encyclopaedia Indica... Jagdish Sharan Sharmah..... For example, Gurudas Banerjee, the lucky stiff, gets three entries. First, on page 110 of volume 1, he is 'Banerjee, Gooroodas (1844-1918). ' In the very next entry on the very same page he is 'Banerjee, Sir Gurudas. (1844-1918).' Then on page 121, after meandering around through 'Banda Nawaz Chisti, Shrine of,' 'Banaras Hindu University,' 'Bamaur,' 'Banaji, ......"
  3. ^ Rediff Q&A Answer for: The first Indian to become Vice Chancellor of a university?
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ The Indian nation builders: Volume 3 After a bright career at school and in college Mr. Gooroodas Bannerjee took his M. A. Degree in Mathematics in the year 1865, and was soon after appointed Lecturer in Mathematics in the Presidency College, Calcutta. In the following year he ...
  6. ^ Uma Dasgupta Science and Modern India: An Institutional History, C. 1784-1947 2011 Page 745 "Gurudas Banerjee (1844-1918): Was a mathematician who turned to the practice of law; became the first Indian vice-chancellor of the Calcutta University"
  7. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates - Page A-128 S. B. Bhattacherje - 2009 "1844 Gooroodas Banerjee was born on July 26 in Calcutta."
  8. ^ Scottish Church College Magazine(Year - 1999,2000 and 2001.Volume - 87,88 and 89).
  9. ^ a b Some Alumni of Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. page 592
  10. ^ Staff List: General Assembly's Institution in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. page 568
  11. ^ The London Gazette, 22 July 1904

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