Saiyid Nurul Hasan

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Saiyid Nurul Hasan
Saiyid Nurul Hasan 16.jpg
9th Union Minister of Education, Social Welfare and Culture
In office
24 March 1972 – 24 March 1977
Preceded by Siddhartha Shankar Ray
Succeeded by Pratap Chandra Chunder
12th Ambassador to the Soviet Union
In office
Preceded by V.K. Ahuja
Succeeded by T.N. Kaul
14th Governor of West Bengal
In office
12 August 1986 – 1 March 1989
Preceded by Uma Shankar Dikshit
Succeeded by T. V. Rajeswar
32nd Governor of Odisha
In office
20 November 1988 – 6 February 1990
Preceded by Bishambhar Nath Pande
Succeeded by Yagya Datt Sharma
16th Governor of West Bengal
In office
6 February 1990 – 12 July 1993
Preceded by Mohammad Shafi Qureshi
Succeeded by B. Satya Narayan Reddy
34th Governor of Odisha
In office
1 February 1993 – 31 May 1993
Preceded by Yagya Datt Sharma
Succeeded by B. Satya Narayan Reddy
Personal details
Born (1921-12-26)26 December 1921
Lucknow, British India
Died 12 July 1993(1993-07-12) (aged 71)
Calcutta, India
Spouse(s) Nawabzadi Khurshid Laqa Begum Sahiba
Occupation Historian, politician, diplomat

Saiyid Nurul Hasan (26 December 1921– 12 July 1993) was an Indian historian and an elder statesman in the Government of India. A member of the Rajya Sabha, he was the Union Minister of State (with Independent Charges) of Education, Social Welfare and Culture, Government of India (1971-1977) and the Governor of Bengal and Odisha (1986-1993).[1][2][3]

Background and education[edit]

Hasan was born in Lucknow, India. He belonged to a taluqdari (madad-i ma'ash) family of the United Provinces. He was the son of Saiyid Abdul Hasan and Nur Fatima Begum. His father was a District Settlement Officer and later President of the Court of Wards in the United Provinces. His maternal grandfather was Sir Syed Wazir Hasan, Chief Justice of the Court of Oudh and a well known President of the Muslim League, who had called for Hindu-Muslim unity in 1936. His maternal uncles were Syed Sajjad Zaheer, an eminent Marxist thinker and Syed Ali Zaheer, a minister and an ambassador. He was married to Nawabzadi Khurshid Laqa Begum Sahiba, the eldest daughter of Nawab Raza Ali Khan of Rampur, a 15 Gun Salute State in the former United Provinces.[4] They have two children, Sayyid Sirajul Hasan, an eminent physicist, who retired as Director of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore and Sayyida Talat Fatima Hasan, who is a very successful entrepreneur in the USA.[5]

Hasan attended the Sultan ul Madaris, Lucknow.[6] Then he went to the La Martiniere Boys' College in Kolkata,.[7] He completed his graduation from Muir Central College, Allahabad, where he was a student of Professor R.P. Tripathi. Later he went to New College, Oxford, where he completed an M.A. and D.Phil. in Indian history. In Oxford he was a President of the Oxford India Majlis.[8]



He began his academic career as a Lecturer in History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He was appointed as Professor in the Department of History at Aligarh Muslim University, of which he was a Chairperson as well. He contributed greatly to the growth of the History department in Aligarh in its initial years. Later he became the General Secretary and then the President of the Indian History Congress. He was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Asiatic Society in London.


A secularist with an abiding faith in leftism, Hasan was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1969-1978. From 1971 to 1977, he was the Union Minister of State (with independent charge) for Education, Social Welfare & Culture in the Government of India. As India's education minister, he founded the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. He was also the architect behind the setting up of 27 social science research institutes in India under the aegis of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, such as the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (1973).[9] He was instrumental in improving the career promotion scheme of college and university teachers in India. He was also instrumental in starting the 10+2+3 system of education at the High School, Junior College and undergraduate levels. He played a major role in tabling "Towards Equality: The Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India (1974-5)" in parliament, which was submitted by a committee appointed by the Government of India.[10]

From 1977 to 1980 he was Vice President of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi. He served as Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union from 1983 to 1986.[11] He was the Governor of West Bengal from 1986 to 1989 and 1989 to 1993 and also the Governor of Odisha in 1989.

When he was the Governor of West Bengal, he founded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Calcutta (1993). He was its first chairman.[12]


He died of renal failure in Calcutta, West Bengal in 1993, aged 71, while continuing in office as the Governor.


The Nurul Hasan Education Foundation is named after him.[13]


  • Religion, State, and Society in Medieval India : Collected Works of S. Nurul Hasan (Satish Chandra, editor). New Delhi : Oxford University Press, 2005. - viii, 335 S. : Kt. ISBN 0-19-566765-4 / 978-019566765-3
  • Sufis, Sultans and Feudal Orders : Professor Nurul Hasan Commemoration Volume (Mansura Haidar, editor), 2004.
  • Studies in archaeology and history: commemoration volume of Prof. S. Nurul Hasan, Publisher: Rampur Raza Library, 2003. ISBN 81-87113-57-X.


  1. ^ "BIO - DATA OF GOVERNORS OF Odisha". 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2012. SHRI M. M. RAJENDRAN 
  2. ^ "Brief History of Odisha Legislative Assembly Since 1937". 2011. Archived from the original on 9 January 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2012. NAME OF THE GOVERNORS OF Odisha 
  3. ^ "Odisha Government Portal" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  4. ^ [1] Archived 16 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ [2] Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ ":- Welcome to the Sultanul Madaris, Lucknow". Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  7. ^ La Martiniere Boys' College, Calcutta, website at the Wayback Machine (archived 27 October 2009)
  8. ^ Veena Majumdar, Memories of a Rolling Stone, Zubaan Books, Delhi, 2010
  9. ^ "Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta". 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  10. ^ [3] Archived 8 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Indian Ambassadors to USSR". Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Chairman, Maulana Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata". 
  13. ^ "Nurul Hasan Foundation". Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Siddhartha Shankar Ray
Union Minister of Education, Social Welfare and Culture
Succeeded by
Pratap Chandra Chunder
Preceded by
V.K. Ahuja
Ambassador to the Soviet Union
Succeeded by
T.N. Kaul
Preceded by
Uma Shankar Dikshit (first term); T.V. Rajeswar (second term)
Governor of West Bengal
1986–1989 (first term); 1990–1993 (second term)
Succeeded by
T.V. Rajeswar (first term); B. Satya Narayan Reddy (second term)
Preceded by
Bishambhar Nath Pande (first term); Yagya Dutt Sharma (second term)
Governor of Odisha
1988–1990 (first term); February 1993 – May 1993 (second term)
Succeeded by
Yagya Dutt Sharma (first term); B. Satya Narayan Reddy (second term)