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Presidency University, Kolkata

Coordinates: 22°34′35″N 88°21′44″E / 22.57639°N 88.36222°E / 22.57639; 88.36222
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Presidency University
MottoExcellence since 1817
TypePublic research university
Establishedc. 1817; 207 years ago (1817)
Academic affiliations
Budget197 crore (US$24 million)
(FY2021–22 est.)[1]
ChancellorGovernor of West Bengal
Vice-ChancellorNirmalya Narayan Chakraborty (acting)
Academic staff
213 (2023)[2]
Students3,000 (2023)[2]
Undergraduates1,744 (2023)[2]
Postgraduates912 (2023)[2]
344 (2023)[2]
Location, ,
22°34′35″N 88°21′44″E / 22.57639°N 88.36222°E / 22.57639; 88.36222
CampusLarge city
Websitewww.presiuniv.ac.in Edit this at Wikidata

Presidency University, Kolkata (formerly Presidency College, Kolkata)[3] is a public state university located in College Street, Kolkata. It was among the best colleges in the country when the institute was affiliated to University of Calcutta.[4][5] The institution was elevated to university status in 2010 after functioning as a constituent college of the University of Calcutta for about 193 years. Currently, it continues to rank among the top universities in India. The University boasts an illustrious list of extraordinary alumni over the last two centuries, including several pioneers of the Bengal Renaissance, leaders of the Indian Independence Movement, heads of state, noble laureates, Academy Award winner etc.

In its first cycle as a university, Presidency received A grade with a score of 3.04/4.00 by the NAAC.[6] Presidency has been recognized as an "Institute of National Eminence" by the UGC.[7] It appeared in the inaugural list of top 50 institutions of NIRF rankings in 2016. However, NIRF rankings in 2017 and 2018 excluded universities like Presidency University which taught only science and humanities but not engineering, commerce, agriculture etc.[8]

List of Vice Chancellors


The Presidency College in Calcutta, by Francis Frith.
The main entrance of the university at College Street

With the creation of the Supreme Court of Calcutta in 1773 many Hindus of Bengal showed an eager interest in learning the English language. David Hare, in collaboration with Raja Radhakanta Deb had already taken steps to introduce English language education in Bengal. Babu Buddinath Mukherjee advanced the introduction of English as a medium of instruction further by enlisting the support of Sir Edward Hyde East, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Fort William, who called a meeting of 'European and Hindu Gentlemen' at his house in May 1816.[9] The purpose of the meeting was to "discuss the proposal to establish an institution for giving a liberal education to the children of the members of the Hindu Community". The proposal was received with unanimous approbation and a donation of over Rs. 100, 000 was promised for setting up the new college. The 5 Babus who contributed the most in setting up the college with their donations were - Raja Gopi Mohun Deb of Shovabazar Raj, Maharaja Tej Chandra of Bardhaman Raj, Raja Gopi Mohan Tagore of Pathuriaghata, Babu Joy Krishna Singha of Jorasanko, and Babu Ganga Narayan Das. Raja Ram Mohan Roy showed full support for the scheme, but chose not to come out in support of the proposal publicly for fear of "alarming the prejudices of his orthodox countrymen and thus marring the whole idea".[10]

At first, the classes were held in a house belonging to Gorachand Bysack of Garanhatta (later renamed 304, Chitpore Road), which was rented by the college. In January 1818 the college moved to 'Feringhi Kamal Bose's house' which was located nearby in Chitpore.[11] From Chitpore, the college moved to Bowbazar and later to the building that now houses the Sanskrit College on College Street.[12]

Transformation to university[edit]

On 19 March 2010, the West Bengal Government passed the Presidency University Bill, 2009 in the State Legislative Assembly.[4] On 7 July 2010, the Governor of West Bengal, M K Narayanan gave his assent to the Presidency University Bill.[13] On 23 July 2010, the Government of West Bengal published the gazette notification completing all the legal formalities for presidency to become a full university.[14] Amiya Bagchi was given the responsibility of chairing a committee set up to select and appoint the first vice-chancellor of the university. Amita Chatterjee, a retired professor of philosophy at Jadavpur University, was appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor of Presidency University on 5 October 2010.[15]

In 2011, Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu suggested that a mentor group, along the lines of the Nalanda mentor group, would be formed to oversee the work of the university. At the beginning of June 2011, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, announced that a committee would be formed with Amartya Sen as its chief mentor and Harvard-based Sugata Bose as its chairman to oversee the running of the college and perform the task of appointing all its officials and faculty members. The Presidency mentor group [16] also includes as its members 2019 Economics Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee, Ashoke Sen, Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Nayanjot Lahiri, Himadri Pakrashi, Rahul Mukerjee and Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Swapan Kumar Chakravorty. Sukanta Chaudhuri resigned from the committee in 2012.[17]

The entrance of the campus is marked with a small guardhouse on the left. On the wall of the guard room is a plaque dedicated to durwan (guard) Ram Eqbal Singh, who died defending the institute from rioters.[18] The university had its bicentenary celebrations in 2017.[19][20][21]

Organisation structure[edit]


Like every state university in West Bengal, Presidency University is headed by the chancellor. The Governor of West Bengal is the chancellor of every state university. [22] The vice-chancellor is the academic and administrative head of the institution. The post of the vice-chancellor replaced that of the principal after Presidency College received university status. Professor Anuradha Lohia was the first permanent vice-chancellor of the institution.[23] The current Registrar of the university is Dr. Debajyoti Konar.[24]

The Controller of Examinations, the Chief Librarian, the Finance officer and the Dean of students, along with the Dean of Arts and the Dean of Sciences, are the other important office holders of the university.[25] The university is guided by a mentor group. The Mentor Group is chaired by Sugata Bose, the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University. Nobel Laureate and economist Amartya Sen serves as the Advisor to the chair.[26][27]

List of Principals

Principals of Presidency College[edit]


In academics, the university consists of two faculties – the Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Both Faculties are headed by deans. A total of 16 departments function under the university. They are: Bengali, English, Hindi, History, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Life Sciences, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics.[25][28]

Departments of Presidency University
  • Bengali
  • Life Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Hindi
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Performing Arts
  • Physics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Institute of Health Sciences
  • School of Astrophysics

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Budget Publication 2020" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "NIRF 2023" (PDF). Presidency University.
  3. ^ Chakraborty, Rachana (2012). "Presidency College". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b Our Bureau (20 March 2010). "The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | Frontpage | CM beats Mamata to Presidency". Telegraphindia.com. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  5. ^ Niyogi, Subhro (6 January 2017). "Presidency University, probably world's first secular institute: Amartya Sen". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Presidency university gets top NAAC rating". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Legacy of Presidency University". www.presiuniv.ac.in. Archived from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  8. ^ "'Presidency University missed rank as it offers only arts, science'". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Presidency University". www.presiuniv.ac.in. Archived from the original on 15 May 2021. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Presidency University". www.presiuniv.ac.in. Archived from the original on 16 May 2021. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  11. ^ This building is a historic one because Raja Ram Mohan Roy inaugurated his Brahma Sabha there and Alexander Duff of the Scottish Missionary Board started his educational establishment, the General Assembly's Institution there as well a few years later in 1830.
  12. ^ "Ad Age Homepage - Ad Age". www.adageindia.in. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  13. ^ Presidency varsity bill gets governor's assent
  14. ^ Express News Service (24 July 2010). "Presidency University legal steps complete". Express India. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  15. ^ "The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Frontpage | Comfort factor confines Presidency to home pool". Telegraphindia.com. 6 October 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Presidency Mentor Group". Archived from the original on 11 September 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Sukanta Chaudhuri quits". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Presi guardian angel". The Telegraph, Calcutta. 14 April 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  19. ^ "200 Years of a Legacy". Tribune India. Archived from the original on 18 October 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Archives with over 200-yr-old records on Presidency College inaugurated". Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  21. ^ "Presidency University, Kolkata's eminent educational institution". Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  22. ^ "Our Governor: Raj Bhavan, Kolkata". The Raj Bhavan, Kolkata. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Decks cleared for re-appointing Anuradha Lohia as the VC of Presidency University". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 July 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Presi Registrar invites nominees for VC". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Presidency - Organisation Structure". Archived from the original on 30 June 2021. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  26. ^ "Quality faculty top priority: Presidency mentor group". The Hindu. 26 August 2011. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  27. ^ "Presidency Mentor Group to reach out to brilliant students in". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 24 December 2017. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Departments of Presidency University, Kolkata". Retrieved 12 November 2023.

External links[edit]