University of Calcutta

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University of Calcutta
University of Calcutta logo.svg
Seal of the University of Calcutta
MottoAdvancement of Learning
Established24 January 1857; 163 years ago (24 January 1857)
ChancellorGovernor of West Bengal
Vice-ChancellorProf. Sonali Chakrabarty Banarjee [1]
Location, ,
22°34′35″N 88°21′43″E / 22.57639°N 88.36194°E / 22.57639; 88.36194Coordinates: 22°34′35″N 88°21′43″E / 22.57639°N 88.36194°E / 22.57639; 88.36194
ColorsSky blue     
AffiliationsUGC, NAAC, AIU, AICTE

University of Calcutta (informally known as CU) is a collegiate public state university located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It was established on 24 January 1857,[3] and was one of the first institutions in Asia to be established as a multidisciplinary and Western-style university.[4] Within India it is recognized as a "Five-Star University" and accredited "A" Grade by National Assessment and Accreditation Council. University of Calcutta was awarded the status of "Centre with Potential for Excellence In Particular Area"[6](CPEPA Status) and "University with potential for excellence"[7](UPE Status) by the UGC.[5][6]

The university has a total of fourteen campuses spread over the city of Kolkata and its suburbs. As of 2012, 136 colleges are affiliated to it. The university has secured the fifth position among the Universities of India in the prestigious "Indian University Ranking 2019" list, released by the NIRF of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.[7][8]

Its alumni and faculty include several heads of state, heads of government, social reformers, prominent artists, only academy award winner and Dirac medal winner in India, many Fellows of the Royal Society and five Nobel laureates as of 2019 which is highest in South Asia. The university has the highest number of students who have cleared the doctoral entrance eligibility exam in Natural Science & Arts conducted by Government of India's National Eligibility Test to become eligible to pursue research with a full scholarship awarded by the Government of India.[9] University of Calcutta is a member of United Nations Academic Impact.[10]


The Calcutta University Act came into force on 24 January 1857 and a 41-member Senate was formed as the policy-making body of the university. The land for the establishment of this university was given by Maharaja Maheshwar Singh Bahadur, who was a Maharaja of Darbhanga. When the university was first established it had a catchment area covering the area from Lahore to Rangoon (now in Myanmar), and Ceylon, the largest of any Indian university.[11]

[12] Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee was the Vice-Chancellor for four consecutive two-year terms (1906–1914) and a fifth two-year term (1921–23). Five Nobel laureates were associated with this university: Ronald Ross. Rabindra Nath Tagore, C. V. Raman, Amartya Sen and Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee.[11]


University of Calcutta logo at the time of Colonial period

The current university seal (top of the page) is the modified version of the sixth seal. The motto Advancement of Learning has remained the same through the seal's transitions.[13]


Ashutosh Building at the College Street campus
Hazra Campus

The university has a total of 14 campuses spread over the city of Kolkata and its suburbs. The major campuses are the Central Campus (Ashutosh Shiksha Prangan) in College Street, Rashbehari Shiksha Prangan in Rajabazar, Taraknath Palit Shiksha Prangan in Ballygunge and Sahid Khudiram Siksha Prangan in Alipore. [14]

Other campuses include the Hazra Road Campus, the University Press and Book Depot, the B. T. Road Campus, the Viharilal College of Home Science Campus, the University Health Service, the Haringhata Campus, the Dhakuria Lakes (University Rowing Club) and the University Ground and Tent at Maidan.[14]

Asutosh Siksha Prangan[edit]

Asutosh Siksha Prangan (commonly called the College Street Campus) is the main campus of the university, where the administrative work is done. Located on College Street, is spread over a small area of 2.7 acres (0.011 km2).[15]

Rashbihari Siksha Prangan[edit]

Rashbihari Siksha Prangan is (also known as University College of Science, Technology & Agriculture or commonly Rajabazar Science College), located on Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road in Rajabazar, established in 1914,[16] houses several scientific and technological departments, including pure and applied chemistry, pure and applied physics, Radiophysics, applied mathematics, psychology, physiology, biophysics and molecular biology, and others.[14]

Taraknath Siksha Prangan[edit]

Taraknath Siksha Prangan (also known as University College of Science or commonly Ballygunge Science College) on Ballygunge Circular Road in the southern part of the city, houses the departments of agriculture, anthropology, biochemistry, microbiology, botany, genetics, statistics, zoology, neuroscience, marine science, biotechnology, and most notably geology, among others.<, ref name="cu5"/> And Department of Jute and Fibre Technology. Commonly known as the Institute of Jute Technology.

Sahid Khudiram Siksha Prangan[edit]

Sahid Khudiram Siksha Prangan commonly known as Alipore Campus, located at Alipore is the Humanities campus of the University. Departments of History, Ancient Indian History & Culture, Islamic History & Culture, South & Southeast Asian Studies, Archaeology, Political Science, Business Management are situated on this campus. Department of Museology which is also housed on this campus is a valuable department of the University as well as any universities in India.

Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Siksha Prangan[edit]

Technology Campus, Salt Lake

The university is building a campus which is known as "Technology Campus" or "Tech Campus", to bring together the three engineering and technical departments (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, A.K.C. School of Information Technology, and Department of Applied Optics & Photonics), in Sector 3, JD Block, Salt Lake.[16][17]

As of December 2016, most of these departments have been moved to this campus and regular classes are held here. The main building houses most of these departments while the Nano-science and Nanotechnology.



Notable scientists from the University of Calcutta. Seated (L to R):Meghnad Saha, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Jnan Chandra Ghosh. Standing (L to R): Snehamoy Dutt, Satyendranath Bose, Debendra Mohan Bose, NR Sen, Jnanendra Nath Mukherjee, N C Nag

Undergraduates enroll for a three-year program. Students choose a major when they enter the university, and cannot change it later unless they opt for the university's professional or self-financed postgraduate programs later. Science and business disciplines are in high demand, largely in the anticipation of better employment prospects. Most programs are organized on an annual basis, though some programs are semester dependent. Most departments offer masters programs of a year or a few years' duration. Research is conducted in specialized institutes as well as individual departments, many of which have doctoral programs.

The University of Calcutta has the biggest research center which started from the 100th Science Congress of India in January 2013. This is the Center for Research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CRNN) in the Technology Campus of CU at Salt Lake, West Bengal.[18]

The university has 18 research centres, 710 teachers, 3000 non-teaching staff and 11,000 post-graduate students.[2]


University and college rankings
General – international
QS (World) (2019)[19]801-1000
QS (BRICS) (2019)[20]68
QS (Asia) (2019)[21]134
General – India
NIRF (Overall) (2019)[22]12
NIRF (Universities) (2019)[23]5

Internationally, the University of Calcutta was ranked 801-1000 in the QS World University Rankings of 2019.[19] The same rankings ranked it 134 in Asia[21] and 68 among BRICS nations.[20]

In India, University Calcutta ranked 12 overall by National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in 2019[22] and 5 among universities.[23]

Faculties and departments[edit]

The university has 65 departments organised into eight faculties: agriculture; arts; commerce; social welfare & business management; education, journalism and library science; engineering & technology; fine arts, music and home science; law and science.[24]

The social sciences and business management departments are housed at the Alipore campus.

Faculty of Agriculture[edit]

This faculty consists of one department called the Institute of Agricultural Science and offers postgraduate courses in agro-technology, agro-ecology, agronomy, agriculture chemistry and soil science, agriculture and rural development, agriculture and resource economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, bacteriology, crop science, dairy science, fisheries science, food technology, horticulture, genetics & plant breeding, soil and water science, seed science & technology among others.

The College of Agriculture was founded by professor Pabitra Kumar Sen, who was the Khaira Professor of Agriculture in the early 1950s.[25]

Faculty of Arts[edit]

This faculty consists of the departments of Ancient Indian History and Culture, archaeology, anthropology, Arabic & Persian, Bengali, language and literature, comparative Indian literature, creative writing, classics, demography, economics, ethnic studies, English language and literature, Hindi, history, linguistics, museology, Pali, philosophy, psychology, political science, public policy & administration, sociology, Sanskrit, South and South-East Asian Studies, theater and drama, gender and women's studies.[26]

Faculty of Commerce, Social Welfare & Business Management[edit]

This faculty consists of the departments of business management and commerce.

Faculty of Education, Journalism, and Library Science[edit]

This faculty consists of three departments that offer courses on education, journalism and mass communication, and library & information science.[27]

Faculty of Engineering & Technology[edit]

This faculty consists of the departments of applied optics and photonics, applied physics, chemical engineering, chemical technology, computer science and engineering, information technology, polymer science and technology, petroleum engineering, radiophysics and electronics, Jute And Fibre Technology.

Faculty of Fine Arts, Music, and Home Science[edit]

This faculty consists of the Department of Home Science, which offers courses on subjects such as food and nutrition, human development, and home science.[28]

Faculty of Law[edit]

This faculty comprises only the department of law. Established in January 1909 as the University College of Law, it was granted the status as the department of law of the university in February 1996. This campus is popularly known as Hazra Law College.

The faculty has many luminaries associated with it, including Rajendra Prasad, Rashbehari Ghose, and Chittaranjan Das.

Faculty of Science[edit]

This faculty has twenty departments. This faculty offers courses on traditional science subjects.[29]

University Central Library viewed from College Square

The Department of Applied Physics was established in 1925 and is located in Anand Nagar. Studies are also being conducted in instrumentation engineering, electrical engineering, optics, and opto-electronics.


The central library, at the Asutosh Siksha Prangan, started functioning around the 1870s.[30]

Apart from 39 departmental libraries, it has a central library, two campus libraries, and two libraries of the advanced centers spread across the seven campuses. Students of affiliated colleges can also access the central library. The university library has over 10  a million books and more than 200,000 bound journals, proceedings, manuscripts, and patents.[31]

Student halls of residence[edit]

Most of the affiliated undergraduate colleges located in the city have their own separate student hostels. The university has 17 hostels, of which eight (two for UG and six for PG) are for women, and in total 13 hostels are for 'paying guest' students, which are scattered all over the city.[32]


As of 2012, 136 colleges are affiliated with the university.[33]


  • Women's Studies Research Centre
  • Gandhian Studies Centre
  • Centre for Urban Economic Studies
  • S. K. Mitra Centre for Space Environment
  • Peace Studies Research Centre
  • Centre for Horticultural Studies
  • Centre for Pakistan and West Asian Studies
  • Centre for Research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
  • Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies
  • Centre for Studies in Book Publishing
  • Nehru Studies Centre
  • Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy
  • Institute of Foreign Policy Studies
  • Centre for Pollination Studies
  • Centre for Millimeter-Wave Semiconductor Devices & Systems
  • University of Calcutta – Calcutta Stock Exchange
  • Centre of Excellence in Financial Markets (CUCSE-CEFM)

Recognised institutes[edit]

Accreditation and recognition[edit]

  • In Year 2001 the University of Calcutta was awarded with the ‘Five Star’ status in the first cycle of the University's accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).[6] In 2009 and 2017, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) awarded its highest grade of 'A' to the University of Calcutta in 2nd & 3rd cycle of the University's accreditation.[34][35]
  • On 8 December 2005, the University Grants Commission (UGC) recognised the University of Calcutta as a "University with Potential for Excellence" (UPE status).[36]
  • University Of Calcutta was declared as a "Centre With Potential For Excellence In Particular Area" (CPEPA status) by University Grants Commission(UGC).[6]
  • University of Calcutta is ranked among the "TOP 20" universities in India by NIRF in its university ranking (2017: 16th rank, 2018: 14th rank, 2019: 5th rank).[37]
  • The Manuscript Library at the University has been recently designated as a Manuscript Conservation Centre under the National Mission for Manuscripts, which was established in 2003.[38]

Notable initiatives[edit]

Calcutta Medical College in 1910

Some of the notable initiatives associated with the university are:

  • The first university located to the east of Suez to teach European classics, English literature, European and Indian philosophy and Occidental and Oriental history.
  • The first medical school of Asia, the Calcutta Medical College, was established in 1835. In 1857 it got affiliated to the university.[39]
  • The first college for women in India, the Bethune College, was established in 1879.[40]
  • The nation's first homeopathy college was established in 1880.
  • The science college was established in 1917, the first in India.
  • The first school for blind people in India was established in 1925.
  • The first university museum in India, The Ashutosh Museum, was established in 1937.
  • The Government Arts College was established in 1951.[41]
  • The Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM) was established in 1953 as the country's first management institute.[42]


Notable people[edit]

One of the first female graduates of the university, Kadambini Ganguly was also the first qualified female physician of the British Empire
One of the first female graduates of the university and the British Empire, Chandramukhi Basu became the first female head of an undergraduate college in South Asia

The university has produced many scientists, engineers, world leaders and Nobel laureates and teachers. As the oldest university of Bengal and India, it attracted students from diverse walks of life. Nobel laureates who either studied or worked here include Rabindranath Tagore, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Ronald Ross, Amartya Sen, and Abhijit Banerjee. The Academy Award winning director Satyajit Ray was an alumnus of this university. So was the composer of the national song of India, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Some of the industrialists who studied in this university include Sir Rajen Mookerjee, Rama Prasad Goenka, Lakshmi Mittal, Vinay Maloo and Aditya Birla. Notable scientists and mathematicians associated with the university include Jagadish Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chandra Ray, Meghnad Saha, Anil Kumar Gain, Satyendra Nath Bose, and Ashoke Sen.

A nationalist leader and former president of the Indian National Congress, co-founder of the Indian National Army, and head of state of the Provisional Government of Free India, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose also spent some time here. Other presidents of the Indian National Congress include Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, Surendranath Banerjee, Anandamohan Bose, Romesh Chunder Dutt, Bhupendra Nath Bose and Madan Mohan Malaviya. Malaviya was also the founder of the Banaras Hindu University. Among the presidents of India associated with this university are Rajendra Prasad (who studied here) and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan (who taught here), and Pranab Mukherjee, who both studied and taught at affiliated colleges of the university. The former vice president of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari studied here, as did a former deputy prime minister of India, Jagjivan Ram. Many governors of Indian states studied here, including the first Indian governors of Bihar and Odisha, Lord Satyendra Prasanna Sinha of Raipur, Chandeshwar Prasad Narayan Singh, governor of the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, and Banwari Lal Joshi, the former governor of Delhi, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and current governor of Uttarakhand. The former ruler of the Indian princely state of Coochbehar, Maharaja Nripendra Narayan Bhupa Bahadur as well as Patayet Sahib Maharajkumar Bhoopendra Narayan Singh Deo of Saraikela were also alumni of this university, as were colonial-era prime ministers Albion Rajkumar Banerjee of Kashmir and A.K. Fazlul Huq of undivided Bengal. Among its former students are eight chief ministers of West Bengal (Prafulla Chandra Ghosh, Bidhan Chandra Ray, Prafulla Chandra Sen, Ajoy Mukherjee, Siddhartha Shankar Ray, Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, and Mamata Banerjee), three chief ministers each of Assam (Gopinath Bordoloi, Bishnuram Medhi and Golap Borbora) and Bihar (Krishna Sinha, Binodanand Jha and Ram Sundar Das), two chief ministers of Meghalaya (B.B. Lyngdoh and S.C. Marak), and a chief minister each of Madhya Pradesh (Ravishankar Shukla), Manipur (Rishang Keishing), Nagaland (S.C. Jamir) and Sikkim (B B Gurung). Among the chief justices of the Supreme Court of India are Bijan Kumar Mukherjea, Sudhi Ranjan Das, Amal Kumar Sarkar, Ajit Nath Ray, Sabyasachi Mukharji and Altamas Kabir. Others have also served as judges in the Supreme Court, and as chief justices and judges in state high courts.

Heads of state from other countries associated with the university include four presidents of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mohammad Mohammadullah, Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem, Abdus Sattar, three prime ministers of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Muhammad Mansur Ali, and Shah Azizur Rahman, three prime ministers of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Bogra, Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardy, and Nurul Amin, the first premier of Burma under British rule, Ba Maw, the first president of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav and the first democratically elected prime minister of Nepal, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, and his successor Tulsi Giri.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vice-Chancellors". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d CU information brochure for MSc, BTech Retrieved 25 November 2011
  3. ^ Department of Higher Education, West Bengal Retrieved 6 August 2012
  4. ^ [1] . Retrieved 22 September 2019
  5. ^ "Calcutta University features at 3rd spot on India Today Universities Rankings 2012".
  6. ^ a b c "The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) - Metro - CU makes the highest grade".
  7. ^ [2]. Retrieved 22 September 2019
  8. ^ [3]. Retrieved 22 September 2019
  9. ^ CSIR–UGC National Eligibility Test: a performance indicator of basic science education in Indian universities: Inderpal, S.Chetri, A. Saini and R. Luthra, Current Science, Vol.97, No 4, 25 August 2009 Retrieved 13 August 2012
  10. ^ [4] UNAI Members List. Retrieved 17 September 2019
  11. ^ a b About the university Archived 8 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine @ Official site, University of Calcutta. Retrieved 7 December 2011
  12. ^ "Genesis and Historical Overview of the University". University and its Campuses. University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 21 March 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2007.
  13. ^ Seals of the University : Changes over the Years Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 5 August 2012
  14. ^ a b c University Campus Archived 22 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 12 August 2012
  15. ^ "Campus Area". University and its Campuses. University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 21 March 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  16. ^ a b University College of Science, Technology & Agriculture Retrieved 12 August 2012
  17. ^ "Calcutta University plans Technology campus". Other States: West Bengal. The Hindu. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  18. ^ "About CRNN". Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  19. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2019". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2018.
  20. ^ a b "QS BRICS University Rankings 2019". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2018.
  21. ^ a b "QS Asia University Rankings 2019". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2018.
  22. ^ a b "National Institutional Ranking Framework 2019 (Overall)". National Institutional Ranking Framework. Ministry of Human Resource Development. 2019.
  23. ^ a b "National Institutional Ranking Framework 2019 (Universities)". National Institutional Ranking Framework. Ministry of Human Resource Development. 2019.
  24. ^ "Courses Offered". University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  25. ^ "Faculty Council for Post-Graduate Studies in Agriculture". Courses offered. University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  26. ^ "Faculty Council for Post-Graduate Studies in Arts". Courses offered. University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  27. ^ "Faculty Council for Post-Graduate Studies in Education, Journalism and Library Science". Courses offered. University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  28. ^ "Faculty Council for Post-Graduate Studies in Fine Arts, Music and Home Science". Courses offered. University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  29. ^ "Faculty Council for Post-Graduate Studies in Science". Courses offered. University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  30. ^ Basu, Somdatta (27 April 2019). "Calcutta University to throw open its libraries to public | Kolkata News - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  31. ^ University library Retrieved 24 March 2013
  32. ^ University Halls and Hostels Archived 17 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 5 December 2012
  33. ^ "Antidote to admission hit-and-miss". The Telegraph. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  34. ^ Cite error: The named reference Indian Art collage was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  35. ^ [5][permanent dead link] Indian art collage
  36. ^ "CU gets "Potential for Excellence" tag of University Grants Commission". 25 November 2010. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  37. ^ "MHRD, National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF)".
  38. ^ Manuscript Conservation Centres Archived 6 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine National Mission for Manuscripts.
  39. ^ Medical College, Kolkata Official website of Calcutta Medical College. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  40. ^ History Of Bethune College Archived 13 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Official Site of Bethune College. Retrieved 5 August 2012
  41. ^ A Journey through 145 Years Archived 7 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine Official site of Government College of Art & Craft, Kolkata. Retrieved 5 August 2012
  42. ^ Historical Background of IISWBM Archived 6 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Official website of IISWBM. Retrieved 5 August 2012
  43. ^ "Our Vice-Chancellors". University of Calcutta. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  44. ^ "Vice-Chancellors".

External links[edit]