A few days back, the university of Calcutta celebrated its 154th anniversary. Simple it may sound, but this university is a living testament of the glory the city Calcutta holds. The University of Calcutta is the oldest of the modern universities in India. It has produced 4 Nobelists, more than any other Indian university- Ronald Ross, Rabindra Nath Tagore, C. V. Raman and Amartya Sen.
Founded in the year of revolution, 1857, this university has produced endless revolutionaries and reformers. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Lakshmi Mittal, Aditya Birla, Rajendra Prasad, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan- were all alumni of this institute. My favourite director- Satyajit Ray was also an alumni of this glorious institute.
This university has produced 2 presidents and 1 Prime Minister of India, 5 Presidents and 2 Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and 3 Prime Ministers of Pakistan. It has also produced the first Premier of Burma under British rule. The current and first President and the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal are also alumni of Calcutta University.
This institution has taken great initiatives in the field of education. It was the first university located to the east of Suez to teach European classics, English literature, European and Indian philosophy and Occidental and Oriental history. It was the first medical school of Asia. It was the first college for women in India. It was the first science college in India. It was the first school for blind people in India. It had the first university museum in India. In 1953 it founded the country’s first management institute!
Even today, the university has not lost it’s glory. It ranked 39 in the Times Higher Education’s list of the world’s top arts and humanities universities. The Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings also ranked the university among the first 500 universities of the world in four consecutive years, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Last year, in 2010, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council awarded its highest grade of ‘A’ to the university. The May 2010 issue of India Today magazine ranked it within the top five Indian universities, and as India’s best state-government administered university.
From the neo-renaissance, through Bengal’s cultural revolution, freedom struggle, to communism and civil liberty movements – Calcutta University has seen it all. We hope the University will play an equally important role in creating history in times to come.