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Calcutta University

logo of Calcutta University

The first modern university in India, is located in Kolkata (Calcutta), in the state of West Bengal. The university has a student body of about 100,000 undergraduates and 5,500 postgraduates.


In 1845, the Council of Education formulated a proposal for establishment of a University of Calcutta along the lines of London University, but the plan was not approved. In 1854, the Court of Directors of the East India Company sent a dispatch to the Governor-General of India in Council suggesting establishment of universities at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay; this time the proposal was accepted. The University of Calcutta was subsequently established by an Act of the Legislative Council, which was signed on January 24, 1857. Lord Canning, then Governor-General of India in Council, was named Chancellor, and Sir James William Colville, then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was named Vice-Chancellor.

In 1858, Joddu Nath Bose and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay became the first Indians to graduate from an Indian university.

For the first several years of its existence the university held classes in a variety of locations around Calcutta. The first building to be constructed specifically for the university, Senate Hall, was dedicated on March 12, 1873.

In 1882, Kadambini Gangula and Chandramukhi Basu became the first Indian females to graduate from a university located anywhere in the British Empire.

In 1890, Gooroodas Banerjee became the first Indian Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University.

In 1917, all post-graduate teaching in Calcutta was centralized under the direct and immediate control of the University itself.

Academic Programs

Calcutta University consists of 55 departments, organized into eight faculties: Agriculture; Arts; Commerce, Social Welfare and Business Management; Education, Journalism and Library Science; Engineering and Technology; Fine Arts, Music and Home Science; Law; and, Science.

The university is also home to eighteen research centers.

The official website of Calcutta University is

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The Robinson Library >> Education >> Individual Institutions: Asia

This page was last updated on 01/24/2019.