Presidency University has a unique place in history. It was one of the first institutions of higher education in Asia of a Western style. A group of intelligent Englishmen and Indians founded the Hindoo College in 1817. As the College of the Bengal Presidency, it was taken over by the British government in 1855 and incorporated into the newly established Calcutta University in 1857.
Presidency College became Bengal's premier academic centre throughout the following century and beyond. Despite being a constituent college of Calcutta University, it has maintained a tradition of research that is unmatched by other Indian universities. This provided its undergraduate instruction with a distinct dimension.
The official establishment of Presidency University in July 2010 allows it to refashion its legendary traditions and continuing strengths into a leading institution of the future.
In 1855, the "Hindoo College," which had been founded in 1817, changed its name to the "Presidency College of Bengal." The Hindoo College was Asia's first modern-era institution of higher learning. Originally a non-government college intended just for the sons of the Hindu community, The Presidency College adopted western education in the traditional sense. However, the Centenary Volume (1955) adds that the Hindu College made a dedicated attempt to provide secular education, which was "the most outstanding feature of the institution." The Hindoo College changed its name to Presidency College in 1855, at which point it became a government organization. The university now stood for nondenominational secularism and welcomed young men from all backgrounds. However, girls were not allowed to enrol in the college until 1944. The college has been co-educational since that time.
The Hindoo-Presidency College supported the "Anglicists" in the well-known Anglicist-Orientalist controversy because it set out to provide a liberal, scientific, and secular education. Thus, the college represented a contemporary, western education in the English language. This would not, however, mean that Indian themes and issues were ignored. This was supported by the college's students' contributions to the Bengali language and literature. English, Bengali, Sanskrit, history, geography, chronology, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, and a few other science topics were the first subjects taught. Additionally, for a while, law, commerce, and engineering were taught; later on, these subjects were no longer taught.As a result, the college became known for providing the best humanistic and scientific education in all of India.
In the college's laboratories, Jagadish Chandra Bose and Praphulla Chandra Ray produced major discoveries in physics, plant physiology, and chemistry, respectively. In the nineteenth century, both liberal arts and empirical scientific teaching attained true quality, and the tradition persisted even after independence. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Anandaram Barooah improved Bengali and Assamese literature. In the area of basic science, S.N. Bose, M.N. Saha, P.C. Mahalanobish, Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri, Shyamal Sengupta, and Ashoke Sen made outstanding contributions. In the decades following independence, Amartya Sen and Sukhamoy Chakraborty made contributions to economic theory. These names are only representative, as many college graduates have achieved distinction on a national and worldwide level in a variety of fields.The college has a difficult past to live up to because among its alumni were Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of India, Muhammad Ali of Bogra, Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Abu Sayeed Chowdhury, President of Bangladesh.
This challenge of a glorious past and legendary tradition is perhaps our greatest strength. On July 7, 2010, the West Bengal Legislature granted Presidency College the status of a university in appreciation of its long history of academic excellence. This was passed in order to help Presidency University work more effectively as a centre for teaching and research in a variety of academic fields, particularly in the humanities, social sciences, and basic sciences, as well as to advance and disseminate knowledge and learning for the benefit of society and the country.
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