University of Calcutta is one of the three universities in modern India, the other two being Bombay (now Mumbai) and Madras University. It was set up by the British in Calcutta in 1861 as a means of spreading western philosophical thought among the elite in India. It also aimed to create, in the words of Lord Macaulay, "a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect." This initiative was furthered by the passing of the Universities Act of 1904. This resulted in the reorganization of the Calcutta University's Senate and Syndicate by the nomination of more white members into them, which in turn would enable the government to control its policies. The government also decided to disaffiliate many private Indian colleges, which had come up lately and were regarded by the government as hotbeds of nationalist agitation. The measures stirred the educated middle class to move for alternative systems of education. Even the diplomas awarded by Jadavpur University were not recognised by the UGC / Govt. of India in the past until it was upgraded to a university in 1955. Its diploma awarded by National Council of Education was not recognized til 1954.
The nationalists in the freedom struggle of India dubbed the Calcutta University, another pillar of India's education movement, as "Goldighir Ghulamkhana", or the slave house of Goldighi, with reference to the lake adjacent to Calcutta University, and the number of graduates it churned out who were used in the British era as ICS officers. Hence, the need for setting up an institution which would impart education along nationalist lines was strongly felt by the luminaries of the period. The real impetus though was provided by the partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon, the then Governor-General of India, into East Bengal on the one hand (the area that was eventually to become Bangladesh in 1971) and West Bengal and Odisha on the other. The young men of Bengal were amongst the most active in the Swadeshi movement, and the participation of university students drew the ire of the Raj. R.W. Carlyle prohibited the participation of students in political meetings on the threat of withdrawal of funding and grants. The decade preceding these decrees had seen Bengali intellectuals increasingly calling for indigenous schools and colleges to replace British institutions.
On 16 November 1905, the Landholders Society organized a meeting at Park Street, attended by around 1500 delegates, including Rabindranath Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh, Raja Subodh Chandra Mullick and Brajendra Kishore Roychowdhury. The idea of the National Council of Education was mooted here. While in a meeting held on 9 November 1905 at the Field and Academic Club, Subodh Chandra Mullick pledged Rupees one lakh for the foundation of a National University in Bengal. The objective in setting up the institution that was to challenge the British rule over education by offering education to the masses 'on national lines and under national control'.
Generous sums of money were also donated by Brojendra Kishore Roy Choudhury, Maharaja Suryya Kanto Acharya Choudhury and Rashbihari Ghosh, who was appointed the first president of the university. Aurobindo served as the first principal of the college. The organisation in its early days was intricately associated with the nascent revolutionary nationalism in Bengal at the time. It was during his time as principal that Aurobindo started his nationalist publications Jugantar, Karmayogin and Bande Mataram.
The students' mess at the college was frequented by students of East Bengal who belonged to the Dhaka branch of the Anushilan Samiti, and was known to be hotbed of revolutionary nationalism, which was uncontrolled or even encouraged by the college.
Almost on the same day that the National Council of Education was set up, a rival organisation, the Society for Promotion of Technical Education in Bengal, was set up by Taraknath Palit. The Bengal Technical Institute came into being on 25 July 1906 under the umbrella of the SPTE, with the objective of spreading technical education among the masses in West Bengal, one of the eastern region states of India.
The two organizations fought it out for a few years until the SPTE was amalgamated with the NCE in 1910 and the Bengal Technical Institute passed into its hands. In 1921 the institute became the first in India to introduce Chemical Engineering as a discipline. By 1940, the institute had outgrown itself as more than just a small institute and was virtually functioning as an independent university.
After Indian Independence in 1947, the West Bengal State Legislature, with the concurrence of the Government of India, enacted the Jadavpur University Act, 1955 to convert the institute into Jadavpur University with full autonomy on (24 December 1955). Since then the university has observed this date in its calendar as Convocation Day.
Jadavpur University has had its share of ups and downs since its formation as an autonomous university. This period has seen the university's growth as one of the foremost centres of the excellence in the country, but this period has also seen it being affected by Naxalite violence that claimed, among others, the life of Prof. Gopal Chandra Sen, who was the vice chancellor of the university at the time of his death.
The emblem of the university is a three-flamed lamp encircled by lotus petals. The lamp represents knowledge. The three flames represent intellectual training, cultivation of emotions and imagination, and spiritual development. The petals of the lotus on the periphery represent fine arts and culture. The emblem was designed by Nandalal Bose, a key member of the Bengal School of Art, who was one of the great masters at Kala Bhavan in Rabindranath Tagore's Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan. As the university celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 24 December 2005, the emblem was created to commemorate the occasion, and the motto 'To Know Is To Grow' was coined. This date was also the centenary of the National Council of Education.
Jadavpur University is semi-residential, which at present operates out of two urban campuses: one in Jadavpur (58 acres (230,000 m2)) and another in Salt Lake (26 acres (110,000 m2)).
The main campus of Jadavpur University is bordered by the Raja S.C. Mullick Road, the Jadavpur Station Road, the Kolkata Suburban Rail, South Line and the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CSIR India). The present campus was first leased to the NCE in 1922 by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, when Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das was the mayor. On 11 March 1922 the foundation stone of Aurobindo Bhavan, which is currently the main administrative centre of the university, was laid. The seat of engineering was shifted to the Aurobindo Bhavan in 1924 when the building was completed.
The Jadavpur campus houses most of the departments of the three faculties — Engineering, Science and Arts — in addition to the Jadavpur University Central Library and the Blue Earth Workshop. It is adjacent to research institutes like the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology and the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute.
The architecture of the campus is typical sub–continental in nature with flat-roof rectangular plans. Some of the older buildings, especially in the engineering faculty and the Aurobindo Bhavan in particular, have a strong Bengali influence which can be seen in the design of the pillars and the wooden doors and windows.
Some of the prominent landmarks on the engineering side include the Blue Earth Workshop — which, in addition to being among the foremost centres of learning techniques in workshop technology, also has the dubious distinction of having been used by students affected by the naxalite violence to manufacture blow guns, the "gachchtola", the "jheel paar", ashirwad canteen (now converted into the SURUCHI canteen), the windmill and the "green zone".
On the arts and science side, some of the prominent landmarks include the English department "ledge", the "Bhanga Bridge", worldview bookstore, Open Air Theatre and "Milan Da's" canteen.
The Salt Lake City Campus has been built more recently and was set up after the space on the main campus was insufficient to meet the demands of setting up departments for emerging fields of study. It is a 28-acre campus in LB block, Salt Lake just off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass near the Chingrighata crossing. It is surrounded by many renowned educational institutes like The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kolkata and Government college of Engineering and leather technology along with the Headquarters of the West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited. Five engineering departments operate out of the campus — Information Technology, Instrumentation and Electronics Engineering, Printing Engineering, Construction Engineering and Power Engineering. It also houses the School of Mobile Computing and Communication, a Library, the administrative block (KMR) and a hostel complex for out-station students. The main ground at the Salt Lake campus has been leased out to the Cricket Association of Bengal and it often plays host to inter- and intrastate cricket matches.
Jadavpur University has recently acquired the erstwhile National Instruments Limited (CSIR), becoming the first Indian university to acquire such a research unit. It is on a nine-acre plot opposite the main campus. After renovation, the new campus is expected to add much-needed space for new laboratories especially for the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, and Computer Science & Engineering. The NIL campus is to be connected to the main campus by an underground tunnel to bypass the traffic on the busy Raja S.C. Mullick Road. In 2013, Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) announced plans to set up one of the country's biggest state-of-the-art research hubs and Advanced Technology Centre at the NIL campus. In the same year, CSIR announced the setting up of a research centre for big data analytics and an Inverted Innovation Centre alongside the research hub already announced by DRDO.
In addition to being a unitary university, it has other institutes like the Jawahari Devi Birla Institute of Commerce and Management, Jadavpur Vidyapith as well as the Institute of Business Management, Jadavpur University affiliated to it, which operate out of independent campuses. While these institutes have their own independent curriculum as well as examination systems, the final degree is offered by Jadavpur University.
Unlike most universities which provide accommodation to faculty and staff on campus, due to a shortage of space, faculty housing is provided in the campus as well in nearby areas. This includes housing in areas like Santoshpur, Jodhpur Park and Tollygunge.
The university press publishes all documents of record in the university including PhD theses, question papers and journals. On 26 October 2010 the institution announced plans to launch a publication house, named Jadavpur University Press. The main focus of the publication house will be to publish textbooks and thesis written by research scholars and authors from all universities. The first two titles of JUP were launched on 1 February 2012 at the Calcutta Book Fair. The two titles were Rajpurush (translation of Niccolò Machiavelli's Il Principe); translated by Doyeeta Majumder, with an introduction by Swapan Kumar Chakravorty, and Shilpachinta (translation of selections from Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks); translated by Sukanta Chaudhuri. Both books were translated from the original Italian.
Jadavpur University is an autonomous state university. The governor of the state of West Bengal is its chancellor. However, the daily administration is handled under the leadership of the vice chancellor, who is appointed by the governor on the recommendations of the government of West Bengal. The vice chancellor is assisted in his duties by the pro vice chancellor who is de facto a senior faculty member of faculty of engineering and technology.
Within the university's administrative structure, the highest body is the university court. It consists of members elected by the staff members of the university from amongst themselves as well as members of the alumni.
Next in hierarchy comes the executive council of the university, which takes all the decisions relating to day-to-day functioning. It consists of staff and student members from all the three faculties. The student members of the faculties finding representation on the executive council are the chairmen of the three student councils of unions.
The three faculties in turn have their own councils which are changed every four years and differ in their compositions. The engineering faculty for example has members who are nominated either by the vice chancellor or are invited from the various schools functioning under the faculty. The Arts and Science Faculties have member from the affiliated institutes like J.D. Birla in addition to members from the respective faculties. However, a common factor in each of the three faculties is that each department is represented on the council by the Head of the Department and at least one other faculty member of the department.
Outside these councils are the offices of the registrar, finance officer, controller of examinations, university engineer, faculty secretaries, placement coordinator and deans of the three faculties and students welfare which are responsible for the administrative tasks delegated to them. Finally, at the departmental level are the heads of departments.
Admission to Jadavpur University is done through State level WBJEE for Engineering and through its own entrance test for other courses.
For admissions to the Engineering Faculty, at the undergraduate level, students are admitted through the WBJEE, an entrance examination open to students from all over India. Unlike in a large number of states, there is no domicile quota in JU as well as for the remaining engineering colleges admitting students through the WBJEE. Postgraduate students in engineering are admitted through GATE. Admission to the Arts and Science Faculties is by means of individual examinations for each of the departments at the undergraduate as well as the postgraduate levels. Weight age is given to marks obtained at the higher secondary level for undergraduate admissions at the undergraduate level and for postgraduate level.
To facilitate interdisciplinary learning and research in diverse fields, there are a number of schools and centre for studies. Some of the major research ventures undertaken by these schools include the pioneering work done by the School of Environmental Studies in highlighting the presence of arsenic in groundwater in countries like India and Bangladesh and the development of the first alcohol based car by the School of Automobile Engineering.School of Advanced Studies on Industrial Pollution Control Engineering
School of Automotive Engineering
School of Bioscience Engineering
School of Cultural Texts and Records
School of Education Technology
School of Energy Studies
School of Environmental Radiation and Archaeological Sciences
School of Environmental Studies
School of Illumination Science, Engineering and Design
School of International Relations and Strategic Studies
School of Laser Science and Engineering
School of Languages and Linguistics
School of Materials Science and Nano Technology
School of Media, Communication and Culture
School of Mobile Computing and Communication
School of Natural Product Studies
School of Nuclear Studies and Application
School of Oceanographic Studies
School of Cognitive Sciences
School of Water Resources Engineering
School of Women's Studies
The centres for studies are usually directly associated with a particular department and the centres in Jadavpur University are:
In March 2011, Indian American scientist Manick Sorcar assisted in the opening of a one-of-a-kind laser animation lab under the School of Illumination Science, Engineering and Design.
Internship opportunities to pursue research in institutes in USA and Europe are available to students at JU. Engineering and science students can avail of DAAD and ERASMUS fellowships in Europe. In addition the university has collaborations with the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Pennsylvania State University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Virginia Tech, Staffordshire University and International Centre for Theoretical Physics.
Jadavpur University has one of the largest libraries among universities in India. It has the third largest library within the state of West Bengal. There is a Central Library on the Main Campus in Jadavpur and another smaller one at the Salt Lake Campus. Besides these, the 33 departments and schools have their own libraries.
The Central Library or CL is housed in a three-storey building near the third gate of the main campus. It has the biggest stock of books, journals, theses, dissertations, pamphlets, maps and microfilms in the university. The total record of books in the university is around 600,000. In addition there are around 80,000 journals, 13,000 theses and dissertations and 37,000 non-book materials.
The Centre for Digital Library and Documentation, known as the Digital Library or DL, is housed in the new annex building of the Central Library. It was set up in 2003 to assist in the digitization of data on campus. The learning resource centre of the DL has around sixty nodes for accessing digital data both on the internet as well as the internal database of the university.
Jadavpur University has recently been ranked at 26th in India by The Week Magazine in 2016. It was ranked at 23rd by Career India in 2015. It was ranked as the 11th best Engineering College of India in the Edu-Rand Rankings of 2015. The survey was done jointly by Edu, an Indian company, and Rand Corporation, a non-profit American think tank. It has also been ranked 80 among the BRICS nations by TIMES Higher Education Rankings which is also seventh in India. Moreover, it has also been ranked between 501-600 in the world rankings by THE & Computer Science department is ranked 351-400 in the world-university-rankings 2016 by QS.
Jadavpur University is primarily non-residential. Housing on campus is usually quite difficult to get. Accommodation is usually reserved for out-of-state and financially weak students. Some of the Masters and Research scholars are accommodated in the hostel on the main campus. The main men's hostel is near the Jadavpur Police Station on Prince Anwar Shah Road at a walking distance from the university. The women's hostel is on the main campus near the guest house. Hence, usually most of the students from towns and cities other than Kolkata take up accommodation in guest houses and as paying guests in residences in the vicinity.
All the three faculties have their own student representative bodies also known as student unions. The members to these bodies are elected annually by students of the respective faculties. Some of the groups contesting these elections are affiliates of the major political parties, while others are independent student bodies.
The Alumni Association, one of the oldest in the country, was founded in 1921 by the ex-students of National Council of Education.
The following is list of notable alumni.Anupam Roy, singer and film music director
Arnab Ray, blogger and author
Arundhati Bhattacharya, graduate of Calcutta University first woman chairperson of State Bank of India
Debalina Majumder, documentary director
K. S. Dasgupta, Director of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology
Kajal Bandyopadhyay, poet
Kumar Mukherjee, Hindustani classical vocalist
Manabendra Nath Roy, political activist
Neel Mukherjee, novelist
Parambrata Chatterjee, actor
Ramaranjan Mukherji, writer, former chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Padma Shri recipient
Rituparno Ghosh, film director, actor
Samir Das, professor of computer science at Stony Brook University
Saroj Ghose, former director of Birla Industrial and Technological Museum
Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, author and critic
Somnath Dasgupta, former vice-chancellor of Assam University
Subir Raha, former Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
Souvik Maiti, biochemist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar and N-BIOS laureate
Shantanu Chowdhury, structural biologist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar and N-BIOS laureate
Suvendra Nath Bhattacharyya, molecular biologist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar and N-BIOS laureate
Samaresh Bhattacharya, inorganic chemist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate
Partha Sarathi Mukherjee, inorganic chemist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate
Alok Krishna Gupta, petrologist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate
Nibir Mandal, structural geologist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate
Pulak Sengupta, petrologist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate
Amitabha Bhattacharyya, production engineer, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate
In 2014 a series of protests broke out in response to the alleged molestation of a female student and beating of a male student by 10 other students on 28 August 2014. Her family and ultimately the student body were unsatisfied by the response of the Vice Chancellor to the allegations. Protests began on 10 September. On 16 September students gheraoed several officials in their offices, demanding that the Vice Chancellor make a statement on the status of a fair probe. Police were summoned, and later that night the police allegedly attacked and beat the student demonstrators. 30 to 40 students were injured; some had to be hospitalized. Reaction was nationwide, with supportive protests at multiple other cities including New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. On 20 September, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, who is also the chancellor of the university, met with student representatives and promised to conduct an impartial inquiry. However, students said they will continue to boycott classes until the Vice Chancellor resigns.
On 26 September, a State Government inquiry panel submitted its report, confirming that the female student had indeed been sexually abused on 28 August 2014. On 26 September, police summoned two Jadavpur University students to come to the Lalbazar Police HQ for questioning at 4 pm on Friday. They were arrested at 6 pm. "The arrests were made after evidence was found, prima facie, against the duo. Further investigation is on," said joint CP-crime Pallab Kanti Ghosh. Mr Ghosh also stated, "(Two names) were arrested because we had enough evidence to prove that they were present at the spot and had carried out the crime as alleged in the victim's complaint." The duo were booked under Sections of 354 (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty), 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of the IPC.