Pantnagar is a town and a university campus in Udham Singh Nagar district, Uttarakhand. Nainital, Kashipur, Rudrapur and Kiccha, Haldwani are the major cities surrounding Pantnagar.
The town is famous for having the first agricultural university of India which was established on 17 November 1960. Previously the university was called the Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University or Pantnagar University. It was rechristened G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology. keeping in view the contributions of Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, the then Chief Minister of UP.
In recent years, an integrated industrial estate has been established near the campus which houses companies such as Tata motor, Bajaj, Britannia, HP, HCL, Voltas, Schneider Electric, Nestle, Dabur, Vedanta Resources etc., as a part of SIDCUL industrial area developed by government owned State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited.
Before November 2000 Pantnagar was in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. After 9 November 2000 it became part of the new Indian state of Uttarakhand, which is located in the northern part of India and known for its natural beauty. Uttarakhand was carved out of Himalayan and adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh. After independence, development of the rural sector was considered the primary concern of the Government of India. In 1949, with the appointment of the Radhakrishnan University Education Commission, imparting of agricultural education through the setting up of rural universities became the focal point. Later, in 1954 an Indo-American team led by Dr. K.R. Damle, the Vice-President of ICAR, was constituted that arrived at the idea of establishing a ‘Rural University’ on the land-grant pattern of USA. As a consequence a contract between the Government of India, the Technical Cooperation Mission and some land-grant universities of USA, was signed to promote agricultural education in the country. The US universities included the universities of Tennessee, the Ohio State University, the Kansas State University, The University of Illinois, the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Missouri. The task of assisting Uttar Pradesh in establishing an agricultural university was assigned to the University of Illinois which signed a contract in 1959 to establish an agricultural University in the State. Dean, H.W. Hannah, of the University of Illinois prepared a blueprint for a Rural University to be set up at the Tarai State Farm in the district Nainital, UP. In the initial stage the University of Illinois also offered the services of its scientists and teachers. Thus, in 1960, the first agricultural university of India, UP Agricultural University, came into being by an Act of legislation, UP Act XI-V of 1958. The Act was later amended under UP Universities Re-enactment and Amendment Act 1972 and the University was rechristened as Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology keeping in view the contributions of Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, the then Chief Minister of UP. The University was dedicated to the Nation by the first Prime Minister of India Pt Jawaharlal Nehru on 17 November 1960.
The G.B. Pant University is a symbol of successful partnership between India and the United States. The establishment of this university brought about a revolution in agricultural education, research and extension. It paved the way for setting up of 31 other agricultural universities in the country
The credit for starting the functioning of the University without losing any time goes to the warm and resourceful personality of the first Vice-Chancellor, late Dr. Kenneth Anthony Parker Stevenson (1-12-58 to 2-1-64), who could keep people fruitfully engaged on the university farm, the labs and the classrooms despite the lurking fear of wild animals roaming the area. The other Vice-Chancellors to be remembered for their distinctive contributions in the development of the University are :
The Campus appears impressive today with its well-tended fields, a network of roads, housing colonies, street lighting, a telephone exchange, hospitals, marketing centres, a water supply section, a community radio station 90.8 Mhz, canteens, 6 primary schools and 3 secondary schools. The main campus lies in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand at 29° N latitude and 79° E longitude at an elevation of 243.8 m above the mean sea level. This main campus has the area responsibility for the entire Uttarakhand representing plains, Tarai, Bhabar and hill areas. However, to provide service to the hill region its other stations are situated at Ranichauri (Tehri district), Majhera (Nainital district) and at Lohaghat-Sui (Champavat district). There are 763 teachers and officers 59 technical staff, 631 administrative and ministerial personnel and 1425 class III employees, amounting to a total strength of 2878. The number of students in the University ranges between 2800-3000. Thus, the teacher taught ratio is about 1:6 and student-staff ratio is about 1:1.
Pantnagar University houses ten colleges:College of Agriculture
College of Technology
College of Home Science
College of Basic Science & Humanities
College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences
College of Fisheries
College of Agri-Business Management
College of Post Graduate Studies
College of Forestry & Hill Agriculture, Ranichauri, Tehri Garhwal (off-campus)
VCSG College of Horticulture, Bharsar, Pauri Garhwal (off-campus)
There are primary and secondary level schools located on the university campus. These include Campus school, Bal Nilyam Shishu Vidyalaya, Primary school, Pantnagar Inter College, Government Girls Inter College and Saraswati Shishu Mandir.
The Integrated Industrial Estate, Pantnagar of the State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand (SIDCUL) houses the companies like Britannia Industries, HP, HCL, Voltas, Schneider Electric, Ashok Leyland, Delphi-TVS Diesel Systems Limited, Vedanta Resources, RSB Transmission, Bajaj Motors Ltd. and New Allenberry Works setting up their manufacturing units. and Tata Motors Rane Madras limited, Rane NSK Steering Systems Private Ltd.,Nearest railway stations: Pantnagar railway station, Lalkuan, Haldwani railway station
Pantnagar Airport - It is a domestic airport that serves the town of Pantnagar and is operated by the Airports Authority of India.
Between 2005 and 2008, the Government of Uttarakhand offered a subsidy to Jagson Airlines to start a daily scheduled flight between Pantnagar and New Delhi. The airline used an 18-seater Dornier 228 on the route. This was, however, withdrawn in 2008 when the runway size was increased. The government then invited Deccan Aviation to fly on the Delhi - Pantnagar route. Kingfisher Airlines, which took over Deccan Aviation, undertook seasonal flights to Pantnagar as the weather did not allow it to fly all round the year. Air India started flights from Delhi to Pantnagar using ATR 80 seater aircraft from the third week of Oct 2014.