Learning in the time of chaos

Universities are the breweries of patriotism, they say. Here’s a look at institutions set up during the pre-independence era and what happened on campus during the years that saw the freedom struggle

Published: 15th August 2016 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2016 03:27 PM   |  A+A-


Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI)

It was established in the year 1920 when the Indian National Congress adopted the Non-cooperation resolution. Established in the pre-independence period in Aligarh (UP), JMI was shifted to Delhi in 1925. Dr Zakir Husain became its first Vice Chancellor in 1928. It was declared a ‘deemed to be university’ in 1962. BE course in Civil Engineering commenced in 1978; the faculties of Humanities and Languages and Social Science were founded in 1981. In 1983, it started the Mass Communication Research Centre. JMI became a Central University by an act of Parliament in 1988

Alum log

Shah Rukh Khan, Virender Sehwag, Barkha Dutt, Kabir Khan, Kiran Rao



Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)

LEARNINGb.jpgIt was set up in the year 1877, when Queen Victoria became Empress of India. It evolved out of the MAO College by social reformer Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Spread over 467.6 hectares in Aligarh (UP), AMU offers over 300 courses. It draws students from across India and other countries. It ranks eighth among the top 20 research universities in India. It has more than 28,000 students, 1,342 teachers and some 5,610 non-teaching staff on its rolls. The university has opened two new study centres — Murshidabad (West Bengal) and Malappurum (Kerala) — in 2011

Alum log

Naseeruddin Shah, Javed Akhtar and Mohammad Hamid Ansari



Visva-Bharati University

It is one of India’s major universities located in Santiniketan, West Bengal. It was founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1921. After Independence the institution was given the status of a University. English daily, The Nation, notes: “Using the money he received with his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, the school was expanded and renamed Visva-Bharati University.” It was declared a Central University and an institution of national importance in 1951

Alum log

Indira Gandhi, Amartya Sen and Satyajit Ray 



Patna University

It was established in the year 1917 when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Champaran campaign in Bihar to focus attention on the grievances of indigo planters during the British rule. The jurisdiction of the university during that time extended to Bihar, Odisha and Nepal. It has several colleges and institutions covering areas like law, teacher training, science, arts, commerce, medicine and engineering. Since 1974, the university has also a directorate of distance education

Alum log

Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’, Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Ram Avatar Sharma and Pandit Nalin Vilochan Sharma



Panjab University

It was set up at Lahore (Pakistan) in the year 1882, when the British Government imposed salt tax in India. University of Punjab, now Panjab University, is one of the oldest universities in India. It was relocated to Chandigarh in 1956. Pierre Jeanerette designed the red sandstone campus under the guidance of the legendary Le Corbusier. It has 188 affiliated colleges located in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. It has been ranked first among Indian universities and 38th in Asia

Alum log

Manmohan Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Kalpana Chawla, Romila Thapar, Jaspal Bhatti, Anupam Kher and Kirron Kher 



University of Mumbai

LEARNINGc.jpgIt was set up in 1857 following a petition from the Bombay Association to the British government, according to Wood’s despatch, drafted by Sir Charles Wood. It was modelled on the universities in Britain, specifically University of London. It is the oldest University in Maharashtra. One of its two campuses in Mumbai is located in Kalina, Santa Cruz. It is one of the largest universities in the world in terms of the number of students. In 2011, the total number of enrolled student was 5, 49, 432. It has 711 affiliated colleges

Alum log

Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Dadabhai Naoroji, Jamsetji Tata, Adi Godrej, Azim Premji, Sunil Gavaskar and Homi K Bhabha



Banaras Hindu University (BHU)

Set up in the year 1916 when Bal Gangadhar Tilak founded the Indian Home Rule League. The university, which was founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, is one of the largest residential universities in Asia today, with over 20,000 students. Its main campus is located in Varanasi (UP) and spread over 5.3 sqkm. The university, which is also planning to set up a campus in Bihar, is organised into four institutes and 14 faculties and over 140 departments. The biggest feather in its cap remains the upgrade of its institute of technology to the 16th IIT in 2011

Alum log

CN Rao, Harivanshrai Bachchan and Ram Manohar Lohia 

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