Commission and Departments of Universities and Colleges: Notable Firsts and Personalities

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University Departments, Education

University of Calcutta

  • The University of Calcutta was founded in January 24, 1857.

  • The University came into being after the Court of Directors of the East India Company sent a dispatch in July, 1854 to the Governor-General of India in Council.

  • At first the University worked on the patterns of the University of London and gradually introduced modifications in its constitution.

Notable Firsts

  • The Calcutta Medical College was set up in 1835 as the first medical school of Asia.

  • The Bethune College was established as the first college for women in India in 1879.

  • The nation’s first homoeopathy college was established in 1880.

  • The Science College was established in 1914, the first in India.

  • The first blind school in India came into being in 1925 which was affiliated to the University.

  • The first University Museum in India, the Ashutosh Museum, came into being in 1937.

  • The Government Art College was established in 1951.

  • The Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM) was set up in1953 as the country’s first Management Institute.

  • Some of the renowned Alumni are:

Subhas Chandra Bose

  • S C Bose was an Indian Nationalist born on 23 January 1897 and died on at Cuttack (Odisha) and died on 18 August 1945, Taipei, Taiwan.

  • He played a very important role in the Freedom Movement by revamping Indian National Army in August 1942 with Japanese Support and is known as the Patriot of Patriots.

  • He met Adolf Hitler to seek Germany’s help for India’s Impendence against the British Rule.

  • He was the editor in chief of the newspaper Forward and later on opened his own newspaper named Swaraj.

Swami Vivekananda

  • Swami Vivekananda was a monk born on 12 January 1863 in an aristocrat Bengali family from Calcutta and died on 4 July 1902.His earlier name was Mahendranath Dutta.

  • He speeded awareness in Hinduism and spreading philosophies of Vedanta and yoga to the western world.

  • He founded Ramakrishna Mission (Vedanta Movement) as a Hindu religious and spiritual organisation on 1 May 1897.

  • He suggested that the aim of education should be to reform the human mind and not just to fill some facts into the brain.

Rabindranath Tagore

  • Rabindranath Tagore was a polymath, poet, musician, and artist born on 7 May 1861 and died on 7 August 1861 at Kolkata (West Bengal) and died on 7 August 1941.

  • He was the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize in Literature (1913) and composed more than 2,000 songs and penned a large number of poems, stories, dramas, and novels. With the prize money he constructed the “Visva-Bharati” school in Shantiniketan.

  • He wrote two national anthems. “Jana Gana Mana” for India and “Amar Sonar Bangla” for Bangladesh. He also inspired the Sri Lankan national anthem “Sri Lanka Matha”.

  • His one of the most famous poetry work is Gitanjali published in 1912.

Rajendra Prasad

  • Dr Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India born on 3 December 1884 (Bihar, India) and died on 28 February 1963 at Patna (Bihar).

  • He played a crucial role in forming the Bihari Students Conference at the hall of Patna College in 1906.

  • He joined the Indian National Congress in 1911, during its annual session held in Calcutta.

  • He was put in jail multiple times by the British - once in 1931 for participating in the Salt Satyagraha Movement and once in 1942 for being an active member of the Quit India Movement.

  • He also became the President of the Constituent Assembly (1948-1950) and was awarded Bharat Ratna (1962).

University of Madras

  • University of Madras was established in 1857.

  • The University came into being after the Court of Directors of the East India Company sent a dispatch in July, 1854 to the Governor-General of India in Council.

  • The Motto is “Learning Promotes Natural Talent”.

Traditional Aspects

  • The Senate House University’s-one of the landmarks of the Chennai city was inaugurated as the first building.

  • The University Board was constituted in January 1840 with Mr. George Norton as its president.

  • This university was incorporated by an Act of the Legislative Council of India.

  • More than 230 courses under 87 academic departments grouped under 19 schools, covering diverse areas such as sciences, social sciences, humanities, management and medicine along with 109 affiliated colleges and 52 approved research institutions are offered by the University of Madras are offered by the University of Madras.

  • The University of Madras offers 15 Undergraduate Courses, 20 Postgraduate Courses under CBCS Pattern, 16 Diploma Courses and 12 Certificate Courses.

    • Some of the renowned Alumni are:

C.V. Raman

  • Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was an Indian physicist born on 7 November 1888 at Thiruvanaikaval or Thiruvanaikoil in Tamil Nadu and died on 21 November at Mysore in Karnataka.

  • He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1954 and Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.He was the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize in science.

  • He discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes in wavelength.

  • He was appointed the first Palit Professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta in 1917.

  • The Indian Postal Service published a commemorative stamp on him with the reading of his spectroscopy and a diamond in the background.

Srinivasa Ramanujan

  • Srinivasa Ramanujan was an Indian Mathematician born on 22 Dec 1887 at Erode in Madras and died on 26 April 1920 at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu.

  • He passed his exams in English, Tamil, geography and arithmetic with the highest scores in his district in the year 1897.

  • He made an important contribution to many mathematical fields, including complex analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions.

  • At the age of 17 he developed the Bernoulli numbers and calculated the Euler-Mascheroni constant to 15 decimal places.

  • He was hired in the office of the Chief Accountant of the Madras Port Trust in 1912.

  • He was elected as the Fellow of the Royal Society “for his investigation in Elliptic function and the Theory of Numbers.”

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

  • Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was the sixth President of India born on 19 May 1913 at Anantapuram district in Andhra Pradesh and died on 1 June 1996 at Bengaluru in Karnataka.

  • He was jailed for participating in Quit India Movement.

  • In 1846 he was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly as a Congress Party representative.

  • He participated in the Student Satyagraha and also joined the Indian struggle for independence from the British Raj following Mahatma Gandhi.

Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan

  • Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was an Indian philosopher and statesman born on 5 September 1888 at Thiruttani town in Tamil Nadu and died on 17 April 1975 at Chennai (Tamil Nadu).

  • He became the first Vice President of Independent India in 1952 and the second President of India in 1962.

  • He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1952 and was elected as the Fellow of the All Souls College.

  • He also served as the ambassador to UNESCO and later to Moscow.

  • He founded Help age India which is a non-profit organisation for elderly underprivileged people.

  • Teacher’s Day in India is celebrated on 5 September since 1962 to pay tribute to Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan on his birth anniversary.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

  • Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was an aerospace scientist born on 15 Oct 1931 at Rameswaram in Madras and died on 27 July 2015 at Shillong in Meghalaya (India).

  • He was the 11th President of India who served the office from 2002 to 2007.

  • His favorite subjects were Physics and Mathematics.

  • He played an important role DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment in 1960.

  • In 1969, he became the project director for Satellite Launch Vehicles and was shifted to ISRO .India successfully launched the Rohini satellite series into Earth’s orbit.

  • One of his greatest contributions was to the nuclear capabilities of India because of which Pokhran -2 nuclear tests (1998) became successful.

  • He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997, Padma Bhushan in 1981 and Padma Vibhushan in 1990.

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