Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Stunning old (1800s) colonial universities in India

Being a land of oldest civilizations in the world, for centuries India had followed a traditional method called Gurukulam to impart knowledge to a select group of students in their early age. It was more or less a  residential system. This slowly evolved into a monastic system of education, as it was common among the Buddhists. Then came the oldest universities in India in the fourth and fifth centuries. The Nalanda university was a reputed university with a library, hundreds of students and good teachers. So was Taxila university. They were gone, leaving behind the ruins and rubble due to invasions from the NW. Muslim education arrived with arrival of Islam centuries before the arrival of Europeans. Besides, religion, Muslim education gave basic knowledge of subjects relevant to life.

With the arrival of the English and their enterprise East India company, western education was introduced in India after they had finally consolidated their hold on the land and the people. We also had  an advantage of western education. Our old culture and heritage got the attention of the Europeans through English scholars. The world came to know about the richness of various Indian languages, in particular Sanskrit and also other fields.
India boasts of some of the oldest colleges and universities built during the colonial period. Below listed are some of the old, historical institutions built in the 1800s and a brief account about them. The credit goes to numerous Christian missionaries who emphasized the value of western education in India in the midst of their missionary work. Indians, at last, accepted the western approach to education without  compromising on India's age-old tradition, culture and heritage.

University of Mumbai:
 Estd.: 1857
 University of Mumbai, Mumbai. estd. 1857. www.collegesearch.in
 The main campus of the University of Mumbai is situated at Kalina, Santacruz in Mumbai. However, its first campus was set up at South Mumbai, known as the Fort Campus. It is one of the first state universities in India and still caters to thousands of students.

The University of Mumbai  established in 1857  was  modeled on the universities in Great Britain, particularly University of London. This was in response to a petition from the Bombay Association to the then British government of India drafted by Sir Charles Wood in 1854. Elphinstone College, founded in 1835 was part of the university, so were the departments  and the faculty of art. In 1845 the faculty of medicine at Grant Medical College came up and in   1862, medical degrees were awarded. Because of space, the Town Hall was used as a make-shift university offices for a long time. PG courses were introduced in 1904. After India's independence, Bombay University Act of 1953 was passed. It became
 University of Mumbai as per a gazette of the Government of Maharashtra dated 4 September 1996. In 1949, student enrollment was 42,272 with 80 affiliated colleges.

Madras university:
Estd: 1857
Madras University, Chennai.es.dreamstime.com
Madras university has been  a popular university for a pretty long time. Now it  has six campuses in the city. These are at Chepauk, Marina, Guindy, Taramani, Maduravoyal and Chetpet.  It got ranked 5th by the India Today in its 2011 top universities ranking.
Logo. The University of Madras.www.google.co.in

 Above image:  The University of Madras is a public state university in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Established in 1857. Logo .........

Based on a  public petition, signed by 70,000 residents  presented by the Advocate General Mr. George Norton on 11 November 1839, pressing  the need for an English college in the city of Madras, in the follow up Lord Elphinstone had a plan to have  a central collegiate institution or a ‘university.’ built with two departments - a high school for the cultivation of English literature, regional language, philosophy and science, and a college for instruction in the higher branches of literature, philosophy and science.

Mr. George Norton as its President in 1840 the University Board was  established  and this was  the precursor of the present Presidency College, Chennai. Based on Wood's dispatch for "creating a properly articulated system of education from the primary school to the University",  the University of Madras came into being on the model of the University of London.  It was incorporated on 5 September 1857 by an Act of the Legislative Council of India.


Aligarh Muslim University  

 Estd.: 1875
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), en.wikipedia.org

 Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), originally established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875,  is a public university funded by the Government of India. The Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. With the main campus of AMU in the city of Aligarh, UP,  the university is on a vast land comprising  467.6 hectares.  It has three off-campuses across India - at Malappuram (Kerala), Murshidabad (West Bengal) and Kishanganj (Bihar). The  AMU offers more than 300 courses in both traditional and modern  subjects and admission is open to all. It has special status and is an Institute of National Importance.

Established as Madrasatul Uloom Musalmanan-e-Hind in 1875, it began functioning on 24 May 1875. Syed Ahmad Khan, an  Anglo–Indian statesman  started, the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College  after having already established two schools. It was the precursor to AMU. The movement of Muslim awakening associated with Syed Ahmad Khan  encouraged  Indian Muslims to learn western education and emphasized the importance of  competence in English and "Western sciences" and necessary skills. Hence his  M.A.O. College  was dubbed as  Aligarh Movement. Syed Ahmad Khan,'s  visit to Oxford and Cambridge  changed his perspective on Muslim education which ought be kept abreast of  present advances in sciences and  technology. 
Victoria Gate, AMU. en.wikipedia.org

Aligarh Muslim University logo, India. en.wikipedia.org

With generous funds in the name of Muslim foundation,  the college was started. Initially it was affiliated with the University of Calcutta for the matriculation examination but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885. AMU came up with funds from HH Sir Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan and the Aga Khan III. The Aligarh Muslim University Act of 1920 made it a central university. In October 1906  a Girls' school came up  and later in 1920-1930 a college for women started functioning. A school for the blind was started in 1927 followed by a Medical school in 1928. Now, Aligarh Muslim University is a fully residential university and one of the best in India.


University of Calcutta:
Estd.: 1875
the University of Calcutta  www.telegraphindia.com
Along with Mumbai and Madras, the then Calcutta (now Kolkata) also got a university in 1857. Recognized as a 'five-star university' by the University Grants Commission and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council.

Seal of the University of Calcutta. en.wikipedia.org
 The University of Calcutta (also  known as Calcutta University or CU) , a public state university located in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), West Bengal, India  was established on 24 January 1857.  It has the honor of being the first institution in Asia to be established as a multidisciplinary and secular Western-style university. It is one of the best institutions with 5 star status in India This university is associated with  five Nobel laureates  including Ronald Ross, Rabindranath Tagore,  Sir. C. V. Raman and Amartya Sen. Innumerable freedom fighters were alumni of this hoary institution started by the British India after the take over from the EIC.

Calcutta university 1870.jen.wikipedia.org


Allahabad University:
Estd.: 1875

Estd 1887.The Univ. of Allahabad, Allahabad, www.desispy.com

Estd 1887.The Univ. of Allahabad, Allahabad, India. www.alamy.com

The University of Allahabad, informally known as Allahabad University, is a public central university.  Located in Allahabad city, Uttar Pradesh, India, it was established on 23 September 1887. It is the fourth oldest University in India and owes its origin to  the Muir Central College (founded in 1872 by William Muir), named after Lt. Governor of North-Western Provinces. Sir William Muir
in 1876,  expressed his idea of starting a central university which later became what is now called Allahabad University. This historical institution is dubbed as  the "Oxford of the East" .On 24 June 2005 its Central University status was restored through the University Allahabad Act 2005 of the Parliament of India.

The foundation stone of the Muir Central College was laid by Governor-General of India, Lord Northbrook on 9 December 1873 and it was  named after Sir William Muir, Lt. Governor of United Province, who was instrumental in starting this institution. It's architect was William Emerson, who also designed Victoria Memorial in Kolkata and Crawford Market in Mumbai, using a combination of Indo-Saracenic, Egyptian and Gothic styles.
The University of Allahabad seal, India en.wikipedia.org

It, in the beginning, functioned under the University of Calcutta and later on 23 September 1887, the University of Allahabad was established, making it the fourth university established in India. It was  an affiliating and examining body for graduate and postgraduate degrees with emphasis on classical orientation and the responsibility for secondary education as well. In 1904, the university  introduced its own  teaching departments and also doctoral research programs.  The Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Hewett, in 1912 opened the University Senate Hall.  With the promulgation of the 'Allahabad University Act of 1921', the Muir Central College merged with the university,  and became part of the university.  In the  following  few years, its affiliated colleges were transferred to Agra University and the responsibility  of conducting secondary-level examinations was relocated elsewhere.

The University of Allahabad.university.youth4work.com

Stalwarts such as Motilal Nehru, Chandra Sekhar, Madan Lal Khurana and Saiyid Nurul Hasan were the alumni of this historical university.

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee:

Indian Institute of technology (IITR), Roorkee was  formerly the University of Roorkee (1948–2001) and the Thomason College of Civil Engineering (1853–1948). It is a  well-known public university located in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India.  It was first established in 1847 in British India by the then lieutenant governor, Sir James Thomason,  and was given university status in 1949 after independence. It became  Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 2001, a prestigious institution in India. Most of the graduates from IIT campuses across India go abroad for higher studies and shine very well in their respective fields.

The Thomason College of Engineering was founded in 1845 with a view to training young  engineers for the construction of the major Ganges Canal project. The  historical Canal Engineer's Bungalow  still lies on the campus.

 IITUniv. of Roorkee,Uttarakhand .topogroup.com

Above image:  First estd, 1847.earlier Thomason college of civil engg.  IIT University of Roorkee,Uttarakhand.  ........
It was renamed as the Thomason College of Civil Engineering in 1854 in honour of its founder, Sir James Thomason, lieutenant governor 1843–53. The first Indian to graduate from the Roorkee college was Rai Bahadur Kanhaiya Lal in 1852.

The college followed a unique system of admission which might appear discriminatory.  The engineers' classes were for meant only for Europeans; upper subordinate class for Europeans and Indians and lower subordinate class for Indians only.  The Public Works Departments (PWD) had control over the admission  and the each alumnus was guaranteed a post in the PWD/irrigation departments. Alumni of University of Roorkee  got a name wherever they worked. Many of them were involved in  in all the areas of engineering primarily civil, including maintenance of the Ganges canal, construction of dam and irrigation projects like Bhakra Nangal, the Rajasthan canal, the Aswan dam on the Nile in Egypt, and construction of Chandigarh.

Yet another credit to this college was between 1934 and 1943, officers of the Indian Army Corps of Engineers  had their  training at the Thomason College of Engineering and, even after the establishment of the School of Military Engineering (SME) at Roorkee in 1943 they continued to receive technical training at Thomason. Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, presented the Charter in November 1949, elevating the erstwhile college to the first engineering university of independent India. 

University of Roorkee (IITR) along with Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur (IIEST)  gave the needed impetus for the development of IIT system in the country.