Celebrating the 200-year
journey of Hindoo College
to Presidency University, Kolkata.
2017 marks the bicentenary of the Hindoo College, Kolkata, which was renamed Presidency College in 1855. The College, affiliated to the University of Calcutta, was given the status of an independent University in 2010.
Two hundred years ago a civic initiative in the city of Calcutta led to the establishment of an institution for imparting liberal education. Rarely has the trajectory of one institution of higher learning been so inextricably intertwined with the larger history of an entire subcontinent’s encounter with global modernity. When the Government proposed on 27 November 1852 to turn Hindoo College into a public institution open to all communities, the College was on its way to becoming one of the pioneering academic institutions in the world to have such a character. We, citizens of Kolkata and India, are proud of this achievement, which deserves to be better known and celebrated.
During the nineteenth century, the faculty and students of Presidency College played an innovative part in the making of Indian modernity and the articulation of its multiple meanings. In the early twentieth century, they met the challenge of contesting colonial power while creatively engaging with Europe in the domain of generating and disseminating new forms of knowledge. Home to a galaxy of dedicated scholar-teachers and brilliant students, Presidency College maintained its status as India’s premier institution of higher education in the early decades after independence.
Since its foundation in 1817, this institution has played a major role in shaping the intellectual and socio-political fabric of Bengal. Having produced notable leaders and avant-garde thinkers such as Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Swami Vivekananda, Subhaschandra Bose, Rajendra Prasad, Anandaram Barooah, Humayun Kabir, Satyendranath Bose, Meghnad Saha, Jibanananda Das, Satyajit Ray, Amartya Sen and Gayatri Spivak, this institution boasts of a rich heritage of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
Its distinguished alumni have left their impressive mark in academia and all walks of life across the country and in different parts of the world. The bicentenary provides the occasion for the rejuvenation of Presidency through a new concerted civic initiative enabling it to play a role in the global transformation of university education in the twenty-first century.
We have planned a Global Education Summit based on the theme '200 years ahead'. We hope the Summit would lead to a vision for the future in context to higher education, natural and social sciences, mathematics, languages and humanities. Apart from the Global Education Summit, we have planned different events for the entire year that will showcase the role of our institution.