Presidency University is one of the oldest institutions of the world which was established with the aim of imparting liberal education. It started its journey as Hindoo College in 1817 as a result of a civic initiative wherein members of both the Indian and the European communities played a crucial role. Foremost among them were Raja Rammohun Roy, Sir Hyde East, Baidyanath Mukherjee, David Hare and Radhakanta Deb. In 1855, largely due to the efforts of Dr. F. J. Mouat and Russomoy Dutta, Hindoo College was taken over by the government and renamed as Presidency College. The College, affiliated to the University of Calcutta, was given the status of an autonomous state university in 2010.
The trajectory of this institution has been inextricably intertwined with the larger history of the sub-continent’s encounter with modernity. During the nineteenth century, the faculty and students of it played an innovative part in the making of Indian modernity and 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 scholars-teachers and brilliant students, it maintained its status as India’s premier institution of higher education even 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 thinkers, writers, artists and avant-garde thinkers such as Radhanath Sikdar, Michael Madhusudhan Dutta, Bankimchandra Chatterjee, Swami Vivekananda, Haraprasad Shastri, Chittaranjan Das, Subhaschandra Bose, Rajendra Prasad, Jadunath Sarkar, Rakhaldas Banerjee, Harinath De, Ashutosh Mukherjee, Meghnad Saha, Satyendranath Bose, Upendranath Brahmachari, Prasantachandra Mahalanobis, Humayun Kabir, Satyajit Ray, Amartya Kumar Sen and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, this institution boasts of a rich heritage of excellence in the liberal arts and science. 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. Presidency University had a head start on all other institutions and is now projecting the years ahead into infinite time as an exciting period for learning and education.