Friday, January 21, 2011

Banaras Hindu University, a dream of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, an outstanding noble son of India

Statue of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya at the entrance of Banaras Hindu University
The main force behind Banaras Hindu University was Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. Born in an educated orthodox Hindu family at Prayag (Allahabad) in 1861, Madan Mohan Malaviya name to be recognized as an outstanding and noble son of India.

His multifaceted personality made him, at the same time, a great patriot, an educationist with a vision, a social reformer, an ardent journalist, reluctant but effective lawyer, a successful parliamentarian and an outstanding statesman. Among Malaviyaji's many achievements, the most monumental was the establishment of the Banaras Hindu University or Kashi Hindu Vishvidyalaya. In the course of his lifetime Banaras Hindu University came to be known as a Capital of Knowledge acknowledged across India and the World.

Banaras Hindu University is a Central university, located in Varanasi, India, which is also the largest residential university in Asia, with over 12,000 students living on its campus. BHU was founded in 1916 by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and under the Parliamentary legislation, 'B.H.U. Act 1915'

The campus spread over 1350 acre (5.5 km²) campus was built on land donated by then Kashi Naresh.Besides, it has its Rajiv Gandhi South Campus on a bigger land 2,760-acre (11.2 km2) at Barkatcha near the city of Mirzapur , about 80 kilometers from the main campus. It has 140 teaching departments and more than 55 hostels for boys and girls. The total enrollment in the University stands at just over 15000, including students from all over India and abroad. Several of its colleges, including engineering (IT-BHU), science, linguistics, journalism & mass communication, law and medicine (IMS-BHU), Faculty of Management Studies, are ranked amongst the best in India., out of these IT-BHU is set to become India's 16th IIT, IIT-BHU from the academic session 2010 . Among others the University is well known for its Department of French studies which offers various degree and diploma cources attracting students from across India. BHU is ranked as the second best university in the field of research in India after Delhi University.. It is also the best university of India on all parameters as per the India Today magazine dated 2 June 2010.

Being a vast university and under various phases of development, Banaras Hindu University has two main types of academic subunits, namely (i) Institute and (ii) Faculty . The chief of institute is known as the director of institute, while chief of faculty is known as the dean of faculty. Overall the university comprises 4 Institutes, viz.

   * Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAS),
   * Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS-BHU)
   * Institute of Technology (IT-BHU)
   * Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development

15 Faculties i.e.

   * Faculty of Arts
   * Faculty of Commerce
   * Faculty of Education
   * Faculty of Law
   * Faculty of Management Studies
   * Faculty of Performing Arts
   * Faculty of Science
   * Faculty of Engineering
   * Faculty of Agriculture
   * Faculty of Medicine
   * Faculty of Ayurveda
   * Faculty of Dental Sciences
   * Faculty of Social Sciences
   * Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vijnan Sankaya
   * Faculty of Visual Arts

The Women's College (Mahila Mahavidyalaya) and 4 Costituent colleges

   * D.A.V. college
   * Arya Mahila Degree college
   * Basanta Kanya Mahavidyalaya
   * Vasanta College,Rajghat

4 Advanced Research centers and 4 interdisciplinary schools

   * DBT-BHU Interdisciplinary School of Life Sciences advance research and education (DBT-BHU-ISLARE),
   * DST Centre for Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences,
   * DBT Centre of Genetic Disorders,
   * DBT Centre for Food Science and Technology
   * Centre for Environmental Science and Technology
   * Nanoscience and Technology Center
   * Hydrogen Energy Centre
   * UGC Advanced Immunodiagnostic Training and Research Centre
   * Centre for Experimental Medicine and Surgery
   * Center for Women's Studies and Development (CWSD)
   * Center for the Study of Nepal (CNS)
   * Malviya Center for Peace Research (MCPR)
   * Center for Rural Integrated Development
   * Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP)

Apart from specialized centers directly funded by DBT, DST,ICAR and ISRO, large number of departments under the faculty of sciences, Engineering, Technology and Social Sciences are supported by DST-FIST ( total 22 Departments/Schools), and UGC CAS/SAP/DRS (14 Departments/Schools).

Banaras Hindu University conducts national level Undergraduate (UET) and Postgraduate (PET) entrance tests usually during May–June for admission to various courses. Admissions are done according to merit in the Entrance Tests, subject to fulfilling of other eligibility requirements. Admissions to B.Tech./B.Pharm., M.Tech./M.Pharm. are done through JEE and GATE respectively. Admission to MBA and MIBA are done through IIM-CAT score. Admissions for PhD. are done on the basis of either qualification of NET by the candidates or through the scores of CRET (common research entrance test). In addition to these admissions in IMS are done through PMT exam. In addition to Indian students, BHU attracts a number of foreign learners in its premises. Foreign students are admitted through the application submitted to the Indian Mission in his/her country or by his/her country's Mission in India. Those foreign students who are selected under various scholarship schemes, either of the Ministry of Human Resource Development India or the Ministry of External Affairs India, are admitted on the recommendation/sponsorship of the respective ministry. In the case of admission of self-financing foreign students, their applications are routed through the Ministry of External Affairs for clearance in the first instance and thereafter through the Ministry of Human Resource Development for a 'No Objection' certificate.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya created history in Indian education with this institution - the first of its kind in the country. He chose Banaras as the site, because of the centuries old tradition of learning, wisdom and spirituality inherent to the place. His vision was to blend the best of Indian education called from the ancient centres of learning - Takshashila and Nalanda and other hallowed institutions, with the best tradition of modern universities of the west.

Great minds and personalities like Annie Besant, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Shyama Charan De and many others joined hand with him in his quest for knowledge, arousing the national spirit in India and winning freedom with the power of education and righteousness. Malaviya died in 1946. But his spirit still lives and there are many who bear the torch that he lit, Many more stand ready to shoulder the mantle of his responsibility. The Idea of a Hindu University was mooted in a meeting held in 1904 at Varanasi. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya gave up his practice at the Bar and launched his mission in January, 1911. Almost at the same time, there was another proposal of Annie Besant for establishing a university at Varanasi under the name of "The University of India". In 1907, she submitted a memorandum for the grant of Royal Charter for the establishment of the University. In April 1911, Annie Besant and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya met and decided to unite their forces and work for a common Hindu University at Varanasi. A society under the name, "The Hindu University Society", was formed and registered in December, 1911 with Maharaja Sir Rameshwar Singh Bahadur of Darbhanga of as its President and Sir Sundar Lal, a Judge of the Allahabad High Court, as its Secretary. Its office was opened at Allahabad on 1 January 1912. The then British Government of India had required that a sum of rupees fifty lacks must be collected before the scheme could be put into effect. By the beginning of the year 1915, this target was achieved with the great dedication and efforts of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. Another pre-condition set by the Government of India as per the then existing rules of Indian Universities was that the Central Hindu College should become a part of the University. Annie Besant, Dr. Bhagwan Das and their fellow Trustees of the Central Hindu College agreed to hand over the institution to be made the nucleus of the proposed University. The charge of the Central Hindu College was handed over to the Hindu University Society on 27 November 1915.

The Banaras Hindu University Bill was introduced in the Imperial Legislative Council in March, 1915 by Sir Harcourt Butler. The Bill was referred to a Select Committee and it came up along with the report of the Select Committee for final reading before the Imperial Legislative Council. The Council passed the bill on 1 October 1915 and the same day it received the assent of the Governor-General and Viceroy of India which made it an Act. On 4 February 1916 Lord Hardinge, the then Governor-General and Viceroy laid the foundation stone of the University. A series of lectures which have come to be known as the University Extension Lectures were delivered on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8 February 1916 by distinguished specialists like Sir J.C. Bose, Dr. PC. Ray, Dr. Harold Mann, Prof. Sam Higginbottom, Mrs. Annie Besant, Prof. C. V. Raman among others. Mahatma Gandhi who had just returned to India from South Africa and had come to Banaras to attend the Foundation stone laying ceremony addressed his first public lecture in India on 6 February. The closing functions were held on 8 February 1916, on the day Vasant Panchami.By a Notification published In the Gazette of India on 25 March 1916 the Banaras Hindu University Act of 1915 was brought into force from 1 April 1916. Dr. Sir Sundar Lal was appointed the first Vice-Chancellor.

The University started functioning from 1 October 1917 with the Central Hindu College at Kamaccha, Varanasi as its first constituent college. In July, 1918 the College of Oriental learning and Theology was opened and in August 1918, the Teachers' Training College. The first University examinations were held in 1918 and the first Convocation was held on 17 January 1919. The Chancellor of the University, Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV of Mysore who had come to preside over and address the Convocation, also performed the opening ceremony of the Engineering College Workshop buildings. Thus the Engineering College was the first to start functioning in the University campus. An Artisan course was started on 11 February 1919.

The late Kashi Naresh and Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narayan Singh had a great impact on this institution.

Though the name of the university includes the word "Hindu," the university has always been accepting of the various religions of its members, including students and faculty. A message on its website reads the words of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya as:

"India is not a country of the Hindus only. It is a country of the Muslims, the Christians and the Parsees too. The country can gain strength and develop itself only when the people of the different communities in India live in mutual goodwill and harmony. It is my earnest hope and prayer that this centre of life and light which is coming into existence, will produce students who will not only be intellectually equal to the best of their fellow students in other parts of the world, but will also live a noble life, love their country and be loyal to the Supreme ruler".

The Banaras Hindu University Library system was established from a collection donated by Prof. P.K. Telang in the memory of his father Justice Kashinath Trimbak Telang in 1917. The collection was housed in the Telang Hall of the Central Hindu College, Kamachha. In 1921 the library was moved to the Central Hall of the Arts College (now Faculty of Arts) and then in 1941 to its present building. The library was established with the donation from Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda, on the pattern of the library British Museum in London on the suggestion of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the founder of university. It is also a designated 'Manuscript Conservation Centre' (MCC) under the National Mission for Manuscripts established in 2003.

The library had a collection of around 60,000 volumes in 1931, through donations from various sources. The trend of donation of personal and family collection to the library continued as late as forties with the result that it has unique pieces of rarities of books and journals dating back to 18th century.

Presently the Banaras Hindu University Library System consists of Central Library at apex and 3 Institute Libraries, 8 Faculty Libraries, 25 Departmental Libraries, with a total collection of over 13 lacks volumes to serve the students, faculty members, researchers, technical staff of fourteen faculties consisting of 126 subject departments of the university.
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