History & Heritage
Vidyasagar University, named after one of the most illustrious sons of
Bengal as well as one of the doyens of Indian Renaissance, Pandit Iswar Chandra
Vidyasagar, has grown out of a long cultural and educational movement in West
Bengal in general and in the undivided district of Midnapore in particular. The
idea of founding a University in the district was mooted by the various
organizations, notably by the Regional Education Association, Midnapore, headed
by Professor A.K.Gayen of IIT, Kharagpur. The Ghani Committee appointed by the
U.G.C. also suggested, among others, for the setting up of a University in
Midnapore on the ground of its ‘having a compact area and a manageable number of
colleges’ (at that time there were 36 colleges with an enrolment of about
42,000), and also of its ‘having the great advantage of co-operation of the IIT,
Kharagpur. The Committee was also of the opinion that the new University would
develop on the lines suited to the needs of this backward area.
To give honour and respect to these pious intentions and proposals, the
Government of West Bengal decided in 1978 to establish Vidyasagar University.
The U.G.C. approved the proposal and on the advice of, and in consultation with
the U.G.C., the State Government appointed a Planning Committee in March 1979 to
lay down the lines of development and to take initial steps to found the
University. The Committee submitted its report in October. Then the Vidyasagar
University Act, 1981 (West Bengal Act XVIII of 1981) was passed; some of its
sections were brought into operation on 24th June 1981. Finally, Professor
Bhupesh Chandra Mukherjee joined as the first Vice Chancellor of the University
on 29th September 1981.
Academic activities started when through a Notification [no. 983-Edn (U), dated
Calcutta the 23rd May] issued by the State Government, 30 colleges of the
District of Midnapore were affiliated to the Vidyasagar University with effect
from 1st June 1985.The foundation stone of the main campus at Tantigaria mouza
of Midnapore Sadar Town for post graduate teaching and central administration of
the University, was laid on 18th July 1983 by the then Hon’ble Chancellor of the
University and Governor of West Bengal, Late B.D.Pande. On 15th January 1986, it
was inaugurated by Shri Jyoti Basu, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal. From
the next day (16th January) classes commenced in six post graduate departments:
Anthropology, Applied Mathematics with Oceanology and Computer Programming,
Commerce with Farm Management, Economics with Rural Development, Library and
Information Science, Political Science with Rural Administration.
The U.G.C. accorded recognition to the University in terms of Section 12B of the
U.G.C. Act, on 1st March 1990.The University presently houses 27 PG departments
(apart from this course – MBA - being run under the Department of Commerce with
Farm Management), 12 in Humanities and 15 in Science while 46 undergraduate
colleges apart from 11 courses in yet 11 other colleges / institutes are
affiliated to it. Fourteen vocational subjects and six other specialized courses
are also offered at the UG level. The overall emphasis of the university is not
to perpetuate the traditional nature of the other universities of West Bengal
but to merge as a distinctive entity with a special nature of its own. The
National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) awarded Vidyasagar
University with a 3-star status. The campus has a picturesque background within
which afforestation programmes are being undertaken.
The Vidyasagar University thus began its journey to sail through many trials and tribulations.