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University of Dhaka

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The University of Dhaka was established in 1921. On the first day of July 1921 it opened its doors to students. The University was set up in a picturesque part of the city known as Ramna on 600 acres (2.4 km²) of land. Before the university was declared formally open. Vice Chancellor Sir P.J. Hartog, and some newly appointed teachers, put in their best efforts so that the institution could begin on the right note.

In the beginning there were three faculties Arts, Sciences, and Law. These consisted of 12 departments Sanskrit and Bengali, English, Education, History, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Persian and Urdu, Philosophy, Economics and Politics, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Law. In the first academic year, the total number of students was 877. There were sixty teachers, including distinguished scholars of the humanities such as Haraprasad Sastri. F.H. Turner, Muhammad Shahidullah, G.H. Langley, Haridas Bhattacharya. Ramesh Chandra Majumder. A.F Rahman and Naresh Chandra Sengupta. Truly Dhaka University can be proud of them as well as its distinguished teachers of science. A few of them have been considered among the creators of modern science, and did much of their best work while teaching in Dhaka University . The name of Satyandranath Bose( Bose-Einstein Quantum Statistics fame) must be mentioned in this context. In fact, as any student of Physics anywhere in the world knows. the universe consists of two types of fundamental particles, namely Fermion (obeying Enrico Fermi's Statistics) and Boson (obeying Satyandranath Bose's Statistics). The other physicists of international stature are KS. Krishnan (Dhaka University 1928-35) and S.R. Khastgir (Dhaka University 1931-48). The contributions of Gyanchandra Gosh and Mokarram Hossain Khundker in Chemistry. Quazi Motahar Hossain in Statistics, and Kamaluddin Ahmed in Biochemistry, Pharmacy & Nutrition Science, must also be mentioned.

From the beginning a distinctive feature of the University of Dhaka was its residential system. All students of the University were either residents or attached to the halls. The three halls established for this purpose were Dhaka Hall, Jagannath Hall, and Salimullah Muslim Hall.

In its 1921-1947 phase, the University of Dhaka made substantial progress. Two more faculties and eight more departments were opened and the number of students and teachers doubled. Notable progress was made in research. Fifty-seven research students were awarded Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees and many learned lectures and symposia were organized. To meet residential needs of students, three more halls were built. The campus buzzed with literary and cultural activities and sports.

When colonial rule ended and India was partitioned in 1947. the University of Dhaka , the only institution of its kind in the province, had to encounter anumerous problems. Nevertheless, the University of Dhaka made some progress in the 1947-71 phase of its existence. During this period some new faculties, sixteen new departments, and four institutes were opened. A new arts building, a science annex, an administrative building, and five new residential halls and hostels were set up at this time. In this phase forty-four research students were awarded Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees and the number of students and teachers increased substantially.

The University of Dhaka played a central role in all the national movements for democracy and autonomy in East Pakistan , including the language movement of 1952, the autonomy movement of 1966, the mass upsurge against the autocratic rulers of the Pakistani rulers of 1970, the elections of 1971, as well as the anti-autocratic movement of 1990. In the War of Liberation, fourteen teachers, one officer, twenty-six employees, and a few hundred students of the University lost their lives.

After liberation, the Government proclaimed the University of Dhaka Order 1973 in view of the reaction that had set in against the 1961 ordinance. As a result, democratic norms and autonomy became integral features of the institution. Three new faculties, ten new departments, and three new institutes were set up. With forty-seven departments, eight institutes, twenty centers for advanced research, sixteen residential halls, and one hall for international students, the University is at this moment one of the leading institutions of higher education in Asia .

At present, approximately 30,000 students are enrolled in this university and are taught by almost 1300 teachers. Six half-yearly English journals and one ten-monthly Bengali journal are published by six faculties regularly. Ten more research journals are published by individual departments.


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