University description (as per official university website)
The University of Kalyani was established in 1960 with a campus area of over 400 acres in Kalyani town. It is well connected by road and railway, with a railway station very close to the University . The University is situated in a locality surrounded by a rural setting within a rural backdrop and it caters mostly to the students of rural and backward areas. Yet, its distance from Kolkata is only 50 km.This locational advantage of the University makes it particularly suitable for the 'Cafeteria Approach' to higher education. The University ensures on the one hand, the development of excellence, and on the other, contribution of higher education through dispersion of knowledge to rural areas in an open and flexible system. The University is also considering the possibility of upgrading some of its affiliated colleges with academic autonomy and postgraduate teaching. The University has completed four decades of commendable service to the development of higher education keeping in view the importance of the outlying rural economy and the needs and aspirations of the youth in the region. The University is presently offering twenty three post graduate programmes under four faculties, namely, Science, Arts & Commerce, Education, Engineering Technology & Management.
Two more faculties of Law and Music & Fine Arts, also have been approved recently under the University Act and are in the process of crystallization. The total number of approved teaching posts at present is 217, catering to around 2000 post-graduate students. In its administrative set up, there are approximately 32 officers, and 517 staff on the pay-roll at the moment, which vindicates a streamlined academic administration as per the usual norms of teacher-student ratio arid teacher-staff ratio.
The University is providing academic guidance and leadership to 36 (thirty six) affiliated degree colleges located in the districts of Nadia, Murshidabad and parts of N. 24 Parganas.In addition engineering colleges were affiliated to this University for the last three years. Recently these colleges have been transferred to the newly set up West Bengal University of Technology. However, the current students of the colleges in the final two years are registered as students of Kalyani University and this University is responsible for running their academic programme. The standards of teaching in the affiliated colleges are monitored by a Council for Undergraduate Studies, Planning Board, and a nominated College Deve1opment Council (CDC) through a process of academic audit. After affiliating these colleges, the University has discontinued the undergraduate programmes of the university departments from 2000-2001. The University is now primarily focusing on strengthening postgraduate education and research and evolving as a centre of excellence in a rural backdrop.
Over the years the university has grown into a comprehensive institution with strong bases of administration, infrastructure, and qualified faculty towards its mission of advancement of learning and research. The University has set clear strategies before itself. Keeping in view the National and International scenario, the University is actively pursuing continuous updating of teaching curricula, designing courses on emerging areas and identifying research priorities with a focus on the problems and needs of the people and the region. The University has introduced a wide range of curricular options to train the students in different fields of specialisation through teaching, research, and extension. The extension and outreach activities, as well as innovative programmes of the Adult and Continuing Education Centre, INSPARC, and the Technical Back-up Unit of the University are worth mentioning. The University has built up a comprehensive infrastructure and facilities within its campus that include the Central Library, Laboratories, Health Centre, Gymnasium and sports facilities, Hostels, Guest House, Canteen, Press, etc. In its campus planning, almost all the departments are housed in separate buildings, keeping sufficient scope for their extensions in the lush green campus of around 400 acres.
The University has been quite prompt in adapting to the changing scenario of higher education. Keeping in view the National and International requirements of quality assurance in higher education, the University has completed the assessment and accreditation exercise with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the University has been accredited as a three stars (3 star) University for five years with an institutional score of 65%-70%. It may be mentioned that the University is among the first few Universities in the country who have completed this exercise. The recommendations of NAAC have been a useful guide for improving the performance of the University. Several self-financing courses are now being run successfully. In respect of management, the University has evolved a system with built-in academic and administrative audit. Strict adherence to the academic calendar ensuring teaching days much above the minimum of 180 days has been achieved.
During the Second World War the army barracks at Kanchrapara needed extension and a large area between Kanchrapara in N. 24 Parganas and Madanpur in Nadia was developed by the US forces stationed here to prevent possible Japanese attacks from the East. The railhead used by them developed into Kalyani railway station after 1947. Most of the roads in Kalyani originated during army occupation. Hence many of them form concentric circles around Central park, intersected by radial avenues originating from the park, a pattern which repeats the plan of Washington DC and New Delhi.
Hence also numerical names of streets, as in American cities, though such numbers are rarely used in Kalyani now. When the war ended this planned but deserted town was taken up for development by the state government. Several industries came up, followed by academic institutions including the University of Kalyani. In 1979, the railways branched into the town and three stations(Kalyani Silpanchal, Kalyani Ghoshpara and Kalyani Simanta) were constructed. Subsequently Kalyani became the administrative centre of a new subdivision of the Nadia district.
Affiliated Zones - Murshidabad and Nadia
Nabadwip, in Nadia district, was renowned as a seat of classical learning and especially the study of ancient Indian philosophy, for several centuries before the advent, late in the 15th century, of Shri Chaitanya the Vaishnava saint and, one of the principal figures in the medieval Bhakti movement. Krittibas Ojha, one of the pioneers of Bengali epic poetry, also belonged to this district.
The tradition was continued into the eighteenth century under the patronage of feudal rulers like Krishnachandra Ray who supported, among others, the devotional poet Ramprasad Sen (the ruins of whose residence are near Kalyani) and the more urban and erudite Bharatchandra Ray. The traditional cotton weavings made Nadia well known while Murshidabad was enriched by its silk, one reason why sericulture is still a subject of distance education at this university.
In the later Mughal period, when Bengal, Bihar and Orissa came under the rule of Nawabs largely free of Delhi's dominance, Murshidabad was their administrative centre. They offered stout resistance until Nawab Sirajuddaula was defeated at the Battle of Plassey (Palashi) at the border of Nadia and Murshidabad. Clive, the victorious general of that fateful afternoon in June, 1757, wrote in his dispatches to England that the city of Murshidabad was more populous than London and equally prosperous. The Hazarduari palace still bears testimony to the wealth of the later Nawabs. Later, during the British dominance, some of the oldest institutions of higher learning now in existence in the country (e.g. Krishnanagar Government College and Bahrampur Krishnath College) were founded in these two districts.
Compared to the older settlements in Nadia and Murshidabad, Kalyani is a newcomer in the history of the region. Its beginnings date back only to the second world war, though the neighboring village at Ghoshpara, associated with Aulchand and his followers, the Karta Bhaja sect of worshippers, is fairly old. The annual fair at Ghoshpara during the spring festival of Doljatra(Holi) traditionally draws all sects of Hinduism and different religions from many parts of West Bengal and neighboring areas. Muratipur, another nearby village, is the birthplace of Bibhuti Bhusan Banerjee (1895-1950), one of the principal Bengali novelists. A bust commemorating him is one of the features of the university campus, as is the statue of Dr.B. C. Roy (1182-1962) freedom fighter and Chief Minister of West Bengal when the University was founded.