Jahangirnagar University a residential public university of Bangladesh. In the 1960s the Government of Pakistan had a decision to establish a residential university in East Pakistan in the same nature to that of the one built in Islamabad. To ease the student pressure of the University of Dhaka, the Education Department of the Government of East Pakistan framed a plan in June 1964 to establish a residential university near Dhaka. In June 1965 the Executive Board of the National Economic Council approved the plan.
On the basis of this plan a place called Salna in Gazipur district was first earmarked and the foundation stone was laid by Field Marshall Ayub Khan, the then President of Pakistan. Due to some administrative difficulties, this site was abandoned and the present site was chosen, and accordingly 750 acres of land had been allotted for the university and the land was taken away from the Government Dairy Farm, east of the present campus in 1967. Later on about 50 acres of the University land was taken away from the Government Dairy Farm again in 1967. The university project started its implementation in April 1968 as Jahangirnagar Muslim University and Professor Surat Ali Khan was made the first Project Director. On 20 August 1970, an ordinance was promulgated to start the academic programmes of the university. Professor Mofizuddin Ahmed, the then member of the Central Public Service Commission of Pakistan and formerly Professor of Chemistry, University of Dhaka, was appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor. He joined as vice-Chancellor on 24 September 1970. The earlier aim was to establish this university as a science oriented university. For that purpose five faculties, namely, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences were earmarked. However, the university was started later with 4 honours departments called viz Economics, Geography, Statistics and Mathematics. The university started with 21 teachers in these departments. Professor Malik Khasru Chowdhury was the first Dean of the Social Science Faculty. Two Professors were appointed, one for Chemistry and another for Physics to start the groundwork to open new departments. The first group of students, a total of 150, was enrolled in four Honours departments. The initial class was held on 4 January 1971. Its formal inauguration was delayed until 12 January 1971, when the university was formally launched by Rear Admiral S M Ahsan, the then Governor of East Pakistan and the Chancellor of the University.
The university started in full swing when professor Syed Ali Ahsan joined as the second Vice-Chancellor in 2 February 1972. The university is residential; every student has an accommodation in one of the residential halls of the university.
The university is open to all persons irrespective of religion, caste and creed. The university is an autonomous body managed by an executive body known as the Syndicate. Senate is the highest body of the university. Any change in statutes need ratification from the Senate. The Senate finally passes the annual budget of the university after it is passed by the Finance Committee and the Syndicate, which needs at least once a year to do the same. The Senate also elects a panel of three persons for the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor once in four years. The President of Bangladesh, who is also the Chancellor of the university, appoints a person from that panel. The Vice-Chancellor is a whole time principal executive and academic officer of the university.
The Chancellor also appoints the Pro-vice Chancellors and Treasurer of the university. Treasurer is to exercise general supervision over the funds of the university. Academic Council, Board of Advanced Studies, Faculties and Committee of Courses are responsible for the academic matters. The Deans of the different Faculties are elected from their respective Faculties once every two years up to the level of Associate Professor. The chairmanship of the Department rotates among the senior teachers of the respective departments for three years.
The Central Library of the university has a collection of over 100,000 titles. On-line journal browsing and photo copying facilities are also available in the central library of the university. The university has a beautiful Central Mosque, a large gymnasium, a swimming pool, and a central cafeteria. The university also has its own medical centre. Adequate bus services between the campus and Dhaka city are also provided by the university’s own transports. A 71 feet tall Central Shaheed Minar, by far the tallest in the country, in front of the New Arts Building is one of the main attractions of the university.
There is an open-air amphitheatre, the very first one in the country, inside the campus is the main venue for the socio-cultural programmes. A Teacher-Students Centre (TSC) is also established for various club activities for teachers and students. There are two famous statues, known as Samsaptak, in front of the Central Library and Amar Ekushe in front of the Social Sciences building. In 2010, the university has 29 departments under 5 faculties, 2 institutes, 6 male and 5 female residential halls, a total of 12,340 students, 570 teachers and 1555 officials. [Mesbah-us-Saleheen]