University of Dhaka

University of Dhaka the oldest and largest university in Bangladesh and one of the oldest and most distinguished institutions for higher education and research in the Indian Sub continent. The University was established in 1921 under the Dacca University Act 1920 of the Indian Legislative Council. It was established in the Ramna area of Dhaka City with approximately 600 acres of land. A large portion of its initial infrastructure comprised with the teachers of the Dhaka College and its buildings (present curzon hall). It opened its doors to academic activities on 1 July 1921 as a residential university. The University started its activities with 3 faculties (Arts, Science and Law), 12 teaching departments, 60 teachers, 847 students and 3 residential halls. There were eight departments under Arts faculty viz. Sanskrit and Bangla, English, Education, History, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Persian and Urdu, Philosophy, and Political Economy; the faculty of Science started with three departments viz. Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; and the faculty of Law started with the Department of Law. Out of the total enrolled students in the three faculties 386 were admitted in the Dhaka (Shahidullah) Hall, 313 in the Jagannath Hall and 178 in the Salimullah Muslim Hall as resident and non resident students.

Administrative Building

Today, there are 13 faculties, 83 departments, 13 institutes, 57 Bureau and research centres, 1,986 teachers, about 47,197 students and 19 residential halls and 4 hostels. Two-thirds of the present faculty members possess degrees from universities of Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Many of them achieved international renown for their scholarship. Many also have the experience of teaching in well-known institutions of higher learning abroad. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, a student of this university and a renowned economist of Bangladesh and founder of the Grameen Bank, won the Nobel Prize for peace in 2006.

Name Established Number of departments First Dean
Faculty of Arts 1921 17 Dr. R.C Majumder
Faculty of Science 1921 8 Professor W.A Jenkins
Faculty of Law 1921 1 Dr. N.C Sengupta
Faculty of Medicine 1946 Affiliated medical colleges Major W.J Virgin
Faculty of Education 1956 Affiliated colleges and institutes Md. Osman Ghani
Faculty of Post-Graduate Medicine and Research 1972 Affiliated medical colleges Professor Dr. N Islam
Faculty of Business Studies 1970 9 Professor Abdullah Faruque
Faculty of Social Sciences 1970 16 Professor Mirza Nurul Huda
Faculty of Biological Sciences 1974 10 Professor A.K.M Nurul Islam
Faculty of Pharmacy 1995 4 Professor Muniruddin Ahmed
Faculty of Fine Arts 2008 8 Professor Abdus Shakur Shah
Faculty of Engineering and Technology 2008 5 Professor Nimchandra Bhawmick (acting)
Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences 2008 5 Professor Muhammad Kamrul Hasan (acting)
Arts Building

Initially, the teachers and students of the university worked hard to build up an outstanding record of academic achievement, earning for itself the reputation of being the 'Oxford of the East'. The university contributed to the emergence of a generation of leaders who distinguished themselves in different walks of life.

Until the Partition of Bengal in 1947, it maintained its unique character of being one of the few residential institutions of higher learning in Asia. In 1947, it assumed academic authority over all educational institutions above the secondary level falling within East Bengal. In the process it became a teaching-cum-affiliating institution. This transformation, coupled with its unprecedented growth in the years that followed, put strains beyond reckoning on its human as well as material resources.

The emergence of several new universities later did little to ease the burden of Dhaka University. Its academic life was severely disrupted during the [[War of Liberation, The|war of liberation\\ when a large number of its distinguished teachers and a considerable number of students and employees lost their lives.

The teachers, who were killed, include Dr. G.C Dev (Department of Philosophy), Dr. A.N.M Muniruzzaman (Department of Statistics), Santosh C Bhattacharya (Department of History), Dr. Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurta (Department of English), A.N Munir Chowdhury (Department of Bangla), Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury (Department of Bangla), Dr. Abul Khair (Department of History), Dr. Serajul Hoque Khan (Institute of Education and Research), Rashidul Hasan (Department of English), Anwar Pasha (Department of Bangla), Dr. Fazlur Rahman (Department of Soil Science), Giasuddin Ahmed (Department of History), Dr. Faizul Mohee (Institute of Education and Research), Abdul Muktadir (Department of Geology), Sarafat Ali (Department of Mathematics), Sadat Ali (Institute of Education and Research), Ataur Rahman Khan Khadim (Department of Mathematics), and Anudaipayan Bhattachariya (Department of Physics). The university's chief medical officer, Dr. Mohammad Mortuza, and a teacher of the University Laboratory School, Mohammad Sadeq were also killed.

Name Established Number of students First Director
Institute of Education and Research 1961 1600 Dr. G.D Morison
Institute of Statistical Research and Training 1964 265 Dr. Qazi Motahar Husain
Institute of Business Administration 1966 600 Professor M Shafiullah
Institute of Nutrition and Food Science 1969 238 Professor Kamal Uddin Ahmed
Institute of Social Welfare and Research 1973 954 Professor M.A Momen
Institute of Modern Languages 1974 1076 Professor A.H.M Abdul Hai
Institute of Health Economics 1998 380 Dr. Sushil Ranjan Hawlader
Institute of Information Technology 2001 146 Professor Ahmed Shafi
Institute of Energy 2011 80
Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies 2012 250 Professor Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain
Institute of Leather Engineering and Technology 2011 690 Ms. Marufa Mahbub
Confucious Institute 2016 - Dr. Zhou Mingdong
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Research Institute for Peace and Liberty 2020 - Professor Fakhrul Alam

The university demonstrated an inherent strength in its activities during its eventful and often critical existence of over 90 years. Today, it provides about 70% of the trained human resources of Bangladesh engaged in education, science and technology, administration, diplomacy, mass communication, politics, trade and commerce, and industrial enterprises in all sectors.

Members of the Nathan Committee (1912) Sitting from left: G.W Kuchler, Dr. Rashbehari Ghosh, Robert Nathan, Nawab Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury, H.R James, Nawab Sirajul Islam; standing from the left, Dr. S.C Bidyabhushan, C.W Peake, W.A.T Archbold, Samsul Ulama Abu Nasr Muhammad Waheed, Lalit Mohan Chatterjee, Ananda Chandra Roy, Mohammad Ali of Aligarh, D.S Fraser

The university, however, was not founded in a day; nor did the process get going without pains. A combination of a whole set of political, social and economic compulsions persuaded the government of India to establish it 'as a splendid imperial compensation' to Muslims for the annulment of the partition of Bengal. The first vice-chancellor of the university, Dr. P.J Hartog, formerly academic registrar of the University of London for 17 years and a member of the university of calcutta commission, described this phenomenon as the 'political origin' of the institution.

The partition of bengal in 1905 provided the Muslim majority community of East Bengal and Assam with a sphere of influence of their own and raised new hopes for the development of the region and advancement of its people.

But its annulment, barely six years later in the face of stiff opposition from the powerful Hindu leadership, was viewed by Muslims as 'a grievous wrong'. Muslims were late to realise that their educational backwardness was a root cause of their decline in other fields of life. Hindus had a clear lead of at least 50 years in adopting the system of education introduced by the British, which freed the Indian mind from the 'thraldom of old-world ideas' and initiated a renaissance in Indian life. This put Hindus in advantageous positions in every sphere of influence in Bengal. At least four high-level commissions - the hunter commission of 1882, the nathan commission of 1912, the Hornell Committee of 1913, and the Calcutta University Commission of 1917 - confirmed this observation.

Residential Hall/Hostel
Name of the Hall Established Number of residential students First provost/Warden
Salimullah Muslim Hall 1921 744 Sir A.F Rahman
Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah Hall (Dhaka Hall) 1921 1288 Professor F.C Turner
Jagannath Hall 1921 1570 Dr. Naresh Chandra Sengupta
Fazlul Haq (Muslim) Hall 1940 709 Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah
Shahid Sergeant Zahurul Haq (Iqbal) Hall 1957 1244 Dr. Mofijuddin Ahmed
Ruqayyah Hall 1963 2276 Mrs. Akhter Imam
Surjasen (Mohammad Ali Jinnah) Hall 1966 1086 Professor M Shafiullah
Sir P.J Hartog (International Hostel) International Hall 1966 88 Professor M Afsaruddin
Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall 1967 1491 Professor Md. Innas Ali
Shamsun Nahar Hall 1971 1248 Dr. Syeda Fatema Sadeq
Kabi Jasimuddin Hall 1976 636 Professor K.M.A Qamruddin
Sir A.F Rahman Hall 1976 992 Dr. A.M.M Nurul Hoq Bhuiyan
Jatir Janak Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall 1988 1080 Professor Abu Zafar
Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall 1988 702 Dr. A.F.M Khudadad Khan
Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall 1989 804 Dr. Hamida Akhter Begum
Amar Ekushey Hall 2000 765 Dr. Shahid Akhter Hossain
Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun-nesa Nesa Mujib Hall 2000 928 Dr. Nasrin Ahmed
Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall 2012 2400 Dr. Nilufar Nahar
Bijoy Ekattor Hall 2013 1924 Dr. AJM Shafiul Alam Bhuiya
Nabab Foyzunnessa Chowdhurani Hostel 1994 130 Professor Nurjahan Sarker
IBA Hostel 1986 138 Dr. Anwar Hossain
Dr. Qudrat-E-Khuda Hostel 1985 308 Dr. Md. Abdul Muttalib
Shahid Athlete Sultana Kamal Hostel 2016 130 Fatema-Tuz-Zohra
Curzon Hall

Viceroy lord hardinge was quick to perceive the dissatisfaction of Muslims at the government's decision for annulment of the partition and decided to pay an official visit to Dhaka to assuage the aggrieved community. A deputation of high ranking Muslim leaders, including Sir Nawab khwaja salimullah, Nawab Syed Nawab Ali Choudhury and ak fazlul huq, met him on 31 January 1912 and expressed their fears that the annulment would retard the educational progress of their community. As compensation for the annulment of the Partition, as well as protest against the general antipathy of Calcutta University towards Muslims, the deputation made a vigorous demand for a university at Dhaka. In response, Lord Hardinge acknowledged that education was the true salvation of Muslims and that the government would recommend to the Secretary of State the constitution of such a university.

This was confirmed in an official communique on 2 February 1912. Lord Hardinge admitted that since 1906 the province of Eastern Bengal and Assam had made great strides forward. That year there were 1,698 collegiate students in Eastern Bengal and Assam, and expenditure on collegiate education was Rs 154,358. In 1912, with the same number of institutions, the corresponding figures are 2,560 students and Rs 383,619. Educational classes and schemes were formed with reference to local conditions.

From 1905 to 1910-11, the number of pupils in public institutions rose from 699,051 to 936,653 and the expenditure from provincial revenues rose from Rs 1,106,510 to Rs 2,205,339 while the local expenditure, direct and indirect, rose from Rs 4,781,833 to Rs 7,305,260.

Many Hindu leaders were not happy with the government's intention to set up a university at Dhaka. On 16 February 1912, a delegation headed by advocate Dr Rashbehari Ghosh, met the viceroy and expressed the apprehension that the establishment of a separate university at Dhaka would promote 'an internal partition of Bengal'. They also contended, as was recorded in the Calcutta University Commission report later, that "Muslims of Eastern Bengal were in large majority cultivators and they would benefit in no way by the foundation of a university". Lord Hardinge assured the delegation that no proposals, which could lead to the internal partition or division of Bengal would meet the support of the government. He also expressed that the new university would be open to all and it would be a teaching and a residential university. At one stage, Lord Hardinge told Sir Asutosh Mukherjee, vice-chancellor of Calcutta University, that he was determined to establish a university at Dhaka in spite of all their opposition.

TSC Building

The opposition by Hindu intelligentsia was not the only hurdle in implementation of the plan for the new university. Many complex legal and material issues were to be examined. After obtaining the approval of the Secretary of State, in a letter on 4 April 1912, the government of India invited the government of Bengal to submit a complete scheme for the university, along with a financial estimate. Accordingly, in a resolution of 27 May 1912, the government of Bengal appointed a committee of 13 members headed by Mr Robert Nathan, a barrister from London, to draw up a scheme for Dhaka University. Other members of the Committee were G.W Kuchler, Director of Public Instruction, Dr. Rashbehari Ghosh, Advocate of Calcutta, Nawab Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury, Nawab Sirajul Islam, Ananda Chandra Roy, Pleader and Zamindar of Dhaka, W.A.T Archbold, Principal of Dhaka College, Lalit Mohan Chatterjee, Principal of Jagannath College, Shamsul Ulama Abu Nasr Muhammad Waheed, Superintendent of Dhaka Madrasa (later on Islamic Intermediate College and presently Kabi Nazrul Government College), Mohammad Ali of Aligarh, H.R James Principal of Presidency College, Calcutta, C.W Peake, Professor of Presidency College and Satis Chandra Acharji, Principal of Sanskrit College, Calcutta. D.S Fraser, ICS, worked as the Secretary of the Committee. Popularly known as NATHAN COMMISSION, this committee prepared a complete scheme for the establishment of Dhaka University. The resolution emphasised that 'the university should be a teaching and residential one and not of the federal type' and that 'it should bind together the colleges of the city and should not include any college which is beyond the limits of the town'. The committee acted with speed, and with the thoroughness and wisdom of 25 special sub-committees submitted its report in autumn of the same year.

The report contained plans of the proposed buildings and estimates of capital expenditure amounting to Rs 5.3 million (later raised to Rs 6.7 million by PWD) and of recurring expenditure amounting to Rs 1.2 million. The report went into considerable details about the mission of the university and its courses of study. The committee recommended that the university should be a state institution with unitary teaching and residential form on the model of modern UK universities such as Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool, and that it should encompass seven colleges including Dacca College and Jagannath College. The entire teaching in science, law, medicine, and engineering at postgraduate level was to be conducted by the university itself. In fact, the Dhaka university model was highly appraised and was later followed in establishing new universities at Allahabad, Benaras, Hyderabad, Aligarh, Lucknow and Annamalai.

The Nathan Committee suggested for the university a spectacular site of about 450 acres of land in Ramna area. This site was a part of the new civil station created at Ramna for the government of Eastern Bengal and Assam. The site housed Curzon Hall, Dacca College, the new government house, the secretariat, the government press, a number of houses for officers, and other minor buildings. Later on, these buildings and other establishments including land were permanently leased to the University at a token price of taka 1000.00 (one thousand) only. The major recommendations of the Nathan Commission were:

1. The University of Dhaka should be a state university maintained by the government and staffed by the government officers.

2. The University should be a unitary teaching and residential university in which the colleges were to form the units of the university.

3. The University should have a department of Islamic Studies to render university-level education and research in Islamic studies.

In due course, all this land with their buildings and other properties was made over to the university in a permanent lease on a nominal rent of Rs 1,000 a year. After the committee report was published in 1913, public opinion was invited before the university scheme was given its final shape. The secretary of state approved it in December 1913.

Monograms of the University

Then the First World War intervened creating acute financial stringency for the government. Even a skeletal scheme estimated to cost only Rs 1,125,000 could not be taken up. This caused misgivings in the minds of Muslim leaders. When Nawab Syed Nawab Ali Choudhury raised the issue in the Indian Legislative Council on 7 March 1917, Shankaran Nair, the government spokesman, reaffirmed the government pledge to establish the university at Dhaka, but added that consideration of a bill already drafted would now have to wait for a report from the Calcutta University Commission, to which the Dhaka university scheme had been referred for advice regarding its constitution and management.

The decision to appoint a commission to enquire into the problems and needs of Calcutta University was announced by its chancellor Lord Chelmsford at a convocation on 6 January 1917. Accordingly a commission was formed with Dr. ME Sadler as its chairman. The commission justified the setting up of a university at Dhaka, the second largest town of the Presidency.

Report of the Sadler Commission also indicated that Dhaka was already in the centre of a great student population as Dhaka division and Tippera district supplied 7,097 out of a total number of 27,290 students to the university of calcutta. The Commission agreed with most parts of the Nathan Committee scheme and urged that the University of Dhaka should be established without further delay. The most notable recommendations of the Sadler Commission are:

1. Dhaka University shall not have the power of affiliation. Its sole activities shall include teaching and doing research.

2. Dhaka University shall be an autonomous institution.

The Dhaka University Bill was placed in the Imperial Legislative Council on 11 September 1919. The government referred the Bill to the Calcutta University authorities for consideration. On 9 November, the Calcutta University Senate formed a nine-member committee to examine the Bill. Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah, the only Bengali Muslim member on this committee and also a member of the Calcutta University Senate, expressed strong opinion in favour of the Bill. In the face of opposition by some members, the draft Bill was approved by the Senate meeting between 17 and 20 December 1919 with correction of some clauses of the Sections and sub sections of the Bill.

On 12 February 1920 the Indian Legislative Assembly resolved to refer the Dhaka University Bill to the Select Committee. On 18 March the Bill was passed and became an Act. The Governor General approved the Dhaka University Act on 23 March 1920. Under this Act the University of Dhaka started its activities on 1 July 1921.

The commission made 13 recommendations, which were adopted with few exceptions, in the Dhaka University Act 1920. The Governor General of India appointed Dr. P.J Hartog as the first vice-chancellor for a term of 5 years with effect from 1 December 1920. He assumed office on 10 December 1920.

The new university immediately faced serious problems in regard to funds for which it was entirely dependent upon inelastic public revenues from the Bengal government, which would not give a single rupee without authorisation from the legislative council. The next difficulty, as reported by the Chancellor to the first court meeting, had been in satisfying the expectations of the Mohammedan community. In spite of the best endeavours the university administration was able to secure only a small number of Muslims for the teaching staff. The number of Muslim students representing barely 9% of university students in Bengal was insufficient in the university in its initial years. The annual recurring expenditure proposed by the Nathan committee for the university was Rs 1.3 million but Sir Pravash Mitter, education minister of the Bengal government, reduced it to Rs 500,000. A fund of about Rs 5.6 million built up by the government of India for capital expenditure on the university, when transferred to the Bengal government for disbursement, was merged by Mitter with provincial funds. Only Rs 900,000 was released on the plea that 'the Dhaka University was in possession of an extensive area of land and many buildings of the government of Bengal'.

On top of this, the education minister directed the University to retrench and restrict expenditure to stay within the recurring grant of Rs 500,000. The retrenchment was felt most severely in the departments of Islamic Studies, English, Chemistry and Economics.

Mr Hartog also referred to the rumour spread by activists of the Non-cooperation Movement that the tuition fee for an undergraduate student of the university was raised from Rs 8 to Rs 60. This discouraged admission in the opening session in 1921. Hartog, however, reported to the annual court meeting of 1922-23 that he felt proud of the achievements of the university.

Hartog put the university on a firm footing in his 5-year tenure of dedicated service. The advancement of the young university in the direction of academic excellence diligently marked by Hartog was carried forward by his able successors like Prof Harry Langley, A.F Rahman, Dr. RC Majumdar, Dr. Mahmood Hasan and others.

Since 1921 twenty seven eminent personalities acted as Vice Chancellors of Dhaka University. The first Treasurer (honorary) of the University was J.H Lindsay ICS (1.7.1921 to 20.2.19220, first Registrar was Khanbahadur Naziruddin Ahmed (10.4.1921 to 30.6.1944) and the first Proctor of the University was Fida Ali Khan (1925 to 1930). The post of Pro Vice Chancellor was introduced since 1976. Professor Mofizullah Kabir was appointed as the first Pro Vice Chancellor of the University. Since then 13 persons were appointed in this post.

Name From To
Sir. P.J Hartog 01.12.1920 31.12.1925
Professor G.H Langley 01.01.1926 30.06.1934
Sir. A.F Rahman 01.07.1934 31.12.1936
Dr. R.C Majumder 01.01.1937 30.06.1942
Dr. Mahmud Hasan 01.07.1942 21.10.1948
Dr. S.M Hossain 22.10.1948 08.11.1953
Dr. W.A Jenkins 09.11.1953 08.11.1956
Justice Muhammad Ibrahim 09.11.1956 27.10.1958
Justice Hamoodur Rahman 05.11.1958 14.12.1960
Dr. Mahmud Husain 15.12.1960 19.02.1963
Dr. Md. Osman Ghani 20.02.1963 01.12.1969
Justice Abu Syed Chowdhury 02.12.1969 20.01.1972
Dr. Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury 21.01.1972 12.04.1973
Dr. Abdul Matin Chowdhury 13.04.1973 22.09.1975
Professor Muhammad Shamsul Huq 23.09.1975 01.02.1976
Dr. Fazlul Halim Chowdhury 02.02.1976 20.03.1983
Dr. A.K.M Siddiq 21.03.1983 16.08.1983
Dr. Md. Shamsul Huq 17.08.1983 12.01.1986
Professor Abdul Mannan 12.01.1986 22.03.1990
Professor M Maniruzzaman Miah 24.03.1990 31.10.1992
Professor Emajuddin Ahamed 01.11.1992 31.08.1996
Professor Shahid Uddin Ahmad 31.08.1996 29.09.1996
Professor A.K Azad Chowdhury 30.09.1996 12.11.2001
Professor Anwarullah Chowdhury 12.11.2001 31.07.2002
Professor A.F.M Yusuf Haider 01.08.2002 23.09.2002
Professor S.M.A Faiz 23.09.2002 16.01.2009
Professor A.A.M.S Arefin Siddique 17.01. 2009 05.09.2017
Professor Md. Akhtaruzzaman 06.09.2017 03.11.2023
Professor A.S.M. Maksud Kamal Since 04.11.2023 ...

Since its inception in 1921, 45 general and a number of special convocations of the University were held in which various degrees are conferred to the Dhaka University graduates. The first Ph.D degree was conferred upon Binoytosh Bhattacharya in 1925 (Arts) for his thesis ‘Buddhist Iconography”. The first female candidate who received a Ph.D was Dr. Nilima Ibrahin in 1957 (Arts) for her thesis ‘Samajik O Rajnaitik Patabhumikaye Unavimsa Satabdir Natok’. Two Muslims received the Ph.D degrees for the first time in 1939, one was Rajab Ali Mirza (Arts), thesis ‘The Brigand poets of Arabia’, and the other was Abdul Hakim (Arts), thesis ‘History of the Lodi Sultans of Delhi’. So far 40 eminent internationally reputed personalities were offered honourary doctorates, Doctor of Law, Doctor of Science and Doctor of Literature. Among the recipients of honourary doctorates (Honaris Cousa), mention may be made of Sir Jagadis Chandra Basu (Doctor of Science), Biswakabi Rabindranath Tagore (Doctor of Literature), Professor Satyendra Nath Bose (Doctor of Science), National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (Doctor of Literature), Nobel Laureate Professor Abdus Salam, FRS, (Doctor of Science), Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen (Doctor of Science), Former Prime Minister and modern architect of Malayasia Tun Dr. Mohathir bin Mohammad (Doctor of Laws) and Nobel Laureate Professor Mohammad Yunus, former Secretary General of the United Nations Organization Ban Ki-moon, former President of India Shree Pranab Mukherjee, Father of the Nation bangabandhu sheikh mujibur rahman.

Vice Chancellor’s Residence

From its inception in 1921 to 1952 the Dhaka University used the monogram with the inscription ‘Truth shall prevail” as its motto. The monogram of the University was later changed three times. The changed first monogram was adopted with the Arabic inscription Ikra bismay rabbi kallaji khalakh (1952 to 1972), the second monogram was adopted (1972 to 1973) with the Bengali inscription Shikshai alo (education is light), and the third monogram still continues with the inscription Shikshai alo with new design.

The Partition of Bengal in 1947 considerably altered the character of Dhaka University. The East Bengal Educational Ordinance of 1947 added an affiliating character to its residential-cum-teaching model by calling upon it to assume the responsibilities of affiliation and supervision of 55 colleges which were previously under the University of Calcutta. The university was unburdened of this responsibility in 1992 when the national university was created to take over this task.

Nawab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban

During the World War II the government of India requisitioned some buildings of the university for military use. After Partition, the new government of East Pakistan requisitioned many more of them for offices and residences of government employees. This created an acute problem of accommodation to add to the problem of finance. The Pakistan government was indifferent to the university's needs and planned to move the university away from the city to keep its students out of politics. When General Ayub Khan seized power in October 1958, teachers and students of the university were already in the forefront of protests against the government's attempts to suppress the demands of the East Pakistanis for autonomy and the rightful place for Bengali as a state language of the country. In 1952, police killed some students agitating for a place of honour for their mother tongue. The government's response was to eventually replace the Dacca University Act 1920 by an ordinance in 1961, totally depriving the university of its autonomy and of democratic traditions. Termed a 'black law', the ordinance created a suffocating atmosphere in the university. The atmosphere of terror and oppression created in the whole country by successive military regimes led to mass upsurge, and ultimately, to the War of Liberation waged by Bangalis in 1971. Teachers and students of the university were in the forefront of this war and paid a heavy price in blood.

The liberation of Bangladesh saw the rebirth of the University of Dhaka. The infamous ordinance of 1961 was annulled and substituted by the Dacca University Order of 1973 which restored its autonomy and provided a democratic atmosphere for the community of teachers and students where they could engage freely and fully in academic and intellectual pursuits. In post-liberation years there was an extraordinary increase in the number of students and expansion of teaching departments. The government provides large chunks of funds from year to year for academic and physical expansion to keep pace with the demand for more space for classrooms and research, and accommodation of students, teachers and general employees.

Aparajeya Bangla Sculpture

From the beginning Dhaka University offered courses of study for the degrees BA, BSc (Pass and Hons.), MA, MSc, LT, BT, BL, PhD and DSc. After the partition of India in 1947, the prestige of the University increased with the opening/introduction of new courses and establishment of new departments and faculties. The supervision of 55 degree and equivalent affiliated colleges was vested upon the Dhaka University. It should be noted here that since 1952 the affiliated colleges were given the responsibilities to offer the subjects for general bachelor degrees. By 1954, the number of affiliated colleges was 65. After the establishment of Rajshahi University in 1954, 17 colleges were affiliated under this University. Later on, when the Chittagong University was established in 1965, all the colleges of Chittagong Division were affiliated under Chittagong University. However, after the establishment of National University in 1994, all the affiliated colleges, including those under Dhaka University, came under the National University by a special order. However, in 2017 Seven government colleges of Dhaka city were again affiliated under Dhaka University; these are Dhaka College, Government Titumir College, Eden Mohila College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Mohila College, Government Bangla College, Kabi Nazrul Government College and Government Shahid Suhrawardhy College,

At present there are 74 constituent colleges and institutes (22 Government and 52 private) under Dhaka University. Among these 61 offer degrees on medical sciences including dental, nursing, physiology, homeopathic, Unani and Ayurvedic; 4 offers degrees on home economics and 9 on engineering and technology.

Central Mosque, Dhaka University

The university today, with its sizeable population, can take pride in its achievements, as well as the big impact this seat of learning has had on the social, political, economic and cultural life of Bangladesh. It was an adventure for Lila Nag, a Hindu girl, to got admitted to the university's MA course in 1921 and for Karunakana Gupta to become the first woman teacher in 1935. But at present, it is no adventure for 15,305 girl students and 663 women teachers, mostly daughters of Muslim 'cultivators', to become its heart and soul and the pride of the society in their achievements in every branch of knowledge.

It is noteworthy that Dhaka University never developed into a Muslim institution as apprehended by some Hindu leaders; on the contrary, more than 80% of its students and teachers were Hindus before Hindu families began migrating to India on a large scale after partition. Some of the eminent teachers who helped create Dhaka University's great tradition of scholarship were Professor F.C Turner, Professor G.H Langley, Dr. w.a jenkins, Prof Satyendra Nath Bose, Dr. J.C Ghose, Sir A.F Rahman, Fida Ali Khan, Professor R.C Majumder, Professor Muhammad Abdul Hai, Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah, Dr. Haraprasad Shastri, Prof Mukarram Hussain Khundkar, Dr. Qazi Motahar Hossain, Dr. Haridas Bhattacharya, Professor A.N Munir Chowdhury, Professor Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurta, Professor G.C Dev, Professor A.B.M Habibullah, Professor Sushil Kumar Dey (SK Dey), Professor A.K Nazmul Karim, Professor Serajul Hoque, Professor Ahmed Sharif, Professor Nilima Ibrahim, Shilpacharya Joynul Abedin, Professor Abdur Razzaque, Professor M.R Tarafdar, National Professor Anisuzzaman etc . That today there is a burgeoning Muslim middle class in Bangladesh is largely the contribution of this university.

The University of Dhaka may be regarded as the cradle of the intellectual movements floated in Bangladesh. Centering this institution there grew the educated middle class society of East Bengal. Simultaneously providing for education and research the University of Dhaka gave successful leadership to all national crises and democratic movements including language movement of 1952, the Autonomy Movement of 1966, the mass movement of 1969, the War of Liberation of 1971 and the movement against the autocratic rule of Lt. General Hussein Mohammad Ershad in 1990. A number of teachers, students and employees of this university sacrificed their lives in these movements. During the War of Liberation, 19 teachers of the university were victims of genocide as a part of their plan for killing of the intellectuals of the country. Besides, in the War of Liberation the university also lost 104 students, one officer and 28 employees.

Madhu’s Restaurant, Dhaka University

On 2 March 1971 the Sarbadaliya Chhatra Sangram Parishad (All-Party Student Resistance Council) hoisted the flag of the independent Bangladesh on the roof of the 2nd floor of the western gate of the Arts Building of the University. The Pak army conducted a ruthless and brutal armed operation (known as operation searchlight) on the night of 25 March and killed many teachers, students and employees of the university. To commemorate the sacrifice of the martyrs of the university immortal an ‘Intellectual Memorial Monument’ was inaugurated on 26 March 1994 in front of the residence of the Vice Chancellor (Mol Chattar). The names of 150 martyrs including 19 teachers, 104 students, one officer and 28 employees are recorded in the memorial. In memory of the glorious War of Liberation the DUCSU (Dhaka University Central Student Union) inaugurated the sculpture ‘Aparajeyo Bangla’ (built by eminent sculptor Syed Abdullah Khalid) in front of the Arts Building on 16 December 1979. In 1988 eminent artist Shamim Sikder built the sculpture ‘Swoparjito Swadhinata’ in a small island in front of the Teachers’ Students Centre (TSC), and in 1991 she built the sculpture Swadhinata Sangram. This sculpture highlights, besides the War of Liberation, Language Movement of 1952, Autonomy Movement of 1966 and MASS UPSURGE of 1969. Besides, the Raju Bhaskarja (sculpture) has been built in 1997 in the Dhaka University campus as a symbol of anti-terrorist movement.

In recognition of the distinguished leadership role of the University during the War of Liberation and its contribution to education and research in Bangladesh, the Dhaka University was awarded the Independence Day Award in the category of education in 2011. Besides, 22 distinguished faculty members of the university received the Independence Day Award. They are Dr. Mukarram Hussain Khundkar, Department of Chemistry (posthumously, in science and technology, 1977), Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Institute of Fine Arts (posthumously, in fine arts, 1977), Qazi Motahar Husain, Department of Statistics (in science and technology, 1979), Professor Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury, Department of Political Science (posthumously, in education, 1979), Dr Muhammad Shahidullah, Department of Bangla (posthumously, in education, 1980), Shaheed Munier Chowdhury, Department of Bangla (posthumously, in literature, 1980), Dr. Serajul Haque, Department of Islamic Studies (in education, 1983), Professor Mofiz-Ud-Din Ahmed, Department of Chemistry (in science and technology), Professor Aminul Islam, Institute of Fine Arts (in fine arts, 1988), Professor Aminul Islam, Department of Soil, Water and Environment (in science and technology, 1990), Professor Md. Innas Ali, Department of Physics (in science and technology, 1991), Professor Kazi Zakir Hossain, Department of Zoology (in education, 1992), Professor Safiuddin Ahmed, Institute of Fine Arts (in fine arts, 1996), Professor Kabir Chowdhury, Department of English (in education, 1997, Professor A.Q.M Bazlul Karim, Department of Soil, Water and Environment (in education, 1999), Professor A. F Salahuddin Ahmed, Department of History (in education, 1999), Professor Mohammad Kibria, Institute of Fine Arts (in fine arts, 1999), Professor Sardar Fazlul Karim, Department of Political Science (in education, 2000), Professor G. C Dev, Department of Philosophy (posthumously, in Liberation War of Bangladesh, 2008), Professor Rehman Sobhan, Department of Economics (in research and training, 2008), Professor Nilima Ibrahim, Department of Bangla (posthumously , for contribution to the War of Liberation, 2011) and Professor Mohammad Abul Hashem Khan (in culture, 2011).

After the War of Liberation rapid changes begun in the University in consonance with the political developments of the country. The University took up a large number of development projects to modernise its academic programmes to meet the growing demands of the 21st century, to implement more vocational and technology-based programmes, and to develop the human resources of the country. Several new departments were opened. It signed cooperation accords with more than 30 universities and research centres worldwide. It ranks high in the SAARC and Southeast Asia regions as a centre of excellence. Students from a number of countries regularly seek admission here. From the beginning the university aimed at complete development of students and therefore made provisions for gymnastics, athletics, games and sports. Physical education was made compulsory for all able-bodied students. University teams and athletes maintain a steady reputation of good performance.

The University Officers Training Corps (UOTC) was set up in 1923. Under the Territorial Forces Act of 1940 it was made into a UOTC battalion in 1956. It provides free military training to the students. In 1979, the Bangladesh National Cadet Core (BNCC) was formed to bring all such training units under a single umbrella. The Rover Scout Association was formed in December 1966. The Rangers Unit of the women students was formed in 1973 in lines with Rovers. To advise students in academic matters, particularly as regards studies, training and admission to foreign universities and institutions, the Dhaka University Students Information Bureau was set up in 1952. With the increase in the number of students and because of inadequate co-curricular pursuits available to them in their halls, the need was soon felt for a more organised programme of student guidance and counseling. So a Division of Student Affairs was formed in 1961 with a director as its head. This division was later integrated into the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC), which is a complex of buildings that provide a wide variety of recreational and cultural facilities. It includes, among other things, a cafeteria, an auditorium with a capacity of 1000, two seminar rooms, guest rooms for visiting scholars, a library, a reading room, art and music rooms, and a stage. A swimming pool, a provision store, a bookshop and a bank are other facilities at the centre. The auditorium is used for academic conferences, both national and international.

Nawab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, established in 2007, holds the Senate, Academic Council, Board of Advanced Studies, Syndicate and other meetings and conferences of the University. The Senate Bhaban has a 480 seated well equipped auditorium, a 200 seated seminar room and three well furnished lobbies marked as red, green and blue. The Dhaka University Alumni Association (DUAA) office is located in the ground floor of the Bhaban. The Dhaka University Alumni Association was established on 24 September 1949 with Justice M Ibrahim as its president. Since then, it is committed towards the development of the University through providing financial assistance to students and also undertakes various programmes to preserve the traditions of the university. At present the DUAA has about 8000 members in its roll which is increasing. The Dhaka University Employment Bureau was started in 1939-40 to secure jobs for qualified students of the university.

The university library began with 18,000 books inherited from the Dhaka College and Dhaka Law College. At that time it was located at the present Ward No. 32 of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Mr. F.C Turner was the first Librarian of the University. At present the Library, housed in three separate buildings, is the largest in Bangladesh. A noteworthy feature in the development of the library is the collection of research materials for M Phil and Ph D courses. The India Office Library in London provided a rich source of collection of books of rare value in different forms. The Library has a collection of more than 650000 volumes including bound volumes of journals. Besides, it has a collection of about 30000 rare manuscripts on various languages and a large number of microfilms and microfiche and CDs. The Science Library (a branch of the Central Library) is mainly used by the teachers and students of science, biological science and pharmacy faculties.

Central Library

The Dhaka University Medical Centre, with about 30 physicians, provides free medical treatment to students, teachers and staff and also family members of teachers and staff of the University. Besides, giving general medical services, the Centre also has a Homeo medical unit, a dental unit, an eye unit, x-ray unit, pathological examinations unit, etc in 1921 the Dhaka University Medical Centre has been renamed as Shahid Buddhijibi (intellectual) Dr. Murtaza Medical Centre. It should be noted here that Dr. Murtaza was killed by the Pakistani army in 1971while he was serving as the Chief Medical Officer of the Dhaka University Medical Centre.

To help and guide students in games and sports the University has a well equipped physical education centre having facilities in both in-door and out-door games. The centre has a play ground which is the official stadium of the University. Besides, the centre has a modern swimming pool complex. Every year the centre hosts inter-departments, inter-hall, inter-universities and national level games and sports. In 2021 Dhaka University completed its 100 years of existence. This year it not only celebrated its centenary celebration, but it also celebrated the Birth Centenary Celebration of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (nationally known as ‘Mujib Barsha’ and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh. [Sajahan Miah]