Jagannath University

About Jagannath University:

Jagannath University as a govt. financed full pledged public university of Bangladesh is situated in the southern part of the city of Dhaka near the Buriganga. This prestigious educational establishment has a history of about 156 years which started in 1858 when Dhaka Brahma School was founded in 1858 by Dinanath Sen, Prabhaticharan Roy, Anathbandhu Mallik and Brajasundar Kaitra. The name Jagannath school was given by Kishorilal Chowdhury, the Zamindar of Baliadi who took over the school in 1872 and renamed it after his father's name. In 1884, it was raised to a second grade college. Law was one of the first courses introduced in the college. A common management committee administered the school and college until 1887, when the school section was separated to form an independent school named Kishore Jubilee School. It is now known as K L Jubilee School. The administration of the college was transferred to a board of trustees in 1907. In the following year, it became a first grade college.

The college started with only 48 students and in five years, the roll raised to 396. In 1910, Raja Manmath Roy Chowdhury, the zamindar of Santosh, tangail affiliated the Pramath-Manmath College of Tangail with Jagannath College. It was known as the best equipped private college in Dhaka as early as 1910. With the establishment of Dhaka University in 1921 the college had to stop admission in Degree courses and was renamed Jagannath Intermediate College. This status was changed after 28 years in 1949, when it reopened Degree classes. The college was taken over by the government in 1968. Jagannath College opened honours and masters programmes in 1975. That year the government once again took over the college and upgraded it into a postgraduate college. In 1982, the college closed its programmes of intermediate level. The college introduced evening shifts in 1992. The college was transformed into the Jagannath University in 2005. At present the University has 36 departments under 7 faculties. The faculties are Science, Arts, Business Studies, Social Science, Law and Life & Earth Science. The Institutes are Institute of Mordern Language and Institute of Education and Research. Now 960 teachers are engaged in providing quality education of around 17134 students in Honors, Masters, M.Phil and PhD Programmes.

History of Jagannath University:

Despite not gaining the status of a university until 2005, 'Jagannath' as an educational institution inherits the history of a glorious past. In the course of more than one and half centuries of journey, this institution deserves special mention in history for many of its glorious and significant achievements. The history of Jagannath University 1s deeply rooted in the history of the Bangali and Bengal. Standing on the bank of the River Buriganga, this century-old educational institution is now committed to illuminating the nation.

Brahma School:

The origin of today's Jagannath University lies in the establishment of a simple Brahma School. Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Keshab Chandra Sen founded the Brahmo Samaj on 20 August 1828 in Kolkata. This also influenced some young enthusiasts of East Bengal to establish Brahma religion in Dhaka on December 06,1846. Pioneers among them were Sree Brojosundar Mitra, Jadav Chandara Basu, Ram kumar Basu, Gobindra Chandra Basu, Biswambhar Das, Narottam Mullick. Among them Brojosundar Basu was the most influential, active, dedicated one who started his career as a head-clerk in 1840 in the Commissioner's Office of Dhaka at the age of 19 with a monthly salary of Taka 18 only, and later promoted to the rank of Deputy Collector with a salary of Taka 700. When he was serving in Kumilla, he took the initiatives to establish a Brahma School for the purpose of creating opportunities for education and religious practices of the Brahma children. Thus, as he wished, Brahma School was established on the ground floor of his Armanitola's residence on February 23, 1863. Brahmo Samaj played a pioneering role in the field of education and cultural reforms. They (Brahmo Samaj) also took the full responsibility of running the school.

Jagannath School:

After running successfully for several years, the then Brahma School authority started facing some problems to keep the school functioning especially, due to the financial crisis. Despite the continuous effort of the school authority, it was not possible for them to overcome the challenges, and consequently, the responsibility of its management was handed over to Kishorilal Roy Chowdhury, the Zaminder of Baliati in Manikganj in 1 868.Kishorilal Roy Chowdhury shifted the school from Armanitola to its present location and renamed it as Jagannath School' after his father, Jagannath Roy Chowdhury. This is to be noted here that prior to the establishment of Jagannath School' two schools named Collegiate and Pogose Schools' were already functioning there.  That 'Jagannath School' sowed the seed of today's Jagannath University. Soon after its inception, Jagannath School excelled the other well-established and renowned schools with its name and fame.  At that time the toppers were from this school for the next couple of years in the Entrance Examination under Kolkata University. As a consequence, the number of its students started increasing rapidly. Upgraded to College Level Being inspired by the fame and glory of the institution, Kishorilal Roy Chowdhury decided to upgrade it into a college, and in this regard, he was assisted by Anath Mallick, Advocate Troilakyonath Basu and Justice Sarda Charan Maitra. It is the success of the school that encouraged Kishorilal Roy Chowdhury to raise it to a higher secondary college. Along with the school activities, Law was one of the first courses introduced. A common management committee administered the school and college until 1887, when the school section was separated to form the independent Kishore Jubilee School. Jagannath College remained in its previous location. The administration of the college was handed over to a board of trustees and the following year, it was upgraded to a first grade college i.e. Degree college.

Transformation into a Higher Secondary College:

In 1921, Dhaka University was established and the journey of Dhaka University began with the students from Jagannath and Dhaka College. In fact, the university started its educational activities with all the students of degree classes from these two colleges. At that time, the college had to stop admission in degree courses considering the scarcity of students for the newly established Dhaka University, and again it was transformed into a higher secondary college. In doing so, the Indian Legislative Council had to intervene, and it passed the ‘Jagannath College Act’ (1920). It was for the first time the incident of passing an act in the name of any educational institution in Indian sub-continent occurred. The Jagannath College Trustee Board was abolished by the Act and the responsibility of the college management was handed over to a Governing Body. At the Same time, the whole property and liability of the college was vested to the government. At that time, Jagannath College had to sacrifice not only its students but also the faculties. It is worth mentioning that even Dhaka University Library started with books from this College. As a token of gratitude, one of the halls of Dhaka University was named Jagannath Hall'. The college celebrated its Golden Jubilee on March 20, 1935, and the occasion was chaired by Zaminder of Santosh, Raja Monmath Roy Chowdhury. The door of co-education was opened in 1942.

Jagannath College reopened Degree classes:

After the partition of India in 1947, teaching in the graduate classes was restarted. With the inspiration of the then Principal Khan Bahadur Abdur Rahman B.Com in 1948 and in the next year B.A classes started. From this time, night shift courses were also introduced and it was the then Principal who introduced the provision of recruiting teachers through demonstration class. The provision continued till the nationalization of the college in 1968. But after the partition, co-education system was abolished and, it was re-introduced in 1968 when Prof. Saydur Rahman was appointed as the Principal of the college. During his tenure, for the first time female teachers were appointed in this college. Within four years the number of students dramatically increased and while in 1964 the number of enrollment was 4500, it became more than triple i.e. 15000 in 1969. By this time, B.Sc. the course was introduced in 1959.

Jagannath College and the Independence Movement:

During the Pakistan regime, Jagannath College was the second home of the student movement. There was a popular saying that no meeting of Bot-lola became successful, until the students' procession from Jagannath College reached there. This institution was also the centre of all movements in old Dhaka. In the great Language Movement, Jagannath has its own glorious history. Jagannath feels proud of Rafiq, a student who achieved the glory of being the first martyr to the cause of mother tongue in world history. The contribution of the teachers and students of this institution strengthened the Language Movement. Pakistani Government was looking for an opportunity to diminish the influence of this institution. And the Provincial Governor Monayem Khan was more interested about it. In 1966, when 6-Points Demand was declared, the students of Jagannath successfully observed the first strike on June 07. The first protest and procession against the Agartola Conspiracy Case was brought out from this campus. In March 1968, when the senior Communist leader Moni Singh was arrested from his concealment, thirty-five teachers of Jagannath College gave a Joint-statement in the newspaper protesting against it. This made Monayem Khan more furious about Jagannath. Prior to this, the college was suspended for an uncertain period and after a long five months it was reopened.

Transformation to a Government College:

On the 1st August, 1968, by a government order, this institution was transformed into a Government College in the name of provincialization. Not only that, this reputed college was divided, one part was transformed into a science college and restructured in its present location and the other part was established in Mohakhali, Dhaka named Jinnah College (now Titumir College). It is worth mentioning here that neither students-teachers nor the people of the country accepted this decision easily. The decision agitated the whole country, many renowned teachers of the college resigned from their posts and those who remained, started facing different types of problems. This is to be noted here that the 11-points demands of the students laid the foundation of the historical Mass Movement of 1969 and among the listed demands no. I (a) demand was the withdrawal of the decision of nationalization of Jagannath College. However, because of pressures from teachers and students, Jagannath College was restored to its previous status within a year, the government was forced to permit the night shift and Arts and Commerce Courses from September 01, 1969. After Independence, honours courses were introduced in 1972 and Master's courses thereafter. Different departments established their own seminar rooms. To lessen the pressure of students, Intermediate class was closed down in 1982, and at that time night courses were kept open only for BA, B.Sc. and B.Com. In 1992, the College introduced night courses for MA (part I and 2), degree (bachelor) pass courses were abolished.

Journey started as a University:

As the educational activities of the College expanded, expectations of the mass people, students and teachers about Jagannath started increasing simultaneously. At one stage, it was demanded to transform the college into a full-fledged autonomous university. Though on Nov. 2, 1995, it was declared as a University, it was not activated even many years after. Time to time students kept their movement continuing to activate this declaration. At last, after a long 9 years, on November 06, 2004, in the ECNEC meeting Jagannath University Project was approved. On March 2, 2005, the then Principal of Jagannath College Prof. Ayesha Shirin Rahman was appointed as the Director of the project. To cope up with the global trend of the competitive world and to improve quality of teaching, learning and research in the field of higher education nationally i.e. to change the landscape of higher education through enhancement of quality of higher education and research the Jagannath University Act was approved by the parliament on 27 September 2005 by transforming Jagannath Government College into a university, and in that same year on October 20, by a Government notification the dream of a full-fledged university came into being. After that with the appointment of Prof. Sirajul Islam Khan as the first Vice-Chancellor of the university on February 08, 2006, the journey of a full-fledged university began.