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Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu Vishwavidayalaya

The Banaras Hindu University, better known as Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya( University) or earlier known as Central Hindu College of Banaras. Its foundation stone was laid in year 1914 and was established in the year 1916. It was founded by the great visionary, educationist and social reformer of the city named Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. He intended to campaign for a modern Hindu university which would preserve the best Hindu philosophical, cultural traditions and also train students in the modern sciences. Dr. Sir Sunderlal was the first vice chancellor of BHU. The university's main campus spread over 1,300 acres (5.3 km2) was built on land donated by the Kashi Naresh, the hereditary ruler of Banaras. The Banaras Hindu University, South campus, spread over 2,700 acres which is approx 11 km2 and is located in Barkachha in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh. BHU is organized into 6 institutes and 14 faculties (streams) and more than 132 departments. Total student enrolment at the university exceeds 30000, and includes students from over 34 nations. It has over 75 dormitories (hostels) for resident students. Several of its colleges, including engineering (IIT-BHU), management (FMS-BHU), science, linguistics, journalism & mass communication, performing arts, law, agriculture (IAS-BHU), medicine (IMS-BHU) and Institute of Environment And Sustainable Development (IESD-BHU), are ranked among the best in India. The university is well known for hosting an IIT. The university's engineering institute was designated an IIT in June 2012. The BHU now is a fully developed and both modern and traditional values mixed University of modern day India. Banaras Hindu University is the only university in India which has 2 campus, 3 Institutes, 16 faculties, 140 departments, 4 advanced department and 4 interdisciplinary schools. It is famous for its architectural brilliance. The Birla Vishwanath temple located in the premises of BHU, is the tallest Hindu temple (252 ft) in all of North India. Surprisingly, it’s taller than Taj Mahal (240 ft) and Qutub Minar(237 ft.). The walls are adorned with magnificent figures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses and verses from Geeta. Sayaji Rao Gaekwad Library (Central Library), BHU is one of the biggest libraries in ASIA in terms of manuscripts. It is also a designated ‘Manuscript Conservation Centre’ (MCC) under the National Mission for Manuscripts established in 2003. The BHU is the largest residential university of Asia with 72 hostels; BHU is an internationally reputed university with students from over 30 different nationalities. The university’s anthem, known as the Kulgeet, was composed by Dr. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, the First Chairman of UGC. Green boulevards, a hospital, a museum, the country’s largest library, a 500-strong private security force, a temple, a 100-acre agricultural farm, 72 hostels, four post offices, a petrol pump, a shopping centre, a swimming pool, an airstrip, four helipads and even an IIT-all on the BHU’s campus.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya made this proposal at the 1905 meeting of the Indian National Congress which met in Banaras that year and he found support from the influential British reformer and socialist and founder of the Theosophical Society named Annie Besant. Pandit Malviya toured entire India to raise money for the probable university. It is said that people from all levels of society responded to his vision. A woman would offer her bangles for the cause; a labor offered his day’s wages. People supported this cause by all possible means. The King or the Maharaja of Banaras donated the land for the university. In 1914, the foundation stone of the university was laid down of what would become one of the largest and beautiful universities in Asia known as Banaras Hindu University or BHU in 1916. Malviya's plan evaluated whether to seek government recognition for the university or operate without its control. He decided in favour of the former for various reasons. Malviya also considered the question of medium of instruction, and decided to start with English given the prevalent environment, and gradually add Hindi and other Indian languages. A distinguishing characteristic of Malviya's vision was the preference for a residential university. All other Indian universities of the period, such as the universities in Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, etc., were affiliating universities which only conducted examinations and awarded degrees to students of their affiliated colleges. BHU was finally established in 1916, the first university in India that was the result of a private individual's efforts. The foundation for the main campus of the university was laid by Lord Hardinge, the then Viceroy of India, on Vasant Panchami 4 February 1916. To promote the university's expansion, Malviya invited eminent guest speakers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Prof C. V. Raman, Dr. Prafulla Chandra Roy, Prof Sam Higginbottom, Sir Patrick Geddes, and Besant to deliver a series of what are now called The University Extension Lectures between 5–8 February in the year 1916. Gandhi's lecture on the occasion was his first public address in India. It developed faculties not only in Sanskrit, Indology but also in Commerce, Engineering, Agriculture and Medicine. Rai Bahadur Sundar Lal was the first Vice-Chancellor of the University. The University is located just beyond the southern borders of the sacred zone of Kashi. Those who knew Pandit Malviya tell the story that how he refused to move to Varanasi city to die as he did not wanted liberation yet, he said, for there was so much left to do in his next lifetime in this world.

In general, objective behind making of this university was to avail best education system to people. Here students are studying, not only from India but also from many other countries. It offers best study opportunity for Hindu shastra, Sanskrit literature, as a mean to preserve and popularize them among Indian people. It promotes learning and research in field of Arts and Sciences, in all branches. Studying at Banaras Hindu University promotes advance scientific, technical and professional knowledge among students. It study offers necessary practical training as in best calculated way to help in promoting indigenous industries and in developing the material resources of the country. Here study also aims towards building up of character, moral values in youth by religion and ethics.

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