The University of Gorakhpur is a teaching and residential-cum-affiliating University. It is situated at a distance of about 2 kilometers form the downtown to the east and almost walking distance from railway station to the south. Although the idea of residential University at Gorakhpur was first mooted by Dr. C.J. Chako, the then Principal of St. Andrews College, then under Agra University, who initiated post-graduate and undergraduate science teaching in his college, the idea got crystallized and took concrete shape by the untiring efforts of Late Pt. S.N.M. Tripathi. The proposal was accepted in principle by the first Chief Minister of U.P., Late Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, but it was only in 1956 that the University came into existence by an act passed by the U.P. Legislature. It actually started functioning since September 1, 1957, when the faculties of Arts, Commerce, Law and Education were started. In the following year, 1958, the faculty of science came into being. Faculties of Engineering, Medicine and Agriculture came into existence in later years. Late Mahant Digvijay Nath also made valuable contribution in the formation of the University. The Madan Mohan Malviya Engineering College.
At one stage the federal jurisdiction of the University was spread over colleges in Gorakhpur and the adjoining erstwhile twelve districts with about 425 affiliated colleges. In 1973, when the Gorakhpur University Act was replaced by uniform piece of legislation called the U.P. Universities Act, about two dozed colleges located in five districts were transferred to the newly created Avadh University with headquarters at Faizabad. The jurisdiction of the Gorakhpur University was drastically curtailed further in its headquarters at Jaunpur. At present, with the establishment of new colleges and the creation of new districts, there are 425 colleges located in various districts of Gorakhpur Division.
In the beginning the University had its own teething troubles. But due to the zeal, untiring efforts and foresight of its founding fathers and the then faculty members, it has come of age having completed more than forty years of a most meaningful existence. It now has neat and attractive campus spread over an area of about 300 acres with well-planned teaching and residential campuses. In the beginning the University was housed in two buildings the Pant Block (inaugurated by late Pt. Pant) and the Majithia Block (named after Sir Surendra Singh Majithia, who made a significant donation to the building through his family trust). Several other buildings came up during the following decades : they include the Central Library, the Arts Block, the Administrative Block, the Law Faculty, a Student's Union building, a Gymnasium hall, a Health Centre, a Computer Centre and Research Buildings for Chemistry, Zoology, and Botany. Besides, there are separated Buildings for Commerce and Education Faculties and also for Home, Science, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Hindi, Ancient History, Fine Arts and Music, Political Science and Adult Education. A huge building comprising several big rooms besides and imposing auditorium, referred to as Deeksha Bhavan, presently houses the separate girls' wing for the undergraduate classes along with its use as an examination centre. Two separate building housing a branch of Allahabad Bank and a sub-Post Office are also part of the University. Samajiki Manviki Bhawan - was built about seven years ago. Besides the general maintenance and repair work, and the general beautification of the campus on a large scale, some hectic construction activities are also currently going on in the University. Buildings of Department of Business Management and of Biotechnology have been constructed. Additional lecture halls have been added in the Arts Faculty Building.
In the residential zone, we have more than 125 quarters for teachers and officials of the University and about the same number of the non-teaching staff. There are several hostels - four boys and one complex with three wings for the girls' - which have facilities of reading-cum-TV room, games, etc. The students living in the city are attached to the Delegacy which looks after their interests and provides facilities to them in extra-curricular activities.
The academic culture of the University evolved out the cross fertilization of diverse traditions of teaching and research. The seniors who gave a start to the institution came from varying University backgrounds. What has thus been delivered to us is a most liberal tradition of academic pursuit, a tradition rich in content and intellectual stimulating. True to our motto, we have always believed in the free quest of knowledge and have consistently refused to live under anything like an inbred orthodoxy. Among the illustrious faculty members who distinguished themselves in their own fields were elevated as Vice Chancellor and served more than once are.
Among learned seniors who laid the foundation of these traditions also include the names of:
Other names in this glorious line of distinguished academicians are of Prof. H.S. Chaudhari, Prof. V.S. Pathak and Prof. R.M. Misra who became Vice Chancellor of our University. Prof. M.Verma, Prof. Veermani Upadhyay, Prof. K.S. Bhagava, Prof. L.B. Tripathi, Prof. M. Ilahi and Prof. A.K. Mittal also adorned the Chair of Vice Chancellor for shorter tenures. We feel proud to mention that Prof. Hiralal Singh ,Dr. G. Rasul, Prof. R.P. Bahadur, Prof. H.S. Srivastava, Prof. R.B. Tiwari, Prof. V. Chatterjee, Prof. K.B. Lal, Prof. U.R. Rai, Prof. L.B. Tripathi, Prof. Kamal, have been the torch-bearers of our University in the earlier days. Prof. Pratap Singh, Prof. N.K. Sanyal and Prof. R.A. Singh and Prof. L.N. Tripathi were offered the prestigious position of the Chairman of U.P. Higher Education Services Commission (Allahabad), which they served with distinction.
Among the present generation of the university teachers there is a distinguished band of scholars many of whom have received national and international recognition. Many of our alumni have also brought laurels to the University in various areas, both in the country and abroad. They are holding important positions in academic, administrative, legal, professional, military and political fields as well as in sports and games. Late V.B. Singh (Ex Chief Minister of U.P) and Late Kalp Nath Rai (Central Minister) were the alumni of this university. Ex Chief Minister of U.P. Sri Raj Nath Singh is also the alumni of the Physics Department of Gorakhpur University.
Besides the conventional courses, the University offers several other courses in Business management, Computer Science, M.Sc. in Electronics, Diplomas in Photography, PG Diploma in Computer Science, diplomas in public administration, labour law, journalism are some of the more prominent ones. A few courses of topical interest where introduced :
Industrial Microbiology (1999), Industrial Chemistry and Home Science at the Under Graduate level, and Biotechnology at the Post Graduate level.
Remedial courses for SC and ST are also being organized. There is also an Employment Guidance Bureau to help and advice students in seeking employment. Study centres of the Indira Gandhi National Open University and of UPRT open University also function in the University and for those who, for one reason or the other, are unable to pursue higher studies in the conventional set up. The university has National Service Schemes besides having the Army, Air and Naval Wings of the N.C.C. Sports activities are organized by the Athletic Association headed by a university teacher who is helped by a team of teachers, students and staff appointed for this purpose. It is doing very well in some of the games and sports. Recently the University has been credited with B++ level by the NAAC team of UGC, New Delhi.
Thus, by any reckoning the performance of the University during the last fifty years has been quite good, justifiable the University community can speak today of its own tradition and its own identity. However, one should not loose sight of the fact that institution building is a difficult and painful exercise and perhaps it is even more difficult to maintain and advance the standards already once achieved. A lot of hard work had to be done by the Founding Society before persuading the Government to bring forward a legislation to establish a University at Gorakhpur. The untiring efforts and the devotion of all those grand men, who mooted the idea of the university and saw through its foundation, bringing higher education within easy reach of millions of people of his region, is gratefully acknowledge.
Shri Ram Naik
Prof. Ashok Kumar