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From ancient to modern

Banaras Hindu University has unusual offerings that range from jyotish to bioinformatics

education Updated: Jun 15, 2011 09:35 IST
Mithilesh Kumar Yadav

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is a noted institution in north India with a long history of excellence. It is a Central-government funded, public university.

In addition to the main campus in Varanasi, BHU has a Rajiv Gandhi South Campus at Barkachha, near the city of Mirzapur, about 80 km from Varanasi.

The university has about 30,000 students, half of them hostelites. “This university is one of the largest residential universities in Asia. We offer all the subjects — from ancient to modern. We have 140 departments, 16 faculties, four institutes and all this on one beautiful campus,” says DP Singh, vice chancellor, BHU.

Programmes: The university runs a wide range of programmes, both conventional and professional, at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Some of them are: BA (hons) arts; BA (hons) social sciences; BSc (hons) maths; BSc (hons) bio, BCom (hons)/ BCom (hons) financial markets management (special courses of study; Shastri (hons), BFA, BMus, BPA (dance), BSc (Ag.); LLB, BEd, BEd (Special) and BPEd; MA in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Pali, Persian, Sanskrit, Telugu, Urdu, linguistics, ancient Indian history, culture and archaeology, philosophy, Indian philosophy and religion, history of art, economics, history, political science, and sociology; MSc in physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, computer science, and biochemistry; MSc (tech) in geology; MSc (tech) in geophysics; MA/ MSc in geography, statistics, mathematics, home science, psychology; MCom; Acharya, veda, vyakaran, jyotish, Dharmashastra, Mimansa, Vedanta, Nyayavaiseshika, Prachinanyaya, Sankhyayoga, Puranetihasa, sahitya, Dharmagama, Baudha Darshan, Jain Darshan; MA in prayojanmoolak Hindi (patrakarita), museology, mass communication; MLibISc; MA in manuscriptology and palaeography, MPEd, MFA, MMus, MPA (dance), master’s in musicology; MEd, MEd (special); LLM; MCA; MSc in health statistics, MSc in bioinformatics (for women); MSc (agriculture); agricultural economics, agronomy, animal husbandry and dairying, entomology and agricultural zoology, extension education, genetics and plant breeding, horticulture, mycology and plant pathology, plant physiology, soil science and agricultural chemistry; MA in tourism management, social work, public administration, conflict management and development; master’s in personnel management and industrial relations. MSc (tech) in environmental science and technology, MSc in environmental science, applied microbiology, molecular and human genetics, petroleum geo-science, master’s in foreign trade, financial management (risk and insurance), finance management (MFM), LLM in human rights and duties education, MBA in agri-business, MSc (agriculture) agro-forestry, soil and water conservation, MSc in food science and technology, plant biotechnology, master of agri-business management, MTech in agricultural engineering (soil and water conservation engineering); besides a whole host of diploma and certificate courses

USP: Several of BHU’s colleges, including those for engineering, science, linguistics, journalism and mass communication, law and medicine, and management studies, are ranked among the best in India. The university was ranked as the best overall university of India on all parameters in a survey by a well-known newsmagazine.

Infrastructure: The 1350-acre complex has 55 hostels. The BHU library system is said to be India’s largest university library system. At present, it consists of a central library plus three institute libraries, eight faculty libraries, 25 departmental libraries, with a total collection of more than 13 lakh volumes to serve the students, faculty members, researchers, and other staff of 14 faculties consisting of 126 subject departments of the university. The library system has research journals, books, PhD dissertations, UN and government publications, text books, reference books, etc.

The IT quotient: The computer centre provides computing facilities, e-mail services, etc to the university community. It helps researchers get their research data analysed, and provides laboratory facilities to students of science and technology.

Clubs and societies: The university’s sports board looks after the games and sports activities. A few faculties and institutes have their own gymkhanas, as well. The major central facilities include swimming pool, indoor stadium, playgrounds, gymnasium, outdoor stadium, and hobby centres.

Spandan is the most popular cultural festival of the university.

Studentspeak: “BHU inculcates a strong sense of discipline and commitment in its students. The experienced faculty and well-equipped departments provide us with the latest knowledge of the course,” says Milind Swaroop, a BTech mining student pursuing his third year.

Banaras Hindu University was founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1916. The 1350-acre (5.5-sq km) campus was built on land donated by the Kashi Naresh, the hereditary ruler of Banaras

“Being part of such a historic and prestigious university is a matter of great pride. However, serious efforts are required to reinstate the past glory of BHU. The increased interference of the government in the functioning of BHU has been breeding mediocrity in recent years. This needs to stop,” says a fourth-year student of the department of mining, IT BHU