The University of Delhi is the premier university of the country and is known for its high standards in teaching and research and attracts eminent scholars to its faculty. It was established in 1922 as a unitary, teaching and residential university by an Act of the then Central Legislative Assembly. The President of India is the Visitor, the Vice President is the Chancellor and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India is the Pro-Chancellor of the University.
Ever since its inception, a strong commitment to excellence in teaching and research has made the University of Delhi a role-model and path-setter for other universities in the country. Its rich academic tradition has always attracted the most talented students who later on went on to make important contributions to their society.
When the University took birth, only three colleges existed in Delhi then: St. Stephen’s College founded in 1881, Hindu College founded in 1899 and Ramjas College founded in 1917, which were subsequently affiliated to it. The University thus had a modest beginning with just three colleges, two faculties (Arts and Science) and about 750 students. In October 1933, the University offices and the Library shifted to the Viceregal Lodge Estate, and till today this site houses the offices of the main functionaries of the University. The University has grown into one of the largest universities in India. At present, there are 16 faculties, 86 academic departments, 77 colleges and 5 other recognised institutes spread all over the city, with 132435 regular students (UG: 114494,PG:17941) and 261169 students (UG:258831,PG:2338) in non-formal education programme.
Sir Maurice Gwyer, the then Vice-Chancellor, realizing the importance of a distinguished faculty to act as role models, relentlessly searched for talent all over the country and roped in men of eminence to this University, such as Prof. D.S. Kothari in Physics, Prof. T.R. Sheshadri in Chemistry, Prof. P Maheshwari in Botany and Prof. M L Bhatia in Zoology.
Five Departments namely Chemistry, Geology, Zoology, Sociology and History have been awarded the status of the Centres of Advanced Studies. These Centres of Advanced Studies have carved a niche for themselves as centres of excellence in teaching and research in their respective areas. In addition, a good number of University departments are also receiving grants under the Special Assistance Programme of the UGC in recognition of their outstanding academic work. 10 Departments (Germanic & Romance Studies, Hindi, Persian, Geography, Music, East Asian Studies, Anthropology, Mathematics, B.R.Ambedkar, M. I.L.) are getting grants under DRS, 2 Departments (Buddhist Studies, English) are getting grants under DSA, 3 Departments (English, Buddhist Studies, Social Work) are getting grants under AISHSS and 3 Departments (African Studies, East Asian Studies, Developing Countries Research Centre) are getting grants under Area Studies Programmes. Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension and Women’s Studies & Development Centre of the University are also getting special funding from UGC. The University today boasts of as many as 15 big libraries apart from libraries in colleges. The University Science Instrumentation Centre (USIC) which is now situated close to the Physics and Chemistry Departments houses a number of sophisticated and high-end research instruments. These instruments are used quite frequently by Teachers and Research Scholars of postgraduate departments of the University as well as by many other institutions in Delhi and its neighbourhood. The University has recently laid fibre-optic network in the North and the South Campuses connecting all colleges and departments.
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