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Temple of excellence
By Avenues team
The Pioneer - September 3, 2000


Banaras Hindu University (BHU) was founded in 1916 by the great nationalist leader Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya with the co-operation of great stalwarts of Indian history such as Dr Annie Besant who dreamt of BHU as the great University of India.

BHU was created under the Parliamentary legislation - BHU Act 1915, with a view to promote higher learning, and the creative and innovative instincts of students by providing them with quality academic education.

BHU, set up in the holy city of Banaras played a pivotal role during the Independence Movement.  Today , it has
evolved as a great centre for teaching.

It boasts of having nurtured several prominent freedom fighters and builders of modern India.

It also has the distinction of contributing in terms of its academic excellence in the progress of the country.

The University comprises of three institutes, 14 faculties, 124 departments, four interdisciplinary centres and three constituent schools, offering scores of subjects pertaining to varied branches of humanities, social sciences, sciences, technology, medicine, fine arts and performing arts.

It boasts of six centres of advanced studies, 10 departments under the special assistance programme and a large number of specialised research centres.

Four degree college of the city are affiliated to the University.

The University also has a renown and sacred Vishwanath Temple that is revered as the spiritual centre of the University.

BHU also has a sprawling campus of 2,700 acres in the district of Mirzapur 90 km away from Varanasi, known as the Barkachha Campus.  At present, the campus has a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of the Institute of Agriculture, a Guest House, a post-graduate hostel, a cow shed and a large number of agricultural research farms.  Demonstrations are given by scientists and technologists.

Technical know-how, hybrid seeds, plant protection chemicals, fertilisers etc are provided by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, New Delhi.  Students of the Institute of Agriculture, BHU periodically visit the KVK Centre for training.

The Barkachha Campus boasts of sylvan surroundings that include hilly ranges, water falls, streams, springs and greenery.

BHU is one of the first few universities in the country to have established the academic Staff College in the later part of 1987.

The academic Staff College has been engaged in multifarous activities relating to the professional development of the academic staff.

It provides the requisite exposure to the university and college teachers to enable them develop their interests in their respective fields of specialisations by conducting orientation and refresher courses.  BHU also has within its campus three constituent schools aimed at offering value and culture based education at the primary, secondary and senior secondary levels.

The faculty of visual arts at BHU is one of the leading institutions of fine arts in India.  The faculty encourages on optimum interaction with the centres of art all over the country, it organises art fairs and exhibitions with an aim to encourage talents and get students their due recognition..

The Faculty of Science comprises of 13 departments covering almost all branches in modern science.  Two vocational courses, Industrial Microbiology and Electronics Instrumentation and Maintainance have been introduced recently at the under-graduate level.

The School of Biotechnology possess a Bio-informatics User Centre.  The Department of Chemistry has been conducting research in frontier areas of subjects like nuclear and radio chemistry, organo-metallic chemistry and biosensors.  The Department of Geography offers a highly specialised course in satellite imagery interpretation.  The Department of Statistics has two major research projects sponsored by the Rockfeller Foundation.  the Department of Botany along with that of Statistics, have introduced self-financed courses in population studies and environmental sciences.  The Faculty of Sanskrit Vidya Dharam Vijnan imparts ancient learning in traditional as well as modern aspects.

The main objective of the Faculty is to preserve and develop the ancient and traditional treasure of knowledge.  It consists of eight departments and has a publication wing of its own.

The Institute of Medical Sciences is the only tertiary medical institute of its kind in India which imparts education in all the disciplines of modern medicine and Ayurveda at the under graduate and the post-graduate levels.

The main campus is spread over an area of 1,300 acres and is bestowed with buildings that are architectural delights and verdant surroundings.

There is an air field at the campus as well, started for military training and flying during World War II.  The campus also possess a museum, the Bharat Kala Bhavan which is a veritable treasure of rare collections.  The university consists of about 15,000 students and 2,000 teaching and nearly 5,000 non-teaching staff.

Quite true to its motto which says: The end of all knowledge is the attainment of immortality, BHU has not only striven to promote higher learning and quality academic research it has at the same time emphasised on building the character of the youth by making religion and ethics a part of the education process.



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