Aliah University

Aliah University

ll-A/27, Action Area II, Newtown, Kolkata, West Bengal 700156

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Aliah University

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Phone Number 03323416444



In 1780, at the behest of Warren Hastings, the first Governor General of India, and some eminent Muslim citizens of Kolkata an educational institute was established. Different government documents cite the name of this educational institute varyingly, such as Government Mohamedan College, Mohamedan College of Calcutta, or Calcutta Madrasah. Afterwards it popularly came to be called Aliah Madrasah. It is definitely worth mentioning that in British ruled India, Aliah Madrasah was the first government-established educational Institution.

The main intention for establishing this institution was to educate the children of the higher classes of Muslim families in Arabic, Persian, and Islamic Law so that they may be eligible to get jobs in different Government Departments like Administration, Taxation, and Judiciary. However, within a decade the curricula of Aliah Madrasah had also encompassed modern subjects like Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, and Natural Philosophy along with the more traditional branches of learning like Law, Theology, Grammar, Philosophy, Logic, Rhetoric, and Oratory. In 1821, in the presence of eminent government officials the first annual examination of Aliah Madrasah was conducted and in 1826, courses on medicine were taught in this institution till 1836 when this faculty was transferred to and housed in Calcutta Medical College following its establishment that year. In 1826, English was first introduced at Aliah Madrasah, though the number of students was quite low due to Persian still being the state language of British India. After the British Government instituted English as the state language and the medium of communication for all official purposes in 1837, a Department of English was established at Aliah Madrasah.

After the Revolt of 1857, seeds of suspicions were sown in the minds of the British rulers about the loyalty of the Muslims. So the government wanted to stop the aid allocated for the running of Aliah Madrasah. However, these dark clouds rolled away very soon. Between 1869 and 1947, a number of committees and commissions suggested various reform measures for the improvement of Madrasah education in Bengal, particularly Aliah Madrasah. After the partition of India in 1947, this institution again faced severe problems. According to the decision of the Separation Council, all books and manuscripts, assets and estates of Aliah Madrasah were transferred to the Dacca Madrasah. It was only by dint of hard work and initiative of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of independent India, that the institutional framework of Calcutta Madrasah was again set up and teaching restarted. During the early years of its existence, Aliah Madrasah was ahead of its times in the field of education; however, its success in enabling Muslim youths to obtain government jobs while also imparting knowledge on the various streams of traditional and modern education, needs to be re-evaluated now. Only by putting the legacies of the past into a proper perspective can a logical and effective framework be constituted for successful running of this Institution and its further development.



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Vice Chancellor Desk

I extend my warm greetings to the students, faculty, and staff of Aliah University for the just-concluded festive season.

The demand for Higher Education in West Bengal has increased exponentially during the last decade. This year the number of students sitting for the forthcoming Secondary Examinations (Madhyamik) is more than 10 lakh. Most of them will progress to the threshold of higher education after qualifying this examination. In the last decade about ten universities have been established in this state to meet this growing demand for education. Students from the remote areas of this state which were basically backward economically and socially can now avail of modern branches of knowledge and higher studies from these newly established universities in different corners of the state. So it can be claimed that West Bengal’s higher education structure based on a centre-periphery binary model is being dismantled and replaced by a multiple-centre structure.

In keeping with the above trend of the spread of education, in 2007, the West Bengal Legislative Assembly passed Aliah University Act, 2007, (West Bengal Act XXVII of 2007) for the establishment of Aliah University which came into effect from 5th April, 2008. From this point onwards Aliah University came into existence with lot of scope for progress. However, it is also important to know the prehistory of Aliah University on the foundation of which the present Institution is based.

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