University of Gour Banga: A Beacon of Educational Excellence in West Bengal.
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Nestled in the picturesque town of Malda, West Bengal, India, the University of Gour Banga (UGB) stands as a testament to the commitment of the Government of West Bengal to provide equitable and quality higher education to its residents.
Established in 2008 under the West Bengal Act XXVI of 2007, this public state university has swiftly emerged as an educational powerhouse in the region.
In this article, we’ll delve into the rich history, academic offerings, and the future prospects of this institution that’s changing lives and fostering intellectual growth.
A Brief History:
The UGB was brought to life by the visionary Government of West Bengal in 2008. Since then, it has grown exponentially and now boasts 23 Postgraduate (PG) departments with an enrollment of approximately 2500 students.
Further enhancing its reach, the university has affiliations with 25 General degree colleges in Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, and Dakshin Dinajpur districts, with the exception of Raiganj University College.
Its strategic location along NH 12 (old N.H. 34) near Rabindra Bhavan and proximity to the Central Bus Terminus make it accessible to students from various parts of the region.
The UGB’s mission aligns with the need to address the issues of ‘equity and access’ in higher education, especially in less educationally developed districts like Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, and Dakshin Dinajpur.
These areas have historically had a Graduate Enrolment Ratio lower than both the state and national averages. With over 75 percent of the population in its catchment area belonging to socio-economically disadvantaged segments such as Muslims, SC, and ST, the UGB aims to uplift and empower these communities through education.
The journey of any institution is shaped by its leadership. Prof. Surabhi Bandyopadhyay, the former vice-chancellor of Netaji Subhas Open University, became the first vice-chancellor of UGB, while Dr. Tapash Kumar Chattopadhyay, the former registrar of University of North Bengal, assumed the role of the first acting registrar in 2008.
Prof. Gopa Dutta followed as the second vice-chancellor, ushering in an era of academic excellence.
Distinctive Logo and Campus:
The unique logo of the University of Gour Banga was designed by Sameer Rakshit, head of the Department of Architecture at Jadavpur University.
Rakshit also played a pivotal role in designing the university’s main building. Initially, the university operated from the ground-floor of the Post-Graduate Section of Malda College, but from 2011, it has been conducting its academic activities in its own premises near Rabindra Bhaban, Malda.
The Vice-chancellor is the chief executive officer of UGB, responsible for guiding the institution towards its goals. In 2021, Shanti Chhetri assumed the role of Vice-chancellor, bringing fresh perspectives and leadership to the university.
Academic Faculties and Departments:
The university’s academic landscape is divided into three faculties:
- Faculty of Science: Home to departments such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Food & Nutrition, Botany, Zoology, and Physiology.
- Faculty of Humanities, Social Science & Commerce: Encompassing departments like Bengali, English, Arabic, Sanskrit, History, Geography, Political Science, Philosophy, Economics, Sociology, and Commerce.
- Faculty of Law, Education, Journalism, Library Science, and Physical Education: Hosting departments including Education, Library and Information Science, Law, and Mass Communication.
UGB serves as an affiliating institution, extending its academic jurisdiction over colleges in Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, and Dakshin Dinajpur districts. This wide network of affiliations bolsters the university’s mission of extending quality education to a broader audience.
Undergraduate admissions require candidates to have successfully completed their secondary (10+2) examinations. For postgraduate courses, applicants must pass an entrance examination after completing their undergraduate degrees.
In recognition of its commitment to academic excellence, the University of Gour Banga was awarded a ‘B’ grade with a CGPA value of 2.30 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 2016. This accreditation underscores the university’s dedication to providing quality education.
The University of Gour Banga, established in 2008, has rapidly evolved into an educational hub that’s changing lives and transforming the educational landscape of West Bengal. With its emphasis on equity, access, and academic excellence, UGB continues to shine as a beacon of hope for the region’s aspiring students, providing them with opportunities to pursue their dreams and create a brighter future for themselves and their communities.