Jagannath College established in 1868 by a zamindar
named Jagannath Roy Chowdhury of Baliati in Manikganj. It was turned into
a college on 4 July 1884. The Bangladesh Government later transformed it
into a full-fledged university in 2005.
a proper deed, on 1 March 1907 a trusty board comprising of Kishorilal
Roy Chowdhury, Roy Chandra Kumar Dutt Bahadur and Anand Chandra Roy was
formed to look after the management of the College. After the death of
Kishorilal Roy Chowdhury, the trusty board was reconstituted according to
a new deed written on 24 August 1909. The new board consisted of the
following members: Roy Chandra Kumar Dutt Bahadur, Anand Chandra Roy,
Joshudalal Chowdhury, Kumar Romendra Narayan Chowdhury and Dinesh Chandra
Roy. At this time, with the efforts of Sir Robert Nathan (Commissioner of
Dhaka), Mr H Le Mesurier and Mr Bonham Carter, the College received a
fund of 80,000 takas, which was used to build a two-storied building.
This building now stands at the centre of the campus and is used as the
administrative office. At the beginning, the College had only 48
students, which was increased to 500 by the year 1910. At that time
honours courses in English, Philosophy and Sanskrit and MA course in
English were taught along with the usual IA, ISC and BA (Pass)
programmes. The number of students rose to 843 (540 at intermediate level
and 303 in third and fourth years) in 1917-18.
the zamindar of Santosh (in Tangail) Raja Monmath Roy Chowdhury
affiliated Promoth Monmoth College in Tangail with Jagannath College with
the permission of the College council. He made a residential house for
the Principal next to the main gate of the College. Neither the gate nor
the house exists now. The gate actually was situated about 10-15 cubits
away from the present liberation war sculpture at the campus. The
L-pattern building was south of this gate; its one arm extended from
south to north and the other from east to west. Beyond the south wall,
there was space for gardening so that a Principal of refined taste could
plant flower trees there.
the Calcutta University Commission considered the possibility of
establishing a university in Dhaka, as there was a need and great
prospect to start a higher learning institution in the region with the graduate
students of Jagannath and Dhaka Colleges. At that time, a report by the
Calcutta University Commission stated that Dhaka College was the ‘most
important and best equipped’ college in Dhaka and Jagannath College was
renowned as an ‘affiliated and government aided first grade’ institution
in the subcontinent among the educated elite. Since Dhaka College was a
government institution, there was no technical problem to get students
from here; but, as Jagannath College was a privately funded institution,
there was legal complication about transferring students from there to
the proposed Dhaka University.
reason, the Indian Legislative Council had to intervene, and it passed
the Jagannath College Act (Act No XVI of 1920). The Jagannath College
Trustee Board was abolished by the Act and the whole property of the
college is vested to Bengal Governor. Dhaka University was established on
1 July 1921, and its classes were mainly started with the students of
Jagannath and Dhaka Colleges. At that time, the total number of 2nd and
3rd year students at Jagannath College was 303. After these students were
transferred to Dhaka University, Jagannath College was turned into an
intermediate college and was renamed Jagannath Intermediate College. This
devaluation of the College dismayed the then Principal Ray Bahadur Lalita
Mohan who delivered a passionate speech to express his grief and to
restore its original status.
Dhaka College and Jagannath College provided immense support to the newly
established dhaka university,
two halls of the University were named as Jagannath Hall and Dhaka Hall
(now Dr Muhammad Shahidullah Hall) in recognition of their contribution.
All reunion ceremonies of these two halls were celebrated in association
with the students from these two Colleges. Jagannath and Dhaka Colleges
helped the Dhaka University at its inception not only with students, but
also with teachers and books from their libraries. It is worth mentioning
that Dhaka University Library started with books from these two Colleges.
When the Jagannath College Act was passed, its Trusty Board was replaced
with a College Governing Body whose first meeting was held on 20 August
1921. The Governing Body was composed of the following members: T
Dhaka Division) (Ex Officio President of the Body); Khan Bahadur Khaja
Mohammad Azam Khan; Nawab Khaja Mohammad Yusuf Khan Bahadur; PK Bose;
Sarat Chandra Chakraborty; Rebati Mohan Das; Dhirendra Chandra Roy; and
Rash Behari Bose (acting Principal).
golden jubilee of Jagannath College was held on 20 March 1935 and was
chaired by the zamindar of Santosh, Raja Monmath Roy Chowdhury. In July
1936, the number of students of Jagannath College was 737; 832 in
September 1936, and it increased to 1700 in July 1947. The College
restarted B.Com and BA courses in 1948-1949 and night courses were
introduced afterwards. During this time, co-education was abolished from
the College. BSc course was introduced in 1959. The number of students
including those studying BSc reached 4500 in the year 1964. The College
became a full government institution on 1 August 1968, which was followed
by government attempts to bring about structural changes in it. It was
turned into an intermediate college, and the Jinnah College (now Titumir
College) was established in Mohakhali in Dhaka. However, because of
pressures from teachers and students, Jagannath College was restored to
its previous status within a year, i.e., degree (bachelor level) classes
were resumed. The Government dispatched letters to all teachers of the
College and reinstated them as professors and lecturers (the existing two
tiers of teaching staff in government rules at that time). From among the
total number of teachers, 26 were appointed professors and 44 lecturers.
No teachers were sacked or transferred.
honours courses were introduced in 1972 and Masters courses thereafter,
the number of students started to increase exponentially. Intermediate
class was closed down in 1982, and at that time night courses were kept
only for BA, BSc and BCom. In 1992, the College introduced night courses
for MA (part 1 and 2), degree (bachelor) pass course was abolished, and
the number of students reached 25,000. In 1992, the number of teachers
jumped from 250 to 380 including 12 demonstrators. In 2002 there were
35,000 students at the College.
educationalists and administrators who held the position of the Principal
of Jagannath College are as follows: Sri Kunjo Lal Nag (first Principal
1884-1895), Sri Boikuntha Kishore Chakraborty (1895-1902), Sri Heromba
Chandra Moitriya (1902-1904), Ray Bahadur Lalita Mohan Chatterjee
(1904-1921), Ray Bahadur Satyendranath Bhodra (1921-1941), Sri Shailendra
Nath Ghosh (1941-1947), Sri Jogesh Chandra Ghosh (1947-1948), Khan
Bahadur Abdur Rahman Khan (1948-1953), Dr Enamul Haq (1953-1954), Dr
Surat Ali Khan (1954-1955), Khan Bahadur Abdur Rahman Khan (1955-1956),
Sheikh Sharafuddin (1956-1963), Saidur Rahman (1963-1967), Ershadullah
(1967-1970), ANM Bazlur Rahman (1972-1982), Dr Ashraf Siddiqui,
(1982-1984), Dr QATM Habibur Rahman (1990-1994).
the then government declared it a full-fledged university and the
Jagannath University Act was approved by the parliament on 27 September
2005. As a result, it became an important public university in the
country. On 8 February 2006, Prof Sirajul Islam Khan of the Microbiology Department
of Dhaka University joined Jagannath University as its first
College played a commendable role during the language movement,
education movement, 6-point and 11-point movements and the liberation war
in 1971. The Pakistani army used the College campus as one of its camps
during the liberation war in 1971. After the war ended, few mass burials
were discovered in its campus.
See also Jagannath University.