History of UOM

Gouri Satya

Mysore, the erstwhile capital of the princely State of Mysore, now a part of Karnataka in South India, is a city of many attractions. A city of palaces and eye-pleasing Indo-Saracenic buildings, it has the stradling Chamundi Hill crowning the old royal headquarters. The iconic Palace draws thousands of visitors every day.

Apart from its tourist spots, the city is also a centre for research laboratories like the prestigious Central Food Technological Research Institute and the Defence Food Research Laboratory. It is also a centre for oriental studies with over a century old Maharaja’s Sanskrit College that imparts teaching in traditional Sanskrit subjects and the Oriental Research Institute, a treasure house of invaluable Sanskrit manuscripts among which is the Chanakya’s “Artha Sastra”, the finding and publication of which by Prof. Shama Sastry, has brought the Institute international fame and recognition.

Mysore is also an academic centre having many prestigious institutions – from traditional ayurveda to modern medical sciences, business management to engineering, law to commerce. It is also the headquarters for the University of Mysore, which pioneered higher education in the then State of Mysore.    

Krishna tells Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, “Nahi jnanena sadrusham pavitram iha vidyate” – certainly, there is no purifier in the world like knowledge. This is an advice Lord Krishna gives to Arjuna. This advice of the Lord is the motto of the University of Mysore and has stood by it steadfastly over the last century of its existence. “Nahi jnanena sadrusham”, the University’s motto, is inscribed on the portals of the headquarters of the University, the Crawford Hall. This sacred objective is part of its logo.

The University of Mysore was set up with this noble vision by the far-sighted ruler of Mysore, Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, who was known as the pious king, ‘Raja Rishi’. Among his visionary contributions to the then State of Mysore, the setting up of the University of Mysore was one. He was ably assisted by his Dewans, the Prime Ministers, in serving the subjects of his princely State, their welfare being the prime objective.

The seeds for the Mysore University were sown as early as in 1833 when Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar’s grandfather, Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar III, founded the Raja’s Free School. The year of the foundation of the Raja’s School is memorable for he brought about a change from that of classical antiquity to the study of English, which he felt was essential for the rising generation of Mysore. His liberal outlook paved the way for modern education and the establishment of the Mysore University. Mr. South was the first head master of the Royal School who was succeeded by Mr. Miller and Mr. Cassin.

The purpose of the Maharaja’s Free School was to offer free education to boys of Mysore in the elementary branches of English literature and mathematics coupled with instruction in Kannada, Hindustani and Marathi, the vernaculars of the State. The annual average strength of the school rose to 81 and further to 320 by 1862 and by then study of more subjects had been included. New English schools had come up in Bangalore, Mysore and Tumkur by then. With the appointment of Mr. James Dunning in 1862 as the first Principal of the School, the Royal School made further progress. The year 1866 marked the construction of a magnificent building in the same area where the old school stood.

In the presence of the high-ranking British officials, the Maharaja inaugurated the new school building on August 10, 1866.  It was a grand function. Paying tributes to the Maharaja, British Commissioner of Mysore L.B, Bowring said, “The liberality on the part of His Highness in providing the boys with such a fine place for their studies would stimulate them all to greater exertions.”  

Krishnaraja Wadiyar III was deeply anxious that his subjects should receive education and become efficient citizens of the State. He was keen that his adopted son, Chamaraja Wadiyar, should receive all the advantages of high education and proper training so as to make him fit to ably govern his people. Aware of the importance of good education and its spread across, he strove assiduously to promote the cause of education. The Raja School was a free school. He ensured that the boys were given books, stationery and all other articles they required.

The seed he had sown in establishing the free Raja School led to further expansion with the transfer of the school to the newly established office of the Director of Public Instruction. In 1868, the Madras University made a Branch Station for annual examinations. That was the year when Krishnaraja Wadiyar III passed away.

During the next five years, rapid extension of education took place paving way for higher education. More teachers were appointed and scholarships were instituted.  This resulted in students securing distinction in the F.A. examination of the Madras University in 1873.    

Two years later, the school was formed into a High School for the then Ashtagrama Division of the Province of Mysore. In 1879, the School was designated as a Second Grade College under the name of the Maharaja’s College, which later became nucleus for the Mysore University. Mr. C.M. Leonard was appointed Principal and R.Venkataramaier, R.Ramaswamy Iyengar, B.Srinivasa Iyer and K. Ramaswamy Iyengar as teachers. With appointment of more teachers and increase in students’ strength, the Maharaja’s College Union formed in 1885 became a popular forum for academic and cultural activities. Athletics and cricket too became very popular.

As an off-shoot of the Maharaja’s College, the Central College was started in Bangalore in 1886 for teaching science subjects, which became the nucleus for the Bangalore University in 1964.

Taking pride in the successes of the Maharaja’s College students in examinations and athletics, Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar, who had succeeded, Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar III, said at the prize distribution ceremony, “I trust that under the enlivening influence of English education which has done so much for the progress of the Nation, Mysore will not be found behind the rest of India.”  

During this period, women’s education too began to take shape with the establishment of the Maharani’s School thanks to the initiative by Dewan Rangacharlu and the keen interest shown by late Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar’s wife Maharani Kempananjammanni, also popularly known as Vani Vilasa Sannidhana in 1881, which resulted in the setting up of the Maharani’s College in Mysore in the later years.

Maharaja’s College

The foundation stone of the new building for the Maharaja’s College in the sprawling Gordon Park was laid on November 29, 1889 by Prince Albert Victor of Wales. This marked an important epoch in the history of the College. It was an event which was treasured in the memory of the people of Mysore with pride and joy. Mr. H.J. Bhabha, who became the Principal of the College in 1884, took the college to a high state of efficiency during the six years of his service as Principal. Messrs. Adolphus, S.Malhari Rao, R. Raghunatha Rao, M.Shama Rao, A.C.Subba Rao, Basavaradhya and C.Nanjunda Rao were teachers in other subjects, when Mr. Bhabha was the Principal.

Mr. John Weir succeeded Mr. Bhabha, who was posted as Secretary to the Government in the Education Department. The College was shifted to the new building in February 1893. In February 1894, the College was raised to the First Grade and a B.A. class was begun with history and mathematics as optional subjects.

Mr. Thomas Denham, Vice-Principal, Teachers’ College, Madras, who became the College Principal in 1910, and Mr. A.E. Adolphus were appointed to teach these two subjects. Mr. R.Narasimhachar was appointed to the post of Kannada Translator. Appointment of more teachers like Messrs B.Dasappa, B.R.Subba Rao, D. Mahadevappa, Malhari Rao, D.Venkataramaih, B.Subba Rao, S.Rama Rao, G.Kasturi Ranga Iyengar, Mandikal Rama Sastry, Sultan Mahomad Khan, T.R.Ramanadha Iyer, B.D. Gnanakan, and K.V.Srinivasachar followed.

Messrs C.Narasimhaiya, B.S.Ranoji Rao, A.Subramanya Iyer, Humza Hussain, A. Ramaswami Iyengar, P.Mahadevaiah, M.N.Krishna Rao, T.Venkata Rao, S.E.Ranganadhan and N. Narasimha Moorthy, who became well known personalities while serving the State in different capacities in the later years, were some of the most distinguished students of the College during that decade. The staff included well-known personalities like  B.M.Srikantiah, H.R.Krishna Murthy, K.Varadachar, A.Venkatesiah, M.Subbayya, C.Krishna Rao, and Karibasavappa Sastry.

The objective of these teachers, who taught a variety of subjects, was that students had to be trained in the pursuit of knowledge and truth. “To them, the essence of religion was unity and toleration, and the theme of their religious and philosophical exposition was ‘all are but parts of one stupendous whole, whose body nature is, and God and soul.”  

In 1912, Prof. M.Hiriyanna, a renowned philosopher who taught students like Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, who in the later years occupied the highest post of the nation as the President of India, was also appointed as a lecturer in the College.

Prof. Denham, who was the Principal of the College between 1910 and 1916, gave a fillip to a number of literary and cultural activities which brought fame and reputation to the College. Activities flourished under Dramatic Society, which enacted Shakespeare’s famous play, “Julius Caesar” directed by Prof. Denham himself, before the Maharaja in the Karikal Thotti Theatre of the Palace.  

The first number of ‘The Maharaja’s College Magazine’ was published. The College Union, which was founded in 1915, saw almost every extra-collegiate activity comprising historical, literary, dramatics, debating and social service. The College Library and its Reading Room were improved to draw more students. Prof. Denham also started ‘The Educational Review.’

The increasing number of assiduous students with a band of distinguished teachers and a variety of cultural and literary activities took the Maharaja’s College to its glorious days. It had reached new heights in academic and cultural activities and had become a popular and prestigious institution of learning.

The foundation of the Mysore University

For nearly thirty years, the two Colleges in Mysore State, the Central College in Bangalore and the Maharaja’s College in Mysore, were affiliated to the Madras University. The two Colleges had between them 700 to 800 students. Collegiate education had already risen to a high grade of efficiency.

The feeling that Mysore State should have a university of its own was steadily growing. It was but right that it should complete the process of independent educational system by creating a university suited to its needs. The reasons were obvious. Mysore was a State distinct in itself. It was different in many ways from the adjoining Madras Presidency. It had a language of its own. It had its own educational aspirations.

Sir M. Visvesvaraya, the far-sighted Dewan of Mysore, who put into execution various schemes that ushered in all-round development of the State under the guidance and support from the Maharaja, Sri Krishshanaraja Wadiyar IV, fostered the popular idea of a University of Mysore and put it into concrete shape. He ushered the University into existence with the Maharaja’s College in Mysore and the Central College in Bangalore as nuclei.

To prepare the ground for the University, educational experts from the State were deputed abroad. Prof. C.R.Reddy of the College visited U.S.A., Japan and the Philippines and presented a report on the educational progress in those countries.

Prof. Thomas Denham was deputed to visit Australia to study the university system there. The valuable reports submitted by both these experts helped the Mysore Government in formulating a University scheme of its own.

On the basis of these reports, a scheme for establishing a university in Mysore was prepared in consultation with educational experts of the Government of India and the officers of the State, who had made a special study of University education. A Bill to establish a University was introduced in the Mysore Legislative Council on June 1916. It was passed unanimously on July 17. It received the assent of His Highness the Maharaja, Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar, on July22.

On July 25, the University of Mysore was ushered into existence by the promulgation with immediate effect of the Mysore University Regulation 1916 (Regulation V of 1816) through an Extraordinary issue of the Mysore Gazette. With that Mysore became the sixth University to be established in India and the very first in a Princely State.

Two days later, on July 27, Mysore University came into existence marking an epoch in higher learning in the then princely State of Mysore. A five-year-long in-depth study of higher learning abroad had borne fruit. The mission of the University, laid down in the 1916 regulations published in the Mysore Gazette Extraordinary, had set it aims at “promoting teaching and original research in conventional and traditional domains of Arts, Humanities, Pure and Applied Sciences and Professional disciplines”, which it has been able to successfully achieve during the last one hundred years.

With the bold decision to establish a separate University for Mysore State, rapid arrangements were made. Mysore was selected to be the headquarters of the University. H.V. Nanjundayya, a member of the executive council, was appointed the first Vice-Chancellor and Prof. Denham, who was then the Principal of the Maharaja’s College was appointed the Registrar. The Maharaja’s College in Mysore and the Central College in Bangalore became the first two constituent colleges of the University with Dr. C.R. Reddy and J.R.Tait as Principals respectively. The Senate and the University Council were also formed.

The first meeting of the Council was held on August 12, 1916 and that of the Senate on October 12. The first convocation was conducted in October 1918, where the first batch of 40 graduates passed out of the portals of the their alma mater, the University of Mysore and they were addressed by Dr. Asuthosh Mukherjee, a prolific Bengali writer and second Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta.

The Maharaja, who was the Chancellor, addressed the first meeting of the Senate on October 12 and set the aims and aspirations of the just-born University: “It gives me sincere pleasure to be present on this historic occasion. It marks an epoch in the development of education in the Mysore State; for what could be more significant in our history than the creation, at the express desire of the people, of a national university.”

“It is the first University in this country to be founded outside the limits of British India and is an institution which meets the special needs of Mysore and which will in time have far-reaching effects on the intellectual progress and the material development of the State.”

The Maharaja hailed the features of the Mysore University as unique in India and most satisfactory. Reiterating his keen desire in the promotion of the language of his people, Kannada, Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar said, “I am naturally interested in the special encouragement of Kannada literature which is provided for in the University scheme.”

“The University will also be engaged in diffusing knowledge among that section of my people, who for various reasons may not be able to participate in the courses and discipline appointed for the regular examinations. It is with this object that the scheme provides for the establishment of extension and publication departments.”

Concluding his speech, the Maharaja said, “I trust that the University will soon be able to develop fully this side of its activities with due regard to the practical needs of the country,” a wish that has been fulfilled by the University and its administrators during the last one hundred years. Not only, it has fulfilled the objectives set out by the Maharaja, but also acting as a ‘Mother University’, it has offered ambit for the establishment of new Universities and institutions in the State of Karnataka.

Rejoicing over the establishment of the University, Prof. Denham, who presided over the destiny of the College for over 22 years, said in his speech in 1916: “What changes and what advances have I seen in education both within and without these walls during the twenty-two years! I arrived on the day on which the College was raised from a Second Grade to a First Grade College. I have seen the number of students more than doubled – I have seen the classrooms overcrowded and every nook and corner of even the verandahs utilised for teaching. And as a climax—to me most pleasurable and fitting climax – I have seen a separate State University inaugurated, with, I firmly believe, every promise of great future.”

The University, which made a humble beginning with only two faculties, arts and science, and only two federated colleges one in Bangalore devoted to science and the other in Mysore devoted to the humanities, developed some unique features which distinguished it from the older Indian Universities.

The Vice-Chancellor was made a full-time officer with control over the University executive. The colleges were adequately represented both in the University Council and the Senate and every professor designated as University Professor was made a member. Besides degree courses in a variety of subjects, a teaching course leading to B.T. degree was started and was subsequently shifted to the Teachers’ College. M.A. degree courses followed soon after.

In the new set up, Prof. C.R.Reddy was elevated to the post of Principal of the Maharaja’s College from the post of Professor. He was succeeded by N.S. Subba Rao, who was associated with a band of great and patriotic educationists and professors who were to be the formative forces of a regenerated India. Prof. Subba Rao served as Principal for eight years.

The architects of the College and its destiny were professors like N.S.Subba Rao, K.T.Shah, A.R.Wadia, S. Radhakrishnan, M. Hiriyanna, Radhakumud Mookerjee, J.C.Rollo, A.B. Mackintosh, B.M.Srikantiah, Shustri, S.V.Krishnaswamy Iyengar, H.Krishna Rao, H.S.Nanjundaiah, C.R.Narasimha Sastry and D.Srinivasachar. Serving as Professors in different departments, they contributed to the building of the tradition of the College, as envisaged by its founders, including the Maharaja. Benefitted by the knowledge and wisdom imparted by these galaxy of dedicated teachers, their students remembered them fondly and reverentially ever after.

A Bill to amend the University Act of 1916 received the assent of the Maharaja on January 6, 1933. The amendment provided for the constitution of the Academic Council, besides the Senate and the University Council, enlarging the Senate to make it more representative of popular interests. This was the period when Prof. J.C.Rollo was the Principal.

During these years, the Mysore University advanced with great speed in its organisation on the side of substantial education and the amplitude of its activities. Many faculties were added and provisions were made at different grades for vocational, industrial, technical and technological training and education. Newly designed art courses were introduced. The Students’ Representative Council was established. No aspect of the institution was felt unattended to or uncared for. There was progress all around.

The founders of the University were very zealous that the highest academic standards should be maintained by the new University and recruited as staff members professors of great erudition and scholarship from various parts. Two distinct features of the University were the special encouragement provided in the University scheme for the development of Kannada literature and the establishment of extension and publication departments to disseminate knowledge to the community in general.  

S.V.Krishnaswamy Iyengar, H.S.Nanjundiah, C.R.Narasimha Sastry, K.B. Madhava, T.S.Venkannaiya, V.L.D’Souza, S.V.Ranganna, A.N. Moorthy Rao, K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar, T.N.Srikantiah, Dr.  M.V.Gopalaswamy and other members of the staff spared no efforts in enhancing the prestige and usefulness of the institution, with the active support and participation by Dr. M.H.Krishna, H.Krishna Rao, A.R.Wadia, H.N.Raghavendrachar, A.R.Krishna Sastry, K.V.Puttappa (Kuvempu), Narayana Sastri, C.D.Narasimhaiah and M. Yamunachar. Prof. A.B.Machintosh had succeeded Prof. Rollo as Principal and after his brief stint in office, Dr.M.V.Gopalaswamy, who gave the name ‘Akashavani’ to the All India Radio by setting up a broadcasting studio in Mysore became the Principal of the Maharaja’s College which continued to be the nucleus of the University.

The University, in the meantime, had gone through different phases of development. Started with just two faculties, namely arts and science offering BA, B.Sc., B.Com., and BT courses, the University added engineering faculty in 1917, MA programmes at Maharaja's College in 1918, M. Sc. programme at Bangalore’s Central College in 1919 and faculty of medicine in Mysore during1924 , thus laying a firm foundation for the multi-faculty character of the University. In 1941, new courses leading to B.A. honours were added.

Yuvaraja’s College

While Mysore University catered to arts faculty, the Central College in Bangalore encompassed science areas. Facilities for students of Mysore for study of science was realised during this period, resulting in the establishment of the Yuvaraja’s College, the Yuvaraja being Sri Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar, brother of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV.

The replacement of the Mysore University Regulation in 1927, providing for the establishment of intermediate colleges by the University from July, 1, 1928 enabled the Government to start intermediate colleges at Mysore, Bangalore, Tumkur and Shimoga. This resulted in a quantum jump in the number of institutions providing higher education in the State. Yuvaraja's College was one among them, which was started as an intermediate college.

In the year 1927, His Highness Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar generously sanctioned the building for the intermediate college the foundation-stone for which was laid on  August 8, 1927 by the eminent thinker and scholar Sir Brajendranath Seal, the then Vice-chancellor. The foundation stone was laid in the presence of a distinguished gathering including Sir Mirza Ismail, the then Dewan of Mysore, Pandit Motilal Nehru, father of India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharalal Nehru and eminent scholar Shivashankara Shastry, following which a two-year intermediate course in arts and science was introduced.

With the dawn of independence in 1947, the intermediate college was upgraded to a first grade college. M.Sc. courses were introduced in 1960 in addition to the existing B.Sc. courses.

In 1954, the silver jubilee of the college was celebrated. Inaugurating the celebrations, the last Maharaja of the erstwhile princely State of Mysore, Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, rechristened the college as ‘Yuvaraja’s College’ to commemorate the occasion. His Highness himself was a student of the intermediate course in this hallowed institution during 1934 - 1936. Its diamond jubilee was celebrated in 1989 followed by its platinum jubilee in 2003, marking its 75 years of pioneering service in the field of higher education over which period it has developed extensively and earned the admiration and approval of the intellectual world. 

Today, the Yuvaraja’s College stands as an autonomous science college of the Mysore University by the side of the Maharaja’s College as its sister-institution, continuing to impart quality higher education to a large number of students.

Dr.M.V. Gopalaswamy’s Principalship synchronized with inauguration of several fundamental changes in the Maharaja’s College in 1943. Amongst the members of the staff, many had made a name for themselves and they included well-known Kannada litterateurs, P.T.Narasimhachar, V.Sitaramaiah, G.P.Rajarathnam, Narasimhaswami, K.V.Raghavachar, T.S.Shama Rao, Dr. A.N.Narasimhaiah, S.V.Paremswara Bhatta, D.L.Narasimhachar, S.V.Ranganna to name a few.

By then the total number of students had increased from about 150 at the beginning of the University to about 1,000 in the College. Since 1918, there were 6,500 graduates in arts and many leading public men in the State were among the graduates. The College had by then a palatial hostel accommodating nearly 200 students with a number of private institutions, some receiving grants from the University. It had a college canteen and health kitchen, University training corps, rovers, cricket and athletic clubs, besides the popular Students’ Union and Associations.

One of the great events in the history of the College was the entry of Prince Jayachamaraja Wadiyar in 1936 as a student of Junior B.A. ‘A prince among the students’ as described by Principal V.L.D’Souza, his connection with the College greatly enhanced the reputation of the institution and fittingly he adorned the Presidential chair in the centenary celebrations of the College in January 1951.

Joining other old boys of the University College, the Maharaja said in a message on the occasion, “It is a matter of pride to all of us that the College, which was instituted by my illustrious great-grandfather over a century ago, has achieved not only age but also distinction among its kind in India. A long line of eminent Principals, Professors and Lecturers, working among a bright and enthusiastic student body, have brought it to the present position of academic fame and importance. Its members, both teachers and old boys, have by their patriotic endeavour, enriched the public service of our motherland in many spheres of life,” – a tribute both to the College and the University, from where knowledge disseminated, richly contributing to the welfare and development of the then princely State of Mysore, which is presently named Karnataka, and globally at large also.

With the passage of time, the University grew enormously. Colleges came to be established not only in all district headquarters but also in mofussil areas. Post-independent, from 1947-1960, the University enacted a new Act of 1956, which ushered in academic autonomy and eliminated Government control from day-to-day functioning of the University. It also facilitated the introduction of Pre-University system of education by abolishing intermediate courses. With the support of the University Grants Commission (UGC), which came into existence in 1956, post-graduate education was expanded significantly.

The strength of the students rose from 593 in 1916-17 to over 46,000 in 1963-64.

During the princely regime, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV and after him Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar were the Chancellors of the University and post-Independence Governors became the Chancellors of the University.  

Manasa Gangotri

In 1960, a major development was the conglomeration of all the post-graduate studies of the University at one location. Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar gifted the sprawling lands in Vijayasripura area on the outskirts of Mysore, when Prof. N.A.Nikam was the Vice-Chancellor.

But, the post-graduate campus got its unique identity during the tenure of the Vice-Chancellorship of Dr. K.V. Puttappa, poet laureate popularly known as ‘Kuvempu’. The honour of christening the just coming up post-graduate centre as "Manasa Gangotri" goes to this poet, author of the magnum opus “Ramayana Darshanam”. ‘Manasa Gangotri’ means ‘eternal spring of the mind’.

The campus, located in the idyllic area and adjacent to Kukkarahalli Lake that has inspired many writers, lies within the heart of the heritage city of Mysore in a picturesque area of 739 acres. The creation of Manasa Gangotri, bringing together the entire post-graduate department in one campus, was a unique event in the annals of the University. This example has been emulated by other Universities in Karnataka.

The year 1966 was commemorated as the Golden Jubilee year of the University.  The celebrations were inaugurated at a colourful function by none other than the President of India, Dr. S.Radhakrishnan, who was Professor of Philosophy in the Maharaja’s College earlier.

Dr.K.L. Shrimali, former Union Education Minister, who was the Vice-Chancellor,

said on the occasion, “The University during these 50 years has established rich and noble traditions of scholarship, of efficiency in service, and of those graces of living that are the hallmarks of truly educated behavior. These traditions are now our precious heritage. We can look back with pardonable pride that the University of Mysore has in the past been a magnificent arena where generations of eager and earnest students have profited themselves immeasurably by contacts with their teachers, who, by and large, have been second to none in their scholarship and devotion to the cause of education.”

Today, the University has 42 postgraduate departments at the main campus, Manasa Gangotri, two postgraduate centres at Tubinakere in neighbouring Mandya district and Hemagangotri in Hassan with five post-graduate departments each and one satellite centre at Chamarajanagar with three post-graduate departments.

What began as a small institution imparting higher learning to a small section of students, the Mysore University today is providing higher education to about 85,000 students, who comprise over 10,000 post-graduates. It is shaping itself into a global varsity having attracted as many as 1,400 students from 50 countries for higher studies. Some of these countries are China, Iran, Jordan, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria, Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Kajkhastan, Mongolia, Uganda, Yemen, Kenya, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

While adopting and realising the policy of inclusive growth, creating opportunities to every deserving person, a variety of new courses and programmes have been introduced to meet the emerging needs of technology and new areas in sciences needed to develop human resources. In addition, career-oriented courses are also being offered.

The University has developed excellent infrastructure for curricular and co-curricular activities. The University Library has a collection of 6.2 lakh books, reference works and journal back volumes. In addition, the individual constituent colleges, institutes and departments maintain their own collections of another four lakh books. The E-resource portal developed by the library facilitates access over 13,000 e-journals and 17,000 e-books, besides a number of databases, e-thesis, institutional repositories and other information sources.

The main campus features an amphitheater, an auditorium, a swimming pool, hostels for women and men with modern amenities and comforts and ‘Gangotri Glades’, the cricket stadium.

Thanks to the donation made by two brothers W L Crawford and C S Crawford, the beautiful Crawford Hall was built. It houses the administrative section and the convocation hall of the University. Close to the Crawford Hall is the Oriental Research Institute of the University, architecturally a unique building, which has a collection of over 12,000 books and 10,000 manuscripts, comprising rare and  exquisitely illustrated ones, including the prestigious ‘Arthashastra,’ a treatise on Indian polity, economics and administration by Kautilya of the 4th century BC.

Another eye-catching building in ‘Manasa Gangotri’ campus is the Jayalakshmivilas Mansion, a former Palace building, which houses the varsity's folklore museum that throws light on the folk culture of Karnataka.

After assessing its overall performance, Mysore University has been accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). ‘Current Science; has ranked the University as a top 20 university in scientific and research activities. The Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India has considered the University as an `Institution of Excellence’ and has awarded special grant of Rs.100 crore for establishing a centre of excellence in ``Biodiversity, Bio-prospecting and Sustainable Development’’ and also to strengthen infrastructural facilities. On recommendation of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission, the Karnataka Government has considered the University as an “Innovative University”.

Recently, the University Grants Commission has awarded ‘University with Potential for Excellence (UPE)’ status and extended financial assistance of Rs.50 crore for research activities and holistic development.

Mysore University can also take pride in the establishment of a number of universities across the State, acting as a mother-university.  While adopting the policy of inclusive growth and to create opportunities to every person seeking knowledge, a variety of new courses and programmes on emerging technology and science subjects have been introduced to meet the emerging needs of the society and to develop human resources that the country needs.

Its students have stood out in India and elsewhere across the globe. They have rendered or continuing to render top-notch service. They have achieved distinction and recognition, merit and awards. To mention a few among them are Maharaja Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, Dewan Sir Mirza Ismail, former Reserve Bank of India Governor H.V.R.Iyengar, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha S.V.Krishna Murthy Rao, former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Nittoor Srinivasa Rao, renowned Librarian B.S.Keshavan, international fame English writer R.K.Narayan and his brother and reputed cartoonist R.K.Lakshman, ex-Vice-Chancellors Dr. K.V.Puttappa (Kuvempu), Dr. D.Javare Gowda, renowned scientists C.N. R. Rao and  V.S. Arunachalam, N.R.Narayana Murthy, who pioneered information technology (I.T.) revolution in the country, former Chief Ministers S.Nijalingappa and K.Hanumanthaiya, acclaimed musicians and dramatists like Pandit Taranath and K.V.Subbanna, renowned writers like U.R.Ananthamurthy and many more. Among them is the father of the modern Kannada lexicon, G. Venkatasubbayya, a centenarian.  

After coming out from the portals of the University, many have served or serving in diversified fields in India and abroad occupying prestigious and high-ranking positions. They include Ministers, High Court Judges, Civil servants, media persons, members of Parliament and State Legislature, and Union and State Ministers.

Smt. D.Kanakalakshamma was the first lady graduate, Smt. D.Venkatasubbamma, the first lady medical graduate, Smt. Vijayalakshmi and Smt. Sharada, the first two lady law graduates and Smt. Ranganayaki, the first lady engineering graduate of the University of Mysore.

During the last 100 years, many eminent personalities from across the globe have visited the University. Among them are M.A.Jinnah, the architect of Pakistan. Dr.  C.F.Andrews, Sarat Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore.

Leading luminaries like Dr. Annie Besant, Sir, P.C. Ray, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Sir C.V. Raman, Pandit Amarnath Jha, Sir Bartram Stevens and Sir Lakshmana Swamy Mudaliar, Sir C.P.Ramaswamy, John Kenneth Galbraith, D.S. Kothari, and Dr. Zakir Hussain, Jayaprakash Narayan and many other reputed personalities have delivered convocation addresses.

The University has honoured Lord Irwin, C.Rajagopalachari, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Sir M.Visvesvaraya, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sir C.V.Raman, V.K.Krishna Menon, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, Dr. S.Chandra Shekar, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Dr. Raj Kumar, ‘Kuvempu’ and many other celebrities by conferring honorary degrees on them.

Hundred years is a milestone in the history of any institution. On the threshold of this milestone, University of Mysore can look back with pride and satisfaction over its achievement in spreading knowledge to hundreds of boys and girls who from the days of its inception have occupied prestigious positions and won national and international acclaim, bringing laurel to themselves and to their alma mater. During these 100 years, the University has stood by its objective and vision of its founding fathers, and its motto ‘nahi jnanena sadrusham’ acting as a shining guide for thousands of students.

In the words of the present Vice-Chancellor, Prof. K.S.Rangappa, who has planned the centenary celebrations on a grand scale and in a unique manner with a number of ambitious projects to commemorate the occasion: “Our University has produced eminent personalities – men of excellence and globally acclaimed personalities. It has won national status and international recognition, achieving academic excellence. Now, our vision is to take it to the global level, make it an international level academic centre.”


Gouri Satya
Senior Journalist
224, Dewan’s Road
Chamaraja Mohalla
Cell: 8762788685