The University of Delhi, informally known as Delhi University (DU), is a collegiate public central university, located in New Delhi, India. It was founded in 1922 by an Act of the Central Legislative Assembly. As a collegiate university, its main functions are divided between the academic departments of the university and affiliated colleges. Consisting of three colleges, two faculties, and 750 students at its founding, the University of Delhi has since become India's largest institution of higher learning and among the largest in the world. The university has 16 faculties and 86 departments distributed across its North and South campuses. It has 77 affiliated colleges and 5 other institutes. The Vice-President of India serves as the University's chancellor.
The University of Delhi was established in 1922 as a unitary, teaching and residential university by an Act of the then Central Legislative Assembly of the British India. Hari Singh Gour served as the university's first Vice-Chancellor from 1922 to 1926. Only four colleges existed in Delhi at the time: St. Stephen's College founded in 1881, Hindu College founded in 1899, Zakir Husain Delhi College (then known as The Delhi College), founded in 1792 and Ramjas College founded in 1917, which were subsequently affiliated to the university. The university initially had two faculties (Arts and Science) and approximately 750 students.
The seat of power in British India had been transferred from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. The Viceregal Lodge Estate became the residence of the Viceroy of India until October 1933, when it was given to the University of Delhi. Since then, it has housed the office of the vice-chancellor and other offices.
When Sir Maurice Gwyer came to India in 1937 to serve as Chief Justice of British India, he became the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi. During his time, postgraduate teaching courses were introduced and laboratories were established at the university. Members of the faculty included Daulat Singh Kothari in Physics and Panchanan Maheshwari in Botany. Gwyer has been called the "maker of university". He served as Vice-Chancellor until 1950.
The silver jubilee year of the university in 1947 coincided with India's independence, and the national flag was hoisted in the main building for the first time by Vijayendra Kasturi Ranga Varadaraja Rao. In that year there was no convocation ceremony due to the partition of India. Instead a special ceremony was held in 1948, attended by then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, as well as by Lord Mountbatten, Lady Mountbatten, Abul Kalam Azad, Zakir Husain and Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar. Twenty-five years later the golden jubilee celebrations of 1973 were attended by then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, Satyajit Ray, Amrita Pritam and M. S. Subbulakshmi.
The university has grown into one of the largest universities in India. There are 16 faculties, 86 academic departments, 77 colleges and 5 other institutes spread across city, with 132,435 regular students (114,494 undergraduates and 17,941 postgraduates). There are 261,169 students in non-formal education programmes (258,831 undergraduates and 2,338 postgraduates). DU's chemistry, geology, zoology, sociology and history departments have been awarded the status of Centres of Advanced Studies. In addition, a number of the university's departments receive grants under the Special Assistance Programme of the University Grants Commission in recognition of their outstanding academic work.
DU is one of the most sought after institutions of higher education in India. It also has one of the highest publication counts among Indian universities.
The annual honorary degree ceremony of the University have been conferred upon several people, which includes film actor Amitabh Bachchan, former Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit, cartoonist R. K. Laxman, chemist C. N. R. Rao and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown.
There are 77 colleges and 16 faculties affiliated to the University of Delhi, spread across Delhi. North Campus and South Campus serve as the two main campuses of the University.
North Campus hosts the three founding colleges of the university which constituted the University of Delhi when it was founded. North campus proper now has 13 colleges geographically centred on the Faculty of Arts, Science, Law and Management. which are School of Open Learning, Kirori Mal College, Daulat Ram College, Hansraj College, Hindu College, Lady Irwin College, Indraprastha College for Women, Miranda House, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies , SGTB Khalsa College. Ramjas College, St. Stephen's College , Shri Ram College of Commerce, Satyawati College, Lakshmibai College, Shyam Lal College and Maharaja Agrasen College. The extended off campus also has colleges in the Ashok Vihar, Pitampura, Rajouri Garden and Netaji Subhash Place neighbourhoods of Delhi. The campus also houses other centres and institutes of Delhi which include the Cluster Innovation Centre , Delhi School of Economics and Delhi School Of Journalism and also the Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research (ACBR).
The University of Delhi started the south campus in 1973 as an effort to cope with its expansion. It moved to its present location on Benito Juarez Marg, near Dhaula Kuan, in 1984. Nearest Delhi Metro Station is Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus. The campus is spread across 28 hectares (69 acres). The various departments are located in the Faculty of Arts, Inter-disciplinary, Applied Sciences and the S.P. Jain Centre for Management Studies. South Campus has the following colleges: Aryabhatta College, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College, Jesus and Mary College, Maitreyi College, Motilal Nehru College, Ram Lal Anand College, Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Institute of Home Economics.
There are other off-campus colleges such as Delhi College of Commerce, Acharya Narendra Dev College and Kamla Nehru College. Zakir Husain Delhi College, which is situated in the central part of New Delhi, is the oldest college in Delhi carrying 300 years of legacy. The East Campus is being developed with the University College of Medical Sciences as its nucleus. Dr.Bhim Rao Ambedkar College and Shaheed Bhagat Singh College are other notable colleges.
The President of India is the Visitor, the Vice-President of India is the Chancellor and the Chief Justice of India is the Pro-Chancellor of the University. The Court, the Executive Council, the Academic Council and the Finance Committee are the administrative authorities of the University.
The University Court is the supreme authority of the University and has the power to review the acts of the Executive Council and the Academic Council. The Executive Council is the highest executive body of the University. The Academic Council is the highest academic body of the University and is responsible for the maintenance of standards of instruction, education and examination within the university. It has the right to advise the Executive Council on all academic matters. The Finance Committee is responsible for recommending financial policies, goals, and budgets.
Though the colleges are all constituent to the University of Delhi, as it is a collegiate university, depending upon the funding Delhi Colleges broadly fall into three categories:
The colleges maintained by university get 100% deficit maintenance grant while the colleges run by trusts get 95% deficit grants.
The university has 65 colleges that have liberal courses in humanities, social sciences and science. Twenty-five of these colleges are affiliated with the South Campus while the others are to the North Campus. These colleges except two – Lady Irwin College and Institute of Home Economics – are undergraduates The total number of colleges under the university is 77, if the colleges that run professional courses are included. Some colleges also offer evening courses. The University includes an undergraduate management college 'Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies', which is ranked as the best B-school in the country at this level, by India Today.
The University of Delhi's 86 academic departments are divided into 16 faculties.
In the past, Faculty of Technology offered courses in Engineering and Technology. The faculty earlier included the Delhi College of Engineering, before it was transformed into the Delhi Technological University and Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology before it was transformed into the Netaji Subhas University of Technology.
There are about 28 centres and institutes of DU. These are divided into four categories:
There are 240 courses available at the university for undergraduate (UG) and post-graduate (PG).
UG Course Intake: Management studies, Education, Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology, Manufacturing Process and Automation Engineering, Biotechnology, Unani Medicine, Ayurveda
PG Course Intake Political Science, Sanskrit, English, Mathematics, Commerce, History, Chemistry, Philosophy, Economics, Others
There are 75 courses running under the 3-year under-graduate programme structure, with few exceptions like MBBS, BTech etc. Courses are mainly classified under the three faculties of the central university, including arts, commerce and science.
The university offers 70 post-graduate degrees. DU also offers MPhil in about 28 subjects. In addition to these, it offers 90+ Certificate courses and 28 Diplomas. There are 15 Advanced Diplomas offered in various languages. The University offers PhD courses, which may be awarded by any faculty of university under ordinance VI-B. But, speciality and super speciality medical degrees like DM, DCh etc., could only be awarded by the faculty of medical sciences. Due to lack of surety in quality of legal education, The Bar Council of India has issued a notification asking Delhi University (DU) to shut down law courses offered in evening shift at its colleges. Hindi-A, political science, globalisation, education
Internationally, the University of Delhi was ranked 474 in the QS World University Rankings of 2020. The same rankings ranked it 67 in Asia in 2020 and 42 among BRICS nations in 2019. It was ranked 601–800 in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2020, 155 in Asia and 147 among Emerging Economies University Rankings in 2020. In 2019, it ranked 573 overall among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. In India, it was ranked 18th overall by the National Institutional Ranking Framework in 2020 and 11th among universities.
Delhi University Stadium has a rugby sevens stadium, situated within the North Campus. Spread over 10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft), the stadium has a seating capacity of 2,500 permanent and 7,500 temporary seats. Construction began in 2008 and the stadium was inaugurated in July 2010, ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It also includes a training area for netball, boxing, women's wrestling and athletics.
After the games the stadium was handed over to the university by Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, there after in 2011, the university initiated an upgrade plan, to create a multi-purpose arena with both outdoor and indoor facilities. The university opened access to these facilities in late 2011.
Delhi University Students Union, generally abbreviated as DUSU, is a students' union at the University of Delhi. The Students' Union has four central panel positions. These are the posts of President, Vice President, Secretary and Joint-Secretary. The university has a long history of student political activity.
Each constituent college of the University of Delhi elects its own students' union annually. In addition, the DUSU exists as an umbrella organisation for those colleges. Several office bearers of DUSU have gone on to hold public office at local, state and national level.
In 2019, Akshit Dahiya of ABVP was elected as President, Pradeep Tanwar as Vice President, Ashish Lamba as Secretary and Shinvangi Kharwal as Joint-Secretary. As of 2019 there are total of 52 Delhi University colleges & faculties affiliated to DUSU.
For the past 10 years, ABVP has been the most successful student organisation followed by NSUI. In last 10 years, ABVP has held the President's post 7 times, Vice-President's post 8 times, Secretary's post 7 times and Joint-Secretary's post 7 times with occupying all the four post twice in 2014-15 and 2015–16. NSUI has grabbed the posts rest of the times. DUSU has been dominated by ABVP and NSUI for most of the part.
Notable alumni in Indian politics include Narendra Modi, 14th Prime Minister of India; lawyer and former Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley; Foreign Secretary of India Vijay Keshav Gokhale; former diplomat, writer and Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor; fifth President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed; sixth Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit; fourth Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and India's first woman Chief Minister Sucheta Kriplani; economist and former leader of the Janata Party Subramanian Swamy; fourteenth and current Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik; industrialist and former Member of Parliament Naveen Jindal; diplomat and Foreign Secretary Jyotindra Nath Dixit; former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia; former Minister of State for Corporate and Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid; former Former Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal; former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni; former Union Minister for Disinvestment Arun Shourie; and former Chief Minister of Delhi and Governor of Rajasthan Madan Lal Khurana.
DU has educated numerous foreign politicians and heads of state and government including State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, third President of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika, former Prime Minister of Nepal Girija Prasad Koirala, sixth President of Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, and two former Prime Ministers of Bhutan, Sangay Ngedup, and Khandu Wangchuk.
DU has also produced a large number of major actors and actresses of Indian cinema and theatre including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Konkona Sen Sharma, Anurag Kashyap, Arjun Rampal, Imran Zahid, Neha Dhupia, Sakshi Tanwar, Mallika Sherawat, Imtiaz Ali, Huma Qureshi, Siddharth, Shriya Saran, Vishal Bhardwaj, Aditi Rao Hydari, Shekhar Kapur, Nimrat Kaur, Kabir Khan, Aditi Arya and Sidharth Malhotra. The CWE wrestler Shanky Singh had also pursued B.Com from Maharaja Agrasen College of Delhi University.
Notable DU alumni in poetry and literature include the Sahitya Akademi Award winning dramatist and playwright Harcharan Singh, the Urdu poet Akhtar ul Iman, and the writers Vikram Seth, Anita Desai, Amitav Ghosh, Kunzang Choden, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Ali Sardar Jafri, and the Padma Vibhushan recipient Khushwant Singh.
Notable alumni in the sciences include physicist Archana Bhattacharyya, theoretical physicist Pran Nath, SLAC physicist Jogesh Pati particle physicist Amitava Raychaudhuri, chemists Charusita Chakravarty and Anil Kumar Tyagi, engineer and "father of the pentium processor" Vinod Dham, mathematician Eknath Prabhakar Ghate, astrophysicist Sangeeta Malhotra, engineer Yogi Goswami and neurosurgeon B. K. Misra.
Notable alumni in the humanities and social sciences include professor of economics at Harvard University Gita Gopinath; economist and Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Kaushik Basu; historians Arundhati Virmani, Ramnarayan Rawat, Upinder Singh and Usha Sanyal; professor of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University Veena Das; Kathak dancer Uma Sharma; and Bharatnatyam dancer Geeta Chandran.
Notable faculty members of DU include eminent historian R. S. Sharma; recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Amartya Sen; former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh; economist and a key architect of the Five-Year Plans of India Sukhamoy Chakravarty; senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and professor of economics at Columbia University Jagdish Bhagwati; and Ra'ana Liaquat Ali Khan, a leading woman figure in the Pakistan Movement and wife of the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan.