The birth of Jadavpur University ensued when illustrious Bengali personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh, Raja Subodh Mullick, Brajendra Kishore Roychowdhury aimed at establishing an institution on “national lines and under national control” to challenge the hegemony of British rule over education by offering edification to the masses.
This larger than life state university, located in Kolkata, West Bengal, encompasses 36 university departments, 21 interdisciplinary schools, 40 centres of study, offering 39 under-graduate courses, 57 post-graduate courses, with elevated research and laboratory facilities along with the Central Library and the Blue Earth Workshop.
Over the years, the institution has witnessed its share of highs and lows, but has never failed to produce notable characters like the great singer Hemant Kumar; the Chairperson of the State Bank of India, Arundhati Bhattacharya; Padma Shri holder Saroj Ghosh and many others comprising an astounding alumni fraternity who has contributed heavily to the society.
The tolerant environment of the college serves as a privilege for the freshers to enjoy complete freedom to be oneself. It whole-heartedly embraces the amalgamation of pupils, hailing from the Engineering, Science and Art compartments. The students under the Arts Faculty get themselves allotted to departments like English, Comparative Literature, International Relations, Sociology, History, Philosophy, Bengali and Sanskrit.
The college is best known for its Department of English which has successfully managed to attract some of the leading scholars and researchers of India. Mentees inclined towards science enjoy studying Computer Science, Life-science and Biotechnology, Geological Sciences, Library and Information Science, Chemistry and Physics. Possessing a score of minimum 2000 in the West Bengal Joint Entrance Exam, allows the budding engineers to get admission in either civil, power, electrical, chemical or telecommunications engineering departments.
After back-breaking classes and laboratories, the food hungry students flock to the cost effective canteens of the university. Students are captivated by Mani Da’s Food Cafe which offers mouth-savouring dishes like Garlic Fried Rice, Dry Chilli Chicken or White Pasta. While, home-type sustenance is provided by the Shuruchi and Staff canteens. Nepali platters like momo and thukpa are also available at Denzon, a small shop constructed along the college boundaries. However the speciality of J.U. lies in “dhop er chop and lonka cha”, a food made of fried bread with chicken filling and tea with chilli seeds exclusively available at Milan da’s canteen. To reinvigorate energy the students in the sultry heat are often seen sipping onto lemonades, lassis, cold coffees, iced-teas obtainable from any of the canteens.
Fashion and Culture
Jadavpur University encourages an intermix of Indian culture and contemporaneity. This is undoubtedly discernible in the apparels worn by the students which ranges from T-shirts, kurtas, half-pants, jeans in men while long skirts, shorts, sarongs, ripped jeans, sarees, churidars, kurtis and tank-tops in women. It festers a boho-chic style of fashion with students having heterogenous hairstyles, dyed in shades of blue, green, red, pink, violet or blonde. However the distinctive vogue of J.U. comprises of a kurti paired with jeans, accessorised with a jhola(a sling cotton bag), colourful bangles and a bindi in women along with a kurta, jhola and jeans for men. The authority is of the opinion that in a multicultural country like India, one should not impose any specific dress code, thereby promoting liberal approach and having a faith on the students, who are intelligent enough not to cross the limits of decency.
Thorough fun, frolic and enjoyment is experienced by the mentees during the end of March, when the college celebrates its annual fest ‘Sanskriti’. This grand event draws participation from other reputed colleges of Kolkata intensifying the competition to an awe-inspiring level. The fest is wrapped with events like debate, quiz, treasure hunt, poetry slam, student’s performance and fashion show. Apart from ‘Sanskriti’, the college also hosts the largest Model United Nations (M.U.N.) in the city, the International Film Festival and International Departmental Conferences. Handful of opportunities are proffered to the students, who willingly sharpen their skills with the help of Drama and Dance Club, Jadavpur University Photography Club, and Jadavpur Debating Society. Exploiting these prospects any fellow can turn into an overnight sensation in the campus by promulgating his flair.
The Jadavpur campus stretches for about 58acres, incorporating green zones, mushroom parks, ponds, lakes and trains. Nevertheless the real beauty of J.U. lies in its huge campus, yet being a tiny world in itself. Beauty of J.U. is in knowing which dish to taste at each of the different canteens. Beauty of J.U. is in enjoying the amazing live music at Worldview while the students strum their guitars and ukuleles. Beauty of J.U. is in celebrating Durga Puja twice a year. Beauty of J.U. is in those secret crushes and failed romances. Beauty of J.U. is in believing in its motto, ‘to know is to grow’, while watching the world pass by, knowing everything will ultimately fall into place.