Ashutosh Mukherjee

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Ashutosh Mukherjee : biography

29 June 1864 – 25 May 1924

Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, CSI () (29 June 1864 – 25 May 1924) was a prolific Bengali educator and the second Indian Vice Chancellor of the University of Calcutta for four consecutive two-year terms (1906–1914) and a fifth two-year term (1921–23). Perhaps the most emphatic figure of Indian education, he was a man of great personality, high self-respect, courage and towering administrative ability. He became the first student to be awarded a dual degree (MA in Mathematics and Physics) from Calcutta University and received the prestigious Premchand-Roychand scholarship.

Mukherjee was responsible for the foundation of the Bengal Technical Institute in 1906 and the Calcutta University, College of Science in 1914. The Calcutta Mathematical Society was also founded by Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee in 1908 and he served as the founder president of the Society during 1908 to 1923.Edited by Patrick Petitjean, Catherine Jami and Anne Marie Moulin, Science and Empires, (Boston Study in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 136, Kluwer Academic Publishers). He was the first president of the inaugural session of the Indian Science Congress in 1914. The Asutosh College was also founded under his stewardship in 1916, when he was Vice-chancellor of University of Calcutta.

Ashutosh Mukherjee was knighted in 1911. For his intransigence attitude with British Govt., high self-respect, courage and academic integrity he was known as the "Tiger of Bengal". Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee died in 1924 at Patna, Bihar soon after losing a hotly contested Hindu law inheritance case to the Shia Bihari Barrister Syed Hasan Imam . He was the father of famous Syama Prasad Mookerjee the founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

Career in law


Category:Presidency University, Kolkata alumni Category:University of Calcutta alumni Category:Bengali people Category:People from Kolkata Category:Indian academics Category:Indian educators Category:1864 births Category:1924 deaths Category:Knights Bachelor Category:Companions of the Order of the Star of India Category:Indian knights Category:Vice Chancellors of the University of Calcutta Category:People associated with the Bengal Renaissance Category:Founders of Indian schools and colleges Category:People from Patna

Contribution to education

Ashutosh Mookerjee had a vision of the kind of education he wanted young people to have, and he had the acumen and courage to extract it from his colonial masters. He set up several new academic graduate programs: comparative literature, anthropology, applied psychology, industrial chemistry, ancient Indian history and culture as well as Islamic culture. He also made arrangements for postgraduate teaching and research in Bengali, Hindi, Pali and Sanskrit. The diverse range of subjects offered by Calcutta University is largely a result of his labor. Scholars from all over India, irrespective of race, caste, and gender, came to study and teach there. He even persuaded European scholars to teach at his university. He was one of the first persons to recognize the worth of Srinivasa Ramanujan. He also established Asutosh College in South Kolkata in 1916.

Lord Curzon’s education mission in 1902 identified the universities, and Calcutta University especially, as centres of sedition where young people formed networks of resistance to colonial domination.Aparna Basu, The Growth of Education and Political Development in India, 1898-1920, (New Delhi: OUP, 1974). The cause of this was thought to be the unwise granting of autonomy to these universities in the nineteenth century. Thus in the period 1905 to 1935 the colonial administration tried to reinstate government control of education. In 1923, when Lord Lytton tried to impose conditions on his reappointment as Vice Chancellor, Mookerji indignantly refused the post. For his intransigence and academic integrity he was known as the Tiger of Bengal. For his contribution to education, the Govt. of India issued a stamp on him in 1964.

Early life