of Delhi is the premier university of the country and is known
for its high standards in teaching and research and attracts eminent
scholars to its faculty. The University of Delhi was established
in 1922 as a unitary, teaching and residential university by an
Act of the then Central Legislative Assembly. Only three colleges
existed then in Delhi: St. Stephens College founded in 1881, Hindu
College founded in 1899 and Ramjas College founded in 1917, which
were affiliated to the University. The University thus had a modest
beginning with just three colleges, two faculties (Arts and Science)
and about 750 students. In October 1933, the University offices
and the Library shifted to the Viceregal Lodge Estate, and till
today this site is the nucleus of the University (Main Campus).
Apart from central administrative offices, examination offices
and the sports complex, the main departments of the Faculty of
Science are housed in the Viceregal Lodge Estate.
Sir Maurice Gwyer, who was the then Vice Chancellor, realizing the importance
of a distinguished faculty, searched for talent all over the country
and brought men of eminence to this University, such as Prof. D S Kothari
in Physics, Prof. T R Sheshadri in Chemistry, Prof. P Maheshwari in Botany
and Prof. M L Bhatia in Zoology. Over the last even decades the University
has grown into one of the largest universities in India. At present,
there are 14 faculties, 86 academic departments and 79 colleges spread
all over the city, with about 2,20,000 students.
In an effort to cope with this enormous expansion, the University in
the early seventies initiated a new organizational pattern based on the
multi-campus concept. The South Campus made a beginning in 1973 by starting
postgraduate programmes in some departments of the Faculty of Arts and
Social Sciences in a rented building. The campus acquired land near Dhaula
Kuan where the building of Arts Faculty was first constructed. Offices
and teaching activities shifted to this campus in 1983. A beginning has
been made towards establishing the East and West Campuses of the University.
The East Campus is being developed with the University College of Medical
Science as its nucleus, while the West Campus will have as its focus
on Engineering and Technology. When the University Grants Commission
started establishing Centres of Advanced Studies in the country, 6 were
awarded to the University of Delhi out of a total of 18 such centres
in the early sixties. These were in Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology,
Economics and Sociology. These Centres of Advanced Studies are now the
centres of excellence in teaching and research in their respective areas.
In addition, a number of these and other University departments received
grants under the Special Assistance Programme of the UGC in recognition
of their outstanding academic work. The University has 15 libraries.
These are in addition to Libraries in the Colleges. The University Science
Instrumentation Centre (USIC) has a number of sophisticated research
instruments which are used by several departments of the University and
by other institutions in Delhi and its the neighbourhood. The University
has just completed the implementation of fibre-optic networks on the
North and South Campuses.