Mumbai University turns 160 years old

Mumbai University turns 160 years old

That grand old institution, the Mumbai University, was born exactly 160 years ago on this day.

Known earlier as the University of Bombay, it is one of the oldest universities in India. "It was established in 1857 consequent upon "Wood's Education Dispatch", and it is one amongst the first three Universities in India", says an official citation.

The name of the University was changed from "University of Bombay" to "University of Mumbai", vide a notification issued by the Government of Maharashtra on 4 September 1996.

More about MU

Initially, the University concentrated its efforts on controlling teaching at the undergraduate level and in conducting examinations. Later on, it took up research and the task of imparting instructions at the Post-Graduate level. This resulted in the establishment of the University Departments beginning with the School of Sociology and Civics and Politics. The passing of the Bombay University Act of 1953 after Independence led to reorganisation of functions and powers within the University.

It has two campuses of 243 acres and 14 acres at Vidyanagari and Fort respectively; sub-campuses/centers at Ratnagiri 20 acres, Thane 6.50 acres and Kalyan 6.26 acres with 56 University Departments and Institutes and 691 affiliated colleges.

The University was accorded 5 star status in 2001 & 'A' grade status in April 2012 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). It has been granted University with Potential for Excellence (UPE) status by UGC and PURSE Scheme by DST.

The University of Mumbai was modeled on similar universities in the United Kingdom, specifically the University of London.


The first departments established were the Faculty of Arts at Elphinstone College in 1835 and the Faculty of Medicine at Grant Medical College in 1845. Both colleges existed before the university was founded and surrendered their degree-granting privileges to the university. The first degrees awarded in 1862 were Bachelor of Arts and Licentiate in Medicine.

Initially, the Town Hall in Mumbai was used as the university's offices.

Until 1904, the university only conducted examinations, awarded affiliations to colleges, developed curricula and produced guidelines for colleges developing curricula. Teaching departments, research disciplines and post-graduate courses were introduced from 1904 and several additional departments were established.

Current status

The University of Mumbai has three campuses across Mumbai (Kalina Campus, Thane Sub Campus and Fort Campus) and one outside Mumbai. The Fort campus carries out administrative work only. Several institutes in Mumbai previously affiliated to the university are now autonomous institutes or universities. The University of Mumbai currently has 711 affiliated colleges.

Some famous alumni

Muhammad Ali Jinnah
- First Governor-General of Pakistan (matriculation from Bombay University)

Madhuri Dixit
- film actor (BSc, Microbiology)

Chanda Kochhar
 - MD and CEO, ICICI (master's degree in management studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai)

Anil Kakodkar
- former, director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BE (Mech. Engineering) degree from the Bombay University in 1963)

Gangadhar Gadgil 
- Marathi fiction writer (master's degree in economics from the University of Mumbai)


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