Diamond Harbour Women´s University came into existence in 2013. It was established under West Bengal Act XXXVII of 2012 on 28th January 2013. It is the first University in this region and has been envisaged in answer to the long standing requirement of the girl-student of this region and beyond for greater scope in the search for attainment of selfhood. In 2016, the University was recognized under Section 2(f) of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956.
This is a region with strong links to the metropolis Kolkata. It is well connected by road and rail and is the gateway to the Sunderbans, an eco-region of recognized significance. It marks the confluence of the mighty river Hooghly (a tributary of the Ganga) with the Bay of Bengal. In January the Gangasagar Mela (Annual Fair held at the Ganges estuary) attracts thousands of pilgrims across the country. The region remains rural, though fishery is an important economic activity, increasingly acquiring industrial dimensions. In recent years, migration, both short and long term has become an important demographic feature of the region.
The Diamond Harbour Road connecting south-west Kolkata to Diamond Harbour has emerged as an education hub. Beginning with the campus of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Joka, Calcutta there are other major management institutes such as Calcutta Business School, The Neotia University, etc. There are also well known schools such as Vivekananda Mission, K. E. Carmel School, Ramakrishna Mission Siksha Mandir, etc. The region has a strong tradition in undergraduate education and there are a number of flourishing undergraduate colleges in and around the area.
The University has already started functioning from the academic year 2014-15 with the introduction of 2- year, 4- semester PG courses in six subjects; Bengali, English, History, Political Science, Education and Women´s Studies. At the beginning, classes were temporarily held at Fakir Chand College located close to the Diamond Harbour Railway Station. From the academic session 2015-16, the University moved to its own campus on the Diamond Harbour Road near Sarisha crossing in Diamond Harbour Block II. At present there are 13 academic departments in the University, under the Arts and Science faculties, as given below.
Faculty of Arts
Bengali, English, Education, History, Political Science, Sanskrit, Women’s Studies
Faculty of Science
Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Zoology
From the Academic Year 2017-18, research studies including MPhil and PhD courses have been running alongside postgraduate courses in several disciplines.
The University also focuses on co-curricular and extra-curricular activities through its various Cultural and Sports activities. It also has its own Placement and Training efforts for the career advancement of the students as well as for the alumni. Several departments of the University have also commenced regular NET/SET Coaching Classes for the present and the former students alike. The University has also organized a Handicraft and Art Exhibition to nurture artistic and entrepreneurial skills of the students, in tandem with the Government’s vision for a skilled India in future.
The University hopes to address both research and teaching in the context of its location as well as globally. The objective is to function efficiently and effectively as a University providing teaching, training and research in various branches of learning/courses of study so as to promote advancement and dissemination of knowledge to meet the growing needs of the society. As a women’s university, it will address in particular questions of livelihood and security for women. It will not only provide opportunities for women in the area to access new opportunities but will also hope to draw women from other parts of the country into interaction with a rather unique corner of this diverse land.
It is a good time to think in the long term about more opportunities for women to forge ahead and seek avenues of self-sufficiency. This Women’s University is committed to providing women better access to higher education thereby enabling them to reach for their personal as well as social development. It is to be kept in mind that when we educate a woman we educate a generation!