Academic Departments University of Calcutta
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History

Year of Establishment : 1918

History of the department : Way back in 1918 the University of Calcutta, situated in the city of origin of Hindi prose - Kolkata, takes the pride in starting the course of M.A. in Hindi by establishing Hindi department for the first time in history of higher education in India. The then Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of University of Calcutta, Sir Asutosh Mookerjee's relentless pursuit resulted into such great outcome.

While addressing as the president of the reception committee of Rashtra Bhasha for organizing a National Language Conference for Hindi lovers on 28th December, 1928 in Kolkata in presence of Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose made a historical and very beautiful remark in Hindi language:

"Modern Hindi Prose originated in Kolkata. Lallu Lalji created his 'Premsagar' in this city and Sadal Mishra composed his 'Chandravali' while being here. Both of these authors are known to be the acharyas of Hindi Literature. The first Hindi newspaper 'Bihar Bandhu' was also published in Kolkata and that's why Kolkata plays a major role in the editing and developments of Hindi journalism. University of Calcutta was the pioneer in including Hindi at M. A. for the first time in India."

Kolkata is dedicated towards developing this tradition in today's world and that's why the first weekly magazine in Hindi language is being published here without any break since last 80 years.

It's noteworthy that Acharya Sakal Narayan Sharma was the first Professor in this department. He was a celebrated editor who published the magazine "Shiksha" and he edited this magazine consistently for next twenty-one years.  Acharya Sakal Narayan Sharma was given the responsibility of this department in 1918 and he proved himself great with his responsibilities.  

Lala Sitaram prepared the syllabus on the request of Sir Asutosh Mookerjee. Six parts of the book "Selection from Hindi Literature" was published under Lala Sitaram as the editor in 1921. In the convocation held on 24th March 1923, Hon’ble Vice-chancellor, Sir Asutosh Mookerjee said that a very important book is published by the University of Calcutta. Mahamahopadhyaya Ganganath Jha wrote the preface of the fourth part of this book. He mentioned to be the remarkable references for the medieval writings on ‘Sant Sahitya’ particularly on Kabir. Mention may be made of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore who has also translated the hundred poems of Kabir in 1917. Next year, in 1918, the University of Calcutta has been pioneering in establishing our Hindi Department.

Acharya Lalita Prasad Shukla joined the department to teach Hindi Language and Literature in 1933. He served for more than three decades. Scholars like Acharya Kalyanmal Lodha, Acharya Vishnukant Shashtri, Dr Prabodhnarayan Singh, Dr Dayanand Srivastava, Dr Ramprit Upadhyaya further developed this department with their immense hard work and efforts. Dr Shambhunath, Dr Chandrakala Pandey, Dr Jagdishwar Chaturvedi and Dr Amarnath tried to add new momentum to this department during seventh and eighth decade. All of them have retired from their services by 2016. Despite of their retirement, they kept contributing for the betterment of Hindi language and literature.

Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Choudhary joined the department of Hindi in 2002. Professor (Dr) Rajshree Shukla started teaching since 2006. Professor (Dr) Soma Banerjee stepped into this department in 2012. Dr Ram Pravesh Rajak and Mr Bijay Kumar Shaw joined in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Right now, this department is known for its quality academic programmes M.A. as well as M.Phil. and Ph.D. research courses. Academic activities in the Department of Hindi have been increased significantly. National and International Seminars are held on regular basis. G. D. Birla Lecture Series is the most popular event organized by this department. Prominent author Agyeya participated in this programme in 1970. Scholars from different departments of different universities from across the world arrived here to deliver their lectures. Students get numerous benefits from such erudite lectures. Alumni of this department are working in different parts of the world.

"Sankalp" is the research magazine published by the department consisting of papers of different research scholars. Special issues of this magazine on relevant subject matters are released on various occasions. Research scholars of different universities contribute their papers and this magazine is reaching at its new high. More importantly this magazine is published in time maintaining different standards of creativity and research.
Students from the department participate overwhelmingly in different cultural events and they get rewarded especially in essay writings, debate competitions and group discussions. Students of this department also participate in different events organized by the Central Hindi Directorate, Government of India. Students have always participated in different webinars and online poetry sessions. Students have cracked different competitive examinations. Students have always served the country according to their abilities. Selflessness lies in their core.

Department shapes research works on different subjects. Poetry, stories and novels are given more importance. Many research works are going on about different genres of Hindi language and literature. Research scholars of various universities visit the department for research purposes. University library is useful in every possible way. This library has the collection of numerous books about language and literature. Students take advantage of different magazines and papers. This department highly focuses on imparting the skills of creative writings and editing works.

The department also facilitates to make in-depth study and discourses on the philosophy of history, ideology of literature, history of literature, film and translations. A consistent effort is made by the department to research in the emerging areas such as women studies, tribal literature, dalit literature, bhakti movement etc. in Hindi literature. The department plays a momentous role in developing the teaching-learning process for different branches of social-science and inculcates the scientific temperament besides different issues related with the minorities.

In 2020, Covid-19 emerged as the world pandemic putting physical teaching-learning process completely suspended in educational institutions across the world.  Even during such a critical situation the department organized online classes for students. Syllabi of 2nd and 4th semesters of M. A. were completed through online classes. The syllabus of 1st and 3rd semesters of M. Phil. was also completed during this critical time. Head of the Department, Prof (Dr) Ram Ahlad Choudhary organized 140 online classes to complete the syllabi of different papers of different academic courses.

Professors of the department of Hindi have completed different projects. Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Choudhary has completed various major projects, minor projects and U.P.E. projects. Professor (Dr) Rajashree Shukla has completed U.P.E. project. Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Choudhary's book "Loktantra, Media and Hindi" was launched at the 9th World Hindi Conference held in South Africa in 2012. This is a matter of pride for our University as the department added a substantial contribution at the global repute. This book release was the first event in such a grand way in the history of the department. Media from different countries covered the launch. Department of Hindi organized international seminar for the first time under the headship of Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Choudhary in 2013. Asiatic Society for the first time in its history of 236 years organized a two-day national seminar on "Development of Hindi Language and Literature in Bengal" during January 29-30, 2019 which was coordinated by Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Choudhary, Head of the department.

Students and Professors of the department are active on social media. Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Choudhary appeared in different national and international webinars as the chief guest. This department has always chosen the path of doing something new. 2019 was the year of 200th birth anniversary of Vidyasagar. Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Chaudhary, on this occasion, launched his book about Lokvatsal Pandit Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar with the title "Vidyasagar". Head of the department of Hindi, Prof (Dr) Ram Ahlad Chaudhary presented this book to Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of University of Calcutta Professor (Dr.) Sonali Chakraborty Banerjee and Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor (Dr) Ashish Chatterjee.

It's remarkable that Vidyasagar was deeply connected to Hindi language. Vidyasagar hired a tutor to learn Hindi language. When Vidyasagar joined the Fort William College as a teacher, he approved publication of different books of Hindi language and literature as well as helped in publication of books. He prepared different question papers of Hindi during this period. But we hardly find any concrete book describing Vidyasagar and his contributions for the Hindi language. Head of the department, Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Chaudhary has tried to fill that void.

In 1916 Pandit Roopanarayn Pandey has translated a book "Vidyasagar Charit" written by Chandicharan Bandhopadhyay. This book was republished by the Asiatic Society on the occasion of Vidyasagar's 200th birth anniversary. Professor (Dr) Ram Ahlad Chaudhary of Department of Hindi has written the preface of the republication of this book. This department has organized many seminars on Gandhi, Rabindranath, Ghalib and Premchand.

The department’s academic journey of victory is consistently moving ahead following the path as depicted in the University song "Shubho Karmapathe Dharo Nirvayo Gaan"composed by Kabiguru Rabindranath. Learning and contemplation write the story of departmental struggle which is also the assets of the department.

Academic

Faculty Members :
Name Designation Area of specialisation Email/Phone number
Soma Bandopadhyay (On-Lien) Professor Comparative Literature soma17b@gmail.com
9831124142
Rajashree Shukla
[Profile]
Professor Modern Poetry and Comparative Literature rajashree.cu@gmail.com
9432235587
Ram Ahlad Choudhary
[Profile]
Professor & Head Media, Criticism & Munshi Premchand Literature ramahlad@gmail.com
9432051500
Ram Pravesh Rajak
[Profile]
Assistant Professor Drama, Translation & Lok- Sahitya rajak.ram2010@gmail.com
9800936139
Bijay Kumar Shaw
[Profile]
Assistant Professor Sant Kavay, Premchand, Anuvad Vigyan bijay.ku.shaw@gmail.com
9475943174
9474112341

Courses :

Programme Level of study Eligibility Intake capacity
M.A P.G B. A (Hons.) 120
M.Phil Research M.A 15
Ph.D Research M.A 40

Research

Thrust areas in teaching and research of the academic department/ centre :

  • Literary Criticism
  • Medieval Poetry
  • Journalism and Media
  • Women Studies
  • Dalit Literature
  • Comparative Literature

Major activities :

  • Organised Campus Placement Examination for recruitment of journalists for SANMARG Hindi Daily for the students of Hindi Departmet of University of Calcutta.
  • Organised special coaching course for NET/SET aspirants (Girls and reserved category students) by NSS of University of Calcutta.
  • Organised special coaching course for NET/SET aspirants (Girls and reserved category students) by NSS of University of Calcutta.
  • Attended programmes by NSS (C.U) Bhasha Shaheed diwas, Varshvaran Utsav etc.

Contact

Campus : Asutosh Siksha Prangan (College Street Campus)

Address for communication : Department of Hindi, University of Calcutta, 87/1, College Street, Kolkata-700 073