Academic Departments University of Calcutta
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Year of Establishment : 1907

History of the department : When the New Regulations were adopted under the Indian Universities Act of 1904 the University felt that there were several very important reasons for it to provide facilities for higher teaching of Sanskrit under its own auspices. First, the teaching of the Vedas had been sadly neglected so far and some arrangement for the revival of Vedic studies was very much necessary. Secondly, it was essential that the University should take the lead in teaching several branches of Sanskrit according to modern scientific methods which were not as a rule followed even in the college department of the Sanskrit College and other affiliated colleges not to speak of the tols and other centres of Sanskrit learning where old traditional lines were unflinchingly stuck to. Thirdly, an atmosphere for original research should be created in the province and this could best be done only by the University taking over higher instruction under its own care.

The Sanskrit Department of the University was started with a provision for the study of the Vedas for which little opportunity was available elsewhere. In 1907 the University appointed Acharyya Satyabrata Samasrami who had devoted a life-time to the Vedic studies to deliver lectures to advanced students on the Vedas, and along with him several other reputed scholars in Sanskrit for teaching in different branches of Sanskrit learning.

During the next few years stimulus was given to Sanskrit studies by the appointment as University Readers of many Professors of European Universities, who had become distinguished by their researches in Sanskrit subjects, viz. Professor Pischel, Professor Hermann Oldenberg of the University of Gottingen. Professor Hermann Jacohi of the University of Bonn., Professor Sylvain Levi of the College de France and Professor Wimerditz. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the history of Sanskrit literature which this last scholar had started was finished after his death by two scholars of eminence of this University. European scholars who undertook the responsibilities of Readership in this University made definite contribution to the growth of modern Sanskrit studies with which we are familiar today. Apart from creating that atmosphere in which alone there might be higher pursuits of learning, they initiated our scholars to modern and critical and historical methods to which Sanskritic scholars in this country had not been amenable before.

A comprehensive syllabus was drawn up in 1917 for conducting M.A. studies in Sanskrit in nine groups. The first four papers were compulsory for each group. But the remaining four papers were to be studied in one of the nine groups. E.g. Literature, The Vedas, Smriti and Mimansa, Vedanta, Sankhya Yoga. Nayaya-Vaisesika, General Philosophy, Prakrit Epigraphy and iconography. This arrangement continued till 1940 in which year the department was further developed by the addition of five new groups. E.g. Vaishnavism, Hindu Laws, Jainism, Saivism and Mixed.

The department at first consisted only of lectures. It was in 1926 that Asutosh Professorship of Sanskrit was created and the first incumbent of the Chair was Bhagaban kumar Goswami Sastri,  M.A., Ph. D. who was followed in 1934 by  Prabhat Kumar Chakraborty MA PhD. After the premature and much lamented death of the latter Pandit Vidhusekhar Sastri was appointed to the chair and continued till 1942. After the retirement of Pandit Vidusekhar Sastri, Sankari Mukherjee was appointed in the chair and continued till 31st May 1955. The present incumbent of the Chair is Asutosh Sastri, M.A. Ph.D. Besides the Professor there are eight whole time teachers, six Part-time teachers and six honorary part-time teachers.  Apart from these Rshikalpa M.M. Sitaram Shastri, M.M. Phanibhushan Tarkavaagish, M.M Chinnaswami Shastri, M.M. Ananta Krishna Shastri, M. M. Shreejeeva Nayatirtha ,M.M. P.N. Pattashiram Shastri, Pandit Gourinath Shastri and Pandit Bhutnath Saptatirtha  was a teacher in Sanskrit.

One of the important features of the department is its Manuscript section. The manuscript collection is large and is growing every day. The section includes a collection of Tibetan Xylographs which is looked after by a curator who is also a lecturer in the department. There is further in the section a good collection of Buddhist Agamas, presented to the University by the Government of China. Many of the manuscripts which have never before been published require careful editing and publication. To this end the department set up a Publication Committee under whose auspices the publication of a series edited the “Asutosh Series” has already been under taken. The Head of the Department is the general editor of the series and have work s have already been published.

Special award/recognition from UGC or related statutory body :

Faculty/Doctoral/Post Doctoral Fellows/Student National/International Source of Funding Outstanding Participant Year
Faculty National Swami Vivekananda Award by Indian Institute of Heritage, Kolkata, Ravindranath Bhattacharya 2014
  National Vidyasagar Award by Indian Institute of Heritage, Kolkata Do 2017
  National Vedavijnane Samman by Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeetha, Varanasi Do 2017
  National Banabhatta Award by Kashi Vidyoparisad, Varanasi Do 2018
  National Shankaracharya Award by Indian Institute of Heritage, Kolkata Do 2019
  National Devavani Award by Rajasthan Government, Rajasthan Do 2019
  National Vishishta Vaidika Samman by Sikkim Government, Sikkim Do 2020
  National Sanskrit Bharati Samman by Gorakhpur University, Dept. of Sanskrit, Gorakhpur Do 2020
  National Vedvidya Pravin Samman by Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Sanskrit University, Jaipur Do 2020
Faculty National Sahitya Academy Award Translation for Bengali Mau Das Gupta 2015
Faculty International Honorary Citizenship by Government of Fiji Kamal Kishore Mishra 2012
  International Certificate of Honour by Ministry of education,
Government of Fiji
Do 2012
  National Vidyasagar by Vikramshila Hindi Vidyapeetha, Ujjain Do 2013
  National Vidshi Vidyottama Sree Samman by Vikramshila Hindi Vidyapeetha, Ujjain Do 2013
  National Teachers’ Excellence Award Do 2014


Faculty Members :
Name Phone/E-mail Specialisation
Mahamahopadhyayacharya Prof. Dr. Ravindranath Bhattacharya, & HOD
Veda and Mimamsa Shastra
Prof. Satyajit Layek
Veda, Indian Philosophy
Prof. Dr. Mau Das Gupta
Vedic and Gender Studies
Associate Professors
Sri Dipankar Mukhopadhyay
Kavya, Alamkara, Vyakarana, Prakrit
Assistant Professor
Dr. Kamal Kishor Mishra
Oriental Epigraphy, Paleography

Courses :

Programme Level of study Eligibility Intake Capacity
M.A. Post Graduate Degree In order of merit as per University rule 165
M. Phil Post Master Degree 55% for General, 50% for S.C.,S.T. candidates 40
Ph. D Research Degree M.A. in Sanskrit, UGC rules applicable 65(approx..)


Collaborations :

Scheduled to be followed :

Sl. No. Description
1. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lyon University, Lyon, France is under progress and expected to be complete very soon. In which there will be Student exchange programmes, collaborated research programmes and jointly organized seminars/conferences.
2. Very recently and MoU of Calcutta University is also under progress with Ruhana University , Shrilanka , where Department of Sanskrit, Calcutta University will be a salient part in the exchange programme of Student and Faculty members.
3. As held in this year(28.05.2016) henceforth an endowment lectures will be organized by the department of Sanskrit of Calcutta University every year with the collaboration of the Premchand Tarakabagish foundation possibly on 12th April every year.

Programme being followed :

Sl. No. Course Collaborating Department
1 Short-term courses in 2012 and 2013 were attended by Sanskrit faculty members Bengali Department
2 Every year a number of faculty members are invited as speakers in OP and RC Academic Staff College for OP. Departments of English, Bengali, Philosophy, Pali, Linguistics and Hindi for RC.
3 Sanskrit faculty members take regular classes in the Diploma and Degree courses. Department of Buddhist studies.
Thrust areas in teaching and research of the academic department :

The Vedas, Kavyas, Alamkara, and Aesthetics, Grammer, Prakrit Language and Literature, Indian Philosophy (Advaita Vedanta and Prachina Nyaya), Ancient Indian History, Paleography and Inscriptions and Manuscripts.

Teaching support:
Sl. No. Teaching Method
1. For MA course traditional lectures and board-works are generally adopted, while to teach some in the Vedas and Prachina Nyaya specialisations DVDs are played. Power-point presentation is also adopted in some lectures on Kavya specialization.
2. For M.Phil. programme along with the traditional talk and chalk, power point presentation is also adopted. Exposure of students to old manuscripts is done in the CUMRC to teach how to handle Mss. practically. In some cases students are taught to do field work to collect research materials for there dissertations.
3. For Ph. D students regular course-works on research methodology and computer application are organized. Course works on Sanskrit grammar are also held to strengthen their hold on the language and to go through the original Sanskrit texts needed for their research.
Major activities :

The contribution of the Department generating new knowledge and placement activities of the students : Most of the students achieve the appointment as full time guest lecturer in many Colleges and Universities after completion of M.A. and M.Phil. Courses. Numerous Sanskrit mss. are still lying in different libraries, repositories and personal collections deciphered and unedited. A number of Sanskrit scholars are trained and engaged in this department in studying, deciphering mss. and editing these mss. Consequently quite a good no. of Sanskrit texts has been and being critically edited for the first time by some of the faculty members and research students of this department. Meaningful research works on several disciples a of Sanskrit literature like Vedas, Kavya, Prachina Nayaya, Advaita Vedanta, Indian Epigraphy and palaeography and Prakrit literature are being done by the teachers and students of this Department. The Students and the research scholars of this department are working as research assistant or as research fellows in the various projects run by the teachers or scholars in the departments of other Universities or in other academic institutions like Asiatic Society, Kolkata and so on. The department has been organizing many state levels, national and international seminars and workshops and special lectures by eminent scholars in which most of the students of this department regularly take part and achieve new knowledge.

Links :

  • Workshops on Grammar, Research Methodology, and Palaeography are organized in the department and also in colleges.
  • Courses on Manuscriptology, Palaeography, Grammar and Computer application are organized in the Department of Sanskrit, and also in colleges.
  • Training Programmes are organised for the students going to set for NET, SET and other competitive examinations.
  • Workshop for special training in spoken and written Sanskrit are organized to equip well the students in Sanskrit.

Regular interactions are done between the resources and the students. Doubts are cleared and evolution is done by Internal Assessment and class tests. Students of research based course are made to present papers, attend and participate in departmental seminars. They are regularly informed of different academic programmes in other institutes and encouraged to participate along with their teachers. Their writings are regularly checked by their supervisors and their academic performances are monitored.

Additional information : All the faculty members are engaged in publishing articles, monographs editing of books. The Department regularly publishes the departmental journal – Sanskrit Bharati. Most of the Faculty members are serving actively being member of various committees and editorial Boards, member of BOS of P.G., U.G of various Universities and Colleges, deemed Universities. Most of the faculty members seldom visit many Universities as Visiting fellow, e.g. in the University of Kerala, Jadavpur University, Rabindra Bharati University, Sri Samkaracharya Sanskrit University- Kalady, Ernakulam, Kerala, Sanskrit University- Agartala, Gauhati University-Gawahati,Assam, Ramkrishna Mission Vivekananda University (RMVU); Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture- Golpark, Visva Bharati – Santiniketan, Assam University – Silchar, Assam etc. A fresh departmental project will be applied for the DSA, SAP programme. The project will involve all the faculty members and the outcome of the research will be a substantial on show casting the scholarship, hard work and vision of the faculty of these departmental infrastructural facilities will be enhanced; each class room should be equipped for audio visual lessons. A fully furnished modern seminar room for the department is a dream for us where external scholars may share their knowledge with the department regularly. Teacher student exchange programmes in collaboration with a few foreign universities will also widen up the horizon for our students.


Campus : College Street Campus

Address for communication : Department of Sanskrit, (Harding Building, 2nd Floor) University of Calcutta, 87/1, College Street, Kolkata-700 073, Telephone No. 2241-0071, Ext. 243