Brief History and Present Infrastructure
One of the oldest Universities in India, the Panjab University (PU) initiated at Lahore in 1882, has a long tradition of pursuing excellence in teaching and research in science and technology, humanities, social sciences, performing arts and sports. The University supports excellence and innovation in academic programmes, promotes excellence in research, scholarship and teaching. The University is committed to attract and support the best students and faculty, who excel at teaching and research. In independent India, Panjab University with its Campus at Chandigarh and nearly two hundred colleges in Punjab state and Chandigarh U.T., has served various societal needs with distinction. The glorious traditions of the University established during the period of more than 133 years of its long service to the nation since its inception are a source of inspiration for the present generation of faculty members and students. By virtue of its history, experience, achievements and philosophy, the Panjab University has a national character and it enjoys an international stature drawing both faculty and students from all over the country and different parts of the globe. Its faculty includes some of the most distinguished scientists and academicians. It continues to attract celebrated scholars at the campus. Over the years, the reputation of the Panjab University has grown to emerge as an institution at the pinnacle in innovative teaching, research and community outreach.
In Chandigarh, the newly built capital of Punjab, a beautiful red sandstone campus was designed for the Panjab University by Pierre Jeanneret under the general guidance of Le Corbusier. Panjab University moved here during 1958-1960. Till the re-organisation of Punjab in 1966, the University had its regional centres at Rohtak, Shimla and Jalandhar and its affiliated colleges were located in the States of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. With the re-organization of Punjab, the University became an Inter-State Body Corporate catering to the newly organized States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Gradually, the colleges of Himachal and Haryana were affiliated to the Universities in the respective states and the Panjab University was left with the affiliated colleges in the Union Territory of Chandigarh and some parts of Punjab. The Panjab University Campus at Chandigarh accommodates seventy three teaching and research departments/institutes/centres besides four independent Chairs for research. Furthermore, the university has 189 affiliated/constituent colleges spread over Punjab and Chandigarh besides Regional Centres at Muktsar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Kauni. In addition, there is the Vishveshavaranand Vishwa Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies at Hoshiarpur.
Panjab University is located in Sector 14 and Sector 25 of Chandigarh, spreading across an area of almost 550 acres.
The layout of two campuses of the University has been conceived to meet the academic, administrative, sports/recreational, residential and other requirements of a growing University. To make it self-contained, infrastructural facilities like its own Shopping Centre, Health Centre, Bank, Post office, Swimming Pool, Gymnasium, Sports Grounds, Botanical Gardens, well maintained parks, Open Air Theatre, Guest Houses, Faculty House, Seminar Complexes, Alumni House, Community Centre and a school, have been provided. Besides these facilities, the University Campus has 8 hostels for boys, 9 hostels for girls, a Working Women Hostel and 2 sports hostels.
A cluster of prominent buildings like the Gandhi Bhawan, the Fine Arts Museum, the University Library and the Student Centre form the hub of social interaction. The three-winged structure of the Gandhi Bhawan, considered the pride of the University, is its most artistic building. The Fine Arts Museum, with its series of small galleries arranged around a courtyard, each gallery having a hyperbolic paraboloid roof (umbrella shaped), is not only an architectural but a structural marvel as well. The University Library, another key building, in the Sector 14 Campus is an RCC framed structure with red sandstone veneers. The Student Centre, with its circular base and a ramp pulsating around its cylindrical body, is another landmark building.
The academic institutes on the campus and four Regional Centres are grouped under the Faculties of Arts, Science, Languages, Law, Education and Fine Arts, Business Management and Commerce, Engineering and Technology, Medical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Dairying, Animal Husbandry and Agriculture. Most of the departments have their own specialized libraries, and the working period runs for at least 180 days in a year.
The University School of Open Learning, a multi-disciplinary department, caters to more than 25000 distance learners and offers over 20 traditional and job oriented courses.