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Patna College is a college which has withstood the time and has produced the gems that has brighten the world. Established in 1863, it is the second oldest educational Institution in the entire Eastern India region and fifth oldest institution in India overall. Situated between the bustling Ashok Rajpath on one side and calm Ganga river on the other side, the college provide excellent environment for study. It has been a center point during the Independence struggle and J P Movement.
Once popularly known as the 'Oxford of the East', this institution owes its distinct identity to the nature and mode of its response to social issues. While its teachers as well as students actively participated in the national freedom movement, it was the college where Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan first presented his idea of Total Revolution. In 1974, JP addressed a largely-attended meeting of students on the college premises and asked students to drag society out of morass. His appeal to the 'student power' was electrifying, resulting in a nationwide movement which ultimately changed the course of Indian polity.
The college was established on 9th Jan, 1963 and was affiliated to Calcutta University. Till 1917, it remained under Calcutta University after which it became an autonomous institute. The college became so big that many colleges were later carved out of it, like Science college, Engineering College, Law college and Vanijya Vidyalaya , which also became quite famous & renowned with the passage of time. As the specialized subjects like Science, law etc were given to the new colleges, Patna College handled Arts and continue to lead in that field in the entire region. After the bifurcation of Old Patna university in 1952, the college came under Patna University and since then it is the renowned college of the university. In 1957, all post-graduate courses, except Geography, Sociology and Psychology were transferred to Darbhaga House, situated on the bank of river Ganges.
The College offers courses in Geography, Psychology, Political Science, History, Economics, Philosophy, Sociology, Mathematics and Statistics at the Graduation level. The courses in languages includes Hindi, Sanskrit, English, Arabi, Persian, Urdu, Maithily and Bangla. The college also offers vocational courses in Mass Communication, Business Administration and Computer Applications, details of which can be obtained from the college website. It remains the most popular college of coeducation for students of social science and humanities.
The college campus is very beautiful with ancient building lined by. The Ewman Shed which run around the college reminds of the glorious old days of the college. The rooms are quite large and the wooden work has been beautifully done in the buildings. Darbhaga House, situated in the campus, is also an architectural beauty facing the river. The college has five hostels with
names Minto, Jackson, New, Iqbal and GDS, which reflects the tradition evolved over the long period. The college building has already been declared to be a heritage site by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The students from entire state come here to learn Arts in the best way. Patna College, during its 150 years of journey has produced many famous personalities and has altered the course of history. The beautiful and old campus provides the backdrop to the great novelist E M Forster's 'A Passage to India' novel. The illustrious list of its alumni includes :
- Sri Krishna Singh, the first chief minister of Bihar
- Vidhanchand Rai, the first chief minister of West Bengal
- Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan
- Dr. Sacchidanand Sinha
- Anugrah Narayan Singh
- Ramsaran Sharma, Historian
- Ramdhari Singh Dinkar
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