Many people who were associated or are presently associated with 191-year-old Sanskrit College and University there is a good news that as per Sanskrit College and University, West Bengal Bill 2015 the college will undergo complete up-gradation of its properties and liabilities. The foundation of Sanskrit College was laid during the reign of British Empire on recommendation by James Prinsep and Thomas Babington Macaulay. In 1824 foundation stone was laid by a scholar of oracular knowledge John Pascal Larkins, seven years after Presidency College adjacent to the city’s famed College Street, known as the Oxford of the East.
The bill was passed during a bid to create a nodal center in learning of Sanskrit during the West Bengal Assembly held on December 17, 2015. The bill has been passed after discussing pros and cons for the development of Sanskrit College as well as the establishment of the University.
Some of the famous alumni of this prestigious Bengal School of Painting are Abanindranath Tagore, Haraprasad Shastri and Bijoykrishna Goswami and other Sanskrit luminaries. Even the renowned Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, a polymath and a key figure in Bengal Renaissance has served as the principal of Sanskrit College.
The main motive of the University is to set up a nodal centre of study in the field of Sanskrit language where Indian languages, Indology, Indian philosophy, comparative literature, humanities and cognitive science including study in various foreign languages which have the close association with Sanskrit are taught. This can very well be compared to Jawaharlal Nehru University’s plan to set up a school for the promotion of studies and research in Indian languages. The soon to opened school will offer courses in Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, Assamese, Bengali and Oriya among others. JNU presently offers M.A./M.Phil./Ph.D. in Hindi and Urdu.
The opposition parties in the West Bengal Assembly wanted the motion to discuss the establishment of a new Sanskrit University so that maintaining the separate and special entity of Sanskrit College. However, Education Minister Partha Chattopadhyay paused the discussing by saying that it would be a complete wastage of time. The leader of opposition Dr Manas Bhunia of Congress and lone BJP MLA Samik Bhattacharya wanted a discussion on the matter. Another MLA of Congress Asit Mitra unsuccessfully demanded to send the bill to select committee before passing the bill.