Initially it functioned under the University of Calcutta and later, on 23 September 1887, the University of Allahabad was established, making it the fourth modern university established in India.
It began as an affiliating and examining body for graduate and postgraduate degrees with a classical orientation and the responsibility for secondary education as well. By 1904 the university established its own teaching departments and instituted doctoral research programs. The University Senate hall was opened by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Hewett, in 1912. In 1921, with the promulgation of the 'Allahabad University Act of 1921', the Muir Central College merged with the university, which was reorganized as a unitary teaching and residential university. Over the next few years its affiliated colleges were transferred to Agra University and the task of conducting secondary-level examinations was relocated.
In 1951, the university (while maintaining its fundamental unitary character) recognized certain local institutions as Associated Colleges authorized to teach undergraduate courses under the faculties of Arts, Commerce, Science, and Law.
The university has had on its rolls a host of politicians and statesmen including one president and two vice-presidents of India, two former prime ministers, several union and state ministers, at least four chief justices of the Supreme Court, besides a large number of senior bureaucrats.
In view of these achievements, as well as its position among the universities of Uttar Pradesh, the state government accorded it formal recognition in July 1992 as a ‘Premier Institution’ (Vishesh Agrani Sanstha).
In 1987, the university completed one hundred years of establishment. It was during the centenary celebrations of the university that the demand for "Central status" was made unanimously by the students, faculty, and employees. After a sustained campaign, the government of India acceded to public demand. In December 2004, a bill was introduced in Parliament proposing to recognize the University of Allahabad as an ‘Institution of National Importance’ to restore the Central character. Both Houses of the Parliament passed "The University of Allahabad Act, 2005" in May 2005.
On 23 June 2005, the President of India gave his assent to the bill and the university was declared an 'Institution of National Importance' once again. The government of India issued the gazette notification on 11 July 2005, and the university started functioning as a Central University on 14 July 2005.
The University of Allahabad Act, 2005 has provided for the following to be deemed as the Constituent Colleges of the university:
The five faculties of Arts, Commerce, Law, Medicine, and Science,
One university college: the Motilal Nehru Medical College and Swarup Rani Nehru Hospital, Allahabad,
Three constituent institutes: the Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad, the Harish Chandra Research Institute of Mathematics and Mathematical Physics, Allahabad and the Kamla Nehru Post-graduate Medical Institute, Allahabad,
Two of its departments — Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology, and Psychology — are recognized as UGC Centres of Advanced Study, and five more are (or have been) UGC Departments of Special Assistance. Several departments in the Faculty of Science are covered by the COSIST and FIST Programs. Several major research projects awarded by national R&D agencies have been successfully completed, and Departmental or Inter-Departmental Research Groups and individual faculty members are carrying out projects.
These projects (as well as earlier and current collaborative academic programs with agencies such as the CSIR, the DST, the DBT, the DOD, the DoS, the DRDO, ICSSR, ICHR, UGC, NCERT, Planning Commission, etc.) have helped augment and expand research facilities and infrastructure. The CSIR has granted a ‘Chair’ to the university on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), and the university has already prepared a Plan of Action in the IPR field. The UGC has established the M. N. Saha Chair, the Munshi Prem Chand Chair and the Nirala Chair in the Physics, Urdu and Hindi departments respectively.
The university has professional programs in Business Management, Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, Law, Medicine, Educational Training, Human Resource Development and Management, Journalism and Mass Communication among others. In accordance with the UGC Scheme for vocational courses, vocational options have been provided in the graduate degree programs.
The university has developed post-graduate professional courses, and such courses are being offered by the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS). The Centre of Food Technology and Centre of Computer Education are two activities which offer diploma certificate courses.
The university established the Institute of Inter-disciplinary Studies (IIDS) in 2000, designed as a loose collective of centres. The centres of IIDS are the K. Banerjee Centre of Atmospheric and Ocean Studies, M N Saha Centre of Space Studies, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics  Mobile Communication for Developing Countries (CMCDC), Bio-medical NMR, and Consciousness Studies have started. Other planned centres will cover inter-disciplinary areas such as Environmental Science, Genetic Engineering, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Human Resource Development, and Globalisation and its Effects. It is conducting a post-graduate program and several high-end research projects.
The activities of the IIDS are funded by project and other grants from national agencies and institutes by the faculty members of the iversity. The IIDS is seeking special grants for infrastructure and research faculty and staff to enlarge the scope of its activities. The UGC has sanctioned teaching positions for several centres of IIDS.
The university has instituted an inter-disciplinary undergraduate science program (Applied Sciences) with the objective of inculcating a cross-disciplinary approach involving the Physical Sciences and Biology streams, to give grounding for higher post-graduate studies in such subjects as Biophysics, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Bio informatics, Environmental Science, NanoScience, Nano Technology, and Medical Physics.
Many university departments in the modular pattern, by themselves or in co-operation with other departments, have initiated or worked out self-financing diploma and proficiency courses. The Department of Psychology, for instance, had instituted a professional inter-disciplinary M. Psy. (Master of Psychology) program in Human Resource Development and Management in the Ninth Plan period. This program is, however, not being offered at the moment because of the shortage of faculty. It is also proposed to rename the program, in view of the recommendation of the UGC, as Master in Human Resource Development and Management. The Department has implemented the concept of ‘Cafeteria choice’ courses/modules, credit courses in other departments and obligatory field studies in their Post-graduate program. The Regional Learning Resource and Documentation Centre, which was set up by the Department in the Ninth Plan period, is to be further strengthened in the Eleventh Plan period.
The university has established an autonomous Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences under the University Grants Commission scheme of UPE during the Tenth Plan. Specialists from Cognitive Psychology, Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuro- Science, Philosophy, and Psychology work together in the Centre to offer Masters and D. Phil courses in Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences.
The Geography Department has created a modern Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (RS/GIS) unit (as a Central facility) during the Ninth Plan, for research, database development and the conduct of a Post-graduate Diploma course in RS/GIS.
The Department of Economics has been given a ‘Chair’ by the Planning Commission to promote research in the field of planning and development. The syllabi incorporate teaching and research in Environmental Economics and the economic and societal impact of globalisation on India, with particular emphasis on projects/studies on its social, political, legal, and cultural aspects. The research base is being further strengthened by the upgrade of the Statistics Laboratory. The department has introduced a one year Post-graduate Diploma Course in Foreign Trade.
The salient features of the application of ICT in the university are as follows:
Computerisation was applied to the admission and examination processes in the mid-1980s and these processes are now completely computerised. Computerisation has been extended, mainly through the Administrative Computer Centre (established in 1984), to establishment records and procedures, finances, accounts and examination records. Work is under way to computerise the proceedings and records of University bodies, student records, the management of academic and research activities, personnel management, and other fields of academic and administrative functioning. The administrative units now have their own dedicated computer systems that are being linked up through the campus-networking project.
The University Computer Centre (UCC) was instituted in the early 1980s with UGC assistance as a central unit for researchers requiring EDP facilities and for imparting training/experience in computer methods to faculty, research scholars, and students. There has been regular upgrade of the UCC, and it is now also being used to provide familiarisation/training to staff in the use and application of computers. The Institute of Professional Studies is conducting similar programs of computer education for students as short-term modular courses
Most of the Science Faculty Departments, as well as some of the Social Science/Management Departments have been equipped with computer systems by the end of the Eighth Plan, and the objective of the Ninth Plan to upgrade existing systems and provide computer systems to the remaining Departments has been largely achieved. The Departments are using their ICT facilities for research as well as teaching activities.
During the Ninth Plan, the university established the Central Internet Access Facility (CIAF) and commenced the networking of the Departments and other academic/research/administrative units. Networking between the departments and units in the Arts, Science, Commerce, and Law Campuses has almost been completed. This project will realise the objective of optimum sharing of departmental resources and enable cost-efficient global access (through the CIAF) for academic and research work.
The program of computerisation and global networking of the Central, Faculty, and Departmental Libraries has moved beyond the planning stage. An electronic library is being planned.
The university has proposed to institute web-based education programs, initially through modular professional courses for graduates and then with specially designed courses on Indian Culture, Archaeology and other areas involving several Departments.
The university emphasises ‘outreach’ programs. Such programs envisage the integration of extension with research proposals and teaching curricula. The purpose is to involve the University departments in serving the developmental and other needs of the community. The university co-operates with government agencies and NGOS in extension initiatives. Efforts are also underway to establish linkages with the corporate world and impart training to the students in areas of mutual interest.
There was much controversy related to the merger of the Motilal Nehru Medical College with the university. This has been resolved. The Honorable High Court of Allahabad passed an order directing that integration of the medical college with the university be completed by 1 October 2006. The affiliation of the S. P. Mukherjee Government Degree College with the University has yet to be finalised because of the objections raised by the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Harish Chandra Research Institute of Mathematics and Mathematical Physics, Allahabad and Kamla Nehru Post-Graduate Medical Institute, Allahabad have sought to revoke their affiliation from the university. The same has been endorsed by the Executive Council of the University. (Further action in this matter would be taken once the president of India, the visitor of the university, gives his consent to the recommendation of the University's Executive Council.)
The Centre is a UGC Centre of Excellence that has been set up with the support of the University Grants Commission (UGC) at University of Allahabad. The Centre was the first to offer a Master Degree course in Cognitive Science in India.
Shatabdi Boys' Hostel, for students of J K Institute of Applied Physics and Technology, Institute of Professional Studies, MONIRBA and B.A.LL.B.(Hons)[integrated 5-year law course]- Faculty of Law
Dr S Radhakrishnan Hostel, for the students of J K Institute of Applied Physics and Technology, Institute of Professional Studies, MONIRBA and B.A.LL.B.(Hons)[integrated 5-year law course]- Faculty of Law
Hostel for girls
Sarojini Naidu Hostel
Shatabdi Girls' Hostel
Kalpana Chawla, for professional studies
Maha Devi Verma Girls Hostel, newly constructed hostel for girls at Women's College campus
This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability or notability policies. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources cited within this article showing they are notable and alumni or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations.(August 2011)
Neelesh Jain, Creative Director Ogilvy & Mather, Lyricist of Google Search Reunion Advertisement. Civil Services Pedagogue, Journalist, Author, Poet-Lyicist. Allahabad University Centenary Year Celebration Indradhanush Cultural Secretary and writer of Centenary Anthem.
Rafiq Hussain, Urdu writer, poet, academic, author, Head of Urdu Department Allahabad University