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Founded in 1947, Tripura University is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the the urban setting of the large city of Agartala (population range of 1,000,000-5,000,000 inhabitants), Tripura. Officially accredited/recognized by the University Grants Commission, India, Tripura University is a coeducational higher education institution. Tripura University offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees in several areas of study. Tripura University also provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students including a library, online courses and distance learning opportunities, as well as administrative services.
Higher education in Tripura had a late start. Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) College, the first degree college in the State, started functioning under the University of Calcutta only in 1947. Not that there was no attempt in the past in Princely Tripura to establish any higher educational institution. As early as 1901, Radhakishore Manikya made an attempt to establish a degree college in the-then tiny capital town Agartala; but as the proposal did not fulfill the necessary requirements, it did not get approval from the Calcutta University. In 1937, Bir Bikramkishore Manikya, the last Maharaja of Tripura, had planned for establishing a college again at Agartala and an area of 254 acres of land, consisting of undulated tilla land having interposed lakes almost all around, in the eastern part of Agartala, was earmarked for that under the “Vidyapattan Scheme”. A committee under the name “Vidyapattan Governing Committee” consisting of 10 members with the Minister as its President was appointed by the Maharaja to carry out the scheme of higher education and a sum of Rs. 50,000 was placed at its disposal at the first instance. On 7 May, 1937, Maharaja Bir Bikram laid the foundation-stone of the college under the scheme. But with the outbreak of the Second World War (1939-45), the work of construction had to be abandoned. The vulnerability of Tripura became apparent after the fall of Burma to the Japanese in 1942. The ground floor of the unfinished College building was converted into an Army Hospital for British Army moving to and from Burma. When the Second World War was over, the construction work could not be started immediately due to certain difficulties and on 17 May, 1947, Maharaja Bir Bikram breathed his last and Tripura became restive for various reasons. As a result, the entire scheme of “Vidyapattan” could not be implemented into reality in time. The MBB College (popularly known as the “Dream College”), affiliated to the Calcutta University, was once the only college in the state.
As time progressed, to meet the growing demands of a large number of students – who after the partition of the country had migrated to Tripura from the erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)—some other colleges came into being at private initiatives,e.g.Ramkrishna Mahavidyalaya at Kailasahar in 1950; Belonia College at Belonia in 1964; Ramthakur College at Agartala in 1967 – and all were affiliated to the Calcutta University. That showed the urge of the people for higher education because, compared to the national average, along with the growth of population in the state, the literacy rate of Tripura was also higher since independence despite economic backwardness of the common people. As the students and people of the state were pressing hard for quite sometime since the seventies of the last century to uplift the existing three private degree Colleges of state into government colleges; in 1982 the three private degree colleges of Tripura were taken over by the state government, in spite of its limited means. Thus all the degree colleges in Tripura became ultimately government colleges at that time.
However, due to the geographic isolation ( the partition of the country debarred Tripura from using the traditional communication routes by road or rail on the other sides of the border) and the distance from the University of Calcutta, it was virtually not possible on the part of a large number of poor students of Tripura to continue further studies after graduation. Hence, in the late sixties and early seventies of the last century, there were big students’ movements in Tripura with the demand for a University in the State. To meet the growing popular demands, a plan to upgrade MBB College into a Post Graduate College was first initiated. With a view to achieving that goal, post graduate classes in three subjects – History, Economics and Mathematics – were also started in the MBB College. But the idea of upgrading MBB College into a Post Graduate College or University did not materialize. Rather, Tripura was sanctioned by the UGC in 1976 a post-graduate wing of the Calcutta University, named Calcutta University Post graduate Centre (CUPGC), and thus the demand for having a full fledged University in the state remained unfulfilled. For a decade, the CUPGC, housed in different scattered government old buildings at College Tilla, Agartala, functioned as the highest centre of learning in the state with many limitations. However, despite severe financial constraints, a new campus was selected by the government for the CUPGC in a green 75 acres semi-urban setting on the National Highway at Suryamaninagar, about 10 kms south of the capital city Agartala. With an aim of having a forthcoming University in that setting in the near future, the foundation-stone was laid at Suryamaninagar campus on 18 December, 1985 by Dasaratha Deb, the the legendary leader of the historic Janasiksha (People’s Education) movement and the-then Deputy Chief Minister – cum Education Minister of Tripura.
Tripura University was launched on October 2, 1987. The state’s first institution of higher education, MBB College, had commenced functioning from 1947 with affiliation from Calcutta University but in the immediate aftermath of partition the population of the state registered a steep growth and so did the number of students aspiring for higher education.
The launching of the MBB College was soon followed by the setting up in 1950 of Ramkrishna Mahabhidyalay in Kailasahar, present headquarter of Unokoti Tripura district. In 1964 Belonia College was launched in South Tripura, followed within three years by the establishment of Ram Thakur College in 1967 at Agartala. The students of the state remained hamstrung by one crucial fact: all of the colleges had to secure affiliation with Calcutta University and no scope for university education existed within Tripura.
Since the late 1960s CE, student movements within Tripura consistently focused on the demand for expansion of opportunities for higher education and setting of Tripura’s own university. Responding to rising demands Calcutta University authority agreed to have post-graduate classes on history, mathematics, and economics held in MBB College and, in 1976, the University Grants Commission (UGC) recognized this as Calcutta University Post Graduate Centre (CUPGC). This only further intensified the state’s quest for higher education and demand for a separate university . It however took nine more years to initiate measures for setting up Tripura’s own university. It was on May 18, 1985 that the then education minister and tribal leader Dasharath Deb laid the foundation for Tripura University on the sprawling 75 acres (300,000 m2) of land, donated by the state government, at Suryamaninagar, ten kilometers south of Agartala. The work on construction progressed rapidly and the state assembly passed the Tripura University Act in 1987, extending legislative approval to the process of launching the University. It was on October 2, the birth date of Mahatma Gandhi, that Tripura University formally came into being.
Tripura University provides post-graduate courses in sixteen subjects while the various Departments, Directorates and Centres within it provide 38 degree courses. All twenty four general and technical colleges, within the state, are affiliated with Tripura University.
The new campus of Tripura University is situated at Suryamaninagar, 10 km away from the city center of Agartala.
- Techno India Agartala, a Degree Engineering College
- Tripura Institute of Technology
- MBB College
- Government Women’s College
- Bir Bikram Memorial College
- Ramthakur College
- College of Teacher Education, Agartala
- Government Law College, Agartala
- Government Music College, Agartala
- Government College of Arts and Crafts, Agartala
- Regional Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology , Agartala
- Dasarath Deb Memorial College
- Belonia College, Sabrum
- Government Degree College, Amarpur
- Netaji Subhas Mahavidyalaya, Udaipur
- Kabi Nazrul Mahavidyalaya, Sonamura
- Government Degree College, Dharmanagar
- Government Degree College, Kamalpur
- Government Degree College, Fatikroy
- Tripura Medical College, Agartala.
- Agartala Government Medical College, Agartala.
- Ramkrishna Mahabhidyalay, Kailashar
- Regional College of Physical Education, Panisagar
- Holy Cross College, Suryamaninagar
- Govt. Degree College, Teliamura
- Govt. Degree College, Longtharai vally
- Tripura Institute of Paramedical Science, Hapania
- Tripura Sundhari Nursing College, Tulakuna
- Dhalai Dist. Polytechnic, Ambassa
- s Tripura College of Science and Technology, Anandanagar