Panjab University and its Historical Significance in India and Pakistan:

This is a tale of one university with two campuses on each side of the border and a history spanning over a century. Know more about Punjab University in this story.

There are very few educational institutions in the world which are as unique as the Punjab University. Its legacy of more than 135 years is equally claimed by India and Pakistan which were the part of erstwhile British India. And its reputation as the premier university has grown in leaps and bounds in both sides of the border.

History of the Original Campus

Panjab University was formally founded after the meeting of its senate at Shimla in October 1882. At the time of its establishment, there was no major higher education institution in north India which covered parts of present-day Punjab in Pakistan and India. The university’s original campus was at Lahore, the major metropolitan city of northern India, which became a hub of education, culture, and influence of its time. At the time of its founding, Panjab University was the fourth university established by British after setting up universities at Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. The contribution of Dr D.G Leitnertowards founding the institution is often deemed exemplary. The Hungarian born British educationist became the first registrar of the university. One of the most significant vice-chancellors during the times of the Raj was Prof. A. C. Woolner (1928-1936) who made some noteworthy developments in the original campus.


The original campus still houses the university in the city of Lahore in present-day Pakistan. The Indian side built a new campus of the same university at the newly founded capital city of Punjab called Chandigarh after India’s partitionin around 1958-60. After 1947, the makeshift PU campus was located at the various locations like Shimla, Jalandhar and Rohtak. Celebrated writers like Mulk Raj Anand and Balwant Gargi were some of the noteworthy faculty members of its Chandigarh campus upon its relocation after 1947 to India.

Famous Alumni

Over more a hundred and thirty-five years, the university has produced several illustrious alumni from India and Pakistan. The two notable Nobel laureates produced by Panjab University are scientist Dr Hargobind Khorana (1968) and  (1979) who won the above prestigious award. The other distinguished alumni from PU include former Indian president Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma, former Prime ministers Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr I.K Gujral from India and Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani from Pakistan. PU has also been an Alma Mater to famous people like Sushma Swaraj, Kalpana Chawla, Kiran Bedi,Kiran Kher, Professor Yash Pal, Jaspal Bhatti, Shekhar Gupta and Anupam Kher, to name a few.

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