Patna University was established in the year 1917 and it functioned as affiliating and examining body for over 30 years. On January 2, 1952 it was converted into a purely teaching -cum-residential University with the territorial jurisdiction over Metropolitan Patna. It is one of the oldest Universities in the Country. In Bihar it is the first, and in the subcontinent, it is the seventh oldest University. The University buildings are located on the bank of River Ganges and in the second Campus i.e. Saidpur Campus.
The Patna University has 31 postgraduate departments in the faculties of Science, Social Sciences, Humanities, Education, Commerce, Law and 10 constituent colleges, apart from Patna Medical College and Patna Dental College in the Faculty of Medicine whose management and control are with the State Government. There are 4 Institutes maintained by the University e.g. Institute of Psychological Research & Services, Institute of Public Administration, Institute of Music, and Institute of Library and Information Science. College of Arts & Crafts is fully devoted to the course of fine arts and has been imparting teaching in painting, sculptures etc. A Faculty of Fine Arts has also been started and is located on the campus of College of Arts & Crafts. Directorate of Distance Education (DDE) is a separate unit catering to the needs of large number of students who are unable to get admission as regular students in Colleges or are in service in some institutions. The University is eager to start e-learning.
The University is also running the Master of Business Administration Course in the Department of Applied Economics and Commerce, the Department of Personal Management and Industrial Relation is having post-graduate Diploma courses in Industrial Safety Management and Rural Management and Welfare Administration. These are self-financed courses.
The Population Research Centre is working in the Department of Statistics with the assistance of Ministry of Health and Family Planning, Government of India. It is a Centre for Population Studies & Publication Health.
The Patna University Computer Centre has conducted Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Application (PGDCA) course from the session 2008-09. P.G. Diploma in Bio-Informatics course at the Centre is likely to be started from the next session. Master in Computer Application (MCA) started after the approval of Hon'ble Chancellor in the Department of Statistics, Patna University.
The Central Library is catering to the needs of the students and teachers, research scholars etc. and is located in the centre of the campus. The Library has been connected to internet and steps are being taken to computerize the working. The University Central Library is rendering its services to the teachers, students and researchers. For students it is opened for 24 hours. The number of various volumes at present is over 4, 00, 000 besides 87 periodicals and 50,000 back journals. It has more than 5000 valuable old manuscripts which are very rare and are of much use to the research scholars. The Library is working to establish e-resource centre, e-journal facilities and to transform into Digital Library.
Patna College, Science College, Magadh Mahila College, B. N. College, Patna Women’s College and Vanijaya Mahavidyalaya, have also opened post-graduate departments in the various subjects on the approval of the State Government and are running under the College administration. These post-graduate classes were started on the demand of the students and the public in general and to defuse the crisis of the admission in higher courses.
The UGC Academic Staff College is functioning efficiently and imparting refresher courses in various subjects and orientation programme for the teachers of the South East Zone.
The existing number of students in the university P.G. Departments, Colleges and Institutes is more than 18,741 and the number of teachers is 448 out of sanctioned post of 1004. At present the teacher student ratio is 1:42. If all vacant post were filled up then this ratio will become 1:18.
The students of the Patna University have done fairly well at the national level test conducted by the U.G.C. and C.S.I.R. and also done well in the U.P.S.C and the state level competitions. The University also conducts NET Examination.
The Central Dispensary, with 12 skilled doctors having M.D., F.R.C.S. degrees have been giving their services to the students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the University. Its nomenclature may be changed as Health Centre.
A full fledged University Works Department is functioning now which is responsible for construction and maintenance of the buildings of the University.
The University has its own Press with limited infrastructure facility and is located in the campus. It has two mono typing machines besides other sophisticated equipment and instruments. Our University Press needs its own spacious building for expansion and modernization to cope with the ever expanding requirement of the University.
The Patna University has a Sports Board and Cultural Board which keep the campus humming with their activities round the year. Our students have brought laurels having participated in events held in different zones.
East Zone Inter University Cricket Tournament (M) was hosted by Patna University from 20.11.2007 to 08.12.2007. Patna University was declared runners up out of about 38 participants for the first time after several years. The P.U. team thus qualified & participated in the Inter Zonal 2007-08 tournaments at Chennai. it was also selected for participating in Vizzy trophy tournament at Amritsar from 16th Feb. 2008.
One sports team comprising more than sixty Boys and Girls participated in the Inter University Sports meet “Eklavya” at Ara and bagged twenty three medals.
Runner-up last year, the Chess team of Patna University participated in all India Chess tournament at Kanpur and obtained fourth position. The table tennis team (Boys & Girls) also participated in Inter University T-T meet at L. N. M. University, Darbhanga.
The Patna University Computer Center has developed its Local Area Network and linked P.U. Main office to this network in Phase-I. The Campus Networking Phase-II from Law College to Darbhanga House is likely to be started very soon. Phase-III for total campus networking will be started subject to the reciept of grant for the purpose.