In modern times, during the close of the 19th century, the Society for Propagation of Gospel of Christ (S. G. P. C.) successfully introduced the classes of higher learning in its schools in Kanpur. Gradually the demand for institutions for higher education in the fast growing commercial metropolis gained momentum. The Arya Samaj, Sanatandharma and other missions and denominational institutions opened such colleges under the encouraging patronage of the government. The Agriculture College, Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Central Leather Institute, Textile Institute and Sugar Institute were also established in course of time. After India became free, further studies were made in the field of education in Kanpur. Institutes of Higher Learning, Like Ganesh Shanker Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College and Indian Institute of Technology were set up.
Even after the setting of these institutions the long cherished desire of the people of Kanpur for getting a university, a real seat of eminence and excellence which could co-ordinate and update the working of the different educational institutions, remained unfulfilled. In the mean time, several academic institutions with much advanced resources and expertise sprung up in different parts of the country. Education and Research has advanced by laps and bounds and Kanpur in comparison looked smaller than before, simultaneously an imperative need was felt by a vast segment of the population of Kanpur for an establishment of learning which could fulfill their academic needs and provide leadership in social, economic, cultural, and technical spheres.
The Radha Krishnan Commission (1949) suggested the establishment of a university at Kanpur as it was felt that the Agra University to which the colleges at Kanpur were affiliated was getting increasingly overburdened. In order to meet the popular demand and to reduce the burden of Agra University, Kanpur University was established by an Act of U.P. State Legislature in the year 1966. Since its inception the Kanpur University has made considerable growth both in the number of the colleges affiliated to it, and the diversification and varieties of subjects taught. Today it has 952 colleges spread over eleven districts of the state, affiliated to it. About 7 Lac students appear every year in the various undergraduate and postgraduate examinations in the faculties of Arts, Commerce, Science, Education, Law, Agriculture, Medicine, Ayurvedic & Unani, Engineering and Technology, Business Management, Life Science, and Advanced Studies in Social Science etc. There is also a centre for Computer Application, Department of English and Education.
The University has been making continuous efforts to improve and upgrade teaching facilities in its constituent and affiliated colleges. For this purpose an In Service Teacher’s Orientation and Research Centre’ was established in the University with the approval of the U.G.C. The College Development Council was also established. The CDC has been doing useful work by providing facilities to the colleges and procuring U.G.C.’s assistance for the developmental activities and research for the teachers.
The University has been alive to the need of bringing in qualitative changes in its character and during the past years it has gradually emerged as a distinctive teaching and research centre. The establishment of a Central Library has fulfilled the much-felt need of providing a reference centre. The University is successfully running various courses in the University Institute of Engineering & Technology, University Institute of Business Management, Library & Information Sciences, Department of Education, Department of Life Sciences, Institute of Bio-Sciences & Biotechnology, University Institute of Paramedical Science, University Institute of Pharmacy, Institute of Journalism & Mass Communication, Department of Physical Education, Computer Centre, Department of Music and Fine Arts, Department of Social Work, Department of Adult & Continuing Education, Department of English, Department of Hotel Management and Institute of Legal Studies. These departments comprise the residential wing of the University.
During the fifty-five years of its existence, the C.S.J.M. University, Kanpur has established itself firmly as a quality teaching and research institution. It is fulfilling a great need of education in the State. It is significant to note that from the very beginning the university has adopted a progressive attitude. Besides the provision of instructions through its colleges in various Liberal arts and science, the University has emerged as a Leader in the field of non formal education. The direction of progress in this regard include adult, continuing education & women studies.
The residential wing of the University and the college constituting the university have established a reputation for organizing high level conference, seminars and symposia. Matters of topical interest with relevance to academic, quality of life and living are discussed. There is an effort to widen the frontiers of knowledge. In this, the university and its affiliated units are immensely assisted by the high traditions of literature, art and culture of this illustrious metropolis. The university subsidizes the visit of the faculty to attend national and international institutions of higher learning. Thus, those engaged in the task of imparting instructions to young students are able to keep themselves abreast of the recent thinking and development in various spheres. The U.G.C. has provided a Computer Centre for efficient university workings and research.
By introducing a three years Degree course, the university has come in line with the other universities in the country. Considerable attention is paid in the university to games, sports, physical education, the National Cadet Corps and the National Service Scheme. The student of the university have excelled in all these fields. The university is consistent in its pursuing directions that such it towards an increased use of Hindi, privileges for the physically handicapped including the blind students & facilities for the scheduled caste, scheduled tribes & the backward class.