Also known as Pantnagar University or GBPUA and T, Govind Ballabh Pant University is a public university founded in 1960 under the American land-grant model. Initially known as Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University, its foundation as India’s first agricultural university was announced by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Early American influence was strong. The land-grant model enabled the creation of a purpose-built campus on land reclaimed from jungle at Pantnagar, 160 miles from Delhi. Spread over more than 10,000 acres, it is reckoned to be the second largest contiguous university campus in the world.
Faculty from the University of Illinois also played a leading part in the creation and leadership of the institution until 1972, the same year in which it was renamed after Govind Pant, the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
GBPUA and T has nine faculties and 14 specialist research centres, and was hailed by the agronomist Norman Borlaug, winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, as a ‘harbinger of the green revolution’. Its researchers played an important part in the development of high-yielding seeds and have been responsible for the creation of more than 200 new varieties of seed and plant, with current activity focussed on organic farming and biological pest control. The university publishes the International Journal of Basic and Applied Agricultural Research.
It has an unusually high ratio of staff to students, with one member of teaching staff to every six students in 2017. Undergraduate courses include a compulsory community service element, with 240 hours of work counting towards degrees.