Opportunities Today : September 2006 Issue

All about MUMBAI UNIVERSITY - Now in its 150th Year  



On 18th July, 2006, the University of Mumbai became 150 years old. His Excellency, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India inaugurated the function of sesqui-centennial celebration. On account of 150 years, various programmes will be held during the academic year 2006-2007. On this occasion here is the story of Mumbai University.

University of Mumbai has always been a unique organization, in terms of the eminence of the teachers, courses offered, caliber and quality of achievements. The University had maintained a constant and fruitful interaction with the society, academic community and industrial sector. The roots of this great University are reflected in its Seal.

Story of Seal

18th July, 1857 is a landmark in the history of higher education in India. Although, the University of Mumbai was incorporated on 18th July,1857 the Senate has passed the resolution at a meeting held on 18th of December, 1860 to adopt a design of Seal for the University of Mumbai. The first reference to the Seal is to be found in the minutes of the meeting of the Syndicate held on the 6th of January, 1860. Sir Cowasji Jehangir Readymoney offered to bear the expenses occurred upon the grant of arms and the engraving of the Seal and donated Rs. 1200/- for this purpose. We can see the arms on the design of University Seal as follow :

The following is a correct description of the Seal :
“Gules a Lion passant, gardant, crowned with an Eastern Crown Or, resting the dexter paw upon an open book Proper, on a chief dancettee Argent, three Boars' heads erased of the field.”


It means “On a field coloured red is the figure of a golden lion, walking forward with its face turned towards the observer. The lion wears a golden crown which on account of its shape is known in hearldry as an “ Eastern Crown”, and its right paw is placed upon an open book, which is represented in its natural colour, namely, white. On the upper portion of the shield, which is separated from the lower by a dancettee line, three boars' heads are shown against a white background. The boars' necks are unevenly cut, as if the heads had been violently wrenched from the bodies of the animals.”

From July 1857 to January 1860, there were no Seal to this University. The University of Mumbai started using the Seal from 1861. On account of the centenary year of the University i.e. 1957 the new University Seal was adopted. The preparation of adopting the design of Seal started in the meeting of Syndicate held on 24th of December 1955. An exact Coat of Arms of the University can be seen in the following picture:


The Coat of Arms containing the symbols are :
i) Rajabai Clock Tower,
ii) An open book as a symbol of learning,
iii) Steamships to represent Mumbai as a port,
iv) Wheels and Chimneys to represent Mumbai as a centre of commerce and industry.


At the bottom of the Coat of Arms of the University is inscribed its motto : “à·ôÜßëˆÌ~Ü· õßl·” It means, “The Fruit of Learning is Character and Righteous Conduct.”

Bombay University to Mumbai University

The University of Mumbai was known as University of Bombay. As per the provisions of the clause (3) of Article 348 of the Constitution of India, the Government of Maharashtra has published the Maharashtra State Government Gazette, part III, an act, the Maharashtra Restoration of name “MUMBAI” for “BOMBAY”, Act, 1996 to provide for restoration of the original name “MUMBAI” for “BOMBAY”. The Gazette was published on 4th September,1996. Accordingly the Maharashtra University Act, 1994 has been amended to read as under:

“UNIVERSITY OF BOMBAY” is substituted with “UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI”. So the University of Bombay is known as University of Mumbai.

The Governor is the Chancellor of the University and by virtue of his office, he is the Head of the University. The Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor are appointed by the Chancellor. The person appointed as the Vice-Chancellor holds office for a contract period of five years from the date of his appointment or till attaining the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier and is not eligible for reappointment.

The Vice-Chancellor is the Principal Academic and Executive Officer of the University. The Chancellor may appoint a Pro Vice-Chancellor for the University, which has more than 150 affiliated colleges. The Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor are full-time salaried officers of the University. The Pro Vice-Chancellor's term is of co-terminous with the term of office of the Vice-Chancellor or till he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier. The Vice-Chancellor is specifically empowered with section 14(7) and 14(8) of Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994 for taking emergency decisions.


There are six Faculties in the University of Mumbai. There is a Dean for each Faculty. The Deans are elected members and not eligible for a second consecutive term. Mainly, they are responsible for implementation of the academic policies of the University. The Dean of the Arts Faculty is considered to be the senior-most. The reason is that the Arts Faculty was introduced at the time of the inception of the University. The Deans formulate the policies and developmental programmes of the Faculties.The Director of the Board of College and University Development is nominated by the Vice-Chancellor. The Director is an officer for academic planning and academic audit of the University. He is the Principal Liaison Officer for generating funds for the academic development programmes and collaborative programmes. The term of the Director is co-terminous with that of the Vice-Chancellor.

The Registrar, Deputy Registrars and Assistant Registrars are appointed by the Vice-Chancellor. The Registrar is a Chief Administrative Officer of the University. The Registrar is a full-time salaried officer and eligible for reappointment for another term of 5 years. He is the Custodian of the Records of the University and acts as the Secretary of Various Authorities of the University i.e. the Senate, the Management Council, the Academic Council etc. There are 12 Deputy Registrars and 41 Assistant Registrars in the University of Mumbai.

The Controller of Examinations is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor. At present the Officer on Special Duty cum - Controller of Examinations is the Principal Officer in charge of the Conduct of Examinations. Three Deputy Registrars and Thirteen Assistant Registrars are assisting the Controller for University Examination work. In addition, one Deputy Registrar (Finance & Accounts) and two Assistant Registrars (Finance & Accounts) are taking care of the finance and accounts of the Examination Section.

The Finance & Accounts Officer is the Principal Finance, Accounts and Audit Officer of the University. The Finance and Accounts Officer is appointed for a term of five years. He is the Member Secretary of the Finance & Accounts Committee. He is responsible for presenting the budget to the Finance & Accounts Committee and the Management Committee.

The Head of the Department of each subject is the authority of the University. The Head of the Department plans, monitors, co-ordinates and evaluates the authority of the department.

We can see in the following Wheel, an approximate representation of the administrative and the academic functioning of the University of Mumbai:  Although the administrative & academic wheel of the University of Mumbai moves with the changing situation, it has to catch the speed of global change. If it follows the right direction with appropriate strategy then the sky is the limit for its achievements.

By Prin. M. S. Kurhade
D.T.S.S. College of Commerce,
Kurar, Malad (E),Mumbai-400 097