Cotton University
কটন বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়
MottoApramattena Veddhavyam
Motto in English
Knowledge in any field
TypePublic state university
  • 1901 (123 years ago) (1901)
  • 1901 (1901) (as Cotton College)
  • 2017 (2017) (as Cotton University)
FounderSir Henry Stedman Cotton
ChancellorGovernor of Assam
Vice-ChancellorProf. Ramesh Ch. Deka[1]
Location, ,
26°11′12″N 91°44′51″E / 26.1868°N 91.7476°E / 26.1868; 91.7476
ColorsOrange, Blue, Green    

Cotton University (formerly known as Cotton College) is a public state university located in Guwahati, Assam, India. It was established in 2017 by the provisions of an Act from the Assam Legislative Assembly which merged Cotton College State University and Cotton College. The University has progressed to become one of the top 200 institutions of the country (appearing on the list of 150–200 in the National Institutional Ranking Framework rank list in May 2020).

Cotton College was established in 1901 by Sir Henry Stedman Cotton, Chief Commissioner of the former British province of Assam. It was the oldest institute of higher education in Assam and all of Northeast India.[2] Cotton College became a constituent college of Gauhati University in 1948, and then of Cotton College State University when it was established in 2011, by an Act (Act XIX of 2011) of the Assam Government. The Cotton University Act, 2017, was enacted to resolve problems between the college and the university.[3]


Main structure of the University
A structure at Cotton University

In 1899 Manick Chandra wrote to the British government asking to open a college in Guwahati, insofar as Assam was the only province with no college and that Guwahati was the most convenient location. In response, Sir Henry Stedman Cotton, K.C.S.I., then the Chief Commissioner of Assam, announced on 3 November 1899 that a college would be opened in Guwahati. Cotton College, named by the public, was inaugurated on 27 May 1901 by Cotton himself. It was affiliated with Calcutta University[4] and began with five professors which included Frederick William Sudmerson, the first principal of the college, and 39 students.

The college was the centre of the freedom movement as well as literary and cultural movements of the state, which aimed to build Assam's identity as a distinct, integral component of India. When Gauhati University was established in 1948, Cotton College became affiliated with it as a constituent college.[5] In 2015, the college was declared a Special Heritage College.[4]

On 16 October 1992, the college was named as a center of excellence,[6] an occasion celebrated in a solemn ceremony with Shankar Dayal Sharma, then President of India, and it officially became a post-graduate college.[5]

Cotton College celebrated its centennial with a year-long program from 27 May 2001 to 26 May 2002. Krishan Kant, then Vice President of India graced the closing ceremony. India Post issued a ₹4.00 commemorative postage stamp on 25 May 2002 as part of the centenary celebration.

Cotton College State University

Now Cotton University
First Block of Cotton College

Cotton College State University was created through an Act of the Government of Assam (Act XIX of 2011). This act received the assent of the Governor of Assam on 3 September 2011, published in the Assam Gazette on 5 September 2011. The Cotton College became its constituent college.[7]

The election for the University's first Academic Council and University Court was held on 22 February 2013 with three and five members elected respectively.[8]

Cotton University

Over time, conflicts emerged between the University and the College chiefly over the custody of properties. The Assam Legislative Assembly passed an amendment in 2015 that the university and the college be run as separate institutes.[9] The bill, called The Cotton University Act 2017, was passed by the Assam Legislative Assembly on 2 March 2017 in order to resolve these problems.[3] By this act, the University and College would be completely merged.[9] Upon enforcement, the university was renamed Cotton University.[10] By ordinance, the Governor of Assam, Banwarilal Purohit became Chancellor, who then appointed Bhabesh Chandra Goswami as the first Vice Chancellor in July 2017.[11]

Organisation and administration

Faculties and Centres

  1. Faculty of Languages, Literature and Linguistics
  2. Faculty of Physical, Chemical and Mathematical Sciences
  3. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  4. Faculty of Earth Sciences
  5. Faculty of Life Sciences
  6. Centre for Women's Studies


Academic programmes


In keeping with the former Cotton College's traditions, courses leading to Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate are possible in the Arts and Science streams. This qualification is awarded upon successful completion of two years of study followed by relevant examinations under the Assam Higher Secondary Educational Council.

Bachelors degrees

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Computer Application, Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Bachelor of Mass Communication and Journalism and Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biotechnology graduate degrees are offered. The degrees are awarded upon successful completion of three years of study followed by relevant examinations under Cotton University.

Masters degrees

Postgraduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Library and Information Science, Master of Law, Master in Computer Application and Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are offered. The degrees are awarded upon successful completion of two years of study followed by relevant examinations under Cotton University. Admission is offered by way of a national-level entrance examination.

Doctoral programme

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is offered in all postgraduate departments. Admission opens annually in June/July. Selection is based on a written test and a viva voce oral examination. UGC/CSIR JRF/NET/SET qualified candidates are exempted from written tests.

Accreditation and ranking

A 2002 stamp dedicated to Cotton University

This institution was accredited with a cumulative grade point average of 3.76 on a four-point scale and grade "A++" on 5 November 2016 by the 18th SC executive committee of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. At the time, the cumulative grade point average score was the third-highest among colleges in India.[12]

Student life


  1. Krishna Kanta Handique Post Graduate Boys' Hostel (established in 1901; capacity 75 students in 22 rooms)
  2. Swahid Muzammil Haque Boys' Hostel (established in 1902; capacity 64 students in 20 rooms)
  3. Rajanikanta Bordoloi Boys' Hostel (established in 1910; capacity 85 students in 30 rooms)
  4. Swahid Ranjit Barpujari Boys' Hostel (established in 1913; capacity 93 students in 33 rooms)
  5. Anundo Ram Barooah Boys' Hostel (established in 1913; capacity 99 students in 33 rooms)
  6. Seetanath Brahma Chaudhury Boys' Hostel (established in 1929; capacity 90 students in 25 rooms)
  7. Mahendra Nath Deka Phukan Boys' Hostel (established in 1955; capacity 110 students in 28 rooms)
  8. Padmashree Nalini Bala Devi Girls' Hostel (established in 1950; capacity 112 students in 25 rooms)
  9. Swahid Kanaklata Girls' Hostel (established in 1971; capacity 105 students in 21 rooms)
  10. Dr. Kamala Roy Girls' Hostel (established in 2001; capacity 60 students in 25 rooms)

Notable alumni and faculty

Noted alumni

This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources showing they merit inclusion in this article AND are alumni, or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (March 2018)

Noted faculty

List of principals

The institute had 50 principals from 1901 till 2012.[16]


  1. ^ "Vice Chancellor". Cotton University. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Cotton College Merges with Cotton State University » Northeast Today". Northeast Today. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b Singh, A. (8 March 2018). "Assam Assembly Passes The Cotton University Act 2017: Cotton College To Merge With Cotton College State University". Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Assam's Cotton College becomes Cotton University". The Shillong Times. 2 June 2017. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b Goswami, P. (21 July 2011). "Cotton College to Cotton University – Emotions and Debates". Times of Assam. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  6. ^ L. Cremonini, L., Paivandi, S. and Joshi, K.M. (2019). Mergers in Higher Education: Practices and Policies. Studera Press. p. 115. ISBN 9789385883941.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "UGC team to visit Cotton University". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Cotton College State University elections – Indian Express". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b Karmakar, S. (8 March 2017). "What's in a name? A lot if it's Cotton". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 June 2018.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Cotton University". Cotton University. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Prof Bhabesh Chandra Goswami is the new Cotton University VC". 12 July 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Cotton College Declared as 3rd Best College in India » Northeast Today". Northeast Today. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  13. ^ Curriculum Vitae.
  14. ^ "Education".
  15. ^ "Shamsul 'Ulema, Abu Nasar Waheed". Banglapedia.
  16. ^ "Principals of Cotton College". Retrieved 22 March 2012.