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Roorkee College was established in 1847 AD as the first engineering college in the British Empire. The College was renamed as Thomason College of Civil Engineering in 1854. It was given the status of University by Act No. IX of 1948 of U.P. in recognition of its performance and its potential and keeping in view the needs of post-independence India. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, presented the Charter in November 1949 elevating the erstwhile college to the first Engineering University of Independent India.
Since its establishment, the University of Roorkee has played a vital role in providing the technical manpower and knowhow to the country and in pursuit of research. The University ranks amongst the best technological institutions in the world and has contributed to all sectors of technological development. It has also been considered a trend-setter in the area of education and research in the field of science, technology, and engineering. The University is entering 150th year of its existence in one or other form in October 1996 and so, Sesquicentennial Celebrations are being organised during the period from October 1996 to October 1997. In this moment of jubiliation, the University can surely look back with pride on the achievement of its alumni over the last century and half.
Bachelor's Degree courses are offered in 10 disciplines in Engineering and Architecture; 55 Postgraduate Degree courses are offered in Engineering, Applied Science and Architecture and planning. The University has facility for doctoral work in all Departments and Research Centres.
The University admits students to B.E. and B.Arch. courses through and entrance examination conducted at varios centres all over India without any considerations for domicile. There are no consideration of domicile in the sphere of postgraduate education and research either.