The University of Mysore was established on 27th July, 1916 during the benevolent reign of the Maharaja of Mysore, His Highness Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1884-1940). The genesis of the University of Mysore stems from a five year long in-depth reading and analysis on higher education across the globe. The mission of the University of Mysore, laid down in the 1916 regulations published in the Mysore Gazette Extraordinary, aims at ‘promoting teaching and research in conventional and traditional domains of Arts, Humanities, Pure and Applied Sciences and Professional disciplines’. Sir M Visvesvaraya (1860-1962) played a decisive role in the launch of the University. The University, since then, has gone through different phases of development. Started with just two faculties, namely Arts and Science offering BA, BSc, BCom and BT courses, the University added Engineering faculty in 1917, MA programs at Maharaja's College, Mysore. In 1918, MSc program at Central College, Bangalore in 1919 and the faculty of Medicine in Mysore during1924 , thus laying a firm foundation for the multi-faculty character of the university. In 1941, new courses leading to BA honours were added.
During the post-independent period, from 1947-1960, the University enacted new Act of 1956 which ushered in academic autonomy. It also facilitated the introduction of PreUniversity System of education by abolishing intermediate courses. With the support of the University Grants Commission (UGC), which came into existence in 1956, post-graduate education was expanded significantly. In 1960, a major development was the conglomeration of all the post-graduate studies of the University at one location during the tenure of the ViceChancellorship of Dr. K.V. Puttappa. This location was christened "Manasagangotri" meaning ` eternal spring of the mind’ adjacent to Kukkarahalli lake within the heart of the heritage city of Mysore in a picturesque area of 739 acres. The year 1966 was commemorated as the Golden Jubilee year and a corpus fund of Rs 2.85 crores was instituted for awards and prizes under various categories.
Today the University has 42 Postgraduate Departments at the Main Campus, Manasagangotri, 2 Postgraduate Centres, viz., Tubinakere, Mandya, Hemagangotri, Hassan with 5 Postgraduate Departments each and one Satellite Centre at Chamarajanagar with 3 Postgraduate Departments. It is providing higher education to about 85 lakhs students, of which over 10,000 are Postgraduates. As many as 1400 students are from 50 countries pursuing higher studies in this University. Some of these countries are China, Iran, Jordan, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria, Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Kajkhastan, Kirghizia, Mongolia, Uganda, Yemon, Kenya, Palestine, Srilanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. While adopting and realizing the policy of inclusive growth creating opportunities to every deserving persons new courses and programs such as Masters in Biotechnology, Microbiology, Electronics, Genetics, Electronic Media, Geographical Information Systems, Information Technology and Management, Computer Cognition Technology, Financial Analysis and Management, Tourism Administration etc., have been introduced in a phased manner to meet the emerging needs of the technology and society and to develop necessary human resources. Career Oriented Courses, such as e-commerce, Bio-informatics, Clinical Informatics, Office Automation etc., are also being offered.
The University has developed excellent infrastructure for curricular and co-curricular activities. The University Library has a collection of 6.2 lakhs covering books, reference works and journal back volumes. In addition, the individual constituent colleges/institutes and departments maintain their own book collections amounting to another 4 lakhs. The E-resource Portal developed by the library facilitates access to 6500 UGC-INFONET E-journals, 7000 Open Access Journals, 17000 licensed e-books, Lakhs of OA e-books, a number of databases, e-thesis, institutional repositories and other information sources. The library has set up a Carrier Information Resource Center and Learning Resource Center for Visually Challenged. The main campus features an amphitheater, an auditorium, a swimming pool, and hostels for women and men with modern amenities and comforts.
After assessing its over all performance, the University of Mysore was first accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with Five Star status in the year 2000 and has been reaccredited in 2006 at A+ level again NACC reaccredited A grade in 2013. Current Science has ranked the University of Mysore as one of the top 20 Universities in Scientific and Research activities.
Considering the progress of the University in all directions and its contributions to the society, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India has considered University of Mysore as `Institution of Excellence’ and has awarded special grant of Rs.100 Crores for establishing Centre of Excellence in "Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Sustainable Development" and also to strengthen infrastructural facilities in the University.On recommendation of Karnataka Knowledge Commission, the Karnataka Government considered University of Mysore as an “Innovative University”. University of Mysore is recipient of several research and other academic programs of UGC, CSIR, DST and DBT and other agencies of Govt. of India. It is pertinent to mention that very recently, University Grants Commission has awarded University of Mysore -University with Potential for Excellence (UPE) and has extended financial assistance of Rs.50 Crores for research activities and for holistic development of the University. With the heritage that the University enjoys, and the committed Faculty and Non-Teaching Staff it has, there is no doubt the University of Mysore leaves no stone unturned to move forward to maintain high standards in teaching, learning and research and accomplish Excellence in Higher education.