Chandramukhi Basu

Chandramukhi Basu

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Chandramukhi Basu Profile

  • Name:
  • Chandramukhi Basu
  • Spouse:
  • Pandt Keswaranand Mamgayen

Chandramukhi Basu Biography

Chandramukhi Basu was one of the first two female graduates of the British Empire. She shares this unique record with Kadambini Ganguly, and both received bachelor's degree in arts from the University of Calcutta, India in 1883. She was born in the year 1860 in a Bengali speaking Christian family from Dehradun which was then located in United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.


She was born in Dehradun in 1860 as the daughter of Bhuban Mohan Bose. She passed the First Arts examination from Dehradun Native Christian School in 1880. During that period, Bethune School did not admit non-Hindu girls. As she was a Christian, she got admission at the First Arts (F.A.) level in Reverend Alexander Duff's Free Church Institution. In those days gender discrimination was visible and ladies were not allowed to get educated. In 1876 she had to be given special permission to appear for the F.A. examination. She was the single girl of the batch and stood first. But the university made a lot of discussions if her result is to be published or not.


Chandramukhi Basu had already cleared her Entrance Examination in 1876, long before Kadambini Ganguly. But university refused to enlist her as a successful candidate. In 1878 when the rules were changed by university she was allowed to study further. Both she and Kadambini Ganguly moved to Bethune College for the degree course and both received bachelor's degree in arts in the same year – 1883. Later she became the first and only woman to pass MA from the University of Calcutta, and the British empire.


Later she started her teaching career in Bethune College in 1886. Till then, Bethune school and college were together. When the college was separated from the school in 1888, she was placed as its principal. Thus she became the first female head of an undergraduate academic institution in South Asia. Two of her sisters, Bidhumukhi and Bindubasini, were among the earliest Indian women to become medical graduates.

Updated: January 10, 2014

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