Krishna Kanta Handiqui: A Brief Profile

An illustrious son of Assam, Professor Krishna Handiqui is one of the greatest Sanskritists and one of the greatest Indologists of the World, and above all, an educationist with uncommon ability and vision. During his life time he became a legendary figure and even to-day the very name K.K. Handiqui Stands for all the good and great qualities of a Saintly person. A man given completely to profound study and never bothering about popularity, power and fame Handique was a strict disciplinarian in the domain of educational administration. He always thought of getting quality rather than quantity.

From 1930 to 1948 Handiqui served as the founder Principal of the Jorhat Jagannath Baruah College, which was the first non-government degree college of the entire North-East region of India. From 1948 to 1957 Prof. Handiqui served as the founder Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gauhati, the oldest University of the entire North-East region of India. Addressing the young graduates in the first convocation of the Gauhati University held in 1951 he said : " I need not remind them of then nascent responsibilities and the great tradition they have to carry forward as worthy citizens of India. They must remember that it is not degrees but character and the purity of the heart that will entitle them to the dignity of man. In a world full of temptations they have to keep their balance and resist the forces of evil." Inaugurating the convocation Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan rightly remarked, " Your Vice-Chancellor is not only a Vice-Chancellor but also a great scholar" Handiqui adopted the same recruitment policy as Sir Ashutosh Mookherjee did in the Calcutta University, viz., to recruit the best qualified persons as teachers from any part of India, irrespective of cast, creed or community. This put the University not only on a sound footing but also enhanced its prestige. Under his strong leadership, this institute grew from strength to strength. In 1952 Handiqui was elected the President of the Inter-University Board of India.He presided over the Vice-Chancellors’ conference at Madras University and the annual conference of the Board at Waltair, Andhra in the same year.

Prof. Handiqui inherited in his veins the blue blood of an aristrocratic Ahom Family of traditional administrators connected with the Ahom monarchs of medieval Assam who ruled over the kingdom of Assam for six hundred years at a stretch till 1826 when the kingdom got annexed to the territory under the sway of the East India Company. His family name Handique appears to be an Anlicised form of Assamese word Sandikai pronounced in Assamese as handikai or xandikai. The word is however derived from the Ahom (Tai) language meaning a bridge (hun) to lay (dikai).

Born at Jorhat in Upper Assam in July 20, 1898 he was the eldest son of the illustrious Raibahadur Radha Kanta Handiqui, a reputed tea planter and philanthropist of Assam. His mother Narayani Aideo was a sister of another illustrious son of Assam, viz., Padmanath Gohain Baruah, a pioneering writer of modern Assamese literature. Handiqui had his early education at Jorhat Govt. High School and then at Cotton College, Guwahati. He got a First Class in B.A. Honours in Sanskrit Securing Prasanna Kummar Sarbadhikari Gold medal as a student of Calcutta Sanskrit College in 1917 at the age of nineteen. During his college days he contributed illuminating articles to Assamese magazine Banhi edited by Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaruah. His English articles were published in research journals like The Modern Review and The Indian Antiquary, Bombay. All of his articles bear stamp of wide study and clear exposition. He was one of the pioneers who started Asom Chatra Sanmilan and one of the Chief aim of the organisation was to encourage the student community to study and write for the advancement of Assamese literature. In 1919 Handiqui got a First Class in M.A. Sanskrit of Calcutta University with special papers on Vedic literature. In the M.A. Class he had the privilege of studying as the only student of the Vedic group in that batch under as great a scholar as Mahamahopadhyaya Sitaram Shastri who used to teach Vedic literature in traditional way through the medium of Sanskrit. With this thoroughly classical and traditional background Handiqui proceeded to England in 1920 and did his M.A. in Oxford University with honours in Modern History in 1923. Justice S.K. Dutta, an eminent educationist and a close associate of Handiqui is quite right in saying, "Handiqui was on the one hand a Sanskrit Pandit, on the other hand an Oxford don. There was a beautiful blend of Oriental and occidental culture in him."

During his seven years sojourn in Europe Handiqui spent four years in France and Germany. He studied and learnt many a language like Latin, Greek, French, German, Russain, Italian and Spanish. Justead of going for higher degrees he considered it worthwhile to learn as much of European literature and as many of European languages as he could, and as a result of this love for learing languages Handiqui had the distinction of knowing as many as thieteen languages including his mother tongue. When in Europe Handiqui’s heart was in Assam and he occasionnaly contributed valuable articles in Assamese to journals like Banhi and Cetana. His pioneer work in Assamese on Western literature and criticism acquainted the readers with various aspects of Spanish, Grrek Russain and German literatures. It is to be noted that his assessment on foreign literatures is based on his knowledge of the original work. [ In 1927 Handique came back to Assam with a huge personal collection of books purchased during his stay in Europe. He then got married with Hemolota Aideo, the eldest daughter of U.N. Buragohain of Nowgong. They have one son and two daughters. For three years Handiqui looked after the management of the family Tea Estate located at Tirual near Jorhat.

His well kept personal library at Jorhat contains ten thousand rare and valuable books in eleven languages of the world. Eight thousand books of this library now a part of the Gauhati University library out of which 842 books are in Greek, 337 are in Italian, 565 in German, 336 in French, 283 in Latin, 100 books in Spanish and Provincial languages, 2052 in Sanskrit, 73 in Buddistic Sanskrit, 193 in Pali, 342 in Prakrit, 191 in Prakrit and Sanskrit (Jain literature), 253 books on Archaelogy, Arts and Painting, 85 Dictionary. This multilingual approach to scholarship made him a keen student of comparative literature. It is for his library works that the world of letters will be ever indebted to Prof. K.K. Handiqui.

The English translation of Sanskrit Mahakavya Naisadhacarita published in 1934 as the first ever translation immediately made Prof. Handiqui known to the whole world.Naisadhacarita composed in circa twelfth century, is the toughest of all the Sanskrit epics. Handiqui was recognized as a scholar of International fame at the age of thirty- six. His first monumental work Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa has been very well received by the eminent scholarslike Prof. A.B. Keith (Edinburgh), Prof. M. Winternitz (Prague), Prof. M.B. Emeneau (California), Mahamahopadhyaya (Benares) and other distinguished scholars from home and abroad. Some comments of Prof. A.B. Keith are quoted below : " The Poem is far from easy, and the translation has distinct merit. The extracts from commentaries hitherto unpublished add greatly to the utility of the work, while the appendices dealing with philosophical allusions contain much helpful matter, and prove the translator’s familiarity with the leading exponents of Indian speculative thought. Special value attaches to the most important vocabulary, which is rich in contribution to Sanskrit lexicography. I note with pleasure that the translator is to publish another work dealing with Kavya literature as a whole, a task for which he is clearly well qualified."

Yasastilaka And Indian Culture, the second monumental work of Prof. Handiqui earned more eminence. The book was published in the year 1949 by Jain Sanskriti Samrakshaka Sangh of Sholapur (Moharastra), and the second edition came out in 1968. The general editors of the book Dr. A.N. Upadhye and Dr. H.L. Jain wrote in the Preface : In fact, sanskritstudies have become richer by Professor Handique’s contributions on the Nasadhacarita and Yasastileka. ……… .. Obviously his zest for Indian learning is a part of his personality; and his devoted self-training in Western Universities has equipped him with the knowledge of many European languages, Catholic taste and Critical outlook." L. Renou, Professor of Sanskrit in Paris University, wrote as follows in French in the Journal of the ‘Academic des Inscriptions et Belles Letter’ : "Except for a note by Peterson, nothing had been written on Yasastilaka. It required the remarkable zeal of Mr. Handiqui, which had already found expression fifteen years ago in a vastly learned work on Sriharsa’s Naisadhacarita, to incorporate the Yasastilaka in the general current of Hinduism. This is now an acquisition." Eminent Italian Scholar Oscar Botto has described it as '………….. it dottissimo lavoro di K.K. Handiqui’, which means ‘The most learned work of K.K. Handiqui.'

The merit of Handiqui’s work was duly acknowledged by scholars of the All India Oriental Conference held that year in Bombay and Handiqui was elected the president of the next Classical Sanskrit Session of the All India Oriental Conference held in Locknow in 1951.

Handiqui's third monumental work Pravarasena’s Setubandha was published by Prakrit Text Society as Prakrit text series XX in 1976 from Ahmedabad under the General Editorship of Professor H.C. Bhayani and Professor D.D. Malvania. "Prof. Handiqui’s critical translation of Pravarasena’s Setubandha is one of the few woks that mark the highest achievement in the major literary genre of Mahakavya. No recent work of Prakrit literary scholarship matches the present work in richness of the exegetical materials culled after a meticulous scanning of numerous commentaries so as not to miss any significant detail. The Setubandha can fairly compare with the Saptasataka of Hata in points of age, importance and a continuous tradition of high literary esteem. The latter work had quite early received thorough attention it deserved from a scholar of Weber's stature; the Setubandha, it seems, was reserved for Prof. Handiqui’s mature scholarship." (Vide General editor’s Foreword).

Handiqui started the work of Setubandha after his retirement from Vice-Chancellorship, a period of nine years, which he described as sterile. Inspite of his advanced age and failing health Handiqui had spared no pains in making available profuse extracts fromvarious unpublished commentaries. We can have a clear idea about the amount of pain taken by him in respect of the work of Setubandha from the Preface, as Handiqui wrote, "……………… Dr. A.N. Upadhye at whose suggestion I had undertaken this work passed away to my great sorrow shortly before the publication of the volume. Without his help and encouragement it would have been difficult for me to complete the task in my declining years marked by ill health and bereavement.

Setubandha is a Prakrit Mahakavya composed in circa fifth century A.D. Handiqui translated into English with extract from unpublished commentaries and critical notes. His present volume comprising 800 pages contains a 147 page introduction. In the preface to the first edition of Naisadha-carita he mentioned that he wanted to write on general survey of the Mahakavya literature. Unfortunately this promise he could not keep because of his preoccupation as the Vice-Chancellor of the Gauhati University.

Prof. K.K. Handique was a scholar of singular distinction, a pioneer Indologist and a philanthropist whose life epitomized an era marked by sacrifice, diligence and devotion to high principles. He is well known for his munificence to literary and educational foundations in the state of Assam. In memory of his beloved wife Hemolata Aideo he established Hemolata Handiqui Memorial Institute, a higher Secondary School at Jorhat in 1962 with his innovative and constructive ideas. He liberally contributed both his knowledge and resources to literary and educational causes in Assam and for the development of Assamese literature. He bequeathed his massive personal library to Gauhati University. He also gave the copy right of all three books of his to respective publishers viz. Deccan Collge Post Graduate and Research Institute, Poona, the Jain Samskriti Samrakshaka Sangha, Maharastra and the Prakrit Text Society, Ahmedabad.

His father Radha Kanta Handique is fondly referred to as a Danavira because of his laudable donations for development of women education and Assamese literature. Because Danvira’s benevolent denations we have in Guwahati the Handique Girls’ College, the Narayani Handique Bhawan for housing the Department of Historical and Antiquarian studies and in Jorhat the Chandra Kanta Handikai Bhawan as the head quarter of Assam Sahitya Sabha, the largest literary organisation of Assam. TheDanvira donated substantially also for the preparation and publication of the Assamese Chandra Kanta Abhidhan in memory of his late lamented sons Chandra Kanta and Indra Kanta. His eldest son Prof. K.K. Handiqui donated liberally for the publication of the subsequent editions of the Chandra Kanta Abhidhan and the maintanence and expansion of the Chandra Kanta Bhawan at Jorhat.

Though he was totally indifferent to them, laurels deservedly came in a big way. He was made President of Asom Sahitya Sabha in 1937 at the age of thirty-nine and President of Classical Sanskrit Section, XVI All India Oriental Conference, Locknow in 1951 and was elected the general President of the Srinagar session of the same in 1961. He received Padmashree in 1955 and Padmabhushan in 1967. He was awarded honorary fellowship of Deccan College, Poona in 1968, a rare distinction reserved for scholars in India and abroad and received only by four others so far. He received the honorary D. Litt. Degree of Guwahati University in 1968 and that of Dibrugarh University in 1972. In 1984 the Sahitya Academy Award was presented to Prof. Handiqui posthumously for the volume comprising his literary works in Assamese KrishnaKanta Handikai Rachana Sambhar, compiled by Prof. J.N. Goswami. He was made the first Sadasya Mahiyan of the Asom Sahitya Sabha, the highest honour conferred on scholars of exceptional merit.

Prof. Handiqui attached greater importance to moral excellence than to the cultivation of the intellect and Ibsen’s dictum "Innocence is the source of all joy and happiness" was the motto of his life. His character may be summed up by a verse of Pravarasena’s Setubandha : Rare are the honest persons who silently achieve their tasks. Few also are the trees that yield fruit without their following being noticed". (Setubandha III, 9).

Though celebrated in the world of letters, Handiqui Shunned publicity and was shy pf position. He led the life of a true Vanaprasthi Scholar whose entire life was spent in fruitful study and quiet research. Internationally acclaimed Indologist and Sanskritist Prof. Krishna Kanta Handiqui passed away on June 7, 1982.

The Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department issued a commemorative Stamp in honour of Prof. K.K. Handiqui on October 7, 1983

(This article was published in the first issue of Horizon, the newsletter of KKHSOU and written by Mrs. Ahalya Gogoi)


Ph.D. & M.Phil.


PhD programme is offered by the University in regular mode as per the latest UGC guidelines.They are also to undertake course works at least for one semester.

PhD programme shall be for a minimum duration of three years, including course work and a maximum of six years.Admission to the Ph.D. programme will be based on performance in the written test and viva. Shortlisted candidates of the written test will have to make a presentation of their synopsis of a research proposal (format to be notified in the website) before a panel of experts. The entrance test will comprise of two parts –Part A: 50 marks MCQ based on research methodology;Part B:50 marks descriptive type.
Fee Structure for PhD Programme:

Admission Fee: Rs 20000
Course Work Fee: Rs 5000
Monthly fee: Rs 1000
Thesis Submission fee: Rs 5000
Viva voce examination fee: Rs 5000


M.Phil. programme shall be for duration of two consecutive semesters/ one year.Candidate for admission to the M.Phil programme shall have a Master’s degree or a professional degree declared equivalent to the Master’s degree by the corresponding statutory regulatory body, with atleast 55% marks in aggregate or its equivalent grade ‘B’ in the UGC 7-point scale (or a equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) or an equivalent degree from a foreign educational institution accredited by an Assessment and Accreditation Agency which is approved, recognized or authorized by an authority, established or incorporated under a law in its home country.
A relaxation of 5% marks, from 55% to 50%, or an equivalent relaxation of grade, may be allowed for those belonging to SC/ST/OBC (non-creamy layer/ differently-abled) and other categories of candidates as per the decision of the Commission from time to time, or for those who had obtained their Master’s degree prior to 19th September, 1991. The eligibility marks of 55% (or an equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) and the relaxation of 5% to the categories mentioned above are permissible based only on the qualifying marks without including the grace mark procedure.

Fee Structure for M.Phil Programme:
Admission Fee: Rs 10000
Monthly fee: Rs 500
Viva voce examination fee: Rs 5000

PG Diploma


KKHSOU presently offers the following Post-graduate Diploma Programmes in credit based semester system. PGDBM, PGDCA, PGDMC, and PGDBJ are moduler that means each programme of a year is a module. Those who successfully complete these programmes shall be eligible for admission into the 3rd Semester of the respective Master’s programmes.

PG Diploma in Mass Communication(PGDMC)
PG Diploma in Human Resource Management (PGDHRM)
PG Diploma in Broadcast Journalism (PGDBJ)
PG Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management (PGDTHM)
Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDBM)
PG Diploma in Computer Applications (PGDCA)


Click here for D.El.Ed Related Latest News

KKHSOU is priviledged to have been entrusted by the Government of Assam with the responsibility to train the untrained teachers with a Teachers’ Training Programme through the distance mode. Accordingly, the university developed the two year programme named Diploma in Elementary Education (DEl.Ed.) which came into functioning in 2012. This programme is the first of its kind in the North East of India. The curriculum of this programme has been designed with the help of experts from DEC (IGNOU), and the local experts taking into account the NCIE guidelines and National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education. After finalizing the curriculum, through several meetings and consultation, it was submitted to NCTE through SSA Mission following which NCTE had given approval to the programme. The programme comprises two years, and the in-service teachers selected / nominated / deputed by the Government of Assam (through SSA Mission) are only eligible to undertake this training programme.


Admission Informations

Admission Procedure:

1) Admission shall be through the designated Study Centres only, spread all over the state.

2) For Admission to a programme, course fee is to be paid through the Bank challan attached with the Prospectus, at any branch of State Bank of India. Application along with necessary enclosures and a copy of the challan returned by the Bank after payment is required to be submitted at the recongnised study Centres within due date. [Course fee may also be paid in the form of Bank Draft drawn in favour of Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University” and payable at Guwahati.

3)A summarised table indicating the eligibility criteria of admission into the various academic programmes offered by the Univeristy along with the relevant documents necessary to be submitted along with the application form. The Study Centre will scrutinize the application forms as per the norms and qualifications required for each programme.The Study Centre will scrutinize the application forms as per the norms and qualifications required for each programme.

4)After scrutiny, the eligible applicants will be provisionally admitted by the Study Centre.

5) Intending learners with incomplete application may be given conditional admission at the University’s discretion with the condition that required eligibility documents are to be submitted latest by the dates prescribed for the purpose. Their enrollment will be confirmed on fulfillment of the eligibility requirements. To appear in the examinations, confirmation of enrollment will be necessary.

6)All the enrolled learners will be provided with the registration number,programme guidelines and identity cards.

7)Those learners who are unable to complete the programme within the specified validity period will be required to register themselves afresh by paying the requisite fee as per the University regulations.

Continuous Admission:

1)After completion of a particular semester, a learner is required to apply for next semester simply by paying the necessary fees within one month of the last examination day of the previous Semester. Admission in subsequent semester does not depend on the results of the earlier semester. One may take admission even without appearing in previous semester examination in the next semester. Admission should be taken continuously in all a Degree, Diploma and Certificate programmes without any break. A learner will be allowed to appear in all the examinations including back papers within the stipulated time of a programme.

2) A learner is required to pay a fine of Rs 300 if he or she applies for admission to the next semester after expiry of one month but within two months from the last day of examination of the previous semester.

3) On special consideration, a learner may be allowed admission as individual admission for the next semester even beyond two months but before the issue of notification of the examination of that semester by the University on Individual application with sufficient reasons and payment of a fine of Rs 500.


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  • Master Programs
    Master of Arts (MA)
    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
     Master of Computer Application (MCA)
    Master of Science in Information Technology (M.Sc IT)
    Master of Social Works (MSW)


For admission into MBA a candidate, except the exempted one, must clear an Entrance Test. Questions in the Common Entrance Test shall be of objective type consisting of general aptitude, logical reasoning, data interpretation, general awareness and socio- economic issues.

After qualifying an Entrance Test, if a candidate for valid and accountable reasons, cannot take admission in the current session, he/ she may be allowed to enrol in the next session by the University on application. This condition applies to all programmes having an entrance test for admission, i.e. MBA.

Learners of M.A. in Political Science, Education, Sociology and Social Work are allowed to write answers in examinations in Assamese if they so desire. However, SLM for these Programmes have not been provided in Assamese language.

FEE Structure

The learners are to pay the total fee for a year in the form of Bank Journal or Draft drawn in favour of "K.K Handiqui State Open University" payable at Guwahati.Course fee will include supply of Self Learning Material,counselling session,postal charges and other unspecified costs.No Other fee will be paid to any one which is not included in the fee structure.
It has been decided that from 2015-16 session onward, exam fee will be collected along with the course fee at the time of admission in all the semesters- not only at the time of admission to the first semester.All fee are subject to revision. Revised fee shall be applicable to all learners on roll.
Admission in subsequent years] semesters should be taken within one month from the last date of the latest examination irrespective of the examination results. That means, a learner is not required to wait for the examination result for admission to the next Semester of the programme.Filling up examination forms for all examinations, especially for back papers and betterment, within due time is compulsory.

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