Just one hundred years ago, i.e. in 1867, the number of students studying in the Patna College which was the premier and pioneer institution of higher education in the State was so low that there were only seventeen students in the First Year, sixteen in the Second, six in the Third and four in the Fourth Year Class.
In March 1875, the number of students in the College rose to ninety-seven indeed, but there were only forty Biharees amongst them, others belonging to communities from other Provinces. It must be said, however, to the credit of the handful of teachers who were then in charge of imparting higher education to students in the Patna College that they discharged their duties in a highly satisfactory way.
In the years 1899-1900, the staff in the Patna College consisted of seven teachers of whom four only were M.A.s. In 1903, the number of teaching staff rose to nine. Of these, Principal A. MacDonell taught Philosophy as well as Mathematics. James and Jadunath Sarkar taught both English and History; N. C. Mitra was in charge of Philosophy. D. N. Mullick taught Physical Science (Physics). Harilal Chandra and Narendra Nath Bose used to teach Chemistry and Mathematics. Besides these, there were a Pandit and a Moulavi for teaching Sanskrit and Persian respectively. There was a Law Department attached to the Patna College but a single teacher used to impart instructions in all the diverse branches of Law.