Doctor Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, formerly University of Saugar, was established on 18th July 1946 by Dr. Harisingh Gour by his lifetime saving. This 18th University of India and the oldest and the biggest University of Madhya Pradesh has perhaps the singular distinction of being founded by the munificence of a single person's hard earned money of about two crore of rupees. Sir Hari Singh Gour (Nov. 26.1870 – Dec. 25. 1949).
Apart from being a great jurist and legal luminary par excellence, he was a great Patriot, Philanthropist, Educationist and Social Reformer. He was the first Vice-Chancellor of Nagpur University (1936-38). He also held the vice-chancellorship of the University of Delhi (1925). Dr. Gour was the founder Vice–Chancellor of the University of Saugar. The Govt. of India honoured his memory by issuing a commemorative postage stamp in 1976. The University of Saugar was rechristened as Doctor Hari Singh Gour Vishwavidyalaya in February 1983 by the State Legislature. The University is situated 5 Km. east of Sagar city and its campus is spread on 830.3 hectares on the top of Patharia hills. It is one of the finest picturesque campuses in India. It has 36 University teaching departments (number keeps adding) 10 faculties and 81 affiliated colleges covering 6 revenue districts of M.P. There are 4 hostels for boys (940 seats) and two hostels for girls ( app.380 seats). State Bank of India. Post office, STD booth, Employment and Guidance Bureau, University Hospital, University Press, 3 canteens and a shopping complex provide auxiliary services in the campus. The Jawaharlal Nehru Library of the University has more than 3,10,000 books. As many as 26 departments have their own departmental libraries. Apart from conventional degree, post graduate and research courses, Geology, Pharmacy, Criminology & Forensic Science, Anthropology, Performing Arts, Journalism & Mass Communication, Adult Education, Electronics, Business Management, Microbiology, Biotechnology and Computer Applications are some of the special subjects, which attract a large number of students from the four corners of the country. The Institute of Distance Education of the University runs various self-finance, Correspondence Courses such as in M.Lib.Sc., B.Lib., MC(J), BJ (C), PG Diploma in Environmental Marketing and Personnel Management, PG Diploma in Criminology and Police Administration .
The University has a centre of Indira Gandhi Open University, Audiovisual Research Centre, Central Instrumentation Laboratory, Shrimant B.S. Jain Centre for Research and Education in Psychology and Population Research Centre created by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India . Muktibodh Peetha in the Department of Hindi has been created by the Govt. of M.P. The Botanical Survey of India has considered the Botanical Gardens of the University as the richest amongst those of Indian Universities. Madhya Bharati, the research journal of the University and the Bulletin of the Botanical Society of the University are internationally abstracted. The research journals from the Dept. of Sanskrit Sagarika and Natyam have pride of place amongst the indological journals of the country. "Isuri" the journal from the Bundeli Peeth of Hindi Dept. is a perennial source of Bundelkhandi art and culture. The discovery of an impression Edicaranfossil Spriggina by the Applied Geology Department has created much interest internationally. The NAAC appointed by UGC has awarded 'A' Grade re-accreditation to this University.
This University is declared as a Central University w.e.f. 15th Jan 2009
Vice Chancellors like Shri Hari Singh Gour, Prof. R.P. Tripathi, Pandit D.P. Mishra, Justice G.P. Bhatt, Prof. M.P. Sharma, Prof. W.D. West, Prof. Bhagirath Mishra, Prof. T.S. Murty, Shri M.B. Malhotra (Retd: IAS) and Shri Shiv Kumar Shrivastava, etc., have been greatly instrumental in building up the glorious traditions of this University. The University has been fortunate to have over the years a succession of great Educationists of character and vision such as Prof. W.D. West FNA (Geology), Prof. S.C. Dube (Anthropology), Acharya Nand Dulare Baipai (Hindi), Acharya K.D. Baipal (Ancient Indian Histroy and Culture), Prof. L.C. Jain (Economics), Prof. S.R. Swaminathan (English), Prof. M.L. Shorff (Pharmacy), Prof. R.D. Mishra FNA (Botany), Prof. S.B. Saksena FNA (Botany), Prof. S.M.Ali FNA (Geography), Prof. H.S. Asthana (Psychology), Prof. M.P. Sharma (Public Administration ), Prof. Dhirendra Verma (Linguistics), Prof. Babu Ram Saxena (Linguistics), Prof. A.K. Bhattacharya (Chemistry), Prof. D.R. Bhawalkar (Physics), Prof. Bhagirath Mishra (Hindi), Prof. Ramiji Upadhyaya (Sanskrit), Prof. Harsarup FNA (Zoology), Prof. U. Aswathanaryan FNA (Geology), Prof. S.N. Sharma (Pharmacy), Prof. Amresh Awasthi (Pol. Science), Prof R.R. Bhatnagar, Prof D. P. Jatar ( Criminology and Forensic Science), Prof S S Shrivastava (Criminology) etc. Dr. Namvar Singh, Dr. Yogesli Atal and Acharya Rajneesh have also been associated with this University. More than 70,000 regular and private students appeared in its annual examination in 2002. The University achievements by way of contribution to research are noteworthy. It has awarded more than 3,000 Ph.D, 4 D.Sc, and 37 D.Litt. Degrees so far. Several alumni of the University have brought great glory to it by distinguishing themselves in their chosen fields both within and outside the country. 26 of its students and teachers have been Vice Chancellors of different Indian Universities. A matter of even greater satisfaction is that the University has brought the light of knowledge into millions of homes in the villages and areas around Sagar, thus partly fulfilling the objectives of its establishment. The University is developing in a congenial peaceful disciplined and enthusiastic atmosphere. The students and teachers of the University are ever conscious of the burden of responsibility placed on them by the dreams of a great visionary who had kindled "the light that never fails."