The University of Calcutta was founded in 1857. Dr Fredrick John, the education secretary to the then British Government in India, first tendered a proposal to the British Government in London for the establishment of a university in Calcutta, along the lines of London University, but at that time the plan failed to obtain the necessary approval. However, a proposal to establish two universities, one in Calcutta and the other in Bombay was later accepted in 1854 and the necessary authority was given through Wood's despatch. The Calcutta University Act came into force on 24 January 1857 and a 41-member Senate was formed as the policy making body of the university. When the university was first established it had a catchment area covering the area from Lahore to Rangoon (now in Myanmar) — the largest of any Indian university.