The Bengal’s reformists and educational system , since British era , had set high standards and elegant educational system.Kolkata , the capital , has produced some highly competent engineers,scientists,artists and medical professionals.No wonder , its famous Presidency College at one point of time , was regarded as the “Oxford of the East”.Let us check out some of the best educational institutions of Kolkata today.
St Xavier’s College
St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata – named after St Francis Xavier, Basque Jesuit of the 16th century, who ministered in India – was founded in 1860 on 30, Park Street (presently Mother Teresa Sarani), Kolkata-63. Fr. Henri Depelchin founded and oversaw most of the groundwork during the foundation years. The college opened with 40 students. In 1862, it got affiliation from Calcutta University.
Its famous library, the Goethals library, situated above the College Chapel, houses some of the oldest periodicals, journals, and books. The College received these treasures in 1908 from the Archbishop of Calcutta, Paul Goethals; S.J. Ex-students of the collage are referred to as ‘Xaverian’.
In 2006, it became the first autonomous college in West Bengal, India. The college is soon to become a full-fledged university, and will add new courses including an MBA. Currently, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata offers Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees, diplomas and certificates. One of its unique courses offered is M.Sc. Multimedia & Animation (Integrated)
The college has over 50 classrooms across two buildings, half a dozen audio-visual rooms, and three computer laboratories, each with a capacity for over 70 students. It is well-equipped with physics, chemistry, and biotechnology laboratories. The Mass Communication and Videography department has a video library to assist its film students. The Central Library, spread over two floors, houses a reference library, periodicals, and scientific journals. There is also an archive. Its auditorium, equipped with a state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, can accommodate over 800. It has also football and basketball courts. Its hangout Green Benches is famous for socializing and for serious discussion.
Vivekananda College, which was initially known as Barisha College, started in 1950 under the Dispersal Scheme of the State Government to facilitate higher education of the people displaced from the then east Pakistan. It started in Barisha High School and later shifted to its newly built premises in 1953. In June 1956 the collage was brought under the Refugee Education Scheme of the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Government of India, with the State Government having control over it. At this time the College was christened as Vivekananda College. It was again shifted in 1959 to its new spacious premises at Thakurpukur with an extensive campus area of about 6.17 acres of land. It all through affiliated with Calcutta University.
Vivekananda College, Thakurpukur has ranked No. 1 in Science Stream in Kolkata City as well as in the Eastern Region and ranked 28th in Science Stream at the National Level. It offers women studies and film studies in addition to honors courses in science, arts and commerce.
Bethune College (Women)
Bethune College is a women’s college in India. BethuneIt was founded as a school In 1849 John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune founded a school for ‘Hindu Female’, which in 1879 developed into the first women’s college in India, and named after the school’s founder Bethune, affiliated with the University of Calcutta. Both the school and the collage had the pioneering role in advancing women’s education in Bengal. It is just opposite of another prestigious collage Scottish Church Collage in north Kolkata.
The college is accredited “A” by NAAC. It offers courses only in arts and science at both UG and PG level. The collage has up to date facilities of library, computer lab, hostel, canteen etc. It regularly holds interdisciplinary workshops that enrich students out of the way. Students get amply opportunities to identify and develop their qualities along with come upas responsible and sensitive global citizens.
Lady Brabourne College (Women)
The college was founded in 1939 and was named after the wife of the then governor of Bengal, Lord Michael Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne. The college was the first Muslim women’s college in Calcutta. Lady Brabourne took the initiative for opening the collage in response of Muslim girls’ complaints that they were discriminated against by the Hindu elite at Bethune College, which was the first women’s college in India. The school began with 35 Muslim women students and 9 faculty members.Over the years the collage developed and expanded to keep up with the demands of new requirements such as laboratories, computer facilities, a medical unit, canteens, a career counseling cell and a sky-gazing unitand it got ‘A’ grade certification from NAAC in 2006.The college, spread over 6.1 acres of prime land, amidst lush green gardens, open spaces and a playground.
The collage is one of the prime multicultural venues for the students of the city. Presently the college offers honors courses in eighteen subjects, five in the languages, four in the social sciences and nine in the sciences. Besides UG, it also offers PG courses in arts and sciences. It conducts research programs in science. The collage also offers some self-financing courses.
Gokhale Memorial Girls College (Women)
Gokhale Memorial Girls’ College is one of the oldest women’s colleges in Kolkata. The collage is named after Gopal Krishna Gokhale, the fires social and political leader of the Indian Independence Movement in its early phase. Sarala Devi who came from a renowned Brahmo family first thought of the collage as an extension of Gokhale School as response against complete male domination in the sphere of education. In 1938 the collage came into existence. The collage was affiliated to Calcutta University.
The collage got ‘B’ level from NAAC. It offers total eight honors courses in arts and science. In addition to these, courses on advertising and sales promotion, clinical nutrition and dietetics, and communicative English are also available. Two value added courses and self defense course are also offered for fees. These are in collaboration with other professional institutions.
The collage has adequate infrastructural facilities for the students, like library, hostel, computer lab etc. The collage regularly conducts workshops seminars and special lectures, and social outreach program for the students. It has career counseling and placement cells. It bagged The P.C. Chandra Award of Excellence for outstanding all-round performance.