Recollection is an essential ingredient of moulding the future. Thus history can never be effaced. Today, having achieved a certain level of academic, technical and cultural sophistication we look back to our humble beginnings. From a cozy, family set-up - a small place that was essentially a home away from home- the college has grown to become our pride and joy. Today as we stand at the dawn of a new millennium, certain memorable dates and events flash before our eyes that were milestones in the life of our beloved institution.
In the year 1950 the present Vivekananda College for Women was first established as ‘Vivekananda College, Barisha’, an Intermediate College under the scheme for ‘dispersal’ of ‘displaced students’ from Calcutta. For the first two years the College had no separate building. Classes were held in the west block of Barisha High School situated on the southern side of the present college building. From the time of its inception the last century saw the institution emerge from its traditional conservatism and bravely face the challenges of globalization. The road was long but never weary. Step by step the principals, teachers and staff one after another contributed their unfaltering energies to help the college bloom.
In the middle of 1953 , the present college building was founded on the northern side of the Barisha High School playground.
In the year 1956 - 57 a degree college was set up in the same premises at Barisha under the scheme for setting up of new colleges to prevent over-crowding in the existing colleges as a result of a huge influx of displaced students from erstwhile East Pakistan, sponsored jointly by the Government of India, Ministry of Rehabilitation and the Government of West Bengal. Since the sponsored colleges did not have its own building, it was temporarily accommodated in the building of this Intermediate College.
In the year 1959 , the ‘Vivekananda College’ was shifted to the new venue of Thakurpukur, 2 to 3 km further south along the Diamond Harbour Road. The girls' section remained in the old college building at Barisha, with a teacher-in –charge, under the supervision of Dr. Sushil Kumar Roy, the Principal of Vivekananda College.
The local demand for a separate women’s college, and the gradual increase in the roll strength of the women’s section of Vivekananda College, together led to a landmark turning point in the history of the college.
It acquired a fully separate identity as an independent college under the special scheme for the development of women’s education under the Third Five-year Plan and was christened as Vivekananda College for Women, Barisha.
In 1961-62 academic session it obtained affiliation from the University of Calcutta and Pre-university standard in English (Compulsory), Bengali (vernacular), Elective Bengali, History, Elements of Economics and Civics, Logic, Mathematics, Commercial Geography and Geography. It also obtained affiliation to B.A. Pass standard of the Three-Year Degree Course in English (general), Bengali (second subject) and in Sanskrit, Bengali, History, Philosophy, Economics, Political Science, Geography and Mathematics as elective subjects. At the initial stage Vivekananda College for Women had no Honours Course. All Honours and Pure Science courses were shifted to Vivekananda College, Thakurpukur. Nevertheless, destiny had in store for us an exciting future with the insight of self-discovery.
The first Principal of the women’s college was Dr. Ena Ghosh succeeded by Sri Nepal Chandra Mukhopadhyay. Next in line were Sm. Leela Mahmood, Sm. Bani Sarkar, Sm. Nandita Bhattacharya, Dr. Latika Basu, Dr. Jayasri Bhattacharya, Dr. Soma Bhattacharya and the present Principal Dr Samarpita Ghosh-Ray. The names of Sm. Sujata Biswas, Sm. Sunanda Sarkar, Sm. Monica Dasgupta, Dr. Krishna Banerjee and Dr Sujata Mukherjee as interim teachers-in-charge of the college are worth mentioning.
In 1983 one of the most remarkable steps towards expansion of the college was opening a Morning section of the college under the leadership of Sm. Sujata Biswas to meet the demands of academically backward students and working women. The said Morning Section is now amalgamated with the College and is renamed as Morning Shift.
After 1986 the college underwent spectacular administrative and academic reforms under the guidance of Dr. Latika Basu, a dynamic and experienced Principal. ‘Open Access Library System’ – a feature to be proud of was introduced in her time. B.Sc Bio-Science Course was launched, computers were installed in the library and office and the Computer Training Centre in collaboration with Indian Institute of Computer Engineers (India) became functional.
Under the able and mature guidance of the Principal, Dr. Jayasri Bhattacharya another set of changes swept over the college. Keeping in view the evolving needs of the society and time, different training programmes were arranged under a training society named ‘Vivekananda College for Women Training Society’ to enable women to compete in an extremely tough job market economy as well as to develop their entrepreneurial skill. Training and language courses were introduced in collaboration with recognized institutions. This was a step towards the installation of distance education program. Pre-Primary Teachers’ Training, Editing and Reporting, Women and Legal Literacy, French, Hindi and Spoken English courses were some of the important training courses offered. The college provides students with some rare opportunities of non-formal training courses from institutions of national and international repute. These courses include distant education at UG and PG level organized by Netaji Subhas Open University.
In the year 2004 the college was accredited by NAAC in the prestigious B++ Grade. This was a boost towards academic excellence and the college was determined to march forward towards its goal of becoming a center for advanced learning.
Under the able guidance of Dr Soma Bhattacharya, the college has transformed itself into a postgraduate one with two postgraduate departments in Geography and Bengali. The department of Geography is also awarded the prestigious accolade of Research Ventre under the University of Calcutta. In the year 2016 the college was again accredited by NAAC in the prestigious B++ Grade.
And now the College is marching ahead relentlessly under the leadership of our present Principal, Dr Samarpita Ghosh-Ray.
INTRODUCTION OF DIFFERENT SUBJECTS
The college started in the year 1961-62 sessions with Pre-University course in the subjects English (Compulsory), Bengali (vernacular), Elective Bengali, History, Elements of Economics and Civics, Logic, Mathematics, Commercial Geography and Geography. It also obtained affiliation to B.A. Pass standard of the Three-Year Degree Course in English (general), Bengali (second subject) and in Sanskrit, Bengali, History, Philosophy, Economics, Political Science, Geography and Mathematics as elective subjects. At the initial stage the Vivekananda College for Women had no Honours Course.
The vision of the enlightened Principals and the dedication and commitment of the teaching faculty had led to the up gradation of the college by opening Honours Courses one after another – History (1963-64 session), Philosophy (1968-1969 session), Bengali (1984-85 session), Geography and Political Science (1985-86 session).
Academic options were further diversified by the introduction of new subjects in the B.A. / B.Sc. General Course like Anthropology, Botany, Zoology (1990-1991 session), Music (2001-2002 session), Education, Sociology (2002-2003 session) and Psychology (2003-2004 sesssion). Additional Honours courses were introduced in English, Sanskrit, Anthropology (2001-2002 session), Economics (2002-2003 session), Mathematics (2003-2004 session), Education and Sociology (2009-2010 session). A new academic dimension was opened up with the commencement of the Commerce stream in the morning section of the college (2010-2011 session) and the introduction of Hindi as compulsory Indian language (2007-2008 session) keeping in mind the changing cosmopolitan circumstances of Kolkata.
And introduction of postgraduate courses in Geography( session 2009-10) and Bengali ( session 2015-16) added an extra feather to the academic journey of the College. The recognition of the Postgraduate Department of Geography as a Place of Research is another milestone in its relentless journey towards excellence.