The present state of Krishnagar Government College is the culmination of a glorious 175-year long journey that commenced when the colonial government of the British East India Company decided to introduce Western education to the Indian populace, with the English language as its medium of instruction. The process began when Thomas Babington Macaulay presented his famous Minute on Indian Education in 1835 and the passing of the English Education Act in the same year, by Governor-General Lord William Bentinck. The Council of Education was formed and a number of schools and colleges were established to impart western education to the Indians in some parts of the Bengal, Bombay and Madras presidencies. In order to provide the opportunity of English education to the peoples of the districts of Nadia, Burdwan, Jessore and Bankura, Krishnagar Govt College was formally established. For this purpose, a local committee composed of J. Bruce, D. I. Money (District Magistrate), E. T. Trevor (Magistrate) and Babu Ram Lochan Ghosh (Principal Sadar Ameen) was formed. At that time this College was known as the Krishnagar College. Boys within the age of sixteen years of any religion and caste were provided the opportunity to apply to this local committee for their admission into this institution. However the course of study remained the same as that introduced at the Hindu College, Calcutta and the Muhammad Mohsin College at Hughly.
On the 1st of October, 1845, the Government issued an order regarding the foundation of a college at Krishnagar in Nadia district and thereby circulated a general notification both in English and Bengali language for admission to the college from 1st November 1845 throughout the adjoining districts. The College was formally founded on 28th November, 1845. However, with the sanction of the then Governor General of India Lord Hardinge , academic classes of this educational institution commenced from 1st January, 1846 at a rented house located at Hatarpara of the town Krishnagar. On June 1856, the institution was shifted from the rented house of Babu Harimohan Mukherjee to the new building. On 2nd June , 1848 the control of the College was transferred to the Council of Education and by January, 1855, it came under the purview of the Director of Public Instruction.
After the establishment of the University of Calcutta, the College received affiliation to it. In the year 1865, both the B.A. and Law courses were started. In 1870, the college started to impart education at the post-graduate level. In 1872, the Survey Department was also introduced. Later on the M.A. and Law courses were abolished. In the year 1908 the school section was also separated from the college.
The first Principal of this College was D L Richardson, the former Principal of the Hindu College, Calcutta and the renowned Shakespearian scholar, who formally assumed the charge on 28 th November, 1845. Among other notable contemporary teachers of this institution the names of Babu Ramtanu Lahiri, Pandit Madan Mohan Tarkalankar, eminent Bengali poet and dramatist Dwijendralal Roy can also be mentioned. During the tenure of Sir Loper Leithbridge (1874-1877) the institution had made gradual progress. At that time the number of professors and students were increased. Both Arts and Science courses were introduced and laboratories of Physics and Chemistry were established. In 1918, Honours courses in English and Mathematics and Pass courses in Economics and Philosophy were introduced. Under the hands of the notable principals like Roy Bahadur Jyotibhushan Bhaduri, Sri Satish Chandra Dey and Mr. R.N.Gilchrist, the College had made remarkable progress. In 1908, the Staff Council and the Governing Body were formed for the management of the college.
The eminent professors of this college were Babu Ramtanu Lahiri, Sri Madan Mohan Tarkalankar, Sri Ananta Lal Tagore, Sri Chintaharan Chakraborty, Sri Subodh Chandra Sengupta, Sri Abdul Hai, Sri Kshudiram Das, Sri Harendra Chandra Pal et al. Among the alumni of this college the list of the most renowned personalities may include Sri Akshay Kumar Datta of Bengal, who was a Social Scientist as well as a social reformer, Sri Satish Chandra Acharya, an expert in Sanskrit, Pali, Bengali Literature and Buddhist religious studies, Charon Kobi (Minstrel-troubadour) Bijay Lal Chattopadhyay and the eminent Geologist Sri Pramatha Nath Basu, Sri Jagadananda Roy, author of Science related articles, Philosopher Sri Surendranath Dasgupta, Sri Debiprasad Chattopadhyay, eminent speaker of Colloquial Philosophy, the revolutionary Sri Hemanta Kumar Sarkar, writer Sri Sudhir Chakraborty, Retd. Chief Justice Sri Mukul Gopal Mukhopadhyay who was also ex-Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission, Sri Anil Biswas, progressive Marxist activist, Sri Subhash Sarbadhikary, Olympic Football player, and Sri Basanta Sinha Roy who reached the summit of the Mt. Everest in 2010, and many more.
After independence the name of the college was changed to Krishnagar Government College. From the 1960s this educational institution began to receive grants from the University Grants Commission. From 1865 to 1999, Krishnagar Govt. College was affiliated to the University of Calcutta. From 1999 onwards, it came under the affiliation of the University of Kalyani. In 2008, the college received the status of ‘A’ Grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and acquired the status of “College with Potential for Excellence” in 2010. In 2015 this institution was again awarded an ‘A’ Grade by the NAAC. Notable awards won in recent years, like ‘’The Best College of Nadia District” by the University of Kalyani in the year 2017 only serve to consolidate its present-day assertions of excellence.
In addition to its primary aim of imparting quality higher education at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, the college also aims at developing responsible and sensitive students, integrating them from diverse cultural, linguistic and religious groups, and moulds them towards developing social commitments a panoramic view of the society.
Being a government college, this institution is administered directly by the Department of Higher Education, Government of West Bengal. Budget allocation and all the appointments, confirmation, promotion, transfer of Principal, teaching and non-teaching staff are being controlled by the Department of Higher Education, under the West Bengal Educational Service (W.B.E.S.). .The Principal, as per discussion and resolutions adopted by different recommending bodies, including The Governing Body recommends and forwards the respective matter for approval of the Education Directorate and Higher Education Department. Once the proposal is approved, the execution of work is done with the assistance of all concerned under the supervision of the Principal.
In order to discuss, devise and implement strategic decisions within the college, various academic and additional sub-committees are formed and passed through the agreement of the Teachers’ Council, which is headed by the Secretary, Teachers’ Council.
At present, the college is host to 10 (ten) undergraduate departments (History, English, Sanskrit, Economics, Political Science, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Botany and Physiology) and 4 (four) Postgraduate departments (Philosophy, Bengali, Geography and Zoology). It runs undergraduate (Honours and Geeneral) and postgraduate courses in these subjects. Students of Krishnagar Govt. College are not merely passive recipients of this glorious heritage. They constantly prove themselves worthy of its reputation by earning laurels in academic excellence. Students of this institution are often rank-holders in their respective subjects in University Examinations, and this is a phenomenon widely observed across different subjects in the Arts and the Science streams.
Attention to a student’s all-round development has been one of the great hallmarks of the education imparted by the college. Apart from helping the students in the advancement of their career, the college has attempted to create environmental as well as social awareness among them by organizing a number of programmes like tree plantation, health awareness camp, blood donation camp etc. through the NSS unit. Students of the college regularly take part in District and Regional Level Sports events organised by the University of Kalyani, as well as cultural events such as essay competition, debates, extempore speech and quiz competitions.
Despite being located in Krishnagar City, the college has ably catered to the educational needs of students from semi-urban as well as rural areas from the districts of Nadia and Murshidabad. The college has two hostel buildings: the Old Hindu Hostel, which has accommodation for about 60 (sixty) boarders and the New Hindu Hostel, which houses about 40 (forty) boarders. The two hostel buildings primarily serve the needs of those students who hail from distant, and often rural backgrounds.
The college building and premises also serve as a regional study centre of Netaji Subhash Open University for the aid of students willing to benefit from the open-distance learning mode of education. At present, various certificate and diploma courses are offered by this study centre, in addition to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degree Courses in various Arts and Commerce subjects. At the NSOU Study Centre, which uses the college building and premises, these Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses have continued since July 1998. Some Diploma courses, such PG Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising, Diploma in English Language Teaching are also offered here.
More than 3000 students have enrolled themselves to this Study Centre this year. This fact only helps to illustrate the range and extent of the influence this Study Centre wields with regard to the educational needs of students who continue their studies through the open-distance learning mode.
Different types of financial assistance are provided to the students enabling them to continue with their studies by the State Govt., Central Govt. and a few other agencies. Students belonging to the SC/ST/OBC and economically weaker sections of the society are taken care of by the college beginning from admission into the college. The college provides a healthy environment to the students through several welfare means such as cheap canteen, the Students‟ Health Home Scheme, Grievance Redressal Cell, Career Counselling Cell and a fully functional Students‟ Section in the college office. The college has an active Anti-ragging Cell and an Anti-Ragging Squad to take prompt action in case of any untoward incidents on college premises. The college has constituted a committee on Gender Sensitization and Prevention of Sexual Harassment.
The college celebrated its auspicious 175th year on 27th and 28th November, 2019 by organising a grand procession across Krishnagar city and hosting a day-long commemoration programme at Rabindra Bhavan, Krishnagar in the midst of dignitaries such as the Director of Public Instruction, Govt. of West Bengal, Sri Sudhir Chakravorty, eminent alumnus of the college, as well as ex-Principals and Officers-in-Charge of the college. The ex-Principals and Officers-in-Charge were also felicitated at the occasion. It was also marked with the publication of a special souvenir-volume for the occasion of the prestigious 175th Anniversary Celebrations.
An extended session of cultural programmes was admirably presented before the audience by the students of Krishnagar Government College which included songs and dance performances, short dramatic enactments, recitation etc. It proved to be a perfect opportunity for the students of this college to hone their skills in the different aspects of cultural representation. These performances by the students were applauded by the audience at large.
On both the days, cultural programmes were also organised by the Alumni Association, Krishnagar Govt. College and professional artists such as Shri Subhendu Maity and his group, and singer Smt. Jayati Chakraborty.