Surendranath College has a long heritage of higher education. Surendranath Banerjea, an eminent scholar, orator and statesman, founded the College in 1884. The College had a noble vision of enhancing the spirit of freedom sacrifice and gallant idealism among the youth of our country. The college aims at providing quality education to students of all sections of the society irrespective of gender, academic and socio-economic background and to prepare them to face the challenges in all circumference of life with courage and conviction. The College is affiliated under University of Calcutta since 1884.
The College is located very conveniently at the center of Kolkata, very close to Sealdah Railway Station as well as very near to Howrah station also. Thus the college is well connected with other districts, too like 24 Parganas(north and south), Howrah, Hooghly, Burdwan etc. The address of Surendranath College is 24, M.G. Road, Kolkata-700009.
The College has a rich history. In the year 1882 Rastraguru Surendranath Banerjea took over the charge of Presidency School. In January 1884, the institution was renamed as Presidency Institution and was affiliated to the intermediate standard of University of Calcutta. In the same year the name of the institution changed to Ripon College with the permission from Lord Ripon and it became a full-fledged degree college under the University of Calcutta.
Surendranath Banerjea himself taught in the college for many years. He guided and inspired many students with the ideals of sacrifice for the country. Soon Ripon College was counted among most of the reputed center of learning in the country as many scholars and intellectuals of that time gathered around Surendranath Banerjea. In his lifetime, Surendranath Banerjea deprived himself from all the proprietary rights over the institution and in the year 1909, he made it open to the public under a body of trustees created for the purpose.
In the year 1885 the Department of Law was started in the college. But the Department was converted into separate College in 1911 and it was named as Ripon Law College. The Department of Commerce was established in 1940. A branch of this college was established in Dinajpur in 1942, which is now a separate College in Bangladesh. In order to keep pace with the changing time the College opened an evening Science section in 1947 and in 1948 the women`s section opened. The science section became a part of Surendranath Evening College and the women`s section became an independent Degree College in 1960.
In the year 1948-49 the Trustees renamed the college as Surendranath College as a mark of respect to its founder. University Grants Commission (UGC) recognized the College in 1972.
The college has witnessed various ups and downs in regard to the social and political history of Kolkata for over a century as it stands amidst the din and bustle of one of the busiest thoroughfares of Kolkata. The Students of this college welcomed Swami Vivekananda with spectacular enthusiasm on his historic arrival at Calcutta in 1897 after winning the West. Gandhiji put up a company at the Ripon College when he came to plenary session of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta in 1901. This was his first experience of attending such an important gathering in India. In the year 1911, Rabindranath Tagore read out one of his great essays dealing with the twin subjects of separatism to be found among many of the countrymen and national integration at Ripon College. It may be mentioned that he referred to the courage and patriotism of the students of Ripon College in one of his novels. Both during the freedom movement and in recent times, the students of this college never failed whenever there is call to serve for the country or to raise the voice of protest against injustice, tyranny and aggression. This tradition of Surendranath College is a priceless legacy handed down by its founder Surendranath Banerjea and others.
The college is trying to maintain its tradition of self-confidence and reliance in the context of spreading education among all sections of the society in order to enable its students to become worthy citizens of our country. The objective of the college is to provide quality education to a wide cross section of students irrespective of gender and socio-economic background. The goal of Surendranath College is to educate the students properly and in all aspects so that they become ready to face the challenges of the new millennium. The College also introduces many modern subjects with necessary infrastructure facilities with a view to update education as per requirement of the employment houses and higher studies as well. It also provides the students with quality education and with the values and skills necessary for a human being. Presently, there are only undergraduate courses offered in this college. The approximate student strength of the College is around more than three thousand.
The management of the College is presently organized by the Governing Body formed under the Calcutta University First statutes in 1979 with Prof. Sudin Chattopadhyay as President and Dr. C.S. Sarkar as Principal and as ex-officio Secretary. The Governing body took over the charge from Honorable High Court on 17th December 2001. A Governing body comprising of fourteen members administers the college. It is presided over by the President of the governing body with the Principal of the College as its Secretary. Apart from the President and the Secretary, it comprises of two members nominated by the Higher Education Department of Government of West Bengal, two members nominated by the University of Calcutta, four representatives from the teachers, two representatives from the non-teaching staff and one representative from the students. The local Municipal councilor is also a member of this governing body. In addition to this the following bodies namely Teacher`s Council, Non-teaching Employees` Union and Students` Union, formed as per university of Calcutta Statue, are present to fulfill the needs and interests of the employees and the students. More to this, to assist the administration in academic and extra academic affairs, several subcommittees of teachers exist as per the rule of Calcutta University.
The courses offered in Surendranath College are Bengali, English, Sanskrit, Persian, Philosophy, History, Pali, Education, Political Science, Sociology, Journalism and Mass Communication, Military Studies in B.A. course and physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics, Botany, Zoology, Physiology, Computer Science, Geography, Psychology, Statistics, Microbiology, Molecular Biology in B.Sc course. B.Com is also taught here as general and honors course.
The process of admission commences immediately after the publication of results of Higher Secondary Examination of WB Council and closes on the dates fixed by the College authority. The admission procedure is based on merit list. Students who have passed H.S. Examination or equivalent examination from other Board or University are eligible to apply.
There are many UGC granted projects that run in the college. Many of the faculties are actively engaged in Research in their respective fields of interests and have published papers in both international and national journals of repute.
The College alumni list consists of many famous personalities like Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Surendranath Dasgupta, Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Deshapran Birendranath Sasmal, Dr. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Bibhuti Bhushan Bandopadhyay . Dr. Harendra Coomar Mukherjee, the ex-governor of West Bengal has also studied in this College. Renowned Bengali novelist like Dhurjati Prasad Mukhopadhyay, Bibhuti Bhusan Mukhopadhyay and Monisankar Mukhopadhyay are all worthy alumni of this institution. Many ex-students of this college have reached the pinnacle of the academic world, notably Prof. Sushil Kr Mukherjee Ex. V.C., University of Calcutta , Prof Dhananjay Nasipuri, Prof Dilip Bose, Ex. V.C. Burdwan University and Ex. V.C. Tripura University, Prof. Santosh Sarkar Ex. V.C. Jadavpur University. In the field of art and Sculptor the internationally famous sculptor Chintamoni Kar was an alumnus of this College. The College can also boast on Olympians like Sailen Manna, Samar Banerjee and T. Ao, captain of Indian Football team in the 1952 Olympic games.
Such a dazzling galaxy of alumnae can only be produced by untiring efforts of stalwart teachers and their inspiring teachings. Apart from the founder Surendranath Banerjea, the institution has been fortunate to have illustrious teachers like Krishnakamal Bhattacharya, Ramendrasundar Trivedi, Janakinath Bhattacharya, Bipin Behari Gupta, Narendranath Raye, Rabindranath Ghosh, Jadunath Sarkar, Radhakumud Mukhopadhyay, Bhabatosh Dutta, Buddhadev Bose, Asit Bandhopadhyay, Ajit Ghosh, Hirendranath Mukhopadhyay, Bishnu Dey and Gautam Chattopadhyay.