A Brief History of Our Department

Mahishadal Raj College, the 3rd oldest College in the undivided district of Midnapore primarily started with its career in 1946 as a private college under financial guidance of Mahishadal Raj Estate with the abolition of Zamindary system, the college was taken over by the Govt. of West Bengal as sponsored one in 1956 and since then it has diffusing light in the field of higher education to this region of the district and also to the contiguous area of the neighboring districts.

In the early part of 60's in West Bengal both the eleven Higher Secondary class and school final course were running simultaneously in school level. After passing the school final examination the students had to undergo one year pre-university course under University of Calcutta in affiliated Colleges before getting entry in three years Degree course.

Raj College being the pioneer in the field or higher education in this region was permitted by the University of Calcutta for teaching pre-university course both in arts & science subjects in the early 60's. After passing the S.F. exam. the students of this region and also from Howrah & 24 Parganas used to come to this Institution for prosecuting higher studies.

Firstly, this Institution was affiliated Pre-University Science course only in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics for several years but considering the excessive demand of the locality ultimately University of Calcutta introduced the Biological Sciences as one of the combination subjects in the pre-university class in 1965.

The Department started with myself as the whole time teacher, one Laboratory assistant and one laboratory attendant.

I can recollect the incidences occurred in 27.07.65, the date of my joining the college as the only man in the Department as a lecturer in zoology, the then Principal Dr. Sunil Krishna Chakraborti told me

Principal Dr Chakraborti asked me to open the dept. and a lump grant of Rs. 10,000/- {ten thousand only) was allotted for setting up the laboratory and purchasing books and infrastructural materials.

Space for installation of Laboratory in the new science block could not accommodate the department for which ultimately one room measuring 30'L x 15'B was provided for setting up the laboratory in the ground floor of the old building and an annex room was made partitioned from students' union office for the Departmental staff room.

Approximately fifty students got admitted in the Pre-University Science classes for the first year and all those students could work their practical classes in two batches.

Theoretical classes of the subject started along with the combination subjects at the middle of August that year, but for preparation of the Laboratory for holding Practical class took about a month more and it was ready for work in early September 1965.

Respected Kumar D.P. Garga Bahadur, the founder of the College and the President of the Governing Body was kind enough to inaugurate the Laboratory. In his inaugural speech Kumar Bahadur expressed his deep satisfaction of the opening of a new subject in the college and proposed for its upliftment in the Degree level.

By this time, the dept. was decorated by setting up of working tables, water supply and articles like microscopes, physiological apparatus, glass wares, preserved specimens, books, models & charts were supplying by reputed companies from Calcutta.

Due to insufficiency of fund, the Laboratory could not be oriented fully. Yet the students of the first batch successfully came out of the completion of one year Pre-University Course.

The department was progressing slowly but steadily to cope with the need or the taught.

Further, the college was affiliated +2 H.S. course both in arts & science by the West Bengal Higher Secondary Council in 1972 and both the Pre-University and H.S. Classes were undertaken simultaneously for several years with only a single teacher & one Lab. assistant & one Lab. attendant. The college obtained so far one or two Capital grants for the welfare of the Department at that time.

College authority severally prayed to the Govt. for opening Degree course with Botany and Zoology as combination subjects. Inspection for affiliation of the subjects was made in 1978 by the I.C. of Calcutta University for finding out the possibilities for opening 3 yr. degree classes.

The team became satisfied with the laboratory equipments but due to non-availability of the space for installation of two separate laboratories, the proposal could not be given effect.

In 1985, the affiliation of the College was shifted to the Vidyasagar University. But the proposal for opening the course could not be activated.

With the increasing number of the students seeking admission in Bio-Science course at the Degree level the demands became more and more considering the demands of the locality and also the pressure of the students in 1996, myself along with certain senior members of teaching staff met Prof. Satya Sadhan Chakraborti, the then Hon'ble Minister-in-Charge for Higher Education during his visit to the college on the eve of Golden Jubilee Celebration with such demand. Hon'ble Minister realized the necessity of introduction of Bio-Sc. Classes in Degree level and assured us of its execution.

In this context I should convey my sense of gratitude to Prof. Santosh Kumar Ghorai, the then Inspector of Colleges, Vidyasagar University, who realized the importance of the courses and strongly recommended to the Higher Education Dept. for its opening.

Lastly in July 1998 Prof. Sushil Kr. Chakraborty, the respected President of the Governing Body of the College, Principal Dr. R. N. Das, Senior teachers Sri S. N. Chakraborti, Sri H. P. Maity, Dr. D. K. Chakraborti & Sri S. Bhowmick and myself all together met Hon'ble Minister-in-Charge at Bikash Bhavan and reminded him of his assurance given to us in Golden Jubilee year. About one and half an hour discussion held at the Minister's Chamber we became successful to make him understood of the justification of opening of Bio-Sc. course at Degree level and surprisingly Hon'ble Minster told the Director of Public Instruction over phone in our Presence to include this college in the list of affiliation of new subjects.

Ultimately one week later Dr. Ghorai, the I.C. of the V.U. informed me personally over the phone that our prayer has been granted by the Directorate and Govt. has sanctioned the affiliation of Bio Science in Degree coruse from that session.

As the session had already started, Inspector Colleges hurried by visited the College with Inspection team and assured green signal to start with the course. Two separate Department one for Botany & the other for Zoology started their journey from 1998 under the name of Department of Biology.

Again problem of accommodation arose for the installation of two separate laboratories one for Botany and the other for Zoology and ultimately the old Library measuring about 600 sq. ft. was replaced by setting up the laboratories for few months and very soon probably in 1998 the Department were shifted to the first floor of the Golden Jubilee Bhaban

The inaugural meet of the Department became very much gracious with the presence of the eminent educationists and elites of the societies.

Specialization in the curriculum has been introduced by the university. To meet the need of quality teaching, the dept. is to be configurated fully by engagement of the experienced and efficient teachers and by adoption of more infrastructural facilities.

But I am sorry to say that Govt. is very much indifferent regarding the of the past of teachers till today. The two separate Depts. were running with a single whole time

Teacher and one Lab. instructor & with two lab. Attendants. Four part-timers of Zoology and two for Botany Dept. were appointed to met the teaching need.

In spite of that the students have been successfully coming out year after year.

Myself retired on Sept. 2000. There after an energetic young man Sri Subhamoy Das joined the College in 2002 and he now holds the steering of the Dept. to maintain its glorious journey.

By this time, Hons. affiliation was granted to the Dept. of Zoology in 2004 by the University which is another land mark in the academic attainment of the College.

Finally the Dept. is to go ahead to make its highly position and I hope, the dept.. would impart quality teaching to the students day by day and finally myself as the opener of the Dept. in the College will look forward to its all-round development and its role in the field of Higher Education in the region.