Bethune College

Bethune College
City Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Established 1879
Affiliated to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, Kolkata


181, Bidhan Sarani
Kolkata 700 006
Phone 2257-1712 (office) ,2241-1731 (PBX)
Email [email protected]

Bethune College was established in the year 1879, Bethune College is affiliated to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, Kolkata

Admission Notices

Established in 1879, Bethune College is the first women's college in India. It is a Government College under the Directorate of Education, Government of West Bengal.The College was established in order to provide opportunities of college education to Kadambini Bose -a pupil of Bethune School-who had successfully completed the entrance examination of Calcutta University in 1878. The first classes of Bethune College were held at the premises of Bethune School. Kadambini Bose and Chandramukhi Bose -the first women graduates of India-graduated from Bethune College in 1883. Chandramukhi Bose also become the Principal of Bethune College. At present the total roll strength of the college ( Arts and Science together) varies between 900- 1000 and the number of sanctioned teaching posts is 76. The college is managed by a governing body appointed by the Government. Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar was the secretary of the first comittee. Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, Lady Abala Basu, Sri Radha Binode Pal were among the comittee members at one time or other. The earliest Honours Courses started in the college under the regulation of the University of Calcutta are English and Sanskrit in 1917. In 1923, the college got affiliated at the I.Sc level and Mathematics and Philosophy were added to the list of Honours subjects. Today the college has Hnours affiliation in 13 subjects. In 1878-79the college classes began in a part of the Bethune school building but to accomodate the increasing number of students the adjacent Christ Church Building was acquired in 1940 and was renovated and overhauled and the college was shifted to the new building. The Science Building which accommodates the Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology departments was inaugurated in 1961 by Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose.

Bethune College, the first college to play a historic role in the cause of women's education in Bengal , started as the Hindu Female School and blossomed into the Bethune School on 7 May 1849. Its founding father, John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune, himself a graduate from Trinity College, Cambridge and the Fourth Wrangler, had arrived in India in April 1848 as the Law Member of the Governor General's Council. He also held the post of the President of the Council of Education. In his pioneering zeal to promote women's education, he received the support of some enlightened Indians like Pandit Madan Mohan Tarkalankar , Ram Gopal Ghosh, Raja Dakshina Ranjan Mukherjee. Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, “The Traditional Moderniser” was the Secretary of the Managing Committee of the Institution and also one of its chief patrons.

The Bethune School started functioning with twenty-one girls on its roll on a piece of land donated by Raja Dakshina Ranjan Mukherjee at Mirzapur in Calcutta. Bethune died on 12 August 1851 and Lord Dalhousie, the then governor general of India, carried his work forward. The school now shifted to a new building on the West of Cornwallis Square, where its foundation stone was laid on 6 November 1850. The progress of this school received a fillip with its amalgamation with the Banga Mahila Vidyalaya, another leading women's school of Calcutta. The reorganised Bethune School sent up for the first time Miss Kadambini Bose to the Entrance Examination of 1879. Miss Bose was successful, and was placed in the Second division. Kadambini Bose's intense desire to prosecute higher studies prompted the Government to explore the alternative of setting up a Women's College vis-a-vis the option of continuing graduate classes at Bethune School, the only Government institution for women in Calcutta.The college started functioning in 1879 with one enrolment, Kadambini Bose. In 1883 she found a fellow student in Chandramukhi Basu, a native Christian girl from Dehradun. In 1883 both Kadambini and Chandramukhi qualified in the degree examinations of the University of Calcutta. By 1887-88 the College Department of Bethune School underwent a radical change, as its students roll now comprised eleven girls, one of them being in the MA class. In February 1888, Bethune College received affiliation to the University of Calcutta up to the BA standard; Chandramukhi Basu who had already completed her MA with Honours in English, became its first Principal.

The Mission of the College has always been the development of a complete woman. Great emphasis is laid on the historical and cultural heritage of India, nurturing such values that can inculcate a sense of patriotism among the students and bring them up as conscious and self-reliant citizens of the country. Students are provided with the opportunities required to identify and develop their inherent qualities to help them flourish as complete human beings and take on the role of responsible and sensitive global citizens.

The motto of the College,
“Viddaya Vindatey Amritam”, which means knowledge provides immortal bliss, epitomizes the College mission and the spirit of true learning. By the end of the three years spent in the College, students are equipped with inner strength and confidence to face society in general and the world of higher learning in particular, to become a complete woman.

The College mission and goals are truly reflected through the academic curricula as well as the extra-curricular activities. A series of multidisciplinary lectures are delivered in addition to the curricula, to realize the mission and goals of the College. Intra-college competitions in various fields ,like dance, music, drama, creative writing, elocution, poster-painting, debate and sports help to develop creative and social skills, and leadership qualities; seminars shape their scientific temper and academic aptitude; meditation enhances intuition which is a source of scientific query; social work, through extension activities, creates holistically integrated, self- confident and self- reliant women - instrumental in socio-economic transformation of the nation.

Bethune College offers various graduate courses as well as Post Graduate courses.

Bachelors Degree Courses View Courses

Bethune College offers 3 Years Full Time Bachelors Degree in Bachelor of Science (B.Sc)

Duration: 3 Years    Learning Mode: Full Time    Course Level: Bachelors Degree View Details
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Bethune College is affiliated to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, Kolkata.

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Bethune College is affiliated to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, Kolkata. Browse Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, Kolkata Time Tables


List of facilities available at Bethune College for students.

  • wifi
  • Library
  • Sports
  • Transportation
  • Hostels
  • Healthcare
  • Internet
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer Labs
  • Auditorium - Auditorium
  • Classroom - Classroom
  • Department of Computer Science  - Department of Computer Science
    Department of Computer Science
  • Animal Room - Animal Room
    Animal Room
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    Bethune College

    Generations of past students, both male and female, are proud to be known and enjoy maintaining their connection with the college and each other. Please write to [email protected] with link of existing almuni group, or request for creation of group.