I consider this an acknowledgment of my administrative capabilities and able leadership that I was offered and have taken up the position of Principal of Bethune College, with much anticipation and great pleasure.
It is necessary to reiterate that Bethune College is Asia's first women's college and this fact has many implications in view of its continuing success in the field of Higher education today. History teaches us that perseverance and dedication leave their footprints in the sands of time. Worldwide women's movements with respect to enfranchisement and education of women in the 1980's and 90's saw many changes in the global scenario. A large part of Europe and America brought forth governmental policies in favoring incentives to women's Higher education. The education sector in India also responded with many efforts to ensure women's visibility in all walks of life, medicine and administration being foremost among them. With a deep sense of pride we invoke the glorious past of Bethune College, particularly its history of being set up as the first institute of its kind in 1879.
The institution has produced doctors, scientists, litterateurs, journalists, public servants, sportspersons, performing artists, and administrators; in short, women have found a nurturing soul for their ambitions in Bethune college, which is a rare feat given that in society women in the past had to struggle for prominence much more than they have to, today.
From Bethune College emerged the first two lady graduates of British Empire, the historical figures of Dr. Kadambini Ganguly and Prof. Chandramukhi Basu, who later joined her alma mater as its first Principal. That historically the college has been producing icons of women's empowerment can be seen from the long list of its successful ex-students. We can mention only a few- Pritilata Waddedar, the first female martyr of India's freedom struggle, Jyotirmoyee Ganguli, the first woman councillor of the Calcutta Corporation, Ila Sen, the first Bengali woman to be selected for participation in Olympic Games, the first Woman D.Sc, Prof Asima Chatterjee, and the first woman D.Litt of Calcutta University, Dr. Sabita Mishra.
A hundred and forty one year journey during which Bethune College has maintained excellence in its performance through continuous updation of the teaching-learning process, innovative research pursuits and stringent academic standards. Awarded the Grade 'A' twice, in 2006 & 2015, by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), the College was granted the status of College with Potential for Excellence by the UGC. Recently, the institution has been honoured with the DBT Star status as a recognition of its relentless struggle for excellence and experimentation in the field of science. Satisfied with the performance of the science departments of our college, the Department of Science & Technology(DST), Govt. of India has sanctioned a considerable amount of funding under the DST-FIST programme in 2019 The college also received grants of substantial amounts under the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) for infrastructural and IT development.
Faculty of this college excel in the teaching-learning process as well as research. Continuous student-teacher interaction and assessment ensure that students form a meaningful educator-educatee relationship with the teacher and are motivated to perform in any platform under their supervision.
The Alumni Association of the institution which is 99 years old, works in a symbiotic manner with the college for the enrichment and progression of the students. With generous help and encouragement as well as administrative and financial assistance from the Department of Higher Education, Government of West Bengal and constant cooperation from all the stakeholders, Bethune College has played a major role in contributing to the cause of women in the country, producing empowered and enlightened individuals.
The college believes in balancing tradition and modernity in such a way that the two can co-exist without contradictions, by continuously updating its value-based education system while being firmly rooted in its heritage. The core mission of the institution is increasing scope and diversification of knowledge, utilizing them to the betterment of society, especially fast tracking women's education so that they become psychologically and economically self-sufficient, which is a necessary step towards autonomy and independence from limiting factors. To this effect, the college offers quality education with a low fee structure. Overall, the aim of the college in which it has acquired unprecedented success is in helping women realise their highest potential and working towards it without fear. Bethune college thus carries forward the Indian legacy of multidisciplinary studies. Francis Bacon, the great Renaissance Humanist said, "Abeunt studia in mores" meaning that "Studies pass into character", and our students, who excel in all walks of life, certainly prove the truth of this aphorism..