Scottish Church College, Calcutta

Scottish Church College, Calcutta

Infobox University
name = Scottish Church College‎|motto = Nec Tamen Consumebatur
established = 1830 as General Assembly's Institution
1844 as Free Church Institution
1908 as Scottish Churches College
1929 as Scottish Church College
type = Church of North India administered, government-aided and partly self funded undergraduate liberal arts and sciences college
principal = Dr. John Abraham
rector = Rt. Reverend P.S.P. Raju
city = Kolkata
state = West Bengal
country = India
campus = Urban
students =
undergrad =
postgrad =
affiliations = West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, University of Calcutta
address = 1 & 3 Urquhart Square, Kolkata - 700006
free_label = Recognition
free = National Assessment and Accreditation Council's Grade ‘A’ Institution; University Grants Commission’s ‘College with Potential for Excellence’

The Scottish Church College, which is located at 1 & 3 Urquhart Square, Calcutta 700006 is the oldest continuing Missionary administered liberal arts and sciences college in India. It is affiliated with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (for the Scottish Church Collegiate School), the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, and the University of Calcutta for the awarding of baccalaureate, post baccalaureate and undergraduate degrees.

It is well-known for its beautiful campus, renowned faculty, robust intellectual milieu and its English Palladian architecture. Its students and alumni call themselves "Caledonians" in the name of the college festival, "Caledonia". The collegian motto is "Nec Tamen Consumebatur", [ [ Saint Columba's main doorway] ] which means "Burning, but yet not consumed".


The inception of what is now known as the Scottish Church College is intertwined with the life of Dr. Alexander Duff, D. D. LLD. (1806-1878), the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland, to India. Initially known as the "General Assembly's Institution", it was founded on the 13th of July 1830.

Alexander Duff was born in Moulin, Perthshire, the very heart of Scotland, on 15 April 1806. From the country school, he passed on to the University of St Andrews, where, after getting his degree, he ended a brilliant career. Subsequently, he undertook his evangelical mission to India. After an adventurous voyage during which he was twice shipwrecked, he arrived in Calcutta on 27 May 1830.

Rev. Alexander Duff opened his institution in Feringhi Kamal Bose's house, located in upper Chitpore Road, near Jorasanko. In 1836 the institution was moved to Gorachand Bysack's house at Garanhatta. Mr. MacFarlon, the Chief-Magistrate of Calcutta, laid the foundation stone on 23 February 1837. Mr. John Gray, elected by Messrs. Burn & Co. and superintended by Captain John Thomson of the Honourable East India Company designed the building. The construction of the building was completed in 1839.

Historical significance

In the early 1800s, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland sent Reverend Alexander Duff, a young and dedicated missionary, to Kolkata to set up an English-medium institution. Though Bengalis had shown some interest in the spread of Western education from the beginning of the 19th century, both the local church and government officers were skeptical about the high-caste Bengali's response to the idea of an English-medium institution. Raja Ram Mohan Roy helped by organizing the venue and bringing in the first batch of students. He also assured the guardians that reading the Bible did not necessarily imply religious conversion. Although his ultimate aim was the spread of English education, Duff was aware that without a good command on one's native language, it was impossible to master a foreign language. Hence in his General Assembly's Institution (as later in his Free Church Institution), the teaching and learning of the Bengali language and literature was given high priority. Duff was keen on sports and had accumulated different kinds of sports-related equipment for use in his institution. When he introduced political economy as a subject in the curricula, the Church strongly criticized him. In 1840, Duff returned to India. At the Disruption of 1843, Duff sided with the Free Church. He gave up the college buildings, with all their effects and with unabated courage, set to establish a new institution, which came to be known as the Free Church Institution. He had the support of Sir James Outram and Sir Henry Lawrence, and the encouragement of seeing a new band of converts, including several young men born of high caste. In 1844, governor-general Viscount Hardinge opened government appointments to all who had studied in institutions similar to Duff's institution. In the same year, Duff co-founded the "Calcutta Review", of which he served as editor from 1845 to 1849. These two institutions founded by Duff, i.e., the General Assembly's Institution and the Free Church Institution would be merged later to form the Scottish Churches College. After the unification of the Church of Scotland in 1929, the institution would be known as Scottish Church College.

Along with Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the father of modern India, Dr. Duff played a significant role in supporting Lord Macaulay in drafting his famous "Minute for the introduction of English education in India". Successive eminent missionary scholars from Scotland, viz. Dr. Ogilvie, Dr. Hastie, [ [ Master visionary] ] Dr. Macdonald, Dr. Stephen, Dr. Watt, Dr. Urquhart and others contributed to the spread of the liberal Western education. Along with other educational institutions like Serampore College, Hindu College, the Scottish Churches College played a pivotal role in ushering the spirit of intellectual enquiry and a general acceptance of the ideals of the European Enlightenment, among Bengalis, in what came to be regarded as the Young Bengal Movement and later, the Bengal Renaissance.

Duff's contemporaries included such luminaries as Reverend Mackay, Reverend Ewart and Reverend Thomas Smith. Till the early 20th century the norm was to bring teachers from Scotland (like William Spence Urquhart, Leslie Stephen, H.M. Percival, Ian Fairweather [ [ Rev Ian Fairweather] by William F. Hendrie] etc.) but eminent Indian scholars were also engaged as teachers by the college authorities. Scholars like Surendranath Banerjea, Kalicharan Bandyopadhyay, Jnan Chandra Ghosh, Gouri Shankar Dey, Adhar Chandra Mukhopadhyay Sushil Chandra Dutta, Mohimohan Basu, Sudhir Kumar Dasgupta, Nirmal Chandra Bhattacharya, Bholanath Mukhopadhyay and Kalidas Nag had all contributed hugely to enhance the academic standards of the college.

Dr. Duff played a leading part in founding the University of Calcutta in 1857, he was associated with the "Agro-horticultural Society" and the establishment of a medical college, the first in India. He also aimed at breaking down caste-barriers by founding several girls schools. The Scottish Church College played a pioneering role in women's education as well as co-education in the country. Female students comprise half the present roll strength of the college. With the added interest of the missionaries in educational work and social welfare, the college stands as a monument to Indo-Scottish co-operation. The aims and principles of the College are essentially those of its founder namely, the formation of character through education based on Christian teaching.

Current status

Until 1953, the administrative control over the college was exercised by the Foreign Mission Committee of the Church of Scotland. This was exercised by jointly by a local council consisting of representatives of the Church of Scotland and the United Church of Northern India. Later the Foreign Mission Committee of Church of Scotland relinquished its authority to the United Church of Northern India, and in 1970, the United Church of Northern India joined the Church of North India as a constituent body. This made the Church of North India the "de facto" and "de jure" successor (to the Church of Scotland) in running the administration of the college. As the college was founded on Christian (Protestant and Presbyterian) foundations, it derives its legal authority and status as a religious minority institution as defined by the scope of Article 30 of the Constitution of India.

Notable alumni

Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala]

*Swami Vivekananda, Hindu saint, proponent of Advaita Vedanta school of religious philosophy in the West and founder of the Ramakrishna Mission Order
*Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, President of the Indian National Congress (1938-1939), co-founder of the Indian National Army and Head of State, Arzi Hukumate Azad Hind (1942-1945)
*Sir Gooroodas Banerjee, noted jurist and educationist, first Indian Vice Chancellor of the University of Calcutta.
*Sir Brajendra Nath Seal, leading philosopher and thinker of the Brahmo Samaj, Vice Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University and later the University of Mysore [ [ Seal, (Acharya) Brajendra Nath] ]
*Dhan Gopal Mukerji, socio-cultural critic and first successful Indian man of letters in the United States of America; winner of Newbery Medal (1928)
*Rev. Lal Behari Dey, scholar, writer and theologian of the Free Church of Scotland
*Sitanath Tattwabhushan, philosopher and theologian of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj [ [ From the Brahmo Samaj website] ]
*Paramahansa Yogananda, Hindu mystic, Yogi and leading proponent of Kriya Yoga in the West
*His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Hindu author and teacher, Founder, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, leading proponent of Gaudiya Vaishnavism [ [ Entertainment Homepage] ] [ [ International Society for Krishna Consciousness] ] [ [ His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada] By Stephen Knapp]
*Tarak Nath Das, freedom fighter, scholar
*Kshirode Prasad Vidyavinode, thespian
*Manomohan Bose, nationalist poet, playwright and journalist [ [ Bose, Manomohan] ]
*Satyendranath Dutta, Bengali poet [ [ Dutta, Satyendranath] ]
*Satischandra Ray, Classical scholar and teacher [ [ Satischandra Ray (1882-1904)] ]
*Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, internationally renowned linguist [ [ Chatterji, Suniti Kumar] ]
*Ajitkumar Chakravarty, scholar and teacher of literature, drama and music [ [ Ajitkumar Chakravarty (1886-1918)] ]
*Sudhindranath Dutta, author and poet [ [ Dutta, Sudhindranath] ] [ [ Sudhindranath Dutta (1901 - 1960)] ]
*Nirad C. Chaudhuri, polymath, historian and encyclopedic commentator on culture, acclaimed Victorian scholar and honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire [ [ Vita of Nirad Chaudhuri] ]
*Biraja Sankar Guha, pioneering anthropologist, one of the first PhD recipients in anthropology in the world (Harvard University, 1924) [ [ AnthroSource: Error ] ] and founder-Director of the Anthropological Survey of India. []
*Nirmal Kumar Bose, anthropologist, social scientist and freedom fighter [ [ Nirmal Kumar Bose - Scholar wanderer] ]
*Benoy Chandra Sen, historian, researcher and Indologist [ [ Sen, Benoychandra] ]
*Ramaprasad Chanda, historian, anthropologist and archaeologist [ [ Chanda, Ramaprasad] ]
*Gourgopal Ghosh, football player for the Mohun Bagan Club and mathematician [ [ Gourgopal Ghosh (1893-1940)] ]
*Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal [ [ Bisheshwor Prasad Koirala] ]
*Gopinath Bordoloi, prominent freedom fighter, first Chief Minister of Assam [ [ Gopinath Bordoloi] ]
*Prafulla Chandra Sen, former Chief Minister of West Bengal
*Brington Buhai Lyngdoh, former Chief Minister of Meghalaya [ [] ]
*George Gilbert Swell, Member of Rajya Sabha, former challenger to the Office of the President of India in July, 1992 [ [ Brief Bio-data] ]
*Banwari Lal Joshi, former Lt. Governor of Delhi, [ [,curpg-2.cms 'Big cities have big problems'] ] Governor of Meghalaya [ [ B L Joshi sworn-in as new Meghalaya Governor] ]
*Dr. Mohammed Mohsin, Honorary Chairman of the Nepalese National Assembly, member, [ Rastriya Prajatantra Party of Nepal] [ [ Kolkata old boy is Nepal’s top statesman] ]
*His Royal Highness Raja Maung Shwe Prue Chowdhury, ex-King of the Bomang tribe, Chittagong Hill Tracts
*Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Nepalese bodybuilder , political activist and anti-royalist martyr [ [ (fitnessNEPAL/History) ] ] [ [ "Encounter with a martyr’s daughter"] By Sudha Shrestha]
*Ajit Kumar Panja, Former Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha and Ex-Minister of State for External Affairs [ [ Panja, Ajit Kumar] ]
* Swami Gambhirananda , president of the Ramakrishna Mission Order [ [ Reflections around Swami Gambhirananda] ]
*Honourable Mr. Amal Kumar Sarkar, former Chief Justice of India [ [ A. K. Sarkar] ]
*Mr. Justice Amarendra Nath Sen, former Judge, of the Supreme Court of India [ [ Amarendra Nath Sen] ]
*Mr. Justice Ganendra Narayan Ray, former Judge, of the Supreme Court of India [ [ Ganendra Narayan Ray] ]
*Honourable Mr. Anandamoy Bhattacharjee, former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court [ [] ]
*Honourable Mr. Justice Umesh Chandra Banerjee, Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Member of the International Law Association, and Founder President of the Nalsar University of Law at Hyderabad [ [ Hon'ble Mr. Justice Umesh C. Banerjee] ] [ [ Banerjee new chief justice of Andhra HC] ]
*Shishir Kumar Bhaduri, noted playwright [ [ BANGLAPEDIA: Bhaduri, Shishir Kumar ] ]
*Pankaj Mullick, Bollywood and Bengali cinema music director and composer
*Manna Dey, Bollywood film music exponent [ [ Padmabhusan Manna] ] [ [ A Cultural Colossus] ]
*Mrinal Sen, internationally acclaimed art film director and cultural commentator [ [ Chasing the Truth: The Films of Mrinal Sen] ] [ [ Sen, Mrinal] ]
*Buddhadeb Dasgupta, renowned art cinema director and poet [ [ Merchant of Dreams] ]
*Nabyendu Chatterjee, renowned art cinema director
*Soumitra Chatterjee, critically acclaimed actor
*Suchitra Mitra, Rabindra Sangeet exponent
*Upala Sen, Rabindra Sangeet exponent
*Birendra Krishna Bhadra,a poet widely remembered in Bengal for his recital of Mahishashura Mardini
*Pulak Bandopadhyay, Bengali lyricist and composer
*Mithun Chakraborty, National Film Award winning Indian film actor and social activist.
*Arun Kumar Shaha, sitar performer [ [ travel media shopping computers hardware at ] ]
*Diptendu Pramanick, Founder Secretary of the East India Motion Pictures Association
*Premendra Mitra, novelist
*Subhas Mukhopadhyay, Bengali poet [ [ "People's poet of Bengal-Subhas Mukhopadhyay"] By Dr Ashok K Choudhury]
*Rudraprasad Sengupta, eminent theatre personality, director Nandikar theatre group and cultural critic [ [ Kaleidoscopic journey of an artiste and his troupe] ]
*Parvati Prasad Baruwa, noted Assamese litterateur [ [ Parvati Prasad Baruva] ]
*Sanjeev Chattopadhyay, Bengali journalist, author, and critic
*Samaresh Majumdar, Bengali novelist
*Bani Basu, Bengali author, postcolonial and feminist scholar, cultural critic [ [ Bani Basu] ] [ [ Stranger than fiction] ] [ [ Meenakshi Mukherjee: Bani Basu's Novels] ]
*Sunil Gangopadhyay, eminent novelist, poet and children's fiction writer.
*Buddhadeb Guha, popular Bengali fiction writer and poet.
*Badal Sircar, dramatist [ [ Mustard memories] ]
*Manoj Mitra, dramatist [ Campus Buzz] ] [ [ ENAD's Fourth Production] ]
*Tanmoy Bose, internationally renowned tabla exponent [ [ "Better play abroad than crib at home"] (6 Dec 2003)]
*Bivas Chaudhuri, artist of the abstract art form [ [ His Indian Heritage Marks Bivas Chaudhuri’s Abstract Art At Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus in October] ] [ [ Bivas Chaudhuri] ]
*Farrukh Ahmed, respected East Pakistani and later Bangladeshi poet, writer, activist of the Language Movement
*Bulbul Chowdhury, Bangladeshi performing artist, dancer and writer [ [ Chowdhury, Bulbul] ]
*Ajmal Husain, Bangladeshi artist based in Paris [ [] ]
*Mustafa Monwar, Bangladeshi artist, media personality, critic and scholar [ [ Mustafa Monwar: A legend of our times] ]
*Madhav Sharma, Indian born comedian and actor based in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) [ [ A tale of two cities] ]
*Derek O'Brien, nationally acclaimed quiz-master and author [ [] ]
*Jagmohan Dalmiya, ex-President of Board of Control for Cricket in India and the first Indian to be the chairman of the International Cricket Council [ [ Checkmated, master of board game] ] [ [ Jagmohan Dalmiya: Cricket's face of change] ] [ [ "Jagmohan Dalmiya: The sultan of the gentleman’s game news"] (24 September 2004)]
*Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay, gynaecologist, the first physician in India (and second in the world) to perform in vitro fertilization
*Shyamal Ghosh, ex-Chairman, Working Group on Internet Governance, International Telecommunication Union [ [ Biography of Shyamal Ghosh, Chairman] ]
*Dr. Mani Lal Bhaumik, Scientist turned Entrepreneur based in Beverly Hills, California; inventor of the excimer laser and author [ [ Code Name Success] ] [ [ Photo News] ]
*Kashi Nath Memani, ex-chairman of Ernst & Young India and first Indian to be selected to the audit committee of the International Monetary Fund [ [ The IMF's new munim] ]
*Lord Dharam Bir 'Bill' Lall of Woodsland, entrepreneur, self-help and motivational speaker and author based in the UK [ [ From Dharam Lall to Lord Lall] ] [ [ Passage to England] ] [ [ Bill's bill for riches] ]
*Surya Sekhar Ganguly, FIDE Chess Grandmaster [ [,prtpage-1.cms 'Unexpected' finish by Surya Sekhar] ] [ [ Ganguly, Surya Shekhar] ] and national champion [ [ Indian National Championship won by Surya Ganguly] ]
*Tapan Raychaudhuri, eminent historian, professor of Indian history and civilization at the University of Oxford

and many others found throughout the globe. Apart from the above, the alumni of Scottish Church College also include famous scientists, academicians, philosophers, littérateurs, artists, administrators, jurists and bureaucrats. The achievements of the students of today carry on the legacy of the stalwarts of yesteryears.

Excerpt from the NAAC Report (see link below):

Recent news

* Since 2001, this college has been a member of the "United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia" and is a participant in that organization's "Asian University Leadership Program". [ [ AULP schedule ] ] [ [] ] This effort is expected to usher exchange programs with scholars and faculty members of participating educational institutions.

* In recognition of its robust academic milieu, it has been granted the National Assessment and Accreditation Council's "A" rating in 2004. [ [ NAAC - National Assessment and Accreditation Council ] ]

* In 2006, the college celebrated 175 years of existence.

* The University Grants Commission (India) has accepted the recommendations of the University of Calcutta to regard the college as a centre of excellence. [ [ Star tag on six colleges] ] [ [ Half in, half out in college tag race] ]

*Since 2004, the college has been publishing the "Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences", an international refereed and annually published journal in the social sciences related sub-fields like liberalism, empiricism, Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, subaltern studies and postcolonialism.

In popular culture

Satyajit Ray's fictional scientist-cum-investigator Professor Shanku started his career as a professor of physics at the Scottish Church College.


Other sources

*Online archived articles from "The Statesman", "The Telegraph", "The Independent", "The Scotsman", etc.
*Other Internet resources ("LexisNexis Academic Database", "" and "" etc.)
*Scottish Church College Magazine. Volumes - 87,88 and 89 published in 1999,2000 and 2001.
*Ananda Bazar Patrika - Sunday edition May 2006.

External links

* [ Official Website]
* [ Stamp on the college]
* [ History of Christianity in Bengal]
* [ NAAC Accreditation and Report]

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