Surendranath College for Women was established in 1948, mainly for imparting higher education to girls from partition-affected families. After partition many families came from then East Pakistan and settled in the Sealdah Railway station area and its neighborhood The girls had to take up jobs during the afternoons to maintain their families. So our college with its morning timings came into existence. Even today our ideal has remained the same. Many of our students come from extremely poverty-stricken backgrounds and several come from families below the poverty line. It is our aim to make them self-reliant. Our college, together with its entire sister colleges was housed in the same building at 24/2, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kolkata – 700009. Originally, Surendranath College was known as Ripon College. It had been named after the viceroy, Lord Ripon. After independence it was renamed after its founder, the eminent congress leader, Surendranath Banerjee, nicknamed “Surrender not”, for his tenacity and fiery antiBritish articles in “Bengali”, the newspaper he published and edited.
The college was under the governance of trustees at first. We became a non-government college directly under Calcutta University with a duly constituted governing body which sat for the first time in November, 2001. The college shifted to its own premises and classes began there from 1997.This building is next door to the main one and used to be the Ripon hostel. As the college is situated in a very congested area of central Calcutta, we cannot expand. We have introduced a number of innovations in recent times which includes Extensive use of the college auditorium for value added sections of the curriculum. The auditorium which is a valuable resource for the local community is also used for various extension and outreach activities of the college. Students are given internet access for using e-resources under the supervision of the teachers. An online feedback mechanism for students, supplemented by manual feedback mechanism is one of our Best Practices. We were among one of the first colleges to begin a Biometric attendance for all staff members of the college. There is extensive use of projectors for using audio-visual clips supplementing the traditional class methods. We have also rent out space in the college to the PNB for opening an ATM centre at the college gate. We have an efficient mechanism to arrange stipends and freeships to students from various government and non-government sources. Our students publishing tabloid sized lab journals where the students publish their own writing and edit it too. They make small documentaries on local issues and editing them at the college using the facilities available at the college.
The college also has a YouTube channel where different videos relevant to students’ use are uploaded. Making ordinary students self-reliant remains our stated mission.