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HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTES OF COLONIAL CALCUTTA – Scottish Church College

Scottish Church College

Scottish Church college was not established in a day. Rev. Alexander Duff, the first missionary to India from the Church of Scotland, founded “General Assembly’s Institution” on 13 July 1830, in Feringhi Kamal Bose’s house, located in upper Chitpore Road, near Jorasanko, with the support of Lord William Bentinck,  the then Governor General of India. In 1836 the institution was moved to Gorachand Bysack’s house at Garanhatta, where the Oriental Seminary now stands. The School continued in the said building till March 1844. In between, necessary fund was raised to purchase the adjacent landed property at Cornwallis Square, to build a new building of the School. Finally, the foundation stone was laid on the newly purchased plot on 23rd February, 1837 by Mr. MacFarlon, the Chief-Magistrate of Calcutta. Mr. John Gray, of Messrs. Burn & Co, designed the building, which is having the mixed influence of the Portuguese Renaissance, the Mannerist and Colonial Style of architecture, with traces of English Palladianism. The construction of the building was completed in 1839, and the Institution was shifted to the new building. It was not till 1840 that the Institution could be divided into School and College departments.

Scottish Church

Assembly Hall with the statue of Alexander Duff
Assembly Hall with the statue of Alexander Duff

It will be not out of place to mention here that, at the Disruption of 1843 (when 450 ministers of the Church broke away from the parent body, and formed the Free Church of Scotland),  Duff sided with the Free Church, left the General Assembly’s Institution and established a new educational institution in Calcutta, named as Free Church Institution, which commenced its work on 4th March, 1843.

The Millennium Building
The Millennium Building

However, these two institutions founded by Duff ,The Free Church Institution and the General Assembly’s Institution were merged together in 1908, to form The Scottish Churches College. Later, after the official union of the established Church of Scotland and the Free Church in 1929, the college was renamed as the Scottish Church College.

The bust of Alexander Duff
The bust of Alexander Duff

The college has an area of six acres. It operates in seven buildings and two campuses. The main campus consists of the main building, is declared as a Heritage Building. It includes the college Assembly Hall. The second campus consists of the Millennium Building and the Department of Teacher Education. A separate building houses the department of teacher education. The Scottish Church College campus is a ‘green’ campus with solar lighting.

Old picture of the College
Old picture of the College

The students and alumni of the Institution call themselves “Caledonians” in the name of the college festival, “Caledonia”.

Postal Stamp
Postal Stamp
Dibyendu Banerjee
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.

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