PRASANTA CHANDRA MAHALANOBIS MAHAVIDYALAYA, BARANAGAR (formerly Bon-Hooghly College of Commerce) was established in 1965 as an evening Commerce College affiliated to the University of Calcutta. A brief history of the college is as follows :
Nascent Phase :
The idea of an evening Commerce College, a dream of many an educated people of the Baranagar-Kamarhati area, became reality through the untiring efforts of a few educationists and persons interested in education and social development. Public donations and charities on the one hand and voluntary services rendered by teachers of the college on the other were the driving force for the college to go ahead and grow.
The area where the college is situated, though adjacent to Kolkata, is a part of the greater Baranagar-Kamarhati Industrial Belt of West Bengal. There was no evening Commerce College in the vast area from Tallah to Barrackpore (a linear distance of about 20 kilometres) inhabited by over 25 lakhs of people. The area has also the highest concentration of uprooted (refugees) people of which a sizeable number belong to the Scheduled Castes community.
In the beginning, the college had no building of its own. With special permission from the State Government, classes were held from 5.15p.m. to 9 p.m. in the premises of Brahmananda Keshab Chandra College, a Govt. sponsored Day College for Arts and Science.
The College was established as an evening Commerce College with a view to offering opportunity for higher education to those who were i) engaged in petty jobs in local factories, shops and various establishments but wanted to pursue their studies further for a change-over, ii) unemployed and on the look-out for jobs, iii) engaged in small business but aspired to be educated in Commerce to solve their professional problems relating to accounting, taxation, marketing etc.
As the college started imparting knowledge to first generation learners, everything turned out satisfactorily. But unfortunately, during the seventies it had to face two serious problems : persistent load-shedding continuing for two/three hours at a stretch, and the Naxalite imbroglio. The problem of load-shedding was somehow tackled by installing petromaxes in the classrooms. But the then political unrest made it hardly possible to hold classes in the evening. Moreover, the roll strength dwindled alarmingly. As a result the college authority almost came to the conclusion that it was time to wind up. However, in the late seventies, the college limped back to normalcy.
Development Phase :
During the eighties we embarked upon giving our institution a new lease of life. Permanent teaching posts in Commerce, English, Bengali and Mathematics were created.
Permanent teaching posts in Commerce, English, Bengali and Mathematics were created and approved by the Government. This made us self-sufficient to teach Honours Course in one or two commerce subjects. So we sought permission from the appropriate authority to teach Honours in Accountancy and the University of Calcutta granted our prayer. These new developments brought the problem of accommodation to the fore. The fact was that we had no building of our own. In spite of our continuous and sincere efforts no Building Grant could be obtained from the University Grants commission. The commission repeatedly turned down our appeals on the pretext that the College didn’t have ten permanent teaching staff. Thus, having failed to secure any grant whatsoever either from the U.G.C. or from the State Government, we were at a loss as to what to do because our own resources at that time were too inadequate to venture on an ambitious Building project on the land allotted by Central Government and sold to us by the State Government. With voluntary donations from students, teachers, non-teaching staff and also with the meagre resources we had in the college fund the ground floor of the institution comprising three classrooms and staircase was constructed somehow. In the second half of the nineties we approached the State Government to release a substantial amount of grant to complete the remaining part of the first project of our college building. This time the State Government responded positively to our appeal and released a grant of Rs. 26 lakhs. In the meantime, we also received some grants from MP and MLA LAD funds. In this way, we enabled ourselves to complete three stories of the main block and the ground floor of the annexed block and to shift our college to our own building in the year 1999. From the year 2002-03, we changed the working hours of our college from the evening to the day shift for better teaching-learning facilities. Moreover, from the academic session 2003-04 we introduced faculties in arts and science by opening Honours course in Geography (self financing) along with general subjects like Sociology and Education. Honours courses were introduced in Sociology and Education the following year. This situation called for changing the name of the college as it was no longer just a commerce college. So to pay tribute to Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis, the great pioneer statistician and founder of Indian Statistical Institute, our college was renamed Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis Mahavidyalaya. Gradually Honours courses were opened in Mathematics, Economics, Bengali, English, Philosophy and Food & Nutrition. Chemistry and Computer Science were also introduced as general subjects to offer the students a better combination. From the academic session 2017-18 college introduced four subjects such as Physics, History, Political Science and Human Development as general papers. From 2018-19 Computer Science Honours course was started. From the academic session 2019-20 Honours courses are introduced in Political Science , History and Human Development. Now our college owns a four-storey two-block building and has become a multidisciplinary degree college offering Honours courses of study in 14 subjects.