Golden Foundation

The Golden Foundation (1906–2011)

To curb the growth of this spirit, a potential threat to the British imperial rule then at its zenith in India, the Government under Lord Curzon took a number of repressive measures : the Indian Universities Act (1904), contriving to constrict and confine the field of higher education; the Carlyle Circular (1905) prohibiting students’ participation in politics; and the partition of Bengal, sinisterly designed to fracture and cripple Bengal politically and culturally.

Bengal accepted the challenge, and the magic mantra was Swadeshi. The patriotic songs composed by RabindraNath Tagore fostered and kept up the fire of the anti-partition agitation. On the economic front, the revolt addressed itself to the boycotting of British goods in favour of Swadeshi products. On the cultural front, the upsurge triggered, among other things, a demand for a national university.

November 1905 was vibrant with memorable events : countless meetings, historic assemblies and impassioned speeches and writings. Satis Chandra Mukherjee’s article “The Birth of the National Idea”, in the magazine DAWN, crystallised the close relation between national education and national consciousness. On November 9, at a public meeting on the ground of Field and Academy Club (popularly known as Pantir Math) Subodh Chandra Mallik promised a personal gift of one lakh of rupees for establishing a national university. The next day, at the same spot, Bepin Chandra Pal made another thrilling announcement: other friends were ready to champion the cause with contributions in lakhs. On November 11 thousands of students under the stewardship of Ashutosh Chaudhuri congregated in College Square to demand the foundation of a national university. On November 12 Sister Nivedita delivered at the Dawn Society an illuminating speech entitled “The Present Crisis and the Need of a National University”. On November 14 Ashutosh Chaudhuri issued a historic manifesto asking the leading men of the country to assemble at the Bengal Land Holders’ Association. The Conference, which was held on 16 November, resolved to establish “a National Council of Education … to organise a system of education — Literary, Scientific and Technical on National Lines and under National Control”. It took four months to devise and formulate “ways and means”, and on March 11, 1906 a formal resolution was adopted at a conference at the Bengal Land Holders’ Association. The foundation stone of the Council was laid. Some five months later on August 14, 1906 another historic meeting at the Town Hall witnessed the inauguration of the Council’s first academic institute, the Bengal National College and School.

There were too many expectations to be fulfilled, too many emotions to be harmonized. For the newborn Council and its College the task was not easy. But the Council’s prime object, its fundamental ideal, was clear; it was “to quicken the national life of the people”. Aurobindo Ghose was the first Principal of Bengal National College. In an article “A Word in Time” published in the May 3,1908 issue of the weekly journal BANDE MATARAM he wrote: “The Council is not merely an educational body nor is the College merely an educational institution; they are trustees to the people of a great instrument of National regeneration and should work always in that spirit.”

Archieve

The Jatindra Mohan Sangrahashala, the archive of the National Council of Education, Bengal is a unique collection of six thousand manuscripts, seven thousand books, and two thousand two hundred forty-two periodicals. It came into being on 11th May, 1984 when Professor Jatindra Mohan Bhattacharjee donated to the National Council his personal collection of manuscripts, books and periodicals.

Dr. Triguna Sen Centre

Dr. Triguna Sen Centre of Life Long Education

Under this centre the Council through its various schools conducts non formal Education.

School of Language Management

Under this centre the Council through its various schools conducts non formal Education.

Publication

The Council has its book-sale shop situated on Raja Subidh Mullick Road by the side of the Council’s first gate which sales all publications of the Council. It remains open between 11 am and 5.30 pm on all days other than Sundays and holidays

Indumati Sabhagriha

Indumati Sabhagriha is the auditorium of the Council used for seminars and lectures. The auditorium is fully air-conditioned with uninterrupted power supply. The sitting capacity is 183. There is a small dais with a podium, inbuilt public address system, three microphones, four halogen lights and two side-lights, screen, three tables and six chairs for the dais, one greenroom with attached toilet.