Calcutta National Medical College


During the British Reign several humiliating incidents led to serious thinking among the intelligence of Bengal to establish their Identity. One such example was Michael MadhusudanDutta, the great poet of Bengal who had been refused admission in Presidency General Hospital (presently SSKM Hospital) several times which was then Governed by the East India Company. In the eve of such events, PanditIshwar Chandra Vidyasagar drafted the National Education Policy (GouriyaSarbaVidyayatan). Later, this National Education Policy was reframed by Sri AurobindoGhosh and AcharyaPrafulla Chandra Roy. The reframed policy consisted of two wings: (1) National Medical Institution (JatiyaAyurbigyanParishad) and (2)National Science Institution (JatiyaBigyanParishad).

In 1920, in the December Nagpur Annual Congress Session, Mahatma Gandhi declared the slogan "GolamiHatao" and appealed to boycott all links with the Government in Councils, Courts and Education. This motion was strongly supported by DeshbandhuChittaranjan Das. Gandhiji planned to promote National Education by developing New National Universities based on PanditIshwar Chandra Vidyasagar's original idea of National Council of Education. To implement National Education Gandhiji derived from his visit to Jharia a sum of Rupees 70000/-.This money was entrusted to Dr. Rajendra Prasad that led to the establishment of the "TilakSwaraj Fund".


At the call of our National Leaders many students left Institutions that had even the remotest links with the erstwhile British Government. During the Non Cooperation movement Medical Education in Calcutta was imparted in 3 Institutions, namely: Medical College of Bengal; Campbell Medical School (Later known as NRS Medical College) and Carmichael Medical College (Later known as R G Kar Medical College). The first two were Government Institutions and the last, though not a full fledged Government Institution had some links with the British. At a meeting of eminent Students of Medical College at Hellide Park, the idea of a Swadeshi Medical College was first mooted upon. This meeting was presided over by DeshbandhuChittaranjan Das and one of the speakers was Dr. Sundari Mohan Das. The students were assured that such a College would be established.

History of Calcutta Medical School

In 1907, Dr. Sarat Kumar Mullick with other eminent doctors started a Medical School at 191, Bowbazar Street in the name of National Medical College of India (The National College of Physicians and Surgeons). In 1910 a hospital named Calcutta Free Hospital (King's Hospital) was attached to the above mentioned Institution. In 1914,the Hospital was shifted to 301/3, Upper Circular Road, on a piece of land donated by Maharaja Manindra Nandi. The enterprise had behind it the blessings of National Leaders like LalaLajpatRai and Surendranath Banerjee. With the passing of the Indian Medical Degree act of 1916,the Institution had to be closed . This College and Hospital was reopened in 1919 by Dr. Sarat Kumar Mullick. In April 1923 the management was taken over by another registered society, namely The Calcutta Medical Institution. This Institution was affiliated to the State Medical Faculty of Bengal for LMF Course and the first batch of students for the Licentiate Examination of the Faculty appeared in 1924-1925.

History of National Medical Institute

In 1920, The Indian National Congress at the Nagpur Session adopted the resolution for Non Cooperation and gave a call for boycotting the Government Institutions and other Government concerns. DeshbandhuChittaranjan Das reformed the National Council of Education to Establish Non Government Engineering and Medical Colleges. The Jadavpur Technical Institute was one of the first to be formed which later became the Jadavpur University.
In 14th April 1921,on the auspicious day of PoilaBaishak (1328 Bangabda) JatiyaAyurbigyanVidyalaya (National Medical Institute) was started at the Forbes Mansion at 11,Wellington Square with a mere sum of Rupees 15000/- from the "TilakSwaraj Fund" by DesbandhuChittaranjan Das. Many of the then National Leaders, namely SaifuddinKitchlu, Hakim AjmolKhan,SriPurushattam Das Tandon,Dr. B C Ghosh attended the Inauguration. AcharyaPrafullaChanfra Roy became the President, Dr. KumudSankar Ray and Dr. Satish Chandra Senguptawere Founder Secretaries. Dr. Sundari Mohan Das was the Founder Principal. The main aim was to impart scientific education onto the students who were expelled from different colleges by the British Government for participating in Non Violent and Non Cooperation Movement. Soon after, the Institute moved to 189, Maniktala Main Road at Kankurgachi in the donated Garden House of Maharaja Manindra Chandra Nandi of Kasimbazar. A hospital was started at the ground floor of the building and this was later named as The "National Infirmary" for diseased destitutes. In addition a TB Hospital was also constructed on this land. Lectures used to be held in the outhouses.
Students, many of whom were also followers of the Non Cooperation Movement did the 5 years course in the Kankurgachi and the National Medical Institute issued its own "NATMB" certificate. Soon it was realised that students passed out with NATMB certificate may be treated as unqualified thus a recognition was sought for. In 1927, the School was affiliated for the LMF course of the State Medical Faculty of Bengal. All the NATMB students were given chances to become LMF.

Formation of Chittaranjan Hospital

In 1925, DeshbandhuChittaranjan Das, the first Mayor of Calcutta handed over a plot of land of 5 acres at,Gorachand Road from the Calcutta Corporation for hospital purposes. After his sudden demise DeshapriyaJatindra Mohan Sengupta, as the next Mayor laid the Foundation stone of a 100 bedded Hospital on 20th February 1927 and named it as Chittaranjan Hospital.
The area was mainly open land with a Banyan Tree at the corner of DihiSerampur Road and Gorachand Road. On entering through the gate, next to the tree there was a three storeyed building. The administrative office was situated on the ground floor. The First floor was the Medical Ward. The Doctors and the Nurses quarters were on the second floor. There was a Bunglow with three rooms were the inventor of Urea Stibamine, Dr. UpendranathBrahmachari had his Kala-Azar ward and subsequently it was transformed into Housestaff Quarters. Later this has been demolished to site present Ram Mohan Roy Block for Medicine.
Another Three storeyed building was constructed on the north side of the plot. The Lecture rooms and the Pathology Laboratory were situated on the ground floor. The Surgical Ward and the Maternity and the Gynaecological Wards were on the other floors. A separate Cholera Ward was constructed later which is now the Hospital Administrative Block.
Another plot of 4 acres of land at 32,Gorachand Road was obtained from the Calcutta Improvement Trust for the School section and the building construction was finished by 1930.During that time the junior students had their lectures at Kankurgachi while the senior students had to attend 24,Gorachand Road for their lectures and Clinical duties. By 1931,after the completion of the School building at 32,Gorachand Road the school was totally shifted though senior students still had clinical duties at Kankurgachi on a 2 monthly rotational duty. In 1938, NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose, the then President of the Indian National Congress paid a courtesy visit to see DeshbandhuChittaranjanDas' glorious vision, a living educational Monument of the Nation.

Amalgamation of Calcutta Medical School with National Medical Institute to form Calcutta National Medical College

In 1944,the authorities of the two societies decided to pool together their resources with a view to establish a Medical College. In the Memorable Year of 1948 the amalgamation of the two non sectarian Medical Schools of the City-Calcutta Medical School and the National Medical Institute gave birth to Calcutta National Medical College. Major General Atul Chandra Chatterjee of INA was the then Director of Health Service of West Bengal. On request of the Joint Committee he became the President of the newly formed amalgamated body. Dr. Kumud Shankar Ray and Dr. Satish Chandra Sengupta were the secretaries. Captain SatyasakhaMaitra was appointed as the first Principal. With the spirit to impart best possible teachings to the newly admitted MBBS students renowned teachers were recruited. Dr. Motilal Pan in Anatomy, Dr. PremankurDey in Pharmacology, Dr. S P Neogy in Physiology and Dr. KumarnathBagchi in Biochemistry. On the 4th day of October 1948 the present college was opened by Sri KailashNathKatju, the then Governor of West Bengal.
The students of the College had to attend clinical duties in both hospitals at Gorachand Road and Upper Circular Road for the next 18 years. In 1964,the college was totally shifted to Gorachand Road and the properties at Upper Circular Road were sold to ESI (Medical benefit) scheme. The properties at Kankurgachi (National Infirmary and TB Hospital) were also sold and the collected revenue was utilised for further development. This Institution was growing with Honour under the able guidance of Dr. M N Sarkar till 1967 when the Government of West Bengal took over its management. On 25th March 1967, the management of this Institution was taken over by the Government of West Bengal temporarily. Finally it was taken over completely on 11th June 1976 through a special Bill and became fully nationalised.