Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis Mahavidyalaya, Baranagar (formerly Bonhoogly College of Commerce) was established in 1965 as a private evening Commerce College affiliated to the West Bengal State University (WBSU). A brief history of the college is as follows :
The idea of an evening Commerce College, dream of many educated persons of the Baranagar-Kamarhati area, became reality through untiring efforts of a few educationalists 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 hand the driving forces 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 kilometers) inhabitated by over 25 lacs. of people. The area has also the highest concentration of uprooted (refugees) people of which a sizeable number belong to Scheduled Castes community.
At the begining, the college had no building of its own. With special permission from the State Government, classes were held from 5.15 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the premises of Brahmananda Keshab Chandra College, a Govt. sponsered Day College for Arts and Science.
The College was established as an evening Commerce College with a view to offer opportunity for higher education to those who were i) engaged in petty jobs in local factories, shops and various establishments but wanted to prosecute their studies furthur for a change-over, ii) who were unemployed and on the look-out for jobs, iii) who were 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 satisfactory. But unfortunately, during the seventies it had to face two serious problems : persistent load-shedding continuing for two/three hours at a strech, and the Naxalite imbroglio. The problem of load-shedding was somehow tackled by installing petromaxes in the class rooms. But, the 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.
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 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 had less than 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 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 that resources we had in the college fund the ground floor of the institute comprising of 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 Lacs. In the mean time, we had also received some grants from MPs and MLAs Local Area Development funds.
In this way, we enabled ourselves to complete three storied main block and the ground floor of the annexed block and thereby shifted our college to our own building in 14th May, 1999. From the academic year 2002-03, we changed the working hours of our college from the evening shift to the day shift for better teaching-learning facilities. Moreover, from the academic session 2003-04 we introduced other faculties like Honours and General courses in Geography, Education & Sociology. In the very next year two new Honours courses were introduced Sociology and Education, were introduced in both Honours and General degree courses. 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 pioneer statistician and founder of Indian Statistical Institute, our college was renamed as Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis Mahavidyalaya. Now our college owns a four-storied two-block building and has become a multi-faculty degree college offering Honours courses of study in 10 subjects with 14 whole-time UGC approved teachers & 15 Government approved Part Time Teachers & 27 Guest Lecturers.
In the year 2008 we approached the NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) for the assessment of the progress of our college. The Peer Team of the NAAC visited our college, appreciated our academic and administrative set-up, enriched us with their valuable guidelines and suggestions, and finally accredited the college with grade “B”. Now our institution is a NAAC accredited degree college affiliated tothe West Bengal State University.