The history of Ramakrishna Mission Residential College is identical to that of its parent organization, Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Narendrapur. In 1943, in the wake of the disastrous Bengal Famine,a handful of spirited and dedicated monks of the Ramakrishna Order set up a Students’ Home at Pathuriaghata in North Kolkata.
The Home was housed on a small plot of land earmarked for the education of young college and university students. It slowly but steadily accumulated a reputation for nurturing meritorious but indigent students. In 1957, the Home was relocated on a larger compound at Narendrapur. Within a short span of time it acquired an enviable stature under the dynamic leadership and persistent efforts of the late Revered Swami Lokeswaranandaji, the Founder-secretary, and his distinguished team of teachers. The acorn has now grown into a massive oak. The campus of the Ashrama is spread over 150 acres of land, dotted with flower gardens, orchards, mango groves and water bodies. Far away from the squalor and clutter of the city, the Ashrama boasts quite a few centres of excellence, Ramakrishna Mission Residential College (Autonomous) being amongst them.
The College was established on the Ashrama campus in July 1960. Affiliated to the University of Calcutta, its first batch of students commenced classes in August 1960. Much later in 1976, the Higher Secondary Unit of West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education started functioning on the college premises, but was shifted to the Vidyalaya after 2006. Autonomous status was conferred upon the college in 2008. Fully residential, this boys’ college follows the same principles and objectives as all other institutions functioning under the aegis of the Ramakrishna Mission. Swami Vivekananda believed education to be the panacea for all the evils running rampant in our country. He envisioned an educational system which would build character as well as ensure social upliftment. For such a system of education to become real and practical, an ambience of trust and love needed to be created. Through a happy combination of learning and practising, students could engage in a joyous participation in the learning process. A modern implementation of the ancient Gurugrihavasa was Swamiji’s solution. Teachers and students sharing the same living space, governed by moral and cultural modes of Indian life, in sylvan surroundings was the model chosen by the wise sages of the Ramakrishna Order. Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur was destined to become Swamiji’s realization of education being ‘the manifestation of perfection already in man.
For infrastructural enhancements and smooth functioning of academia and administration, the historical college building is now supported by a newly furnished Annex Building. The Annex, named ‘Sarada Mandir’ after our Holy Mother Sarada Devi, is a magnificent eight-storey construction equipped with advanced research centres and laboratories, smart classrooms, integrated library and reading room, technologically enriched auditorium, and a very unique Meditation Room. The College-Annex also houses the office of the Controller of the Examinations among other administrative offices.