Snugged amidst Bowbazar and College Street crossing, Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration encloses within its cloisters a rich cultural legacy of a century. Here, within its four high walls, the soil smells fresh with the fragrance of memories of the bygone times when commercial studies began to put its footprints into the ever widening horizon of new thoughts and knowledge. With the gradual march of time, the study of commerce anchored its roots firmly and Goenka College became the premier institution of teaching commerce in the city.
It all began in the auspicious year of 1903 when the Director of Public Instruction, Government of Bengal, introduced a two year senior course in commercial studies in Presidency College, Kolkata. By leaps and bounds it developed into a separate Commercial Institute in 1905. In the same year the syllabus underwent a thorough revision and a number of subjects began to be taught to meet the requirements of the office assistants of the time. In 1907, the Commercial classes were shifted from Presidency College to 303, Bowbazar Street. As the classes became more and more popular, students enrolment increased and larger space was required. The spacious building of 285, Bowbazar Street served the purpose, but with the introduction of the new course of Banking it was shifted to 11, Hastings Street, then to 19, Wellesley Square and finally to Netaji Subhas Road by 1928.
The Institution finally acquired its present position at 210, Bepin Behari Ganguly Street, Kolkata in 1951. Owing to the benevolent Goenkas, it remained comfortably in its present location replacing the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. The Institution now came to be called Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration whose main objective was to create competent professionals for the fast developing business and growing service sector in post colonial India. The uniqueness of the college lies in the fact that it is an institution that teaches exclusively commerce subjects and had started teaching the subjects even before the University of Calcutta had its commerce stream. In 1930 the course of the final examination of the college was recognized by the University of Calcutta as equivalent to its Intermediate Examination. In 1948 the College was granted affiliation to the All India Council for Technical Education for imparting education in the National Diploma Course in Commerce. Since 1931 the College has been affiliated to the University of Calcutta for teaching the B.Com. Course.
The College has maintained a steady progress along with the march of time. It is a co-education institution functioning as a full day time college. After 1965 an Evening Section was introduced which was later shifted to the Morning section. The Evening Section had a vocational course for teaching typewriting and stenography but this was closed after 1996.The College also had ‘Plus Two’ course in commerce but it was discontinued after 1996.
The College regularly publishes its own magazine The Wide Angle which comes out once a year on the Foundation Day of the college on 27th November. The Foundation Day is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm. The College organizes ‘Quest’ – an inter college cultural programme every year. The students also take part in various sports activities organised by the Calcutta University and the Government of West Bengal. The college celebrates an annual athletic meet to encourage and inspire the students to participate in physical activities. In 2003, as a mark of excellence, the University of Calcutta granted the permission for opening up the Post Graduate Course in Commerce.
Many other activities hover around this popular institution. There are different units such as the Language Cell, Mrittika-Nature Cell, Entrepreneurship Development Cell which aim at specialization and keep the students engaged with various issues related to practical life. The College has also opened the NSS unit to engage the students in useful social service other than studies. Of late, the College has constituted its Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) which is engaged in maintaining quality aspects of different college activities through constant monitoring. As per the requirement of Kolkata Police, the College has recently initiated a move by forming a Crisis Management Planning Team to tackle unforeseen disasters in the college campus to save its people and property.
The tireless efforts of the teachers had helped to produce from the students a galaxy of eminent personalities in the field of business, industries and management. The college spells a magic of its own as the corridors resound with many voices. The classrooms echo with the sombre voices of teachers imparting lessons and the common rooms are filled with the cheerful voices of the young people. So the great tradition continues untouched by the ruins and ravages of time; undiminished in its aura of glory.