MEDICAL COLLEGE, CALCUTTA
The Medical College, Bengal, was founded 150 years ago on the 28th January, 1835, by Lord William Bentinck, the then Governor General of India, "for the education of the Indian youth without exception to creed or caste", as the premier medical institution in the East for learning European Allopathic system of Medicine.
This Medical College owes its genesis to the dedicated service of the "Native Doctors" who were trained up to compounders and dressers as the British could not trust the Ayurveds and Hakims. Inspired by the sincerity of the native doctors, a vernacular medical school was started in October, 1824. Classes were held in the Sanskrit College and Calcutta Madrassa. The enthusiasm and excellence of the students soon proved the teaching system inadequate. An educational committee appointed by Lord Bentinck in 1833 recommended abolition of the school and formation of the New Medical College in 1835.
The College started functioning on the 20th February 1835 in an old house. Dr M. S. Bramley was appointed Principal, Dr H. H. Goodeve Professor of Anatomy and Medicine, and Pundit Madhusudan Gupta, a Vaidya Professor of the Native School as Instructor. 50 students were admitted, each receiving a stipend of Rs 7 to 12 per month. Mr David Hare, the noted philanthropist, was the Secretary and Treasurer. In the following years, the college and hospital buildings were developed, till 1910, mainly from public donations.
The centenary celebration was held in 1935 with the laying of the foundation stone of the Casualty Block. The foundation stone of the Terjubilee College building for education and research was laid on the 150th foundation day in 1984.
The college has been unique with many landmarks in the history of medical education in India. On the 10th January 1836, Pundit Madhusudan Gupta along with four students dissected the first human dead body overcoming all prejudice and superstition. It produced the first five Indian doctors in 1838. Babu Uma Charan Sett stood first. In 1845, the college was registered in England and in the same year, the first four Indian students were sent abroad for higher studies. In 1848, the first proper teaching hospital was founded on the land donated by Babu Mutty Lal Seal. This is depicted in the commemorative stamp as the oldest existing building erected from public contributions. The college was affiliated to the newly formed University of Calcutta in 1857. In 1884, the first lady medical student, Kadambini Ganguli, was admitted. The college has remained unparalleled in producing hundreds of brilliant medical men, many of whom became the doyens of medical profession in India, viz Sir N. R. Sircar, Sir U. N. Brahmachari, Sir Kedarnath Das, Dr B. C. Roy, to name only a few.
The college which started with 50 students and 20 hospital beds 150 years ago is now training up 750 undergraduates and 100 postgraduates and hospital serves 2000 in-patients and 6000 outpatients daily.
(Text Courtesy: R, K. Panja).
The Indian Posts & Telegraphs Department is privileged to issue a commemorative postage stamp on the completion of 150 years of service by this premier institute of medical education.
Description of Designs: The stamp has been designed by India Security Press, Nasik based on a photograph of the Medical College Hospital building, which is the oldest hospital in the premises. The First Day Cover shows the Administrative Block of Medical College, Calcutta. The cancellation has been designed by Nenu Bagga.
Date of issue: 20.2.1985