Education in Kolkata

Can Kolkata be the Education Capital of India?

Kolkata, or Calcutta, as it is still known to many around the world, is the cultural and educational capital of not only West Bengal but also the entire East India. Being the third most popular metropolitan city of India, Kolkata attracts a large number of students from all over the country and abroad towards its progressive education institutes.

Kolkata has been revered as a centre of education since the rule of the British during the 19th and 20th centuries. St Stephen’s College in New Delhi, one of the most prestigious institutions of the country today, was once a constituent part of the University of Calcutta. The South Point High School of Kolkata has featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the largest educational institutes of the world from the year 1984 to 1992. With 13,500 students, it has been declared as the second largest school in the world.

Schools and colleges in the city are run by either the government authorities or private organizations and individuals. The local language Bengali and English are the main mediums of instruction in Kolkata schools, colleges and universities.

Many notable personalities have completed their education in Kolkata such as the first two Presidents of the Indian republic, Dr Rajendra Prasad and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan; Finance Minister of West Bengal – Ashok Mitra; fashion designer – Agnimitra Paul; the first female physician from South Asia – Kadambini Ganguly and many more.

School Education in Kolkata


The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, both governmental systems of education, control and manage the school learning and examinations in West Bengal. The Catholic or CNI administered private schools of Kolkata are affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ISCE) board of New Delhi. Kendriya Vidyalayas or central government schools are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi.

Besides the ICSE, ISCE, CBSE and state government boards of education, the Islamic Madrasah and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) also operate in Kolkata. The state government has taken steps to introduce academic facilities to the non privileged section of the society. The ‘Shikhshalaya Prakalpa’ is a government initiative through which quality teaching is extended to poor children. The ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ program by the joint efforts of the state and central governments has made primary education compulsory for children of 6 to 14 years of age.

Kolkata boasts of some of the best schools in India such as Don Bosco School, La Martiniere Calcutta, South Point High School, Loreto School, St Xavier’s Collegiate School and Loreto School.

Higher Education in Kolkata

Every college in Kolkata is affiliated to a university located either in the city or in other parts of India. An education survey conducted in the year 2011 shows that Kolkata is home to seventeen government owned or public sponsored universities. These universities are autonomous institutes which are entitled to offer degrees and diplomas to students enrolled. There are 10 medical colleges in Kolkata. The seven engineering institutes in the city offer technology and other related courses. Let us take a look at some of the best names in the education sector of Kolkata.

University of Calcutta

Established in the year 1857, the University of Calcutta today has a total of 204 colleges affiliated under it. Popularly referred to as Calcutta University, it was the first multidisciplinary higher education institute to be built in South Asia. This ‘Five Star University’ has been identified as a ‘Centre with Potential for Excellence’ by the UGC (University Grants Commission).

Calcutta Medical College

The Medical College and Hospital of Kolkata was the first institute of European medicine to be established in India in the year 1835. The progressive forms of medical teaching followed in Europe are adopted in the institute. This college offers MBBS, MD, DM and MCh degrees. The Calcutta Medical College hospital is one of the largest in Kolkata. There are specialty and super specialty departments in the hospital; there are also low cost health amenities available to the economically backward sections of the society.

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

IIM Calcutta was the first of the Indian Institutes of Management to be set up in the country in the year 1961. This autonomous institute offers executive programs, postgraduate diplomas and fellowship programs to students from different cities of India and foreign countries. The research facilities, seminars, consultancy programs, publications and academic conferences of IIM – C are acclaimed all over the world. In an education survey released by Business Today in 2011, IIM – C is one of the 50 best business schools of the world. The campus of IIM, Kolkata is located at the outskirts of the city in Joka.

West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences

This premier law institute of West Bengal, located in the Salt Lake area of Kolkata, is an autonomous university that offers undergraduate and postgraduate law degrees since 1999. The law school follows the five-year study of law model introduced in the country by the Bar Council of India. WBNUJS is widely accepted by law students in the country because of its superior placement facilities. In the year 2011, WBNUS was ranked as a Tier One law institute of the country by the LexisNexis Halsbury’s Law Monthly. A year before, this law school of Kolkata was honored as the second best institute for studying law in India.

Jadavpur University

This comparatively new learning institute of Kolkata offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the fields of Humanities, Engineering & Technology and Science. There are approximately 9000 students in the university who are distributed between the two campuses of Jadavpur and Salt Lake. The admission procedure in Jadavpur University is highly competitive because the institute features in the top positions every academic year. It also provides internship opportunities to its students in universities of the US and UK through international collaborations with Virginia Tech, Staffordshire University, Leeds Metropolitan University and Shastri Indo – Canadian Institute.

Indian Statistical Institute

ISI Kolkata is an undergraduate and postgraduate institute that boasts of the best names in the field of statistics, mathematics and economics as faculty members. After being established in the year 1931, the institute recruited notable faculty members like R C Bose, Jayanta Kumar Ghosh, Ravindra Khattree, Ranajit Chakraborty and Sourav Chatterjee. The Indian Statistical Institute is also known for its Central Library which has a collection of more than 200,000 journals and books of statistics and its allied subjects. Taking into account its growing popularity in Kolkata, the ISI has built branches in Delhi and Bangalore.

Presidency University

After being established in 1817 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Presidency College or Hindu College as it was earlier known, offered courses in science and arts. In the year 2010, Presidency College was upgraded to Presidency University and was also ranked 3rd in the country.

Marine Engineering and Research Institute (MERI)

The institute is a national institute for training marine engineers in India. From its establishment in 1927 to 2000, a student from this institute got his degree from Jadavpur University. After 2000, the institute was affiliated to the Indian Maritime University and then awarded its own degrees.

Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU)

In spite of the fact that it is an open distance learning center, this is the 58th largest university of the world.

Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur

BESU is one of the oldest engineering universities of India. Established in the year 1856, this Howrah institute offers bachelor’s, master’s and research programs in engineering and applied science.

Educational Statistics of Kolkata


Total Literacy Rate 87.14%
Male Literacy Rate 89.08%
Female Literacy Rate 84.98%
No. of Universities 17
Central Universities 4
State Universities 10
No. of Colleges 74


Top Schools in Kolkata


  • La Martiniere
  • Modern High School for Girls
  • South Point High School
  • G.D. Birla Centre for Education
  • Calcutta Girls’ High School
  • Don Bosco Public School
  • St. Xavier’s Collegiate School
  • R.K. Mission Vidyalaya
  • Assembly of God Church School
  • Birla High School

Major Universities in Kolkata


  • University of Calcutta
  • Rabindra Bharati University
  • Presidency University
  • Netaji Subhash Open University
  • Jadavpur University
  • West Bengal University of Health Sciences
  • West Bengal University of Technology
  • West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences

Top Colleges in Kolkata


The top colleges in Kolkata can be categorized according to the courses of study that they offer:

Top Engineering Colleges in Kolkata

  • Bengal Institute of Technology
  • Govt. College of Engineering and Ceramic Technology
  • Institute of Engineering & Management
  • Guru Nanak Institute of Technology
  • Netaji Subhas Engineering College
  • Techno India
  • St. Thomas’ College of Engineering & Technology
  • RCC Institute of Information Technology

Top Medical Colleges in Kolkata

  • R.G. Kar Medical College
  • National Medical College
  • Nil Ratan Sarkar Medical College and Hospital
  • R. Ahmed Dental College
  • Calcutta Medical College
  • KPC Medical College
  • S.S.K.M. Medical College

Top MBA Colleges

  • Indian Institute of Management
  • Institute of Business Management National Council of Education
  • Bhavan’s College of Communication and Management
  • Institute of Business Management and Research
  • Globsyn Business School
  • Annex College of Management Studies
  • Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management

Top Science Colleges

  • St. Xavier’s College
  • Scottish Church College
  • Maulana Azad College
  • Bethune College
  • Lady Brabourne College
  • Vidyasagar College
  • Ashutosh College

Top Commerce Colleges in Kolkata

  • St. Xavier’s College
  • Goenka College
  • Seth Surajmal Jalan Girls College
  • Sivnath Sastri College
  • Shri Shikshayatan College
  • Seth Anandaram Jaipuria College

Top Arts Colleges in Kolkata

  • Ashutosh College
  • Gokhale Memorial Girls College
  • Scottish Church College
  • St. Xavier’s College
  • Bethune College
  • Shri Shikshayatan College
  • Lady Brabourne College
  • Maulana Azad College

Top MCA Colleges

  • B.P. Poddar Institute of Management and Technology
  • Netaji Subhash Engineering College Technocity
  • Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Jadavpur University
  • Computer Centre University of Calcutta
  • Netaji Subhash Engineering College

Top Fashion Designing Colleges


  • Anima Institute of Fashion
  • Birla Institute of Liberal Arts & Management Sciences
  • National Institute of Fashion Design
  • National Institute of Fashion Technology
  • The Bhawanipur Gujarati Education Society

Top Journalism Colleges in Kolkata


  • Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communication, Calcutta University
  • Institute of Mass Communication Film and Television Studies
  • Bhavans Ashutosh College of Communication and Management

Top Law Colleges


  • The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
  • South Calcutta Law College
  • Dept. of Law, Calcutta University
  • Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College
  • Surendranath Law College

Top B.Ed Colleges

  • South Calcutta Girls College
  • Lady Brabourne College
  • Netaji Nagar College for Women
  • Rammohan College
  • Murolidhar Girls College
  • Loreto College
  • Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose College

Top Animation Colleges

  • Zee Institute of Creative Art
  • Webel DQE Animation Academy
  • Digital Asia School of Animation

Top Advertising Colleges

  • International School of Business and Media
  • WLC College
  • NSHM Knowledge Campus

Top Music Colleges

  • Bengal Music College
  • Rabindra Bharati University
  • West Bengal State Music Academy
  • Faculty of Arts & Journalism, University of Calcutta

Top Dance Colleges

  • Bani Chakra Music and Dance Training College

Top Acting/Drama Colleges:

  • Paschim Banga Natya Academy
  • Ajitesh Natya Academy


Latest Events in the Education Sector:

One of the most significant events in the education scenario of Kolkata was the transition of the Presidency College into becoming the unitary Presidency University.