A Campus with a Differencee
Md. Shamsuzzaman, A S M Tareque, Md. Ziaur, Rahman, Md. Mominul Islam, Shahnaz Jahan Sumi, Nazmun Farzana Lumpa.
To the south of Rangpur, three miles away from the noisy atmosphere of the town, stands one of the oldest and renowned educational institutions of North Bengal as well as of the country.
As one enters the campus one sees on both sides sprawling green fields with large trees standing here and there. One sees boys and girls sitting in groups or in twos, discussing, chatting, or day-dreaming with books in their hands.
The main building, designed after the 'Oxford Village' following the Indo-Saracen architecture, stands a little beyond the entrance, on one side of the green carpet of three hundred acres of land. It includes the administrative office and the Bangla department. Its high ceilings and heavy ornamented wooden doors and the wide veranda going round the building give it a majestic look and feel.
The various faculties and offices of the college spread over a number of other buildings. There is the Science building which houses the departments of Physics, Zoology and Botany. Just beyond this building is the botanical garden. The Arts faculty is in the third building. Accounting and Management departments of the Commerce faculty are also accommodated in the same building.
The Chemistry department, however, lies in a lone building. There is a new building in which the Islamic Studies department has been opened recently.
Besides the administrative and academic buildings, there are a few separate residential halls for boys and girls. M.A.G. Osmani Hall, Gopal Lal Hostel and C.M. Hostel are for the Muslim male students, while the K.B. Hostel is for the Hindu male students. There are three girls' hostels, Shaheed Janoni Jahanara Imam Hostel and Taposhi Rabeya Hostel. The third one hasn't been given any name yet. It is specially for the Hindu girls.
Established on 10 November, 1916 by Lord Thomas David Baron Carmichael, the then Governor of undivided Bengal, and named after him, the college has earned a great prestige and reputation for itself not just because of its high education quality but also for the various literary and cultural involvements of its students and faculty members. The college theatre group, CANASAS, the cultural groups Spondon and Bandhon, and its Debating Club help to bring out many hidden talents from among the students. Besides these, the BNCC and the Rovers Scouts play a vital role in encouraging a sense of social commitment among the students.
Carmichael College has a rich library of more than 70,000 books. However, some of the students commented that new editions of some older books as well as some recently published books need to be acquired.
The Carmichael College was under the University of Calcutta from 1917- 1947, till the partition of the Sub-continent. It was then brought under the University of Dhaka from 1947-1952 and then later from 1953- 1992 it went under the University of Rajshahi. At present it is affiliated to the National University of Bngladesh.
The college now has about 16,000 students and 200 teachers. It offers Honours and Master's degrees in fifteen subjects. The examinations result of this college has always been satisfactory. Biplob Sarker, a meritorious student of Bangla department who stood first in the last Masters Examination says, “It's the commitment of my teachers and the cordial relationship between the students and the teachers that has encouraged me to strive for the best. I'm very proud of my college.”
However, the college has its share of problems too. The non-residential students complain that the number of college buses is not sufficient. Nonavailability of transport often causes many problems, particularly in the rainy season. Besides, with the increasing number of students every year more hostels are needed. Above all, a permanent and modern health complex as well as a security camp in the campus is needed immediately.
Finally, the students, and also the general people of North Bengal, have for quite some time been demanding that Carmichael College should be turned into a university by the Government. The people in the region are now waiting for that dream to come true, and for the day when this seat of learning will be the number one of its kind not just in north Bengal but in the whole country.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006